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

Mom lay on the bathroom floor, her face ashen as she threw up once more.  Dad and I hovered over her, fretful and anxious, as we debated calling an ambulance.  Thankfully, it turned out to be a bout of food poisoning that quickly passed.  I was visiting my parents in Singapore, the home I grew up in but have not lived in for the past decade, ever since coming to the U.S. for college.

As I tucked a blanket over Mom, I suddenly realized how frail she looked.  Then I saw the web of wrinkles around her eyes.  When did those get there?  Glancing over to Dad, who had dozed off on the couch, it struck me that his once-dark head of hair is now predominantly white.  As their only child, how have I not noticed these creeping signs of aging before? 

That was when it hit me – in the relentless pursuit of my goals, I have neglected the two individuals closest to me, who have given me so much but whom I have taken for granted all along.  A sense of shame washed over me, as I recalled the many times I yelled at Mom and Dad in arguments and prioritized my needs over theirs.

That was the moment I decided to return home after HBS.  I can’t waste any more time not spent with those who truly matter.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. And in this marathon, I don't ever want to lose sight of my family again in the pursuit of my professional goals. I want to be a filial daughter, and in the future, a loving wife and mother.

— Jennifer Wu