Cristina Yang and I.

There’s always this overly ambitious girl in the classroom who answers every question correctly, is always the first to raise her hand when a question is asked, and she’s almost always asking for more work.

People in the back of the classroom: “Dang, can you just shut up?” After all, no one likes more work, right?


Much like the character from Grey’s Anatomy, Cristina Yang, I was that girl. She’s overly ambitious, determined, sometimes ruthless, and obsessively motivated.

What most people don’t know about people like Cristina Yang and I, there’s always a story as to why they are the way they are. Usually, their ambition is fueled by an emotionally traumatic event. That or extremely strict parents, ask Jidenna!

There’s an episode of Grey’s Anatomy that finally revealed the motive behind Cristina’s ambition.

When she was nine years old, her father died in a car accident. She watched her father bleed out before help arrived. She attempted to close his chest with her hands to try to stop the bleeding. She said she felt his heart stop when he died.


“Oh, screw beautiful, I’m brilliant. You wanna appease me, compliment my brain!”-Cristina Yang

For me, I had a few awakening moments similar to Cristina. But, I remember being the same age as her, eagerly waiting for my dad to come home to take my mom and I to her job. She worked nights and it was my turn to spend the whole night with her. I was almost glued to her hip back then.

My dad ended up arriving late to pick us up. To my surprise, my mom had already rushed out the door and was in the car. Why didn’t she come get me? Now, picture me peaking through the front door, watching them as my dad beeped the horn waiting for me to come out. Why was I standing there and not running out the door? What was holding me back? I wanted to go so bad! Seconds later, my dad drives off. My-heart-SANK!

“If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand something more.”-Cristina Yang

I remember being in a few other instances where, I ended up places or in certain situations I disliked or felt uncomfortable in. All because I could not speak up for myself. I also remember receiving things (basically leftovers), because I was unable to express my preferences. Foolish me. I thought I was being noble, allowing others to choose 1st. It gets worse. There’s nothing more excruciating than watching someone walk away with something you believe is yours. Nothing!

Here’s what I learned from those experiences.

Life is not going to wait for you to be ready. Life is not going to yield to your preferences, without you making it known. Further more, if you sit and watch others pursue something you feel is for you, while you sit back and watch in humility– praying that what is for you is for you, ha, you’re going to be…assed out!

“Have some fire. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature. Be better than anyone here, and don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. There are no teams here, no buddies. You’re on your own. Be on your own.”-Cristina Yang

People may not like it, but be like Cristina Yang and I. Challenge yourself and challenge others. Life is like an orange. If you don’t squeeze it, you won’t get any juice.

Fight for what you believe is yours, make your presence known in every room you enter, and let people know you showed up for one thing and one thing only. To conquer!

Because the truth is, those who win decided they’ve already won, days before walking into the ring.

Published by

Sarah Lee

Welcome! My name is Sarah Lee and I'm a Business Strategist and social entrepreneur who loves the outdoors, a good book, and scary movies year round! Throughout this quirky, rich, and mysterious life of mine, I genuinely love to 'share' my experiences as a learning tool. I thought, what better way to track my level of growth than by sharing my experiences and the lessons learned thereof, than in my blog? A wise woman once said, "You are your own masterpiece, therefore, instead of mastering it, master you."

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