The first signs of autumn are always so striking. There’s a certain chill in the crisp apple-cider smell of the Fall air and, to me, a certain New England charm in keeping the windows opened at night.
And so, as the Shanghai seasons change, I also feel that it’s time for a bit of change. Lately, I haven’t been happy with much of what I’ve been writing. It feels as if I am rehashing the same emotions, the same conflicts, the same unrest over living abroad – and this space has become a place where I am setting myself back, rather than living my life on its pages.
I’ve struggled before with the idea of whether my blog is a ‘travel blog’ or a ‘personal blog’ or a ‘food blog’, without really ever settling on one (or doing either of those things well). I love writing about the beautiful and strange way China makes me feel, yet to be honest, after two years, the rawness of the culture shock is no longer there, and I feel that I am having a difficult time describing the intensity and the hyperrealism of everyday life in Shanghai. It no longer shocks me to frantically scooter away from policemen as I weave in and out of traffic on my way to work, to dip tofu skin in medicinal hotpot with jujubes and white fungus, or to barter for bowls with my pottery man down the block. And yet, despite losing that rawness, I don’t want to lose the passion to write about what I love.
This blog has been a representation of myself, but only a single side of myself, which made this space feel incomplete. I want to make this space whole. Honestly, I’m not exactly sure how my blog will evolve, but I know that I want to focus more on daily life in China, the things I see, as well as the things I cook. This is not a transformation into a ‘food blog’, just a shift towards a space that makes me calm and a space that has defined so much of my time here in China.
I’m still finding my voice and my audience, and I can only hope that what I’m doing next will be a true representation of not just what I want to shout out into the void of the internet, but to myself, as well.