Ancient History, Part III: No Regrets


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March 4th 2011
Published: March 4th 2011
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One year ago on this day, at this hour, I was sitting in the O'Hare International Airport in Chicago putting my first entry into this blog as I awaited my first-ever flight to Asia. I remember it like it was yesterday: me wrapped in multiple layers of clothing, a not-very-warm faux fur coat, my red Arabian keffiyah rolled snugly around my neck as I tapped out my first entry slouching on a naugahyde chair, reflecting with dark humor on the circumstances that have led me to my present condition. My entire life was packed into a suitcase in the belly of the plane and into the red handbag beside me. I was numb and horrified and exhilirated, all at once, at the thought of living in China for a year.

One year--how can an entire year have gone past? Has that much time gone past since I made my Ultimate Bad Choice and set out on my Grandest Adventure? And yet my mind has structured itself around this new reality to such an extent that I cannot remember having lived in any other way.

The year has done much to me--my health has suffered. My mentality has changed. Although I remain infinitely quiet and polite and have possibly become even more accommodating than I was at the outset, there's a whole lot less crap I am willing to put up with. I feel as though I have simply lost patience with the world's power structures and subservience. Maybe this has something to do with my finally being in a position of authority over others rather than being the meek wage-slave behind the counter; maybe this has something to do with the year's experiences. Maybe it just has something to do with me finally hitting middle age. Yes, I've somehow become middle-aged, both in my physical appearance and in these attitudes.

When I got on the Dreaded Seat E, there was nothing but the bliss of adventure and the sense of unlimited possibility. So too there was the sense that I could be permanently screwing my life. I still don't know which has happened, or will happen. I do know that I will remain in Cambodia, because--I can put it no other way--I am supposed to be in Cambodia right now. One day, I know it will be time for me to leave. But now is not that time. Not yet.

Not yet.

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