I’ve been living in Taiwan for 10 years and I’ve been back only briefly to visit relatives.
Recently I’ve planned a trip to Toronto solely to train in martial arts. Why? Because I haven’t found a better teacher anywhere in Asia. That might sound like hubris or blindness but it isn’t. I’m older now, and the fact is that the relationships I have formed in the past have a certain weight which lends them a trust and reliance which is not easily formed elsewhere. If it helps, consider the limitation mine and not that of those who live here.
As the day approaches when I spend my time in Toronto I have taken up photography as a hobby. As a result I have been looking at other people’s photos online, and as a result have joined some photo groups on Flickr related to Toronto. As I look at these images, memories stir. Biting cold waiting for a streetcar — but not too unmanageable. How life was like back then. Trying to find good work. Training in the park. University life, college life, and life outside of it. It is impossible to say how things would have turned out if I hadn’t gone to Taiwan. I am not sorry I left. It was for the best. Perhaps now that I have finally made my way in life I am allowed to feel homesick. Perhaps that is a benefit. I’m sure it is.
So here I sit, it’s 2 am in Asia right now, and all I can think of is what happens one hundred days from now.
I wish I could tell my teachers how much this trip means to me. It is the cumulation of my whole life. I’m not being melodramatic. It’s not hyperbole. It really is. The emotions behind it run deep, perhaps deeper than even I am aware. But in the end there is no point in talking about it too much. The best and in fact only way to deal with it is to channel it into physical exercise and photography. A while ago, I would have said wei-qi as well. But there are many sacrifices I have had to acknowledge, even though some of them have not yet been made.
If you want something badly enough in life you can have it. The question is what you are willing to give up to get it. Sometimes it is not as bad as you think and you can have your cake and eat it too. But the journey can be painful and tiresome. The way I got to where I am is a lot like that. In the process I had to disregard everything I held dear. And now, here I am, right now, here today, and I have the power to say that it is a new day, a new beginning. This is my secret power which makes me more than any superhero. I have the power to change, not just myself, but all of the people I used to know, and all the places I used to visit. In fact the whole world. So, tomorrow is another day.