The Random Writings of Rachel: Who We Are

Who We Are

I realize with this whole moving to Shen Zhen, China adventure that I've never really explained the "Why?" behind what we're doing with our lives. And I'm not really going to. You'll simply have to trust that we're not merely crazy--we decided in August 2013 that we were moving to Asia permanently, did what we had to do to make it happen, and come August 2014, we found ourselves here.

However, in the absence of the "Why?" I thought I'd try to give you a better picture of "Who?" we are. On this blog, I'm much more likely to write about random topics and give you just bits and pieces of story, but let me give you a fuller picture here.



(A few shots from our adventures around Zhu Hai this week)

I'm a 23 year old with a B.A. in Mandarin Chinese and a cosmetology license. I err on the side of being nerdy in the book-smarts way, not in the fandom way. I was a TCK, my parents are technically expats, and I am happiest with weather above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm passionate about words in general and language education in particular. I'm the kind of person who will wear wacky earrings and neon-colored tights just for the fun of it. I'm sometimes mistaken for being "fashionable," but I would never claim such a title--I prefer to be free to wear the clothes that I like best at all times. I  don't mind getting my picture taken and dance in public. I don't swear and I don't drink alcohol, and I'm terrified of policemen. I cry too often and I write about almost everything in life. I'm thrifty and I don't like spending money in general, but I believe in investing in other people and in experiences. I love planning parties and inviting people over to my house--hospitality is well within my comfort zone. I am that really annoying person who will paint every fingernail a different color because I can. I suck at every single sport ever invented and I can't sing or play any musical instruments. I'm a morning person, but I need my 7-8 hours of sleep so I usually go to bed fairly early.

He's Angel. A 30 year old bilingual R.N. who has specialized in burn care for most of his 5 years in the medical field. He's the kind of student who knows that a B is a perfectly acceptable passing grade and doesn't see the point in killing himself to get a perfect score. This burn R.N. has taken a pretty huge career change in order to embark on teaching English as a second language--thus far he loves the students and the fact that the shifts aren't 12 hours long. He's a former California surfer boy, the son of immigrants, who is happiest with the kind of weather where freezing to death is a very possible risk. He's the type of person who will steal your camera only to take 500 pictures with it during a 30 minute time period, and who will scare you to death with fake bats, spiders, and mice, but will also spend hours under your car trying to fix it. He likes nice shoes and large servings of food, and he'll eat just about anything. He's a speedy runner but he thinks soccer and basketball are more fun than running endless miles at a time.

We are not-particularly-newlyweds (going on 4 years, ya'll!) but we prefer to act like we are. I've been known to sit on his lap at family gatherings but no one seems to mind...everyone just calls us "the newlyweds," that's how we get away with everything. We met nearly 6 years ago on my very first day of college and became buddies who eventually decided to get married (it's true, "decided to get married" is a much more accurate description of our early days together than "fell in love." I only became comfortable with romanticish stuff post-marriage.). We're Christians and we believe every word of the Bible, and seek to have the way we live demonstrate what we believe at all times. Sometimes Angel's embarrassed of my awkwardness and sometimes I try to teach him social norms like, "Do not ask someone that you just met if they were breastfed as an infant. Also do not ask them how much chest hair they have." We're both competitive, but I know I can't beat him in any physical contest so I prefer to challenge him to games of the mind. We're both oldest siblings and between the two of us we have a total of 8 younger siblings, 1 sister-in-law and 1 nephew. On the whole, we're not actually very passionate about 'seeing the world'--we love 'home', we have simply struggled to identify where exactly 'home' is for us...though I already have an inkling that we're getting pretty close to it.

Now I'll open the floor to you all--whether you're a new reader or whether you've been around from the start, do you have any questions about us, our families, what happened to our giant pet bear, the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow, or our new home in China? Ask away, and perhaps I'll be able to do a question-and-answer post soon!

31 comments:

  1. You may have this somewhere... but how did yall meet?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really liked the last photo of you and Angel! I loved your description of yourselves! You and your husband are fascinating people!

    ReplyDelete
  3. How did you decide on which city to choose in China?

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was reading along think, "This is so sweet!" and loving getting to know the two of you more, and then I almost fell off my chair at the Monty Python reference. You are the best!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You're both wonderful and hope you two are having a blast in China! :) Why Asia is more my question? I know you're passionate about education so it's suiting - Does Angel miss being an R.N.? Have a great weekend Rachel + Angel! -Iva

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've been reading a while but it was good to get to know the "whole" story!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think your adventure is so cool! I think it would be amazing to experience a whole new culture and side of the world!
    www.amemoryofus.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love getting to know about you guys and about your story. I think it's so cool you are finding out where home is for both of you and going on this wonderful adventure together. I'm guessing that the bear outfit didn't fit in the luggage? I hope we see him sometime again:) Hope you have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm just so glad I found your blog (thanks Whitney at After Eleven!) as cheesy as it sounds, it helps even having an internet friend that's going through the same things as me. You rock! Loved this story!!
    And me... well, it's still being written, but I'm the crazy girl moving in 6 days!! Also, if y'all ever visit Shanghai, can we blate?? (how cool would that be?!?!)

