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Looking for IT By: Alyaa Majeed December 12th, 2017 Recorded For many of us, going through certain experience or feelings in a given stage of life is not something we can let go easily. They sometimes grow bigger and more vivid than the brain can manage. They could have the ability to steer us towards them when anything comes to remind us that we are still not done. It's not so bad to feel connected to the past or to simply bring sweet memories to cherish. However, sometimes it's a little more than that; they could feel like stored static that interfere with the present to hunt it and prevent us from enjoying what we have! They could just pop up every now and then as escape or as an unfinished business. The hardest part is when they grow inside ones mind like weeds between and around flowers, which makes it difficult to enjoy the smell of those beautiful roses without being interrupted by the sight of the weeds. Mine was connected to ancient China. China of " Border of the river" and the romance of Chin Chong and China. Ancient China was the shadow that kept trying to peek whenever there was a crack in my window. When a friend of mine offered me a ticket to China fully paid with its accommodations, I thought it must be destiny that came to give me the opportunity to find the answers that I was looking for all these years. It is probably meant to be so I can finally find the missing piece to my puzzle, and live in peace and harmony. I was too excited, too anxious and may be too curious to even bother to purchase a dictionary for the trip to refresh the language I thought was stored in my mind once.. Upon departing the airport, I could see that the streets were crowded; full of people, markets, vehicles, and everything you can imagine to see in a place like China! It did not look anything like the picture I had in mind. Everything was noisy and mobile. I took a deep breath and decided to give it a try. How about a supermarket, I thought! Things were not organized the way I am use to, so I decided to ask! Yes, that was it! I understood Chinese then, but not anymore! and English was not what the guy spoke! Well at least I remembered how to say chechea, or thank you to politely leave. The next store owner spoke English, yet did not have what I needed! I am already here I thought, let me just wonder around, enjoy the place, learn about the monuments, taste the food...simply try to integrate. After a day or two, I realized that no matter how hard I try to keep me busy or try to convince myself that there is a chance to communicate, or find what I was looking for, in reality, there is none. I speak English and the rest of this part of the world speak Chinese! So which component of the equation I still don't get? I should have refreshed my language , I thought! But is that really the only thing I am missing in order to communicate with others to find what I was looking for? Apparently we need more than just language to relate to others! We need common grounds, understanding, background, interests, otherwise it's just chatting or talking for the sake of talking with someone to pass the time, and is that what I wished for? Is that the Place I want to be at? Or the comfort I intended to have? While I was deep in my thoughts trying to figure out what I was looking for in this trip, a huge cart of ice cream got its way to bump into me so hard that all the freezing cold containers fell on me! The pain was so big that I fell on the ground and felt numb for a few minutes before looking around to see somebody smiling in concern and talking in a foreign language. I should have known better that I wouldn't be able to communicate or to find what I was looking for! That incident changed something tremendous inside me. It broke me to pieces in order to fix me the right way. It hits me hard that what I was looking for is not in China. What I am looking for is where I belong. I realized it takes more than a portrait, a movie, or an attractive character in a book to make things real, or to get the full picture. I realized that dreams and shadows could pass by us, could give us a temporary distraction, but they are never to give us the satisfaction and the warmth that we need or crave when we communicate. The roses are there, real with their beautiful look and amazing smell. Those flowers are for me to enjoy; they are alive and willing to give me all the peace, all the happiness, that this stage of our lives together is offering. I learned and I learned it the hard way that there might always be weeds around me, but it's up to me to weed the weed in order to live the roses