I've never been much for good-byes, though most people probably aren't. Over time, leaving becomes easier, especially when approached with the right attitude.
First, I try not to think too much of those who I am leaving, but rather the people that await me at my destination. With this approach, I'm more apt to feel excited rather than the hysterical, sniffling ball of a mess I have the potential to be.
I have also learned that most people and places don't change too much, too fast. I often find things are as I left them and can pick up where I last left off.
And finally, I try to embrace my escape. Sometimes it's nice to have a change, a break, a different perspective--particularly in the case of leaving China. Although I could provide many examples, I will name just a few in an attempt to avoid 'China bashing.' Here they are:
1. Not so plus-sized. A point I've touched on before, but feel it is worthy of being brought up again--my size. I've never been thin, outside a stint of obsessive calorie counting during the Summer/Fall of 02 which brought me (somewhat) close. My BMI generally hovers that imaginary line between healthy and overweight. Most days, I am fine with this. My self-esteem can't help but be crushed, however, when a Chinese saleswoman exclaims, "That girls got meat!" as I walk by. Or when I have to ask for a shop's largest size only to find it's too tight. I am happy to be in places where no one's going to comment on how much meat I have. I am glad to leave a country where a double XL fits snugly on my frame.
2. Cooking. . . I have discovered my ability to do it over the past year. I am particularly proud that I can make western food. Afterall, I have a husband who can cook delicious Chinese food, so it seems like a bit of a waste to focus my energy on learning how to do that. Not to mention that would be too easy. I enjoy the challenge of trying to cook beef bourguignon in an oven the size of a shoe box and roll tortillas out from scratch. I enjoy it, but not that much. I look forward to being able to find sour cream at the local grocery store and buy a can of chicken broth if I should need it. I will finally be able to cut corners while cooking or even not cook at all. Qdoba, I hear you calling me. . .