My toenail fell off today. I was putting on my shoes this morning, and looked down, and there it was, hanging half off. Since I was running late for work this morning (what’s new), I put a band aid on it and headed off to work. Band aids fix everything, right? When I got home, I took a good look at it, and sure enough, it was ready to come off. Finally. I mean, it has only been, what? Ten months? Remember that? Ten months ago, at the butt-crack before dawn, I was pulling 15 months worth of luggage off the elevator and directly into my toe. I spent my time in Japan and California limping around with a broken toe. I assumed the toenail would fall off, but it never did. Until today. Let the healing begin.
Taking care of that toenail was an odd bit of final closure to my time overseas. It is the final, tangible bit of Asia that was left on me. I used to be able to look down at my foot, see that disgusting, bloodied toe, and laugh thinking about hobbling around Japan. It would remind me of that drasted elevator in my apartment building.
As much as I love my life in Seattle, I miss my life in Hong Kong. A lot actually. More than I thought I would. I could not be happier with where I am right now – where I work, preparing for Kris to move to Seattle, getting married….my life is very very good. But I miss my friends in Hong Kong. My sweet little church. The wonderful ladies of Bethune House and The Mission. I miss the food. Good Lord I miss the food!! The adventure of living and surviving overseas was a good fit for me. It is something I still crave – that sense of adventure. Of learning to navigate around in a foreign language.
I think back to where I was a year ago today. I look back on my blog, and this is where I was. Amazing what can change in a year. I will always look back on my time in Asia as more than just an experience. It really was shaping for me. Who I am today is due in part because of all that I learned in my 15 months in Asia. Those journeys, those experiences, the stories, the faces – they will never leave me. My work and my focus may have shifted, but my love for the people, my desire to help in the struggle, the desire to stand alongside those fighting for justice and equality – that will never fade.
All this, from a toe nail. Funny what makes us remember, huh?