The Forgotten Backpack

Thoughts on the choices she made in her own life, translated…

Drew back the curtains, the full golden sunlight illuminated the entire room, the moistures in the air evaporated, the dusts all, vanished too.  This is a day, fitting for cleaning, I’d, found a nylon blue backpack that’s been forgotten for a long time from the forgotten corner of my closet, like, I’d, discovered, an old friend.  This was a most-often-used backpack from ten years ago, for someone who’d cleaned often, its existence may have been due to not willing to let it get thrown out, and, slowly, become, forgotten.

During the time when I’d used this backpack most often, it was when my son, Hong was about one or two.  I’d often taken him to the park close by our home, or to dine out at restaurants.  The backpack’s contents, were mostly, his.  Hong has a pale complexion, and big eyes, very bright looking, and, as we went out, there would be younger girls who’d asked me excitedly, “He’s so very cute, can I hold him?”, and, at that moment, or seeing the moment his face lit up, it was, the most beautiful moments during that period of our lives together.

 

But, most of the times, I’d always felt, there was that light, invisible drape that’s slowly, suffocating me.  Or maybe, I’d, felt, lonely?  During that period when there’s NO internet, the life of a full-time mother, without FB, to share my proudest moments with others of my son, when I felt pent up, I couldn’t reach out to my girlfriends on LINE.  Plus, the first few years of living with a huge family, of constantly getting negated, suppressing my own emotions too long, setting up my own nuclear family, the joys didn’t last long enough, I’d become, aloof, and cold, didn’t want to enlarge my social circles either.

I’d spent my days like this for about six months, once, I’d taken Hong to the shopping mall where I had worked before, I’d bumped into my former colleague, Huei-Ru, the two of us started up like old friends, and, as we were, going to classes for advertising, on the special occasions, we’d both, worked our overtimes together, and, as a small manager, I’d had endless meetings, endless proposals to write; and after work, I’d often, taken the info packets home, to continue working on them, and, as I recalled that, I can feel my shoulders growing heavier and heavier.

拉開窗簾,飽滿的金色陽光照亮整個房間,感覺空氣裡的溼氣被蒸發,塵埃灰溜溜地散去。...illustration from the papers online…

“I envy you, not working right now, just staying at home and take care of your son, I’d needed to pick up my child at the nanny’s”, she’d felt bad, and I, silent.  As mothers, in my mind, Huei-Ru, who still works hard in the workforce, looked so radiant, and I can’t help, but miss my self back then, such a contradictory feeling.  From before when I had to work, I’d, envied those who didn’t, how they were able to, just stroll with leisure at the malls, with their young children, they looked happy, and confident.  At that precise moment, I’d become, confused, and asked myself, “Isn’t this the kind of life you’d always wanted to live?  What, are you missing out on?”, I’d become, lost, in my thoughts.

Whether it be the working class with the fashionable accessories, or the practical bags that moms have for the children’s sakes; getting too busy that I wanted to scream, or too lonely that I can’t breathe, aren’t all of it, our own, choices?  In a few more years, when my son’s older, I may choose, to return to the workforce, what sort of trials, will I be, faced with then?  I don’t know yet, and, it didn’t matter, I will keep on going, with all the choices I’ll be making for myself.  But before then, why don’t I, just, relax, and live!  At least, give my son, a smiling mom.  Over a dozen years ago, that, was what that blue backpack had, told me.

Through the windows of memories, I’d looked backwards, that day, the sun is bright and shiny, just like today, the leaves, with the golden rays, swaying, in the wind, danced, with full confidence, underneath the blue skies.

So, this, is looking back at the choices in life you’d made, you’d, quit your job, to start a family, leaving behind the success, the achievements at work, and you’d felt, a bit, awful, about leaving all that glory behind, but, you’d, thought harder, and realized, that what you have right now, is not so bad, and, it’s your choice, and so, you felt, you needed to, take responsibilities for what you’d selected in your life, being a mom, to your young son, at least, for now!

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