Thursday, April 21, 2011

Now Scanning: Mixed Emotions

In the good 'ole days, when I used to have an iPod touch (arg!), I had this app called a "Mood Scanner". It was like a digitalized mood ring. Except that it wasn't. It was totally random and not based on body heat whatsoever. But still a fun thing to do. In fact, my friends and I used it all the time. It usually varied between "In Love", "Angry", and "Mixed Emotions".

Let's talk about "Mixed Emotions", shall we?

I will be flying to Colorado on June 7th for my summer home. This is a strange thing for me to really grasp. It's been two years since I've seen my family, since I've driven a car, since I've known how to get around town, since I've been able to find all the things on my grocery list.

It's going to be two months full of traveling all over the US, seeing friends, visiting churches, loving on family (new babies!), re-acclimating to being in a place where I speak and read and understand everything around me. It'll be exhausting too, living out of a suitcase, driving thousands of miles, entertaining people and being entertained.

I'm quite happy with my life here. I've got a good routine, a lovely home, my own space, great friends. It's a place where I know what to expect and what's expected of me. It's all defined and familiar.

Going back to America is going to be constantly changing. It's going to be a time of redefining relationships and "catching up". I'll spend a lot of time telling the same stories and explanations of my life here in China. I don't know what to expect or what expectations there are for me in America. And I'll have to say "goodbye" all over again. Who knows for how long this time?

I will be honest and say that it makes me a little unsettled. I've become used to a life far removed from America (and all that entails). And it's been a fantastic life. To be back there again, and really remember, be confronted with what I've been makes me feel unsettled.

But at the same time, I'm so very excited to see everyone. To love them and be loved on. To sit on the couch and talk with my parents, to be picked on my brother, to be jumped on by my dog, to hold my new little cousin (second cousin to be exact), to laugh loud and long with my friends, to sing worship with my team, to be teased, to reminisce.

I can't wait to see the mountains and the wide open spaces, to smell fresh air and drink tap water, to sit on the beach with the crashing waves, to blend in with everyone else, to be heard and understood every time I speak, to drive when and where I want, to come and go as I please.

Yep, mixed emotions. That's the best way to explain it.


Anonymous said...


After two months of traveling and visiting your loved one, what is next for you?

Jen said...

Hey Anonymous, :)

I've signed 1 year contract with the school that I work for now. After that, I'm not quite sure. Well, actually I have a pretty good idea but it'll take some explaining. To summarize, I plan to stay in China but maybe move to a different part and teach English.

Anonymous said...

Be forewarned: people (I'm not saying who) may tie you down or drug you so you can't go back. Whichever it is (tying or drugging) you will love it. The people will keep you under lock and key. Then the beatings will start and continue until you make your decision (totally on your own) to stay. Maybe you should just come back here with the decision already made to stay. There will be less damage that way!!!

Some people (I'm not saying who) are looking forward to you being home.

Anonymous said...


I've met a man who is home from China after teaching for 10 years. His family needed him at this time. Although he said he is looking forward to returning to China soon. He loves the people and enjoys living there.

Jen said...

Before I actually comment, can I just say that I LOVE LOVE that you all comment. But I HATE HATE that I don't know who you are. Leave a name people! :)

Anonymous 2, Tied down, drugged, beaten...I can hardly wait!! That's already so convincing that I'm thinking I'll just stay there. And these people sound like super awesome friends. Maybe I should go see them first. :) ? Ha.

Anonymous 3, China is a great place to live. After 10 years, I can't imagine how hard the transition is to be back in your home country. But you've got to do what you've got to do, absolutely. And who doesn't like a little change every once in awhile. :)

Kay Day said...

How exciting that you get to come home! Too bad you can't just sit and rest and let everyone come to you!
But it sounds like a fun time. I can understand why you have the mixed emotions.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2 is related to you by birth. She was there when you were born. She gave you your first kiss. Now she wants to beat you to make you stay home!!! That's trooo love.