As I walked home on a beautiful Friday night, Beijing was just starting to wake up. Looking down the street, I could see the bright lights from various local restaurants shining, guiding me back home. To my right, white plastic tables were lined up for outdoor dining, and across the street, mini fold out tables and wooden chairs were scattered sporadically down the sidewalk for street food diners.
So what was it going to be tonight? A Korean restaurant with the best spicy tofu soup? Or will my love for anything greased in oil and fired over a small beat-up grill drag me across the street to be enjoyed on the mini-me furniture? These are the questions I am faced with every night and I’m not complaining one bit. Life seems so effortless right now. My days are mashed into each other and as more time passes, I’ve discovered more about myself than I have these last five years combined. To have the time to get motivation from no one but myself, finding inspiration from random people in this foreign country, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I hope, by this time next year, I won’t have any regrets about taking this one year off. This year of not making the high income salary, of not getting that corporate job and of not living a comfortable, stable life back in the states.
Who says I can’t start my adulthood with a bang? No one.
So there I was, standing alone on the sidewalk in China, on Chengfu Road, surrounded by everything opposite of what I’ve seen growing up, a sight so familiar to me now, trying to decide, along with the rest of the Chinese population, what I wanted to eat for dinner, and for once, I didn’t feel so foreign anymore.