I haven’t done Stream of Consciousness Saturday in a while. But I really like the prompt for this week. And what’s even more interesting is there’s a collaboration in the works to go along with another blog challenge: “Love Is In Da Blog.”
The week 2 prompt for Love Is In Da Blog is: lovers, spouses and significant others.
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: attach/attachment. It can be about love or anything else!
Thinking about attachment has brought to mind some interesting ideas that aren’t necessarily related, so stream of consciousness works pretty well. Maybe I can even get these various ideas about attachment to attach in some way.
I’m in the midst of going through the things that have collected in my apartment here in Taiwan over the last six years. Of course, keep in mind, I have moved once since arriving in Taiwan. The first apartment a year and a half, and the second for 4 years. To think that when I came here in August of 2009, I came with two suitcases. Everything I had with me in Asia could fit in the trunk of a car. And even though I didn’t really go too that first year and a half, moving to the second apartment wasn’t bad, but it took at least half a dozen carloads to get me settled. Luckily, the two apartments were only a mile apart.
Two interesting things happened after I moved to this apartment. First, a friend of mine and her family moved from Taiwan to mainland China, and in the process, I inherited a lot of amazing things. A couple radiator heaters for starters –which have come in VERY handy during our winters with no central heating. Lots of kitchen items, bedding, and a Christmas tree that I’ve used every year since they’ve been gone. (The two years prior to their departure, I spent Christmas with them, so the tree has been very special to me.) I’m not so attached that it can’t move on. It already has a new home for next year. (I hope to post about that in another post.)
The second thing that happened is that my husband moved into the second apartment, about 6 months after I moved. We can back from the US in the summer of 2011 with four suitcases. After all, now that the idea was we’d be staying indefinitely, and not the original one or two years that was part of the initial plan, it made sense to settle in a bit. I moved quilting fabric and books. That was the crazy thing I told myself — if I was going to stay beyond year two, I had to have a hobby around and not get so caught up in working so much. (Yeah, that worked out real well.) 😉
And as if I don’t have enough trouble getting attached to stuff, my husband settled into his browsing and collecting ways. Don’t get me wrong. He finds great stuff, and we’ve had a great time in this apartment. But the amount of stuff that I’ve accumulated despite knowing this would ultimately be temporary is a little frightening. Certainly we can’t take this all back to the US, nor would I want to. I’m hoping that my return to the US will keep me more focused on what I really want to be doing with my time, and that the things that I have in my life will contribute to that time commitment. But the sorting and purging process is going to take a while. Which is why I’m doing the Fast-Forward Fridays challenge thing now. But it’s only the beginning of the weeding out process and detaching from our home here to set up our new home back in the US.
However, there is something we won’t be leaving behind. We’ve become pretty attached to our dog, “Puppy.” She will be taking a trip to have life on the other side of the world.
But the biggest attachment I’ve found in Taiwan are the people. Students, colleagues, neighbors, local business owners, regulars at the coffee shop. I have a twinge of regret sometimes at the decision to leave Taiwan. Over these six years, when I went back and forth between Asia and North America, it was always hard to leave one, when going to the other. But I had the intention of returning. I had a return ticket in hand. This time, there is no return ticket to Taiwan. Not that I won’t return — there are a couple of events in the future that I hope to return for. And I will still have connections through email, Facebook, and Line.
With all of this attachment stuff coinciding with Valentine’s day and the Love Is In Da Blog, it’s really become clear in the last few weeks how my attachment to my husband has grown during our time here. He did not join me in Taiwan until my third year (and second apartment). And while we’ve always enjoyed each other’s company and been supportive of each other, there is something about being in a foreign country together that forges an even stronger bond. At least that’s how I’ve felt. I think those first two years of separation while we decided about staying longer term also helped with that.
People notice our connection. When I go to the coffee shop, he walks me there, and comes back at a prearranged departure time to walk me home.Even people with limited English have learned expressions like, “So sweet.” Students make similar comments because they see him come to school with me on most of my teaching days. They see him bring me coffee and come and walk me back to my office.It’s those people attachments that are the most important, and that makes letting go of the material attachments much easier to do.
I’m looking forward to meeting new people, in the new chapter of our life that is beginning shortly. And I’m glad to have all you readers along for the journey. I feel pretty attached to you, too. 🙂
Thanks to Linda and Bee for this collaborative effort. Check them out!