Listening to all the wonderful things their parents told me today about how I have shaped their children and pushed them to be creative thinkers and leaders really sank in. These kiddos are going to remember me for the rest of their lives!!!!! I love each and every one of them no matter how many times they forgot their homework, fell out of their chair or wiped their snot under their desk. I LOVE MY CLASS 1.5 beyond words. I left parent-teacher conferences feeling so lucky that I had the opportunity to shape these kids. I am going to miss my students and their families so much. Thanks to modern technology, I will still be in touch with them all. Fortunately, many of their parents commute to Hong Kong regularly for business and have already arranged to meet up with me and take me out for dinner next year. I have lots of connections now.
That all being said, I was very wrong about feeling relieved. I feel quite sad to be done with this chapter. This was truly a transformative year. I learned so much about myself, found two incredible friends (more like sisters) that I will have for the rest of my life, traveled to awesome places, discovered new hobbies including photography, tea tasting, circuit and weight training, meditation and balance (I'm MUCH better at managing my stress these days), nutrition around the world...to name a few. I wouldn't trade this year for ANYTHING.
I will be coming home a transformed lady. I feel very zen and clear-headed. I feel strong (both physically and mentally). I feel like I have just changed and inspired 25 little minds. I feel ready to conquer the world! My experiences living abroad - traveling, meeting worldly/creative/cultured/intellectual/hard-working/genuine beautiful people, and trying all sorts of new and exciting hobbies really opens my eyes. It shows me what matters in my life and helps me learn what I want (and don't want) for myself and my future.
I have to say goodbye to my "Shanghai chapter" for now, but I am lucky that I have so many adventures to look forward to! Each experience shapes who you are.
This will be my last school-related blog post, but stay tuned for a few posts about my adventures during my last 2 weeks in Shanghai. Renee and Jenna come soon (July 9th), so I will be sure to capture our adventures together on the bloggie.
Thank you all for following my adventures abroad. I hope you have enjoyed all the pictures and stories! Of course the blog will continue down in Shenzhen and the blog address will then become www.allieinshenzhen.com...I am making it easy for you all to remember!
Sending lots of love your way!