This is What You’d Say to a 25-Year-Old kid When You Have Figured Much Out In Your Life

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Are there people around you who behave in a way, like as if they have already figured everything out?

Your parents were used to be like that in your head. Maybe. Until one day you realise that they are far from super smart and wise than you thought. Or some older and more sophisticated friends. They are usually those who you look up to, who seem like having peaceful and balanced lives, and always give you good advice to deal with stuff in a “grownup” way, since you are the little kid who gets lost easily.

Like my friend, Nile.

Nile is about my parents’ age. But since we both like to talk about everything in the world, we became friends very naturally. Happily married with two children, he’s sportive, healthy, good with people, and has an open mind to the world. Preciously, he also has a very critical mind. I’m still suffering from my quarter-life crisis. For me, he seems to be one of those people who already have answers to everything in life.

One day, I turned to him with my career choice problem.

“Nile, I’m stuck now… I’m supposed to apply for a well-paid company job… it’s good for my CV. But I don’t know if I really want that in my life right now. I’m still young, fresh-grad from university. I need to travel and experience the outside world more, before everything else drags me back. Thinking about all this is definitely not good for my job-search. I’m just not motivated anymore…”

“When I was young, like you, I got a permanent position offer at a huge multinational corporate. But I turned it down. The reason was that I also got a chance to teach English in Norway for a year. It was perfect. Because it was a foreign land for me and it’s also temporary. I felt that one-year delay from the “grown-up” working life would be exactly what I needed at that stage of my life. Then when I was in Norway, I got to meet my wife… I had no idea what was gonna happen, just felt at that moment that it was right, without thinking much about what was going to come next. It obviously turned out great for me.

“I’m not telling you what to do. I can’t. I can only say for my own life and not for yours. I’m just telling you, that it is useless to think too much about the possibilities in the future. We cannot calculate every step we take and always precisely land at the destination on which we set our eyes in the past. Living a life is not like playing chess. It’s much more complicated and without the ultimate result of winning or losing.”

Indeed. How can we even start predicting our own future? Great prophets in the world history were either spoken to by God, or the greatest scholars. But they never predicted any individual’s future. Even fortune-tellers do not tell your fortune by calculation.

Planning is such a “grownup” thing. Kids never plan. But “making a plan” is almost the first thing we learn from our parents in order to “grow up”. Because we can feel naturally, so the only thing we learn is to think. “Thinking ahead” is planning. It’s good for us, most of the time. But when it’s crucial to feel first, we should try to delay the thinking mode. Feeling gives the general direction, planning (calculation) is in charge of the specific steps in that direction.

“Find the balance. Balance is always the key.” Nile said.

 

 

 

30 Days Writing Challenge – Day 10

 

Meditation Can Make Me Forget to Write a Title

This morning, I woke up, feeling stressed, dreadful, and distracted. It’s not what anybody wants — in a morning when it’s sunny, birds chirping outside of your window… Good start of the day — it shouldn’t be so hard.

“If now I’m going back to sleep, I will have nothing else but nightmare.” I thought. So I decided to do a meditation session with an audio guide from “I am here“.

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I woke up feeling so much lighter.

The problems didn’t disappear. They are still there. But after the meditation, they seems to be “beside me” instead of “inside my head”, as how I felt before.

The world hasn’t change. I have.

I still have obstacles blocking my way, but at least I’m not carrying them on my shoulder anymore.

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Job searching leading nowhere is one of my problems.

“It’s not that bad.” I’ve learnt to say to myself quite often lately. Job searching is never easy, not to mention if you are looking for a job that requires proficiency of a language which is not your native tongue. It barely matters how good your language skills are.

But I won’t let myself accept a job that I’m not really interested in. Just to avoid wasting my time. Whether every day, every hour is enjoyable, is the key to my life choices — at least it should be. Using my summer to spend with family and to go on vacations, while searching for jobs in media and communication related field, is the right choice comparing to spending the whole summer in front of the computer screen, worrying whether I could get enough money for the month.

Be true. This is my challenge, also the solution of some problems.

Afraid of loosing something can be a sign of its importance, but it can also mean that I’ve been trapped in the dark void of possessiveness. Wanting more, keeping more. They are beautiful things, useful books. But my luggage only becomes heavier and heavier. Possessing more and more things grands me psychological satisfaction, but it makes me unhappy.

Be true to others. Because, it’s not just about being honest with the others so that it’s “the right thing” to do. Being true to others also allow your life to be easier. Being true to yourself results in saving your own time and energy to persuade yourself into doing something that you will possibly regret.

 

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What is making you, in this moment, happy? Like Milan Kundera’s Kalinin —

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”

What’s considered “boring”, such as repetition of certain things, is peace. Excitement cannot last. Inner peace and gratitude can.

