Most of you know me as the bubbly happy hugaholic Twitter girl with a great smile. Have you wonder what is the story behind that smile and why I am always so positive.
Third World to North America
I was born in a third world country that most of you known from a famous war in twentieth century, Vietnam. Many years ago my family was very influential and wealthy. During the war, a lot of our properties were seized or some would call it ‘long term rented’. However I was lucky because both of my parents were great entrepreneurs. They built successful businesses and were able to provide me a good life. When millions kids did not have food to eat or clothes to wear, I had a maid at home, imported food and clothes, which at the time in Vietnam were very rare and expensive. I went to the best school in the city with all the other elite kids. Everybody loved and respected us. Life was good until the day my father got a lawsuit. A year later, the jugde proved that my father was innocent and had nothing to do with the financial scam. It was a mistake, a mistake that costed us a successful business and a happy family. But the saddest part of that story was not losing money nor power but friends. People who used to come to my family to ask for help would not even respond our calls anymore. My mom who spent her 20s in Europe decided it was time to go back to the Western world. We left with empty hands hoping to rebuild our lives in Canada.
”If you love her, send her to New York, for there it is heaven; if you hate her, send her to New York, for there it is hell.”
~ Beijinger In New York
In Vietnam, everyone thinks North America is heaven, but sadly in reality its the opposite. Starting a life in a new country is hard, but starting a new life with nothing is much harder. I was a spoiled princess who grew up with house maid and had never had to touch a single thing in my life. Instead of a brand new 5 story house with library full of books and game room, we lived in a 150 square feet room in a hundred years old house. I had to learn to take care of myself and help my mother raise my little sister. It was somewhat like Sara Crewe’s life in Little Princess, a ‘princess’ turn a poor girl overnight.
I went to school where I could not understand a word. I was no longer the teacher’s pet who knows all the answers. None of the kids want to have anything to do with me, and later on I found out they were making fun of me. I did not want to bother my mom because she has gotten enough problems on her plate. I thought this cold land was better than my home, but nobody really wanted me. Every lunch time I would walk to an empty park near my school, read my favourite poem and compare my life to Daiyu in The Dream of the Red Chamber, one of China’s four great novels about the rise and decay of an influential Chinese family in the Qing Dynasty.
None has divined the day when I shall die;
Men laugh at my folly in burying fallen flowers,
But who will bury me when dead I lie?
See, when spring draws to a close and flowers fall,
This is the season when beauty must ebb and fade;
The day that spring takes wing and beauty fades
Who will care for the fallen blossom or dead maid?
~ Lin Daiyu
On a cold day in middle of February , I was on my way to class, a stranger looked at me and smiled. It was the first time I saw someone smiling at me in a long long time. It was much sweeter than many sugar coated words that I have heard all my life, it made me believe that life will get better. I never forget that lady and the smile that changed my life.
From that day on, I promised to myself I would always smile and treat everyone like my family. Because a simple smile costs me nothing but can mean the world to someone.
Not Another Social Media Blog
When I started this blog, I want to write about something that reflects myself the most. What would reflect a girl with 55,000 followers on Twitter more than Social Media? A LOT of things.
Social media is just a new communication tool, like an “IT” shoes which are new and hot. But a newer, nicer and hotter pair will come out in the next season and everybody will forget about the old ones. It is just an accessory that make you look better but can’t ever make you a better person. The last thing would define me is social media. Plus there are millions of other social media blogs out there and we do not need another one.
This blog is about all the lessons I learned from the roller coaster known as life. It is about a story of a little girl from a third world country who believes that she could change the world with her two hands and a brain. It is about believing in a dream. It is about magic.
Photographer: Lena Dawood