March 18, 2013

"Is it for good"

Will you be there forever? 

A relative of mine, after I told them I was moving to Taiwan, asked me "So, is it for good?", and I imagine a lot of people have the same, or similar question/questions.

It is not. It is not for good.

My move not being for good doesn't mean that I have decided to be in Taiwan for a certain time and then go back to life as I know it today, in Germany. It also doesn't mean that I have decided on the next step after having studied Mandarin (Chinese), it doesn't mean I know what to do afterwards, fact is that the time in Taiwan is supposed to help me with my decision making on just that - what is my next step. How will I make my living, where do I want to go next, and so forth. Yes, I have thoughts and ideas, but I don't know how realistic they are, I haven't had time to really think it over - and I need a bit of breathing space. I do want to make use of what I learn and have learnt, obviously, but how? That's for me to find out.
Only the moon is forever...

I feel strongly about the word "forever" or "for good". One of the most important things for me is that nothing really is forever, if you end up in something you don't like, something that doesn't work for you, you need to be able to and have the strength to move on. There is no re-run, this is your life and this is what you have, and there is no reason to stay in an environment that doesn't feel right - and for me that is even more important. Every place, every time has it's charm, but I am in no way looking for a location; For me there are other things that are important than what may be important to others.

I am very eager to learn mandarin, not the least because it is the biggest language in the world, and it will enable me to communicate with a lot of people I can't communicate with today - my European languages are great to have, but not good enough in many places in Asia, at least not if you don't add a lot of sign language and a lot of flexibility. With increased language skills I will be able to travel, see, and experience more also when it comes to food. Getting food and getting good food was never a problem, hands and arms and signs and pointing at what you want helps, but in the future I will actually be able to know what I eat when I am in regions where Mandarin is the first or second language (in mainland China, The People's Republic of China Mandarin is the official language and the language that everybody has to study, but it is not the first language of everybody, to many Mandarin is the second language.)

Can you imagine how many people I will be able to talk to after I have studied Mandarin? And as I love to talk to and interact with people and as I also love  to present, a whole new market and totally new possibilities will open up. Learning a language is never wasted and learning a language that enables me to communicate with such a big part of the world is going to be a great experience - regardless of what I do next. Also if I would chose to return to Europe straight away after my studies, knowing Mandarin will be an enabler as well.

I cannot say what will happen next, not now, not yet, and one of the things that really makes me feel uncomfortable is this whole idea that you have  to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life. I haven't got such a desire. I hope and pray that I will keep an open mind and always be prepared to change, if that is what feels important to me. I am not a person who likes to have a long term plan and stick to that. I may have one - a long term plan that is - but I need to have the flexibility to change, to not get stuck in something "because I said so".

So no, Taiwan is not for good. It doesn't mean it couldn't happen, who knows, but it is not what I plan for. What I plan for is being able to speak Chinese, and what I plan for is being somewhere where I can use that, also later on - but whether that is in Asia, in Asia for a while, in Europe, in Africa or somewhere else in the world only time can tell. Only time can tell.

There is only one things I am certain about. I am not going to move back to Sweden. Not now, not in a few years. Hopefully never, not if I can help it. But why I feel like that about one of the more beautiful countries in the world, that is another story.

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