Keep up! As Yogi Bhajan says: “Keep up and you will be kept up”. No matter how arduous your journey gets, do NOT give up. Keep up and know this too shall pass. You will soon be surrounded by friends and feeling good about your life. As my grandma used to say: “the sun always shines after it rains.” Let the sun bring light into your life and remember you can achieve whatever you believe. I believe in you my friend!
Amine: Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Veronica: I was born and raised in Argentina. My favorite part of growing up was spending Sundays having “asados” BBQ that lasted all day long in our backyard while watching soccer games with family.
Amine: Was there a particular trigger point that made you emigrate to the US? Can you tell a story?
My dad decided to move my sister, brother, mom and I to the US to give us a better future. He wanted to gift us with the American Dream to have more opportunities for our future.
Amine: Can you tell us the story of how you came to the USA? What was that experience like?
My dad got a job as a mechanical engineer working for Marcal Paper Mills and we all moved to the US. It wasn’t an easy feat. We left our family, friends and home behind. I was almost 16 and on one hand I felt grateful that my parents were leaving everything behind to give us a better future and on the other hand I was grieving the loss of family and friends while moving into a country where we didn’t know anybody. We didn’t know the culture or the language very well. Then, I had to take tons of tests to see on what level classes I would place and completely immerse myself in a brand new culture while wishing I could be back home with my family and friends.
A couple of funny stories come to mind about my first year in the US as a junior in high school:
In Argentina, we typically say hello by kissing our friends in the cheek. So, I remember walking around the hallways @ Fair Lawn High saying hello to new people by kissing them in the cheek. You can only imagine how embarrassing that was!
I also remember literally looking up to the sky when someone would say: “What’s up?”
Amine: Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped make the move more manageable? Can you share a story?
Yes! I’m totally grateful to my dad not only for getting the job to move our family to the US but also because he actually came to the US two weeks before we did. He rented a condo and had it all furnished for us before we even moved to NJ. He also registered us at our schools and planned all our exams so we would be able to seamlessly immerse ourselves in the culture.
Amine: So how are things going today?
Things are absolutely amazing! I got to study at Rutgers University. Met the man of my dreams and we got married 18 years ago. We have three children who constantly remind me to be present to all the incredible blessings in front of us.
My parents, sister and brother live right near us and we enjoy creating memories together. My parents love being part of their grandkids’ lives as they grow up and witnessing their efforts blooming with the success of their children and grandchildren.
Amine: How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Yes! Through my holistic healing business, I absolutely love empowering women to feel confident pursuing their dreams and living happily ever after in the NOW.
In addition, my husband and I enjoy giving back through philanthropy for the Virtua Hospital System, Joyful Gathering Spiritual Center and the American Association for Cancer Research.
Amine: You have first hand experience with the US immigration system. If you had the power, which three things would you change to improve the system?
1) Add more employees to review files faster.
2) Grant visas and green cards based on merit.
3) Continue to allow immigrants to come to this amazing country without making it so difficult.
Amine: Can you share “5 keys to achieving the American dream” that others can learn from you? Please share a story or example for each.
1) Dream: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” Eleanor Roosevelt. Give yourself the chance to dream. The sky is not even the limit for what is possible for you.
2) Believe: Believe in yourself and the power to make your dreams a reality. You are not alone in this journey. You are fully supported by this limitless Universe and miracles abound. Believe you can and let the Universe lend you her hand.
3) Pray: Prayer helps us move from doubt and fear into faith. It doesn’t matter what religion you follow or what form of prayer you utilize. Just close your eyes. Take a deep breath and pray for what you want. I remember I would lay down at night when I first moved to the US and in the middle of fear, tears and doubt, I would ask God to help me make new friends. Help me learn this language and help me let go of pain. Prayer always works!
4) Ask for help: People like helping other people. You don’t need to do everything by yourself. Ask people to help you with your needs. May be someone can help you find the best job for you. May be someone can help you find a class where you can learn to speak English. May be someone can help you feel like you are at home even when you feel like a stranger in a strange land. My parents met new friends upon moving to the States. Danny & Eileen are a couple who come to mind. They helped us move around our new town and they will forever be remembered with love in our hearts.
5) Keep up! As Yogi Bhajan says: “Keep up and you will be kept up”. No matter how arduous your journey gets, do NOT give up. Keep up and know this too shall pass. You will soon be surrounded by friends and feeling good about your life. As my grandma used to say: “the sun always shines after it rains.” Let the sun bring light into your life and remember you can achieve whatever you believe. I believe in you my friend!
Amine: We know that the US needs improvement. But are there 3 things that make you optimistic about the US’s future?
1) This new generation of children who are marching and standing up for their rights makes me optimistic about our future
2) Education in this country continues to be great. Knowledge and education open the doorways to infinite possibilities.
3) This is still the land of opportunity and there are so many possibilities for everyone to succeed when they are willing to try.
Amine: Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
I would love to have a private breakfast with Sting. I absolutely love his music and values.
Amine: What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
facebook.com/VeronicaParker44, Instagram @LiveYourHappyNOW, Itunes: Live Your Happy NOW Podcast, www.VeronicaParker44.com