Meet Faye: Pengyou Program Manager

by Project Pengyou on March 27th, 2011   64495 views

The year was 2010. Beijing’s grilling hot summer had just come to an end, and the city was strolling into a beautiful autumn that every Beijinger is proud of….

The year was 2010.  Beijing’s grilling hot summer had just come to an end, and the city was strolling into a beautiful autumn that every Beijinger is proud of.  I just submitted my resignation to the Chinese state-owned enterprise where I had worked for one year.  I looked back at the path that I had just ran through.  My life had felt so overwehlming, like running through pouring rain.  The only thing I could do was keep running forward and hope that the rain wouldn’t extinguish my dreams.  Yet if I kept going, I was afraid that my very self would be extinguished.  At the time, I believed this was the typical dilemma for youth in China.

2010年,北京刚刚结束酷暑的炙烤,走向它最引以为豪的美丽秋季。我向工作了一年多的SOE递交了辞呈,偷得一点空闲,回头审视疾步跑过的路。那时候我以为生活永远铺天盖地、瓢泼倾盆,一边担心它浇灭梦想,一边却只能向前跑,若不前行,恐怕连自己也要被浇灭了。那时候我想,这大概就是我,一个典型的尚待破茧而出的中国青年,所必经的道路。

Since we were eight or nine years old, my generation had bathed in the glorious Age of the Internet. When we became teenagers, we started to work harder while envying “overseas returnees.”  In our twenties, we learned about romance from American or Japanese TV shows. Our own romances started late; as young adults, many of us were still slow-witted about relationships. Memories of our teenage years grew thin as we had to compete with nine million other people for success, squeezing through a difficult path toward a so-called “bright future.” We also had limited choices. Many of us had never heard of the SATs.  Most of us aren’t related to a government official. We barely knew anything about our city’s mayor whom our parents helped to chose. We became adults without even noticing, left our homes, and started a brand new journey alone.

我们这一代,在八九岁的时候沐浴着互联网时代的光辉成长起来,在十来岁的时候羡慕着“海归”努力起来,在二十岁的时候看着日剧美剧浪漫起来。我们的恋爱总是开始得那么晚,让我们在二十多岁的时候,还是那么笨拙。我们关于十几岁的记忆却相当稀薄,我们要成为九百万人里的佼佼者,挤过独木桥,奔向所谓“光明远大”的未来。我们的选择不多,大多数人没有听说过SAT考试,没有在当官的亲戚,对自己所选专业的就业前景一知半解,不认识任何相关领域的学术家。就这样我们懵懵懂懂地成年,离开家,踏上需要独自体验的旅程。

At the age of eighteen, I boarded a train going somewhere far from home. While waiting for the doors to close, I was staring at a ray of sunshine on the floor. At that time, I saw it as an omen: it was light from a whole new world, just waiting to be discovered. But the light was fleeting and hard to grasp.

十八岁,一个人乘上驶向远方的火车,在车门即将关闭的时候,注视着漏进车厢的一丝阳光。那时候,我把它看做一个预兆:那是新世界的虹光,转瞬即逝,不堪把握;我们机会一定不多,但总有什么在那里,等我们找到。

I went to college in Beijing, at the Beijing Language and Culture University. It was located in a neighborhood called Wudaokou, which was called  “the center of universe” by BLCU alumni. I thought it was nothing special, untill I left four years later. I realized the atmosphere there was slightly different from other places. We sang mostly English songs at Karaoke. We could say that something was wrong while everyone else took it for granted. We knew something obvious that other people didn’t, and we could feel that we were different from other people.  And these differences make the world even more beautiful.

我上学的BLCU在被称为“宇宙中心”的五道口。当时我以为它没什么特别。直到我离开那个地方,才发现那里的空气似乎有些微妙的不同。我们能对一些习以为常的事情说,这是不对的。也能对着没见过的新鲜玩意儿大呼美妙。我们在卡拉OK唱得最多的是英语歌。我们知道一个显而易见,然而也许并不是每个人都知道的道理:每个人都是不同的。这种不同,造就了世界的美妙。

Those four special years at BLCU spoiled me.  I quit my first job, a well-paid position in HR, because I hated being a person who had to lie to her colleagues. I then worked at a new branch of a state-owned company. I thought I would enjoy the start-up atmosphere, but I was disspointed in the culture of inefficiency and lack of learning experiences.  Yet again, I threw my bread away. A friend commented: “You just love human beings too much.” But to this day, I still believe in humanity.  Despite how people often fight each other for survival, they still want to understand and relate to others, and are willing to help each other.  My experiences made me realize that the world around me was not the kind of world I wanted to see in the future.  When a friend came to me and said, “Why don’t you try working for non-profits?” I felt something in my heart come to life again.

