YOLO!

Sometimes I feel proud.

I saw a lot of people taking pictures while I was traveling. In front of ticket offices of the popular tourist attractions were meticulously written in calligraphy: The oriental Pearl’s Tower in Shanghai, The Summer Palace in Beijing. In front of these signs were people in same-colored hats standing in rows, lighting up with delightful grins. Finally, in the forefront was a camera man saying loudly:“one, two, smile!” The scene ended with a sound of the shutter.

I have been to the Thousand Buddha’s Cave where hundreds of ancient Chinese artists gathered to paint the significance of Buddhism; I have been to the Kanas Lake where local people talk about ancient legends of a dragon-shaped water giant watching over the hallowed place. However, the situation at the ticket office appears as a familiar friend who gives me opportunities to help to take pictures. Later after months and years, this experience would become my precious memory, while for those in front of the camera, it simply becomes a photo. I felt proud of having experiences traveling around cities and villages, of which I could think about, retell my stories and adventures. But I am also aware that numerous people were in exactly the same places as I was. It’s possible that life was demonstrated with infinite feelings to various people; however, none of these impressions were likely to be in the same way—I always like to mix up milk and tea in the dining hall since it tastes sweet and fragrant. Later, in order to share it, I made exactly the same milky tea with my friends but received terrible feedback, which showed another perspective of how amazing life is in its diversity and unknown.

A good life is not about always taking risks or adventures, nor living quietly until the last day, although perhaps, for some of the people the best life could be as simple as just living or as hard as burning passions for challenges. However, the good life is about people living their lives in ways they desire, or, YOLO, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE.  In my opinion, life is meant to be lived the way each individual wants to lead it with passion, purpose and fulfillment. Though in lyric conception of YOLO is used in either “Whatever, I don’t care” or “I am gonna take advantage of the fact that I am alive, and do something that is special enough for my life,” I regard YOLO as it indicates the truth that in certain periods each person has only one chance to prepare oneself as the best condition. For instance, most people only go to university for one time; Tourists will visit some certain places for one time. As a result, a good life is YOLO as long as one knows life will not give a chance to rehearse.

Once people treat their lives as precious as the only opportunity to live, they tend to enjoy whatever comes up to them instead of being imposed with pressure brought from works and studies. The Ant Tribe, a specific group of people living in metropolis of China, reside in the suburbs of cities and share similarities with ants such as having cramped spaces and characteristics like hardworking, diligent, yet anonymous and underpaid. As far as I am concerned, those people, while losing themselves in hardy careers, are also wasting time on lives. Sometimes people have no idea about their goals and objectives, since working does not bring a sense of accomplishment or a sense of satisfaction.  However when one starts exploring what he or she truly enjoys doing, It would be the time to find out what a good life means to a person. A young man named Jiezou hitchhiking through the west China ended up being a writer after quitting his job as a policeman.  I met him last month at a youth hostel in Wulumuqi, clear-eyed, wrinkled face that engraved so many stories written on his face. Jiezou was burning all his passion on travelling and writing, whose book introduces fabulous adventures to those who had dreamed, imagined, but lacked the courage to step out to the marvelous world. An elderly woman named Wei started an adorable shop that only sells origami when she realized it had always been her dream to share her art works. It was a meticulously decorated small shop refurbished from a very ancient lodge. Wei shared this common interest with the host of the lodge who also enjoys origami, and they decided to follow the dream to make up the pretty house.

I believe that a good life means challenges. I began training myself to survive as an independent individual and went to the most western and wildly dangerous province in Xinjiang. The reasons why Xinjiang is considered dangerous by most of people, including my parents, are the minority groups of people who caused disturbances, the nature disasters such as earthquake, and, which I think is the principal cause: the unknown. I tried to think over: after seven hours flight to the western China where most of people are minor ethical so I could not even communicate with them; in a mostly wild field I have nothing but my tent, sleeping bag and backpack. That sounds scary. At the same time I have only myself.    At the first quiet night I spent in my tent I recalled my past memory about my experience in Japan, a country that used to have wars and greatly destroyed most of Chinese territory and people. My mother would not let me go there even if it’s a country exchange initiated by Chinese government and Japanese government. But the outcome was obviously fabulous: I had a family in Japan that treated me like their son; I studied in Japanese high school and made great friendship with Japanese high school students whom I used to have no idea with and  how their lives would be like. I even delivered a speech at the farewell dinner with Japanese ambassadors and developed great insight about Japanese culture. During this process I was proving my ability of standing on the ground of an unknown world, which was also the very first time I learned that life needs challenges.

Xinjiang turned out to be completely different from what I thought it would be. I came to recognize myself as a more authentic and tangible person when I was in the wild field. I realized that having a good life was also a part of self-recognition when I totally got rid of the chains that were bounded to every triviality: worrying about each so called important tests, interviews, and works, etc. So I appreciated the nature sceneries while I was faced with all articles coming from the pure world. The minor-ethic people, whom I once regarded as uneducated, potentially precarious, were kind and helped me every time I had troubles. They even invited me to their houses and treated me as a guest and talked to me by body languages, which, though hard to understand, brought me brand new understanding and unveiled the mystery of unknown: We cannot simply judge something or assert something to be harmful unless we really know and experience, and the cognitive process will bring a difference, but you need to try out.

