Going the Uncertain Way – China (Part 30)

Emblem tranpoзиция by Mu Huihao

I am a senior. Yes, that means that I am going to graduate soon from the place I have studied for four years. A requirement at the school is that I find a company or organization to start my internship and submit a hand-written report. We should all set a clear final goal for our life and aim for it at this moment. That is what the school “encourages.” Unfortunately, I don’t have any specific idea of what I should do in the future and am more reluctant about the compulsory internship than ever before. In part, I don’t like the sense of force, but mainly I don’t know whether I should continue my current freelance work, which does not satisfy the school requirements, or just find a company or organization, like normal seniors do, and figure out what kind of job I should take.

Tianhebei, Guangzhou, China – Crossed
During the last semester at school, I no longer had any classes and stayed at home. Outside my bedroom door, I could hear the hesitant steps of my mother walking back and forth. Afraid to ask about my future plan, she turned to my sister who tried to beat around the bush to decipher my thoughts. Of course, this issue always came up when I visited my grandparents. But they were different, in their straightforward way, my grandfather asked me directly what my plan was for the future and looked at me like a pitiful mouse when he got the reply that I was uncertain. Every reaction showed that I was a poor and idle youth, making me feel like I was useless. 
Nanchang, Jiangxi, China – Jiangxi Provincial Exhibition Center

Can I continue freelancer work on the side just in case? I tried to convey my intention of continuing this home-based work to my family, but all I heard was their strong opposition. My grandfather may have actually been the most open to it. He thought that I could handle both freelance work and a formal job at the same time, which the rest thought was definitely impossible; my sister told me that SoHo (term for small office and home office in China) was a kind of foreign thing, and the market was almost invisible in provincial cities like the one where we live. My mother believed that I should work outside, that I needed to make more new friends to expand my social circle and that I should be social and sophisticated; other family members thought that my current job was so unstable that I even couldn’t feed myself for the uncertain salary and the working time. Most importantly, they all agreed that it is embarrassing if I tell other people I work at home when they ask about the location of my company. They would look down on me, and it could also be a critical factor in finding a good husband to spend the rest of my life with. Obviously, I was frustrated.

Harbin, China – Public square 

However, as the old proverb goes, every cloud has a silver lining. Finally, I was enlightened about the future. It was a cozy afternoon, and I was still at home, searching for a video to enjoy. There was a talk show by a popular comedian who was sharing his experience about how to become a grassroots star. His initial goal was not to become a star, but to join the backstage crew of a program editor. After he saw the salary of one program editor during an internship in the television station, however, he decided to quit the job because, as he joked around, he could not imagine working day and night over the rest of his life for peanuts. A certain destination makes people demoralized and keeps them from moving on, while an uncertain future makes them ambitious and gives them tremendous spirit to fight for their life. Therefore, he took the risk of heading down the road to becoming a star despite his poor appearance. And, he made it.

China – Imagining

Maybe he’s right, I thought. I imagined the scene if I followed my family’s will – finding a company and working in it for about 5 years regardless of the salary, dating somebody and arranging a wedding, having a baby and becoming a full-time housewife forever – what a horrible future! I put a stop to these thoughts in no time and began to figure out the blueprint for freelance. It turned out I had nothing in my brain – I had no idea about this life. However, this kind of uncertainty encouraged me to explore more. I wanted to see what I could do if I fought for it. Yes, at first, I regarded freelance work as a last resort, but now I viewed it as my “uncertain” goal. After I made the decision, I felt myself relax. It was like breathing fresh air – enjoying a lovely breeze after a long time in a sweltering dark room.

Daocheng, Sichuan, China – Downtown

Uncertainty is stimulation. It drives us to uncover the mysterious veil of life, and we will feel satisfied if we achieve something unpredictable. After walking down an uncertain road, we can never know what’s waiting for us and whether the choice is right or not. I don’t know, neither do you. But I am willing to find it, to fight for it and try my best to persuade every member of my family who is against it.

Suzhou, China – Illuminated 

Is SoHo an invisible market in provincial cities like the one where I live? I don’t care. All I know is that the gold will shine if I don’t work outside. Will I have fewer friends to help me in life or work and have a narrower horizon? I am afraid I cannot agree because I believe that friendship is about quality not quantity. Will I not find a good husband? So what. I can live on my own. After all, it is a kind of experience too. Maybe we will regret or rejoice, but it is part of our life. Just keep going – the uncertain way.

Mu Huihao

Credits

Photo 1: China – Fishermen in fog – Godslar

Photo 2: Tianhebei, Guangzhou, China – Crossed – Jake To

Photo 3: Nanchang, Jiangxi, China – Jiangxi Provincial Exhibition Center – gyn

Photo 4: Harbin, China – Public square – Phuong D. Nguyen

Photo 5: China – Imagining – Yiran Ding

Photo 6: Daocheng, Sichuan, China – Downtown – Giftography

Photo 7: Suzhou, China – Illuminated – Ivan Leung

Locations

Home: www.perypatetik.net

Social: www.facebook.com/Perypatetik

Cinemblem: Perypatetik youtube channel


The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

Awdejuk, Pawel. Niepewność – The Road to Freedom – Poland. July 2018.

Bell, Sarah. The Bushfire Drive – Australia. July 2018.

Castañeda, Martha Corzo. Worried Workers – Peru. February 2018.

Cooleridge, Tweeney. Uncertainty in the Abstract – Slovakia. March 2018.

Cordido, Veronica. The Crib of Uncertainty – Venezuela. January 2018.

Dastan, S.A. Uncertain Waters – Turkey. March 2019.

Electra P. Aβεβαιότητα: The Enemy of Romantic Relationships – Greece. February 2018

Escandell, Andrea da Silva. Compromise – Uruguay. March 2018

Goumiri, Abdennour. Uncertainty Is All There Is – France. February 2018.

Guerrero, Marilin. Crossing the Uncertain Path of Life – Cuba. February 2018.

Guillot, Iuliana. Preparing for Change – Romania. June 2018.

Julber, Lillian. What Will Tomorrow Bring? – Chile. July 2018.

Kanunova, Nigina. Metamporphoses in Modern Life. June 2018.

Konbaz, Rahaf. So You Say You Want A Revolution – Syria. March 2018.

Korneeva, Kate. One We – Russia. April 2018.

Krnceska, Sofija. No Name Country – Macedonia. May 2018.

Lassa, Verónica. The Old Eastern Books of Uncertainty – Argentina. May 2018.

Lozano, Gabriela. El cuchillo de la incertidumbre : Piercing Uncertainty – México. January 2018.

Phelps, Jade. Healing Journey Pulls Us Apart – America. June 2018.

Romano, Mavi. An Uncertain Democracy – Spain. April 2018

Ranaldo, Mary. Incerto or Flexible: Italia and UK. March 2018.

Çakır, Peren. Building a Future in Times of Uncertainty – Argentina and Turkey. May 2018.

Sanmartín, Virginia. Qué Será, Será – Spain. June 2018.

Samir, Ahmed. Uncertainty in Personal Life. January 2018.

Sekulić, Jelena. Nesigurnost of the Past, Present and Future – Serbia. June 2018.

Sepi, Andreea. Uncertainties Galore – Germany. April 2018.

Sitorus, Rina. When Uncertainty Reaches the Land of Certainty – Indonesia and the Netherlands. May 2018.

Quintero, Jonay. The Fear of Not Knowing – España. January 2018.

Vuka. Lacking Uncertainty in Political Culture – Serbia. April 2018.

Forthcoming

Translators and writers from Russia, Britain, Portugal, Ukraine, Serbia, Germany, India and other parts of the world…

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