Monday, September 29, 2003

Felicia came up this past weekend from Kaohsiung and I had the pleasure of her staying with me. Felicia is so thoughtful and perceptive, and she left me with two gems: sometimes a person's greatest strength is often their greatest weakness, and you can't be disappointed if you know a friend's weaknesses. Christine had a few gems of her own, too. What stuck with me was when she said I should be thankful for those times when people I thought were friends let me down, because then I learn, through no effort of my own, what they are capable of giving as a friend and how much they value the friendship.

I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many strong, smart, engaging, and thoughtful women here in Taiwan. This web of women has been a source of resilience. In Asia, I have learned to fully appreciate the value of my girlfriends--both those that are here and abroad.

Last weekend's edition of the Asian Wall Street Journal featured an article about how tough Asia can be for single western women. Among the challenges, of course, are that while career opportunities are often greater for women, socially, the opportunities are often lacking. Stan Sesser wrote, "single overseas-born Asian women living in Asia have their own set of experiences that in some cases may parallel those of single Western women and in other cases be totally different." The most hilarious line was woman who said, "Honey, Asia is single-man heaven and single-woman hell." Unlike the women profiled in the article, my life outside of work is not at all empty, and my girlfriends are in no small part responsible for that.

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