Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Left for America

Praise the Lord. I'm officially in the U.S. of A!

There's so much uncertainty as to what's waiting for me in the next two years, but surprisingly I'm not too taken aback right now. Things were a little rough last month, as I contemplated the aftermath of my departure and the things I had to let go of, but I think it's safe to say that I don't feel too bad now. I'd expected sentimental me to burst out in tears the night I took off, but I didn't.

It's pretty strange, but I think something really felt right. I don't know for sure what it is, but I think it's gotta be God. I don't think I've ever been this NOT anxious before. I know for sure that He has gone before me, and is looking after me even as I'm here now.

Yet, I can't say that nothing's been on my mind. I'm still pretty wistful about things at this side of the world. As I witness Snapchats sent by my friends at church, I feel like everything has moved on pretty well even without me. It's strange really, I'm starting to feel as if my existence in youth has been rather, unreal. Not surreal, UNREAL. As if I was never there. I was just an annoying speck of dust, and once I was gone, things have taken off pretty well.

I know, it's a really selfish thing to say. But I guess that's what one feels when they leave, I suppose. Like they're just afraid things will conveniently slide back into normalcy (yet again, what is normal, per se?)

Well, Vivian, the world doesn't revolve around you. More of Christ, less of you, remember?

I guess it's also partly to do with love language differences. Just because the send off I expected didn't happen, it doesn't mean I am any less loved. And even if I was less loved, what does it matter? I need to constantly remind myself that these little things that people do that I give meaning to, are of no significance, compared to the marvellous extent of God's great glory. And anyway, if I place such emphasis on earthly things instead of kingdom driven things, how will the Holy Spirit work in me?

To be fair, I don't deserve it in the first place. Any of it. Not in a "yeah-I-don't-deserve-it-now-pay-attention-to-me-because-I-want-your-affection-dammit" kinda way; I truly am honest. I don't deserve it. What kind of friend have I been to people at church? How much have I cared and how much have I loved? Somehow, I feel for the most part that I've only cared about getting the truth, and sometimes my version of the truth that it has taken away the element of love. I honestly think I don't deserve having people send me off, or having people do all those things I'd cared about, because I have to admit that I haven't really gotten to know and love them. And I don't expect one year to mean lifelong relationships either, how could I reap when I didn't sow?

I could have done better than I have.

Even so, now's not the time to look back and wallow in dejection and self-pity. Life must go on, and so it will. I refuse to let this year's failures turn the tide of how I will live next year. If anything, I must learn from my mistakes and carry on. Self-condemnation cannot be the key to transformation - Jesus didn't condemn anyone, and so I shouldn't do that to myself. Instead, I must look to Him to go on with life.

But anyway, enough about the past. I figured I'd fill you guys in with some of my initial thoughts about the U.S (YAY).

I've been in New York for about a day and a half now, and I'm really liking it here. The weather wasn't as dreadful as I'd expected it to be - it hasn't snowed and when my family and I arrived, it was only about 7 degrees Celcius, which I think is a decent temperature for winter. We headed for our Queens first thing upon arrival at New York and took a decent nap before braving the cold for dinner with our relatives. We had Korean food for lunch, which I have to say, was pretty darn kickass, and the company wasn't bad either. My relatives are rather outrageous, but they are an amazingly hospitable bunch.

We set out for Elmhurst today, where my relatives live, first thing in the morning today. My grandaunt taught us how to navigate the subway and led us there. She also helped us get a U.S. SIM card and we went over to her apartment to chill for a bit. The rest of my day was pretty much just touring Manhattan and Queens.

My granduncle drove us all to Chinatown for a Cantonese lunch and then we scoured the area for some iconic tourist attractions on the island. We went to Wall Street and checked out the infamous bull (which we didn't quite see due to the influx of tourists) and South Street Seaport which had pretty kickass ships and a landing overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. We also took a ferry down to Staten Island NOT to check out the island, but to take absolutely low quality and kiamsiap pictures of the Statue of Liberty with our cameras against the dirty glass windows separating us from the crazy chill outside. At night, we headed down to Flushing and had dinner at some dimsum place there that was well known for their xiao long bao.

All in all, New York's been pretty cool. While there are things I'd have to get used to, like the units of measurement (what the heck is 32 Fahrenheit oh yeah 0 degrees Celcius whoop), how to use coins here (seriously what on earth is one dime) or even the large portions here, I really enjoyed strolling by the streets and going to places I'd previously only seen on TV. The subway system here is really convenient, and as long as you plan your journey, you're bound to get from one place to another without hassle. It's probably gonna be different when I head down South, but for now I'm really just contented taking in the sights and the sounds of the Big Apple :)

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