Yes that is right, it is the year 2023. It feels surreal, almost like I don’t believe it. I never really thought I would be living in a year or decade rather, such as 2023. Not in a morbid foreboding way, but more because it seemed to futuristic, too far into the future; not something that would one day become my present. Maybe it’s because I am a millennial we grew up with the idea the world was going to end in 2000, and then in 2012.
Yet here we are.
I spent the first of the year just doing very normal everyday tasks. Well maybe not everyday, I had brunch with friends which was a little more social than I tend to be on Sundays.
Nothing about the first day of the new year was special, but it did feel different. Beginning the new year I am feeling hopeful, excited, anxious.
There are many reasons for these feelings, mostly surrounding China and the new policies.
After 3 years of not being able to leave the mainland, China has lifted their quarantine requirements on those entering China from abroad. Which is a big deal. Not just for the expats living here, but also for many of the Chinese who have also been locked out or in the country away from their families who live in other parts of the world. You can feel the relief and the release here.
Of course, with these lifting of policies, the virus has spread like wildfire. I tested positive right before the Christmas holiday and spent that holiday weekend on my couch refusing to celebrate Christmas.
If I am honest, all of this was expected. We knew things were going to change after the October meeting and election here. It was just a matter of when and how. I think the big surprise was how quick everything changed.
Honestly it was like whiplash. One minute we are literally testing every other day for the virus, and the next suddenly if you test positive you just need to go home (not a quarantine facility) and rest. Oh wait, never mind if you test positive, you can still go to work if you feel up for it- just wear a mask.
Oh and by the way, we are opening boarders.
Going from one extreme to another, and somehow we are all having to manage the panic and anxiety that comes with the changes.
I think people now are calmer about the virus spread, mainly because most of us already had it now.
But for 3 years the Chinese government has made testing positive feel like a crime. Like you did something wrong if you tested positive, and you would be taken away to facility for who knows how long. And who knows what those conditions are like.
It’s a lot to process.
But at the same time, for me personally I feel like a huge weight just lifted off of me.
I can actually leave the mainland.
I can travel.
I can see family and friends again.
I feel like my life has just been on hold for 3 years and suddenly someone found the remote button and pushed play.
And now things are fast forwarding to where the rest of the world is.
I anticipated things opening and bought a ticket to Italy before Christmas.
And I cannot wait to reunite with some family and friends.
And honestly reunite with customs.
I am trusting that everything is going to be smooth and work out just as it should.
I feel like that is how I am taking this year too.
I am claiming that this year will be different.
And am only letting in that which surrounds me with people and things that I love.
After 3 years, we all deserve love and peace.
Which ironically, the year of the Rabbit represents peace and tranquility – so maybe that is why I am drawn to it? Or it could just be my PTSD and fatigued body wanting a calm year. You choose.
So I am claiming that for myself and wishing that for all who read this.
These are the words and actions I am carrying with me in 2023.
I wish you all a Happy New Year. I hope you find what you need this year.
As you may or may not know, I am stepping away from facebook, and will be using this platform more to share and update my life this year. So please subscribe so you can receive updates from me! I intend to update at least once a month.
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