Even Wu (’09)
These five familiar Chinese characters are from our school song. As a student, this line was like any other – never in my wildest dreams could I imagine how these five Chinese characters would apply to me.
Now, as a mom taking care of my 2-year-old daughter, Royce, in Los Angeles, I have taken this line to heart.
Moving to Los Angeles
When I moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to pursue my university studies, I had no intention of permanently staying. My goals were to receive my bachelor’s degree and return to Hong Kong.
In retrospect, the first few months after arriving in Los Angeles proved to be the hardest. My experiences were incredibly rewarding but not entirely flawless – after all, I was on my own, for the first time ever! These ups and downs ushered in a period of substantial personal development. Not only could I take care of myself, I started to understand who I was and what I wanted.
Staying in Los Angeles (for a bit longer)
With my new understanding, my goals changed.
I would stay in Los Angeles for some time to find a good job and obtain some work experience so I could begin to live my dream life! Although I felt homesick, I could feel our school song reverberate in my heart to give me the determination I needed.
However, after I graduated from university, my dreams clashed with the harsh realities of finding an enjoyable career, making ends meet, and finding a work-life balance. I went from job to job and, sometimes, months without any income.
But again, I did not give up.
After months of searching, I finally received a job offer I wanted - project analyst at a real estate investment consulting company in Downtown Los Angeles. I reveled at the job’s challenge to deliver the best results for myself, our clients and the company because the work was meaningful and I felt my own improvement. Above all else, I was on my way to living my dream!
My family was incredibly proud and supportive of me, again reminding me of our school song.
Residing in Los Angeles
Not long after, I met my future husband, Jeremy, at one of our company events. I was so thankful that I met someone who shares my life goals and values. We both were certain we found our life partner; so, not long after, we got married and started our family in Los Angeles.
Though my parents were overjoyed, it was bittersweet since I would be residing far away from Hong Kong for the foreseeable future.
“身遠心莫離” came to my mind again.
I believed everything would work out despite the distance. Even prior to the pandemic, I would make video calls with my parents every day so they could take part in Royce’s growth. With this incredible technology, I was right – staying connected with my family has not been a struggle at all.
Being a Mom
Being a full-time mom is incredibly important to me for Royce’s first three years. It is a role that is filled with many challenges and even greater rewards.
Growing up in the United States has its cultural differences from my experiences growing up in Hong Kong. For this same reason, one of my greatest joys is experiencing the world anew through Royce’s eyes.
Watching Royce grow and accomplish her development milestones also changed how I perceive time and makes me treasure every minute – whether it’s with Royce, my family, or by myself!
One of my other goals as I entered motherhood was not to lose my sense of self. I still engage in new activities for personal fulfillment, to learn new skills, and to maintain a healthy lifestyle while pursuing my older goals.
My new long-term goal is to help my husband with his residential and commercial real-estate investment and development business in Los Angeles. To that end, I’ve dived head first into learning more about real estate development, financing, construction, social trends, spending habits, marketing, architecture, fashion, art, and design.
Simultaneously, I am also pursuing a goal I’ve had since childhood – to be a businesswoman! With the advent of retail e-commerce and sales, I see this as a great opportunity to do just that.
Thank you for reading what I’ve shared and thank you to Mr Francis Kwan for asking me to write this article. I also would like to thank Mrs Ruth Lee for introducing me to the Southern California Chapter.
Reconnecting with Ying Wa reinvigorated the warmth I feel for my alma mater and reminded me of all the sweet, precious memories from my time there. Best wishes to all!