I was satisfied when I was first engaged with this "big name" company which has once designed the tallest building in China. I've since realized that this is just another "No Life" company living on its name. So, in fact I still don't have a life and I've discovered that I am screwed and destined to contribute my soul for a sound job title and reasonable salary.
Thinking about work from the moment I wake. Aesthesia sets in every morning with birdcall and I follow my senses and the ritual of trying to use the least amount of time to deal with trivial but essential routines; choosing the "best" food that is easiest to be swallowed and digested; reducing water ingestion to avoid unnecessary wastage and thus wasted time scurrying off for toilet visits; forever perfecting shortened "bye-byes" to get out the door more rapidly; enhancing work productivity after waking by bringing remaining unfinished work that can be accessed between naps.
Thus every second saved gives an extra second to increased efficiency and output. As for any form of unstructured time, like seeing movies, strolling around, or even just being in a thoughtless daze, only when the devil is blind to work, time, efficiency and productivity will that time come for me.
I have turned so panda eyed, so much so that even liberal coverings of foundation make up can't conceal my physical signs of exhaustion. I am especially numb about my gender, as I was disillusioned with my MD's genuinely appreciative praise on my "manly" working attitude, which runs counter to my lifetime pursuit of becoming a full time blissfully happy housewife. But every time my real ambition becomes lost as I become, against my will, deeply emotionally connected with the MD by his impassioned speeches that are always full of his acknowledgement to those who work slave-like with bended heads over heaped papers. I hang on his words waiting for tidbits of praise and after I am filled with self-loathing that I am sucked into this subordinate and subservient role. And as a female I feel we have lost our gender and identity in the battlefield of the inner office, becoming sexless, senseless, and loveless, living our "No Life" existence.
Some people, it seems, do have a constructive consciousness and attitude towards working, always looking forward and thinking positively, without cynicism. There was an interview with some CEO on TV insolently summing-up the secrets of success "Our success is due to those personnel happily working for the enterprise day and night, day after day." I don't know whether these employees are really happy or pretending to be happy or if the CEO has assumed subjectively his staffs' happiness. I ask myself, can work really bring such contentment and fulfillment to your life?
I still remember in a meeting that our MD said that the previous manager here, who was female, quit the company because she could not get married and couldn't even get into any stable relationship due to the time she must give to her work! She was close to 50 before she realized the necessity to change jobs and priorities. Nearly 50 for Christ's sake! I promised myself I will never become the second sedulous example in this company. There is also a fashion designer who hasn’t been in a relationship for 5 years. The last time she was in love was in University. She has No Life. She doesn't even have time for meals. She has resolved to break up with this company. How many are there like us? How many "No life" women are there? There are two groups of women in Shanghai, and maybe in this world, 90% have "No life", no fun and no money. The other 10 % seems to make money easily, they go clubbing all week, drinking and partying，it seems this is their "Life". Because I am single, I am not a socialite, and I am deemed an older woman (approaching 30), am I destined to always work hard with "No Life"?
I am a single older woman.
Sometimes I am a lonely woman.
I ask myself is that true? Am I old, single and lonely?
There are far too many compatriots in the same boat with me. What else can I say to you to convince you otherwise. Sometimes I can not even convince myself that I'm a success in someway - we are lonely, we long for love, we are terribly afraid of dying destitute. When Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of the book Singled Out (St. Martin's Press, 2006), asked 950 college students to describe married people, they used words like "happy, loving, secure, stable, and kind." The descriptions of singles, on the other hand, included "lonely, shy, unhappy, insecure, inflexible, and stubborn". "My goodness, am I one of them?" I screamed and could not help asking myself this question. Mind you, nearly more then 50% of my friends who are far beyond their nubile age are still unmarried. There are several reasons for this; career women marry later; the divorce rate is high for many reasons, including pressure of work; little time and mood to share your darling's romance; no emotion to release pressure from your hubby as you may also be stressed; no time or idea how to make proper candlelit dinners and, wow, just too many to list here. By the way, not to put too fine a point on it, those women who are married are likely to outlive their mates. As a result, most career women are now likely to spend more years of their lives single than with a significant other.
Us singles are not birds of a feather. Is today's typical older unwed female a lot like Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City's free-spirited patron saint of the deliberately single? The answer: a little of this and a little of that, and in some cases, all kinds of excuses you could figure out.
Whatever, it's clear that words like lonely, shy, and insecure no longer apply to all. Fully half the women in our times, including me, say we are happier than we've ever been, at least while working and especially at the time we see and feel our careers progressing. Are we sad now and then? Sure - aren't we all? Do we occasionally lose sleep worrying about the future? Yes, and with good reason: being a single older woman comes with its own economic challenges. But that doesn't stop the majority from believing that midlife offers an opportunity for growth, for learning, and the chance to do the things we've always wanted to do. We even have the chance to do things outside of the confines, restraints and shackles of a relationship.
So now, let me and all of you think again, do we really have "No Life"? I have some benefits that many married housewives can't share. Also, are we, the single "No Lifers" the ones who have created cages or limitations for ourselves? If so, it's in our hands to set ourselves free, to give ourselves "A Life", and not be so controlled by the expectations of society, work, family and friends who patronize us into thinking and believing that we have "No Life".
Am I desperate to find a mate? Given the option, I wouldn't mind a committed relationship with a cuddly, caring partner - preferably someone with minimal emotional baggage and the kind of income to support a nice summer house.
I do not feel like dating at times, just simply because I am not interested in dating or being in a romantic relationship with bald guys unless I meet someone really interesting. It requires a philosophical balance between putting on a game face on Saturday night and not getting stressed if nothing develops.
Am I lonely? I confess, yes I am, but everyone is lonely sometimes - even married people. But I actually enjoy my solitude while it could more or less balance my stressful feeling. Living alone can be lonely for sure but I love the freedom, and the fact that I know so many other singles I can network with.
Do I like my manliness? Of course I don't. But I realized to have manliness in working is one thing and having it outside of work is another story completely. I am keenly aware that appearances matter in our society and as women we need to know when to be manly and when to be feminine.
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