四年里,这样的空气宠出了我的怪脾气。我辞掉了第一份高薪的HR工作,只是因为我讨厌必须欺骗其他员工的自己。我去了一个央企的创业分支,因为我喜欢从头开始,喜欢参与和学习。然而因为机构的低效率和学习氛围资源的缺失,我再次扔掉了自己饭碗。我的朋友评论说,“你太爱人类”。而我至今也相信,人类作为一个族群,并非因为互相夺取利益,互相争斗,推卸责任才可爱。而我们自身的可爱,是因为我们乐于了解,能够理解,愿意帮助。我想我喜欢的世界,和现在我所处的世界,并不一样。所以当我赋闲在家,不知所措的时候,一个朋友告诉我,你可以试试非盈利行业的时候,我终于再次感觉,心里的火焰燃烧了起来。

I remember meeting Holly for the first time. I can still feel traces of that experience in my body. At the time, I was afraid that in order to work at Golden Bridges, I would have to become someone else. I was also afraid that I wouldn’t learn anything, and I would be wasting time. I was afraid of being a burden by growing too slowly. I was even afraid about having a dream that would affect my decisions. But Holly just said, “You should be peaceful as an individual.” It was like a wake-up call. That was the time I finally realized, I was so close to becoming like so many of the passengers I see on the subway, with painful faces, who were so affected by the influence of others that they forgot their own hearts’ desires.

第一次见到Holly,我心里多少带些以前经历的痕迹。我害怕我必须要变成别人,变成一个自己不喜欢的人。我也害怕学不到东西,时间平白流逝。我更害怕自己成长得不够迅速,成为别人和自己的负担。我甚至害怕,我有梦想这件事,会影响我做出正确的判断。然而Holly只是轻轻说,you should be peaceful as a individual. 像是当头棒喝。我才明白,我差一点就变得和那些每天挤在地铁上,表情痛苦的上班族一样:被太多外界的故事影响,忘记了自己的初心。

And my own heart’s desire?  To simply use my small hands, to make something happen, in order to build a better future.

我的初心,只是想用自己微弱的力量,为世界变成我喜欢的模样,做出一点小小的贡献。

I started working at Golden Bridges with limited knowledge of the non-profit sector. I was excited by this new environment because working with “the unknown” always made me hungry for more knowledge.  I plunged into an intense project management experience, and polished my communications skills.  I learned more from my short time working with Holly and Golden Bridges than in my 3 years of previous working experience. I am never tired of learning. I come to work with a smile on my face every day, because everything I’ve been doing has been amazing.

来到金桥的时候,我对这个行业知之甚少。新环境总是让我兴奋,充满干劲,如同未知让我饥饿。我把上学时候管理学生会的摸索,工作时的沟通技巧,做项目时的管理经验抖落出来,一件件雕琢,重新拼凑。在我短短三年多工作经历中,金桥让我学到了最多新鲜的东西,并且毫不厌倦。我似乎每一天都笑逐颜开,因为我所做的一切都叫人喜欢。

Then suddenly, Project Pengyou dropped from the sky.

然后,Project朋友从天而降。

As a Chinese, I know I may not be the best at understanding Americans that have lived in China. And I may not be the best at understanding Americans in general. But I know we have at least one thing in common:  Americans who left their homes and came to China have grasped that same ray of sunshine I saw on the train heading for Beijing. The thing that we are all trying to change is our own futures. No one else can do this for us, because only we ourselves know what we want for our future. However, the mission cannot be accomplished through just one person’s effort, because it is our shared future.

也许我并不是最能理解身处异国他乡的美国人心情的中国人,甚至不是最了解美国人的中国人。但是我知道他们和我总有一点是一样的。他们离开熟悉的故乡,为了抓住当初我在火车上看到的那一束光。我们想要改变的,是自己的未来。没有人能替我们做这件事,因为只有我们自己知道想要的未来是什么模样。而这件事,却绝非任何一个人孤身可成的。

There is a old saying in China: It is better to return home and make a net, than to long for fish by the waterside. If your net is connected with those of others, the net become greater, and I believe you can catch a greater fish.

古话说,临渊羡鱼,不如退而结网。而你的网和别人结在一起,也许才能捕到大鱼。

Faye Pu 蒲若菲

Native Chinese

Assistant to CEO & Program Manager, Project Pengyou

Hometown: Chengdu, China

Current City: Beijing, China


Related Blogs


Project Pengyou is building the first social
network for people with firsthand China
experience.

2 responses to Meet Faye: Pengyou Program Manager

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *