To write with reckless abandon like days gone by. Inspiration in the form of Murakami words floating up off the page and becoming entangled with the musical notes of Arcade Fire, creating a dance upon the metro as you raced home to eat peanut butter smothered on crackers in your cold-tiled apartment. You were younger then, more uninhibited. Your voice was yet to be discovered, but the one you used back then was perhaps better, funnier.
Let’s go back to that time. To days spent in a sensory overload. Days where everything was new and exciting and overwhelming, with a hint of naivety, a touch of spontaneity. Long, lost days of navigating a city for the very first time. Rushing through crowds with a beating heart and a grin, drinking beer by a lake with people from all around the globe. Eating ten dumplings every night at 10pm and two chocolate pies for breakfast every day at 8am.
If only it were that easy. To see everything through a fresh pair of rose-tinted spectacles. To ignore the ‘China Days’, the China haze, the daze that sets you on a whirlwind of complaining that spirals and spirals until you snap in half. There is a reason you came here six years ago and a reason you are still here. Let’s remember what charmed you. The smiles of curiosity at this funny foreign girl who manouevers the streets like someone from outer space. The way you can buy the freshest fruit of the season from a basket outside your house. That tea is the coffee of the day, cartoons the news. A language that feels like a game you might possibly win as words bubble to the surface and slip out, words you could never have imagined you’d be able to formulate, never mind remember and converse in. The ping-pong battle of loving and hating this place and loving it again, day in and day out. It’s like one giant labyrinth of challenges, adventures and discoveries around each and every corner.
It is that easy. All it takes is writing down a few things you feel grateful for. The reasons this place has been your home for six years and still is. Writing. That’s the key. Never stop expressing your gratitude for crazy, chaotic China and everything it has brought your way. A job you love, a new fascinating language and culture that you will never stop learning from, a fateful encounter with the one you love, friends from all around the world, and many other things, the big one being inspiration.
Take that inspiration and turn it into something more. Let it take shape, take flight and flutter out to land upon the heads of others, maybe igniting a tiny spark of inspiration in them too.