In early July 2020, I received the company’s resignation certificate and rode a small yellow car out of the company building under the scorching July sun. There were few people on the road, the road was steaming and the sun was shining brightly. In late June 2021, I was about to join a new workplace. There had just been a heavy rain and the weather was cool. One year has passed and the days of not working are coming to an end. Here is a brief review.

1. Childhood and Game Consoles

In the first three months, I realized my childhood dream, bought an XBOX Scorpio game console, a 4K monitor, and played games in a small room.

I can’t go back. I can’t go back to my childhood immersion in games. My favorite age to play games is between the third grade of junior high school and the first grade of high school. “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City”, “Red Alert 2”… After this period of time, I no longer care about games. I can arouse interest, even in college, I only played “Left 4 Dead 2” online a few times with my roommates. I couldn’t accept the fact that I devoted a lot of time to the game and found it boring.

This time too, the game was well made and the story was great (The Witcher 3, Red Dead Redemption 2), but I just couldn’t get into it. After confirming this, I sold these gaming equipment again.

In addition to playing games, I also discovered some outdoor groups in Shenzhen, crossed the beach, hiked in the mountains and forests, and was deeply impressed by the sea view of South Australia. This is the sea in my imagination.

2. Traveling?

The original intention of traveling was to sleep in a different bed😂.

For a long time, I suffered from back pain while sleeping on the bed, and I kept making do with it. Finally one day, I felt it was no longer possible, but I wasn’t sure whether it was because of my waist or the bed, so I needed to change to a different bed for comparison. hotel? Then travel. After checking the tickets and accommodation, there are discounts due to the epidemic, so let’s stay there. This is how the plan to live in Chengdu and Dali began.

3. Chengdu

Carrying a medium-sized suitcase and a programmer’s backpack, we set off from Shenzhen in early November, transferred to Guangzhou and arrived in Chengdu. On the train, there was an aunt from Sichuan who worked in Shenzhen and taught me some Sichuan intonations. I couldn’t tell the difference between the pronunciation of “forty” and “fourteen”.

Du Fu Thatched Cottage, People’s Park, Kuanzhai Alley, Wuhou Temple, Jinli, this is not the way I want to experience it, it’s just like watching the flowers on the fly. I simply stopped going to check-in attractions and only went to places I really wanted to go. That is Qingcheng Mountain hahaha.

I went to Qingcheng Mountain twice. The first time was to the front mountain. The front mountain is mostly Taoist temples and there are relatively more tourists. The second time was to the back mountain, which is rarely visited by tourists. I was amazed by the waterfalls in the back mountain. On the way down the mountain, there were There are small waterfalls in sections, walking in the mountain stream, with moss-covered mountain walls on both sides, and turquoise spring water at the foot. It is extremely beautiful.

The rest of the days, I just read quietly and borrowed “Little Fire” and “Silent Confession” from the library in Chengdu. The B&B where I stayed was very quiet. Located on the first floor of an old community, a residential house has been transformed into 3 independent B&Bs. There is a floor-to-ceiling window, but it is a pity that there is little sunlight in Shu. There are often crickets chirping outside the window, birds chirping in the morning, and the sound of sweeping the floor. Reading in a room like this feels very peaceful, but I feel a little chilly after reading for a long time, so I asked my roommate in Shenzhen to mail me the cold-weather clothes I brought back from the Northeast.

In the evening, I would walk to the “Huanhuaxi Park” south of Du Fu Thatched Cottage, watch the cranes playing and flying in the pond, watch the sky slowly darken, and imagine myself in a deep valley with no people, very peaceful.

After staying there for half a month, there was no one to talk to, and it was quite lonely.

4. Dali

In mid-November, I left Chengdu and arrived at the long-awaited Dali. I spent an unforgettable two months here and it was more interesting and wonderful than I imagined.

I stayed in an inn until the end. From the difficulty of integrating at the beginning, I now have a familiar place and familiar people. The details have been written in the previous diary.

