Hanging on by a Thread

Wide awake at 4am in the morning. Thought to a comment made by my coworker yesterday. It was made to complement my fluency in manderin, but it kinda hurts a little inside….

You see, ever since I cut my ties with my family, there is really no use for me to speak Mandarin on daily basis. However, what’s unique about my work is that a lot of my clients speak Mandarin only. So…pretty much the only time that I get to speak Mandarin is at work. And that was the comment that my coworker made and said my Mandarin is still so good…

Yup, I pride myself in my bilingual ability. Not that I am good in either language, just good enough so people can’t really guess where I am from. In a way it’s a fun little game I play with my clients at times. They’d ask if I was from Taiwan because of the slight Taiwanese accent I picked up from my highschool years. “nope, I came from China.” “Oh…” the dissapointment in that “oh” was often palpable, but I still get a kick out of that. Once in a while my shanghainese clients would talk to eachother in shanghainese and I’d understood their dialect perfectly. That’s always a surprise for them when they realized I understood what they had said. It’s all fun and games until I am reminded that my roots are slowly dying or hanging on by a thread. That definitely stings a bit, I am not gonna lie.

So when I look at my orchids in the morning, I often marveled at one of the orchids with one root system hanging on, literally, by a thread. The root had squeezed itself through a tiny opening under the pot to get to the water thats pooling underneath. In doing so, the root got strangulated at that choke point and is now dangling by a thread. The surprising thing is though, if you look above and under the choke point, the plant is actually doing amazingly well. Strong root systems, healthy leaves, and a flower stem about to bloom. I totally could trim that root, but there is no need to. It’s symbolic in away that I am like that orchid, sprouting new roots but keeping the old. A past thats forever with me no matter where I go.

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