Though I often never veered too far from the “logical next step,” I always saw myself as someone who stood out from the crowd. Maybe that was influenced by my towering height, starting in kindergarten!
In college, I majored in education because it would lead to a “good job.” I went the extra mile, adding another major, minor and certifications just to ensure that I would be particularly marketable. My priority has always been “the next accomplishment.” Yet as graduation drew near, I knew I wanted more. I was dying to have an adventure, my own adventure. I decided to go to China for a year.
While my friends had stable jobs and solid incomes lined up, I packed my one suitcase and traveled across the world. I didn’t know anyone. It was my first year teaching which ended up being more like an annual-long game of charades. I didn’t know the language. My mom feared I might meet my future husband and never come home.
That year resulted in my craziest experiences to date. Let’s take my diet that year which included: chicken feet, blood clot (apparently a “must-have” for teachers who might inhale chalk dust), monkey brain and rabbit head. Yes, I remember that day vividly when I thought I was sitting down to a nice, end-of-the-year picnic which included a bag of fried chicken. Yet to my dismay, I open the bag to find a bunch of rabbit heads. It was the year I tried breaking and entering for the first time when we were locked out of the girls’ junior high dorm we were all living in. Yes, for one year as a college grad, I lived on the same floor with a class of sixth grade girls. And I also learned that year that karaoke is illegal within a certain vicinity of universities. So I found myself hiding from the police while simply singing the Titanic theme song.
I had no idea what the future held but this was my first leap. Yet this was my adventure. I was a six foot blonde in China–my year as a celebrity.
Little did I realize, it was the beginning to my life as Shebraham…fifteen years ago.