“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

First of all, I want to buy my dad a big, fancy new car.

When I was growing up, he always wanted a Lincoln Continental. Year after year he tooled around in his old Plymouth Reliant, dreaming that it was a Lincoln, and year after year the purchase of Dad's new car was delayed due to braces, cheerleading camps, and college tuitions for my sister and me. To me, my parents are the definition of sacrifice. They emigrated from Korea and worked incredibly hard to build a life for us in America. And for that - for the years of sacrifice, hard work, and love - I want to get my parents the Dream Car that they never had, so they can cruise around the suburbs of Chicago in style.

And what do I want to do besides that?

I want to laugh hysterically every day - big, belly-aching laughs that make your face hurt. I want to make my fiancé insanely happy and greet him after work every evening with joyful hugs and kisses. I want to raise healthy, spirited, kind children with the same values that my parents instilled in me, and always remember how blessed we are. Most of all, I want to live and love to my fullest, never forgetting who and where I came from.

— Irene So