Na Pan (Nicole)
February 2, 2017
Loneliness in Wonderland
I love living in Chicago. I enjoy the cold winter, and I appreciate the spirit of positive and friendly of people living here. Once settling down in this foreign country, there is a lot for a foreigner to adapt in order to live a fulfilled life. In other words, as a foreigner we must prepare ourselves emotionally and practically. According to my experiences so far and despite the hospitable people, I find it is lonely living in the United States. It is like a shadow in the lights, which follows the brightness everywhere.
The first thing that comes to my mind is that I have lost the sense of community. It is not to say that I used to be involved in many social activities back in China. What I mean is that the lonely feeling has gotten even worse since I moved to the U.S. When I was in China, I went to school. However I dropped out from high school because of the great pressure I felt and the depression it had caused. At that time, I decided to give myself a break. I went to find my good friend, Yu Ting Pan, who was my primary classmate and we had fun. Then I went to work as a Go teacher at the place where I started to learn this game. It is a game of strategy with black and white stones and the purpose is to capture the opponent’s stones and surround its own territories. I found myself insipid and spending day after day showing the small kids the specific terms and techniques which I learned at the similar age with the kids at the exactly same training club. Thus, I was not such an inspiring teacher. I was just retelling the specific knowledge and repeating the general concept. I was not really thinking about the way I taught my students, nor had I cared about whether it would be helpful for the kids’ future or not. That was the time when I felt life was plain as water. Now in Chicago I go to school and I really enjoy being a student. I love my new state that to be independent. However sometimes I still feel sensitive emotions of being alone, and I am also under living pressure to balancing work and school. Although I live with my mom and we share our apartment with a roommate, I still get the feeling of emptiness from time to time.
Since I arrived in Chicago, I have a small circle of friends here, for example, church friends. It is common for some people to go to church on Sundays in this country. The United States is a free country, so people have a lot of freedom to choose their religion. I like going to church. We have a big church family and our Pastor treats the church members patiently and warmly. I have learned that as a person one must have faith, no matter if it is related to a religion or not. I’m adapting myself to Sunday Church culture.
In addition to going to church, I attend a lot of activities to avoid feeling lonely in this wonderland. I go to school, and I have a part-time job I am even on a diet program at a weight loss center. Plus I try to go to gym regularly, and I’m a member of a Go club. Basically I am making my schedule full, and through this way I feel more cheerful and less isolated in this foreign country. That is my daily life, and it is also a way of dealing with the loneliness. In short, unlike my life in China, which had been an endless road of hopeless repetition, now I find myself happy about the process, the process of gaining life abilities while being involved.
In conclusion, for the ones who want to live a promised life in this wonderful country, they must be highly self-disciplined and also possess a strong mind. They will need to set plans and follow a path, which means that they should have a positive attitude towards life. Even though life may cheat ones sometimes, they ought to bounce back quickly and not fall apart. I have realized that the loneliness is an art of life; it follows us everywhere. No matter where we go and what we do, as human beings, we will feel lonely at times. It is how we react to our loneliness that matters, and it is how we see ourselves through loneliness that will determine our future.