My 2021

On the day before Christmas, I came to Dali from Chongqing to play; on the day after Christmas, after walking seven or eight kilometers along the shore of Erhai Lake in the drizzle, I sat in a coffee shop, ordered a cup of green tea, took out my iPad and keyboard, and prepared to write for a while about my struggling but still slow-progressing NFT novel. After writing a sentence, I stopped again and thought about the past year as the year-end approached.

A blank space.

Looking back on the past year, it's hard for me to recall a special event worth recording. I'm not a man with good memory and I didn't even try to put the personal history in my brain. So I can only briefly recall the stories of these days from different perspectives.

Spatial Trajectory#

In April, I moved from my hometown to Chongqing to live, one of the purposes of which was to have a stable and abundant food supply so that I could get rid of the dilemma of cooking for myself and gain the motivation to go out, so as to avoid stomach problems, muscle atrophy, and self-isolation. Therefore, I chose a temporary residence near Guanyinqiao, and I spent most of my time there in the following months.

This can be considered a fairly decent temporary residence, until winter came. When the winter haze dominated the sky of Chongqing as planned, the damp and cold air became a major source of gloomy mood. If it weren't for the colored (yellow, orange, black, white, gray) tabby cat I found and forcibly named "Village Chief" in August, I would probably want to write some self-pitying poems again.

Apart from the weather, in early December, the green space under the balcony of my rented house was cleared, and a developer will build two or three high-rise buildings here. In the days before Christmas, the pile driver for the diamond foundation started, and the deafening shock waves had the power to make people lose their minds and become restless. It would be good to be able to hide in Dali for a few days, but it's hard for the Village Chief to endure being alone at home.

The sky in Dali is completely different from that in Chongqing, it is a pleasing blue. Considering the long construction work that will start outside the balcony, I have the idea of moving to Dali to live. Especially along the coast of Erhai Lake, there are some white two or three-story detached houses with or without courtyards, which really seem to be a very suitable place for a leisurely life. The obvious regret is that I couldn't see any restaurants that suit my taste. If I really move here, I will probably have to start cooking for myself again. In addition, the housing prices in Dali are obviously high, and it is not cost-effective to live here for a long time. Still considering...

Another city I visited in 2021 was Changsha, which was during the National Day holiday. The main things that stayed in my memory were the hustle and bustle of the internet-famous street and the seemingly limitless spiciness. Yes, I am indeed from Sichuan, but I can't tolerate excessive spiciness. Don't be so dramatic about it—Sichuanese people are not obligated to eat spicy food.

Emotional Journey#

It started raining after dinner. Back at the hotel, let's change the topic and talk about emotions.

This year, I talked to several girls who were determined to be childfree, but unfortunately, none of them succeeded in holding hands, mostly due to me.

After a brief conversation, the communication with several girls inexplicably stopped. The reason is probably this: according to social conventions, men are always supposed to take the initiative to contact women, but I often forget, especially before leaving a deep impression after meeting, sometimes I can go for several days without realizing that I am actually chatting with a girl from a distance and should actively maintain interaction. And that girl, under the social conventions, did not take the initiative to contact me. In the end, when I realized that I should maintain contact, I chose to give up because I had no idea how to rebuild this connection while avoiding awkwardness.

I have also met two girls, but unfortunately, it didn't work out.

The details cannot be openly discussed. If I have brought any bad feelings to these girls during our interactions, please forgive me and believe that none of it was intentional. It is very likely that I myself don't even know what I am doing—on the one hand, I long for a partner to avoid the loneliness that comes from lacking sex and the lifestyle that contradicts the human herd mentality, on the other hand, I am indifferent, worrying about social regression and economic decline while trying to assume that everything is meaningless. My protein brain is just a mess.

I don't know if I am too fond of myself to completely fall in love with others, or if I don't even like myself, how can I truly and wholeheartedly love others. It doesn't matter at this moment.

Work Changes#

I am a freelancer and have not had a stable employer for many years, but the work I do to earn income is not worth boasting about or sustaining for a long time—it is nothing more than translation and information organization tasks. In the second half of 2021, thanks to investment income, the time I spent on these work tasks has significantly decreased, allowing me to devote more time to my hobbies.

But unfortunately, this is only a theoretical possibility, a unilateral hope that has not become a reality. Although I no longer need to work too much now, in reality, I have actively or passively immersed myself in fragmented information in the second half of the year. These fragmented information mainly consist of Bilibili and YouTube videos, pirated movies and TV shows, tweets, WeChat and Discord messages, Feedly subscribed articles, and Instagram photos. They have taken away a lot of my time and made me clearly feel the decline in my focus, and even writing stories has become inefficient.

Since I said this, it means that I have indeed realized this, and I can even say that I have found the crux of the problem. But I also know that it is difficult to turn around, because nihilism and the lay-flat thinking stemming from social/political helplessness have already set up camp in my consciousness, making me mutter about everything needing to be finished while trying to observe everything with the mentality of a bystander. I observe, I don't participate, and I am in pain.

Of course, I will continue to write stories, after all, it is something I once regarded as the meaning of life. Without stories, the world will become dull, and humanity will degenerate into beasts. But I no longer seek to publish these contents through channels with censorship (but I don't deliberately refuse either). In fact, I am also considering the feasibility of publishing stories completely anonymously. In this way, at least maybe I can avoid self-censorship. In addition, I will continue to keep my distance from other story creators because I completely cannot identify with their optimistic attitude towards novel writing in such an environment and their hypocritical and useless mutual praise.

New Expectations#

Around 2019, someone said that it was the worst year in the past decade but the best year in the next decade. By 2020, this description was still mostly valid and continued to recur for another year. In an era of complete regression, having unrealistic expectations will only add to the annoyance and inevitable disappointment that will come. So I give up on expectations, just as I hinted before: maybe I don't really care about the future. I just observe, better or worse, none of my business.

Just another year.


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