Here's a timeline for how I've felt with homesickness and such since I've been here. The first couple of weeks: loved it, not homesick at all. The next few weeks to a month: liking China but feeling homesick because there wasn't a lot to do and I had too much time to think. The next few weeks: dying to stay in China for a long time and not even close to ready to go home. My current state: satisfied...dying to get home, but also dying to stay.
If you aren't aware, a conference is currently going on in Tennessee called Skyland Bible Conference. It's always one of my favorite weeks out of the summer. I just love it so much. In fact, I have been to this conference every year since I was 1 year old. And this is the first time I haven't been there. And I couldn't be more sad about it. These days when I have my usual Skype call with Mom and Dad every night, they tell me how conference is going, why Thomas is getting stitches, how intense the annual basketball game was, how great it is to be allowed to wear shorts to the meetings, and so on and so forth. And every time I hear all of these things I just become overwhelmed with a really sad feeling. Out of all of the things that I haven't been able to go to because of being here (which are alot), this is by far what I miss the most. But, I've felt sad about it enough tonight, so let's just leave it with the surety that I'll be there next year. And I already can't wait. And I was really thankful that last night Mom and Dad took the computer to the cafeteria during lunch and passed me around to everyone and let me say hello. So that was really cool. Here's some old conference pictures, just for kicks:
At the annual softball game.
So if it wasn't for this conference, I really probably wouldn't be too awfully interested in going home any time soon. I mean....this has become like home to me. Besides our house in America, this is definitely the most "at home" I've ever felt in my life. I just feel sort of weird about going home. I've gotten so used to being here.
So used to whispering in order to not wake up Harvey. So used to my bed. So used to being called "Annie" by Josh and Danielle. So used to eating dinner and hanging out with friends every Monday night. So used to having Chinese class every Tuesday and Thursday morning. So used to listening to the Harv scream. So used to climbing 3 flights of stairs to get home. So used to silently listening to people speak in Chinese, while trying to pick out a few words here and there. So used to walking 3 minutes down the street to the market for fruits and vegetables. So used to people saying "Foreigner!!" when I pass them. So used to people staring at us. So used to being introduced to people by Josh saying, "Wo de mei mei." (my little sister). So used to not drinking water out of the sink. So used to taking my shoes off when I enter the door. So used to having near-death experiences every time I get in the car. So used to having to scrub my feet more than usual when I take a shower. So used to being able to say anything about people standing nearby, since they can't understand us.
And the list could go on. For a long time.
As you can see, I've gotten comfortable living in China. Just as I have often thought to myself that I am homesick, no doubt I'll do the same when I'm in America, but for my Chinese home. Some reverse culture shock may happen, and most definitely some jet-lag. Adjusting to being in America might be a little rough at first. But I'm really excited about what I've got planned for the rest of the summer, and the following school year, for that matter.
I feel like I've grown so much mentally and spiritually while being here and I'm so grateful for that. I can actually cook a meal on my own. Like I have mentioned in an earlier post, I've already got the whole breastfeeding thing down and I'm sure I'll have no problem with that in the future. I've learned alot about taking care of a newborn. I enjoy reading about how to prepare for the SAT. I enjoy learning the meanings of new words. And you get the point.
But don't worry...I'm still the same person. Just with a little more knowledge, a little more passion, and a little more love.