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42 CHOICES | 2017 WINTER ISSUE

LIVING THE

AMERICAN DREAM BY AIMMEE KODACHIAN

E

xactly 30 years after the horrible war in Lebanon that claimed my brother, Robert’s, life, I had just finished a successful business meeting. As I proudly walked toward my car, I was gushing with excitement and delight. I felt alive for the first time in years. I got in the car and inserted a CD by one of my favorite singers, Celine Dion. I rolled down the window, looked up at the beautiful sky and took a couple of deep breaths. Then, I started my car and proceeded down the freeway. All of the sudden, memories from childhood through adulthood started to flash back. It was like a movie trailer in my mind. I felt as if I were living my life all over again. You can only image how overwhelmed I was. Mixed emotions took over my body. As I was distracted by my feelings and thoughts, cars started honking. Drivers began shouting and waving their hands. They yelled, “Hey! Come on! Go faster!” Quickly, I realized that I was holding up traffic. In that moment, I knew that I needed to stop driving. I took the first exit I saw and pulled over in a large desert area. As I turned off my car, I put my head on the steering wheel and broke down crying. Tears were running down my face. Fortunately, those tears were

tears of joy, appreciation, and disbelief. Years ago, I had been a woman with no hope or opportunity. Now, I had been given the freedom and the right to raise my voice and stand up for myself.

every inch of my body. I told myself, “Absolutely not? That’s not going to happen. I’m a private person and I want to keep it that way. Why would I even want to do such a thing?”

Next, something magical happened. For a moment, I felt like I was in a dream. I heard my own voice say, “It’s time to tell your story.”

I heard the answer strongly. “You must put your interests on the side and do what you’re here to do.”

And as I came back to reality, I felt like my thoughts were running through

I was going back and forth in my mind, as the doubts wouldn’t seem to let go. “Who is going to care about what I have

Choices Magazine - Issue 16  

The Successful Living Issue!