My mind races as I think of my entire life ahead of me.The whole world as I knew it was evolving, but something fundamental was always going to be the same. Just as no one heeded the warnings about communist expansion, no one heeded the warnings of global warming. Due to our own race’s selfishness, climate change had completely taken over our Planet Earth. What used to be rivers and streams are now just vast endless fields of weeds, their tops dipped with black ink from the smog. As I board the aircraft to Planet Mars, I look nostalgically at what I had called home for the past 30 years. Immersing myself in memories of my former years as I remembered my high school, the field that I loved, the one coffee shop that stayed open late enough for me to study, my favorite clothing store. All these memories, events, people have all shaped me to be the person that I am now, with one fundamental person standing far out from the crowd in terms of importance and impact. My Mother.
Just as my mother took a plane from Shanghai to Mississippi, I am on a spaceship from San Francisco to Mars. I remember growing up, my mother reciting to me stories of how she came to the United States. She did not row over here in a boat like many other stereotypical Asians. Instead, being the civilized person that she is, she flew from Shanghai to Mississippi in a plane.This was way back when a flight that now normally takes 10 hours took around 20 hours for her. This oppurtunity for my mother was only achieved through her massive amounts of hard work and unceasing dedication. Throughout my entire childhood, I have listened to countless stories that my mother and other relatives have told about her constant dedication to come here. For days on end in the summer heat, she would ignore her family’s requests to watch television with them, and instead would sit by herself dutifully studying and doing practice tests for the GRE and the TOEFL. To obtain her student visa, she needed to pass these tests with flying colors, which, of course, she did.
Just as my mother knew not a single soul in America, I am going to a planet as bare as the Gobi Desert in the winter. For when she was in America, while at work she was always alone, but never lonely. Her determination and conceptualizing the future gave her ideals as companions, which became her American friends before she got any. Transiting her life from China to America must have been the hardest journey any 20year old must have had to partake of. From the different cultures to food; everyday waking up in this new life was a shock. It is common knowledge that the foods are different, in two different countries. Instead of going to the supermarket and buying her favorite foods from childhood, my mother had to endure new, unusual foods that she had never tasted before. The Chinese culture of placing kids before anything else was also changed to the American culture of letting kids be free and learn responsibility.
Just as my mother walked desperately the streets for a job, I am going to desperately look for drinkable water on this new planet. I can’t even begin to imagine her level of weariness after spending a whole day walking up and down the shops of Chinatown asking if help was wanted. What I make in my own teenage job now is what my mother made in whole day then. Putting these things into perspective makes me really want to thank my mother for all the sweat, love and tears that she has put into her own life. And all of this hard work was before my sister and me were part of her life. I can’t even begin to imagine how the workload doubled up on her, along with the stress of having to carry the whole world on her shoulders. And, just as my mother never lost her Chinese culture within her, I know that I will never forget my ChineseAmerican roots. Although I may be moving to a completely new place at this point in my life just like my mother had, I know I shall strive to accomplish the same goals that she has. I look into Space. Space is mostly empty. Some people can embrace this emptiness, while wise people like my mother can choose to find meaningful substance in this and think differently, think wisely. Her Earthling wisdom will become my Martian strategy.