February 5-7, 2017
What’s it like to leave everything I’ve known and loved for almost half a year on my own? I had gotten my acceptance letter to go on exchange at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia a few months ago and was finally leaving. There was a heavy mixture of excitement and nervousness the days leading up to my departure. Even when I was saying goodbye to some of the most important people in my life, it was only starting to hit me then that I was leaving for a while… It felt odd to utter sentimental words of a farewell because although I knew I would miss them, how was it possible to mean those words completely when I couldn’t even believe that I was leaving.
I feel like I’m always looking for something to satisfy me, whether it’s in friendships, relationships, success, or those three themselves… but sometimes it seems as though they are never enough. Continue reading
Sometimes when I watch people walk by, I wonder where they are going. Are they going to school or work, to see a loved one, to attend a meeting, to return something, or are they running away from a place or a person? And then I wonder how they are feeling. Are they excited for an event, heartbroken from having been broken up with, curious about the city, sad about a departure at the airport, or disappointed that they are physically moving but not actually going anywhere in life?
I spent years obsessing over, Apple of My Eye, a Taiwanese film about a pair of high-school sweethearts, who end up breaking up due to an immature argument aroused by misunderstanding. Then, with only two days of planning, my sister and I finally had time in summer 2015 to travel to the famous filming location in Pingxi, New Taipei City to participate in the popular activity of releasing lanterns, an imitation of a scene in Apple of My Eye and a cultural practice of pleading for peace. We were reunited after a month of completing separate programs as overseas students, with her program being lessons in Chinese and mine being English-teaching in the rural town of Fuguang. The spontaneity of the trip excited us, but our lack of research resulted in several mistakes, arguments, and dangerous situations. Ultimately, though, we learnt to take care of and appreciate each another.
“Suddenly you’re 21 and you’re screaming along in the car to all the songs you listened to when you were sad in middle school and everything is different but everything is good.”