Dear Professor L

Dear Professor L,

Right now it is 1:41 in the morning, and I was just about to go to bed. When I lay down, a thought came to me about you and your warm words this afternoon. I am worried I could not say the answer to your question. It was not because what you asked was too personal. It was because I was too astonished by your generosity and did not know the proper way to answer and express my thankfulness. Nobody has ever told me that, or offered to help me before, and I learned from you today that asking for help may not be a bad thing after all.

My parents always told me that I was the reason why they came to Canada. To give me a better education, and a life that they could not afford when they were young. But after standing beside them, watching the pain they suffer, I am not quite sure if I am worth their time and sacrifice. Recently, I was at a hospital with my mom, who had surgery. I cannot forget how desperate I was, how I looked for someone to talk to and lean on. Sometimes I even wonder if I will ever be good enough for them. I feel guilty for making them give up their life and family in Korea to come here. I am exhausted because of the things in life that are so questionable and vague. A lot of feelings cross my mind and I can’t get them to equalize.

I hope I am not making you uncomfortable with my story. Please tell me if at all, if you feel awkward or disturbed. Although I hope you do not.

Sincerely,

Jennie

Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 7. Purchase the book to read the full piece.