“Life was never too hard. It’s the matter of setting the right mindsets.”
What was your life like before coming to Toronto?
I wasn’t born and raised in a wealthy family in Hong Kong, and my mom would always teach me to be a hard working person. Hence when I became a mom or a CEO later on in life, I worked as hard as I could to achieve the best for myself and for my family.
Before my family and I decided to immigrate to Toronto, I worked in Beijing for 5 years. Initially, I had thought about moving there instead. Nevertheless, I am glad that we ended up living in Toronto.
In Beijing, I was helping an IT company rebuild its brokenness into success. At that time, I was proud of myself that not only was I recognized, but also my hard work paid off.
Regardless, I still chose to sacrifice my high positioning as a CEO in Beijing and decided to come to Toronto for my kids.
How would you describe yourself other than hard working?
I never complain about things or situations I had. Rather than that, I am always thankful.
Do you remember your hardest moments after you and your family moved to Toronto?
In my opinion, there is no such thing as “too hard” for me. Even when I saw my mom raising 10 kids at home, she would never say “life was hard”, never. However, there were times when I had to fit myself into this new environment and to make a living for my family. After leaving a good paid job as a CEO, I was once a cleaning lady, a stay at home mom and a school driver for my kids and nephews. Those were some challenging but fun times.
Would you call Toronto your home?
I wouldn’t necessarily say that Canada or Toronto is my home because everyone comes together to live here. Whether it is Chinese, Korean, Vietnamise, etc. To me, Toronto is just a welcoming open country for immigrants to stay.
If not Canadian, do you still identify yourself as a Hong Konger or Chinese?
I am proud to be Chinese. For most, I would still say “I came from Hong Kong,” because that is where I was born and raised. However, as China is growing rapidly, Chinese people are respected. I can see it in people’s eyes. You see, even “Gweilo'' learns Madarine or Cantonese now.
What’s your hope for the future?
I am going to rest and enjoy more in life. I’ve always liked to admire nature and its beauty. I am still amazed when I see leaves changing colours, and snow falling even though I have been living in Toronto for quite some time now. As my kids are all grown up now, I’ve learned to find my own interests and things to do for myself, like skiing and joining church’s choir.
How many identities do you have now and in the future?
I will always be a mom as well as someone’s daughter, a hard working employee, a lifelong dedicated Christian and a future grandma.
Do you miss your family in Hong Kong?
I think our relationship is even better than before because we treasure more of each other. I don’t know if it's because we are getting old and we know time is short now. Anyway, we whatsapp each other all the time. Also, I will visit them once a year so I will say we are very close at heart.