2016-02-27: Last week of Feb. 2016

It is fun to get back to blogging, but in another language.

It’s the last week of February, 2016. A lot of thins happened this month, below is the note:

On the 2016 reading list project, I finished the book (上海堡垒) recommended by Bear Ki. It’s a so-called Sci-Fi. When I say so-called, I really mean it’s just promoted as a Sci-Fi. Precisely, it’s a man’s romance story disguised in a hazardous sci-fi background. The story is set in Shanghai City, where I spent almost 10 years. The roads, buildings and landmarks have already been part of me. The reading itself is a play-back for me, all my days in Shanghai with friends, cousin and ex-boyfriend. However, the storyline is not compelling, especially when it’s promoted as a Sci-Fi. That’s why I left the comment on this book as “being short is the only good thing about this book”. I know it’s a pretty mean comment (as mentioned by several friends who read this book before), but that’s what it is.

Professionally, I got pulled into several client development efforts, on all aspects of water and waste topics. Some of them turned into a good experience, such as I enjoying my being thought parter of the partners leading the effort, and I playing a dominant role in the storyline. Some of them turned out to be such a disappointment. One particular bad experience is that the AP called me urgently and asked for my support “sincerely”. When we got the project, he refused to staff me but still asked me to lead the workstream before he can get someone else on-board. I’m not a particular fan of this model and I believe he and his team sensed my tension and my passive aggressive expression of  not-being-interested in further helping them. I admit that I was not being the best of myself since two of my supposedly staffing opportunities got postponed due to clients’ agenda. Besides these unhappy experience, I was asked on Friday this week to play a JEM role and this proposal was supported by my practice manager and my previous client teams. If the study is confirmed, the JEM could build a strong case for me.

Overall, I sensed the source of my unhappiness. The passive aggressive side is only the result of this unhappiness. And the passive aggressive is from a negative circle of behaviors, expectations and personal feeling. That is, when outcome turn out to be unwanted because you did not interfere at the beginning, you feel angry about the outcome and deeply know that you can blame no one but yourself. And this kind of negative attitudes affect your daily operation and leads to more things you will regret later. To this point, I start to get the point of “making your own career”. It’s all about you, and only about you – which role you want to play, then say it; which workstream you’d like to work on, then say it; which approach you’e like to use, then say it. If you let others decide these things for you, then you can not blame no one if the outcome turns out not to be the way you want.

Socially, I went to several dates to meet new people in the city and seriously start to understand the dating culture in the US. When I met Kerstin last year in Brussels (again), we discussed the difference of dating in different countries. We agreed that the American dating culture is unique by its three-dates-principle, first date to make out, second date to hand each other off, and third date to have sex. Is it true? I do believe that it would be varied among people, guys and gals. However, it’s widely expected, at least at online dating, where people seek casual fun, short-term dates and very unlikely long-term dates. Look, it’s “dates” but not “relationship”. That means, both sides need to be very open on the status. You can have multiple dates and the same for the counter part.

Well, I do believe when it comes to long-term relationship, people across cultures are looking for something similar, a partnership where both people can share the good and the bad, and head to the same direction of life. But the culture difference lies in the pathway they choose. There’s no right or wrong, but there’s acceptance or not. Thus, it’s important, especially for ladies, to take initiative in a date or a relationship. Being proactive and taking initiative means,

  • Know who you are and what you want
  • Initiate the discussion
  • Communicate the expectations openly

It’s back to “who” and “what” again. I believe 2016 is the year I really understand myself. When I started my internship, my boss by-then and my mentor asked to do explore what I want from job along my way because it can lay the foundation of your career. When I got my offers, 00 asked me the same question and my answer by then is “I’m still searching for what I want, but I start to have an idea of what I don’t want”. Career is so, and dating is so.

Besides the self-recognition side, a tactical side of being self-confident and taking the lead is that you are the one who define the relationship. You ask the question, and the counter part answers. Then it’s a relatively lower chance that your counter part would answer this question in a way making you comfortable, compared to you answering this question first.

Through the dates, I started to see what I appreciate in a relationship, mentally, socially and physically. And I started to understand the importance of “not downselling youself”. I think the not-downselling-yourself is a key element in most party queens and white girls’ dictionary. You are appreciated as much as you appreciate yourself. Confidence is widely appreciated in this culture.

Overall, February is a good start for me, in terms of self exploring. I believe the recognition and exploration will lead to a better behavior pattern and a better me eventually.


@Boston, Feb. 27, 2016


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