People of Ryde presents Lucy Fang
Published on 15 June 2020
Tomorrow Is A New Day
Life is a journey towards our goals and dreams we have set up along the way – it’s up to us to make life an adventure, or a monotonous overnight bus trip. Once I read someone’s remark that she aims for a life without big regrets – she wants to be able to say she has followed her heart and tried her best when she reaches the end of the journey. I thought that was great—that’s what I want my life to be.
I’ve learned life is about relativity. When I was bored by the ton of colouring-in tasks in my primary lessons, my ‘rebellious’ brother wanted to drop out of high school claiming it was ‘a waste of time’ (once he entered university where he was free to choose any courses and lecturers, he began to enjoy school again and went on to attain a High Distinction average). My concerned parents frantically researched Finland’s education system – literally the world’s best, daydreaming of sending us there. Yet through all of that, my dad never stopped telling me that I was much luckier than he was. The very first Chinese words he was taught at school was ‘Long live Chairman Mao’, and in grade two they were required to write essays condemning the country’s top politicians who had just been brought down by Mao. The only way to fulfil those incomprehensible homework tasks was by copying paragraph after paragraph from propaganda newspapers with their parents’ help. They had to be extremely careful. Any small errors in those assignments could send their parents to the horrifying re-education camps. And to attend his barely functioning primary school, my country-boy dad used to walk miles and hours with his friends each day, rain or shine, along the rough footpath zigzagging through the hills and by the river. In Australia, I was driven comfortably to my primary school every day even though it was just a five-minute ride. Sometimes I wish I could have had some of dad’s fun experiences of walking to school—as long as I never had to deal with snakes, lizards or Magpies, that is.
Life is about looking forward too. My bright but illiterate grandma raised four strong and kind-hearted children despite the Great Chinese Famine and subsequent extreme difficulties that life threw her way during the tragic times when countless peasants were starved to death. Grandma liked to say tomorrow would be a new day. Dad became the first in the family to attend university. His siblings have followed his footsteps; and they all live a much better life today.
Through my high school journey and some reality checks, I came to realise that the world could be very complicated, especially for young people from ordinary families that have no money or power connections to ‘pave the way’. But having come across many kind-hearted people who supported or mentored me with enthusiasm and selflessness, I also realise that the world can be very simple, just like my grandma’s belief – tomorrow will be better no matter what, and we can all reach our goals, dreams and live a fulfilling life if we work hard (maybe twice as hard), persevere, stay true to ourselves, and remain optimistic even in the darkest of moments.
Written by Lucy Fang