I am a 23 years old girl, born in Korea and just immigrated to the U.S.A two years ago in a bid to better my life and pursue my dream career. Growing back in the suburbs of Seoul from my childhood days, through to my adulthood, is itself a thrilling experience. Although lacking in some luxuries and carefree attitude available in many American cities, I cherish the sweet memories of the good times I have gone through in Korea.
I was born and brought up by my two staunch parents, who partook their parenting duties with the strictness and seriousness it deserves. To them, bringing out the best in me, as their only child, was their sole calling. No resource would be spared in ensuring that their only daughter got the best that life could offer and emerge triumphantly. Whether or not I have come out successfully is another story altogether.
Many will agree with me that their childhood days though full of bliss and joyous moments, was not always a bed of roses, especially if you had an uncompromising mother or a nanny watching behind your back in every move you made. I came to agree that they meant well but our naivety and simple minds could not fathom the reason why we could not be allowed to do what we wanted. I take a look at my life and appreciate that I have come from far. Importantly though, is that the best that I am today, I owe it to my adorable parents.
It is said that, cleanliness is second to godliness-that I have come to see is true. I have received compliments and encouraging words regarding how organized and neat I am, from my teachers, friends and even strangers. Many however do not know that this has not always been the case, as my parents can attest. My young urchin life is a complete opposite of the tidiness and smartness I exhibit today.
I grew up in a neighborhood inhabited by diverse people and hence diverse characters. My immediate neighbors were two boys whose sweet memories I still cherish, however, the care-free attitude they had instilled in me than is a trait I would not have wanted to acquire. It is a known fact that kids can be extremely naughty especially in the wrong environment.
My mother had always been trying to emphasize the importance of neatness especially in girls, trying to buy me bright colored dresses to ensure that I looked my best. I could not hear anything of it and was always in crumpled clothing and uncombed hair. By the age of 12, my mother had given up. Not even my father’s smart and stern look could change me. I used to be extremely untidy both at home and in school. My homework was not being delivered in time and when delivered it was just a bunch of illegible scribbling.
My parents had a perfectionist attitude towards life, but that too could not change me. Every road has a turning point and every night a daybreak. My annoying habits too had to come to an end. This came at the night of my 15th birthday.
Since the tender age of three years, it had been a tradition in our house to hold my birthday party where I would invite my friends for a day full of celebrations. I had wished to see a different thing happen this 15th birthday. At my age, it was considered trendy to hold a birthday party at night and let your friends enjoy an orgy till day break. I conferred with my parents and they had no problem with that. However, it was on a condition that our house nanny would not play a role in tidying up the house before or after the party. I had to somehow find a way of cleaning the place.
How I tidied up my room is a story for another day but I did it altogether, and the results were quite impressive. My friends had always thought of me as a disorganized person with no cleanliness ambitions; it amazed them that I could be that tidy. My parents were quite impressed and I could see a sense of renewed affection in them. I was hoping to maintain this and made it may birthday resolution; since then I have never looked back.
I can tell when my parents are relieved and happy. After my tidying up I could tell they had renewed their hope in me. Their next concern was to be in academics where I had been recording a dismal performance over a long time, a performance that had emanated from the fact that I disliked studies. I found the idea of devoting my precious time in abstracts a laborious task. This had to change somehow.
My dad is not only smart in terms of dressing, but it also very knowledgeable. This was a trait he had all along wished to instill in me. He started by buying me short story books to try and arouse more interest in me. This is what eventually would see me develop an unquenchable interest in reading and digging for knowledge in topics ranging from almost every aspect of life. I have come to like reading both fictional and scholarly materials especially those authored by famous people. It is in reading widely that one gets to know more about the world.
I have come to appreciate the role my parents have played in my life. They have taught me the essence of grooming well and proper self-organization as a key ingredient to succeed in life. My academic life has improved greatly as a result of the important tips accorded to me by father. Now it is to my discretion to either squander the useful information and experience I have gathered in life or see it go to waste altogether.
James L. Kinneavy and John E. Wcoriner, 1998. Elements of Writing. Orlando. Florida. Harcourt Brace and Company