LYL Blog challenge Day 4: One thing I’m proud of

This post is part of the Live Your Legend Blog Challenge. Find out more about it here and follow my progress here. This is the fourth of the blog challenge posts.

What’s one thing you’re proud of?

It’s 8th grade. Mr. Galvin calls me to his desk. He points to a place on a page and waits for me to realize what it means.

A moment of disbelief and I look at him and he looks at me and smiles. I don’t even think we said anything to each other. Maybe I hugged him before going back to my seat.

This might not be a big deal to a lot of people, but I remember the day that I found out that I was accepted into my high school. It’s one of those magnet schools with an exam. I had taken the exam for a different school a few years before that and didn’t get in. But this time I took the exam and I got in!

Happy bonfire night! #thisislondon

A photo posted by chewy travels (@chewy_travels) on


That afternoon my dad picked up me and my little sister from school as usual. I told him and we called my mom at work from a payphone down the street from our school (this was before we had cell phones…). Standing at the payphone, my dad had a grin that filled his whole face and he gruffly patted my head. He said he would buy me the GameBoy Color that I had been wanting. What about my younger sister? She can have one too!

Today

Today, I’m a little more than 2 months away from handing in my PhD thesis. It’s been a long time since that day, but I still think of that as the moment I’m most proud of. I am proud of it because I could make my parents happy, and that I could validate all their hard work with something so simple as getting into this one school.

It’s cliché to say so but it changed my life. Maybe I barely got in, but I got in! It wasn’t a mistake or a joke. The money my immigrant parents put into my education wasn’t for nothing. I could think that now and feel that it was true.

Perhaps in a parallel universe somewhere, there is a version of me who didn’t make it. I wonder what her life is like. I wonder if she is doing something similar, or if she went a completely different direction.