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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It’s Not a Matter of “One of Two”

It’s NOT ANYBODY else’s decision BUT her own, so, WHY won’t the family members, just let HER decide for herself, W-H-O she is to marry??? A Q&A, translated…

Q: Her Rich Ex and Her Current Boyfriend Who’s Poor, I’m Against My Older Marrying Either One of Them…I’d received a letter from M, who’s worried about who her older sister is dating. M is from a nuclear family of four members, and since her older sister was younger, she’d been excellent, and naturally, their parents worried about her making friends and dating. M stated, that her older sister had gone out with two boyfriend the first one was from a background of doctors and physicians, but, the guy’s family looked down on her older sister who was working on her graduate studies, and the guy didn’t treat her older sister right. They’d dated for a couple of years, after her older sister who’d gotten her graduate degree decided to test for a public position, the man broke up with her, and yet, after her older sister managed to pass the public services exams, he’d wanted her back again.

And now her sister’s boyfriend is a public office worker, not from a really well-to-do family background, his younger sister is mildly retarded, and, the entire household economics all landed on him solely; and, worrying about issues such as genetics, M’s parents were totally against her older sister and him together, and they’d wanted her to go back and marry her ex-boyfriend.

And because of their parents’ being against it, M’s older sister hadn’t gone home in six months, and, the parents had, banned M from contacting her sister too. Her mother wanted her older sister to marry her ex, and her older sister only wants to marry her current boyfriend, as for M, she didn’t want her sister to marry her ex OR her current, what, should she do?

A My Advice

Who, does the older sister marry, it’s not longer a problem of one of two anymore, as the ex already struck out, there’s only M’s mother, who’s still, daydreaming. Did you notice, your older sister’s ex-boyfriend’s family believed, that they’re, higher than your family, and, your family felt, that her current boyfriend’s family was, LOWER than yours; you’d based your views on the boyfriends on external factors, wouldn’t this be, too narrowminded?

I strongly advise, that you STAY out of it, instead, you should, help your mother and older sister communicate better, to have her bring her current boyfriend over more, to see, if they’re suited to marry; if so, do have your mother let go, if not, ask your sister to think things over more. Aren’t all parents want what’s best for their young? Do take a step backward each, and, think on each other’s behalf more.

So, this, is how it goes, the family, after the older sister DUMPED her rich ex-boyfriend and started dating her current, less-well-to-do boyfriend, they now have a basis for comparison, and naturally, this current boyfriend doesn’t look like much, compared to the ex, but, because of how the man’s from a family of various situations, the parents worried about genetics, which is, still WAY too soon to be thinking about right now, they’re JUST dating, nothing’s happened yet, and, it’s still NOT up to her parents, OR M, to decide WHO her sister will marry, after all, it’s HER life, she should have the SAY in W-H-O she’ll marry!

He’d Studied Hard at the Crams Schools for a Year, and Received the Entrance Notice to the Forestry Major

On going after his own dreams in life, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

Chang, who graduated from Chiayi High School last year scored at the 63rd percentile o his exam, he’d not felt satisfied at his own test scores, he’d bucked down at the cram schools, studied hard, this year, he’d scored in the 69th percentile, and, was accepted to N.T.U.s Forestry Department, and with the backup majors of Geology and Agricultural-Chemistry majors.

He’d done well enough, he could originally be accepted into the information processing majors at Chinghwa and Transportation Universities, but, he’d been very interested in geology, and, whenever there had been an earthquake, he’d follow the activities online, plus, his parents took him out to the forest parks to visit, and, that made him set up his mind in going to the majors related to his own interests; he’d decided, to follow what interested him, that if he’d not gotten into the geology majors, then, he will go for the studies in the forestry majors instead.

The department head of the forestry major at N.T.U., Yuan pointed out, that there were only five subjects that the major looked at, and was, considered, as lowered bar, because they’d wanted to get the students who ARE interested in the forestry majors to study, and that the major didn’t focus that much on the grades, and the lowest grade would fluctuate and be different by the year, the major had once accepted a student with a perfect score too. Other than the grades made on the entrance exams, the department head also placed more emphasis on the interviews, she said, “through the interviewing with each and every student, that way, we can get to know, IF the students are really, interested in the forests.”

