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By Meng Wenjie | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-15 10:40

Rebooting your life

Some Chinese young people manage to embrace a new outlook on life when they decide to "parent" themselves.[Photo/Tuchong]

A captivating notion, "re-raise yourself", has emerged on certain Chinese social media platforms. Scrolling through the lifestyle-sharing platform Xiaohongshu reveals a myriad of posts with titles like "At 30, I decided to re-parent myself all over again" or "A handbook for re-raising yourself".

This cultural phenomenon originated from a post on the Chinese review aggregator Douban, titled "I realized I'm not feeling contradictory after raising myself as my own daughter". The author shared her struggle with guilt over personal indulgence, finding it easier to spend on family gifts than on her own happiness.

In a pivotal shift, she chose to "raise" herself as her own daughter, leading to a profound change in perspective.

Freed from the clutches of anxieties and feelings of unworthiness, she embraced a new outlook on life. No longer burdened, she saw the world differently.

"I love my 'daughter', so I don't care if she has a nice appearance, excels academically, or finds a high-paying job. It's OK for her to show fragility, to be a little overweight, to not have a good career or attend a prestigious university," she wrote. "All I want for her is to be happy, and she deserves all good things."

This resonated deeply with many young people, particularly those who lacked adequate care from their original families during childhood. Some shared their journeys of "re-raising" themselves, making amends for childhood regrets and reconstructing their personalities and spiritual worlds.

"There's a saying that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, and the second-best time is now," wrote an internet user named "Shilizhiya". "I want to reboot my life at 29. It's not late."


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