Four words of the English language that my mother knew and would often write on sticky-notes left behind on my desk. She could sense my building stress from school work, especially senior year when I had multiple breakdowns due to essays, group projects, and college applications. She would told me in her accented English, “You can do it, Seyoung.”
I never believed her as much as she believed in me. I doubted myself to the farthest extents that the mind can fathom without falling over the edge into the abyss.
But now I believe. Mothers always know best and if she has faith in my ability to fulfill my dreams then I’ll take that leap of faith too. That gamble. That extraordinary risk on such an ordinary person.
Her special four words came to mind because lately, I’ve been considering what my future holds for me. I was 110% sure that I would become a social worker but then I changed my mind. I wanted to teach English in a high school. And now I’m changing it for the second and probably not last time.
I want to teach, work with women and children, study sociology and women’s studies, advocate human rights for all, and so much more.
It is frightening and thrilling to imagine such a future because I still don’t believe that I can go off and make even the smallest dent in this world, but I’m working hard to suppress that doubt with the hope instilled in me by my mother.
If I was raised by any other mother than I would be doubtful but mine is extraordinary. She fought, resisted, and defeated the world when it tried to crush her, to put her in her supposedly rightful place, to make her small.
Because I was raised by her, I believe that I was born with some inkling of her willpower.
Thus, my dreams are forming and I cannot wait until they become true.