And so, this young man, he’d chased his own dreams, set up goals, and worked toward his goals, and, because of his hard work, he’d finally, gotten into the major of his own interests, and, the department head of the major also examines the students’ interest profiles, their goals of majoring in forestry, to know, that whether or not the student and the major would be a good fit.

What Do We Choose, in the Multiple Choice of Life

Translated…

I’d read, a little while ago, on some report, that Asians loved to do tests on themselves, whether it be personality tests, or an assortment of quizzes.  I guess, it probably has to do with how our lives revolved around those multiple choice test questions since we were younger, and so, whenever we’d bumped into a multiple choice question, and, we’d naturally get into the mode, of trying to find the right answers.

Here, I’ll give you all a multiple choice question too:

One day, you wake up from your sleep, found that the drawers of your desk were opened, you thought, that there was a burglar, you’d tiptoed into the kitchens, to grab a “weapon” to defend yourselves, worried, that the burglar was still inside your residence.  Then, all of a sudden came coughing from behind you, and you heard your names.  You screamed, you were scared out of your pants, was ready to call out for help, but, the voice told you to wait, you’d turned around, and found, that it was, a robot, like Doraemon.  He said, “because your next generations wanted to help you through a robot, that, is why I’m here.  As this is our first encounter, I shall give you a present, choose from the following:

  • A toy made from wood that can fly without propellers or any other mechanics.
  • A Time Machine, that allows you to travel back to any certain period in time, and in the way, that you don’t change any part of known history.
  • A Door that can take you anywhere on Earth, you don’t need to book a flight, and you’ll be able to go to any place on earth.

You can choose immediately using your instincts, or, you can ponder about your own value systems, after you’d made your decisions, there is NO traps behind this test, there’s no answers either, but, there are, hidden motives and meanings behind each of the choices.

Those who chose the toy made from wood that can fly are independent adventurists, who hoped, to slow down their paces, so they can, observe the world around; those who chose the time machine, may be dissatisfied with life currently, wanted to escape from one’s current environment, so they can have breakthroughs in life.  Lastly, those who chose the door to anyplace on earth, may just be wanting to save money on the airfare for the travels.

Back to before you were given the options, did you seriously think about where you’re going in life?  If you don’t know where you’re going, even if these three tools were offered to you, they still wouldn’t do anything to help you out.  This, is also why most people are trapped, inside the dilemma of choices.

Let me give you a simpler example then, taking the college entrance exams was the value that’s been instilled, etched into our brains since we were growing up, we’d followed society’s dictations of which career is the best, which careers would please our parents, or, which majors our best friends are in.

And, just like so, the choices are made, because the students were forced to make them, and, they’d lived for four years without ANY sense of direction, and, as they were, pushed out into the real world, they’d started to, feel the regrets, and blamed, that they’d, majored in some bullshitting, useless majors to them.  Although the majors you were assigned to aren’t to your likings while you’re still doing your four years of school, you’d still forced yourselves to finish, found a job that you hated, and complained of how unfair life had been for you, but, you had, forgotten, that all of this was, to your choosing.

But gladly though, although you’d wasted away four years of time in college, you’d chosen the wrong paths in life a couple of times, made mistakes in your relationships, picked the wrong careers, so long as you can still breathe, you can still make brand new choices for yourselves, just keep this word in mind: goals!

From today forward, before you make your choices, contemplate on your goals, and what you hoped to create, the values, and, allow your new choices to take you, to create the different possibilities of your brand new lives.

So, this, would be a word to the graduates, I suppose, because, from K through your four years of college, longer for those of you attending grad schools, you’d been told: study hard, so you can have a golden ticket to anywhere you want to goal, but nobody ever TAUGHT you, to find out where exactly it is, that you want to go, and you must figure that out, by doing some soul searching, finding whatever’s missing from your lives in the past, and, you’ll be able to, embrace whatever comes NEXT in this long and winding road called L-I-F-E…

Balancing the Gold Nuggets & Her Dreams

It’s real hard, to balance it all out, as she’d come to know, because when she’d gained an extra piece of gold nugget on one side, one of her dreams is taken off the balance, and, if she’d added an extra dream, then, the gold nuggets on the other side became one less…

She had been, struggling, since the start of her life (fine, maybe it wasn’t that long ago!!!), to balance things out.  Balancing the gold nuggets and her dreams, I mean, that, is really hard, as gold is highly sought-after material, but, on the other hand, she couldn’t, live without, her dreams.

