Essay: Aspirations, A Mother’s Hope

*EDITED*

While my Crosslites essay was not selected, I want to thank all of you for voting and supporting my studies! I appreciate you all so much. Here is my essay, for those who are interested.

Aspirations: A Mother’s Hope

As a refugee from the Vietnam War, my mother arrived to Canada as a teenager without a home or a language. She spent her time trying to assimilate to a life that has now become the only thing I know. She made ends meet with endless side-jobs, late nights, early mornings, prayers, a limited vocabulary, and an undying love for her children. With just enough money for food on the table, a quick bedtime prayer, and a homemade birthday cake, I have grown up grateful, gracious, and headstrong.

I will be more than my modest upbringing. I will persevere and be the woman I was hoping to become when I was a girl. As a child in the midst of poverty, my mother once had a woman who always came to her fruit stand: she was dressed in a business suit, carried her Bible, and had meticulously beautiful hair. She would always come and buy from my mother in particular, and my mother aspired to be a successful woman like her. I will be that woman for my mother, for myself, and for all girls in the world who live their lives aspiring. I will be more for the future of women.

Most of my life has been designed by men and for men. All of my adult life I can count the number of female bosses, teachers and professors on my two hands. I grew frustration through my lack of mentorship. I remember in grade five when my male teacher spoke to us about menstruation, I still had not grasped the idea through his uncomfortable and vague teachings. That summer when I got my first period, I thought I had hurt myself and I was going to die. This lack of understanding of my own body being taught to me by a man has fueled my desire for more women to take the lead on discussions about women, for women. An entire untapped market of a gender is being underrepresented, and I want to be that voice for the nine-year-old girl I once was, afraid of my own body.

My mother always told me that she worked hard so that I wouldn’t have to. I disagree. I am born from oriental perseverance and western opportunity, and I won’t settle until she never works a day in her life again. I am nothing without my mother and her hardship. I am nothing without my mother’s aspirations seeping through me to become that proverbial “woman at the fruit stand.”

153 thoughts on “Essay: Aspirations, A Mother’s Hope

    1. Hi David! Thank you for your honest opinion. I do think it’s important to keep your ears open for when there are disagreements, and I’d be happy to talk them through with you! I know that a lot of your work is religious. What were your disagreements?

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      1. davidlewisbook

        My discomfort lies within the generalization of experience from an odd male teacher talking about menstruation. Obviously, inappropriate. However, your experiences might lead you to your conclusion that women are under represented in the workplace or as bosses. Two points that are relevant:
        1- Only Women can carry a child
        2- There are complimentary differences between men and women.
        Important caveat: Men are not bettet than men nor women better than men. We are better when together.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Hi David!
        I absolutely agree that there are inherent differences between men and women that any sort of gender equality talk simply will not fix. We as a people are definitely complementary, and we rely on each other’s strengths and weaknesses–the same as two women who are friends would help each other who may be opposites in personality.
        My issue with my teacher was that, while he was our homeroom teacher, he was our first contact with the discussion at hand. I had never learned about the process of menstruation from home because frankly, my parents were busy and I also started earlier than expected. The teacher was mortified to be teaching it, the boys sat and giggled at the girls, and we girls were like animals in a cage. The situation was not ideal, and I think it is important to have these vital discussions in nurturing and constructive environments-with women-especially at a time when kids can be mean. Not because we are better, or because boys are worse, but because these differences need to be addressed through experience, and not by a textbook. The same way when you lose a game, you want to talk to other players: because they understand, and they have lost, too. Not to say that he was poor in his delivery (he didn’t seem to want to have the discussion anymore than we did), but because these accommodations were not considered, the girls left the room scared, embarrassed and terrified for the future. Girls should never be afraid of their own bodies. Girls should feel empowered and supported by a nation of women at their backs, defending each other, aiding each other. Thank you for your comment!

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Ohmz

    FYI, milady Elle; i have put your essay to Twitter and shared it to the world. Is that ok with U? U r inspiration to your generation. I do really hope you get that scholarship and stay true to your essay.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And, you don’t have to be this woman dressed in business suit. You can be Michelle. Because your are so powerful the way you are. Social classes have never and will definitely never define who we are.
    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Dawn of Diamond Rose

    May blessing of much success and abundance been upon you.

    I Am going to share your request for support on my blog.

    Bless you sister and Thank You for being that loving strength so many broken women need to see and know of.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I voted and hope you will win! I agree with some parts of your essay, being immigrant myself. I disagree with some parts. But I like your writing, style and love your poetry, you have special way with words.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for disagreeing! I welcome it, especially when I’m trying to build a community in these comment sections. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion about things as long as they don’t hurt anyone! Thank you for using this platform to be honest, I do really appreciate your vote. ❤

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    1. You can, actually! Phone data and wifi connections count as different votes. If you go to a coffee shop that has a free wifi connection, that is a different vote as well! You can vote again every 4-5 hours or so. Thank you for supporting me!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Reblog, Scholarship Finalist – disue

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