I’m an anxious person, so if we are being honest, a lot of things frighten me.
Fish (that’s a story for another day).
People talking about me behind my back (yes, really).
A tragedy happening at home and me being too far away to deal with it.
But the thing that scares me the most? That fear is being alone.
I don’t mean sitting alone or spending time alone. I will admit that when I first moved to China, I didn’t like being alone at all. In college, I was always busy and always had tons of friends surrounding me. I lived with roommates and was in a sorority and my idea of quiet time was talking with my roommates in our apartment. Now I enjoy having actual, real quiet time. You know what I mean– reading and cleaning and listening to podcasts alone. I’m not afraid of that. I can do a lot of things by myself, go out to dinner, going to an event, traveling. But my greatest fear is that I won’t experience deep, true love and I won’t ever have children.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Rachael. You’re TWENTY THREE. Calm down! You have time. And if you say this to me, I’d probably laugh and nod and then change the subject. That doesn’t mean, though, that it doesn’t escape my mind. Want to know why? Because I’m terrified that my life journey is taking me on a different path then the one I’ve thought I always wanted.
I never thought I would love living abroad as much as I do. I never thought I would travel as much as I’ve been able to. The more I see my friends and people I care about getting engaged and married, the more I wonder if I’m making choices that are putting me farther away from attaining that life, something I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember. I recogonize that it’s not impossible to meet a life partner abroad, but I’m worried that it might be a lot more difficult.
I plan on staying in China one more school year after this, and then I’ll have to decide where I want to live. Should I stay abroad, and continue teaching internationally? Or do I move back to America, and try and settle down? I have a while to make these decisions, but they are something that I do think about quite frequently.
And that’s what’s on my heart lately. Tell me what’s on yours.