Throwback Thursday: Learning to Be Still

…My days are filling up quickly without me forcing more things into them, and yet I keep thinking of all the things I want to do with myself. I want to study more, get to the gym more regularly, be more relaxed at work, and get to sleep earlier. I want to travel while I’m a position to travel, and I want to really enjoy this year for what it is: a wonderful reprieve from the last few years of intense academic and personal stress.

And yet I find myself unable to do all of these things. It’s true isn’t it, that people can’t do everything? I’ve been working for the last 25 years to prove this theory wrong, but maybe I’m going to fail. I hesitate to publish myself saying this, but here goes…I can’t do everything.

I’m learning who I am as I live alone for the first time. I’m learning how to be alone without feeling lonely, and how not to feel lonely in crowded places. I’m learning that I will get laughed at when I speak Chinese, and that there are experiences in life that are bigger than explanation.

The weekend I spent in San Francisco with my friends before leaving for Taiwan seemed to be launching a bigger-than-explanation experience this year. As Christina put it, there was something bigger to that weekend…and I agree. There was something bigger. And now there’s also something bigger.

Learning to Be Still on

…know that there are great forces in this world conspiring to make your life more than you could ever dream.”
-Ann, one of my most influential advisors during graduate school, in an email to me this spring.

Big things are happening that I can sense but I can’t understand. In the winter, when things were their worst for me at home, I felt a presence around me protecting me…Now, in addition to feeling that warmth, I feel as if things are shifting around me. Things are happening that I can’t understand, but that I know are meant to be.

I’m beginning to think that maybe the biggest thing I have to learn from this year is how to be still and let the bigger forces in my life go to work. I’m decidedly bad at this. But there are people in Asia who are famous for their ability to be still. Maybe I should see what I can learn from them.


Originally written and published on my blog, A Year in Taipei on October 1, 2006.

I wrote more than 300 blog posts during my year in Taipei, Taiwan. I don’t know yet how many of those posts I’ll recreate on, but for now, at least, you can come back on Thursdays for a #ThrowbackThursday to my #YearInTaipei.

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One Comment

  1. So relatable!
    Thank you!

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