Nothing really matters (4/30)
Until it does…
He was spitting all over the place while he was trying to talk. He couldn’t talk properly anymore. I couldn’t understand a single word he was saying. And then I just left the dinner and went home.
I went home to the flat where I lived with four other people. During those two years in China I probably lived together with 20 different people or so. In 3 different places. So I went home and one of my room mates was smoking a joint. He was some sort of drug dealer before.
I gave it a try. But I never feel anything. The only thing that happens is that I get sleepy. So I went to bed. And the next day I walked two hours across the whole city to eat one of the best burgers I’ve ever had in my entire life. The burger place was called Munchies. So now that I think about it, maybe it did have an effect on me…
I was at that dinner the other day because I was invited to have dinner with the family of one of my students who I taught some English for a while. The dinner was great until her husband got a pretty fancy looking bottle with alcohol in it. It was Baijiu. That’s some sort of Chinese rice alcohol. It basically tastes like gasoline. Probably even worse.
But this one was quite different. It was actually really good. He told me that you can’t buy this one in a store. It’s a special kind that’s reserved for politicians or something like that. I don’t know if that was true. But that’s what he said. He had a business and was doing something with the government. So it could be true.
Long story short. He got pretty drunk. Luckily, I didn’t. And we talked about all sorts of stuff before I wasn’t able to understand him anymore. We also talked about Chinese zodiac signs. He told me that he was born in the year of the dragon. And that I was born in the year of the rat.
I liked that.
Sometimes I really feel like a rat. I can survive pretty much everywhere and get used to pretty much everything really fast. I don’t need a lot to survive. Just the basics. Just like a rat. So maybe all of this zodiac sign stuff does make sense after all.
I really don’t know why I even started teaching English in China. I’m not even a native speaker. It didn’t make any sense at all. Just like starting a clothing company in China for the Chinese market without having any clue about clothing or being able to speak Chinese. None of it didn’t make any sense at all. But that didn’t really matter that much. Nothing really matters.
One day a guy at school asked me if I wanted to teach English. I said sure, why not. But I’m not a native speaker. And he said that it doesn’t really matter. He’ll just tell the agency that I’m from Canada. I said I’m in. Looking back, maybe he didn’t think I would say yes. And why would I? I really don’t know. But I just did.
So I started teaching some English on the side while trying to finish my master’s degree, trying to start a business and trying to learn Chinese. All at the same time. Not surprisingly, none of these things really worked out. But that didn’t really matter that much.
Oh and by the way, please don’t tell anyone about this story. Because I might end up in jail. And I don’t want to go to jail in China. Maybe they’re already looking for me. I have no clue. So please, don’t tell anyone about this.
What I think matters though is that you use your twenties or thirties, heck maybe even your forties to do things. To experiment. To try as many different things as possible. To not get stuck along the way. To do as many things as possible that don’t seem to make any sense at all. Simply because right now nothing makes any sense. Nothing really makes sense when you’re trying to predict the future. It only makes sense in retrospect.
I don’t think your twenties, heck maybe even your entire life is there for winning trophies. For perfecting your CV or anything like that. Or maybe it is. I don’t know. I did all of it, too. But didn’t really end up using any of it. Nonetheless, it’s always good to have a backup plan.
What I think it’s all about at the end of the day is to collect as many different pieces of your puzzle as possible. A puzzle you have no clue about how it’s going to look like once it’s one. Maybe it will look like the Eiffel Tower? Maybe it will look like the Great Wall? Who knows? No one knows..
And when you’re collecting pieces for an unknown puzzle it really is all about saying ”yes“ more often than saying “no“. Especially when you’re starting off. Especially when you’re young. To make sure that some of the pieces you picked up along the way match your final puzzle.
Sure, some people are geniuses and get it right the very first time. Some people end up marrying their high school love. Some people start Facebook.
But most of us just don’t. We need to collect more pieces. We need more time. More time to find our own personal Facebook. More time to find our high school love.
Here’s the thing…
When you’re trying to predict the future, nothing will really make sense. Nothing will really fit the puzzle you have in your head. But what if the puzzle in your head isn’t your puzzle? What if your puzzle doesn’t even look anything like the puzzle you imagined? Think about it…
All of this stuff only makes sense in retrospect.
And not when you look at it right now.
That’s why nothing really matters.
Until it does…
P.S. Did you know that I’m writing a new book? This post is a part of it. You can now pre-order the entire book so you won’t miss a thing. To conveniently read it on your e-reader, your tablet or your phone. It’s pay-as-much-as-you-want right now. Learn more and get access here…