And so, she’d stuck, in that DEAD-LOCK, unable to go either way, and she trapped herself.  Balancing the gold nuggets and her dreams, that, is the problem, with dreams and reality, the gold nuggets are reality, and, reality still clashed with dreams.

Balancing the gold nuggets and her dreams, she’d figured out a way, to CHEAT that system, she’d cut the gold nuggets in half, and cut her dreams in half too, then, she’d placed ONE-HALF of her dreams, plus ONE-HALF of the gold nuggets together, on one side of that scale, then, on the other, she’d placed, the remaining portions of her dreams, as well as the leftover half of the gold nugget, and that, was how, she’d managed, to CHEAT the system.

Choosing What You Enjoy Doing the Most in Choosing Your Life Path

How many of you can honestly say that you’re working at an industry that you love???  Exactly, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

The cofounder of “17Support Social Enterprises”, Kuo had an early success in life, in the year he was twenty, he’d earned a six-figure income, it seems, that he’d made his first bucket of gold, but, in an investment opportunity, he’d lost everything; and, this failure did NOT put out the flames of passion that he had, in a trip to help out in the country sides, he saw the needs, he’d set up the very FIRST electronic vendor for social organization needs.

At age twenty-four back then, at age sixteen, he’d started auctioning items online, at eighteen, he’d owned his own tutor classes, by the time he was a sophomore in college, he was already a successful entrepreneur.  Right before his graduation from college, he’d had an unsuccessful investment, which put an end, to his glory entrepreneurial experiences, he’d gone to the distant regions of China, in Yunnan, to offer his services, in a small village of 8,000, he saw his own worth, and he was touched, by the value of “philanthropy”.

Kuo said, the distant regions of Yunnan has bad sanitations, there’s NOT enough hi-tech communication ways there, but, it contained three-hundred not-for-profit organizations, comparing to how well-to-do Taiwan is, there’s a LOT of not-for-profit activities, which instilled that spark of “Not-for-Profit Shops” in his mind.

After he graduated college, he’d originally wanted to go back to his alma mater, to set up a thrift shop, but, this shop didn’t make it, instead, he’d hosted a TON of forums, and had the big bosses from industries, to share their experiences.

Later, Kuo entered into a not-for-profit organization, and hosted the cases for change for organic farming, and, the process is really smooth, and, this idea of his, got a TON of acknowledgements, so, he’d shifted his dreams of “Not-for-Profit Shops” to online, and set up the 17support, to help sell the specialty agricultural products, and the merchandises of not-for-profit organizations, and push forth the ideal of “changing the world by shopping”, the concepts of the social merchandizing.

“There are a LOT of opportunities in one’s life, I chose to learn to let go.”  Kuo told the papers, after college, he’d passed into the MBA program, he could’ve gone on to get a master’s degree, but instead, he chose to start his own business; he’d also once worked at the phone company, the Fubon Banking Industries, but in the end, he’d parted ways with the big corporations.  Kuo said, a LOT of friends his age are already getting their six, seven-figure salaries, but, they’d often complained about how unhappy they are, “If you must choose in life, then, choose something you will like”, even though, it has been difficult, but, he enjoyed the sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing what he’s doing made a difference, it’s amazing.

And so, here, we still have someone who did some soul-searching, went into the world, and realized the needs of the people, and, he chose to make a change, starting with himself.

Undressed, Was My Mind

You came in, late that night, and you started, to peel back the layers of my skin, and soon, I was, all exposed, bare naked, in front of you.  Undressed, was my mind, I got NOWHERE I can hide, I feel so naked in front of you, you got those eyes that see through this façade, this false strong front of mine, you’d torn away these paper-made brick walls of mine.

Undressed, was my mind, and, once I’m there (don’t ask “where”), there’s NO turning back for me, I’m well on my way, sliding down that hundred-foot slide, and, I accelerated, as I sped downward, faster, and faster, and faster still…

Undressed, was my mind, and, I grabbed my clothes, tried covering myself up, and yet, my hands kept reaching up empty.  Undressed, was my mind, and, once that happens, I will never find a cover, a façade that’s safe to hide behind.