This past summer I completed a fellowship with the Primary Care Leadership Program. On one hand, I considered the experience a test of endurance– given this was the first time I was away from home, and Arizona is a bit on the hotter side! On the other hand, it challenged me to come to grips with who I am.
“So, tell me about yourselves,” the CEO asked. “What are you passionate about? Tell me about your communities and families?” After hearing this series of questions, I felt myself go into interview mode. A mode where I had to be myself, without ACTUALLY being myself. Should I tell the CEO about my frequent hospitalizations as a child? Or about the burden of awareness that I, as a child, had to bear? Secretly, I thought to myself, “she couldn’t possibly be interested in me.” So I did, what I had done previous time before, and shared my surface story.
You know… I grew up in XXXX to a single mother, who raised XX kids. Although my neighborhood wasn’t the safest, I felt as though my community was tight and had a bond that was not easily broken. Drive, that was not easily distracted. Will, that was not easily shaken. I was raised in an environment where resources were few, and opportunities for advancement were futile. As a child, I was particularly interested in science–
“– Is this the real you?” she interjects. “How would others describe you?” I was thrown for a loop. Although I had recited my elevator speech several times before, I was not prepared for such a question. How would others describe me? A perfectionist? No, a singer! Oh, wait! Even better, a Lion King enthusiast? It was at this moment, I realized my elevator spiel was not the real me. If others could describe me, they would say that I am the person who follows my heart. One, who will not pursue areas that I am not passionate about. Someone who is so meticulous, that at times it’s paralyzing. Above all, I am resilient and perseverant. Someone who will not give up, even when the world screams, “STOP!!” Because I know there are strong powers that whisper, “carry on.” I am a daughter, a friend, a confidant and a lover of all things whether good or bad. I am caring, and will continue to care even when things hurt me.
This is who I am; unapologetically me,