Wednesday, December 12, 2018

CHINA! 2019 - 2020

14-year-old me would never have contemplated (let alone agreed to) getting on a plane by myself and travelling 11 hours, over 5,000 miles, to live and work for a year on the other side of the world, away from friends and family. 14-year-old me would have looked at this amazing opportunity and been so daunted by the idea of it, that it would have made me laugh. 14-year-old me was an anxious and quite fragile teenager who was just starting to have panic attacks every day. But 22-year-old me is braver and stronger and so ready for this adventure! 
In August this year I was offered a job to teach English in a Chinese school in Chengdu for a year. It took me a while to decide if I really wanted to do this, but after encouragement from my friends and family and doing my own research, I accepted the offer and have been preparing for it since then. Besides organising documents that need to be sorted before I go, I have been trying to mentally prepare myself for the massive shock to my system that going to China will cause! I think it is safe to say that my anxiety will try to ruin parts of my trip and my panic attacks may even return. As much as I hate the idea of that, I can’t really be surprised if that happens, and I am much better at handling my mental health than I have been in the past.

(Photo taken from Google Images)

Over the summer, before and after graduating, I struggled with job hunting. I applied for anything I could find, from recruitment and sales roles, to managerial positions and generally jobs that I wasn’t particularly interested in. When I was younger, whenever I imagined myself having a job, sitting in an office answering the phone all day was not something I imagined myself doing or enjoying. So, it was such a relief getting a job that offered me the chance to travel, live in a different country and do something I have always wanted to do; teach! (I also just want to take this opportunity in this post to say that if you have graduated this year or will be soon and have no idea what you want your future career to be, do not fret! There are opportunities for you anywhere and everywhere, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes to find something that suits you, do it at your own pace. Everyone is different!)  

I am not going to pretend I’m not scared, because I am! But I am also incredibly excited to travel, meet new people, try new food and see new things! Much like my 3 years at university, living in a different country and being completely dependent on myself, will make me a more confident and stronger person! Of course, I will miss home like hell, but I don’t think I will get an opportunity like this again so I would be a fool not to go for it! I know that when I come back, no challenge will be too big for me and no situation too difficult.    

2018 has been all about getting out of my comfort zone and taking those steps to rid myself of my anxiety. While I am beating my anxiety every day, it still effects day to day activities. My new adventure in 2019 is an attempt to hopefully begin to see the end of it. I will be blogging while I am in China whenever I have time to, so I will definitely be uploading updates on my life in China with my anxiety!  

Thank you to all the people who have sent me encouraging messages about this new adventure! Soon I will be saying 再见英国 and 你好中国!  

B x 

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