Who is the “others”

Through all twenty years of living, I have been a solitary traveler. I never felt I belong to somewhere or something. To me, personality, characteristics, names, are all tags.


I was born a middle-upper class family. My father runs a company, and my mother was an employee of him. In my childhood, I travelled from place to place with my parents for sake of their business. Technically, I don’t really know which city is my hometown. I call Kunshan is my hometown although my family did not live their anymore, it is still the place where I spent time from elementary school to middle school. It might just be my wishful thinking.


In that small town of Kunshan, I used to feel like I am one of the “others.” I used to have strong relationships with my boys (classmates and two childhood friends). We used to hang out after school, play basketball together, go to internet café secretly, go to movies together, copying each other’s homework. Even though that’s all we did, maybe a little bit naïve and pathetic, I still feel I was part of the group. I also enjoyed school at the time, there are recognitions of teachers and other schoolers. One practical thing that the teachers taught me, is English and a saying: “Do not think you are better than anyone and don’t satisfy, what you can do, is what others can do too.”


After school time is also what I called sweet memory. Facing the sunset, grab a snack going home, mama’s dishes, arguments, fights, misunderstanding, laugh together, shop together. There were so many things to talk and fight. That is the time I fit my name best, that’s Sean.


Start from Grade 9, I transferred to international school for high school. During the four years, I transferred to 5 different school. From Kunshan international school to two high schools in Shanghai, from Shanghai to Canada, then go back to Shanghai…I met too many groups of people and environments, I had many relationships. I tried to do to old middle-school way of socializing, I would specifically say socializing with heart and honesty, it didn’t work out.


After grade 9, I was so confused and sad about why there are so many problems in socializing, why they misunderstood me, how to locate me, who is me, where I actually am…These kinds of problems still bother me today. Soon, I decided to quit socializing, pursuing who I am, what is community, what is meaning of life, such questions. Honestly, I still did not know any of these answers after so many differences I experienced. Also, since high school, my family moved to my father’s hometown as his business grew larger. I am rarely at home and my parents’ life is less intertwined. My father is busier, and my mother started her bakery shop. Even we are still family members, heart to heart, there are less talking in the family, less arguments, less interactions. I was once desperately trying to make things back to old days, it did not work out well.


I lost my motivation, my targets, my future, what a misery, all I see is mist in front me. I was in pain since high school, and the pain is greater as time goes on. That kind of vibe, the vibe of group and relationships is gone for good. No matter wherever I am, I was a stranger. If I stare at the mirror, I could hardly recognize the person in there.


Today, I am trying to romanticize and beautify everything, every image, every sound, every smell, every feeling. Music and poem are my loneliness relief, and I wrote poems myself, most of them are terrible though. From all my experiences, I see many of the strongest and brightest people, but their potential is wasted, some of you do the lowest and most menial jobs in society, working as waiters, gasoline attendants, car washers, or wearing ties to work, advertisements tempt us to buy cars, clothes, and so work desperately to buy things we don’t need, we are a generation forgotten by history, with no purpose, no status, no war in our time, no great economic Our war is the war of the mind, our panic is our own life. We grew up watching TV and believing that one day we would grow up and we would be rich, stars or rock stars, but we wouldn’t, that was the reality we were gradually confronted with, so we were very angry.


Modern society is sophisticated and efficient, and it is so because it is good at symbolizing everything. Everything, especially commodities, can be given a simple and straightforward meaning. Even if you are a very complex person, the system of modern society will quickly turn you into a symbol, corresponding to the horoscope blood type, age, education, personality, income and so on various classes. You are powerless to resist, and even have to use this system to express themselves, so that eventually more and more do not know exactly what is what they want. Obviously, this way you fall deeper and deeper, and even begin to use this set of values to evaluate others. We start to become indistinguishable, all products of modern society, but with different labels.


Maybe I’m thinking too much. We always have to live within a set of ideas, only the number of people in different ideas varies. Modern society is one of the grandest and most vicious of them all, and by opposing it, you are mixing in another system at the same time. Even if it’s a sociopathic system like the Great Plan of Destruction, there are predetermined rules that are inescapable. Having said that I became much more relaxed, everything is nothing, does not mean anything, you can continue to choose the values of the masses, or you can go back to your cave and enjoy yourself, there is really no difference.

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