Looking Back to When I was 2 years old….now ending up in China

In china business, usa by Michael Michelini13 Comments

Inside the Chinese warehouse office, the past couple days there has been new road construction right outside….with trucks paving and construction workers taking breaks right outside the gates. I took a walk to get some fresh air from being in the office….in this blog you’ll see a quick snapshot I took with my mobile.

Taking that walk, getting that air….and reflecting on where I am, and where I was…..I thought back to my father. He worked for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) for his whole career, retiring a few years back. I remembered going to some of the various project sites he was involved with, and one specific one in East Hartford, Connecticut, where he put me up on the bulldozer to have my photo taken.

So thinking of this photo when I was walking today, I came back to the office and gave my dad a phone call. I asked him if he remembered these pictures and he quickly said he would dig them up with my mom in the photo albums from the family days and scan it for me.

Getting that email and opening the photos today….it kind of brought a tear to my eye…..

I so clearly remember that day, how happy I was to be boosted up onto this “monster truck” (I loved monster trucks when I was a kid)…..I felt like I was on top of the world! Anything was possible…..I remember being encouraged to think like an engineer….to go on site surveys with my dad and “uncle” Mel (not really uncle, but an awesome guy and one of my dad’s best friends). Also waking up early to see the hot air balloons.

this was 1982. I was 2 years old. I didn’t want to have anything get in my way….I would drive that bulldozer my whole life, barreling through whatever got in my way…..me against the world.

And now….this tear came to my eye today….my heart sinks, or skips a beat as I look at these photos…..I’m so far from home….so alone…..in inner China….factory city of Dongguan.
But this is where the CONSTRUCTION IS. I was in USA just a few months ago…and man, I hit pretty much every corner of the country….New York, New England, Florida, California…..Virginia / Maryland……It was exhausting….but I saw what I saw in USA…..and while at first arriving in New York, thinking I would stay permanently again, that New York was still the center of the world……but maybe I was just overly excited…maybe I was just looking for a reason to stay with my friends and family back home……I am told its common to expats in Asia to have this feeling after not being home for so long.

I have to keep up my “fight”, my pursuit to bulldoze where there is opportunity to bulldoze. There may be some small bulldozing projects in America right now,….but major construction is here in China, for the foreseeable future.

But yes…it has been quite an emotional rollercoaster, I should know its not going to be easy and normal ride, but this morning I definitely struck a cord.

I’m up for the adventure…..Go big….or………..go home. And going home is no longer an option for me. I have something to prove.

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  1. wow wow
    story of storys
    keep it up
    road project in china
    looks good

  2. Mike, I was so glad to read this post. Happy that you keep the wonderful memories of your childhood alive and that you reflect on them as you contemplate your place in the world. That is how humble giants are made.

    I enjoy reading your posts. Please know that you have the support of lots of people back here at home who all wish you the best for the new year and with your mission across the globe.

    You’ll know when you have achieved the proof you seek.

    1. Author

      Thanks Steve,
      Again, the internet and social media has allowed us to connect from so far away…its still mindblowing to me that I’m on the other side of the earth typing this reply to you…..it just allows information to be exponentially shared and leveraged by all…..

      But yes…I am on a mission….and trying to bridge China and USA ecommerce/ internet……its awesome

  3. Mike- 1982 huh? Don’t want to tell you how old I was then…. I really enjoyed this post. Reflection is one of the most powerful things that we can do-sometimes it helps inspire us and sometimes warn us. I am glad you made a memory by building on top of a childhood one. Now the 2 will always be linked.
    Keep on moving forward- you have lots of support around the world.

    1. Author

      haha I know Nornie!!!! I was a little punk then, and still am a punk now……

      I love reflection….many people sometimes tell me its a waste of time, but it helps us learn from the past, understand ourselves better, and move forward more confidently.

  4. Mike, definitely you are homesick at the special season as Chinese saying goes “每逢佳节倍思亲”. But lucky, you are not really alone, you have so many people back home and friends around to support you. Good luck in the new year.

    1. Author

      thanks for posting that comment Katherine. I know we chatted on MSN about it earlier and I requested you share it here…..its just amazing how people are so positive…its about surrounding yourself with positive people.

  5. Hey Mike, Good post. Funny I was looking back at old pictures yesterday and reorganizing my pictures a bit. It was interesting to see the old photos of me getting baptized and sitting in a chair with my sister and cousin. I grew up same time as you but back in poland we didnt own a camera so all of our photos were taken at a studio, and everyone was dressed up and stuff. fun to look back. Now I have a camera and a camera on my phone and I hope I take at least some memorable good photos for me and my family to enjoy for years to come.
    Right now you Mikey are taking some very very interesting photos. You will look back at them one day and similar memories will come back – and I hope they will be enjoyable and will bring a tear in your eye too.
    You have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself. Everyone walks this thing called life, everyone lives, everyone learns. We all find our own path. Feel free to walk yours – with no pressure from anyone else – whatever that path may be.

    1. Author

      Thanks Piotr…..I feel the love. Sure life is what we make it, and we have to live for ourselves…..but for some reason I am still concerned about how I will be viewed by others….I know taht is a weakness….but its how I am.

      I can’t wait till the photos I take today are the memories of tomorrow……

      how is the newest addition to your family coming along???? so happy for you brotha.

  6. It’s so sweet that your dad quickly said he would find you the photos. =] It always feels good yet complicated to recall memories and feelings. And then you get to become more sentimental…I’m glad that we’ve had those days and experience to recall… You’re not alone. USA is with you. Your dad is with you. It’s just another journey to another story =] Have a very happy CNY, Mike!

    1. Author

      Thanks Emily, happy Chinese new years to you too.

      I think these memories are what life is all about….hope (wish) everyone could have these memories, but from my travels seeems many are not as fortunate

  7. Cute pictures…i was wondering if it’s ok to take some pictures in wedding dress on excavators…
    I dun have too many pictures in my family photo albums…i remember that my mum told me once..when i was 1.5years old,my father took me to take photos in photostudio,everyone there thought i was a babyboy…and later when my Dad went to get the photo back…on the back of the photo,it’s written “DAD AND SON”…gee…>.<

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