10 Things I Learned From My Niece

Juyen, my niece is having her tenth birthday today (November 11, 2015). Realizing that she is approaching the adolescence period, I am quite confident of what she could achieve, should she continue to be hardworking and determined on what she does. Though on very rare times, I help her on her math assignments; I can say I learn to appreciate more my family through my niece's experience and upbringing.

Today, I am writing the ten things I learned from my former "frenemy". The objective of this blogpost is not to hail my niece as the best, but as an inspiration to all of us. However, this blogpost does not expect high expectations on my niece, but a confirmation no matter what happen we, especially I will support her no matter what it takes. So, here are ten reasons why Juyen has actually helped me rethink the direction of my life.

1. Think of those at present, rather than who might be temporarily absent. Now, both of Juyen's parents are working abroad. It is quite unimaginable that a child will be left in our home country. I consider this as Juyen's vulnerability. She understands why but stays strong and courageous even it is hard to fight such vulnerability.

2. Be attentive of the situation and adapt accordingly. It is quite interesting how Juyen adapts herself on every situation. She could speak with adults without intimidation.

3. Know what you want and try to mediate your needs and wants by yourself. I observed how Juyen tried to rationalize her needs and wants. Personally, I believe that is good start for her.

4. To lead is independent with age, rather on the sincerity to lead. She is showing leadership skills.  Although raw but certainly will eventually improve and develop.

5. The measure of intelligence is not through exam scores but it is seen through how life is balanced among various aspects of one's life.

6. Learn when to speak and when to be quitely listening. This is a difficult communication skill for not everyone gets to learn and acquire.

7. If you want something, you need to go and work for it. It would sound we need to encourage rewards to change a behavior, but for the simple objective to motivate oneself to compete with oneself.

8. Never rely on what others could provide you, rather on how you can make use of resources effectively. Being resourceful is important.

9. Know your limitations and never give up on your hesitations. There are many limitations but one must try to improve oneself and give oneself the leeway to fail or succeed.

10. Life is not about the goals set by others but the goals by you yourself. Recently, I realized that even though we are helping Juyen indirectly, it is not always expected she would follow our advice. One's preference must be respected at all times.

Lastly, I know it is rare to express affection to my family. However, I want Juyen and my nephew (Francis) to know when they got to read this in the future that primarily I and my sister (her mother) went abroad to help expand possible options for the family, especially Juyen who might pursue her future in Norway. This is not a promise but a recognition that Juyen's uncle will never cease supporting her in what ever way possible for me.

Happy 10th birthday Juyen. We love you.


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