I’m less than a few hours away from my “big move” to China. Or at least that’s what everyone is calling it.
I’m basically dropping everything in Vancouver to go work in China.
Since having the incredible opportunity to film 3 TV shows for the Hunan TV International Channel, I’ve decided to move there to pursue more opportunities.
This is a pretty permanent move actually. I plan to stay there for at least a year, depending on how things go.
So how is everyone around me taking this big decision of mine?
I would say that the majority of the people around me are excited for me. They’ve expressed to me that they wish me the best of luck in China. These are the people that will miss me (I hope). Let’s call them the supporters.
Then there’s a group of people that I can sense judgement from. They secretly want me to fail because they’re jealous, or they think I’m making a big mistake. Maybe they think I’m crazy to leave such a comfortable city like Vancouver? Let’s call them the doubters.
Then there’s a group of people that are literally trying to scare me with horror stories from their motherland. Let’s call them the spookers.
I get it, they can’t believe this naive Canadian girl that grew up here is going to pursue the entertainment industry in China. It’s either a complete joke to them or they think I’m getting fed to the dogs.
Bottom line is they feel I’m not prepared for the complications of Chinese society (I actually agree with this). The 关系 guan xi (people relations) are much more complex in China. I’ve been told that in China, people don’t tend to say what they mean. Or they say one thing but mean another. Or they might mean what they say but have underlying motives. Add a nice Canadian girl to the mix, and I’m going to be eaten alive.
I’ll also be competing with tons more people for certain job positions (I hope being mixed is an advantage). And I’ve been warned that people will do shit behind your back. It’s a dog eat dog world.
So far, I still haven’t learned how to politely decline without letting the other person lose 面子 mian zi (face), nor am I trained in drinking Chinese white wine at big dinner parties with the 老板 lao ban (company bosses).
I’m in trouble aren’t I?
Then there are people that tell me to worry about everything. Including the air pollution, getting robbed on the streets, the mystery meat in my meals, and getting kidnapped in a 滴滴 DiDi (Chinese version of Uber). I’ve been told to pretend not to speak Chinese on the streets and learn some self-defence skills for my own safety. Let’s call them the worry-warts.
Then there are people that tell me not to worry. That because I look like an outsider, I’ll always be an outsider to the Chinese people. And that will be enough to not involve me in their social games. Let’s call them the optimists.
So what are my own thoughts?
To me, this is no big move. If you think about it, people do crazier things than this all the time.
But I am going into this blindly. Completely blind. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve already lived in China (we’re speaking short term only), that I love what I’m going to pursue there, that I’m completely ready for a change from Vancouver, or that I know that the team I’m working with are great people.
But there’s also a side of me that kind of doesn’t give a shit. I’m not interested in wasting my energy on worrying and stressing out about all tiny possible outcomes. This is a decision I took, regardless of the support or lack of support from people. And I believe in myself (at least to come out alive).
Come on, I’m realistic (sort of). I know I’m considered naive (that’s because I grew up here in Vancouver and choose to see the good in people), but this is the perfect opportunity to learn. I’ll keep my guard up to protect myself for sure. So what is there really to be afraid of?
Another thing that I’m fine admitting to myself is that I’ll probably learn a few tough lessons. I’ll probably get deceived, lose an opportunity, or lose a friend. But hey, that’s life. These are things that are part of the process of learning. I’ll probably fall on my face a few times, but I will get back up.
So why am I leaving abruptly? Because if I wait for everything to be certain, I feel like this drive in me will disappear. Not to mention that since I’m almost in my mid-twenties, time is too valuable to lose.
And maybe sometimes you’re supposed to take risks in life that scare you, that challenge you, so that you can grow as a person. I mean, at least I have my living situation figured out.
I have faith that no matter what happens, something positive will come out of this.
What’s the worst thing that can happen? China doesn’t work out for me and I end up moving back to Vancouver with more fluent Chinese. Sounds good to me.
I’m young. I don’t have anything tying me down. This is the perfect time to take risks and see a different side of the world, wouldn’t you say?