MAMA SPOTLIGHT: Van tran
Q: Tell us about the important people in your life.
My husband and our two beautiful children. Also, my sister, her family, and my handful of friends. I don’t have a gazillion friends, but I love my small group and we’re pretty close. We’re always together and it’s easy to stay connected.
Q: Where are you from and where do you live now?
I now live in Austin, but my family immigrated from Vietnam in 1979/1980. We first lived in Worcester, Massachusetts and moved between Houston and Worcester a couple of times. From Houston, I moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas and traveled a bit, but ultimately came back to Austin, changed careers and went back to school.
Q: What does community mean to you?
I guess in short caring. I think a community includes family, friends, neighbors, and even people you don’t know well in the neighborhood, but every now and then we catch up. Even though we’re not close, I think we’re always there for each other - to watch out for each other’s home and kids. And if someone needs something, we’re there to help.
Q: What’s something you’re most proud of?
This is a tough question because I'm very hard on myself. So, I do think I am most proud of just being able to be where I am today with very little assistance. My family worked very hard, but as far as parenting and guiding me and showing me, they didn’t have an education, so they didn’t know how to educate me on how to navigate applying to college and such. Coming from a different country, my parents had very different points of view. I was much more Americanized than them, so I guess I’m also proud of the fact that I was able to let go of what they felt I should do with my life and really kind of do my own thing. To their disapproval, I had to let go of what they felt was right for me based on our culture, and I had to do what I felt was right for me here in the United States. I had to learn how to let go of that part of your family that isn’t good for you in the long run and make it on my own.
Q: Where do you find inspiration, motivation, and encouragement?
I read a lot of self-help books and look to other women who inspire different parts of me. I feel like not every one person can embody everything you want to be, but every person you meet, has a very special part of them that you might want to pull from to improve yourself. I have a motivator for fitness and health and then someone else who motivates me for the side of my brain interested in politics and history.
Q: What’s one thing about motherhood that has surprised you?
Hmm. I’d have to say the bipolarity of madness and love. Like, OMG are you insane? I love them to death and then also want to kill them. And like people say, it’s true, though - the days are long, but the years are short.
Q: What’s one thing you want to accomplish over the next year?
In this new year, I look forward to a change in career so I can spend more time with my kids. For the past decade I’ve been in medicine, but my schedule keeps me busy on nights and weekends. I’m working to learn new skills and would like to launch into the med spa business, so I’m looking into a different field of medicine. I feel with my current schedule, I’m missing half their lives. They grow so fast. And they need me. I just feel like I need to have more time with them because, you know, you can always make more money, but you can't take that time back, you know, and I need to be there for them.
Q: What are you looking forward to gaining from a community of peers?
Like we talked about earlier, just meeting everyone with different talents and different mindsets. Everyone has value and can contribute to make others better. I think everybody has something to contribute whether they feel like it or not. There are so many talented people out there that don’t realize they’re talented. Just sharing our skills and knowledge, what we’re good at and what we’re interested in; it can spark something for you.
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The MWP Blog focuses on the three overarching themes of family, wellness, and community.