    ReplyDelete
  10. How did Angel's family feel about both of your decision to live in China? I know your family is relatively close, but aren't his still in the US?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love seeing the bigger picture! I remember you saying you're in a hotel-type living situation now but I got the impression that was temporary... will you do a home tour when you get more settled? I love seeing what housing is like around the world!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love getting to know more about you guys! It's so much more fun to read blogs about people you feel you know. I hope you are having lots of fun with your move and I'm glad you are getting closer to 'home.' I've always been the type that fully believes that 'home is where the heart is.' So even if where I live is not my ideal city or my ideal climate, if I'm with my husband I can call it home. :) I hope you guys are settling in nicely!

    http://howtomakehome.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. i didnt realize you're so young! so much wisdom behind the way you write! is Angel's burn R.N. career still an option on the table? like, if he decides his heart is still in more than the teaching gig, would it be an option to get certified there? or has he whole-heartedly said goodbye to it?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looking forward to hearing more about China. My BIL travels there a few times every year for work and loves it. He is been going there since I think the late 80's. He is now so defensive about the country I don't think he gives us a realistic view. He is also nostalgic for what it was like when he first traveled there - before it became so modern. Would love to learn more about the Chinese women - there role in society, their definition of beauty anything you find interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is a fun post! Ok, I have a question: How on Earth did you guys both end up in Michigan (of all places) at the same time? It doesn't seem like the natural transition from California and Malaysia. Also, I would love to read more about school in China. Are the kids required to take English? What is their daily school schedule like? I'm looking forward to reading more about your adventures!

    ReplyDelete
  16. My question is purely based on curiosity alone ... how do you guys blend your western religion with the deeply-rooted, eastern traditions of your current home? I have a hard time weeding through the various Christian religions over here...I don't know what I would do if I were in a place that primarily followed a completely different structure altogether!

    ReplyDelete
  17. You are probably one of my most favorite couples in the world! Keep up with enjoying each other and your adventures. And thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Neat idea...I am curious (and if you've already shared & I missed it sorry) what made you and Angel decide to take this leap to China? I cannot imagine leaving everything I have known my whole life....

    ReplyDelete
  19. I agree with everyone else. It was great to get to read more about your story. I like details :) x

    ReplyDelete
  20. This was a great post!! It's too bad you moved to the other side of the world because I could totally see us getting along! I like the part where you say you're not going to explain "the why"-- good for you! You get to make your own decisions without justifying them to the world!
    And I love your little "newlywed" bit. My hubby and I were asked at the airport recently if we were on our honeymoon-- nope we've been married 2 and half years!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love the bigger picture you paint with this post!

    ReplyDelete
  22. aww, i started highlighting things that i resonated with "I cry too often and I write about almost everything in life", "We are not-particularly-newlyweds (going on 4 years, ya'll!) but we prefer to act like we are", and then i just stopped because it was all lovely - a gorgeous 'who we are' about two loving people that make this world a better place.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Here's what I want to know: what does one with information about the amount of chest hair someone has? Also, you may have blogged about this already, but I'm interested in why you decided to major in Chinese. Is that something you always wanted to do, or did you decide that while in college?

    ReplyDelete
  24. this could possibly be my favorite post of yours :) just when I think I know you, I learn more! so cool. You must know how much I enjoyed it because I promised myself I'd go pee before I started reading it and I'm about to burst because I waited...and I'm commenting which takes even longer....anyways, I like to kid about how much we DONT have in common but I'm learning as time goes by that we have a LOT in common. We'd be cool "real-life" friends, but for now....blog friends from the other side of the world will have to do. haha.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Now that I'm catching up here, I like you even more now! Thanks for "the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow" :D

    Love, the person who named her rabbits "Tim the Enchanter" and "Zoot."

    ReplyDelete
  26. So nice to know a little more about you & Angel!

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Aww, we're like that as far as the "newly wed" thing goes too! We've been married 6 years (together nearly 10) and we still prefer to act that way. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. y'all are precious!!! We still act like newlyweds too ;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Another thing we have in common! I was a cosmetologist turned teacher too! ::high five::

    ReplyDelete
  30. I just love this, Rachel :) You so remind me of another girl I know named Rachel :-p I love that you're in China and am excited to follow along. I have many friends with a passion for that country and I have gone to visit once...hope to make it back again someday. Look forward to reading about your adventures!

    ReplyDelete