LI MAO RONG: I dream every night, I usually start dreaming right after I fall asleep and then I dream the whole night. But I forget my dreams when I wake up, I don’t remember most of them. There is one dream that I have quite often, it’s about taking an exam, like a college entry exam or a test at the company that I work for. Anyway, I’m sitting in a classroom taking the exam. The strange thing is that I can never answer the exam questions. So I get nervous, but that only makes it even more difficult. I don’t know why I have this dream again and again. Whenever I wake up after this dream, I wonder why it bothers me so much. If I think back about my life, I think this dream may have to do with one of my most longstanding wishes. I was born in the 60’s, during the Cultural Revolution. Later, when I was already going to school, the university entry examinations were restored. Since that moment, I always wished that one day I could go to university, but somehow I didn’t make it. I didn’t pass the entry exam. Now, twenty years have passed since then but I’m still having this dream. Maybe it’s because I didn’t make it into university back then.
    Anyway, the fact that I couldn’t go to university didn’t really affect my life very much. I went to a technical school and when I graduated and started working, I found that my level of education was quite high. Still, for many different reasons, I wasn’t really satisfied with my job, and I’m not good at dealing with pressure, so maybe that’s why I always have dreams like that.
    About ten years ago, the average salaries were quite low so I wasn’t satisfied, but I didn’t have much experience, either. I wanted everything to be perfect, but the more perfectionistic I was, the harder it was to reach my goal. I put myself under a lot of pressure. As I grew older, I found more stability through my family, so I became more relaxed and stopped worrying about every little thing. I enjoy reading, I always find solutions to problems in life by reading books. Now, after many years, I’ve become a happier person. I once read a poem, which made a big impression on me. There is one sentence in it which, says that a person cannot be young forever, this experience will go and never come back again. And in the same way, one cannot be happy forever, and one cannot feel pain forever, everything will be gone one day. I always carry this sentence with me. It made me learn to appreciate when I’m happy because it may not last, and if something unpleasant happens to me, I just tell myself that in time my sorrows will be gone. There is no need to focus on the bad aspects of life. I don’t believe the bad things will follow me around forever. So now I think my life is pretty good.
    I put all my energy into my family, especially my son. He is still growing up, I talk to him about the things of life, I help him with this schoolwork. My husband is working, he earns more money than I, so we don’t have much economic pressure. I hope everyone in my family stays healthy. My biggest wish is that one day my son will be someone. I put a paper on my door that says: “Every year is better than last year.” I believe my life will get better and better.