I can’t describe myself without thinking of ambition. It is what drives me to do everything I do – from eating and sleeping, to doing homework and to writing this story. It’s the voice in my head telling me to go to the gym or to pick up that book. It gives me everything I am – my confidence, my voice, my fearlessness.
My Asian tiger mom has it too. It runs in my blood. From Pridi Banomyong, my great-grandfather and the former Prime Minister of Thailand, to Dusadi Banomyong, my great-aunt and renowned Thai diva and vocal coach, to my grandmother, a strong-willed accountant who lived through a traumatic past to succeed in her life.
Ambition is what gives me enemies. It’s what makes me open my mouth, prompting myself to be yelled at to shut up, to be made fun of, to be called arrogant and annoying. I’m too much for a lot of people. I’m intimidating.
I’ve been ambitious for as long as I can remember. From wanting to be a doctor, to an architect, to a politician, a campaign manager, a journalist, a director, or an athlete. The top of my list of dreams was to learn my home country’s language, Thai. It’s a goal I’m currently working on.
Connecting with my culture has strengthened my ambition even more. From watching Thai films in hopes that I’ll pick up the language, to writing articles in hopes of working for The Bangkok Post.
I have never seen my ambition as a bad thing. All I wish is for more women to feel this too. This drive to make a difference on this Earth. Forget about society or expectations, find what ignites you, and get closer to it. If it’s more than one thing, get closer to all those things. And work your ass off to make it. No matter your age.
What do I know? I am only 17. It’s not like any of my ambition has led me to a big career success. But one day it will. That’s just the ambition in me talking.
Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.
Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.
We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.
You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!
We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.