The Little Things
Growing up, my mom always wanted me to be active and involved in many extracurriculars, from guitar lessons, to swimming, to ice skating. My dad used to play tennis, so he decided to take me and my brother to the park to teach us how to play. We would go to a park in Westminster every Saturday morning and practice. My brother and I would always fight and argue. At that time, I never thought much of it. I just enjoyed being able to play with my dad and brother every weekend morning before I went to church school. Although I enjoyed those activities, I had never found one that really stuck with me. Little did I know in high school, I would be in need of an extracurricular I enjoyed doing and was passionate about.
Another day, another music store. I remember. It was the first day of fourth grade. The music programs had an assembly to get a new wave of 4th graders to join either orchestra or band. And of course, my parents and I thought it would be good for me to join the orchestra. So now here I am. The third music store I’ve been to today. Looking for a small size 13 viola. One that would carry me throughout my elementary years in orchestra. The store had a wide selection ranging from pianos to drums to trumpets. But, there were only a handful of violas. I just bought the first one I saw that was in my size. I didn’t really care. I knew it was yet another instrument I would attempt to learn how to play.
It was another Friday. Most people looked forward to the end of the week. But not me. It was Friday, which meant I had to go into the torture chamber of viola lessons. As I walked into the door, I greeted him and went into my room. The building was separated into three spaces. When you first walk in, you see his desk area as well as his bookcases filled with stacks and stacks of music. Then there were two rooms for his students since he always took 2 at a time. I always preferred the room to the left. There was a huge window that let in a stream of natural light as well as a mirror. The room to the left was very cramped. It was like his storage room and I always thought it was creepy. I started unpacking my stuff and getting set up. Then he came in and that was the start of my hour lesson.
The lesson finally came to an end. I was coming out of my private lessons. My back felt like it was about to break and my legs were all wobbly from standing for that whole hour. It was a rare day in California that it was pouring rain. I met up with my friends who had piano and violin lessons that ended at the same time. We were all talking and complaining about how tired we were while waiting for our parents to pick us up until we all got a ding on our phones. It was an email from the district. 2 weeks off of school. The amount of happiness and joy that consumed us was overwhelming. We started jumping and dancing in the rain. Two weeks of no school. Two weeks of no lessons. Two weeks to finally take a break. Two weeks to do nothing. It was the best news we could’ve heard all day. It was like a miracle had finally occurred, to save us from our misery and despair. Our prayers have finally been heard.
Ever since I started to talk, I’ve always been close to my mom. She was my best friend. I talked to her about anything and everything. One topic that we would always come back to was what do you want to be when you grow up? Of course when I was little, I didn’t know much about the real world of working. I thought you could just be whatever you wanted. No interviews, no education, no credentials.
I wanted to be an astronaut. After watching a few episodes of Sid the Science Kid, I had an obsession with stars and space. Every night I would walk around my neighborhood with my dad. He told me that when he was little, he wanted to be an astronaut. I looked up to my dad, so whenever I was asked what I wanted to do, I always said I wish to be an astronaut.
When I was 10, my dream job was something with music. Being in orchestra and choir, I always was interested in music. It seemed fun and interesting. Most importantly, it seemed fun. But as I got older, I learned more and more about careers. There were a lot more factors that needed to be considered than just how fun it was. The topic of future careers was a conversation I had often. I decided that I wanted to go into the medical field. Not because I liked science, but because I liked money. The thought of getting paid that much made me happy. I wouldn’t have to worry about whether I would be able to pay my bills on time. I would also be able to help my parents financially. Of course there was the huge debt, years of school, and hours of hard work, but I thought that it would all be worth it for the yearly income. However, freshman year biology completely changed my mind. I was bored and confused in that class and I came to realize that maybe medicine was not my calling in life.
Now, the topic still comes up often. I still don’t know where I am headed in life, but I know that eventually I will find the path that’s right for me.
Little Tiny Bit
I remember as a kid, I was a little bit of a trouble maker. Just a little, tiny bit. I had your stereotypical Asian parents. When you did something, you would get punished with the closest thing in sight, which usually ended up being slippers, spatulas, or the broom. When I was growing up, my mom had this one wooden stick that would be used whenever me or my brother got into trouble. That was until one day, my brother and I had the bright idea to play seesaw. With the stick. And what happened? … It broke. After that the punishments from my mom seemed to stop. Whenever we did something wrong, it was just yelling and lecturing. So I guess it was a good idea that our local playground didn’t have a seesaw, or we would’ve never broken that stick.
My dad, on the other hand, his punishment was always to cross your arm and face the wall. For hours. It might not seem bad to some kids, but I had an enormous fear of being alone, and mostly being alone in the dark. At first, it was the worst thing I had ever experienced. But then I ended up finding my way around it. I would hide books or toys in the rooms I would usually have to stand in. Whenever my dad left the room, I would just sit down and read, and whenever I heard his footsteps, I would stand up and pretend I was standing the whole time. Of course, that didn’t work for long. When my dad found out, he was furious. I ended up getting locked out of the house. And I just sat on my doorstep until dinner when my mom came home and took me in. My mom ended up talking with my dad, and I don’t know what she said, but after that, I never got punished by my dad ever again. Whenever I did something wrong, my dad would just give me a lecture and that was it. I guess it was because I grew up and was actually able to process the words and learn from my mistakes. The lessons I was thought actually stuck instead of going out the other side of my ear.
My dad and mom seemed scary back when I was little, but now they’re the two closest people that I can trust and talk to about anything. Things really do change as you get older.
The House on Euclid Street
The house on Euclid Street. I spent 15 years of my life at that house since birth. Although I recently moved, Euclid street was the place I owe all my thanks to. That house taught me more valuable lessons than anyone else ever could. It was the place I learned about true friendships. The place I learned how valuable family was. The place I learned that time could fly by in the blink of an eye.
When I was little, I knew almost everyone in that neighborhood. As time passed, many moved and new people came to move in. Now it was my turn. Those 15 years have served me well. It was not time to move one. To turn to the next page of my life.
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