|Posted by lehewitt on February 9, 2015 at 11:45 PM|
A story from a recent rideshare experience...
I found the next house. It was in a middle class neighborhood north of the city. The name of my rider , Anahid, was unique. I wasn’t sure whether to expect a man or woman to be honest. I could see through a blurred storm door window the silhouetted figures hugging and doing the two cheek kisses that you see in certain cultures. Shortly, a middle aged man opened the door and out popped a dark haired woman in her early thirties I would presume. This, I would learn, was Anahid.
As we began our journey, I broke the ice with the typical politeness about the warmer than usual February weather we were enjoying. Anahid said this had been a perfect day for an outing to visit her friends for dinner. She explained that she was born in Armenia when it was still a part of the old Soviet block of countries. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, war broke out in her home country, so her family moved to Russia and then immigrated to America when she was just ten years old. Even though America has truly been her home, she likes to think of herself as an Armenian woman and tried to preserve Armenian customs. There is not a large Armenian presence in Indiana, so any time she came across others from her birth country, they were treated like extended family. Such was the case on this evening. The house where I had picked her up, was the home of an Armenian family who had befriended her. They had gotten together on this day for a traditional meal.
I asked her to describe to me the “must have” food from her country. She described a ground beef mixture wrapped in grape leaves and said that their foods resembled Greek or Mediterranean cuisine. Understanding, preserving and practicing her culture was an important part of who she is. However, there was much more to this woman than you would suspect at first glance. She went on to tell me that she had worked on Wall Street in the financial industry, but that the Wall Street career lifestyle was not very conducive to a woman who hoped to have a family someday. So, she had changed gears and was now a dentist. I jokingly asked her if she made this move to help people or to inflict pain on others. She offered that many of her friends often commented on what a drastic change in career direction she had taken. She then confessed that the real reason for the change was due to life flexibility. Being a dentist offered her the ability to earn a very good living and still pursue the other things in life that she wanted.
What an inspiration. So many people from much more privileged backgrounds do not achieve half as much as this woman already has in half a life. Born into difficult circumstances, she has found a way to defeat all obstacles that have stood in her way. Most of us, myself included, could learn much from her example.