An ideal place is nowhere?!

I have been thinking about and comparing the public transportation here at Atlanta with that in China. It really hurts me financially when I bought my first car, which is a used car, but still, it suffices to make me bankrupt. My urgency lies not only in the financing of a car, but also the time needed to learn how to drive. With a reading list that never ends, I don’t know how much private life I will be able to have out of my PhD life. I now regret I didn’t follow my mom’s advice on learning driving early! Yet, I could not get my French training if I took a driving course that summer. It seems to me that I can never have enough time to finish all the things that I wish I could do. Sometimes I really wish I can take buses or trains to everywhere even on snowy days, like what I did in China.

The fact that I do not go out often here is that the public transportation is just not that convenient. I mean, it takes such a long time for me to go to my friends’  places in the city from where I live. It seems to me that all lower rent places requires a car whereas I cannot afford an actual higher rent place! This made me kind of missing China. However, I hate thieves on buses, and that many people with little room to even squeeze myself in. Plus the traffic! On this thought, I am happy that I am here. But I really want to buy a bike now. I know it will only happen after two months before I can afford one. I have to pay another 500$ for my used car to finish the title transfer process! Life is hard, where do I get all that money I need for this consumer society in which I myself is not a powerful customer?

I think I should quit all these nonsense utopian thoughts all day long and learn how to get back to my readings attentively. Oh, my readings for the communication course, are, to some extent, English versions of my politics course readings when I was in middle school, high school, and college. It is really weird though when I read all the jargons in English, I thought of those days when we all hated all the politics courses. When Chinese ideologies and textbooks taught me we had to overthrow capitalism and make socialism known to people from all over the world, I was confused. I become all the more confused when I watched the Oxford Union debate on whether or not socialism helps, and whether or not capitalism helps. They are damn useful if I knew I would one day make use of them, I’d hug and kiss my teachers and professors! I’d get better grades out of their courses, which would benefit my overall GPA a lot!

Anyway, I am really keen to the question of how we can help to make the world a better place. I think, I read, I talk to people, but I don’t have an answer yet. All I can do is to try to help as many people I can, try to be productive everyday, and try to become a better self everyday. When can I become a more powerful person? I want to persuade, to make believe, and to make changes. I really want to be a story teller, but that is not enough, the fast pace of this digital life does not sometimes allow that much time on stories. I admire Amy Tan and many other TED speakers. So maybe an ideal place is nowhere, but everywhere if we can make a change, even through rhetoric. The Chinese saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” helps me and supports me. Or else, I would think this life will be lived in vain.

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