Sunday, 19 April 2015

Passion and Perfection

After the long-due retreat to my second home, where I spent a quiet and peaceful week on my own, I was greeted by the disappointment of being turned down once again for further study. This time I tried my luck with two institutions, and both of them rejected.

Despite the anger, disappointment and frustration, simply because I was given some sort of false hope earlier on, the emotions erupt and recede way faster than expected. They vanish almost without leaving a trait after being vented in a few lines. Now it feels indifferent and close to nothing.

I know too well that the constraints in resources is one of main concerns, but that I am an overwhelmingly passionate convert rather than a home-grown pupil who refuses to play by the conventions most probably shoulders the largest share of blame. That's perfectly fine. But I can't help feeling silly and stupid to believe for so many years that Hong Kong is where meritocracy prevails. Neither it has ceased to be one, nor it never was. What I had in mind was, it seems, nothing more than a carefully cultivated and implanted illusion.

Over the last couple of days I have been thinking hard over wine and coffee. Studying aside, what happened recently around me seems ominous that whatever I am into turns out to be a disappointment. The more I want to do it right and good, the more disappointing it becomes. The more I want to make a small change, even by stirring some ripples for attention, not even a call for action, the stronger the resistance.

Only until recently did I realise that I have been seen as a perfectionist ever since childhood, but I know too well that I'm not, far from it. I never sweat on every single thread of life, except a few things that really inspire and interest me. They are where my passion lies. The only reason for this unfortunate misperception of perfectionism is perhaps my insatiable craving for the better, which goes against how things work at this place and time, when complacence and mediocrity rule. Countless facts have spoken loud enough from the daily chores of life, routine operation of any given company to the governance of Hong Kong, but unfortunately the messages seem to have sunken into deaf ears. Anyone who dares to taken action is likely to invite scepticism and even unreasonable assaults. They can only confine to their own sphere, but God knows when they can be left undisturbed.

More than ever I also came to realise that it is a pain in the arse to work with someone like me, who takes things a bit too seriously. When I have a thousand reasons to do something, there are always many more for procrastination, indifference or even denial. If I roll up my sleeve and take things over into my own hands, I risk offending people, making them look stupid or incapable. At best I create unnecessary pressure for everyone. Some may say I shouldn't give a damn to what other people think, but the fact is that I am not the almighty wonder woman and can't do everything on my own. Most importantly, the least thing I want is to burden those whom I love and care with unwanted stress and hard feelings. I can do whatever I want only when I'm on my own, but not working with someone else. I feel naturally obliged to be considerate and mindful of what my colleagues, friends and partners feel, at least to a certain extent.

There is increasing pressure on me to settle for less, rather than more, on all fronts. I think I am willing to do it only for those whom I love and care, although it is always easier said than done.


  1. 不要氣餒,加油啊!

    1. 謝謝。但強求無益,有些時候,不情不願仍須放手。

  2. Anonymous9:38 am

    I feel your pain of disappointment. After a while you may wish to reflect and reassess your own situation and decide a path forward. Never feel that compromises are a sign of failure. Rather they may be opportunities in disguise. Hope you feel better by now.

    Ontario, Canada

    1. Thank you Samson. Actually I feel indifferent and almost nothing after venting in words. And I'm too busy to be bothered anymore. Hope this is yet another signal of what you called "opportunities in disguise". Fingers crossed.


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