“Medicine, business, law, engineering these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life but poetry, beauty, romance, love these are what we stay alive for.”
Mrs. Pearson, my fourth grade teacher, was the first to notice my writing. I had just settled in that morning, unpacked my backpack and started on the day’s assignment. She tapped me and asked me to follow her into the hallway. Immediately all my actions from the previous week filled my head, what might I have done wrong? Mrs. Pearson was a wonderful teacher; practical, direct, supportive. She smiled on occasion but mostly she was practical. With a smile, she told me that my recent writing project was excellent and that I had a talent. I am the youngest of four daughters to immigrant parents. My parents held steady jobs that provided for a home and security but left them little energy at the end of the day. They assumed we did our homework and did our homework well. So hearing this from my teacher was foreign, surprising and motivating.
I’ve always had a love of art; sitting in the corner of the library with art tomes in my lap, scribbling lines of poetry of love and longing as understood by a 12 year old, picking up anything that could create from a pencil to a paintbrush. I also fell in love with our Macintosh SE, so when it came time to choose a major I chose Information Systems Management.
Being raised by immigrants means your highest priority is to succeed and success has only one measure, financial security. I bought my first car, my silver Honda Prelude, a month before graduation and two months before my first day of work at Oracle.
It has been eighteen years; I’ve changed jobs four times, had three children and realized that success is measured by so much more. Success is happiness and happiness is putting on your shoes each and every morning and knowing that where you are going is where you want to be.
I will always and proudly be the child of my immigrant parents but that won’t define me, any more.
“The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse, what will your verse be?”