China Girls Abroad


SunshineI was asked what I learned coming abroad to study, and I thought of a Chinese girl’s words on Weibo: “the most important things I learned is not better English, nor a degree, but the ability to survive in any place in the world without knowing any one; and the simple belief that you should happily take a bus to pursue your dreams, and don’t change them for expensive cars. These two things will stay with me for my whole life.”

If I am lucky enough to find this kind of girl, I am sure we can accompany each other to walk around the world, and toast each other, getting drunk in our life stories.


A while ago, I told my French boyfriend that, I had always wanted to become an actress, but the people around me all said NO! He asked me “Who are these people?”

“Well, my parents, my parents’ friends, especially my teachers, no one agreed.”

Once, he said, there was a man who decided he wanted to become a magician. Everybody was saying he was mad, all said no, impossible. So he asked himself, do I want to become the same person as them? And he became a famous magician. So look at these people who said no, what kind of life they are going to, do you want to become one of them?

Things are always like this. The people who say “No” to you are those who are made nervous by their own experience or background. They think they can’t do it (more likely they haven’t even tried), or they don’t have the capacity to do it, so they assume you can’t do it, you are dreaming too.

Then I told my boyfriend, of course I understand this now. When I gave suggestions to other people, I would say the same things too. But years back then, I would never have understood the world as I do now.

Why? Because I was born in an age, during which you couldn’t have any power to make your own decisions for your life.  And that was my senior high school, junior high school, even primary school. That was a period when you didn’t have to take any chances to explore your life, because everything was taken good care of and all you needed to think of is how to get good marks to go to a good university. So it was a period when you didn’t have the opportunities to build up your surviving skills, nor the understanding of what you are capable of. 

You don’t know how to survive, because you never tried. When you want to go to the desert to see the stars, people around you who have never been to a desert would tell you: no, don’t go, it is too dangerous, you will die. Then you would think, oh I have not even stayed out in a field for one night, let alone a desert, forget about it.

When you are in the university, finally you have the chance to get out of the cage, live on your own, and explore the world. However, this crucial period for individual liberty became just complete sex liberation. The depressed adolescent hormones finally found homes in the condoms lying on the playground.  After that you think, how about going to the desert? Then people would all tell you, oh forget about it, do you want to find a job or not?

So, you graduate, like everybody else, you worked your ass off, to find a job. All of a sudden, the criterion of being good or bad students is thrown out overnight. The ones who find jobs are good students, the ones who haven’t are not. At this time, you think, I haven’t been to the desert yet, now everybody tells you, no, save the money to buy a house, then get married, then have a baby, then make lots more money for your child to go to good primary school, high school, university.

At the end of your life, you still haven’t been to the desert, or lived in an unknown place in the world for one day, you don’t even know, whether you could or not. But you will still tell your child, don’t go the desert, you will die.

SunshineSo what exactly am I saying?

I insist that the right qualities are to be sincere, kind, and helpful, hardworking, dedicated, to keep our feet on the ground.

I insist on the life I love, romantic, passionate, challenging; independent, free flowing and diverse.

I insist on the knowledge I gained from my own experience, 100% dedication equals 100% reward.

I insist on my gradually maturing value system: not buying a house or a car to satisfy other people’s expectation, because the meaning of life is much more important than material objects.

I insist on these beliefs about love and marriage. Love is equal, and has a reason. Love doesn’t mean accompanying each other for a lifetime. And lifetime Company doesn’t need a piece of paper. Whatever the certificate, it cannot stop a heart drifting away to somewhere else. But, drifting away is not a big mistake. It is much better than to be like those women who cry their eyes out for their unfaithful rich husbands, but pretend to be smiling.

So what do I insist on exactly?

All real things.



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