Passion: My Hope for Gabriel

October 2, 2013

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”