Where do I start my story? It's a pretty quick one to tell. My childhood wasn't crazy or traumatic -- if you are familiar with being raised by immigrants. This video sums it up pretty well:
I'm the last of four kids. My two sisters were born in Nigeria while my brother and I were born stateside -- New York (Brooklyn) and Detroit, respectively. It was the 1980's and my parents quickly realized that neither of these places would be ideal to raise their family. After getting an offer as a professor in Physical Therapy at UT Memphis, my dad took the family down South.
As far as my memory serves, my life started here - on the outskirts of Memphis, TN. I great place to grow up, but not anywhere I see myself going back to live.
My parents were sticklers for hard work, and I don't think I'll ever have a life as hard as they did in Africa -- I'll share their stories another time. From grade school education, things came somewhat natural to me. Memorizing something and recalling it later wasn't very challenging. If this what the real world is like, then I had no doubt I would be successful.
So I set the standard for achievement pretty high. "What's the best school, dad." I had apparently asked him that at the wise age of 7. "Harvard," he said.
"Well, I think I'll go there."
I'm sure my parents were content with those aspirations. Apparently, I wasn't and, as per habit, put my foot further in my mouth, "And I think I'll be a neurosurgeon." Now I had them hooked and saw that they impressed. I'd make proud. I'm sure I thought the path merely required a lot more memorization right. I could handle that.
A lot of people say we should dream like we were kids again. There is some value to that. We had less fear, more naivete about how the world works. So we dreamt big and believed in ourselves. But we also had no clue of what the hell life is about at that age. And, as I'm learning now, experience is an excellent teacher. And life was about to teach me some very valuable lessons as I grew up...