"Get busy living, or get busy dying."

"Hope is a good thing."

It remains my all time favorite movie. We create our own fate. 

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I miss you... Will you be able to take a walk on the other side of the world and still see me if you miss me? I am so sorry I couldn't be with you during your last days in the world... 

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I watched this movie four times. Each time I had different feelings, the first two times I didn't quite understand and almost fell asleep. Now I started to understand a bit more besides all the slightly amusing moments when Bill Murray was confused about Japanese culture. 

Japan is a weird country, particularly for someone from a western country. As for me, someone growing up in Asia, found some Japanese culture weird. Nonetheless I like it very much, from the food to the tradition, from the high-speed trains to those temples. Lost in translation is not just about Tokyo or the cultural shock you might experience, it's also about two lonely souls establishing some platonic connections and comforting each other. 

I think I'm getting old and starting to love spending Sunday afternoons with old movies and flashing back some old memories.

About traveling -

I didn't think I'd like traveling alone; it seems dangerous for a young woman to travel alone plus who's going to take pictures for you? My first traveling alone experience was when I was 15 - to Shanghai. Before that, I always traveled with parents. I didn't think I was a spoiled only child, but the fact was I was always sent to and picked up from school to home. So you could imagine, how unsettling it was for my parents to let me go on a trip by myself. I took a train to Shanghai, and was picked up by my parents' friend from the train station to the hotel. Then he said, "let me know if you want to see the city, I will have my secretary arrange a car and show you around." While I appreciated it very much, it has always been extremely hard for me to ask people for help, especially for things like this which I thought I could perfectly handle myself. So the first day, I got out of the hotel and got on a cab, not knowing where to go really; I gave the cab driver 500 yuan (which was about 85 dollars), asking him to drive me around and drop me off at the hotel. I was exactly like "Bob Harris", looking out of the window on the cab, excited, curious, maybe a bit unsettling. The good thing is I understand the local language, which did make my trip a lot easier. The second day, I got a map and started my own adventure; I was actually really bad at reading maps and finding directions, back in the days I didn't have iPhone or GPS. I got upset and annoyed at myself for so many times when I felt lost and exhausted; but I had to keep going. At the end of the day, at least I took good pictures, it's just I wasn't in those pictures. But that is fine. The follwing few days were a bit easier after I got better at reading maps, I guess I could have cabbed to everywhere, but I also love walking. I still do. 

I was in New Zealand myself. Though the purpose of the trip was to see someone whom I loved; knowing there was no future in that relationship, I needed a closure and a good vacation. I rented a hotel-styled service apartment in downtown Auckland, and spent most of the days exploring myself. Occasionally we would meet up for dinner and drinks, but that didn't happen very often as he was very busy. The first week I felt exactly like Charlotte, lost, upset and helpless. He was a fantastic award-winning amateur photographer (that's not his job btw), so you could imagine how frustrated I was when there was no one taking pictures for me. The second week got slightly easier, I started talking and meeting new people, I was invited to different parties and actually had a fantastic time. I also actually felt confident to walk into fine-dining restaurants and tell the host, "yes, party of one please". It was a trip to test my limit, to completely let my guard off, and to explore a fresh personality. Forget who you are, forget what you have, everything is new and exciting. I went hiking, which I thought I'd hate because I don't like mountains, but it was actually quite nice and gave me a sense of achievement; I had long walks on the beach, thinking about many random things; I had carefully crated coffees from local coffee shops with outdoor seating; I talked to strangers I met on a ferry and decided to give her my email address in case she wanted to visit New York. Maybe even a Brazilian boy and a Swedish boy even expressed their crush on me, but I wasn't ready for anything. The virtue of traveling solo is that it gives you a perfect opportunity to reveal who you really are and how far you are willing to go. I also loved the flexiblity I had when traveling alone, I ate at wherever I want to, I could spend the day with completely nothing planned ahead, and overall I didn't have to make any compromises. I don't get this kind of freedom very often. 

About love -

There was a while I had problems expressing my affection. It has been like that since 2010 until later half of 2012. You loved too much, you cared too much, and you got hurt too much. That was my case. I think my mom literally hates my ex, as she literally said, "I hate him so much, why did he make you cry?" I denied about me crying of course, always I always do. But she went on, "no, you were crying when you were asleep." I guess time heals everything. What is love? It's more than companionship. How long could it last? I wish it could last forever if I meet the right person. But again, I will not admit those publicly, because I built myself to be a pragmatic rational modern woman. I don't know if platonic love would ever exist, but I admire what Bob Harris and Charlotte had in Lost in Translation - it's sweet but unsettling. It's the kind of far-flung relationship that would end once the trip is over. They didn't have to hide who they really are, it was spontaneous, natural and real. But there was also no possibility between them - both of them were married. They didn't hook up, they said goodbye to each other with a long hug and a kiss. It was very touching to me. I had platonic love before, it was probably the most beautiful relationship one teenage girl could have - unsettling, but hopeful, also protected with lots of shields to make sure it was not damaged. 

Loved so deep but asked for nothing. I would hate to say I'm actually like that, unfortunately. And like is a thousand miles away from love, in my opinion, like is a fling, love is a comittment. Therefore, when you say you love someone, treasure it, commit to it. 

About being alone - 

Being alone is a choice. Being lonely isn't. If you have met me, I am probably the last person you would imagine as a "lonely person". However, I often feel that way regardless how many people are around me. There is one guy whom I recently met, just gave me this kind of warm feeling and he's not boring, I don't know why, I don't even know him that well. Maybe it's just because he always says, "be good". Or maybe I probably just don't want to give up this time. 

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Why do I like swimming so much? Because no one can see your face when you are under the water, and no one can see or hear you crying either. 


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快乐,难过都是讲给自己听的故事。Happiness, or sadness is just a story we are telling ourselves. Loneliness does not come from being alone, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important.




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