December 5, 2010, 11:53 pm Sunday night, Leilei was looking for some clothes at home and suddenly stopped her search. Leilei was born in the summer of 1983. From a small town in southern China, 9 years ago she was admitted into a very famous engineering university in Beijing, 5 years ago she started her master’s program and 3 years ago she started working. Currently, according to statistics Leilei’s income is in the top 12 percent of Beijing.
(family back home)
“How much money does your Leilei make?”
“Aiya… only about 10,000 yuan.”
“Wow, so much!”
Leilei works at Beijing 3.5 Huan, she takes bus plus subway to work, needs about 1 hour and 13 minutes and costs 2.4 yuan. Leilei often withdraws money after work at the company south gate, average time waiting in line for the ATM is 3.5 minutes. There is never any line for the next door China Bank ATM. “That one charges you 2 yuan processing fee.” Leilei rents a one bedroom apartment for 2500 yuan a month. The lease is up next month and the landlord said the rent will be increased to 3200 yuan.
“I can’t go any cheaper; the place across street is going for 3500. You take it or leave it.”
Leilei was unhappy about that. She wants to buy a house but according to today’s average home price in Beijing, her saving is still 570,000 yuan away from the down payment. Leilei broke up with her formal boyfriend for about 1 year and 5 months. On average her family arranges 1 to 2 dates for her per month, but she went to zero of them. Leilei notices that she dislikes going to parties and gatherings more and more. There are only 3 conversation topics at these parties, house, car and marriage. What hides behind these topics is income. But they would not discuss about income if they have not been drinking so much. But the purchase price of the homes and the monthly mortgage can be discussed. When that happens, Leilei sees a number on top of everyone’s head. Leilei hopes her monthly expense in the future will not be so high.
Leilei often thought she had many dreams when she was young, but she can never remember them. For example become a scientist, her current job is engineer so she thought that is not far from being a scientist. As for other dreams, she can no longer remember.
Xiao Xing is an engineer of statistics. He believes experiencing numbers is the most meaningful thing in life.
“Baidu has 124 conference rooms, I spent three month and reserved every room. There were 347 different dishes at the cafeteria in a year. On average I would taste the new dish after it appears for 1.3 days. There are total 64 restrooms in Baidu building, I have been to 98% of them, but I have not been to the restroom on the 7th floor for some special reason. You know the reason, but that is my goal…”
Brother Feng is a design engineer, his imagination is endless. Even though none of his design ever becomes actual product, it never stopped him.
“How can there be no innovation in life, take a look my new designs…”
Leilei thought they are extreme but have their own dreams, but she does not have one. Everyone tells her, buying a home, buying a car and finding a husband, that’s your dream. But she does not think so, Leilei is not happy.
December 5, 2010, Sunday night 11:53 pm, Xiao Xing was brushing his teeth and thinking about how to achieve from 98% to 100%; Brother Feng felt into asleep hugging a book about an American innovator. But Leilei suddenly stopped her search at home. The reason Leilei stopped was because she found a box, inside the box was a letter she wrote to herself in 1993. At that time Leilei was in 4th grade, just mastered the 4 basic rules of operations. At her birthday she calculated: she already spent 356 x 10 + 3 = 3653 days of her life. Leilei had many dreams. She thought that she was still too young. She thought when at 10,000 day of her life she should be able to make all of her dreams come true. So she wrote down all her dreams and put them into a box and “mailed” to herself at 10,000 days. Later this box was brought to Beijing when she came here for college but was buried deep in the suitcase.
She rushed to turn on her computer to calculate how many days of her life have passed. 9999 days.
“First, take care of the most troublesome thing…”
Even though there was only one day left, but it only took Leilei 1 second to make the decision to not giving up. Leilei quickly text messaged a boy she liked for long time, then she turned off her phone and went to sleep.
Become brave (check)
Wake up early in the morning (check)
Make good food for yourself (check)
Become a beautiful girl (check)
Become confident (check)
Receive a red flower (check)
Receive 100 letters from friends (check)
Be a teacher (check)
Don’t be a picky eater (check)
Beat boys (check)
Get autograph from an idol (check)
Do something that 100 million people can see (check)
Become a character in the playing cards (check)
Having a box of snoopy (check)
Do 100 set ups in one time (check)
Drink by myself (check)
Chat with animals (check)
On the 10,000th day she spent 23 hours and 45 minutes, Leilei checked off each dreams in the letter. Leilei suddenly remembered she forgot to bring her cell phone for the whole day.
Find the prince charming (check)
Find happiness (check)
Leilei was very happy, she spent 6 minutes and 30 seconds to calm herself down and checked to see if there is any dreams left unfinished.
“Find the meaning of life”
11:59 pm, Leilei sat in her bed. She closed her eyes to calm herself. If all her other wishes have come true, this one for sure can come true too.
Find the meaning of life (X)
12:00 am, 10,000 days of her life has passed, but Leilei was not sad. She saw every scene of today flashing in front of her eyes. Everything she went through today seems to be more than the past 9999 days.
Xiao Xing didn’t reach his goal of going into 100% of the restrooms in the Baidu building, but his eyes still burn with desire…
Brother Feng has never made one innovation into reality, but he already began a greater plan…
Our life is still long, we have much time to realize our dreams. The important thing is we haven’t forgotten our dreams.