Before I was born, my parents, my brother and my sister immigrated to Iowa (I was in tow via my mom’s belly). Shortly after we came to the US, I was born in the great town of Denison, Iowa. Not long after I was born, we moved to Storm Lake where a new packing plant IBP (now Tyson) had opened. My parents were both able to secure jobs there. Life was great…..or so I thought, until I was old enough to realize what was really going on around me. Before I knew what was going on, my dad was my guy. Every elementary school track meet he would always be there, with lunch and lemon lime Gatorade in hand; I could always count on that. My dad even helped coach my softball team one year.
My absolute favorite memory of my dad is of the road trips we would take together. When we were young the only really big Asian supermarket was in Sioux City - about an hour away. We would go on Sundays, shop at the grocery store and go to the mall. After spending all day there, we would always get home late and my brother, sister and I would be asleep in the back seat. When we got home my dad would carry each one of us inside. As I got older, I used to wake up right before we would get home and then pretend to be asleep, just so he would carry me inside. He did this every time, until I got too old and was too heavy to be carried. I love that memory!
On the flip side, there are some not so great memories that I have of my dad. I remember my dad getting us a Nintendo. We always had plenty of games to play, it was great! I did not know until later that my dad had actually stolen it and had been arrested because of it. I remember spending time with the school counselor to talking about it, but I really don’t know if I comprehended everything at the time. I also remember my dad not having a steady job and my parents fighting all the time about money and other lies in their marriage. I remember my dad leaving home and not coming back for days because he took my mom’s hard earned money and had gambled it away. I remember the day my dad finally left the house for good, I knew in my heart that would be the last time I’d really see my dad. My dad was gone in the wind. What I remember the most is that I was left around the age of 12 having to fend for myself (along with my siblings) because my mom was constantly working double shifts to pay the bills. As I became older, I also became more aware of my own life and the fact that I had a choice to make. Do I go down a path that could get myself into trouble? Why not, my dad did? Or, do I go toward something unknown and choose my own way?
My teen years were a struggle. Even though I was an exceptional athlete, participated in many extracurricular activities, had a lot of positive influences in my life including my friends, coaches and teachers, I still made mistakes. Plenty of them. Yet, every time there was a challenge I found that there was also an opportunity. It was an opportunity to break out of the past and make a life of my own because I could. I chose to be greater than my past and I followed the opportunities that life had presented me.
Today’s version of me is the result of everything I have ever experienced; every thought, every feeling, every emotion and action that I have ever had. Those things have shaped me into who I am today. Today’s version of me is a work in progress. I am thinking of it as if I were created in clay and not set in stone. The past doesn't determine your future. Instead, by carefully looking inside yourself, you can choose to remold yourself and increasingly become more of who you truly want to be. By learning to become more self aware of my thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions, I am better focused, productive and happy.
This one of the many reasons I am passionate about life coaching. It is my mission to help you to find your way. I promise you that I am committed, are you ready to do the same??