But the piece that really moved me to tears was The Night of Midautumn Festival by Ling Shuhua. The story tells of a couple who gradually fall apart, their lives riddled by superstition, the husband's addiction to brothels, and their inability to produce a healthy baby boy. It was really sad, because in the beginning, he loved her so much, but you soon find out that his heart still lingers with a foster sister who passes away on the Night of Midautumn Festival. (Why are all modern Chinese stories riddled with messed up filial-love relationships?). They blame each other for everything, from the woman's death to breaking a vase and soon he realizes that his wife is ugly when she is crying her heart out. She just wanted to feed him "Together Duck" to celebrate the holiday, but steadily their marriage dwindles into oblivion.
For some reason, I think choice is partially the reason for the high divorce rate these days. If we can choose to love, we can choose to take it back too. Arranged marriages were simple - you were sold off to someone you didn't know and after a while you can only hope they're agreeable. Pop out a few sons and you're golden. The life of women has been so bitter and cruel. It makes me feel so blessed.
This story also made me rethink my relationship. Even though my boyfriend says he doesn't care about my appearance and that beauty doesn't matter (especially with onslaught of exams), it doesn't hurt to look at something pleasant when you're tearing your hair out, right? I don't want to appear ugly in his eyes at a time of stress. I should really care about my personal image more, as much as I wanted to and succeeded at freeing myself from being the me that everyone wants me to be.
I don't want to be an ugly person on the inside either. There's a lot of negativity that goes on in my head, subtle chippings away at my self-esteem. That needs to go. Yesterday, my boyfriend printed out a long article from a guy who blogged about motivation. It was really inspiring and I made my list of things I want to change and goals I want to achieve. Most importantly, I did it in achievable chunks. I need to limit my computer usage time. I click around on the internet a lot and waste a ton of time. Distractions also diminish my efficiency significantly. This is one thing I admire about him - nothing's ever a lost cause. We can always change for the better, and he takes action to make it happen. He's not a wallower like me. Again, with the negativity.
I will keep blogging of course. Blogging/writing gives me a lot of joy. While I feel my college friends don't want to read about clothes and makeup all the time, other blogger girls do. And vise versa with the more serious reflections. But I think this sums me up pretty well. I act like a cheerful happy child to get away from growing up. Sometimes it's too much. But there is a serious side to me, someone that peeks through no matter what speech I'm giving about panda cuteness levels. When I tried to split my blog into a personal one and a makeup one, I just ended up deleting the latter. It just made me feel super ... well, superficial. I don't want to admit I'm a material girl, but hey, I'm at a cush private-university typing away on a Macbook. The Diversity exercise in my res college today really helped bring into focus just how blessed we are with everything.
So count 'em. We've all got a lot to be thankful for.