Sent as a newsletter on November 14th, 2019
Today, I'm going to gush about one of the people I admire most in this world: my mom. While you can read about her research in structural biology and genetics in her newly published Wikipedia page 😍, I want to share how her example has deeply shaped my whole outlook on and approach to life.
Even though my Chinese parents met on the boat coming to America (literally, I kid you not), neither were tiger parents. When I was growing up, I'd get stressed about everything – school, sports, extracurriculars – and my mom would always tell me to "just have fun!"
I hated it. For many angsty teenage years, it felt like she was dismissing how real my problems were, trivializing what I cared about most. It only took me a decade or so for it to finally click. Making "have fun" the goal is the key that unlocks everything.
In 2017, when my mom was 70 years old, she made a breakthrough discovery in basic biology. Read: she was considering retiring, but accidentally started peaking in her career. This ended up being a huge turning point in my life, too. I was just about to turn 29, confused about what I was doing with my life, and witnessing this exciting turn of events for my mom rocked my world: why did I feel "behind" and so worried about having it all figured out by age 30?! My mom has 41 years on me and continues to welcome the unknown with open arms!
I started Key Values two weeks later.
(And launched it on HN a few months after that.)
My mom is the best example of how to enjoy life in the present. She takes her work seriously, but doesn't take herself too seriously, and by putting fun first, every accomplishment and accolade is merely a bonus. She is living proof that you're never too old to embark on a new and exciting adventure, and even though people love to glorify success at a young age, maybe the truly impressive thing we should be bowing down to is being able to fiercely love the journey you're on for as long as you're alive.
Key Values is very much inspired by my mother, a person who confidently listens to her gut, consistently makes choices that align with her personal values, and as a result, lives a full, energizing, and happy life. I want to live like she does. I think we all do.
If you're ever wondering if it's too late to make a big life change, the answer is no! It's never too late to reinvent yourself and it's never too early to start dreaming up what your next chapter will be. And regardless of what you do for a living, where you work, or what your other goals may be, always remember to have fun. 🙌
If you don't know what Key Values is, it's a place for software engineers to find and learn about teams that share their values. Maybe you're looking for more work/life balance in your next job, or a company that prioritizes promoting from within rather than hiring externally.
For those of you who have deal breakers around working remote or being a part of a diverse team, you can find that on Key Values, too. Whatever you care about most, I urge you to search for it and never settle for anything less!
I'd like to close out today's d̶i̶a̶r̶y̶ ̶e̶n̶t̶r̶y̶ newsletter by saying that I love and admire my dad, too! I could write an entire book about him, tbh. He also subscribes to and reads my newsletters every week, S'CUTE RIGHT?! 🤗❤️