I thought traveling to different places might help me. So I have traveled quite a bit in the past few years, south to the beautiful beach resort of Cancun, Mexico, where the sky is as blue as it can be and the sand as white as snow; I’ve traveled to Toronto, Ontario and Quebec in East Canada and saw amazing castles and European-style idyllic towns; I’ve been to the Indonesian archipelago where one thousand cultures fuse and world’s greatest religions intermarry; I have also been to big cities and small towns in Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong and many places in China for the first time during the past year. But I never had any lasting happiness in these greatest scenes and cultures of the world.
I thought probably money would do the trick, so I saved every penny, bringing my lunch to office every day. I worked over time in order to make more at a job I didn’t like and wasn’t particularly good at. So the more I worked and the more money I saved, the unhappier I became.
As for money, I watched my bank account swelled from four digits when I was still in school to five digits and inching to six. I even made a 40% gain in the stock market when we got a big rally after the financial crisis was over. It did help, but very transiently. It is like when you buy a new car and it was scratched during the first month, you will surely cry over it. But when it got another scratch in a year, you just murmur “ok, just another scratch, what can I do?”, because the excitement wanes quickly. Materials have no soul and thus cannot heal a soul. So money didn’t do the trick either.
For many nights, in this shabby room I rented for $650 a month, I twisted and turned, couldn’t fall asleep, with many thoughts crossing my mind like space shuttles. I felt like I was swimming in the ocean of life in a Speedo suit. I started clean and energetic, diving into the sea with high hopes, but along the way sea weeds, shells and waste oil just wrapped all around me. Gradually I got heavier and dirtier, unable to sprint anymore. Now at the age of 29, I have lost much of my steam and power. I feel exhausted and am trying hard to just stay afloat. I did try to change from freestyle to breaststroke to backstroke, but in vain. I couldn’t get rid of the junk from my past. Eventually I am about to give up and retreat into misery and cynicism, believing that the end of life is going to be as good and as bad as now.