Seeing Crossroads

Bindweed | UncertaintyLet me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, a wise man told a woman that her niece will not be able to hold onto her job for much longer. In fact, he gave the job a deadline of before the Ninth Month. He told the woman that her niece will have a hard time afterwards, but that the girl’s fate lies in China. In China, she will meet her destined partner. They will cross paths during work and think fondly of each other. He comes from a good background, a holder of a PhD from America whose family is full of scholars and university graduates. But soon afterwards, his job would be relocated to Hong Kong and they will be divided, briefly. A few years later, the girl and the boy will meet again, fall in love and get married. After a while, the girl (now a woman) will bring the boy (now a man) back to Canada to live and work. He will be the Canadian representative of his company and she will make $100, 000 CDN a year.

That girl, apparently, is me.

Or so my aunt told me one night.

After I told her I’ve been laid off.

It happened a month ago. My vice president said that they were changing business models and that he honestly couldn’t see a position for me in the company in the future. He told me to start applying for jobs and that he would give me a good reference letter. Then, a month later (a few days ago), I came to work one morning and he told me that I was terminated – immediately. I left that morning no later than 10-15 minutes of walking in. Then I went to the mall. Then I got my bra fitted. Then I spend over $50 on a bra. (Fuck my life.)

The strange thing about all of this is that I’m not sad. I’m not sad. In fact, a month ago when my VP sat me down to tell me that my job would be over soon, my first thought was: “Where should I travel first?” This is, after all, not my ideal job and the people were not exactly my good friends. I feel rather liberated, but I know that this calm would not last long before I panic and start begging for jobs again…

But then my aunt told me about the man with the Sight. Of how, if I go to China, I would have a chance for my best life possible – perfect man, perfect job, perfect life. But what the man didn’t foresee was the sacrifices (and there will be sacrifices) I would have to make for that “perfect” man, “perfect” job and “perfect” life.

Now the question is: Do I take that chance?

Do I go to China?

Do I run forward chasing this fate?

I can’t read Chinese. I can speak Cantonese and desecrate Mandarin. If I was going to go, I’d go and study Chinese. I’d go, for a year or two, to one of the universities as a foreigner and learn to read Chinese. I’d go and explore. I’d go and play. I’d go and understand the people and place where my forefathers and foremothers had lived, breathed and died. I would go to have fun and discover because for the past two decades, all I’ve been doing is work. All I’ve been doing is being serious, serious enough to have overreaching anxiety.

But the questions will always be: Do I take that chance?

Do I want to spend one to two years in China?

Do I want to risk my health?

Do I want to attempt something that may give me little reward?

Him be damned. That fated man. He may not even appear in my life. (Who knows what paths he will take?)

But my aunt made a point: This is only one path for me. There are other paths I can take. As a mortal, I can choose.

China?

Or everything else?

Bindweed | Uncertainty

甄雪清

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