I have been quiet for a couple of months, because new projects were lining up and I was busy getting a routine back again. I still have no routine, but am getting used to it.
I will tell you about my life now, as I haven’t wanted anyone to know how I lived here for a long time, but now that the worst has passed, I don’t feel ashamed of it no more.
I moved to Shenzhen one year and a half ago with my boyfriend, Eric, a Chinese from Sichuan who has been living in Shenzhen for more than 8 years. Before, I lived in Yangshuo, Guangxi province for 6 years. I learned kung fu and tai chi there, eventually opened a chocolate shop and coffee shop. But, because it is too touristy, I depended too much on tourists and because the landowner always wanted to have money, and of course, I have to be honest, I didn’t have any experience of running a coffee shop + I was in a country where I still had a big language and cultural difference! So, I lost money with that business.
It was 2013, I lost my relationship, my shop, my apartment (they would build a hotel). I was living at the Chinese countryside with nothing anymore. I started to teach English again and didn’t know what to do. To go back to Belgium seemed like the ultimate failure, but I also knew that Yangshuo didn’t have any future prospects for me anymore. The whole of 2014 I didn’t know what to do. I went back to Belgium 2 times and worked there a bit in a shop, but didn’t feel that I could fit in again. Also, going back to live with my parents seemed too daunting.
Beginning of 2015, I met Eric, who is my husband now. But we had our fair share of difficulties, because of cultural differences and me not understanding how people can live that way! I followed him to Shenzhen, a big city near Hong Kong, as I knew there would be more possibilities. But, upon arriving, I saw that we had to live with his parents and son in an apartment of 60 square meter. I was shocked at how they lived! Such a small place!
I can’t believe that I actually lived 3 months like that, but guess Eric is the man for me! We had a lot of interests in common and he expanded my mind in certain things a lot. He encouraged me and I did things I never thought I could do (like running a marathon or go trekking).
After some fights (and one of the last ones was really intense, we almost broke up then), we lived separate from his parents, but in a place with no furniture and infested with cockroaches. It would be for a little while. We would go to Belgium and travel a bit through Europe, so there was no point in finding a steady place. When we returned, Eric found a place and again I was shocked! He registered me at the university to learn more Chinese and he found a place near the uni: 1 room where we could hardly move around, because it was mainly occupied by the bed and we had to share the bathroom. Because I didn’t have any money, I found that I had no way to complain. Eric was preparing to climb Mt Everest and wanted to enjoy his time by traveling and just relaxing. I was working my ass off, but then had to spend the money on traveling. I mainly depended on him and didn’t like it one bit. Yes, I did like the traveling, but I didn’t like our living conditions and the fact that I couldn’t build anything up here in Shenzhen. I hoped that his climb to Mt Everest would be a success and we finally could build a life.
In the end, I hated our living conditions so much and was depressed. I didn’t know what to do, our relationship was not getting better too. Eric was great, but I hated the life I was living. Part also, I hated myself for being in the position of having no finances and not being independent. I read and watched a lot about personal development. I tried to visualize a better life. Slowly, I started to feel better. Eric left for Nepal end of March 2016. A week later, I saw an ad for an apartment in a social media group I was in. I contacted the guy and he had to move out, because he found a job in another part of the city. The location was perfect, the pictures he sent me were perfect (living room, bathroom, kitchen bedroom, and even 2 balconies), I knew I had to get that!! One problem: I had to pay a deposit of 2 months rent and pay 1 month rent. I would go to Nepal to meet Eric in basecamp, so had to pay for my trip there and also the rent of the time I was gone (during which I wouldn’t be working and had no income). I don’t know how I did it. I just went to bed every evening thinking about the apartment and every waking hour I was thinking on how to get it. Within 10 days, I had enough money to pay for everything and 2 weeks later, I still could go to Nepal, pay for everything there.
After I came back, I had some difficult time, but I was also working more on my dream: becoming a Tai Chi teacher and be a wellness advocate in essential oils. I still had a couple of difficult months, but since September, it goes better and better. I don’t need to teach English anymore (the thing I had to do to earn money, but didn’t enjoy anymore) and earn enough with Tai Chi and essential oils. Because I love what I do and I live in a place that I like, our relationship has never been better. I knew that if we could pass this difficult period, we could go through everything. We tell each other daily how we love each other and we have the best time together. I can honestly say that I love my life, I am grateful every morning.
I think I had to go through these tough times to make me appreciate life and the things I have. And to know my real purpose in life, which is teach people about a healthy lifestyle and let them know that tough times are there to make us think about ourselves, our course in life,…
I am ready to help others find their path in life, and help them with healthy natural solutions!
So, how far do you want to go to find your life’s purpose? What are your struggles in life? Send me your personal story at: firstname.lastname@example.org and lets support each other.