Actions Do Speak Louder than Words

An Autobiography

Photo of me as a child
New York 2013 (Left to right) me, dad, mom, Irene (older sister), and Johnny (younger brother)

Santa Monica Beach, California 2015

I hear my mom’s voice, “Ppepe, come downstairs! Supper is ready!” Opening the door and stepping out of my room, the aroma of my mother’s cooking carries from the kitchen to the stairway to my room. I shuffle out of my warm room, and feel the nippy air of the hallway. I hear the clanking of tableware from downstairs as the dinner table is being set. I inhale a whiff of freshly steamed rice, grilled galbi (marinated beef short rib), and spicy doenjang jjigae (a traditional korean stew with fermented bean paste, vegetables, and tofu). Entering the dining room, the table is filled with steaming and sizzling plates of Korean food and colorful side dishes, and sitting around is my whole family — my mom, dad, sister, and brother and even our dog, Berry. This evening is the first time in two years since we’ve sat together as a family and had a home-cooked meal since Irene and I were away at UGA. I began to realize how much I missed being at home, and wonder why I didn’t visit more often. I missed leisurely playing golf with my dad on Sunday mornings, and watching Korean dramas with my mom while curled up on the couch. I missed challenging Johnny in Call of Duty on our PlayStation, battling each other on split-screen to prove who was the best. I missed staying up late nights sharing secrets with Irene until early mornings. I’d forgotten how much I loved being around my family.

Red pin pointing to Warner Robins, GA

Hi, my name is Elizabeth Kim, but my family and friends call me Ppepe; a Korean nickname I’ve went by for as long as I can remember. It was given to me by my dad from repeating the sound “ppepe” over and over again from when I was a baby. I was born at 4:15 a.m. on November 1, 1994, in Cochran, Georgia; but Warner Robins is where I was raised, which is about thirty miles north. Currently, I am a third year studying business with dreams of following my parents’ footsteps in owning a business. My ultimate goal in life is to have a career enabling me to financially support my parents, and allow them to live a comfortable life — like they have with me. My favorite pastime is playing golf with my dad, a skilled player himself. He used to take me on his golfing trips when I was a kid, letting me steer the golf cart while I sat on his lap. Though I had been accustomed to being on golf courses for much of my life, I didn’t start actually learning how to play until 2010, my second year of high school, and I fell in love with the sport. As soon as my dad got home from work in the evenings, we would head out to the golf course and swing clubs until the sun went down, forcing us to go home. We’d follow this ritual almost everyday, and with the help of my dad, I was able to lower my score almost twenty strokes within one year, which was a pretty big accomplishment for me. Golfing with my dad not only improved my golf game, but it also brought us closer together. For this reason, I am dedicating my project to my dad, a reserved, yet loving man whom proves that actions do speak louder than words.

Johnny, my dad, and I with our golf bags
Left photo: Me in 2012. Right photo: Savannah, Georgia 2013.