Humans have brains that make us complicated: we think of the past and the future, we imagine the best and the worst. Dogs are simple. Emotions can go up and down. But they can be more focused than humans. The ones that can focus as well as dogs are human babies. Their mind is like sky. Sunny, rainy, cloudy, windy — everything is possible. But when the clouds float away, there is the clear sky again.

We are too used to our complexity as a marvelous gift from god. Yet burdening it with too much from the outside world is diminishing its functionality. Now it’s time to combine it with our instinctive ability to focus. Getting lost in the chaotic world? — This is why meditation helps.

 

 

30 Days Writing Challenge – Day 9

 

 

雪山中

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恐惧是可怕的。

但是迷惑更是。

已经很久没有勇敢面对过自己的真心。原来,自己成为这样的人也是有根源的。

因为我的父母从来没有勇气对我表达足以致痛的实情。

为了逃避自己的难过,以及想要面对可能残酷现实的好奇心,我来到瑞士的雪山之中。

身在雪山之巅,俯瞰周边绿绿的树林与村落,我想的却一直是,我该带我的家人好好来这里看一看。

我要努力,要让他们来欧洲好好看看。这个世界有多大,这里有多美。

而回去,就是要面对一定会来的事实。而我,却是如此胆小。我的怯懦,则都是从我的家庭教育中得来的。以爱的名义(也是因为真的爱吧)欺瞒着别人。其实也都是非常自私的表现。

逃避的确是我最擅长的了。可是不管怎样选择逃避,这件事是没有时间让我逃避的。

在这里还有两天。我会好好告诉我的家人,我去了那里,和谁在一起。但是我也要一个真相。这么久了,这么多痛苦,怀疑,回忆和眼泪。我也算值得了一个真相。不论那是一颗可以放下的心,或者是一场即将到来的恶战。他们应该相信我。他们不该总是想保护我,就将我与险恶的现实尝试着隔离。这样的结果不过是让我更加难过,更加痛苦而已。

好与坏,总是要面对。尤其是和别人有关的。欺瞒,就不是对的爱的方式吧。爱是保护,但也应该是相信。爱应该是,为了爱对方,而更加好好爱自己。有心享受爱的愉悦,也要知道我们都要承受爱的责任与随之而来的严肃与不可逃避的痛苦。爱是尊重。

不要怕。一切都还不晚。

 

30 Days Writing Challenge – Day 7

 

The Best Time is (if) Now

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My interview yesterday was, without any exaggeration, a disaster.

I’m not usually bad at interviews. In fact, I always give better impression and build connection with the people in a face-to-face situation. Being invited to an interview is already a step forward towards getting the job. I know. I was grateful for the opportunity. Yet, when I started to open my mouth talking to the three people sitting in front of me, looking nice but also sceptical, I realized, how unprepared I was.

All these years, what I’ve become is a person who believes herself to be someone that she’s not. Overestimating myself led me to underestimating the real world around me. The ”self” that I thought I was building in the past three years was nothing more than an hallucinating image of a strong, intelligent, and  out of the day-to-day self storytelling and a group of loving but sometimes misleading friends.  I finally got to know, yesterday at the interview, whilst I was talking — how unlogic I sounded, how unorganised my arguments were, and the self-doubt that I reflected from my unstable voice, clearer and clearer.

I failed myself. That’s the only idea I had when I walked out from that building after the horrific 45 minutes. I spent the whole day sitting in front of my computer, wondering what has gone wrong for the past three years.

I miss my years in the kindergarten. Focusing only on the present has made me fulfilled all the time — the emotions to the fullest — happy or sad. But the emotions were intensive but, very short. Like everything else, everything passes. I had dreams about ”when I grow up”. Because mother always talked about it: ”you can only do this, when you become a grown-up.” I did look forward to it, and tried to imagine how that’s going to be like. But my focus quickly changed back to the now and present. Never regretted, because I never looked back. I never needed to.

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I miss the time when I was in elementary school. Everything was so easy. I received so much praise for a little effort. An artecraft made of wool threads and a pencil, a dance show which I was the lead dancer as well as the director and choreographer… I could do anything and achieve anything, if I wanted. As far as the things I could influence by myself concerned, nothing was hard. All the classes, sport, dancing… I was always in charge, for myself. I decided what I liked and disliked. Having nothing to fear, I had faith in what I was capable of.

I miss the time when I was in my Bachelor’s in China. Getting up at 6:30 everyday, spending the whole day in the library reading and writing, going running 10,000 meters at 21:00, going back to my dorm, eating a yogurt, watching an episode of Fringe, and going to sleep — I was fighting for a goal, the most important but also upcoming goal. I wanted to escape from where I was. I didn’t belong there. I focused. I was fearless. For me, there was no plan B. For me, it wasn’t the best time, but that was the best version of me.

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Unlike the present I’m living in right now.

