Me Thinking

Shan Hsu
3 min readAug 31, 2023

Warning — writing randomly. Topics include: ambitions (or a lack of), why I switched jobs, personal beliefs, language barrier.

Long time no see, everyone. A rare post in English that I drafted up here and there during work today.

I’ve come to realize that I’m not quite an ambitious person as I project.

Yes, I do have goals and dreams, but they’re not at all about pushing my fame or power or even enlarging my properties.

They’re fairly “unimpressive” — A steady income to support life quality. A vision beyond skylines through traveling or living in different cities, soaking up all kinds of cultures until they merge into one as “mine”. A good hold on all relationships I deem important — family, friends and my partner in crime for life. An endless stream of information and knowledge pouring into a tub that gradually turns into my wisdom as I immerse in it. A range of odd interests I could pick up now and then, proficient in a few of them. An environment in which I am always the “dumbest” — so that I always get myself surrounded with brighter and more interesting people.

I could go on and on.

I put “me” at the front and foremost of my life — not my folks, not my partner, not my friends, and certainly not my career.

I’ve always known that. There’s no grand theme.

“I” want to explore everything that this quirky little planet could offer. If my life is a “linear” Disneyland or Universal Studios or whichever grand theme park, then I want to cover the grounds as much as possible, expanding my experiences, and get on every ride (I hate to say “as many as I can” because I do always want to have everything).

I want to leave no stones unturned in life, exploring with a curious mind and an attention to every little detail that moves me.

I absolutely hate the feeling of losing that curiosity, becoming numb and steaming off more hatred than neutral mindlessness, which has happened a rare few times in my life, and my solution has always been “run”. Here you go, an explanation for you folks wondering why I made a sharp turn in my career (yet again).

To wit, I think self-preservation and selfishness have always been a huge part of me, this is why I always identified the most naturally with Slytherins, despite also having obvious traits like “jump first without thinking through (Gryffindor)”, “making rigorous plans and stick to them (Ravenclaw)”, or “loyal to bone (Hufflepuff)”.

I do everything with my welfare in mind, therefore, though it may seem like some decisions I make cannot be explained with logic, they actually can — I take care of the people that I deem important, I put my energy to things I enjoy, I follow some orders so that I can do things more smoothly, I volunteer to make plans and make sure everyone follow them so that I can feel happy and fulfilling.

Another thing, I find expressing my thoughts in English a far cry easier than in Chinese.

There are 2 reasons (in my humble opinion):

  1. I read more novels and creative writings in English, therefore my vocabulary is better built for sentient stuff. (On the contrary, Chinese comes naturally when I want to make rational arguments. Weird, isn’t it, quite the opposite from most people.)
  2. Because it is a second language, I feel more removed when I express myself in English, which helps when I’m trying to get in touch with my feelings. (Sort of like the drifty feeling after a few pints.)

Ending Notes:

If you’ve missed my snarky wit, you can find me on Substack (@13livescleverly), though I can’t promise if everything there will be in English (probably a combination of both Chinese and English).

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Shan Hsu

BBA Slashie - specialist for international, bilateral events/ former BD in films/ translator/ tutor/ photographer/ Spanish not-really speaker/ life grinder