He goes, "so what do you think about proposing?"
I shouldn't be shocked but I was. I almost started laughing. I know he's been thinking about this for awhile but I never thought he would actually be serious about it especially with all the animosity coming from my parents. I tried to talk him out of it, basically repeating my parents' sentiments - how he should finish school first, how he's still young, how things can be different when they are actually together together in the same place at the same time. Of course he has a counterargument for all this skepticism because it's not the first time these things have been brought up; it's been there since the beginning. There's no way to talk him out of anything because he has made up his mind and he's not going to let anyone's opinion persuade him out of it. That's how stubborn he can be sometimes. The only advice he was seeking was whether or not he should tell my parents before or after the fact.
I don't know. I just don't know how I feel about it. It's not that I don't like his girlfriend (though I did get a little pissed off at them when we were in HK) but I just don't like the whole idea of marrying your first girl/boyfriend. I also think that no matter how strongly he feels about his relationship, he will be hesitant because he wants to maintain a good relationship with my parents and he can't do it without their approval, which will be almost impossible to get at this point.
At the same time, I feel bad. I feel like I should be supportive of his decision because the many times that I've talked to him about this, he has proved to be sensible throughout. He has put a LOT of thought into this. He has thought about all the options and possibilities and has tried to be very objective about it. But sometimes, I think this whole situation has been too much about logic and reason? I mean, isn't marriage about love and emotion? Why hasn't it felt like that at all? Every time we get on this topic, it's always about the economics and the fate of their future careers.
Then I started questioning him about school because that's everyone's main concern - as long as he gets his PhD, they won't give a shit about what he does. And I think if he doesn't, they are going to put all the blame on his girlfriend (which is probably really unfair). Then he says, "that's another thing, I don't think I'm going to graduate." Then things start to reveal itself.He hates it. He's really unhappy. He's not doing well. His research is not going anywhere but he's in it too deep to change it and he's not motivated enough to fix it. He thinks his boss is going to fire him if he doesn't step up his game. And he's felt like this for the past 2-3 years.
Then I was speechless. There's really nothing much you can say to anyone except "no matter what, do what makes you happy." That's so much easier said than done. How the hell are you suppose to do what makes you happy when the very thing that you've dedicated so much of your life to is making your life miserable? What alternatives are there? You've already made your decision that this is going to be your life a long time ago and you're now in your mid-20s and you just realized you have made a wrong turn. Not everyone has the guts to just drop everything and start anew. That's only an option for people who have confidence in their versatility. Not everyone can adjust to new environments like that. Especially not when you are this far. You feel as if all hopes are gone and your supposed talent is no longer your talent.
That really sucks. Talking to him only makes me so much more nervous about my life. I think I would say I'm not as fucked only because I'm still young and I'm not as zealous about school as he was - which might sound like a bad thing but I've learned to notice its benefits. I still need to do a lot of self-discovery in the next few years. I just need to grow up a bit and do something with myself. Stop being scared about what you can't do and start being confident about what you CAN do. I'm still not sure what that is but I need to find out soon.