On the first day of High School, Mrs. Janowitz, my English teacher, handed out a paper which included questions such as, “What’s your weakest subject?”, “What do you hope to learn this year?”, and “How would you describe yourself in three words?”. The question I stayed on the longest was “How would you describe yourself in three words?”. There were many things I wanted to list about myself, but of course, I could not fit it onto the two lines that were provided on the paper. If I were to use three metaphorical portraits to represent who I am, I would include a picture of a bowl of Phở, a photo of BTS on stage, and a doctor with a baby.
The first photograph I would include in my metaphorical portrait is a bowl of Phở. The bowl is about 8 inches wide and the chopsticks are 4 ½ inches long. In the bowl, it consists of rice noodles that are white, flat, and chewy. The meat is slightly raw because of the red color it still has. The broth that the noodles are drenched in has a brown and slight yellow tint to it. Along with the noodles, there are garnishes on top of the noodles and on to the side, there is a small plate that consists of extra garnishes such as Thai basil, lime, green onion, bean sprout, and red pepper. Condiments that goes with Phở is siracha sauce, which is a bright red color and Hoisin sauce that has a dark brown color. These sauces balance out the savory, spicy, and citrus flavor of the Phở.
The reason why I chose a bowl of Phở out of all the other famous dishes from Vietnam is that it is a dish that originated from Northern Vietnam. Northern Vietnam is where my family originated from before they all moved to South Vietnam, known today as “Saigon”. When I think of Vietnam, my motherland, I immediately remember the vibrant city lights, loud mopeds, and the exquisite street food that enchanted me. I wanted to know where I came from first, perhaps that could give me a clue to help me understand who I am. Even though I left Vietnam at age 1, something about Vietnam draws me in. My love for Vietnam is much deeper than just being from there. Vietnam brings me comfort, love, and warmth. Every time I return to Vietnam, I learn a little bit more than the last time I was there. Most people in Vietnam do not have what we have here in America. I live in America. I see people with expensive cars, houses, and lifestyle every day. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, people can get by with less than a dollar a day. The best thing is, is that they are happy. I will take that with me forever because everyone in this world is trying to strive for happiness. The most important aspect of Vietnam is family. Family to me means the world and eating a simple bowl of Phở, it takes me back to my childhood. My late grandpa uses to make it for me every time I came back to Vietnam. He would make it the day I arrive in Vietnam and the day before I left Vietnam. In Vietnam, every meal is eaten at a table together as a family. Even though I was not raised all my life there, there are some aspects of my life that I learned from visiting Vietnam every other summer. I learned that it doesn’t matter where you are in life, knowing the place where you come from can motivate you to do better.
The second metaphorical portrait I would choose is a picture of BTS on stage. The bright vibrant lights are shining down on the BTS members. This concert took place in Newark, New Jersey on the night of March 24, 2017, at the Prudential Center. The stadium was filled with at least 50,000 fans. As Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook say their final goodbyes to the fans, each section started to turn their light stick into different colors, such as yellow, blue, red, and purple as they cheered for BTS. Most of the fans were getting emotional as the concert was coming to an end. All the members seemed exhausted after the amazing show they put on for the fans, but they still managed to thank the fans and even come down from the stage to shake some of the fans’ hands.
The reason why I chose a picture of BTS on stage is that those seven members of BTS are people whom I’ve looked up to since 2013. Besides my parents, BTS is someone whom I looked up to and admire. They have broken many barriers. Through their songs, they have helped many fans including myself. Each seven members of BTS has taught me seven valuable life lessons which are being a better version of myself every day, not to give up on my dreams, be kind, happy, confident, appreciating the small things in life, and to love myself. They were once a small group in South Korea, but as the years have gone by; BTS is now popular in every country. In South Korea, they are now known as “the nation’s pride”. I too, one day want to make my country proud just like BTS.
The third picture I chose is a doctor with a baby. In the picture, there is a brown, short hair pediatrician who is wearing a white coat, smiling and holding on to the baby’s hand. The blue-eyed baby is wearing light pink and is lying on a white bed. Around the Pediatrician’s neck, there is a stethoscope.
The reason why I would choose a picture of a doctor with a baby is to represent my dream career. I have always been great with children and being around them lightens my day. Growing up, most Asian parents would encourage their children to be either a lawyer, doctor, or engineer. Fortunately, I was very keen to be in the medicine world. I have realized even more when I got accepted into Park Vista’s Medical Academy. I’ve learned a lot of tips being in that Academy for four years and I even managed to be a certified Phlebotomist. Needless to say, I would want to continue studying medicine. My ultimate goal is to become a pediatrician and to hopefully one day open my own clinic in Vietnam to help those in need. Giving back is always my aim in life. It could be the smallest thing you do for someone and it could make their whole year.
These three images, represents me completely because I would not be who or where I am today if it was not for the love and lessons I have received when I was in Vietnam, the lessons BTS have taught me that built me into a healthier version of myself , and by incorporating those life lessons together it can potentially lead me to become a successful pediatrician. At the end of the day, it all comes down to where I came from. I come from Vietnam, a country that is not like America. My parents moved to America for me to have a better future than them. I would never take that for granted. I am blessed to have the education, and advantages that I have here in America. One day, I want to make my country proud just like BTS did.