If it weren’t for my mom, I don’t know if I would have been able to make it this far. My mom poured her heart out to me and my brother, because she wanted everything for us. She wanted to see us succeed and make a name for ourselves in a harsh world.

Having parents that did not give a rat’s ass about her, my mom rose high regardless. She was dirt poor, and started grocery shopping for her family at the age of 5. But she was charismatic, confident, beautiful, and fair-hearted, and lived on Julu-lu, the hottest street in the hottest district of Jing’An, Shanghai, which was also once known as the French Concession. She designed her own dresses and clothes, and wore spaghetti straps rebelliously. Social maneuvering enabled her to build relationships with doctors, who dismissed her from the most demeaning, dehumanizing manual labor jobs. She had a fuck it all mentality, one that I look up to today. I don’t give second chances to people who stomp over me. And if I feel like I’m being used, then fuck you too.

When the Open Door Policy was enacted, she knew her fate had been set. She needed to get the hell out of China. Without looking back, and without any form of communication to any of her friends, she met my dad off a newspaper and started a new life in the US. No words were said to any of her closest friends, and it was only the night before that she told her parents she was leaving.

Hearing her story makes me take my own life for granted. She’s the most capable and competent woman I know and I really look up to her. I’m so lucky to be her daughter, because she wanted to be the best mother. And she is.

Nowadays my mom ponders about quantum mechanics and its relation to humanity. She’s probably Elon Musk and Steve Jobs’ biggest fan girl and obsesses over them whenever I visit home. Her undying curiosity for the world, science, philosophy, arts, inspires me, and I hope to become a woman and mother like her one day.

my mom is my hero