I'm in the middle of this mid-life crisis, I guess, which prompted me to think a lot about why I am feeling this, whether this is happening for a reason, that it is just unique to me, or to everyone in a way, just different content? If it's the latter, then it's just like a phase in growing up, that sooner or later one will experience it → it's the process driven by nature, not by my mind, which I always fear is going crazy, sometimes. I mean, being unique is what everybody wants, but being unique is also what gives you anxiety — you want to be part of a social team (so you don't feel left out), but you also want to be standing out, uniquely you, being taken that way, that you are someone special. How conflicting! This is like everything else in life, that two sides of a coin are fighting but must co-exist, all the time, and inside one body, one brain, one person! I used to think oxymoron is an exceptional mind game or word game that's fun to play with, as a joke. But nowadays, I think it is not even funny; it is the normal. Scary.

    So, I was thinking about love, why two ppl fall in love with each other, why the feeling of love can fade, say, in marriage, and too often than we want it to, it not only fades, but flips to become an agony, an annoyance, a piece of you that upsets you, makes you mad, frustrated, even hatred. This can't be just a myth, a cliche that marriage is the doom of love, then everybody, young and old repeat generation after generation, partially driven by the mating urge, but in many many many ways by a reflection of so called ideal self & life you have in mind. When young I used to think breaking up was due to a misunderstanding of your partner, "can't you see how much I love you!? can't you see how good I am!? can't you see what you are missing out (by not being with me)!?...." If one ever take a step back to look at these comments, the only conclusion to draw is, man, this is one self-centered man/woman! and who wants to be around someone like that!? I think they did the right thing by leaving me. Really, I would have made the same decision, because the person who thought that way is just not lovable, at all.

    But then, I start to ask, why I had thought that way? Was that because of the age, that all young people are self-centered (and of course, the younger you are, the more it is, just think of Noah, who was SUPER self-centered when he was like 3-month, to like a 3-4 year. Man, he couldn't care less of what the world is doing. He wanted his milk bottle, now! So it is a phase thing!? so can one grow out of it? When? in his 80s? or 40s, like what I'm going through as I'm typing these?), or it was happening for a reason? I mean, why one feels self-important that way!? I think there is much self-confidence involved, that one truly think s/he is lovable, priceless, has much to give to the other party, and has the strength to bring an image of life and self in reality. Sometimes when I sit by Starbucks watching young people coming in and out, I can't help feeling that besides the nature's calls, there is a fundamental logic that one likes (and likely to fall in love with) these beautiful young people, and here is how it goes.

    phase 1

    Love life, phase 1

    When you are young, how can you not be lovable!? Just look at the life around you. Yourself is healthy, having an endless potential. Your parents are young enough and likely to contribute to your life rathe than being a responsibility. You have an army friends who share a very similar life (& styles) like you. You all have similar worries and happinesses. You have quite a few suitors who adore you, so you feel loved, needed, special (even though you may not like them back).

    This is a version of life's image everyone would like to have, isn't it!? The only drawback one says about this is that young people may be poor. But, if you are not in the poor category, then life is literally, wonderful!

    So how can I not love someone like you!? You have everything to be loved!

    phase 2

    Then, there is phase 2. A bit older now, maybe married, maybe dating, 5-10 years into a career of some sort, have formed a few deeper understanding of the job, of boss and co-worker, of people and life in general, hurt a few times by someone, hopefully not fatal and mentally fatal, have moments of doubts and downs ofteners than before.

    The killer problem starts to show — if married, there maybe a kid, oh man, parenting is just, HARD! or a few marriage/dating glitches now and then, not quite sure the one you love or the life is coming up, parents are aging and you start to see some effect of it, grandparents are aging, too. And the worst thing is, friends start to drive in different pace now, some getting ahead, some lingering (as you always feel you are the one), some falling behind (but you feel you are not that much better than them), some already has kid in 3rd grade, while others are dating to get married, and you are just somewhere in between, of all these.

    The down spiral, sigh.

    Love life, phase 1

    sad, sad, sad

    I think you get the idea. Life is becoming more and more of things you need to take care of — parent, grandparent, kids, job, partner, frustration of yourself, of seeing some of your friends/peers are getting ahead, a few what-ifs one start to ponder, an urge to find a shortcut so to get back the loss, and on and on and on.

    This is sad. And if you think of it and ask yourself, would you love someone like this? If you are being with this person, your sphere of problems and responsbilities have just expanded. So for a love between adults, it is a serious commitment to take on these, to make his/her problem, mine. Let's face it, the reality is, these challenges don't go away when you say "I love you". They persist, until you find a way to handle it → this is the same that saying those buzz words are easy and fun and blood-pumping, making a version of that buzz word reality, however minute and preliminary that version is, is hard.


    So, I'm not crazy after all. The feeling of struggle is not only real, but logical. The task to tackle these things in life just can't be an easy decision. It's only rational to feel the gravity of it and be fearful of how much work it is going to take.

    Those who think these are easy, just like the ones I always criticize on those Chinese tech shows, or someone how think technology is mature, the truth is, they want someone else to solve these for him/her, because they certainly won't.

    — by Feng Xia


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