My mom always told me to dream big. When she was little, she watched her family go from rags to riches after the Cultural Revolution. My grandma's family had a successful luxury suit company and my grandpa's factory made leather shoes and had a shoe factory. Then they became nothing. Growing up my mom said she was lucky if she got to drink chicken broth. At a young age, she told everyone “When I grow up I’m going to have a swimming pool” and everyone laughed because it seemed so outlandish and far from reality.
My grandparents rebuilt themselves and built successful businesses again and established relationships that passed onto my uncle today. But my mom moved to America not knowing English, with no connections and only a dream to rebuild herself. Those were scary and challenging times.
All of this taught me something very humbling: dream big and set your goals high because if you say it enough, you start pursuing it and later down the line, you will have advanced much further than if you were scared of dreaming.
I often forget how much my parents have gone through in their lives until something reminds me every now and then. It’s so easy to think of the present as something that has always just existed but the present is the culmination of decades of work.
I wonder what my children will think of me in twenty years and what lives they will live.
And my mom ended up getting her swimming pool. She never swims in it and it's purely decoration - a symbol to remind her to keep setting goals.