Friday, February 23, 2007

A Choiceless Choice

At dinner A was saying that surprises have always seemed to land on her lap at moments most unexpected. Everytime she comes back to the states, things happen that transport her out of this country again to a new country/territory where she'd have to build new roots, make new friends, and get used to a new culture and language not necessarily the most familiar. She wanted to be in NYC after graduation but ended up working in HK for 4 years. Now coming back to the states for MBA, it seems like the summer is going to send her to London (or Bombay even), an opportunity that perhaps will just spin into continuous overseas posts and adventures in the future.

"But I really do feel like settling down a bit more and building my roots," she said.

"Could it be that these companies always like to send you 'out' b/c they value your already rich overseas experience as an Indian descent grown up in Taiwan and educated in the West?" We asked.

"True, very likely. However, how am I ever going to settle? At this point, I can't even say for sure where home is anymore."

Completely understood.

People like us have 2 choices: a) To continue to move and migrate and make this very transitional nature of our past the fundamental and eventual ID of our lives; b) to - at one point - say, "nope, I ain't going anywhere until I have some roots built up and a place I know for certain called 'home'".

Either choice seems infinitely difficult at times. Choice a) entails the persistence and stamina to stay onto the route always taken; choice b) requires perhaps even greater stamina and determination to reverse a path always taken.

The reality is - at times, it just isn't about what we want but what life brings to us. A is not going to turn down a great job opportunity even if it means sending herself to the most expensive city over the summer for 15 weeks, as glamorous as it may seem but something that perhaps just a bit too tiring for a well-traveled soul. On the other hand, what is the alternative? To stay put out of a personal will at a place that may still never become the real home that A herself is looking for?

The other day I watched "French Kiss" on the way down to NYC. By no means my favorite movie but one scene struck me hard. When the movie came to the end, Meg Ryan, in a plain, summer dress, was kissing Kevin Kline and walking down a tiny path in a French vineyard, two hands holding onto each other's tight.

I was shocked. After being someone who was neither Canadian nor American, whose her green card application utterly rejected and ID - for a while - becoming country-less and border-less, Meg Ryan chose that simple country life, somewhere down in a beautiful vineyard or winery in an unknown French town.

Why would she do that?! I asked myself, utterly puzzled.

Then I realized - the reason why that scene startled me to even a slight point of disgust was because I was too afraid that I might one day becoming like that character in the movie. To put it simply - I thought I saw my own image in that scene.

Scariness with a tint of truth, perhaps.

梅ちゃん at 3:53:00 PM



at 2/24/07, 11:58 AM Blogger amy said...

wish i was there!
i think A should choose that "most expensive city over the summer for 15 weeks"! ;)

at 3/27/07, 3:34 AM Blogger ferdinandhui said...

(WRT the genesis of your negative reaction)
Interesting insight... but one played out more often than one might otherwise imagine, no?


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