Today was another quiet day. Nothing big planned. Jennifer had to work and Bella had castings and some things she wanted to get done, so there I was. Definitely a brighter mood than the day before–thank you all for the love and support and prayers. It was a good day! Now what to do with it?
The first part of the day was talking with friends and family. They gave me the perfect amount of love and encouragement. Seriously, you all are amazing. From scriptures, to encouraging words, to checking on me, to sending voice recording of inspiration to sweet photos to help cheer me up! Truly, I am blessed!
Finally after tooling around, I decided to head to a coffee shop for a change of pace. Yes, not very cultural but comfortable. Coffee shops here are different, yet the same. They are fancier and bigger than the ones in Medford and I love the variety of coffees that they serve yet they have the same feel. This time I changed it up and went to Daily Roast. Bella and I have sometimes met at a place called I Coffee which is fancier with chandeliers and American cultural icons as decorations but today I choose Daily Roast. It is where I got the purple potato coffee last time. They are kind, helpful, speak as much English as they can, bake their own goods, and the place is just really relaxing.
Bella said she would meet me there when done chatting and Face-timing with friends back home. So I ordered an espresso, I didn’t get as creative this time, and sat down and just relaxed. I pulled out a book called Wreck This Journal. It is a book that is hard to explain, but it is one Amanda and I both have. It is not a reading book, but a creative journal. Here is how it is described “Through a series of creative and quirky prompts, acclaimed guerilla artist Keri Smith encourages journalers to engage in destructive acts—poking holes through pages, adding photos and defacing them, painting pages with coffee, coloring outside the lines, and more—in order to experience the true creative process. With Smith’s unique sensibility, readers are introduced to a new way of art- and journal-making, discovering novel ways to escape the fear of the blank page and fully engage in the creative process.” (Here is a link to get your own). My friend gave it to me for Christmas and Amanda wanted one also so we can do it “together” while I am in China and then exchange them when I return. So while waiting for Bella, I found a few pages to work on. One page asked me to fill a whole page with circles, another to write one word over and over and over across two pages, another one was for me to spill coffee on, one to turn the page into a paper airplane, and another for me to doodle on like I would a phone book (Yes, those old like me would know what that means. haha). It is fun and I know Amanda will love it!
Once my espresso arrived, I realized what I had actually ordered. In my head I had said an American, but my voice had said an espresso, so very kindly delivered was a tiny tiny version of what I thought I had ordered. It looked so teeny! Then it dawned on me. Oops! My mistake! Well, I had a very small, yet very strong version of coffee, but it was quite tasty!
Then finally this beautiful red head walked into the coffee shop. Yes, she is my girl, so I think she is beautiful, but it is her smile that makes her shine. She smiled and joined me! To spend time with her is a gift. She is a busy girl and living independently so my time with her is precious. After dropping off her things she went and ordered a lemon tea and rejoined me. Their lemon tea is a delicious tea with real slices of lemon placed on top! Seriously delicious! We were able to just talk and catch up on life. How she is doing, how her friends are doing, what her challenges are, what she has learned and how she has grown. I can’t describe what it is like to see my little wild eyed, wild haired energetic girl sitting before me as a strong, confident, beautiful woman. Moments like this make the challenge of being here worth it. She knows she is growing a lot, but I see it too! And that is a wonderful thing!
After catching up, she pulled out her math workbooks and asked for some help. I was, for the moment, a homeschool mom again (Yay!) Bella is graduating a year early, so she has been working really hard to finish up her schooling while here. That is not an easy task to do. Models tell her that schooling and modeling don’t mix because of how much time of the day it takes to model, that it is just too hard to keep up. I believe that to be true also. I had no idea how long of days modeling takes. Bella has put in up to 11 hour days while here. She did have one day off to go to the Great Wall but other than that she has been training and working for 20 days straight and is on the schedule to work the next 40 at this point. But when Bella has shorter days like 4-5 hours she tries to catch up on schooling. Just being here in China, experiencing this culture and living independently (meaning buying her own groceries, cooking, cleaning, doing her own laundry, setting her own schedules, working out rides, etc.) counts for more than any text book will probably teach her but she wants to finish strong. So there I was helping my girl finish up on her high school requirements, while modeling in China, and it just hit me. She really isn’t a girl anymore. She has grown up and by the time we get home, she really and truly will be ready for this world. More than I was at her age!
As we finished our coffee date, we were waiting to hear whether she has a job tomorrow or more training. She bet me 5 yuan (equivalent to .75 cents) that she will be doing training, but I had a feeling she would have a job. Guess what? She has a job! This girl (young lady) is just at the beginning of great things here. We are excited to see what the future holds, but with whatever it has for her, she will definitely be taking away more than just a wonderful modeling experience, and that itself is worth its weight! So maybe not the most exciting day, but to this mom it was the perfect day! Good coffee and great company!
BTW Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad- 48 years!! Thank you for setting a wonderful example to your kids and grandkids on what a marriage is! Hugs and loves!