Identifier

MSS.2.72

Publication Date

9-5-1920

Document Type

Letter

Transcription

30 Seymour Road,
Shanghai,
5 September, 1920

Dearest Dada

Aren't you surprised to hear
from me after this long silence?
Well, I am rather undecided about
a matter, and have been for the
past few months. No, not a
matter of the Heart!

I have been thinking of
returning to America and, taking
up medicine for a career. What
do you think of this plan?
I have talked it over with Mother,
and she is most unwilling. Her
objections are many; the most []
among them being that this would
mean an absence from her for
the next six years at least (as of course
I must have a couple of years of
internship in some hospital before I
return), 2, that my health would [page break]
not stand the wear and tear of a
doctor's life, 3, that I have enough
for my wants, and what's the use of
killing myself, and 4, that I could
be just as useful to China in some
other career.

Mother is so good to me, and
does lean on me so much that I
really hate to think of leaving her,
especially as during these last three
years, I have been having a
real bit of home-life, the kind
that I missed during my adolescent
period. And in a way, I think
I am beginning to be a little less
individualistic too, and understand
"family feeling" more than I
ever did in my life before.

Then why should I want to
come abroad to study medicine?
Well you see, I want a career
in preference to marriage, and
in my mind, a doctor's life [page break]
has sufficient varied human
interests to be interesting, and
to keep me in active touch with
humanity. Barring matrimony,
and teaching, there is nothing
open to women in China,
nothing open to me without tres-
passing upon the tradition of
the family. For instance, I could
not possibly go into business
without an awful lot of gossip
and disagreeable attendant
annoyances. As for social
service work, it is too theoretical
to suit me; at least what I
have had is. Do you understand
what I mean? In Social Services
work, it is amateurish. We do a
lot of gabbing; but I see no
practical results. Oh, I suppose we
do some good; at the same time
there is nothing tangible. Anyway,
I want to heal people's physical [page break]
being, and let someone else
deal with their social welfare.

You must think this is a
wild letter. And it is probably.
Philanthropy, and Social Service
as most people use them are
fads, and as such I cannot
get up my enthusiasm for
them.

Mother thinks I am just
chasing the Blue Bird of Happiness
in wanting to return to America.
I wish she would come with me;
but of course she would not
as she dislikes leaving home.

Dada dear, I wish you
were here to talk over things
with me. I have wanted and
wanted to write you what I have been
thinking about all these months.
Yet someway, I have not been
able to do so, just because I
have not thought out the matter [page break]
thoroughly.

You wrote me that Ruth Tuthill
has gone to Johns Hopkins to study.
I wish I were there with her.

Write me soon and tell me
how everything is with you.
For me, everything is all right,
if I were only contented; but
you know I am rather
insatiable most of the time.

Love,
Daughter.

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