Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda.

I’m at a point in my life where I am finishing a chapter that I thought would last forever. Time in China has passed by so quickly, it’s unreal to think that in just a few months I will be reunited with my family and boyfriend in America. I will have access to all the foods, all the websites, all the great and not so great stuff that is in America.

It’s a bittersweet feeling where I want to leave, because my sole purpose for coming abroad was to travel, and then I don’t want to leave because I have put roots into places of this city that I never thought I would. I love my routine, my freedom, my challenges, all that has come with living in Shanghai.

As this part of my life comes to an end, I can’t help to think about the shoulda’s, woulda’s and coulda’s. This always happen when things end, we look back at what we could fix and settle with it. Some of us move on and really never think of this time again, and some of us (most likely me) are going to continuously look back on this time period as a reminder of how far you’ve come.

With only three months left, I’m trying to start a routine (again) that I can take home. I’m trying to “adult” and really take care of myself in different ways. See, I always thought that dedicating time to yourself was being by yourself. I always thought dedicating time for yourself would be about learning how to stand being on your own and learning how to exist without the dependence of someone else.  I am someone who loves people and wants to always be around them, my biggest fear is getting bored. Throughout my time here, I have learned how to enjoy my solitude and embrace that I am the person in my group that makes the plans. I definitely don’t wait to be invited.

With that being said, I have learned that the routine I have created for myself is not an effective one. I never follow-through and I give up half-way into almost everything except school and work. I continuously try to find the easy way out. Call me lazy, but I hate doing anything that isn’t what I want to do. I can’t really do much of nothing for a while, but I hate basic adult life.

As I write this, I think to myself, “people are gunna just tell me to grow up or suck it up. haha. No one is gunna understand what the hell I’m trying to say.” But honestly, I’m sure we all have felt or feel this way.

I always knew what I had to do in life; go to school, get a degree and bank. Now, I got the degree and I’m doing the traveling I want. There is nothing more in this world that I want but to be able to bank for me to explore. I will most likely never be content where I live, because I will always want to be somewhere else. There’s just so much to do and see, to learn, send help! haha.

I want to break, however, from this habit that I have of never finishing what I started. I started a blog, never kept it up. I started a podcast, didn’t bother to make time for it. I started working out and eating better, stopped after a week or two (mainly because I love western food and I hate feeling sore). The list can go on and on about the things I have tried to start and never finished.

I like to say that I have been an adult for about a year and a half now. Very aware of what I need to do to keep up with my societal needs, and the pace I need to take to feel “accomplished.”

I did some research on, “how to work on your follow-through.” I got a bunch of articles that focused on the bigger picture. How sometimes its dreadful to go through the steps to reach the end goal, but that it’s worth it because it will all pay off at the end. How you really want to make the change because if not, there will be no real benefit. Although I already knew, I was reminded that it takes about a month for a habit to stick, and 60 days for that habit to become ingrained into your system.

I’m frankly tired of what I’m feeling. I should’ve walked more while I was here, I shouldn’t have didi’d so much, I would’ve stopped eating pork if I knew I would get sick from it, I could’ve learned more Chinese, etc. This feeling of regret for not doing something is ridiculous.

I write this and think, why am I going to try making a new routine again? Why am I even doing this is at the end of the day, if I was really over it, I would’ve done something already? Yes, my self-talk is quite self-deprecating, but it really is never too late.

No one is making me feel this way, other than myself. I speak about finding comfort in my discomfort, and in this case, I have found comfort in being uncomfortable with my weight, my athleticism, my sleeping routine, my tardiness. This is a new perspective for me, where I see the big picture rather the pieces that make it up.

To change it will be a mission, and I will probably complain the whole time. But, I want to see the big picture and feel like maybe, that I can possibly do this, I can do anything.

The universe knows I need to feel that now.  Stay tuned friends.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” -Aristotle

Hey, Hi, Hello!

I started As Told By Pao in the summer of 2017. I was looking for a platform to share my ideas about adulting, and becoming an adult. I wanted to share what it was like to be post-college in the corporate world. There are things that I learned after graduation, that school did not teach me. I now understand, it truly is about the experience and not the degree. I lost sight of my voice and became quite distant to writing, as I had nothing very positive to say, and thought to myself , “How can I write about motivation, when I myself am not motivated?”

Life has its opportunities, and so I took mine by moving to China, where I now work abroad as an English teacher. When I first moved here, I was full of energy and motivation to start writing again and share my experiences to people. But I wasn’t confident enough within myself to write, there are so many travel blogs and platforms for people to search, what would make mine any better?

I’ve been here for about a year, and am now realizing that I needed my own time to find my groove back, and to get myself out of the funk I was in. I thought about writing on culture shock, I thought about writing on living abroad, I thought about writing on topics that I truly felt no passion towards.

If there is one thing I know I am good at, however, is reflecting. I overthink a lot, and try to find comfort in my discomfort. I am passionate about sharing stories, and sharing ideas with people. I love meeting people who come from such different backgrounds, and can share with me what life means to them.

I write this blog not to motivate you, or maybe convince you to do anything, but to simply share my perspective. To share my experiences and to process my thoughts. Maybe you will agree and have felt or thought the same thing, or maybe this will be a complete laugh for you. But I love writing, and I love sharing my light with those who may need it.

Life is so complex, and simple at the same time. I don’t think I will ever find an understanding of it, so instead of trying to figure out why life is how it is, I will enjoy the journey, by embracing myself holistically.