I recently quit my job. I have two weeks left at the bookstore; the place that’s defined my life when I’ve been living in Canada for the past three years. It’s been both my stepping stone and my crutch. I worked there during my college and University years. I fell in love twice during that time with people I met at the store. A lot of my good friends are book nerds like me. We’d work together all day and go out together all night and it still wasn’t enough. And even ten years later I’m able to walk in the store and see the faces of some of the most amazing people in the world (and some of the worst) laugh and talk about nonsense. Some of my best friends still work there today. They’re people of all ages and walks of life, faiths and reading preferences.
I started working there again when I returned from Korea in the summer of 2010. I had plans to return to Asia and backpack around, but my bank account was lower than I would have liked it to be, so reality hit and I called my old friend, the bookstore, to help me out. And she did. I had six amazing months, made new friends and grew closer with old ones. I had everyone’s support and love when I finally bought my plane ticket back to Asia.
When I returned from that trip I wasn’t even home a week and I was back to my old friend, asking for work. It was a Thursday evening and my boss just smiled and said “I’ll see you Monday”. Then I went off to have coffee and pie with two great friends, fellow book nerds of course. Then a few weeks later I met love number three. So the bookstore let me stay a little longer than planned.
I still work with a lot of the great, hard-working people I worked with last year. I still have amusing, intellectual and silly conversations everyday. But at the end of the day we all work for a big corporation, and sorry to sound like a hippie, but that’s just not my thing. And if the people in charge are starting to reflect more of the bad side of a big company rather than the good, that’s when the little guy (and girl) has to leave. Or else we’ll drain out. Or maybe I’m getting bored and need a challenge. Maybe my pride is getting in the way and I’m just ashamed to tell people who I’m still working at the job I had when I was in college. That’s probably it…so please disregard my previous statement about big corporations
So the plan is…to spend my days doing what I love. Living everyday to the fullest and putting myself out there and work will come my way, perhaps even a job that I am meant to do. Taxi driver? Travel agent? Butcher? Business executive? Who knows…but that’s the point. I’m not getting anywhere shelving books and waiting for the right time to go back to China (yes, I will go back…someday). I’ve decided to take charge of my life in Canada and made the decision to not have a place to get up and go to every morning. I will choose when I get up. I will decide what to do…until I can no longer pay my minimum balance on my credit card and have to run back to my crutch and beg them for my job back. But it won’t come to that, will it?? When I reflect upon my months of backpacking and all the things that I learned during it, I’m always brought back to my time in Dali. When I was in other cities in China I took my time to wake up and experience another day of finding good food stalls, interesting museums and meeting strangers. And arguing in broken Chinese/English gibberish with cab drivers. But in Dali I rolled out of bed every morning, grunting a little because it was early and I’m NOT a morning person. But then I headed out to the main road (yes, there’s one main road) to catch my bus, walking under the morning sun (yes, it was ALWAYS sunny) listening to my iPod and I didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world. I crossed the street to catch my bus that drove through the village, where we usually caught the small town traffic (a.k.a trucks filled with pigs to be dropped off at the market) and finally stopping by the river, where I could walk to Jolie’s yoga studio. An hour and a half of rooftop yoga and spiritual conversation, followed by homemade, locally picked breakfast and Yunnan coffee, I had experienced more happy things in the first three hours of my day then I usually do in a week.
When your life doesn’t seem to illustrate some of that happiness you need, things need to change. So I decided to change things.
Eek. Let’s hope this works.