Monday, November 06, 2006

27

Alright, here we go, birthday reflection, the 27th one (if I had any slight reflection on the idea of "birthday" from age 1-5).

Ready?

2 unexpected phone calls from overseas that made my day. One from my last year roommate, the quintessential nomad of the 21st century. "I'm moving to Shanghai on Thursday," she told me. "Then I'll spend a month in SH, a month back here in Taipei, and then another month to the states."

"Boston by any chance?" I asked.

"Well, San Francisco, Atlanta, NYC, DC, and yeah, Boston, though I don't know the exact date yet."

Now, what does that mean that she's "moving" to SH? "Going" might be a better word?

Makes no difference to her perhaps. I miss her dearly and for once I feel that she's one of the few people whose life style has been far more mobile, transient, and nomadic than mine. And no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Now, how is this related to my b-day reflection? Just wait, I do have a point.

2nd phone call, my high school best friend A.

"Hi May-yi, happy birthday! This is A calling from London. 哇,恭禧恭禧,二十七歲了。I trust that you're doing well in Boston and having a good b-day celebration. 我弟和我說你的evite invitation寫的很intellectual, the typical May-yi style of writing. Well, I hope and trust that you'll have a good time with friends in Boston, and again, wish you ..."

Quintessential int'l-school-style talking. We can't carry a conversation without mixing a few words or phrases in Chinese and English if not changing the grammatical structure.

"我想要 go KTV-ing" - so far one of my favorite lines, 雖然已經非常久沒有說了。

"你最近怎樣?很忙ho?我啊,還好啊,就這樣呀 ..."

很台灣。

We also cannot carry a conversation without being on the opposite side of the ocean from each other or always needing to take time difference into consideration. Daylight saving time just makes the matter more confusing.

Age 17, junior year in high school. Spent the entire school year getting over a relationship that was never meant to be (though sweet for a few months; again, how many HS relationship are meant to be?). Perhaps one of the hardest times in life. For the first time in life I was brought to, forced to, and inevitably led to confront face to face with the most dreadful fear in life, the greatest yearning unfulfilled, the source of all inner anxiety and insecurity. The journey was long, lonely, and one that did not seem to promise an end at the time.

可是想逃都逃不了。Once you are in the tunnel, there's no turning back. The only way out is to keep walking until you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

走著走著, I met God along the way. I don't think I ever made it to the end of the tunnel, because before I could get there - if there ever was an end to it - God pulled me straight out of it. I wasn't dragged out of the tunnel nor led by His invisible hands to somehow tumble or stumble out of the tunnel. He simply shattered the tunnel, defeated it, and led me to a brand new horizon of hope, joy, and restoration.

Where the spirit of the Lord resided, it was clear to me that that tunnel, perhaps, had never even existed in the first place. Only in the mind.

But the source of anxiety and fear remains. Throughout the years, I've learned to, trained myself to, had no choice but to be independent. "There's nothing that a guy can do that you cannot do. Not only can you do just as well as they do but even better," D likes to tell me. So, like a man trapped in a womanly body, I live my life like a guy. I study, I move, I travel, I write applications, I transfer, I make decisions alone. If men and women have received the same education and given the same opportunities to develop all of our faculties, there's no reason why a woman cannot achieve just as well if not better. There's no reason and no need for women to rely on men, no logic behind a man being the bread winner of the family, no rationale as to why monetary, status, or performance achievement should be any different for a woman.

And many remarkable women that I've encountered in life run their lives along the same rationale. Including my nomadic ex-roommate who's now devoted to the building of a social enterprise, a formidable task that she has so daringly taken upon, a challenge that she faces so boldly with courageous spirit that many of the guys that I know would never be able to compete.

可是,也會累吧。當身邊一個一個的同學慢慢進入他們人生的另一個階段, having found that significant other to start a family together with or even start bringing out new lives into this world, I wonder how many of us women - the strong, bold, independent and nomadic type - would not pause and second guess ourselves. "Wait, maybe we are the ones who've got it all wrong?"

Or even if we haven't got it wrong, perhaps it's just that the society hasn't caught up with the footsteps of such women?

仍然不是一個男女平等的社會吧。

So when I'm simply expecting someone to give me a hand when I busily engage in a simple activity called cooking, I might begin to be labeled as a "大女人". Wait, let me get this straight ... Why does asking for support for something eventually enjoyed by both parties suddenly place me in the category of female chauvinism? Who have I oppressed or whose rights have I taken away by asking for support? Have I been sitting in front of the sofa watching TV while ordering the man to cook me a nice meal? Or am I simply asking for equal share of responsibility in a nicely cooked dinner, something that I'm originally entitled to?

'Coz women know how to cook better? Hmm ... Where have men been or what were they doing when women were busy LEARNING how to clean, cook, grocery shopping and wash dishes? Playing videogames? Another try please.

So I continue to study, travel, pack, and move. At least if that support is nowhere to be found, I get to study, travel, pack and move in the name of building myself, training myself, and making myself more independent.

可是,要多獨立才算獨立呢?要跨越幾大洲,一年搬幾次家,一個人多頻繁地飛越太平洋和大西洋幾次才算獨立呢?

獨立了之後又如何呢?

27歲的我不免有些懷疑。如此的生活已經過了九年。還要另一個九年來證明自己夠獨立嗎?

梅ちゃん at 4:21:00 PM

5comments

5 Comments

at 11/7/06, 8:04 AM Anonymous johnjihooonchang said...

happy birthday! i couldn't read your whole ish, (only being literate in english), but sounds like you're still trying to understand yourself and others in your transient position. maybe that should become a topic of study for someone?

 
at 11/8/06, 11:17 AM Blogger Evergreen said...

You wait for another 9 years, which would be my age..... ha ha ha!! I don't even imange what would happen to you by then.... I also have my sayings on my B-day but somehow, not much is important b/c I found out a while ago, as long as I am living for God, it doesn't really matter where I am or what I do or how we feel about men and women or anyone else for that matter..... you know, at age 27, I made a decision that changed my life........ I came to Taiwan..... then, I met my wife, a bunch of others including "YOU". For all that, I am thankful....

 
at 11/8/06, 11:52 AM Blogger Evergreen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
at 11/8/06, 11:53 AM Blogger Evergreen said...

By the way, Happy Birthday..... eventhough it's late...we still hope that you have joy everyday.

 
at 11/10/06, 12:19 PM Anonymous A. said...

哇哈哈, I'm in your blog,真是榮幸 ;)

(in the true spirit of "quintessential int'l-school-style talking," i will write my comments bilingually)

在台灣鮮少聽國語流行音樂的我,最近都以台北之音線上radio伴讀(尤其是凌晨寫paper的時候, like *right now*...)。搞不好下次你問我台灣流行什麼歌,我還能給個比較正經的答案!這是鄉愁嗎?不知道。也許只是喜歡生活中有些文化對比。

說到做菜,越來越多男人樂於下廚(或至少煮的東西比較像樣)似乎是本世紀的都會風潮 (like my brother!)

on a more serious note, to respond to your concluding question --

九年來,追求的是獨立嗎?還是自我實現?我想,應該是後者吧?「獨立」似乎成了自我實現一路來的主題曲,但它不是必然條件!

For your birthday, 祝福你找新歌 ~

 

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