Tales of Taiwan

Tales of Taiwan
Summer 2010. That's when I first moved to Taiwan. I came here to teach English for six months and I ended falling in love with this little island. That is why, after being home for a year, I had to move back.This time to dance. I can't wait to see what adventures lie in my path this time...

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Call to Adventure: The Refusal of the Return

"Having found bliss and enlightenment in the other world, the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world to bestow the boon onto his fellow man."

Campbell: "When the hero-quest has been accomplished, through penetration to the source, or through the grace of some male or female, human or animal, personification, the adventurer still must return with his life-transmuting trophy. The full round, the norm of the monomyth, requires that the hero shall now begin the labor of bringing the runes of wisdom, the Golden Fleece, or his sleeping princess, back into the kingdom of humanity, where the boon may redound to the renewing of the community, the nation, the planet or the ten thousand worlds. But the responsibility has been frequently refused. Even the Buddha, after his triumph, doubted whether the message of realization could be communicated, and saints are reported to have died while in the supernal ecstasy. Numerous indeed are the heroes fabled to have taken up residence forever in the blessed isle of the unaging Goddess of Immortal Being."

This is, indeed, a predicament I found myself in. As the date of my return home drew closer, I felt myself wishing it were further away. I have very much fell in love with this place. I also started to feel like maybe my journey here was not finished. I was, after all, just starting to really feel at home. I was making friends and forming bonds that it breaks my heart to have to sever. And it didn't help that one of my students parents was almost begging me to stay longer. I was truly feeling very torn up about it. It was seriously to the point where if I didn't have to go back to school, I would have considered extending another six months. I pondered this a lot. It felt a little like was abandoning Taiwan. My heart was torn in two, if you will. But I decided that I knew what I needed to do and I knew that I needed to commit to it. So I accepted the fact that I must return. I am excited to go back. I really am. I miss my family and my home and my friends. I miss people that speak really good English. I had to remind myself of these things. It is strange to say, but it really takes courage for the hero to return after their journey. I'm not saying that I have done anything whatsoever heroic. Or that I deserve the title Heroine. But everyone is entitled to be the hero of their own life right? I have undergone a transformation of sorts. Whether or not it will be perceivable to others is not important. I feel it in my life and I am grateful for it. Now it's time for the next step. I must stick to the motto I have chosen for my life. The motto first briefly introduced by a silly PIXAR film and then given true meaning after the passing of a dear friend. "Keep Moving Forward." I have worn this orange wrist band for over two years now and it has never failed me yet. It is strange to think that in order to move forward I must go back. I guess this is something that every hero must accept. It is the completion of the journey. I realize that I am just rambling now but I felt that as it is a real step in the official Hero's Journey, and as this blog is essentially dedicated to that, and as it is something that I personally felt the pangs of, that it needed to be set down. Since I have decided to move forward by going back, I have began to see how right it is. And I am ready for the next step in my journey.


  1. The Refusal is only a SMALL part of the Return. It's deeper than this. See Kal's 510+ stage Hero's Journey at http://www.clickok.co.uk/index4.html

  2. That is why it is such a small blog post ;)
    And thanks for the link! Thats a valuable source.

  3. Karyn,
    If you didn't feel torn by this then it would mean you didn't do all you could there. I am so so proud of you. You have conquered so much and taken your life philosophy to a new level. You have experienced your Taiwan adventure to the fullest. You haven't been afraid to extend yourself, try new things and open your heart to all around you. This is a great gift and could maybe be called the gift of grace. I am glad that you feel torn because it means you have truly let this be a part of you and it will be part of you forever. One of my greatest fears is that you would stay. I am glad you are coming home. We need you here too. I miss you terribly and can't wait to have you with us again. I know we will all benefit from your time there as I have benefited personally from you all of your life. Thank you for being the amazing girl you are and making my life better for having you in it. Wow I didn't mean to get so emotional but there it is. I love you.