The first note-worthy obstacle that I faced in my life was presented to me when I was but a mere toddler as my biological mother tragically suffered a sudden cerebral hemorrhage which led to her premature death at age 20. My abruptly widowed 22 year-old father opted to raise me on his own rather than rely on the generosity or mercy of extended relatives or strangers. Upon the passing of my mother our nuclear family consisted of just the two of us since I was the only child of my young parents. Growing up female in a single-father household posed a rare set of challenges for us both. By necessity, my father was absent much of the time with commuting into Seattle to finish his college education at the University of Washington and afterward earning a living with his career at the UW as an academic research scientist; I was thus raised in relative rural isolation. Our unique circumstance allowed me the opportunity to develop my precocious independence, responsible for caring for myself home alone before and after school by the time I was seven years old. While often envious of two-parent families throughout the duration of my solitary childhood, retrospectively I believe that the life-situation blessed me with the ability to develop some of my signature characteristics as a resilient, determined, and fundamentally confident individual. Throughout my maturation process, I have continually proven my tenacity and ability to function under extraordinary pressure by rising to each and every occasion in which it has been tested. The nature of my upbringing fueled the ambitious momentum that catalyzed my life’s greatest achievements.
In my youth, I spent the majority of my free-time outdoors, where “Mother Nature” served as my steadfast guide and companion. Through the abundance of teeming life encountered in my immediate surroundings I observed and learned directly by bearing witness to the full circle of thriving existence within the cycle of the seasons; lessons that left their everlasting impressions.
As I soul-search and reflect upon what is most profoundly meaningful to me as a human being, my thoughts naturally turn to spring which, for me, symbolically represents rejuvenation and newness of life; this is the magical time of year where the earth rejoices in abundance and vitality. On a grander scale, there is a rich history of American folklore that has for centuries depicted the season’s first siting of the red-breasted robin as a harbinger of spring; heralding a return of light, warmth, cheer and prosperity. More personally, my beloved mother whom was lost to me so long ago had always been referred to most commonly by her nickname “Robin” which came to be more familiar than the name that had been legally conferred via official birth certificate.
I see myself as her living legacy; as the vital unfolding life-song of her melody; the egg that took inspiration and evolved from her wings; I am here to make a difference and I am whole-heartedly committed to assisting others in identifying and living true to their genuine passions. Let us flourish and thrive together. Come, fly with me.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without words-
And never stops – at all – ~Emily Dickinson