We Didn’t Leave!

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I see now, after several years, that it’s been some time since I uploaded this blog in any manner that wasn’t pandemic-related. My friends and family have stopped asking that oft-heard question:

“When are you moving back?”

Back in 2017, I was gearing up for a summer of 2018 move. Then, I started to freak out. I couldn’t imagine leaving when I’d finally gathered a great band together of top-caliber musicians. My kids were excelling in the French International School. I had gainful sideline employment and an awesome set-up with my ex-in-laws that enabled me to still do touring twice a year in long(ish) blocks. I also hadn’t sorted out my divorce yet…

The shortened version is: I got scared. After 10 years in China (at that time), I wasn’t ready to return to Canada–especially as a single mom who was still technically married. Starting over under those circumstances didn’t feel like any kind of emancipation to me.

I argued that I needed more time and throughout the next year kept telling myself that not knowing how to answer that question was the exact answer to that question. I simply didn’t know. I would know when I knew. I would wait for the sign.

Then my divorce finally got settled. I started my new album project with these stellar musicians who are all based in Beijing. I started a bi-annual European touring tradition. The kids’ grandparents didn’t abandon the foreign ex-wife of their son (as is expected in this traditional culture post divorce, since I “left” the family); they continued to offer childcare.  I felt like I started to live again.

Then the pandemic.

I’m now watching the economy teetering in the West.

I co-founded a business in China for the sake of greater freelance work as well as visa stability.

I’m about to release my album in a way that I’ve never done before: with a Chinese distributor and online media assistance.

In other words, the answer to that question is even farther from my grasp.

Maybe I should start asking my friends and family this question:

When are you moving to China?

~E

P.S. The above is a truly spontaneous moment on a Saturday moment (snapped by my friend) of me reading to my kids from their library books with my granny glasses nearly slipping off my nose.

Corona Update #4 (Months!) from Beijing

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