Meanwhile, in Arizona….

Even though I’ve lived in Arizona for 12 years, I never saw the Grand Canyon until this past weekend. What an awesome experience. It puts things in perspective, our smallness in a vast universe. Then I went somewhere I’ve been before, a town called Sedona, and I appreciated its magnificence for the first time. Built on and surrounded by red rock, Sedona may be one of America’s (the world’s?) most beautiful cities. Watching the spectacular sunset against a backdrop of gorgeous red rock mountains and mesas made me long even more for a return to America.

I had forgotten just how many friends I have here, and I’ll see quite a few before I go back to Singapore. I forgot because in Singapore I am all by myself. I live such an isolated life there, I actually lost touch with the idea of friendship and a social life. Coming home was a reminder of just how rich my life used to be, and can be again.

I like Singapore, but it’s not my home. Hong Kong felt like my home because I was more involved with the people there, and even in Beijing I had a social life. But in Singapore, the mid-life crisis that started when I was in my late teens grabbed me by the throat and never let go. What am I doing here? What do I want to get out of my life? What’s important? How many more years can I continue to coast, without setting my own course? These conversations are always blaring at top-volume in Singapore. They went silent the instant I stepped off the plane five nights ago.

I am not happy about my blog since leaving China. I know it’s been meandering, but it’s just following my own thought patterns. No direction. Sometimes I feel I am force-feeding it with posts that aren’t totally from the heart. In Beijing my blog was (at least to me) so vital, a real part of me. I never gave much thought to what I’d put down; the words just showed up on the screen. It has never been that way since I left, and that’s symbolic of all my current angst, my sense of directionlessness.

I know I should leave Asia. I hate to say that, but I know it. I’ll miss being “someone special,” one of the perks of living and working in a foreign country, but that’s not enough. Hating to get nostalgic and sentimental, there’s simply no love for me in Asia anymore. And there is a lot of love here, and somehow I forgot about that. This trip drove it home with a sledgehammer.

So, another turning point in a life that has consisted mainly of turning points and so few actual goals. That’s okay; I know I’ve had an incredibly exciting life and known some of the most amazing people on earth (all to be brought out in my book, someday). I can’t say there are no regrets, but looking back at the road not taken is a futile and frustrating exercise. I have to concentrate on the diverging roads in front of me now, and I think I know which one I’ll turn on to.

Enough metaphors! And enough emotional sludge. I’ll be back Monday night, and it will be interesting to see where I go from there. In my heart, I already know.

The Discussion: 4 Comments

Yeah, yeah – it’s the cry of the Arizonan.

I haven’t seen the big hole either.

October 22, 2003 @ 9:46 pm | Comment

Well, the big hole is worth the trip, but honestly, I find Sedona more breathtaking. It’s not necessarily Arizona that’s calling me back, just the people I know there. I realy feel that I have a life here. I haven’t felt like I had a life since I left Hong Kong.

October 23, 2003 @ 1:56 am | Comment

Singapore does that to you.
That hopeless sense of missing direction, it could be in the air we breathe.

No wonder so many kids want to leave the moment they can…

October 23, 2003 @ 9:46 am | Comment

Well Richard, whenever you end up back in Phoenix long-term, next time you make it down to Tucson or I make it up to Phoenix, we’ll have to grab a drink!

October 23, 2003 @ 11:47 pm | Comment

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