I still remember when I was 18 years old, I read a book whose title I have long since forgotten. What lingers in my memory is this line from the book: "At the age of 35, a woman reaches a watershed in her life. If she has spent the first part of her life hustling and bustling, then she can live the later part in grace and elegance."
At that young age, I did not fully grasp the meaning of that line. Moreover, the age of 35 seemed too far away. In my youthful innocence, I had no understanding of hustling or living in grace and elegance.
Now, sitting here in this spacious and bright office, I am able to comprehend the true essence of those words. They bear witness to my relentless endeavors over the past 11 years.
My train of thought was interrupted by a knock at the door. "Come in!" I called out. My assistant, Xu Hui, came in with a stack of books in her hands.
"Ms. Liu, these are the books you asked for. I bought them all online for you. I never knew you harbored such a literary soul deep within you," she stated.
I looked up at her and smiled. I observed her exuberantly youthful face radiating cheerfulness. Her youthful exuberance never failed to invigorate me, instantly reminding me of my own gusto and naivety at the start of my career.
"Leave them on the table. I will look through them during my lunch break," I instructed.
She gently placed the stack of books on the table. Picking one book about the women of the Republic of China, she suggested, "Ms. Liu, instead of reading the legendary tales of these women from the past, why don't you pen down your own biography? Your experiences over the years are as remarkable as the women in these books. To me, you are a legend in your own right."
"Well aren't you the fawning and flattering type? I am nowhere near their caliber," I chuckled.
"Ms. Liu, I mean it. With such a gifted skill in writing and such an extraordinary life, it would be a waste not to author a book," replied Xu Hui sincerely, harboring no hint of flattery.
After some casual conversation, Xu Hui left. But her words provoked a long reflection within me...
Ever since childhood, I had harbored a dream of literature. At one point, I even thought I would end up a poet or a literary scholar. After graduating from college, due to life pressures, I had to struggle for my livelihood and ventured into the sales domain, a field alien to me. That's when my dream of literature was shelved and locked away to be forgotten...
Reflecting on my journey over the years, I guess, in the end, it's due to a chance encounter with him that led to my fulfillment... As I pondered about this, I unintentionally glanced at the bouquet of roses on the table, the gift he had specially delivered this morning. The message inscribed on the card read: "Deeply in love, just like the red beans in crystal dice. I wonder if you know?"
There was no signature or salutation; just a profound poem embodying all his yearning, which brought tears to my eyes. I figured, just this sizzling emotion alone is worth capturing in words...
I opened a blank Word document on my computer. I pondered on what would be an apt title for my story... At that moment, a beautiful butterfly fluttered in from the window and landed on the luscious bouquet of roses. A line sprang to my mind, "When you bloom, the butterfly comes."
Although the butterfly is beautiful, morphing from a cocoon is mandatory to become one. Enduring countless metamorphic transformations and pain, and finally, bestowing a new life... Two words sprang to my mind instantly - Metamorphosis.