As of March 2024, it has been five years since I arrived in Shenzhen.

These five years have been extremely challenging and lonely for me.

I had no particular dreams when I came, carrying only the thought of leaving once I saved 300,000 RMB. Looking back now, I’ve already achieved that goal, but circumstances have changed, and I find myself still in this city that fundamentally rejects me. Occasionally, I recall that initial thought and contemplate whether it’s time to leave.

However, where to go?

I sigh with emotion; there’s no place in this world where I can settle.

I see everyone seeking stability. They strive to find a life partner, a permanent residence, enter into marriage, and start a family. Most follow this secure and comfortable path, and then gradually clarifying their life goals, with the ultimate aim being “a harmonious family.”

How I envy that!

Those who are unable or unwilling to enter marriage and a family are pitiable. They are judged, looked down upon, categorized as part of a wandering ghost population. They are considered oddballs, people with psychological or physical issues. They reject a harmonious life, find it difficult to integrate into normal society, and society’s rules and morality will eventually corner them, apply pressure, force them to conform, or else quietly fade away.

But, you know, are there people who refuse to get married? Who wouldn’t want a home?

I believe there is no one!

Inability to love and marry causes me great agony. As for accepting the reality, I hypocritically convince myself, saying things like “without marriage, at least I can establish my career and enjoy it.” How is that possible? When basic human needs cannot be fulfilled, what’s there to talk about a career, a life?

But, this is my reality!

Time flies, three to five years disappear suddenly, like an old friend bidding you farewell after a happy night of drinking. You realize, they have to go, and you can’t hold them back. There’s a deep feeling of sorrow lasting thousands of years buried within, something we’ll all feel sooner or later, yet something we can never speak of, something we can never let go.