That’s all it takes ( )

So, what punctuation would you put in the parenthesis?

(Question Mark) That’s all it takes?

Yup. That’s what I said to myself when I landed in Hong Kong in July.

It wasn’t my plan to move back to China. Seriously. I was going to find a job, obtain H-1b sponsorship, get my paycheck and earn some dollars. Well, none of these happened. So I moved back to China. It was a very difficult decision. With so much to take care of between the decision being made and departure date. When I landed, I literally asked myself, “that’s all it takes?”

Yup. That was all it took. I packed up. Three suitcases, full of everything I was living on.

The decision was so difficult mainly because I had a feeling that I failed. And, this feeling was a very frustrating disappointment that was also emotional. Even it’s been a few months, I find it stressful to bring this up again. This decision meant a lot of changes. I will be in a distant relationship for the next however long period. I won’t be seeing my friends in Chicago area. I will be so far away from my best friend in South Carolina. These changes seemed so unbearable. As I set my foot onto the Hong Kong International Airport, I told myself, “that’s it! There’s no way back.”

That was all it took. It took me a 14-hour flight from Chicago to Hong Kong.


Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva, Switzerland in September, 2014

(Period) That’s all it takes.

My scalp is quite flaky from time to time. Sometimes it’s so bad that my hairline is affected. It started last winter. I thought the dry and cold climate in Chicago or the shampoo was the cause. It stopped for two months this summer until I had a 100F-fever for three days. Everything was back after then. It was so flaky that it seemed I didn’t wash my hair properly for a week.

I went to the doctor, who told me that it’s psoriasis. It’s related to my immune more than the climate or the shampoo that currently sits in my shower. Oh, and it could relate to stress. Great. I get stressed easily. When stress hits me, I don’t sleep well, which may weaken my immune system. Did I tell you that psoriasis has no cure? The only cure is to rest well, eat well and eliminate stress from life. (How is this possible?)

With some stress from the current job, psoriasis is back on my scalp! It’s super irritating. And stress is all it takes. No wonder there are stress-relieving classes out there because stress can really be the real killer! No kidding.

(Exclamatory mark) That’s all it takes! 

I was looking for jobs in bigger firms earlier. Once I got an invitation to take a test, prior to being selected to the next interview round.

I was actually honored and went all the way to Guangzhou’s University Park, almost 90 minutes by subway from home. The test was a written test. There were around 200 participants, mostly students. Each was given three pages of blank paper to write on.

There were essay questions. One of them was, “If Einstein got to live in the 21st century, what would he be most surprised about?” Well, that’s all it takes!

The three pages were full when I turned them in. I hadn’t written so much Chinese within limited time since 2008. It was like a Chinese test. When I got out of the test room, “That’s all it takes!” I just felt like a Hulk after I finished the written test.

Oh well, they never called me back.


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