While, after a year studying in my PhD program in St.Louis, I felt that it was not a good choice at beginning to study PhD aboard a this age and at this city.
Originally, I thought studying PhD aboard in a city I am familiar with was a great choice. I do not have to reestabilsh my friend circle, my friends are just there. I do not have to get used the traffic or anything, since I already know everything in this city. I only needs to focus on the study and all the other things will come along. I would have spent the least emotional resources to handle the problems outside my study.
While, the fact proves that I am not right.
First of all, studying aboard at 28 a lone is really a lot of pressures. It is the age that friends are going into a new life stage. Many of them will get married and will have their own families. Therefore, when you still stay in the stage of being single and focusing on those abstracted scholastic life, you will gradually lose your friends. It is the situation I am facing now. It is not that my friends do not like me any more, it is just that we are at different stage of life.
St.Louis is a really really small city. It is hard to find something new. Restaurants can survive for 20 years without changing their menu. The holes on the road can last for past five years without being fixed. It is good for a person wanting a stable life. BUT for me, a person lived in an unstable life, I have to learn to deal with loneliness.
My community are very very traditional. Being a single woman and doing things alone was not well-received. During the Lent, I chose to do the station to the cross alone at church, priest looked at me with a suspicious eye.. Not mention, yeah, if I did not go to east coast, I would have to go to Christmas Eve mass alone…That would have been extra weird… BUT, maybe the coming year, I had to experience this weird experience.. BUT, THESE ARE ALL OK… People all have difficult difficulties, mine is really not that much…
28 is not a stable age to deal with loneliness alone. I did not have the ability to fully embrace the solitude. No matter how prefect my mind works, my heart can hardly bear the loneliness, especially, when I was sick. I still remember a month ago, I had flu. I laid on the bed and thinking about what I could do. I slept and woke up alone..drinking water, taking medicine.. all alone…. Though friends were really really nice to me, many of them offer to bring me food and medicine, the hardest things were not about food or medicine, it was about BEING ALONE.
BUT, I fully understand a lot of things we have to learn by doing it. So now I can peacefully write down my stories and talk about my experience. I got used to it and learned to accept it as my life.
While, it might be a wrong choice to study aboard again, but I received it as God’s gift. I used to pray so hard for it. God told me it would not be an easy task to do and I still chose to accept it. I cannot say that I enjoyed that kind of life, but I will just bear as the cross for my life now.
It is hard to answer the questions about how am I doing here.. To certain point, I do not really have much feelings about my life any more. My mind work perfect and my heart died and it might just be better so.