It’s been a week since I’ve returned from Taiwan and I’ve been mulling over how to write this post. After all, how do you succinctly write about a life changing experience without being overly cliche or enthusiastically un-relatable.
One of the first lines that I drafted was, ‘I am still going through feelings of loss as I become more aware of the distance I am from paradise.’ - yuck.
When people ask me how my trip was, I grapple with the words and say things like:
“It was a life changing experience.”
“I’m homesick for a place that is not my home.”
“I’m a fuller person.”
“It’s hard to explain, because how do you fit the past three months of your life into a sentence?”
All these answers really don’t get to the point but merely dance around the answer to the question. Yes, it’s quite stereotypically Asian of me to do so. So in honor of my ethnic prerogatives and the dream I had while I was in Taiwan of Bruce Willis’ Pulp Fiction character, I’ll use a movie anecdote to elaborate on my experience in Taiwan this past three months.
This was my experience in Taiwan...you know the movie Pulp Fiction.
In the movie there is this character named Jules Winnfield played by Samuel L. Jackson. He’s a Bible quoting hitman that goes through a conversion process and at the end of the movie reevaluates his life and decides to radically change his behavior. What Taiwan was for me is like the feelings of certainty that Jules must have felt at the end. There is more clarity in my understanding of myself, the reasons for my current direction, and what my next steps are.
Is this a bad example, yes. Those truly curious to know more will have to contact me directly; we’ll have tea.
In the meantime enjoy a couple more photos than I normally have on these blog posts. (The photos do not comprise of the entire trip, it's a parceled selection of snapshots that relate more directly to just the mountains and the family I was a part of.)
I learned how to be more of a person while I was in Taiwan - more full, more light.
After a couple days upon my arrival, my teacher and I had the following exchange:
A - "Teacher, all of this, is it acceptable for me to have this?"
T - "All of this? What do you mean by all of this?"
A - "I mean, this life, this lifestyle, this (gesturing to everything)...can I?"
T - (laughing) "Sure, of course. Why could you not?"