Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Night of Midautumn Festival: Reflections

I'm taking a course in Modern Chinese Literature this semester and many of the readings have been really interesting, thought-provoking, controversial. I finished a weird super-long one by Ding Ling called Miss Sophia's Diary, which reminded me of Lu Xun's A Madman's Diary ... it was weird. My pet theory is the protagonist (if we could even call her that) is a lesbian who can't come to terms with her sexuality in a changing world.

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.


s February 9, 2010 at 2:55 PM   said...

Hey Angie - I can really relate to a lot of the things you mentioned, but especially about the inner negativity. I think we all have that, some of us hide it better than others, or might not even acknowledge it?

I used to hate myself for thinking bad thoughts sometimes.. but I really like what you wrote about changing for the better. So true! If there's something you don't like about yourself, you have the choice and the power to make the change.

*Sigh* I wish I wasn't so serious these days.. I used to be really silly too and fun and spontaneous.. but work and life and family issues kinda changed it all. Haha.

Nice post - I for one like reading non-beauty related stuff :)

Steve February 9, 2010 at 9:25 PM   said...

It's ok mei mei. There's a lot on your plate and even more on your mind. That's good! You'll find out what works best for you, and take those steps forward. You can count on it that you'll have my support every step of the way. :)

Angie | Pandaphilia.com February 10, 2010 at 4:28 PM   said...

Thank you so much :) I know in my heart I have good people looking out for me, and that makes the whole mess so much easier to get through.

s February 11, 2010 at 1:35 AM   said...

Hi chica! You have the peacock earrings or the black one w/chains from F21? I ordered the one w/chains in red too :) SO stoked!! I don't own any red accessories at all, hehe... I always thought it looked a little "wild".

Oh man, so something happened today that reminded me of your post... my boss was stressed out and took it out on me.. which she does a lot. And I couldn't help but think some bad things about her, u know? It's like, people say don't take it personally, but when someone attacks you for no reason and tries to purposefully make you feel bad, sometimes you can't help but take it that way.. grrr I'm still trying to get over it and not let it affect me so much. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day!

Hope you had a great day Angie!!

s February 11, 2010 at 11:42 AM   said...

Hehe my name is actually Sophia... Kechiko is just like a blog name lol. I should put my real name somewhere so I don't confuse ppl...

Good to know about the length of the peacock earrings! They look long! But fun too :)

Good luck on that exam! I hope that you did well, and that some smarty-farty didn't make the curve too high.... I started out as a pharmacy major when I was in univ... but I hated my chem class SO much and did so badly (barely passed with a C, and we had a curve too!) that I switched to business major haha... I couldn't hang with the smart kids :(

I'm glad I met you and we can have these blogger chats!

TTYS Angie!!

Anonymous July 25, 2011 at 2:24 AM   said...

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