So what is the best time of my life? The best. I mean, for myself, not for some social standard created by others. When I doing nothing else but focusing on the present moment, and taking charge for that moment, and seeing myself as how I really am (merits and flaws), having a goal that I really, really, really want to achieve, and everyday doing something that leads the way to it — if these are not going to make me feel ok again, I don’t know what will.

So, I am living in my best time, if I decide to do all the mentioned things, now.

 

Taking steps is easy
Standing still is hard.

— Regina Spektor ”You’ve Got Time”

30 Days Writing Challenge – Day 3 (5 Days between day 2 and day 3 … the plan broke down again. But I will still do it. Let’s see how long time it’s going to take me finish this ”30” days writing challenge)

我在德国体验议会选举

德国议会选举这一天是2017年的九月二十四号。我所在的德国西南部小城这一早天气晴朗,正是秋高气爽的好时候。一帮德国朋友拉着我早早出门去投票站。将近一个月与别人讨论和自己的思想斗争终于要迎来一个结果。大家都兴奋不已。

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今年德国大选得到的关注度甚至比往年更要高。继英国脱欧公投,法国大选之后,德国此次议会选举被称为“欧洲面临右翼民粹主义最新的一次考验”以及“欧盟抵抗右翼民粹的最后一道阻力”。想当初法国大选马克隆对阵勒彭,无数德国人的心悬在嗓子口。然而法国选民最终没有全部倒向右翼民族主义的国民阵线让我周围的德国人都松了口气。回看相比周边国家更加稳定的德国政坛,对于老牌多数政党联合党和社会民主党来说,今年的大选形式却不被看好。

Continue reading “我在德国体验议会选举”

Give and Take

Translation of the Chinese character “福” (fu, 2)is very tricky (just like all other translations). It means, blessing, lucky and happiness — what is given by the “heaven” or a “god.”

But these days I saw some post online (probably I should not have taken it so seriously, and according to some scholars, if they are online, and not sorted into some professional journals, they are unserious and useless), that the original version of this character, traced back to thousands of years ago (here left out another thousand words describing the process of dating back into history), means literally “having wine in both hands (a sign for respect) and giving to god.”

Somebody would ask, so what’s so special about this?

You probably have noticed, the current/derived meaning of this character simply means “asking for something from god/the Heaven”; while the original/ancient meaning of it is “to giving things to god with respect.”

So there’s a transition of meanings of one character, what’s the big deal?

I would suppose, the character conveys a philosophy that, the devotion of sincerely and devoutly giving and serving god, in turn, you would be repaid and granted blessing, and luck, in whatever you wish for.

It is only the greed and blindness of later people that diminished the original philosophy that buried deeply inside the one of the most common characters in Chinese language.

Focusing on giving, not on asking for.

Gaining comes when it is supposed to come aside.

Focus: Project “ME”

These days I started watching my all-time childhood-favorite tv series “Lizzie McQuire” again. I was surprised how much Lizzie and Miranda care about how the other kids looking at them. They call it “social status.” If the others like them, they are popular kids; if not, they are doomed to be the “joke.” But to Gordo, it doesn’t matter how the others think of him. It is obvious that the producer wants to portray the previous as the symbol of “immaturity”, the latter as the opposite. We are always told not to care about how the others think of us. But as to a social animal, how is that even possible?

Popular kids like to be popular, normal kids want to be popular–they hate them and love them at the same time. But there are also other kids, like Gordo, who cannot care less about making as more friends as possible, nor making others like them. Instead, they focus on themselves. They care about what is worthy to care about. That means– less pressure, more pleasure.

Who do you want to be?

Maybe real popular people do not try so hard to be popular. They just be themselves and that is already good enough to attract admiration. Money and fame come as side effects. Remember that. Care less about how the other people think about yourself. This can make life really easier. More efficient, since you focus on what is important; but also easier, since you don’t have to care about random people who give you a bad rating at how you moved your hands while talking.

Therefore, a call for a years-long project called “ME” is in order.

Calls for focusing: 1. Focusing on my own studies and works. Ignore the distractions, eg. The opinion of the others, other useless but annoying noises. Remember: good friends, one or two are already enough. Someone you can have a beer with when you really need, someone you can share your mind with. To others, be nice and friendly. Be really creditable and trustworthy. You don’t have to offer your life to them, but they will be willing to help when you need them.

2. Focusing on my health–mentally and physically. Do sports. It’s good for both. Sweating is one of the most efficient way to make oneself happier. Good mood gives you a beautiful smile. If you smile, both you and someone who watches you feel better about the world. So why not? 🙂

3. Focusing on the people who worth your love. Nothing works better than that to make life valuable. Life is so short. It shouldn’t be wasted on someone who does not deserve what you offer. Love your family, love your soulmate(s). Be selfless in front of them. Don’t keep score when it comes to love. You have to know that, at the very end of your life, they are the people who will be there and cry for your departure, but being grateful that you have ever lived in their lives.

