From: Beijing, China 🇨🇳
Who: Events manager
Quote of the interview: Always be responsible for everything that happens in your life and be true to yourself. Don’t believe in what you are told, trust your heart
I live in Beijing and work as an event manager for a cultural heritage company. We are promoting Chinese culture in China and all around the world providing a platform for artisans to partner with companies and organizations inside and outside of China. I did bachelors in event management at Beijing International Studies University and then masters in finance at Nankai University.
My father is now retired, but previously he worked as a chief engineer in a technology company. My mother is working as a head of HR at a university. I don’t have siblings – at the time when I was born there was a birth cap for families – they could only have one child.
I love traveling, I always travel alone and try to explore how locals live. Traveling brings me out of the daily routine and brings me back to life, opens me up to the world, to the opportunities and possibilities I don’t notice in my regular life. traveling is magic for me, it gives me a lot of inspiration and I am always in the ‘now’ when I travel.
Apart from traveling I like music shows and sometimes I take part in theater plays or music shows. I love walking, for me it’s some kind of meditation.
Have you found your way in life?
I think I am starting to sense the direction, but I still don’t know how to define ‘the way’. Before I used to do what I was told to do, directly or indirectly, but now I am starting to ‘wake up’. Waking up means I am listening to myself, I am listening to my heart.
What’s your story?
I was a super extravert in the kindergarten, I guess before I was 7, but then I became super shy as I started primary school. While in primary school I played instruments and joined a bunch of other extracurriculars groups like drama classes, school orchestra, drum band and the choir. It wasn’t really my choice – my parents and teachers pushed me to do almost all of those, but they never pushed me if I said a hard ‘no’. In China this is the case in most families, my family is actually very liberal, they at least asked me. Many other kids had to do what their parents said.
Don’t get me wrong – the kids are also used to this, they just don’t know it can happen in a different way, so for them it’s completely normal.
I gradually got back to being a social person in secondary school. I studied in a decent public secondary school, we had over 55 people in the class (some other schools had 70). I did some more hobbies that I kind of picked myself – I tried painting, basketball, and a number of other things.
Then came high school. High school studies in China are very intense – getting into a university is essential, it largely defines what kind of a job you can get, what you can earn, what kind of life you can live. In China the difference in between the rich and the poor is drastic, so people try very hard to stay at least in the middle class. Universities in China offer arts and science degrees, so in high school the last year of studies all the classes split by major – arts (including history, politics etc.) and science (incl. maths, biology, physics). When I had to pick the direction I just went with sciences because I liked them more and because I wasn’t good in arts.
In high school we spent 100% of the time studying to take a standardized exam that basically defines which schools you could apply to. I remember we were so busy, all of us, that we didn’t even think what kind of thing we wanted to study in the university. It just wasn’t a question. So when it came time to choose a university and a major I just did it using my gut feeling. I would go to a campus of a university and look at people there, I tried to sense whether they were happy or not, what kind of environment the university had.
I ended up choosing Beijing International Studies University – it was very international and had a major that looked interesting to me – event management. Although I am from Beijing, when I started university I had to move to the dorm in the campus – otherwise, it would be too far to travel, Beijing is a giant city. In university I first got an experience of living with roommates and for the first time in my life met people from such different backgrounds.
The social dynamics in my life also changed a lot. In high school everyone was on the same page, we only focused on studying, life was quite simple. In university there were many different people from all over China and all over the world, people with all kinds of social backgrounds. It felt like I suddenly was taken out of my shelter and put in a “society” that had some dark sides. It was just a new world for me, I learned to live in it, I didn’t enjoy it too much at first, but still got lots of beautiful memories there.
China is mostly atheist, most people don’t believe in God, they are very practical. I was so curious to learn about the religions that I joined a Christian group and I have to say I absolutely loved the experience. I never believed in God, but in Australia I first felt like there is some special energy that exists in this world.
One of the turning points in my life was a depression I experienced right after I graduated. All things happened at one moment – I ended my first serious relationship, I started a new job that was super hard, and I started having a whole bunch of health issues. I felt like my life was ruined. I felt so hopeless, I thought there was no solution. I was on the border, even thinking about suicide. This feeling of not wanting to live anymore was really a wake-up call – I started thinking what was the sense of life.
My health problems were really bad, I tried western medicine, it worked for a while, but soon my health issues came back. Then I tried Chinese medicine, found out that my skin problems weren’t actually skin problems, they had to do with the state of my organs. I was getting better but I still wasn’t fully cured. So I became curious why I had all those health issues happening in my life. I was looking for answers and at some point I came across yoga, Tai Chi, Buddhist and other teachings that I found very interesting. So I spent about half year studying all sorts of material – from religious teachings and philosophy to the mysteries of the universe.
