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When you wake up to nature’s alarm of tweeting birds and sunlight beaming through your bedroom window, that is a butterfly morning; a day with promise in the air, one that makes you want to do something worthwhile, be someone, make yourself proud of the achievements you have accomplished, and giving you a yearning to achieve more………. that is a butterfly morning.
I have had my fair share of these great mornings, and when I think back to a time when I truly started to experience this, it would most definitely be during my time living in China.
Arriving in Shanghai for the first time was the beginning of my butterfly morning adventures. Waking up was exciting, I had a thirst for life and the possibilities that every day could bring. Strolling down the street watching passers by, grandparents walking their grandchild to school, local street sellers setting up their stalls, fighting for a taxi and even the strange smells of chinese food wafting in the air made me smile. That is a feeling I long for again and one that I will never forget. Pure happiness and enjoyment in being alive.
A city full of energy where everyone is there for a purpose, to be the best that they can, living each day to its fullest that is Shanghai. Everyone you meet has a smile on their face, wants to talk to you, know your story and share their experiences of life in the magic city so far. Shanghai is most definitely a bubble, it’s its own world sort of detached from reality, When i stepped off the plane I felt like Dorothy stepping through the gates into Emerald City. I suddenly knew I was meant to be someone, I was meant to leave my mark on this world, be memorable.
Life is a strange thing, everyone gets up in the morning, has a direction, a path that they are on, but so often we forget to stop and appreciate what is going on around us. Moving to London, I have myself got caught up in the rat race of life. Getting onto the tube every day I look round and notice that no one is talking, no one acknowledges each other, people are tired and dreading the day ahead, counting down the minutes till they can get back on the train for their journey home. We all breathe the same air, walk the same streets, live on the same planet, yet seldom do we stop and give each other the time of day. However, the mentality of an expat is completely different, and this is what I found so refreshing living abroad. You become part of a strong tight knit community, with a common thread. Being a ‘laowai’ (alien) in a foreign land, immediately strong bonds are made that are hard to break. You respect people for who they are inside, and find yourself becoming friends with people you potentially never would have done, back home. You become a better version of yourself. My Butterfly mornings turned into wildflower afternoons! For the first time in my life I was comfortable in my own skin.
I definitely left my heart in Shanghai, and somehow feel that I have unfinished business with the crazy city that changed my life. Untill I go back, I dont think ill feel whole again.