4. Focusing on the beauties. Wait, not the pretty chicks… The nature – – the woods, the river, the sea… Go there, listen to the words of nature. Love animals. Pet dogs and cats. Enjoy the simplified version of being intimate with someone. And be simply happy. The beers, apple juice, cakes, chocolate, tea, gourmet food… Life is wonderful because of the flavor you have in your mouth and the feeling in your stomach…stop stuffing yourself with junk food and poisons which you don’t know what they are (just taste not bad). A wonderful day can starts with a cup of decent coffee, a lovely red apple, and two cute eggs.

Herewith I call for full-scale supervision of the execution of Project “ME,” from all my beloved friends and families. Misconducts of project execution shall be firstly warned with vocal condemnation; if the vocal warning fails, a punishment of “Sankalusica” is in order. Vocal condemnation and “Sankalusica” can be executed when the responsible party of the project fail to execute any one or more of the listed clauses. The highest punishment (the “Degumisla”) will be executed, only if, when necessary, the executor of the project fail to perform any three of the four clauses, and already be warned/punished by the previous two methods with an unsuccessful outcome.

“ME” is important. Don’t you think?

Be simply happy. Please. It’s your life and it’s all for your own sake.

Notes:

Sankalusica: a pillow heats in the face, three times.

Degumisla: 6*0.5l white wine scholar, which is compulsory to be executed within 30 min.

Never-Stopped Change in Life, Evil?

Life sucks? Sure, sometimes it does. Or for some people, most of the times. I don’t know if it is true that there are these places, where being poor is not a fatal threat. What I do know is, lack of money is ruthless bitch, in every society I lived/am living in. Self-instability and financial dependence on parents, who are also in the same crisis, is shameful.
Earn a livelihood? Never thought this would hit me so hard like it did today.
Why do people has to live in this way? Why can’t they just be like birds? why do they have to love, have to cry? it’s already spring, but it is still so cold? What happened to the regular four seasons? No snow in winter, no warmth in spring.

天鹅,虽然美丽,但却冷漠,愚蠢,甚至暴力。他们聚集在一起,却仍独自等待食物被抛到她们嘴中。几只鸭子夹在天鹅群里,跟他们争抢食物。天鹅们互相用嘴钳着对方,驱赶着对方。灰鸽子在争抢撒在岸上的面包屑。海鸥也加入了。what does it cost to make them behave so stupid like this? it is the ultimate aim of survival. maybe being stupid or not matter to them at all. only one thing matters and one thing only.bei der Alster 1

Game on. No backsies.

The biggest challenge is always the greatest fear.

I always tell myself I enjoy being on the road. Showing bravery to the others is no doubt a way to calm myself. When fear overwhelms, to escape is the only thing that pops into one’s head. It is a time when people crawl back into their comfort zone. Well, most of them. But some would not. Giving up is easy, keeping faith is hard. Uncertainty of not acquiring something you really want is terrifying, but you should better remember “a dream realised is no longer a dream. Happiness possessed is no longer happiness pursued.”

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就算是残酷又如何?高傲又如何?人类不喜欢又怎样?天鹅还是天鹅,海鸥仍是海鸥。生存第一,没有第二。这就是自然,这才是人类的本能。

曾经考虑过植物人与植物的区别。植物人到底有没有意识的存在,这一点还是不清楚。但是他们没有基本的生存意识,只是新陈代谢还在进行。人们把他们叫做“植物人”是因为他们不动,就像植物一样。但是却忽略了植物却是有很强的生存意识的。这并不只是一般意义上的“意识”,亦或是“思想”的定义。而是一种向往生存的极度追求,这是自然界中一切生命的终极目标。

现实很残酷,也很矛盾。《小公主》告诉人们在没有物质生活或者物质生活极度匮乏的时候还是要保持精神的崇高,而现实主义教诲人们,生存第一是一切的法则,最基本的法则。所以一切为了生存做出的事情都是可以被原谅的,可以被理解的。很多人说,若是想要成功,就不要去看别人的眼光,不要在乎自己在别人眼中的形象;也有人说,不要让别人失望,如果这对你很重要的话。有的时候真的想要放弃思考这件事情。因为翻来覆去都是没有结果的争执。谁都有谁的道理,谁都有谁的难处。不同的环境和情况之下,同样的事情发生了会有完全不同的结果。这不仅仅是当事人的意识形态决定的。这不是任何一个独立因素决定的。世界多复杂,人性多复杂。

失望是有的。甚至绝望也有。但是还是放不下思考这件事。困难是有的,挑战是看待困难的另一个角度。在我的路上,我只能这样坚持。没有别的选择。所以,生活的变化就是最大的惊喜与挑战的合体。享受吧!