Childfree, Two Years Later

It’s been two years since I started this blog, and I’ve been busy working and enjoying my life. I’ve traveled back to China a couple times, took my boyfriend with me in one of them to see my entire family (my grandparents from both sides, my maternal aunt, my cousin, my cousin’s wife and daughter, my paternal uncle — I have a very small family), went to Puerto Rico and snorkeled for the first time, and about to embark on another vacation to Mexico at the end of August! My boyfriend has some good news too. The start up he cofounded was sold to a big company and he got stocks and some much needed time off. He learned how to swim and I started running and have run 3 half marathons and 1 marathon since.

I learned a new word in my Spanish class the other day: manutención. It means child support. It got me thinking about all those people I knew in my life, those that seem to enjoy their lives the most, some are married and some are not, and all of them don’t have kids.

My running coach John was an Olympian, and has represented his country in the Olympics in marathon. Now in his 40s, John coaches not only beginners like me, but also elite athletes all over the world, and travels to meet his elites for races or just simply hang out. John has never married nor have kids.

My other running coach, his name is also John, has competed in mid distance in track and field for the US in the Olympics in his 20s, but retired from professional running due to an injury. He then had a successful career in Wall Street for 20 years before coming back to running again. John is currently the world record holder for master mile, and he told me his goal is to run his first marathon when he turns 50. John is married without kids.

In the last month of 2014 I was taking Spanish class with this amazing lady Yoshie, who twice my age, had just finished the NYC marathon at the time. Yoshie enjoys training and competing in Ironman Triathlons, surfing, and has a successful career as a manager. Like everyone else I’ve mentioned above, Yoshie is married without kids; she and her husband have two dogs.

Somehow this old article Notes from the Child-Full Life from Outside Magazine was shared again on Facebook and I happened to saw it. Yes, you can still have it all after you have kids, but I believe it’s only for some people — Just like Mark Zuckerberg became rich and famous from Facebook, not everyone else who tried to start a social network.

I remember one time about 2 years ago, my dad told me his dream is to bike along the Beijing – Hangzhou Grand Canal after graduating from college. However it never happened and you know why — because he got married and I was born. Then he and mom just worked and worked for many years to support me, all my schools, language classes, extracurricular activities and study abroad expenses. Finally I started working and no longer required their financial support and my dad felt the tugging to chase his dream again. I plan to book a 12-day cycling trip from Vietnam to Cambodia for my dad, and I’ll go with him next year. I hope this relatively easy and flat 12-day trip will motivate him to get back in shape so he can go biking the grand canal (1,104 miles with rolling hills) on his own with mom driving a support vehicle some other time. Eventually my dad will realize his dream … only some 30 years later.

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