I am Master
I remember when I was younger, I was often intrigued to realize that the same me, as a body, depending on who I was interacting with or related to, could be a daughter, a sister, a teacher, a friend, an enemy, a patient, a student, a lover…
Some of the roles I played easily, such as being a teacher. I had no idea where this confidence came from, but I just had it. I became a college teacher at the age of 22. I did not care about the idea of what being a teacher should be, but simply being myself, which in some Chinese traditions might not be “proper”. My students loved and accepted me. That was all I cared about. I didn’t have the role of a school counsellor, but a lot of students liked to visit me at my on-campus dorm room and share their thoughts, concerns, worries, and stories.
Some of the roles I played awkwardly. One time I came up with this idea of opening a gift shop on the campus where I was teaching. Colleges in China are more closely tied together. People study and live on campus. I put myself into this confusing and unorthodox position that I was making money from students. It challenged my students’ perception of me, especially when I was in the store when they came in as customers. My perception of their perception put me on edge all the time.
I first started writing on travel websites. I consistently posted my travel stories on the biggest travel website in China. Consequently, they attracted some travel magazines asking me to write for them. I wrote and won some prizes, which enabled me to travel and write more. I started to gain some fans. Later I opened a travel themed bar in Guangzhou called Let’s Go with some friends. My fans came to see me from afar. Meeting them, I felt nervous, not knowing how to behave based on what their expectations of me would be. In some of the travel pieces I wrote, my tone was very lyrical and melancholy; yet there I was, smoking cigarettes drinking beer laughing out loud in my own bar,
I don’t know what it is. Maybe something in my past lives, maybe something in my birth chart, but I can easily receive excessive admiration from my people around me. I certainly enjoyed it, but meanwhile, the attention attracted some projection of their own images of me. Being idolized may have a price and be a burden, the burden of having to meet a certain image to other people. Since a young age, I often wondered whether I could really live up to others’ expectations, to maintain being a certain way, or someone.
It took me some years of struggle with my identity to finally and humbly embrace the master that I am – the simple freedom of being me. Roles are roles. They serve certain functions in certain situations, like now I am a counselling-hypnotherapist. But any false images need no more maintenance. If they fall, I let them fall, so I am reduced, or returned to flesh and blood. I know the simple truth of my existence is that I exit. Everything else is too much to bear. I am transparent. And I am who I am. No job can define me. No behaviour can prove me. I am already pre-defined and pre-approved. I am that simple master who carries no weight of identity on her shoulders.
And my mastery is to bring out the masters in each and everyone who comes my way.
Grant me the serenity
to allow the things I am choosing
to release the things that are not mine
and the wisdom
to know the difference