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After Tết, what's next?

Let me and my friends cheer you and your New Year with our greatest ice creams!!

I could not count how many times I had to go down the parking floor, take stuff my mom had bought and bring them up to our home. Tết as an adult is a meaningful form of tiredness, as some seniors told me and I agreed. One week before the Lunar New Year's Eve, everything had gone so damn fast and chaotic. Just take one step to any street, I beg every single soul can feel that typical energy of Tết. Suddenly, everything hit on its brake on the last day of Nhâm Dần as scenes around me looked like slow-motion videos people take on their phones.

Thank God, it’s finally time to be home with our beloved ones (and most importantly, get rest).

Hanoi during the 3 cardinal Tết days portrays a uniquely cyclical pattern, maybe with some tiny alterations each year. Quiet as if the whole city was abandoned on the 1st of the Lunar New Year to let netizens rejoice in that desertedness, but it didn’t last long since in the next 2-3 days, people from out of nowhere gradually spilt out onto the spring streets. Somehow on the 5th day, the capital turned around, back to the hustle and bustle like it always is by people from all over places returning back to the rhythm of life that, in the elders' words, is full of "bread and butter" (or you can think of rice in Asian cultures). Nevertheless, as a student, I am luckier because I can still wander around until the 9th of the New Year and because I consider myself as “a bum” to some extents, I possess less eagerness to "delve into real life to make ends meet", until I heard my mother “innocently" asking:

“So, what about you, you have plans for this year, right?”

I was frozen - the sudden question seemed to have paralyzed  every single cell in my brain. It was completely aberrant since it was the first time in 21 years my mom had ever asked me such a question. In particular, with any question like this, my mother never lets it be idle - swear to God, I guarantee by my soul. I have lived with my mother long enough to know well that my mother is not one who sets surreal standards for her children, not once has she compared her children to "others' children", but she will “command” her daughters to live with discipline.

Well, let me take time to reflect. My life before Tết had almost no end: I was all but a hamster tirelessly riding my spin. I would usually find myself continuing to work on block exams to exhaustion and trying to recover immediately for the next block. Worse, I even forced myself to do a few part-time jobs besides studying because although I knew it will drain myself, I hate the idea of merely studying and not doing anything else - a strange mentality that I often blame on my family's culture of doing a year-round service business and rarely having a day off. New Year's Eve is a brake pedal that slows down the life of the whole family. Once in a while, things are retarded, but suddenly, after 5 days of Tet, the work kicks in the accelerator like cars rushing into the Hanoi - Hải Phòng highway.

So, after this New Year, til the next Tết, what will I want?

I think I know. But perhaps knowing is not enough.

To be fair, 1 year is neither short nor long and I certainly acknowledge how a year can bring tremendous changes, but it is not enough to force a few things to ripen. Moreover, the distance between what I want and what I can achieve is a very long run of transforming motion to action, the thought that I found true in a book named "Atomic Habit". Knowing that, I reckon I should not boast to my mother, and making New Year's Resolution is not my style either, even though I'm often called "an ambitious girl". I aspire to flexibility by simply letting things go along with what I strive for day by day, as long as they all lead me to the same target. My motto has always been this: if it is fun, do it (and make money from it, lol). It sounds dumb but I find it works for me. The “fun” here is not merely the “fun” I discover from work, the “fun” I mean is the positive head that I carry to push myself forward every single day. Surely, there are hundreds of things that make me tired, compared to ones that give me joy, but to be honest, I'll still have to do them anyway - because I'm an adult, I'm 21 years old and soon-to-be 22. Are there any alternatives for me to avoid them?

Unluckily, NO.

Responsibilities, goals, and requirements, by any means, should not be treated like when I was 10 - because I am a grown-up, let it be clear here.

Wait wait, be less roundabout - what's the answer to my mom, anyway?

Simple - I have privately told my mom my plan - a plan where I will play fun things with my life - my playground as I always do, lol. Why should strangers have to be curious about what I want to obtain for the next year? Sincerely speaking, I believe there is no one who cares about it and there is no need because everyone is too busy living his or her life. You just live the way you want to be, and I will do mine, it is simple as it is. Life is not a race - because you know what?

We are unique individuals in this universe made from stars, then why don’t we just enjoy our own extraordinariness?

Happy New Year and let’s live worry-less!




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