One of my favorite things about traveling is the opportunity to meet new people and hear some of their life stories. I feel like I always learn something profound when listening to a stranger. This past weekend we were out on the road in Florida when I met a woman who shared her inspirational story about how she came to the United States.
Her name is Andrea and she was the driver of our runner vehicle we were in. I was taking our daughter Penelopi to meet up with her buddies at the beach to swim. The 40 minute commute to the beach allowed for Andrea and I to get to know one another. The conversation first started out with casual small talk. She mentioned that she had lived in the United States for nine years, so that prompted me to ask the question of where she was originally from. She said that she is a native to Chile, has three college degrees, and was a political journalist for the Chilean Congress. She expressed that being a journalist and a mom was definitely a balancing act. The job required her to work long hours and travel frequently, therefore often leaving her daughter in the care of her grandmother. Grandmothers are always a wonderful person to have around to help you with your child, but naturally cannot replace the special bond between a mother and child. So, Andrea sacrificed her successful career and moved to the United States so that her and her daughter could start a new life together. She didn’t give up writing though! She is currently working on a book and she enjoys her job working as a personal assistant. She mentioned she now has the freedom to take side jobs that do not interfere with time spent with her daughter. We talked the entire 40 minute ride about how important it is for us as women and mothers to find our own fulfillment outside of our marriages, our children, and our families. Self-worth flows through those relationships that are the most meaningful to us. Andrea and I share the common goal of this philosophy and of also being an inspiration to our daughters.
Finding that perfect balance of family and professional life is very important to me. I came away from this conversation more energized and focused on fulfilling my personal goals and dreams. Thank you Andrea for your kind spirit, wisdom, and for sharing your story with me.