You can read the original over at my blog http://amyliagrace.blogspot.com.
I slept for a few hours and woke up to a sunny sky and a day off, which helps. I cleaned my apartment, headed out to grab a coffee at my local Starbucks, took a walk to the organic grocery store a mile or so down the street and bought some healthy food. I bought fresh flowers from an old man on the street outside my apartment, and visited with the local florist and ended up with a beautiful pink lilly and some sunflowers. I bought fresh fruit at the little fruit stand in the alley behind my apartment. I pet a kitten. Looked into adopting a cat from a local shelter. It felt good to do something good for myself and be part of the world again. I got smiles from the shopowners who recognized my face. It was sunny but there was a constant mist of raindrops that felt like heaven upon my face as I walked through the hot Taipei afternoon. Thank you for your comments and support. I have decided that I'm going to stick it out here in Taipei, and see this as a rough patch. I am going to commit to this semester and I can always reassess. I'd like to honor the contract I agreed to, which has me teaching until the summer of 2008. I've also decided to focus on my teaching and my health and learning Chinese, and not to pursue my graduate degree while teaching full time. I think it would be too much for me, even if the price is right.
I can't tell you what a weight is lifted off my shoulders, having finally made the decision to postpone graduate work. I was pressuring myself to teach full time, planning the curriculum from scratch as well as embarking on an intense master's degree program in addition to the stressors of living in a foreign country and trying to balance my health needs and some sense of a personal life and fun. Can't forget that. Why am I here if I'm not going to enjoy it? I have decided to free up the time that I'd be in graduate classes and take a Chinese class and maybe a yoga class. I may join the gym in my building, despite the cost. I want to go back to the acupuncturist/Chinese medicine doctor I saw this past summer to ease up some of my arthritis and kinks. I'm also hoping to put in a few hours working with the Resident Director of the Taipei office of CIEE, my old employer. It'll feel good to stay connected to the international education world and help the study abroad students who are here in Taipei, which may also help me land another job there when I'm ready to return to the States. Plus, I really like the woman who is the Resident Director. She's a buddhist and a top notch educator and all around cool lady. I'm going to hunt for an Endocrinologist or at least a doctor I like more than the one I've been seeing for my diabetes. And, alas, if after all this it still feels like it's not the right thing for me then I reserve the right to change my mind. For now, I'm heading out again into the misty sunshine and fleeting blue skies above Taipei.