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Living in China: What I Have Learned

Living in China: What I Have Learned

In 2015, right after arriving in Shanghai, I wrote “10 lessons I learned after moving to China.” As my journey here is coming to the end, I find myself again reflecting on what went right and wrong and what else I have learned.

Initially, I thought about writing “10 lessons I learned after moving to China (Part II)”, but then I realized that summarizing my accomplishments in 10 new items would be impossible. Even 100 or 1000 points would not be enough.

In fact, I have acquired many new skills: I learned Mandarin, Tai Chi, yoga, drank all types of tea and travelled to innumerous provinces. Nevertheless, the most substantial gain is uncountable: this experience generated a profound transformation in my soul.

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After moving to China, I found out that I can do anything and I am not afraid to explore new frontiers of knowledge. Just to give an example, when I was a kid, I used to think that I was not musically gifted. My mother has a piano in the living room and she is a master of it, but I never had the patience to learn and I never thought I could move both right and left hands, harmonically.

After learning Chinese, I think I can learn anything. Even the sheet music (handwritten or printed form of music notation that uses modern musical symbols to indicate the pitches, melodies, rhythms and chords of a song or instrumental musical piece). After all, if I can read the Chinese characters, why can’t I read music, and play it, too?

I am already risking to play Beethoven’s Fur Elise. Although progressing slowly, I feel I can do it. As long as I just want it and believe it. In China, people say that “one step at a time is good walking”. And so it is. Slowly, but continuously, life has no limitations for me. Even if I lose everything, my faith in life became so huge, that I believe I can regain everything.

[Related: Are You Going to Make Big Changes Happen in 2017?]

If I was going to summarize my experience in China, in a metaphor, or a phrase, I would say that I became like Liz Gilbert, from Eat, Pray, Love, or Cheryl Strayed, from Wild. After moving to China, my soul was purified, or at least recycled. I resumed dreaming and I believe I can reach all my dreams.

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