“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. – Bob Marley”
1. Tell me about a favorite scene from your favorite movie? This might sound like a weird movie to be one of my favorites, but Black Hawk Down has been one of my favorites for a while. I’ve probably watched it 15-20 times now. I actually watched it last week with a friend who has never seen it. My favorite scene in the movie is when the soldiers are FINALLY rescued by the United Nations 10th mountain out of the hot zone. What really pulled at my heartstrings is that there was not enough room for all of them in the tanks so a few of them had to run alongside the tanks while still being shot at. To think that these men still had to run back to the stadium while being shot at, after being in a firefight for 12+ hours and most of them shot or injured is unfathomable. When they finally make it to the stadium, you can see the sense of relief on their faces and pure exhaustion. My heart rate always rises when I watch this scene, even though I have seen it so many times. I appreciate that this movie was based on true events because it shows the audience a glimpse of what our service members do overseas to protect our country. It gives me a sense of pride and appreciation for our military.
2. What’s the most interesting thing about you we wouldn’t learn from your resume or social media? I’m pretty much an open book, especially on social media. So it’s hard to say what the most interesting thing about me is without finding it there or on my resume. When I really think about it, one thing that people may find interesting about me is that I am a second generation United States immigrant. My parents are first-generation immigrants who came from the Philippines via a work visa and petition. My mother worked hard to become a nurse and my father dedicated his efforts to the US Navy. My parents left the comfort of their families and everything they knew in the Philippines to build a better life in the states. I am lucky in that they worked tirelessly to provide the best life they could for me. My father was often stationed overseas or on deployments so my mother, more or less, raised me on her own. Their sacrifice and hard work has shaped me into the woman I am today. I have been told that I see the world through rose-colored glasses and I really do have an optimistic view in most every situation I come across. If the situation is grave, I find the silver lining. I think that growing up with my parents and witnessing first hand that hard work pays off is what made me this way. So, as a reflection of the hope that my parents instilled in me, I try to bring positivity, laughter and happiness into every aspect life!
3. Women are STRONG, Women are BEAUTIFUL, and Women are COURAGEOUS! Please share one additional word you would use to describe women and why? The first word that came to mind was INDEPENDENT, the second word that came to mind was ADAPTABLE. However, I want to say that women are RESILIENT. Resiliency is a profound characteristic I find in women because there are multiple life stressors women face that makes them stronger. Women experience stress from work, school, motherhood, peers, family, etc., there is so much that is expected of them. We learn how to adapt to stress and move forward. This characteristic is especially seen in the women that are military spouses. I came across this poem about being a military wife/spouse. It talked about EVERYTHING that spouses go through while their service member is deployed. I grew up as a “navy brat,” now I am on the flip side of it. Since becoming a navy spouse, I have tested my own limits. This has given me a new appreciation for what my mother did as a navy spouse. She is the epitome of resiliency.
4. What was your dream job as a kid and why? Like most children, my dream job as a child was to become a Doctor. I wanted to help sick people get better. I may not have a Doctorate (right now), but the profession I chose still makes a difference in people’s lives and improves their quality of life. I am an Occupational Therapist. As an OT, we help people of all ages develop the skills they need for success in everyday life where they live, learn, work, and play. I’ve had the opportunity to work at a skilled nursing facility, in outpatient therapy, and at an acute inpatient hospital. Working in all settings with different patients and with varying diagnoses has been the most rewarding experience.
5. What is the best and worst decision you’ve ever made? The best and easiest decision I have ever made was saying “Yes” when Jason asked me to marry him! However, it is hard to say that I’ve made a bad decision because I firmly believe that all the decisions I have made has brought me where I am today. One thing I might have done differently was scheduling my GRE exam the day after my pre-calculus final in college. That was poor planning on my part, I was not mentally prepared to take such big exams back to back. I rushed into taking the GRE in hopes I would get a good enough score to be accepted into the Spring term of graduate school. It just brought a lot of stress, anxiety, and tears that could have been avoided.
BONUS. What should every woman try at least once in her life? Every woman should step outside of their comfort zone. Sounds cliche but I believe stepping outside of our comfort zones makes us stronger mentally and physically. There is a sense of familiarity, security, and certainty within our comfort zone. When we step outside of that, we’re taking a risk, and opening ourselves up to the possibility of stress and anxiety; we’re not quite sure what will happen and how we will react. However, challenging ourselves can bring out peak performances, it can bring out our creativity, and there’s always room to grow. Case in point, I have lived in Florida my entire life. I only moved 1 hour away for graduate school then moved back during internships which led to job opportunities. 13 months ago, I left everything I ever knew, my family, friends, a great job, my home. One co-worker gave me the simplest advice just before I left for Japan, that was, “Don’t be afraid to do things. Don’t be afraid to do things on your own.” I took that piece of advice to heart, as a result, there are so many experiences I have had here that I NEVER imagined I would have had the chance to do.