This is an automatically translated post by LLM. The original post is in Chinese. If you find any translation errors, please leave a comment to help me improve the translation. Thanks!

Now it is 00:57 on May 17, 2023. I still can't fall asleep, maybe because of the latte I had in the afternoon or because of what has happened in the past few days. My mind is filled with thoughts and debates. Instead of lying in bed and overthinking or relying on alcohol to fall asleep, I decided to write an article at my desk to organize my thoughts and turn the chaotic ideas into logical and organized text.

Red beans grow in the southern land, how many branches bloom in spring?

May you pick many, for this is the most lovesick thing.

The title of this article was decided without much thought - Turning Point. My life has undergone significant changes this year, with the passing of my father, the breakup with my loved one, and the transition to a doctoral student. These series of events have caused my emotions to fluctuate greatly within a few months. I can say that my emotions after the age of 20 are more intense than all the emotions I had before.

One thing that has always confused me is who I am and what I want to do.

I can barely remember what happened in kindergarten. I only remember that I was one of the top students in the class and always stood at the back of the line. When it was time to enroll in the senior kindergarten, there were no available spots in the kindergartens in town. My grandfather didn't want me to stay at home, so he arranged for me to go to the elementary school behind the village to join the first grade. That's how I skipped senior kindergarten and preschool and went straight to elementary school.

Elementary school was a simple and pure time for me. From first to fifth grade, I was always the top student in my grade. However, since I was raised by my grandparents, I didn't pay much attention to personal hygiene, and I was often criticized and educated by my teachers for this. I had a few good friends in my class, mostly smart boys. I didn't have any close relationships with girls because they would always pull down my pants from behind on the way home from school. Even now, I still can't figure out why they did that. In sixth grade, my father arranged for me to transfer to Xi'an. Before that, I was mostly raised by my grandparents, and I would only go to Xi'an to stay with my parents for a period of time during summer vacation. During winter vacation, my parents would come back for the Lunar New Year. Every time I said goodbye to my parents, I would watch them leave and then cry alone in my room. That was probably the strongest emotion I had at that time.

After transferring to the elementary school in Xi'an, my grades remained good, except for Chinese and English, which were slightly worse. But that didn't stop me from becoming the center of attention in the class. Being young and good at math compared to other students in my grade, I would always be the first to finish the tasks assigned by the teacher during math class and then go to the computer room to play (a small benefit of having the math teacher also be the computer teacher). Later on, the math teacher stopped letting me go to the computer room and instead asked me to tutor my classmates in the classroom or gave me more difficult exercises to do.

In junior high school, I transferred to Far East No. 2 Middle School. The only subject I took the entrance exam for was math, and when the results came out, my parents saw that I got the highest score and paid a few thousand yuan less for the tuition. That was the first time I realized the practical value of having good grades. When I first arrived at Far East No. 2, I felt like I didn't fit in. Most of the students at Far East No. 2 were from Far East No. 2 Elementary School, and they had many common topics to talk about and were familiar with the surroundings of the school. On the other hand, I came from the countryside to the city and had no concept of many things. Moreover, I was introverted and lacked strong social skills. However, my good grades helped me in two ways. First, I could easily integrate into some circles by discussing academics. Second, I didn't need to be too proactive in social interactions. Of course, these are conclusions I have drawn looking back now. At that time, I probably wasn't aware of these things.

In the second year of junior high school, I had a relationship, which ended with me gradually ignoring the other person. There was no formal breakup process, which I now realize was not good. The reason for the breakup was because several of my friends told me multiple times, "She's only with you because she wants you to help her with her homework." After realizing the absurdity of this, I told myself that when it comes to matters of the heart, it's enough to know how I feel, and other people's opinions are not important.

By the third year of junior high school, especially before the high school entrance exam, I began to feel lost about my own worth for the first time. In the past, almost all of my positive feedback came from my academic performance, while in terms of interpersonal relationships, I usually received more negative evaluations. At that time, I gradually didn't know how to interact with my classmates, and I would be very sensitive when interacting with most of them, except for a few good friends. At that time, I didn't know how to confide in others or seek help, so I kept these thoughts to myself, waiting for a new change when I entered high school. In the end, under the pressure of emotions and not paying enough attention to the high school entrance exam, my exam results were disappointing.

602 points, which basically meant I had no chance of getting into the top five prestigious schools. For the first time, I saw disappointment and seriousness on my father's face. That day, he took me to consult at Xi'an No. 3 Middle School, and he said a lot while I remained silent.

After that, I went to No. 3 Middle School, but my school records were kept at Zunde Middle School. The only difference was that I had to pay a few thousand more in tuition fees each year. I came to this high school with a sense of dissatisfaction, and later I found that many others felt the same way. Some went to Xi'an Jiaotong University Affiliated Middle School, and some went to Tieyi Middle School. Compared to students who graduated from the junior high school of the same school, we had more in common. It wasn't just because of our similar backgrounds, but more likely because we had a reverence for certain things that other students didn't have.

During these three years of high school, I experienced the fastest mental growth and also did the dumbest things. I won't go into the specifics here because I will probably never forget them in my life. The most impactful relationship in my life also started during this time. It started with frequent conversations, then my confession, followed by frequent phone calls, and then we agreed to be together. The date was March 12, 2017, my birthday during the year of the college entrance exam. I heard the confession while lying in bed with a high fever, and I was really happy. The period of time after that was the happiest time for me. Just like any couple in love, we had endless sweet words, didn't want to hang up the phone, and had infinite expectations for our future together. However, as the college entrance exam approached, this passion gradually cooled down, and both of us focused most of our energy on studying.

These are the most memorable moments for me before college. I won't talk about my university life for now. Overall, it hasn't been smooth sailing. I'll stop here with the memories and talk about the future.

The first thing is about sensibility and rationality. In my mind, there are mainly two types of consciousness. One contains all kinds of emotions: love, family, desire, laziness, cowardice, etc. The other contains most of my rationality: logic, reasoning, knowledge, fearlessness, prudence, etc. These two consciousnesses often argue when faced with issues related to myself, resulting in indecisiveness and easy changes of mind. Relatively speaking, the emotional part is weaker and less frequent, but once it acts impulsively, it can cause significant damage. The rational part is stronger and can support me in accomplishing many things, but it lacks empathy. Striking a balance between the two is an important task for the future.

The second thing is about the inner self. Every man has a little boy in his heart, and even now, sometimes I still think about things as a child. This is understandable as long as it doesn't have a negative impact on others, especially those close to me. This is important.

The third thing is about my life path. After sharing so many experiences from the past, it is to understand who I really am and what I want to do. In the past, I was usually defined by the environment and people around me. "A sensible child," "not talkative," "young," "poor understanding," "good grades without parents worrying," and so on. Sometimes I would get trapped in these definitions and live up to the descriptions of others, chasing after their definition of "good." However, these evaluations, although somewhat valuable, are ultimately derived from my own perspective. I, myself, am the most fundamental thing, not any other evaluation. Therefore, I now believe that what I think in my heart constitutes who I am. As for what I want to do, in my professional field, I will become a person who is valuable and contributes to society and the people. In my personal life, health is the top priority, and on this basis, I can pursue anything I like. In terms of family, communication, trust, and tolerance are the three most important things.

My growth in the past was passive and helpless. This turning point is active and no longer evasive.

Written at 02:30 on May 17, 2023.