One special thing I observed about the Dali community is that the people here are very diverse, mainly middle-aged people. The age of 40 is a very full age in life. When different people gather together and just listen to their sharing, you can feel a lot of rich things. And it’s different from just sitting and talking. There are many creators here. They make wine, bake bread, organize events, write public accounts, write novels, climb mountains, hike, and build houses. It feels like you can do everything by yourself. For example, he can build his own shop by himself, cut wood, hammer nails, and work in frustration with the master workers.

Some small shops in Dali also give people a different feeling. The shop belongs to the owner. He is not only the boss, but also a member of the community. You can communicate with each other. While he provides you with services, he is also an equal to you. In standardized, customer-oriented chain stores, sometimes people forget this and treat service as a machine. How can they relax when working here?

The development of industrialization has trained many specialized people and improved social production efficiency, but I actually feel that something is missing. During working days, ordering takeout, taking a taxi, and shopping online, a mobile phone can outsource many scenes of life to others, but it also feels like a working machine, and all needs can become commodities. I want a more delicate life experience, I want to feel like I am living.

But actually, I was anxious again in Dali. When someone asks me what I do, I just say “a programmer”, feeling very guilty. I haven’t created anything for this world yet, and I haven’t proven my ability yet. What can I do?

5. Return to Shenzhen

After returning to Shenzhen, this anxiety quickly dissipated. It’s back to a familiar scene, I know I’ll be at work soon, and the only question left is what to do next. The programming world is huge and there are many directions. After trying several directions of study, I decided to go back to the direction I started with and do it well. The rest is to find a job.

My eyes saw something new , and I discovered that like Dali’s “Dali Haozai” public account, there are also some public accounts in Shenzhen that share local activities. Later, I went to the “Spiritual Manifesto” bookstore and the Movie Club, where I met friends with whom I could watch movies and chat.

One day, I saw a photo of cooking posted by a good friend I met in Dali. I suddenly wanted to cook and live a good life.

I have always been resistant to the kitchen. I think it is greasy and dirty, and I have almost never cooked since I was a child. But suddenly, it started, everything was so natural, I could cook it for myself and eat whatever I wanted. Peanut oil, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, cooking wine, sesame oil, mature vinegar, ginger, onion, garlic, green pepper, dried pepper, corn starch, chili powder, pepper powder, lettuce, potato, mushroom, carrot, white radish, I gradually became familiar with them through hands-on work. The reasons that used to prevent me from entering the kitchen suddenly disappeared, and cooking became a natural thing. And it is very tolerant, allowing me to make some mistakes, but I can still eat it, which gives me a sense of accomplishment.

What’s missing is the concept of money. I am also resistant to making money. I bought “Chen Zhiwu Finance Class” a long time ago but never listened to it. I gradually picked it up again and let “direct financing”, “indirect financing”, “bonds”, “equity” and other terms that I didn’t want to come into contact with enter my vocabulary. Life. Money is a subject that runs through the lives of modern people. It is really a pity that we do not understand or even resist it because of education issues.

In April, maybe the time was ripe again, and I suddenly wanted to pick up the habit of meditation. I started to be exposed to meditation on and off a few years ago, and I know clearly that it has many benefits, but I just can’t do it. After repeatedly hearing guests on Jade’s podcast mention meditation, I decided to start it, so I started a morning meditation routine. I think that during my job search, I may also benefit from this meditation habit in terms of adjusting my mentality. I can reduce some of my resistance and face the emotions themselves.

In June, I submitted my resume, found my favorite job, and returned to my professional direction, hoping to do some useful creations.

It’s almost been a whole year, is it considered a “gap year”? When I chose to start this year, I did not expect it to develop like this, but many of the life issues I wanted to solve at that time were answered to a certain extent.

Finally, I would like to conclude by quoting Xu Zhiyuan’s conversation with Yu Feihong in S1E9 of “Thirteen Invitations”:

Yu: “Although saying it may not have a good impact on young people, in fact, life is meaningless.”

Xu: “I quite like a Western tradition. They believe that life is inherently a permanent Struggle, an eternal struggle that can never be peaceful. So they must be constantly entangled throughout their lives. They actually use creativity to face death and overcome this meaninglessness.”