Sometimes I would ask myself, am I Chinese or Norwegian, or am I both? It´s not something straightforward but it doesn’t´t bother me either. Most of the time, I don´t think too much about it. Some reflections are made from time to time of course, but I definitely haven´t developed that condition, what`s it called again? – Cultural identity crisis.
I spent my childhood and the first part of my adolescence in my hometown Shanghai, (I actually missed the rest of my adolescence, this point will be mentioned later in the post) my life turned into another direction when I was 16, it didn’t come as a huge surprise anyway, the Tarot card I had selected a few years ago predicted that I would move abroad though it didn’t say exactly which country it was. (I got obsessed with Zodiac Signs and Tarot cards when I was young) I wasn’t alone, I moved to Oslo with my family. Sitting on a swing and dangling back and forth on that very first Sunday night in Autumn, the thoughts hadn’t settled yet but the excitement wasn’t to be mistaken.
It wasn’t a particularly smooth start as it turned out. Life was a bit hard the first 6-7 years, I skipped school, can´t remember how many times I did it. It was something I kept to myself. My parents didn’t have an easy life either, being their dutiful daughter, I couldn’t bother them with my troubles. It may be wrong to refer them as troubles, it´s more like complicated feelings of an teenager who has suddenly slipped into a tough world unprepared and starts experiencing the less delightful side of life. (Norway is a lovely country, “a tough world” refers to the circumstances around me at that particular period of time) The fact that I had always got fairly good results certainly gave my parents the confidence that I would keep on doing well. I was doing ok the first two years, but for some complicated reasons, the motivation gradually decreased. I was very much on my own, something I wasn’t quite used to. I missed my good friend tremendously, and kept writing down the words I intended to tell her in a diary. It ended up being lots of words, and tears. Numerous of letters were sent to her at that time. (Looking back, strangely, it seems that I only got one good friend during my entire childhood and the first part of my adolescence)
Sitting on a bench in the park, I could see the front door of my school and hear the bell ringing. I did feel a bit sad, and lost. The kind of feeling you get when you feel you belong to nowhere, and there´s no one you can talk to. What´s worse, you can´t even figure out what´s actually bothering you.
Over time, I seem to have developed the kind of personality which involves various types of qualities that sometimes contradict with each other. There´re many thoughts flying around in my head from time to time, in all kinds of directions. (I prefer to use the expression “from time to time” rather than “constantly”, which might sound a bit worrying) It can be spontaneous ideas to my next blogpost, a passage in the thesis I´m working on, an interesting comment on my blog, some inspirational advice from a podcast episode, reflections from a yoga session … These thoughts seem random, but when I think deeply, they’re actually inter-related. Sometimes it reminds me about the literary term “Stream of Consciousness” – a narrative mode that attempts to describe the stream of thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind. The concept of “Stream of Consciousness” was excellently demonstrated by Virginia Woolf in one of her best-known novels – “Mrs Dallorway”, utterly intense and highly recommended! (However, you may get puzzled by the stream of thoughts coming from various characters the first time you read it, just as I did. Keep going, it´s a masterpiece of British literature) I´m not quite bothered by the stream of thoughts in my head anyway, but I guess people around me (especially my close ones) would get a bit upset as I may appear to be detached or have very poor hearing at times.
I haven´t quite talked about the identity issue yet, and I’ll continue in my next blogpost.
Thank you for reading it and feel free to leave a comment!