Rarely do I struggle for words, I am generally full of them. The only person I know who talks more than I do is my 3.5 year old son. Two weeks ago I was asked to go on stage at the Social Good Summit in NYC, and in a few sentences describe my hopes for my son. Like many parents, I have many aspirations for him. How could I possibly narrow it down? I want him to be healthy and happy. I want him to have access to a quality education and healthcare. He needs to see compassion and empathy. I hope he can find strength in adversity. I had flashbacks from a discussion with Raising America Executive Producer Rena Popp at the Mom2.0Summit when I was pondering my answer. She said she feared I would get to talking and not know when to stop. I definitely didn’t want to be “that mom”.
|United Nations Foundation’s Peter Yeo dubbed “Charlie” and Shot@Life Champions “the angels”
Photo Credit: Myrdin Thompson
I thought long and hard about what I would say, and not just what I would say to the public but what I would say to him when he was old enough to understand. I reflected on the last decade of my life, and what single piece of advice would have been the most constructive. I always felt lost. My entire life I had been told that I needed to be a doctor. I was book smart and I had a desire to help people. It sounded great at the time. I generally have nerves of steel and an iron stomach, so it seemed like a fit. It took me years to realize that my draw to medicine wasn’t actually practicing medicine, it was helping others. I had invested my life in pursing a career and an education that wasn’t really meant for me. I wish I had someone to help me figure out what I was passionate about, and how I could have developed that into a career.
|My sweet friend took a screenshot during the lives steam.|
My light bulb moment happened. I knew exactly what I hoped for my son in a singular phrase. I wanted him to discover what he is passionate about. My words to the million people listening were,
“My name is Jessica Peace-Urgelles, my hope for my son Gabriel is that he finds what is passionate about, no matter how long it takes him to find that. I hope he has the courage to follow that passion, and he has people to encourage him just like I have had people encourage me”