Begin Again

The popular music movie Begin Again, starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, recently hit the big screen in China and generated heated discussion. Many of my friends recommended that I watch this movie, but I haven’t got a chance to make it happen for some reasons until it went offline. However, I think I’ve grasped the spirit of this movie already after reading the whole storyline and some film review online. The reason I use “Begin Again” as the headline of this blog is that this is exactly what I want to say to myself at this moment.

Li Zhang in Shanghai.

Li Zhang in Shanghai.

The past two months had been quite tough for me because I felt very uncertain about my future and didn’t know how to make a “right” decision. Firstly, I was thinking about going back to New York, because I found myself still missing the Big Apple a lot – for example the lifestyle, my work, friends, culture, etc.. On the other hand, I feel dissatisfied with my “new life” in Shanghai since I have to face heavy traffic, frequent OT, and unavoidable peer pressure everyday here. Secondly, even if I continue to stay in China, I was thinking about leaving my current company, because I got another two job opportunities this month, and both of them are quite attractive to me. One is from a US-listed Chinese real estate company in Beijing, and the other one is from an American chamber in Shanghai.

Honestly speaking, I didn’t sleep well in the past month as I was thinking about and balancing many things in my mind. I asked my family members, friends, mentors and even colleagues for real advice, but still feel “helpless” because the advice I received are different with each other, which makes me feel even more unsure about making a decision. Making change is good, because it will bring new experience and opportunities. But the not so positive side is that you have to take the immediate loss as well as future uncertainties along with such changes. I think this is why most people are more used to be satisfied with existing state.

I really appreciate those who have offered me advice and help during this period, because it gives me a good opportunity to rethink my career and life paths for the future. After rounds of discussion with people around and consideration by myself, finally I decided to stay in China for more time, and will also continue to work for my current employer to gain more experience in public relations and communications. Actually, this is also the main reason that motivated me to come back from New York last year. In other words, I feel that can only go back when I have become more experienced and established in the industry along with richer life exposures.

Reality is reality, and future is future. In most cases, we have to deal with the reality well first in order to create a better future. I “wasted” some time to learn more about myself and figure out what I really need at this life phase, but it’s quite worthwhile for me. Because I can “begin again” with confidence now, and will be more determined to reaching my ideal goal for work and life.

Lee Zhang, Shanghai

Lee Zhang

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