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Who am I?

Have you ever looked at someone’s resume and completely misjudged them for who they were? Even better, looked at one of your friend’s resume and couldn’t help but “Laugh Out Loud”? Every word thoughtfully and carefully chosen to convince someone of your worthiness. As if a one-page letter could really sum up all the wonderful complex things that make you who you are.

If any of my friends were to look at my resume today they would all ask the same question, who is this person?

Every time I open up the word document to edit my resume the cursor blinks in a never ending loop as I stare at its’ contents.  As if somehow my life is the sequel to the movie groundhog’s day and I’m cast as Bill Murray. Until now, I’ve spent my entire adult career, and most of my childhood; building a life for a person I don’t even know. From the age of 11, I worked in the family business doing everything from washing dishes, serving tables and even taking on managerial duties at the age of 13. Being first generation Asian American I grew up in a household that valued the meaning of “a penny earned is a penny saved.” I was taught that life was hard and so you must work hard to overcome any obstacle. I’ve worked in restaurants for 21 years now and I’ve learned so many valuable life lessons. The problem is, I’ve always listened to everyone but myself when it came to decisions about my future; I never trusted myself to make such an important decision.

Growing up, one of my biggest “secret” dreams was to work for Pixar. I obsessed with this dream and every day I sold myself short because frankly my drawings skills weren’t the best. In High school I took a scientific visualization class and thought this could be my ticket to my dreams.  I’ve always known that I loved art, but coming from a family who valued nothing more than business=success, I never considered pursuing this love as a career. Evidently, I pursued a college career in Finance and graduated with a B.S. in 2013. With no end goal in mind, I continued working the family business full-time for the next 3 years. Every day my thoughts were clouded with the same question; “what am I going to do with my life?” So in 2016, I opened the link to Pixar’s website and figured, why not? If I wasn’t going to be the artist creating the visuals for their stories, surely, they needed someone who has a business background to work their finances. I pulled my resume out and submitted for every job opening and internship that was available. Anticipating rejections; I never thought I’d receive so many; one after another for every single position I naively applied for. At that point, I knew I needed to do something different. and make a change.

Fast-forward to fall of 2016 and there I was applying to photography school at RCC on a limb. Was this one step closer to my dream of working for Pixar? Perhaps not, but it was the first time that I felt that I was being true to myself. I may still be uncertain of my path and what I want to do but I am positive that I am making steps in the right direction. I’m in my fourth semester of photography school and enjoying the journey. Though I still have doubts, I open up my resume as a clear reminder that I’m in the right place. No mountain is truly conquered by gazing up at it and no accomplishment is as sweet as the view from atop. I still dream about working for Pixar, it may never happen, but I will forever be thankful for the many rejection letters I received from them. It reminds me that life is what you make of it. No matter what obstacles may present itself to you, it’s your choice: will you give up and let it defeat you, or will you rise up and conquer it?

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