I was relating so hard to this all the way through, with a few variations in life experience, of course!

Coming out from beneath the weight of other people’s and society’s expectations can be a gruelling process. I took a bit of an unconventional route to get to where I am now (nearly thirty and finally considering settling down a little and getting a regular job), but it was the only way to get the experience I needed and earn enough to support myself. I didn’t have the luxury of unpaid internships or immediate further study like many of my university classmates. For a long time, this handicap felt like my own personal failure.

Side note… I love how you write, especially your storytelling! I don’t know if you are also an avid reader, but I’ve just set up a publication for book reviews (couched in personal stories) called The Open Bookshelf. I’d love to have stories from someone with your life experience featured there!

China specialist, feminist, political scientist in progress. Reviews, socialism & everyday academia. Low-brow, no jargon/acronyms. Editor of The Open Bookshelf.