I Banished Professional Jealousy From My Life

And it’s allowed me to operate from a position of abundance

Yi Shun Lai
Forge
Published in
12 min readJul 9, 2021

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Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

On my weekly walks with my parents, my dad likes to tell goofy stories, things he picked up over his long life (he’s 82) and wants to share with us. We don’t share the same sense of humor, exactly (he’s prone to puns and I hate them, say), so I usually listen with half an ear, trying to exercise my patience now that I’m old enough to have gained some, and preparing a suitable laugh, so my dad doesn’t feel bad.

But the story he told me a few Fridays ago was riveting. There was an old man, he said, who lived in an apartment building in Ka-gī, the Taiwanese city my Dad grew up in. He kept a turtle in a pond in the building’s courtyard, and over time he noticed it got bigger and bigger and bigger, at rapid pace. He was thrilled, of course, but also baffled. Turtles don’t grow at the rate that this one was growing. It had to be magic.

At this point my dad paused, significantly. “Do you know what happened?”

In my father’s eyes, I am four, still, and he has to teach me things, so I bit my tongue. “Tell me,” I said, even though I already thought I knew. Maybe my dad would surprise me.

“The college boys who lived on the floor above him kept on buying bigger and bigger turtles…

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Yi Shun Lai
Forge

Author: A SUFFRAGISTS’S GUIDE TO THE ANTARCTIC (2024), Pin Ups (2020). Columnist, The Writer. theGooddirt.org; @gooddirt. Psst: Say “yeeshun.” You can do it!