A month ago, my trip back to China again stirred up some emotions, should or should not be there. This happened almost every time I go back home. My childhood friends' opinions, my family's thoughts, and my sometimes weak vulnerability, all these worked together to have my mind temporarily doubted myself.
The trip for me, was supposed to spend more time with my family, making up what they've missed with the only daughter living overseas. As other young professionals who work far from their parents, I feel sorry that I couldn't be closer and take better care of them.
On the other hand, my potential future parents-in-law will be visiting us to get their debut and talk about our potential marriage plan. I can foresee that this would turn out well due to the essential differences between two families, especially in terms of life style and finance. One family believes that parents need to do everything they can to support kids and bring them the best. The other family, however, thinks that since the parents have limited educations and skills, kid should instead, do everything they can to support and take care of the parents. One family wants a wedding ceremony as that's what they've been anticipating. The other family seems not caring too much as there seems to be nothing on their mind.
I am not in the position to tell right from wrong since this is not a matter of right or wrong. I only felt hurt. It never occurred to me that one day somebody else from another family can hurt me with financial stuff. Since I never had much high expectation for money and always believe I can make it as much as I want.
I don't want to blame most of the modern parents having high financial expectations for their kids' marriage, of course not for themselves, but for the kids. I know it is hard to see your own child stepping into a family with potential financial burdens and endlessly worry that one day an economic crisis might torture your kid and potentially tear that marriage apart, of which love is the only basis.
At the same time, I feel bad for those kids coming from families with less asset. That is something you born into and you don't have to choose. As long as you work hard and be a decent man, that shouldn't have resulted in a disadvantage. However, that truly has become a disadvantage when it comes to young marriage. In large cities in China, families expect boys to have their own houses to secure a marriage, totally forgetting that they are just on their way of rising through the ranks and might not have any support from their families. This, I know, have killed some marriages and will continue do so in the future. I just feel sad.
At the same time, however, I felt lucky that despite my sadness, my mum love me enough to grant me the choice. If I choose true love, maybe I will regret someday when our daily financial has been so tough or when we have disagreements because of differences from the two families. That was my choice to make. Again, I know that there is sadness in everything for poor couples. But it is not too bad to listen to your heart and follow what you think can make you happy.
From my trip, I remembered witnessing how people can be careless and not realizing that due to their own limitation that might have been caused by lots of things- experiences, education, the ability to think. I remembered all those tears of mine from others' reminders that you are stepping into a black hole when you could have made a better choice. I remembered my hesitance going back to USA as I was so afraid of making a choice and missed my family so much. They can allow me to make my choice, but they cannot change their opinion that I will be happy and will continue to worry about me. I feel bad about it like my committing a crime to torture them when I know it was not my fault.
On Oct 6th, I had a first flight from Xianyang to Shanghai and a second at 3pm from Shanghai to US. The first one was delayed not until 1pm which meant that I would not be able to catch my flight back to US. Trying everything to help me change flights, my mum comforted me saying that if you miss your second flight, buy a ticket in Shanghai back home. You can still fly there next January for school. I wanted so much to cry, for all the things I've been through during the past two weeks. I wish I hadn't fall in love with someone making everything so hard to move forward right now.
But I couldn't. I hurried to the flights and made it on time. Twelve hours later, my plane landed in Chicago, no suspense. I've been running with all my luggages in the airport, towards a direction I am not sure of now, but I was so sure two weeks ago.
That's the dilemma outside of marriage, outside of happiness. It is not a story of mine only, I believe. It happened on lots of people because of the current prevalent mindset in China.
That's part of the main reason, why I wanted so much to permanently move back to China, but still fly back to the US.
I am young, and I still want to fight against something. Still want to fight for that ambitious but also obscure future I have in mind.
My friends, don't be bored by this long article. It can be longer... I wish you guys all the happiness in the world.