Leaving Society for the Unknown

This is not Africa,,,but evokes how I feel.

"Be careful of Ebola! Don't catch malaria!"

I had just left my job in Hollywood for a non-paid volunteer opportunity in Zimbabwe...

"What the hell are you doing?!" exclaimed my Asian parents.

And as I write this blog post while being entranced by snowflakes drifting upon the Toronto Pearson runway in the middle of my 30-hour flight to Zimbabwe, it's also a question I ask myself..."What the hell am I doing?"

However, I keep having to remind myself...life thus far has been a series of standardized steps. Especially growing up in a traditional Chinese household. Let me explain to you my life story and the life story of most Asian Americans. Rather it's the ideal story for most Asians...

Go to school...Get good grades...Go to (good) college...And remember, no girlfriend until after college...Get good job...Buy house...Raise family...Retire...Go dim sum every single damn day...Go on Chinese bus tours.

成家立業 (Start Family and Build Career)
— Chinese Idiom (repeated 100x by my Mother)

Yep, I just predicted my life for the next 50 years with 90% accuracy. And it wasn't as obvious until post-employment. I remember taking the subway into downtown San Francisco while watching batch after batch of employed workers enter and exit the train. Same expressions. Similar dress codes. Am I in a Sims game? Is everyone real? I remember the day I had to force a smile while driving to work because I heard it increased happiness - I never want to do that again.

There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living
— Nelson Mandela

Of course those "batches" of robotic workers are a mere figment of my current imagination, and I genuinely envy those who have found their true calling. At this point in life, I don't have everything figured out (and I don't know if I ever will), but I do know one important thing - time flies. And time is something we can never have back. So let's get moving. Let's just say I still aspire certain aspects of my predictable life such as family and marriage, and I'd rather do the failing and exploring now versus later.