If you’re having trouble viewing the video, click here to watch The Summer Fashion Editing (7 months in Beijing) on Youtube.
The main content is in the video above, but as always, there’s some extra stuff to talk about.
Rearranging My Priorities
When I first set off on this little adventure, my intention was to learn the language as quickly as possible (I thought achieving conversational fluency in 6 months would be do-able) and then see what China, and specifically Beijing has to offer in terms of business opportunities and entrepreneurship.
I was working to a 12 month time frame: learn, explore and then get out (unless there’s a good reason t0 stay).
It’s fair to say that this hasn’t really gone to plan.
I’ve realized that language learning can’t be my core activity. It’s just not giving me the reward and fulfillment that I hoped it would and by making it the focus I was just making myself unhappy. Instead, I’m now doing some interesting work for a startup company called App Annie which is much more enjoyable.
This is now my core activity, and I’m much happier for it.
I still want to learn mandarin to a point where it’s an asset to me, but I’m going to make it a smaller part of my day to day life and just try and chip away at it over the long term rather than create expectations that I’ll be talking like a local after a few months. It it takes 3 or 5 years to get to this point, so be it. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be happier this way.