The Game in The Wondering Land

By Linh PMP


“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

(A quote from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”)

Just like Alice, the Twenties-something often asked someone else and even themselves this question; I’m sure about that because I am. If you are too, welcome to the Wonder-ing Land of Quarter-life Crisis.

Ok now pick up the way to go. When you are in your twenties, it would be great if what you want to do perfectly matches with what has been seen as your talent and what offers you a safe travel in life.

But what if NOT?

The part “NOT” here is a little bit complicated. Who see your talent, who judge you and who really understand you? Sometimes it is even you that cannot figure out who you are…

“Who are YOU?” said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I–I hardly know, sir, just at present– at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

(Another quote from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”)

Maybe you have NOT changed. You are just YOURSELF more.

Today a very short status on facebook immediately catches my eyes, saying that “IMPOSSIBLE means I’M POSSIBLE”. What really matters is just how you put a mark “ ‘ ” and a space in the right places.

So, would you dare?


“Love me if you dare” is the English title of a French movie in 2003 named “Jeux d’enfants” —”Children’s Games”. The whole movie is a series of crazy unreasonable playful decisions. It’s not beautiful, not educational, not thrilling. It’s thorny, like the real life.

The most obsessive saying in the movie must be the question and answer “Are you game” –“Game!” going along with the two main characters through their lives. Life is a big game which sometimes they ignore, sometimes they run away from, while some other times they cannot help getting involved in. The fun thing is that only when they are “game”, they see themselves truly alive.


It’s fun

P is one of the first Vietnamese tutors for international students on  campus, recruited to support the foreign friends during their first days at school. The first time I stalked P’s facebook wall, I saw a troll post by one of his buddies “Tutor for foreign students? Kidding? How come! With your low English grade?”. Actually it did not make me doubt his capability. I even trusted him more. There are many other students with higher English grades compared to P’s, but not confident, enthusiastic and determined like him. He dared to take charge, regardless of challenges. And time tells that my trust is right. He enjoyed the time being the tutor. He was loved a lot by foreign students. He also had new good foreign friends. He says that it helped him to change himself a lot. I personally think that it did not really make changes to him, but helped him discover himself more in a fun way.


It defines an “I”

C is one of my dear colleagues. To be frank, he has a weird voice which does not really follow any melody. He seems not to be sensitive with music notes. We often criticize him on that (just for fun).

But he still sings a lot and even composes quite a few STCo songs (kind of FPT musical heritage).

Now I have to say that such note-insensitivity helps differentiate him from other people with a unique style.


It defines another “I”

B is one of my foreign students. He once told me that he could not sing because he felt uncomfortable in front of the public. I tried to convince him to break the ice just once and finally he agreed. We then discovered that his voice was nice and he looked cool on the stage. I bet that there will be his second time soon.

My brother has a similar story. He usually mumbles some songs at home but never wants to sing out loud. But one day his literature teacher would like him to sing for her in front of the class on Teachers’ Day. I don’t know what happened to his mind (maybe he wanted to flirt a classmate, I don’t know!), but he just decided to stand up and sing loud for the first time. He sang “Stereo hearts” (OMG, how come!). One of his close friends sent him a message after that day “You are not the one I knew before :-D”. I know it made him love himself more.


Back to “Love me if you dare”, I hate the way the two characters treat their dear ones in the movie. I hate the way the movie ends in death, not like the other fairy tales or Pixar cartoons that I fall in love with. But I love the way they live in passion and stay playful until the last minute.


Are you game, are you ready for the Wonder-ful Land of Twenties-something Discovery instead of wondering day by day, and ready for another DARE-TO-DO LIST which will keep you excited every time you wake up? I know you are, because you are young and thirsty for the game.

Game on.

Featured photo: From Internet

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