This I Believe

Hyemin - Culver, Indiana
Entered on October 23, 2007

Impossible? I’m Possible.

A little girl plays with her My Little Pony. Her mom watches with a warm smile. The home looks cozy. But an abrupt ringing breaks the silence. After the unexpected phone call, Mom panics and dashes outside. The peaceful home turns into a lonely place.

When I was six years old, the Sam Pung department store in southern Seoul collapsed, killing and injuring hundreds. My father worked in a jewelry shop in that building. At home, we were waiting for my dad when my mom got a phone call from my grandfather telling her that my dad’s workplace had collapsed. Without knowing the exact situation, my mom and I rushed to the hospital.

When we arrived at the hospital, my dad was already in surgery. After long hours in the operating room, he was moved to the I.C.U. We were finally permitted to see him, but when we entered the I.C.U., the only patient there was a person with elastic bandages covering him like a mummy – it was my dad. The doctor said he was in a coma, that half his body would be paralyzed, that he would be in a wheelchair. But my dad was lucky compared to the many people who died immediately under the building. Unlike the doctor’s expectation, my dad recovered. Within six months, my dad was able to leave the hospital walking on his own two legs. When my dad was back to normal, he decided it was time to change his life by opening his own jewelry shop.

For years, my dad had dreamed of one day owning his own business. For years, while working for another man, my dad had developed his business plan and mastered business skills. For years, although he had tough days, he went to work as usual and gave my family a bigger smile day by day. After his terrible injuries in the disaster, my dad was ready to reach for his dream, to no longer work in another person’s store. He opened his own jewelry shop, Amor. He lived up to his life motto that, “I can change the impossible to the ‘I’m possible’ only if I try.”

Whenever he said this to me in the past, I ignored it. I used to be a grumbling and peevish person. When my mom gave me a carrot, I preferred cucumber instead; when she bought me a white sweater, I exchanged it for a black one; when she told me to come home by 9:00 p.m., I stayed out till 11:00 p.m. But I am not that kind of person anymore; I now appreciate gifts from my parents and am satisfied with any given situation. Thinking positively has influenced my whole life. It encouraged me to fly to America and stand alone in a foreign country. My dad taught me valuable lessons not by scolding or forcing, but by repeating frequently. I have become one who sees potential and who overcomes obstacles wisely.

When something discourages and hampers me, I think as my dad does: “You know what? I’ve never done that, but let’s try. It’s not impossible, but I’m possible.”