July 20, 2009

Dear China

personal Travel

I knew this day would come; and it’s now time to say goodbye. Sometimes I anticipated it, wanting so much to get out, and other times I dreaded it because I know I’ll miss you when I’m gone. Saying goodbye is never easy, but it’s hard to keep growing without letting go of some things. So China, as a dear friend, here is my farewell to you.

I want to thank you for everything you’ve taught me. Like a mentor that repeatedly puts their student into difficult situations to teach them about a craft, you have done this for me. Only the craft is I. My boundaries have never been more tested. In doing this I’ve learned not only a lot about myself, my heart and my desires, I’ve also learned about the things I don’t want and about the person I don’t want to become. I have never in my life had so many revelations that have come to me when I’ve been either reduced to tears in frustration, or been so overwhelmed with happiness that I cry even then too.

Not only have you taught me so much, but I’ve been humbled with the realization of how much I don’t know. You’ve left me wanting to explore more, learn more and experience more. China, you have showed me the most wonderful sides of humanity and you’ve also shown me the darkest. I’m glad to see both. I don’t want to be sheltered in the world and I believe that one is necessary to understand the other. Both are very powerful, and I always want to keep them with me.

This is what I now know. I want to be an enjoyable person; the type of person who doesn’t bring people down, but lifts them up when I can. I want to be a good friend. No, scratch that, I want to be a best friend. Someone my friends know they can count on. I also want to have best friends and people I know will always be there for me.

If there’s one things that stands out to me that I’ve learned, it’s that I don’t want to surround myself with people that tend to suck the energy out me. It’s not always easy to spot this and it seems very easy to form superficial relationships with people. But I now know that these relationships are toxic, and I don’t feel good about them. I’m a social person, and I love having people around, but I need to take a closer look at which people I share my time with. Not that my time is so important, but it’s mine and I want to make better use of it.

Along with my time, I love going out and socializing with friends, but I don’t want to have plans every night. I enjoy the time Eliot and I spend together when it’s just the two of us and I don’t feel like we have to have a busy social schedule to verify ourselves. I realize now how much I love staying in, cooking a meal and watching a film, or playing games. Maybe it’s cheesy, but it’s honest.

Thanks you China for the love, and for the good times along with the tough times. Thank you for showing me a new place and leaving me wanting to see more of it. For all the wonderful people I’ve met, along with the ones I’d rather not see again; thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Miss you, Love you,
Ashley

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