There was a moment, 1 year after my depression started, when I finally realized that all the health issues and life problems come from within – from our own mind and heart. This realization came from research that I did, from what I read and thought about, from how I felt. It just all came together at some point. The moment I realized that I threw away all the medicine and just went traveling. This was the first time in this one year when I could enjoy myself and the beauty of the world around me. I clearly sensed that I lost myself because I was living in the past, I couldn’t let it go. It took me a while, but after this trip I finally let it go.
I have to say now I am very thankful for having that depression time – it helped me ‘wake up’ and come to a whole new level of awareness and clarity. After I went through this I became a lot happier, I stopped judging or blaming others – I realized my life is my own responsibility. I also came back to the passions I had back in the school times – theater plays, dancing, choir, painting.
After my bachelors I worked as a PR Manager for a governmental company that held Beijing’s major events. In China this is considered a dream job, it’s comfortable, the pay and working conditions are very good. It’s a ‘job for life’, people never quit such jobs. By the way, just like any other job in China it offers 5 (!!!) days of holidays a year. Since my job was very stable I realized I could keep on working in the same place and role for years… I felt I could see the end of my life in this company… Ideal for many, for me it was too bad…
So when my frustration reached its peak I quit and took a gap year, I went traveling – it was time for me to get out of my comfort zone again and come to even more clarity. I traveled almost all around the world meeting many awesome people on my way. It was truly refreshing and inspiring.
As I came back I also made a radical cleaning…I literally threw away 90% of things that I had – including my childhood toys, clothes, and all other old stuff. I did it because I realized all things carry energy, I felt like they were a huge burden to me. I basically reviewed my life by doing this and had a new perspective on my past and myself, it helped me get ready to have a new start.
During this gap year I also got my masters degree in finance.
In that gap year I tried to figure out what kind of a person I am, what’s the direction of my life. I was looking for ways to live in a current moment, to trust myself more and at the same time be more responsible – truly take responsibility for each and every happening in my life. I started to do meditation, tried and still trying to follow Bashar’s rule “follow your excitement to the best of your ability without insisting on the outcome.”
As I came back to Beijing I found a new job in a new area and now I feel a lot more in place than before. I feel a lot more excitement. I am still not sure what I want to do in the future, but I feel like I’m moving in the right direction, so I’ll just go with the flow and see what happens.
3 key realizations
We always need to live in the ‘Now’. Dragging the past along means living in an illusion.
Everything is connected, as the pieces of the puzzle come together you get more clarity and get out of an illusion.
Always be responsible for everything that happens in your life and be true to yourself. Don’t believe in what you are told, trust your heart.
Remember, many times we are almost like sheep – we are doing what we were told to do. Sometimes there are so many people that it might feel like you are just a part of a mass. Sometimes I feel it so much that I can even sense that a lot of societal systems (politics, culture, religion) are being used to actually manipulate the society.
Who helped you most along the way?
Actually are those tough experiences I had, they pushed me to think deeply.
My ex-boyfriend, the one that helped me get into that huge depression. I helped myself a lot. My mom.
What are the top books/videos/movies that inspired you?
- “Conversations With God” by Neale Donald Walsch
- “Zero Limits” by Dr. Joe Vitale
- “Taisha Book” （太傻天书）by Tao Qian
- “Chillax”（老神再在）by Xie Mingjie
- “The Truman Show” (movie)
- “What the bleep do we know” (movie)
- “Thrive” (movie)
What does it mean to be lost and found to you?
When you are found you have almost no worry or fear, you feel very happy, you feel a lot of peace inside. You just flow with what comes around into your life. You can handle even super bad things and happenings easily.
To be lost means to live in an illusion. Worrying about all the things that don’t really matter or even don’t exist. Living in your brain. Full of worry and fear. Always doubting what’s the right thing to do. Not knowing what you want and struggling with that.
Do you think you’ll be doing what you do now for the whole life?
For sure I won’t do one thing for life. One doesn’t necessarily to change directions, but he needs to be open to that. That’s the best way to go with the flow and take advantage of the opportunities that come around.
What’s your purpose?
Stay true to who I am and help others do so. As much as I can.
In a broader sense, I think there is no purpose, no meaning of life. There is just experience. We assign meaning to things, but they don’t have meaning themselves. That’s what I think.