Summer went by in a whirlwind. A whirlwind of seeing family members for the first time in months, catching up with friends, getting back onstage, and even a little romance. Two months in the United States flying by faster than I thought possible. Too long and not long enough all at the same time. I missed Shanghai. I missed the switching of languages in my head and the varying accents around me when I found myself suddenly surrounded by people who spoke just like me. I missed the hubbub of a place that never sleeps and the constant lights of a city crisscrossing patterns through the curtains at night. Suddenly the little town that I grew up in felt very dark, very quiet, and very isolated.
Keeping my summer busy made it easier to not be in the bustle of the city that I had grown to love so much. I didn’t even make it back into Vermont until a week and a half of full fledged Texan wedding parties in Virginia for a cousin I grew up with. And when I did make it back home it for only 12 days before rushing off to start rehearsals with the Vermont Shakespeare Company in Burlington, Vermont for a little over a month.
I will admit that as much as I missed the city while I was in VT, I missed the stage while I was in Shanghai more. It felt incredible to be back in a theater, back in the patterns of theatrical production that I had already decided I wanted to devote my life too. And this company was the perfect way to spend my summer. An amazing blend of people I hadn’t seen in years and new actors I am lucky to have gotten the opportunity to work with. I am so, so, so grateful for VSC for giving me a chance to work with them this summer and spend the little time I had in the country doing something I love with people I adore.
Upon the completion of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ I was in full on packing and stressing mode having left myself hardly two weeks to sort out all the final details before jetting back overseas to start my second semester at Shanghai Jiaotong University in my new home-away-from-home.
And here I am, having successfully obtained a last minute, 30 day tourist visa (to be converted to a student Visa with the help of my University once classes begin), sitting at 34,000 feet in the seat of a plane 11 hours from the city. Around me I hear the familiar and missed language spoken by natives for the first time in months and I can’t wait to start another six months of study and adventure in the Middle Kingdom.
Chinese word of the Day: 夏天-XiàTiān-Summer