i have spent a lot of my time recently thinking about who i am. why do i connect the lives of others? why do i facilitate life changes for friends who need a little push? why even help? and what do i want out of it?
my parents lost country and loved ones due to war. two days before saigon fell, dad sent us to america via guam on a hunch. the day before the country was lost, bill, an american intelligence officer who loved and respected my father gave my dad notice that the country had fallen under communist regime and nobody knew it yet (everyone else was still being lied to). bill saved my dad by giving him information that not too many people were privvy to. my father barely escaped.
we were vietnamese royalty one day, impoverished refugees the next. somehow, my parents "got it" and they were certain to instill their thoughts on life in their five young children. growing up in our house, my parents openly told us that they loved us. not only did they tell us, but they showed us. i saw first hand what they did for us; how they sacrificed and how it's shaped who we are today. raised without religion, they impressed on us, the importance of our very beings. we were to go through life helping others. we were to watch our karma and help when we could, but to help ourselves before we helped others. i understood, i had to be clear of desires for myself before i facilitated the desires of others. and only then, could i help without jealousy, insecurity, and regret. my mom told me once not to come back as a dung beetle. i still laugh out loud when i recount this anecdote.
my oldest sister, living in atlanta, is a vc (ironic, right?). she is a skeet shooter and rides horses. she knows an obscene amount of money people. my second oldest sister is a classical music expert and has worked for classical music labels in new york city for the last 8 years. she is currently in the midst of a career change. she knows an obscene amount of classical musicians. i am a hustler. i know an obscene amount of nonsense pop culture knowledge and creatives. my little sister works for one of the oldest and largest law firms in the world. based out of ny, she handles their marketing so that she can collect her big paycheck to fund her next travelling adventures. she knows an obscene amount of volunteers. the youngest, my brother, who is based in santa monica, works in the music industry for universal interscope. he knows an obscene amount of rockstars/actors/professional atheletes. the clan is full of hustlers. we hustle media. we hustle money. we hustle lives.
at 31, i've had the opportunity to work for the oldest consulting firm in the country on the largest public works project, i've been a whale watch tour guide for the new england aquarium, i have danced in cages in clubs on lansdowne street in boston, i have worked for slayer and stood behind the curtains at ozzfest staring out at 35,000 moshing half naked boys, i have shaken my ass for money in a faith evans/puff daddy video, i've taken it easy, i've worked for a successful lifestyle rag and now, i'm running a game development studio with my better half, silvio, and our friend david. all my life, i knew i was different. people told me i was lucky early on. these people were right. i was lucky to have the parents that i do. my parents set up my life so that i could feel free to explore and should i fail, free to come home (this has yet to happen).
in the past few weeks i have been helping out loved ones more than usual. karmatic payback, being what it is, our studio heard great news today. i'm not going to get into it, but what happened today would have never happened to anyone else i know.
one time, a friend who always believed she was unlucky said to me, "you are so lucky." she said it in a salty manner. allison, a childhood friend who witnessed the incident said, "no, you're wrong. souris is not just lucky. she makes her luck. she works harder than anyone we know to make things look easy." before that, i never really looked at it that way. i just thought everyone worked this way.
recently, i hooked up writers with magazines. i hooked up an aspiring rap artist to a music label. i hooked up a friend-of-a-friend with viet nam travelling tips. i hooked up a kid with some real estate advice. i hooked up interviews for friends launching product. i hooked up a sf based friend with a ny based artist. i hooked up a date for a friend.
in the last month, jane, robin, ben, lulu, bernie, and atman, all veterans of the video games industry have stopped by our studio to give free advice and listen. more visitors are expected in the next few weeks. these friends of the studio are passing up on a manhattan afternoon to come in and help out however they can. i remind myself that i am lucky indeed to know such a bunch.
what is one to do with all this luck and love?
to be continued...