Re-write the stories of your past.

Judy Tsuei

When I was young, I watched my father at his architectural desk, angled at a 45 degree, carefully writing in such beautiful script that he literally created a font for my first full-time job.

My father, this tender-hearted man who was never taught how to love but instead, grew up in a family and a culture that encouraged him to be authoritative, was run over by a car when he was young.

He, like my other aunts and uncles, was very smart.

He did well in school.

And he, with his friend, went in the peak of Taiwan's summer heat to gather those large tropical snails, so that they could eventually sell them for meat.

They hid behind a Jeep, cooling themselves in the shade, when suddenly, two military men got in, started the car, and backed onto him.

His friend leapt out of the way, yelled for them to stop.

The man, sitting shotgun, yelled the same to the driver, who then moved forward and ran over my father a second time, at which point, he rolled over a ledge and fell into a ditch.

His jaw was displaced.

They brought him to the emergency room, and unbeknownst to their very poor family, he suffered brain damage that they would not be able to diagnose.

My grandmother thought that he had become lazy.

She thought that he wasn't trying hard enough in school.

She beat him to the point that when she was on her deathbed in the hospital, she raised an arm in confusion at him, and he – now in his 60s – cowered like a small child.

It wasn't until a teacher believed in him and taught him how to write Chinese calligraphy that he found reprieve.

The Chinese characters in beautiful brush strokes saved his life in so many ways...

So he knew what beautiful was, when it came to handwriting.

And one day, when peering over at my elementary school homework, he said, "Why is your handwriting so ugly?"

I am now almost 40 years old and almost every single time I take pen to paper, that statement about how ugly my handwriting is pops in in the nook of my brain.

THIS is how powerful a parent can be...

This is how much of an impact someone you look up to when you are young can be.

This is how powerful our words are.

I just got this beautiful book from a gorgeous store here in Mendocino, called "Your Story is Your Power: Free Your Feminine Voice."

I'm telling you this story, because there are a lot of things that people don't believe about me, when I tell them the things I've overcome.

You can overcome things, too.

You have.

And you can write your story in ways that set you free.

The funny thing is, I've written things before, on walls, in school projects, in letters to friends, where they say, "Wow, I love your handwriting... your handwriting is beautiful."

But the loudest voice has always been my father's.

Until now.

What are you working on re-writing in your life?

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