Two months after my last treatment, now in the middle of summer seated comfortably with AC and the sounds of coffee brewing in a modern Taipei café, the chaos from the first half of the year feels like a distant memory.
While still nursing a minor cough I’ve developed since arriving in Taiwan nearly one month ago, this life in many ways now feels both new and familiar.
It’s new because I know exactly how long I will be staying here this time (unforeseen circumstances withstanding). I don’t have to worry about VPN. I have every weekend to look forward to with Hsuan, learning more about him, ourselves, and this country. I soon will be able to rock my growing short hair without a hat.
It’s familiar because I am again living in a Chinese-speaking country with a Chinese face, which lends itself to the same conversations I have had every time I find myself on this side of the world, as well as the same occasions of passing as a local only sometimes. I am again living alone with an AC unit and without heating. I am again wondering about air pollution’s effects, especially with this cough. I am again left with the freedom to explore, walk the fascinating city around me, and discover new favorites. I am again trying to figure out what exactly has upset my stomach this week. I am reviving my adventurous spirit, while relearning how to live alone in a different country.
And no matter how much we appreciate where we are now, the beginning of a new chapter is never easy. Often the sense of belonging is lacking, and it can be difficult to find our footing.
I feel like I am forever trying to figure out my place in this world, even for just another brief chapter. But at least there’s satisfaction enough in knowing that two months out, I feel happy and healthy.