Today, I left my leadership role as an Associate Partner in a large consulting group to pursue this passion project. It was a combination of turning 40 and hitting my 10 year anniversary at a very iconic company that made me sit back and say "This is not what I was meant to do." I guess some would call this a mini mid-life crisis? But I call it finding my purpose.
For the past year, as I observed my parents aging and my children growing, the gap between their lives just seemed to grow more and more distant. And I was caught in this hybrid of trying to bridge the two generations. My parents are my inspiration. Especially my mother. If only I had half the grit and courage that she had at my age. At 40, she already had 7 children, she lived through years of war and constant migration for survival and planned many escapes for families, including ours. At age 40, she arrived to America, hustled to make a living, provided for 7 kids, and still saved a few dollars here and there to send back to the extended family that we left behind in Vietnam.
This is mom and I at the Singapore refugee camp in 1981.
So today, I made a shift in my career so I can have more time to pursue this passion project. What is it exactly? I'm not completely sure yet. What I do know, is that I want to document my family's story so that my children, nieces and nephew can understand and hopefully never take for granted the privileges and opportunities that come their way. So that stories of other families who made similar sacrifices can be shared with future Vietnamese-American generations. And so that this part of history is captured, preserved and hopefully inspires others to be brave and not give up hope in hard times.
This is my purpose. And I can't believe I'm FINALLY really doing this.