Not to be confused with upright conduct (高行), which is not the point.

高 兴, or gāoxīng (in Pinyin), is Chinese for “happy,” and my initials are A.J.  Voíla! I currently live in China and generally like to be happy, like most of humanity. I’ve been kitsching about this whole idea for awhile, but have been somewhat unhappy because I’ve been hiding my thoughts on my laptop.  For years.  I mean, I published some nice, cute posts about travel or paying down debt–things which occasionally hit high points–but for the most part, I haven’t said much worth sharing.

I grew up in a conservative, evangelical home, and after my parents divorced, I threw myself into the courtship, “I-Kissed-Dating-Goodbye,” purity-ring movement, much to my mother’s bewilderment.  As religious as she was, she maintained a kind of bemused and occasionally concerned attitude, once privately expressing worries that my lack of dating might indicate a latent lesbianism.  In reality, I was so “in love with Jesus” that I didn’t need a man…at least, not then.

This shit happened the same week as the strawberry-infused champagne by my username. I was in a celebratory mood 🙂

Soon after the apex of my religious fervor, I met a man who would change everything.  Then I traveled abroad and while I embraced a new kind of trendy sexuality that eschewed Puritan-esque tendencies for more of a “hedonism within marriage” kind of thing, a Christian marriage didn’t pan out and left me with more questions than answers. Nearing thirty, I have now fulfilled my dream of living abroad and consume books like some men (and women) consume porn.

I am finally figuring out where I stand on everything, and regardless of the consequence, I love the opportunity to do so–even when living in a Communist country. Life is good. I’ve had some pretty freaking awesome adventures, but kept a lid on them because my family is still quite conservative.  More than anything, I love and don’t want to injure my mother.  A lot of this is about her, really–the sweet, prayerful, naive and occasionally bitter woman who raised me.

I have a thing for new experiences, but when you’re raised in a conservative environment, they are more inconvenient than anything else.  So I’ll bide my time here for awhile, talking about my personal demons and joys, and maybe one day when I’m 80 and she’s on her death bed, I’ll say, “Hey, Mom, you know the time before we had flying cars?  Well, I did some real shit back then.”

In the meantime, please enjoy, give me crap where crap is due, and do whatever else you deem necessary to further the communication of people about important things.

Until later, Amy Jane

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