Readers’ Blog

What Kind of Idiot?

Popularity 11Viewed 5653 times 2014-3-30 21:04 |System category:Life| scheduled, benefits, friends, another, leisure

I am at the freest time of my life: the kids grown and gone and not dependent on my wallet, a very secure career that pays really well and has great benefits, debt-free. I live in a nice house, have plenty of leisure time, wake up pretty much when I feel like it after a restful 8 hours of sleep. My only obligation is to go to work as scheduled. I am healthy, happy, have plenty of friends, I'm single... but that will be the subject of another blog.

What's missing? I didn't know, but for a long time I felt that I'm not where I'm supposed to be. How could that be? I have pretty much everything except a significant other, and I already said that would be a topic for another blog:-).

I did everything backwards. I married very young, had children immediately after marriage. By the time I was 22 I was divorced with 2 kids to care for. Even more complicated: I grew up overseas, but found myself suddenly alone, in America... just me and those two kids. I didn't know how to be an adult, how to be a parent or how to live in a country I had only had a passing acquaintance with growing up.

I scrambled for work, doing anything that would feed/clothe/house the Monster-Babies. There were two stints of homelessness and several times, ashamed, I took my place in welfare lines. It was truly a life of desperation.Until I had the great fortune of landing a job in a Federal Facility: everything turned around, then! I had money to support the kids - by then teenagers, I had money to earn social acceptance - no longer did I sense sneers as I handed over my foodstamps, I had buying power... what a heady feeling all this was!

All too soon, the kids moved away, ready for their own life. The life I had built - great job, secure finances, ect suddenly meant less without them to fend for, and I wondered what to do with myself.

I decided to pursue a college education, having never had time/money for one in my younger days. Guess what? I was really good at academia! The succession of A's first surprised me, then pleased me and, most importantly, earned me a spot on an academic delegation to China. That is where my world went from black and white to color: I suddenly understood my calling and knew where I had to be.

After the challenges life has thrown at me, and how I was able to overcome them without sinking into despair, indeed rising above every miserable vagary I was faced with to achieve the life I have now - successful career complete with professional respect, kids happily established in their own life, financial freedom, ect. I have to ask myself: what kind of idiot walks away from such a life, especially after working so hard to achieve it?

I guess I would be that idiot. Today is my last day working with my esteemed colleagues and even better boss. For the next 3 weeks I will be carless, homeless and jobless, traveling across America to visit the friends I'm fortunate to know before boarding a plane and, once again, starting life in a strange, new place. I've condensed my earthly possessions into two footlockers which are currently on their way to China and the life that awaits me there as a teacher of foreign languages (I speak several of them, but only some Mandarin).

I invite you to partake of my adventures, share the laughs and feel the dismay. Maybe, if I imagine you are reading this, I can dispel some of the loneliness I'm sure to feel at some point in time while getting used to living in a country where I cannot even read the billboards or grocery shop. But mostly, through reading my blog, I hope you will see that life is NOT over at (nearly) 50: there are still adventures to be had, new things to learn, new experiences to savor, new sights to enjoy.

C'mon! Let's go live a vagabond's life!


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




Shake hands


Friends who just made a statement (6 Person)

Like 1 Share


Comment Comment (5 comments)

Reply Report voice_cd 2014-3-31 10:32
Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report laoren1234 2014-3-31 18:14
Clap, clap, clap. Go get them, girl!
Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2014-3-31 20:03
You will feel like 20 something in China soon.
Reply Report wanglan 2014-4-6 17:55
I like your attitude towards life, and i am waiting more of your passages.
Reply Report SEARU 2014-4-14 14:23
Unusual  life  gives  you  the  advanced  thought  !

facelist doodle Doodle board

You need to login to comment Login | register


Recent comments

  • 2014-04-01 2017-9-24 17:21

    wonderful depiction

  • The 'Face' Effect 2017-8-17 16:51

    In the USA blacks demand all people of other races to call them "African American" Yet they call each other the"N" word everyday.Maybe they should folllow the law. Respect is earned and can not be foreced on you by any law.

Star blogger










Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email:
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.