“I am not my ability”

People judge you by many things, but they forget that you are not born with these abilities. You have to learn and grow and struggle to become the great presenter, the encouraging mentor, the nurturing mom. I guess it started when I was young. I remember every time that some person told me that I was “not good enough”. I was a willful and stubborn child and that just gave me a reason to become better than I was, just to spite them. But nothing that is good is ever easily found or given for free.

When I was in high school, I joined a service organization and I eventually became a leader of my assembly. I had a fair amount of memorization work to learn as we had several rituals and ceremonies to perform. What terrified me the most was when I was asked to “say a few words”. That impromptu speech was difficult for me. I was good at hiding my fears, but the experience made me a better presenter. I continued to find ways to get up and speak or teach people. For example, I trained new employees at a retail store I worked at in my college years. I learned to be better and I still try to continue to improve every day.

I started mentoring college students about twenty years ago when I became an alumni volunteer for a service fraternity I pledged in college. What I learned is that mentoring is really active listening and asking facilitating questions. Most people can make up their own minds. What they seek is confidence and encouragement. Mentors never tell anyone what to do. They inspire people to take a chance.

My mother once said that she wished she had been a better mother to me. I was just about to get married, and I was floored by this comment. I began to explain all the wonderful things she did, and I thought she was a great mom. I understand how she felt, now that I am a mom. You try so hard to be firm, but encouraging. You try to prepare your kids for life, but you are unsure whether you have given them right tools. Are you a good enough parent?
I am very grateful that people think I am a great mom, presenter, and mentor. But that is not all of me. I am also a hopeless romantic, a dreamer, and a faithful friend. I am scared of snakes, but I love to watch thunderstorms. I miss my late mother, but I see a lot of her in my own daughters. I believe in honesty and keeping a promise. I am forever thankful to the people in my life who allow me to just be me.