It embarrasses me sometimes to be a woman.
“This may be my first and last year in Taiwan,” my new guy friend FrenchNewbie shared with me while we were taking a scooter ride home last night. “I don’t know if Taiwan is the right place for me.”
Dashing, buffed and oh-so-cute, FrenchNewbie is 30-years old, French and has been in Taiwan for about half a year. He works as a freelance graphics designer, photographer and artist. He also teaches French part-time.
Did I mention he was handsome?
I must have, with his sharp looks and chiseled face, that fact is indeed undeniable.
Did I mention his muscles as well?
Haha, am not really into muscular men, but FrenchNewbie just had the right body type.
Anyway, before we drift too far from the conversation, he told me that his girlfriend of four years (all together now — aaaaw, shucks!) has given him a lot of pressure to be successful.
“She doesn’t even introduce me to her mother because she is ashamed. She knows her mother will not like me because my life is too not stable,” he sighed in his broken French-English.
Since he has other financial responsibilities in France, FrenchNewbie has been receiving increasing pressure on both sides both in the personal and professional front. When I first met him a few weeks ago, he said, “I want to know how you can be so happy, on why you have that attitude.”
After I talked to him further, and he is a guy who seems to open up easily, he mentioned that he feels immense pressure to “realize myself and my dreams in Taiwan.” He gave himself at first, half a year, and then extended it to a full year to see if he can find his road, his success in this Formosan island.
“I am already 30,” he murmurs. “I should know what my road already is.”
I wasn’t really of any help, save for being a shoulder to complain on. However, hearing his stories, I felt that life deals with him unfairly.
It kinda makes me ashamed to be a woman — do we usually pressure the people we love like this?
“I understand why your girlfriend and everybody else would give you pressure,” I empathized. “But I think the request is unfair — it took me four years to get where I am now. Back during my first year, I was merely a student at Shida, earning meager amounts in scholarship money every month for a year. You have to start somewhere.”
People look at all the successful people around them and push themselves and their loved ones to reach the stars. “Look how successful they are,” they scream. “Why can’t you be more like them?!”
And then we scoff, turn our backs and pout.
We treat our loved ones in contempt.
Too many couples bicker and fight because of money.
We want the good life.
We want the money.
And are frustrated when our significant others cannot generate the money.
That’s why, it saddens me to hear my girlfriends mention that they worry that their current boyfriends are not that rich.
“My mom pressures me to find somebody who is more well-to-do. Sure, he treats me very well but I have to be very practical. If I marry him, I will share his financial burden for at least 10 years.”
“If I can choose a rich guy and live a good life, why not?” my girl friend concludes.
Sigh. I love my friend, but she is always thinking of jumping ship whenever the right opportunity comes, be it a new boyfriend or job offer. Personally, I think it’s sad that she cannot look beyond the money and social status and actually ask herself, “Regardless of the money, is this guy worth my time? Does he treat me very well? Do we have the same values?”
Maybe it’s the Chinese culture, but everywhere around you, your loved ones hope and pressure you to realize your dream and make tons of moolah. As you’re presently not making that much moolah, you feel stifled, trapped, and wanting to escape. You look around desperately for opportunities, but the funny thing with life is that things often come to those who least demand it.
That’s why, you get a new job offer when you’re already comfortable in your job.
New relationships start when you least demand it.
So on and so forth.
So you worry about getting to Step D, when instead you should be concentrating on getting to Step A, B, and C first. You worry about not being successful, when you should instead remember that Rome was not built in a day, and to hell to those who think otherwise.
It’s amazing — people pressure you to do something that more often than not, they themselves cannot finish. That’s why Chinese parents often push their children to be the best, even if they themselves weren’t. They seem to forget how truly hard it is, and push their hopes and dreams to somebody else.
In the case of FrenchNewbie, his girlfriends want somebody rich and powerful — but my god, can’t you wait a few more years?! He is merely 30, not 60.
Shame on a guy who is not successful at the age of 60, but come on. 30s? Gimme a break la.
Anyway, it’s none of my business and apart from ranting about it in my blog, I do not meddle in other peoples’ business.
However, this is merely a warning for me maybe that when I do find my own significant other, I will not give him that unreasonable as a pressure. Instead, I would give him my encouragement and support in all his endeavors so long as I don’t think they’re foolhardy and stupid. I will be his pillar of strength, and he knows that I am his source of positive encouragement when everybody has already turned away from him.
And as for money?
Heck — that is why I am working my *ss off and trying to make something out of success.
At the very least, I know that for me, how much my partner earns is inconsequential. This at least gives me the freedom to choose whomever I life because I know that I can at least support myself and give myself the life that I desire, regardless on whom I end up with.
And that ladies and gentlemen, freedom to its simplest nature.