Things escalated quicker than I could have ever been able to imagine this past week.
And I’m not just talking about the Paris attacks.
I mean the fact that I found myself landing in this very city about 30 minutes after the attacks, after flying from Guangzhou with a layover in Moscow—all after making the decision that seemed ridiculously and unbelievably spontaneous even for someone like me, who practically lives on spontaneity and #adventure.
Two nights before I hopped on the plane for Paris, I found myself unable to sleep. After a night out with a friend at Hooley’s, a popular expat bar in Guangzhou’s Liede area, I returned home anxiously balancing communication between my mom and my boyfriend. Before heading to the bar, Mehdi and I had Skyped briefly and joked about me visiting Paris—the next day, because naturally waiting any longer would make spontaneous trip not so spontaneous—given my current relatively lax work situation, among other factors that made this crazy yet possible. Laughing dismissively at the idea, I played along anyway, sending my mom a message for which the response I never would have expected.
Note to self: Add “need a break” to any request to the parents, after a day of complaining about current living conditions (potential bed bugs but that’s a different story), and get a sympathetic yet totally absurd acceptance to an equally absurd request to leave the country to see my boyfriend for a week.
There were questions asked, but they weren’t the skeptical ones that would lead to immediate rejection. Rather, they were just necessary follow-up ones that essentially made this seem like a “no-questions-asked” situation. I laughed hysterically throughout the night, while I lied in bed, reading message after message that my mom would “take care of it”—as I told my mom I simply couldn’t go to bed without knowing for certain that this would happen. The only logical explanation I’ve managed to come up with for such immediate acceptance is that they could feel I needed a break from China and this was the only way they could make me, as they said, “happy” from the other side of the world.
And I am so happy.
But again, it’s as if these invisible forces that attempt to keep life balanced follow me wherever I go. Because as the world found out on Friday night as I reunited with my boyfriend, terrorists had attacked the city. Need I remind you that I was there for the bombings in Boston, Bangkok, and now Paris.
And in about 10 minutes, as of writing, people around the world will be having a moment of silence.
I think the only other thing I can say about all this is that it’s necessary to maintain a healthy perspective of the world. There’s hardly a moment in which I don’t think about just how lucky I have been and continue to be. The chaos that continues to plague the world only makes me appreciate everything in my life. Sure, it may be easy to find fault in your life, but there are much bigger things in life that deserve attention. I’m forever grateful that I have such amazing parents who continue to support my wishes, and it’s because of them that I can say I’ve never been happier.