Monthly Archives: July 2013

Some distances are just difficult to cross

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Upon graduation, the distance between my best friend and me is 2,372km. The distance between another good friend of mine and me is around 1,000km depending on which city she studied whereas I studied and am working in the same city. The distance between my parents and I is 751km. Nine years ago, the distance was 100km.

Sometimes, I’m amazed at how small the world has transformed into. It is so small that you can reach someone by a call, a ticket or even a click. I have been enjoying the convenience that technology has brought. However, recently, I more than ever have an acute sense of the difficulties some distances have imposed upon me.

I know my best friend is just a phone call away, but I don’t know why I haven’t called. We sent each other postcards or SMS expressing how much we miss one another but we never actually talked. I’m not sure if distance has really distanced us. Perhaps, it has. We don’t hang out with the same people any more. She goes to pubs, party late and drinks a lot. I go to library, visit museums, and don’t drink. The names on her lips are nobody to me. My life has set in a certain routine and I’m contented with it, but it’s true that I can sum it up in a very short sentence. So what to share? Will she consider me boring? A married boredom as we used to call others? I’m afraid to find out. What fears me more is that maybe we are actually growing apart. If we talk, we will realize. But we don’t want to admit this so we just don’t talk and in that way, the bubble doesn’t poked and we are still best friends to each other.

For years, there’ve been some opinions that I’ve held concerning my father. For instance, he never praises me and he feels proud of his so-called “discouragement” education method. The other day I was having a very bad day at work. My father sent me an SMS asking me to check benchmark grades for some universities. I didn’t see it until five hours later. So I Googled it for a while but didn’t find related information. Work was piling up so I replied, “I didn’t find it.” Seconds later, another message came, “You’re stupid. Your brother has already sent the info. to me.” At that moment, “YOU ARE STUPID” seemed to be the last straw to crush me. This is what he often describes me from when I was a little child, to when I entered one of the best universities in China, to when I found a job at one of the best companies in the world. And he still called me “stupid”. I wanted to yell at him, “Stop calling me that!! You don’t know how much pressure and depression this has caused me.” My tears were on the verge of breaking out, and I tried hard to sniff them all in. I was still at work. The clients were priorities. I can’t cry. The anger and somewhat humiliation prompted me to call him but for some reason, I was checked. I have put up with this for so long, there’s no reason that I can’t wait for one more day. Then I never called. My father really feels proud that he doesn’t praise us, always gives us discouragement. He sees this as a motivation for my brother and me. When I was recommended for master program without any exam, he called, “I read it from somewhere that 1st tier students choose to work, 2nd tier study abroad and 3rd tier will earn master at home.” But did he seriously know the competition? Did he know how hard I had tried to earn the spot? He didn’t ask. I know and I believe that he must have felt proud of me, for out of 320000 students, only 62 entered my university and I was one of them. But I haven’t heard him say it. Is this the conventional Chinese way of parenting? I don’t see this occur in every household. My parents-in-law always gave encouragement to my husband. Will I have the courage to tell my father how I really feel about his “discouragement” parenting? Maybe not, maybe never.

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