More then one thing shaped me

January 27, 2008
I’ve been around to see Dolly get cloned, Clinton get elected, and the twin towers get attacked. But those events that occupied much of my life, the 1990s, don’t much define me as a dictionary defines a word. I’ve never felt that I could or ever had the ability to describe myself thoroughly through paper and words. And I still don’t believe that now as I’m writing furiously away. I can only try to fit fragments of myself into five hundred words or less.

There was never one thing that shaped me to who I am now. In fact, there were many things. So, to begin with, I’ll start with June 5th, 1991. That might not be such a significant date to you, but it certainly was for the Peng family. As it was, the day their second daughter was born, me. I was born into the sweltering heat of Dubai. My parents were one of the first Chinese to reside in the United Arab of Emirates. They have always been motivated, ambitious people, so they took the first chance they got to go abroad. Naturally, I don’t remember much from those days, except that I attended a German kindergarten, spoke fluent German up to age five, and was the most adored baby girl of the family up till age two and a half. I experienced my first feeling of jealousy on the day my younger brother was born. That soon became a life altering day for me, because I was now the middle child. I was neither “Oh my first born” nor was I “My little baby” to my parents. I stopped feeling special, even when my mother persistently told me I was. I came to the realization that I had to work to be noticed, to be adored, to be recognized. This led me to win my first award in a Chinese Poetry Recital contest, second place and the youngest contestant. I strived through school with ease even when my family was constantly moving from place to place. These alterations also contributed to my character as well as personality. I learned to adapt to changes so easily like a Chameleon that changed colors according to its surroundings. I made friends with no difficulty, but at the same time grasped and deeply understood the phrase “nothing lasts forever”. At a very young age, I saw and experienced many different groups of people, ways of living, and ranks of society. So at that young age, I thought I knew everything. With the notion that the whole world was at my reach, I began to write. I read through many libraries, and thought I was Jane Austen, writing poems, short novels, plays, just waiting for my Mr. Darcy to appear. But this imaginary world soon crumbled upon my discovery of Crime and Punishment. At age thirteen, I never thought a man so clever as Fyodor Dostoevsky. I was humbled at the mere presence of the book. This taught me that there will always be someone greater and better than me, but it did not discourage me. I became so motivated to be better, that often I felt that I would burst any second into little pieces of motivation. I knew that with only ambition and no goal will get me nowhere. So, I began to imagine myself as an older, independent, and sophisticated woman. But what would be the career of this cosmopolitan? I soon narrowed it down to three choices, a writer, a lawyer, or a banker. The latter two seemed more practical, and practical was what I was taught to be. But who will know, as I have always believed, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.

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