I don’t have “a person that inspired me”
As many of you know, I will be going to Vancouver this fall, studying in the University of British Columbia. This journey will be one of the biggest in my life but I’m not here to talk about that journey today. I’m here to talk to you about my life’s journey.
Part of a college application almost always come with an essay (or a short answer.) One common question that comes up year after year is “talk about a person who have inspired you.” Many of you have some straight answers, Martin Luther King Jr.! Mother Teretha! My dad! My counselor! Writing about this seems so easy and standard. I can imagine you, sitting in your desk (or in front of your computer) typing away, creating inspiring words that move the college admission office.
But not me, I’m dumb-folded by that question. You must be thinking, “there must be someone in your life that has an inspiration on you right?” The thing is, I may have, but either I have already forgotten or the time I spent getting to know that “inspiration” just wasn’t long enough.
As a child, I grew up in three different cities in Japan. Starting from the international apartment block in Jinde to another block in kawaguchi and stopping finally at a block in Iruma, all in 9 years of my life. You have to understand that, at that time period (1993-2002), Internet wasn’t yet “a thing” in Japan. Sure there were some dial-ups but there sure wasn’t any facebook or twitter or lots of mails going on (especially not for us kiddies.) Hence, moving away from town basically meant moving away from all my friends, my teachers, my “inspirations”
In that circumstances, my family must be my inspiration right? They have stuck with me since birth, moved with me everywhere and things. To some extent, that’s true. But mostly, my family is not my inspirations.
Now, I can already imagining you protesting: “but.. you love your parents!” Yes, I do love my parents. I appreciate what they have done to me and will always will. But love is different than inspirations. Although this may seem sad but moving around also affected my parents, not enabling them to rise to the highest social status. Also, being a kid, I was clueless to what my dad did except I knew he was teaching in a university.
And then, in 2002, we went to Vietnam. And it was suppose to make me a real “Vietnamese.” I didn’t. I stayed a stranger although I was supposed to be fitting in. And this period of confusion stripped me of a chance to get to know my parents better. To date, I do know things about my parents history but probably not to the level that I can write a book about it (like some of you do.)
So, as you can see, there aren’t a “single person” who inspired me. But don’t get me wrong, I AM inspired, I DO have a dream. But where did that come from? From many people: people like Spencer West, Efron Penoflorida, my counselor, my parents… all of them create that inspiration. All of them creates a small piece in the inspiration that pushes me.
And so, maybe I think it is time we redefined inspiration.