“You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.”(Joe E lewis 1952) In this present world, everyone is trying to pursue his or her own definition of good life. The Ant Tribe in China dreams of leaving the shabby room and having an adorable house with fancy furniture and even a personal vehicle in the garage. The middle class in America would probably define their good lives to be a lovely family, since people in middle class do not need worry about life substance or paying for their descendant’s educational fees. For me YOLO is what I am pursing: although I am studying in a different cultured country right now and I am confronted with the truth that most of the American students could do better jobs than me, I am still not satisfied with just being a normal student. Therefore, I attended everything that might be difficult and challenging for me such as running for Student Government Association. Not knowing the way ahead is not as scary as never having lived in the first place. I believe myself as I am crawling up and keeping on fighting for my definition of good life.

 

Kwans

新罕布什尔之秋

生活是很好的一件事, 也许如果不是遇到她,我依旧在每天穿的很少冻着跳来跳去,该怎么疯怎么疯,美国人喜欢酷的人,一旦他们这么觉得了,你说的话就开始有人听,有人请你去家里party,有人约你hang out. 对于前一个月的好奇来说,high完之后又就念着什么时候有party又不要脸的去跟陌生金发碧眼的女生grinding dance.

我一直都觉得既然自己喜欢这样的生活方式,那么这么一直做, 也看着了解身边的朋友,一段时间以后自然对很多人的认知度可以达到我喜欢的地步,可以很纯熟的把握一套套交往方式. 我从来没有想过会喜欢一般的美国女生, 像是Lauren一边have sex with different guys一边抱着我说多喜欢一个男生为什么他就是不被turned on. 这给了我一个大大的问号, how could you even have sex with other people when you are truly into someone? 一旦我的思考方式被challenge,我开始越发疑问今后在这里的relationship会不会只存在于就这么不同的浅层形式, 没想到现在当我遇上这些穿着skinny的女士,心里很容易竖起中指,因为她的facebook里必然是一堆堆和朋友的照片, 不同形式的展现自己的cuteness,说着说着就看到这条.

that heart melting moment when a guy tells you that you are the most beautiful girl around and your smile is amazing and the cutest ever (: ♥

 

Go ahead, 一个男生要有多强的心里素质才能跟不同的女孩儿讲这句说破的话呢, 再来hang out, party, get wasted, get dumped. 这个scenario如果说是valerie口中的American way. 但是我相信她, Brianna Defilippis, 很多时候美国社会的drama让人不自觉就弄假成真,但当遇到一个新的date而自己所做的并不是自己,当与爱人的姿态是需要一遍一遍假装和练习,那么有没有想过有一天会疲惫,会看不到自己坚持的意义,会放弃. 但是我遇到了她,,我看到了一个真诚,无私,可爱,独立,坚强的女生, 存在于一个我可以认真做自己的世界,只有这样,我认定了一个不论未来发生什么,我都愿意跟她在一起的人, 就像是我所生存的这个世界,而我认定了我爱它.

 

kwans

Brianna DeFilippis

 

Three days ago, one night I was in the library, trying to search for this name.

It comes out with Formspring, Twitter, Facebook page, Google profile, Zinch and even Firstgiving which this girl tried to use to raise money for kids.

I am not used to look into other peoples’ lives, but when it comes to someone I really care about, all I want is some more information about Brianna Defilippis..

5,8′  graceful figure building up with ballet, Clear-eyed, with an easy smile always hanging on her face.

She was not replying my message, and I was worried, about if I myself was being annoying, or she had works to do. If so,  “keep on doing them.” I don’t interrupt, though I did miss her.

At the first two weeks, starting from one text and hanging out hiking in the Mt. Sunapee , a perfect image of a girl came up to me..

She has a great passion about her life and whatever comes out to her, (exclamation mark at the end of every sentence!)

She would prepare gifts for her friends’ birthdays, even no one celebrated her birthday when the new semester just began, and I  gave her my photo book a month later, knowing she’s got a single-lens reflection camera so she probably likes pictures.

She wouldn’t  bother driving home to take camera for her friend. She kept an advertising paper I was to throwing away for Tra. She asks me times if I hurt my ankle the day we went to the corn maze. She made very cute mistake when writing birthday greetings to her teacher, mixing up Chinese words. I was laughing so badly, and I was impressed.

She knows how to have fun like a big baby, rolling down the hill like a soft ball and hiding deadly as if the zombie would eat her.

She has a great compassion for kids, animals that she wants to take care of, even though her parents trained her as a very independent individual. She’s gonna help those kids in China. Though volunteering takes money and time, I believe it’s the best decision that helps her to know this world.

Not like other people, I am more rational about reading a person. Travelling through Hitchhiking helps me a lot in telling the sense of good and bad. And I am also aware that it really takes time to know her since I have no idea how much efforts she has put in to become a strong Kitty, and a maze. People are not perfect, when I know too perfect a person, that means there is still a far way ahead.

 

Relax, just take the time,nothing is better than getting to know this great girl. Talking to her, hanging out, introducing my friends, hugging with each other,sharing a lot moments and joyfulness , and I have four years a head to be the one who makes an impact on her and learn from her, as long as we have a companionship.

Brianna, Hope you could get well soon from illness:~) Pray for u

 

Kwans