I’ve recently gotten into this recent modern Taiwanese tv series called “The Making of an Ordinary Woman”, which traces the story of a young career oriented lady who is making her life in the big city of Taipei far away from her family down in Tainan (southern Taiwan).
She spends so much of her youth trying to get away from family to carve out her own life. But after decades away, achieving a high level of career success, she finds herself very dissatisfied and gravitating back to her family in Tainan.
I find myself understanding this and relating to this a bit too much. I literally left Canada the moment I graduated from University in 1996. I could not wait to get out from the small and stifling environment of Vancouver. I remember the joke was that Vancouver had the best educated waiters and waitresses in the world due to the lack of good employment. I was determined to make something of myself elsewhere. What a grand adventure it has been.
But if the pandemic taught me anything, it’s the importance of family. We all say this but do we really understand this point? Life is a cycle: It’s so weird. During the ongoing pandemic, I spent almost 20 months away from my parents in Canada and close to 9 months away from my daughter in Taiwan, due to the cursed travel bans and such. Family is something so easy to take for granted. Yet I’ve learned how precarious and precious they are. How safe and comfortable you feel even as an adult when you are with your parents.
“Life is long so you can go back and fix your mistakes, but it is short enough that you should not dwell on unhappiness.” (Quote from the show)
I don’t regret anything or the path my life and career has taken me. But things have changed so much in the world that you can now have it all with the rise of remote work and entrepreneurship globally. You can start a world class company or work at a high paying job from anywhere.
How amazing it is for young ambitious people these days. No more trade offs. Remote work opens up the possibility of not giving up family for career advancement. This is something I am fully taking advantage of now. And you should too.