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The first time experience in life : Build the growth mindset


2021, the beginning of the Year of the Ox, due to the worsening of the epidemic, for the first time in more than 30 years, I did not go home to celebrate the New Year with my family, the first time I prepared the Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner by myself, the first time wishing my family back at home a happy new year remotely, the first time that I haven’t meet and hug my family and friends for so long. I found out that so many responsibilities which felt heavy to me in the past was actually the sense of security, so deeply rooted in my survival system; those naggings that I was so accustomed to actually contain people’s best intentions. The absence of all these gave me the opportunity to feel my loss deeply.

2021,牛年的開始,因為疫情加重,三十幾年來,第一次沒有回家和家人一起過年,第一次自己準備年夜飯,第一次遠距視訊和家人祝賀,第一次這麼久沒有和家人朋友見面擁抱...,才發現,過去覺得沈重的應該,原來是深深植在我的生存系統中的安全感,那些習以為常的叨念,是身邊的人付出的用心,當這些尋常不在,才讓我有了機會去深深體悟失去的珍惜。


The Chinese New Year used to be particularly troublesome and heavy for me. Growing up in a fairly old-fashioned family, there are always a lot of rituals that must be completed, whether it’s a clean-up, New Year’s Eve ancestor worship, New Year’s Eve cooking party, and the cleaning afterwards, the worship ritual on Chinese New Year’s Day, the going back to the natal home on the next day, then the meeting of classmates from hometown, then the visiting to friends, and the return to the work in the city; this almost unchanged process has been repeated for decades. The burden that was once annoying has become a homesickness for me at this moment, and I was surprised to notice that someone who is as rebellious as me has fallen into the stereotype of nostalgia, that part that I wanted to discard became tears of missing; for the first time in my life, I recognized the rituals that no longer serves me and cleaned them up in my inner system. I confront what I have now: my own family and a new country, this is my home.

以前總是在年節時期,特別覺得麻煩與沈重,生長在一個還算傳統的家庭,總是有許多必須要完成的禮數,不管是年前大掃除、除夕祭祖、年夜飯的料理聚會、結束後的整理清潔、初一的祭拜、初二回娘家、初三家鄉同學會、初四拜訪友人、初五回到工作城市的開工準備;幾乎不變的流程,重複了數十年的一致,曾經煩擾的負擔,竟成了此刻的想念,才驚覺,如此桀驁不馴的我,有著如此念舊傳統的一部分,那個多麼想丟棄的部分,累積成了思念的淚水;第一次,我察覺了與清理了我內在系統裡不再服務我的傳統,認清到了我所擁有的現在,我自己的家庭與新的國度,這裏,是我的家。


At the same time, I experienced the heavy snow for the first time for a whole week, the first experience of skating on a naturally frozen lake, and the I spent first time the Chinese New Year’s Eve and Valentine's Day at my home in the snow (no restaurants were available due to the pandemic.) So many "first-times" happened this year after more than 30 years, which is perhaps also a kind of blessing. Now that as we grow older, we are still experiencing many “first-times.” I think I am one of the lucky ones, with the opportunity to have new attempts and new possibilities in life. When we face these new experiences, how we perceive them has become different choices of life; are we upset, irritated, worried and afraid? Are we excited and eager to try? Just like when we were young learning to stand and learn to walk for the first time, how did we finally manage?

同時間,第一次體驗漫天大雪長達一整週,第一次體驗在自然結冰的湖上溜冰,第一次在冰天雪地裡的家中渡過春節與情人節(因為Lock Down,沒餐廳呀),很多不一樣的“第一次”在三十多年後的今年發生,或許也一種很大的幸福。在年紀漸長的此刻,還能擁有許多初體驗,我想是幸運的;生命當中還有很多新的嘗試,新的可能性,當我們面對這些新的體驗時,我們如何面對與看待,就成了我們面對生命的不同選擇;是懊惱煩躁、擔心害怕?還是興奮期待、躍躍欲試?如同小時候,第一次學站立、學走路,我們是如何挑戰學會的?


Many times, as adults, we afraid of failure and setback, and we hesitate to move forward. We dare not let go, but exactly because of this we confined ourselves in the old framework and cannot see new possibilities and breakthroughs; but this was not how we learned to walk, otherwise we would never be able to stand or walk now. We fell and crawled and continued to try until we were confident enough, we began to run, ran to another different experience.

很多時候,成年後的我們,擔心害怕著失敗與跌倒而裹足不前,不敢放手嘗試,卻也因此侷限在舊有的框架裡,無法有新的可能性與突破;但我們小時候第一次學走路或站立時,可不是這樣,否則我們現在絕不可能站立、或走路,我們可是跌倒了又爬來繼續嘗試,直到熟練了,我們開始奔跑,開始另一個不一樣的體驗。



I still remember my mother telling me about my first experience of learning to stand. A little baby stood up shaking holding the railing of the crib, and then squatting tremblingly. She thought I would remain on the floor and crawl for a while, but I continued to stand and squat shakingly while holding the railing. After some practice, I was able to stand and squat freely within a day; my mother witnessed this magical and interesting moment, and was amazed how fast I can learn and how tough a little child can be. I guess this is the willingness to try and break through when we face the first-time experience in life, to experience and challenge like a child, face the unknown with expectation, and complete the tasks in life willingly. No matter what the result is, it will accumulate into the nourishment and strength of our lives, allowing us to create in the next unknown.

還記得母親訴說著我第一次學站立的經驗,一個小娃兒抓著嬰兒床欄杆發著抖的站起來,然後再顫抖的蹲下,原以為我會暫時就坐回地面爬行,沒想到我竟繼續抓著欄杆發抖站立、顫抖蹲下,持續一段時間後,一天內我已能自如的站立蹲下;母親目睹了這個神奇有趣的一刻,同時驚艷著一個孩子的學習與韌性。我想這就是我們生命面對初體驗時,願意去嘗試與突破的心智,如同孩子一般的去經驗與挑戰,帶著期待迎向未知,也帶著意願去完成,無論結果是如何,它都累積成我們生命的養份與力量,再往下一個未知去創造。


When we face a challenge next time in life, how would you choose?

下一次當我們面對挑戰時,你會怎麼選呢?


I wish we can all find the bravery like a newborn baby who is afraid of nothing,

I wish that there are many first times in life that I can cherish, experience and learn from like the first time.

May the first snow brings a prosperous year and a happy year of the Ox; may you plant the seeds of longing and harvest the sweet results.

願我們都能找回那個初生之犢不畏虎的勇敢,

願生命中有許多的第一次都能如同初時一樣的珍惜與體驗、學習~

願瑞雪兆豐年,牛年快樂,親愛的你耕下渴望的種子與擁抱許多的豐收。


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