Be water, my (expat) friend

It’s unusual for me to want to reblog someone else’s work, but I was just scrolling through my Reader and this post just, you know, hit me where I am. No need for anxious queries. I am not contemplating anything drastic. However, the past semester is making me question where I will be in Xi’an next year, which opens up the mental maelstrom of “what then?” Expat Lingo’s post captures so well this moment of indecision that I thought I’d go ahead and share.

Expat Lingo

Be water, my friend (Bruce Lee) _ expatlingo.com

There comes a time when all expats must face the music and decide whether to stay or go, and if they go, where to go. This hot mess of a decision is complicated by all sorts of things like employers, families, visas, money and heart-strings.

When the decisions get tough, it helps to turn to a power beyond ourselves. For some this might be a heavenly being*. I, however, have settled on Bruce Lee.

Lee was a fount of inspirational quotes, including this one:

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

Strictly speaking, Lee was talking about the practice of martial arts. His words, however…

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One thought on “Be water, my (expat) friend

  1. Hey Amy! Thanks for the post. I totally understand this weird and uncomfortable limbo-phase feeling. I am trying to make a big decision come summertime – stay or go, and it’s so hard! I just don’t want to make the wrong decision….I guess I must adopt the mantra “be water, be water, be water…” Hope you are doing well!

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