Post #64 – Better sorry than safe?

According to the wisdom of the ages, it is “better to be safe than sorry”.  I grew up hearing this old adage, and in general, I do think it is better to be safe that sorry, at least in most circumstances.  Why cause problems or pain if it can be avoided?  No one like to be hurt or frustrated.

However, I think there are times that it could be better to be sorry than safe.  Well, only if the sorry means taking a risk that could end in sorry rather than safe.  One such example is love.  I have found that it is much, much better to be potentially sorry than safe when it comes to love and commitment.  If I wasn’t willing to be hurt and sorry, then my relationship and friendships could never be deep and vulnerable and real.  I wouldn’t stick around when the relationships were difficult and then I would be all alone.  Being willing to be sorry (though it is quite hard and risky) has led me to be open and real with my friends and husband, which has led to deeper, meaningful relationships (and some heartache from failed relationships and friendships).  I know that my close friends and husband will stand by me regardless of what happens in life.  If you aren’t willing to risk it all (by which I mean every aspect of life or at least being hurt) for love, when are you willing to risk it all?

Embarking on adventures, particularly of the global variety, is another example of a time that it may be better to be sorry than safe.  Being safe means being comfortable and not being willing to risk trying new things.  I would much rather have adventures than do the same thing with my life every single day.  I want to travel the world, though so far my traveling outside of the U.S. has been limited to countries whose names begin with ‘C’ and end in ‘a’ (Canada and China).  I want to try food from around the world.  On my adventures, I have discovered so many new foods that I love, and some that I just don’t like and find rather repulsive.  Anyway, living an adventurous life doesn’t lead to many “what if?”s other than “what if I had stayed home?”.

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What adventure would you take if you could?

Post #16 – Wacky, but useful, advice

Hmmmm…. wacky, but still useful advice.  That’s a tough one.  Since living in China, I have received all sorts of wacky advice, but I’m not sure how much of it would qualify as useful.  I suppose “hold your hand out while crossing the street” is useful since it signals the taxi drivers not to hit you.  Also “wear your coat always” is useful since they don’t really believe in turning on the heat here in “tropical” China.  My husband was told to “drink hot water” to cure a hangover, which was definitely wacky and not altogether helpful, though no further harm was done either.  Also recently, due to my current “I can’t get home from China” situation, I’ve been told to talk to the American embassy, which sounds reasonable but is totally wacky given the way the Chinese operate, though it could be useful if I wind up facing deportation (something I remain confident will not happen).  I’m afraid that’s about the wackiest advice I’ve come up with.  I probably have just ignored some wacky advice as joking or sarcastic and therefore don’t remember it.  That sounds like me.  What wacky advice have you received?

Post #13 – What I am most looking forward to this year

2011 promises to be an exciting year for me!  At the moment, I am still living in Yueyang, China which is always full of surprises and interesting interactions.  However, I am leaving in a week or so to return to Ohio to visit my friends and family.  I am definitely looking forward to that!  I have greatly enjoyed my time in China, but seeing my friends and family again will be so refreshing and encouraging!  It would be easy to say that visiting Ohio will be what I am looking forward to most this year, but it wouldn’t be true.

Right now, I am looking forward to the endless possibilities that 2011 brings.  I am moving to Portland around March, which will be an awesome new experience.  Living in Portland will be the first time that I have lived in a bigger city.  Portland is also home to many, many coffee shops, which I love already.  In addition to enjoying city live and all that Portland has to offer, one of my best friends lives in Portland, so I am looking forward to spending lots of time with her again.

However, I am most looking forward to new experiences.  I love to travel and am most likely going to pursue moving abroad again in the fall.  I love connecting with people and moving to a new city offers me plenty of opportunities to meet all sorts of people.  I simply cannot wait to see what this year has in store!

Post #9

Since I moved to China in August, I’ve had many Aha! moments as I’ve learned about the culture, the language, and the teaching style here.  One of my favorite Aha! moments was in a restaurant that I frequent.  I had been studying the names of different foods and how to put them together to order food.  The owners of the restaurant were patient with me as I stumbled through and butchered the Chinese.  I keep trying and always listened to the conversations around me hoping to pick up on some of the local dialect.  Then one day, I understood!  I knew what they were saying to me!  I knew what the other customers ordered!  It was so awesome and encouraging!  Loved it!

Post #3

Today I will discuss Daily Post’s topic of the day – what’s the single most important thing you accomplished in 2010?

I really don’t know what the single most important thing I accomplished in  2010 is.  I suppose that depends on how important is defined.  I did a lot of things in 2010.  I graduated with a B.A. in English from Bowling Green State University with three job offers.  I planned a wedding in 87 days and married an incredible man.  Then I got another job in China and moved overseas within five days of obtaining my visa.  It has been a crazy, ridiculous year; I have been quite busy.

Honestly though, all of these things are just things.  The biggest accomplishment, if I can even call it that, is the growth of my faith in God.  This growth isn’t even something I can claim to own.  God is at work in my life, as Philippians 2:12-13 says.  It is all for His glory, and only by His grace that I have made it through all the trials, along with all the joys, that this year has brought.

Post #1

Today’s topic at The Daily Post is to list three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go.

Since I’m from the United States but currently living in China, I really do want to go back to the United States to visit my friends and family.  My visa expires February 17, so I’ll be heading back by then.  I don’t want to count this as one of my three countries though because I’m from the U.S. and there are at least three other countries I want to visit and/or live in.

Country #1 – Spain.  I want to visit (and live in) Spain.  Ever since I began learning Spanish, I’ve longed to go to a country where I can practice and improve my Spanish.  As a Spanish major, my husband spent eight months in Spain, fell in love with it, and wants to go back, which just intensifies my desire to visit Spain.  Furthermore, I’ve always wanted to live somewhere in Europe and love every aspect (that I’ve learned about) of Spanish culture.  Spain seems to be an ideal country to visit.

Country #2 – the Netherlands.  Don’t ask me why, but I’ve always wanted to visit Amsterdam and then move there.  I don’t speak Dutch or really know all that much about Amsterdam, but it just pulls on my heart to at least see it.  Incredibly, this desire has not faded at all in the past four years; if anything, it is stronger now than before.

Country #3 – England.  I read a lot of Victorian novels as a young girl, and I fell in love with England, its people, and its countryside.  Additionally, I love clocks, and London is home to Big Ben.  So I would just love to visit the country and see the country that inspired so many of the books that bring back such fond childhood memories.  I would even love to live there.

If you can’t tell by now, I love being an expat.  Adjusting to different and foreign cultures is difficult, but I love the experience.  While I am currently looking forward to my visit to the U.S. to see my family and friends and settle in Portland, OR for a little while (to recover from the shock of China and improve my health after suffering the effects of severe pollution), I am just as eagerly looking forward to moving to a foreign country within a few years.