seeing this city through new eyes

i’ve always been terrified of cycling.
it was a running joke actually, how i was incapable of not getting hurt every time my friends and i went cycling in vancouver. so, naturally, i was terrified of the idea of cycling in this mad city where signals meant absolutely nothing and right of way was reserved for automobiles with 4 wheels and 4 doors.

but cycle i did, and i’m glad for the experience.

cycling at night through the congested streets of shanghai gave me a newfound confidence, and i found that the longer i stayed on the bike; the straighter my lines became, the steadier i was, and it allowed me time to breathe, explore, and see how our perceptions of reality blur the longer we become used to something.

i’ve always loved this city at night.

when i first arrived here, admittedly, the only parts of the city i ever saw were at night: the thumping night-life. the clubs, the bars, the pubs were a whole other world i had never experienced before. living in shanghai is a beautiful nightmare; a terrifying fairytale. everything you ever knew about reality was questioned and rebuilt into something unreal. easy access, i used to joke.

lately, i’ve broken away from the people i used to hang out with.

superficial friends come and go, but the ones who are true remain and i’ve found where i belong. found a little part of canada and i’m mildly terrified, but also happy. it’s a strange happy. the kind of happy that is fulfilling.

my life used to be a different kind of fun.
these days, it’s long days of work, and stolen hours of midnight rendezvous. i’m falling in love with a city that never sleeps and it’s this aspect of it, the idea that life continues, but you carve your own little universe anyway that draws me in.

life happens, slowly.

i’m getting a new apartment; one of these little lane-houses in a chinese community where none of my neighbours speak a lick of english, and i’m expanding my universe in a wholly new direction.
life happens, and you grow up, and sometimes, the process is a little bit magical – the kind of magical that comes from embracing reality and understanding that you can’t always be happy.

the hollow that eroded me is slowly disappearing.
i’m finding new truths and new versions of me that i thought had disappeared.

for so long, my world was packed neatly into 6×6 carton boxes. i’m starting to unpack, and i’m scared, but i’m also excited.

wish me luck.


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