Hey dudes. For those of you who don't know yet, I am now pretty much engaged to Jen. GASP! I know, right? I had originally been planning on waiting for at least two years due to my financial situation (I'll get into that in a second) but since things are looking so much brighter now we don't have to wait so long. It was a lot to ask of her to wait for that long and only be able to see her a few times a year. As of right now I have about $20,000 in college loans to pay back and I wanted to have as much of that paid off as I could before I moved to China. Just so I could start my life without anything to worry about. But now I don't have to worry about any of that. A family member who I'm very close with, not really at liberty to say who right now, decided to give me part of my inheritance money early because they wanted me to start my adult life with a clean slate. Initially I was a little hesitant about it. I don't like getting something for nothing. Maybe I have too much pride. But, in the end it was freely offered and I accepted. So now I'll be moving to China before the end of the year. I'll need to make money here for the flight, apartment, and initial costs of course but other than that I'm good to go.
One of my boys on LoveLoveChina asked me:
1) Chinese or Western wedding?
We've talked about doing a traditional Chinese wedding over there and then when we move to the states in a few years have a small Christian ceremony.
2) Wheres the honeymoon?
We'll probably travel to a few places in Northern China. I always did want to look for dinosaur bones in the Gobi desert. Travel in China is easier and cheaper and we can always travel to Thailand or the Philippines later.
3) You don't feel too young to get married?
See? Pretty as a painting. Or is it picture? I don't remember the expression.
Now if you suddenly tell your family that you're moving to China for a long time, finding a job there and getting married you're bound to get all kinds of different reactions. I live in South Carolina. Most of my mother's family are city people who tend to be better educated and accepting than my father's country family, half of whom didn't know the difference between China and Egypt and probably couldn't find either of them on a map. Here's some of the responses I've gotten.
"At least you're datin' a Chinese and not one of them Japanese. The eyes don't slit as bad." -country aunt
"I just don't understand why you couldn't find a girlfriend here." -mother
"You know all them women just divorce you as soon as they get that green card." -several people
"I can't believe you're goin' over there with all them communist sons a' bitches." -crazy uncle
There were several other comments that are just too annoying and ridiculous to bother typing. And in this entire endeavor I was struck by how ignorant some people are. Mostly older people who grew up in the Cold War. And there is also a serious lack of adventurous spirit in my family, my father's side especially. There are grown people in his town that have never seen the ocean even though they live an hour and a half away from it. For serious. The only other person in my family like me is my thirty something year old brother in the navy who has traveled all over the world with the military and on his own time. He's done a lot of intercultural dating and he usually has some good advice. I'll tell you what he told me. "Aim high. If you aim high, you might not get what you wanted but you'll get somewhere above the middle. But if you aim at the middle you might get the bottom." Something like that.
So I'm moving to China and marrying the girl I love. That's right. I said it. I love this girl and I don't care who knows it. I'm going to marry her no matter who approves or disapproves. I'm living proof that aiming high can pay off in a big way. Stay cool and always aim for the top!