This I Believe

Loc - Lompoc, California
Entered on July 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that love of family changed my life.

Seventeen years old, with support and love from my family, I graduated High School with a lot of potential and dream that one day I could be a successful man. I spread that dream to my family. They decided to send me to United States to have a degree and of a better life. From that decision, I leave my family with the dream that one day I will go back to my country as a successful man.

When I first came to the United States, I stayed with my uncle’s family because he is the only relative I have in US. At that time, I thought that I could continue my education with a new support from my uncle’s family. I was wrong. He kicked me out after one month living with his family. I then moved to China Town in Los Angeles where I met a couple of Vietnamese friends. With their help, I made a phone call to my family to let them know what happened. I was shocked when my father said that the family’s business was going tough, and I need to work to support myself.

Without my family, I had a hard time acclimating to a new country where everyone speaks a language which I do not understand. My dream had changed. I ignored school and began looking for a job. I had difficulty finding a job because of my trouble with the English language, lack of experience and a degree. Luckily, one of my roommates introduced me to his boss and let me work with him as a Goldsmith at China Town.

At wage of $4.25 an hour, I could barely buy food and pay rent. I could not afford to go to school any longer. After three years of working, I was now working $7 an hour. I should have been able to go back to school, but I completely forgot who I was and why I was here. Without the love of my family, I partied after I got back from work everyday.

Then one day, I ran into a girl who was my neighbor back in Vietnam. Fate brought us together. We got married after two years of dating. When she asked me about dreams, I suddenly realized that I had completely forgotten and ignored my dreams for such a long time. She had once again changed the course of my life. After telling her what I wanted to be, she convinced me to go back to school and fulfill my dreams. She gave me all the love and supports that I needed. She is my new family and brought back the confidence that I had lost.

After all that I have been through, I think family is the most important thing in my life. Without my family in Vietnam, I would have never had a chance to go to US and meet my wife. Without my new family, my beloved wife, I would have never had a chance to go back to school and sit here to write this essay.