Writing should be a safe space for someone like me. What’s better than having all the time in the world to contemplate what you want to share? Surprisingly, I don’t enjoy writing as much as I do thinking. By thinking, I don't mean aimlessly day-dreaming. I mean internally struggling with a problem, working through various scenarios, reflecting on my feelings and parsing out some kind of meaning from it all. I was the kid who wondered why we had to show our work when solving a problem.

I had the pleasure of winding up in the hospital last month.  After a few days of increasingly severe abdominal pain and nausea, I gave up self-treatment and went to the hospital. A CT scan showed severe inflammation in my large intestine. The upside: no surgery. The downside: being admitted for observation and treatment. A hospital bed is not my first choice as a place to get adequate rest. Despite the inconvenience, the several days of bedrest provided time for introspection. 

I’m like most people. When I step out into the world, I try to put my best foot forward. I quickly check myself in the mirror before leaving the house, smile when I’m greeting someone, and work to maintain a positive attitude in my daily interactions. I do these things habitually and without any real thought as to why. I assume it’s to avoid friction between myself and anyone I might come across.

I went to my first Toastmasters last month. It was a significant event for me. Sitting around a table listening to people practice public speaking might not sound all that exciting, but I was pumped. Attending Toastmasters has been a lingering task on my to-do list for longer than I’d like to admit. Similar to other duties, once I got busy, I felt okay putting it off. “Maybe next year,” I would tell myself.

If you have heard my story or listened to the podcast from the last post, you know the role my parents played in shaping my values. Many of my decisions were driven by the desire to repay them for their sacrifice — cutting family ties to come to America and working incredibly hard so their children were better off. They exemplified the immigrant success story. It was a story I never forgot. Both because I heard it from my father every year, but also because it is the reason I have the opportunities I do today.