Here's Christy Nguyen with her essay for Houston Public Radio's This I Believe.
"I believe that with hope combined with effort, nothing is impossible in life. My father taught me that lesson very well when I had to face my fear of heights. I look up to my dad because through my eyes he was the bravest soldier on earth. In fact, he was an officer in the Vietnam Air force during the Vietnam War fighting for the freedom of the south. He believed that I was capable of being strong as long as I had hope and set my mind to it.
As a child, I didn't know what it was that made heights so scary. Maybe it was the fear of falling down and getting hurt or from the dramatic stories my dad shared of his experience flying aircrafts in the military. Whatever it was I still didn't like the idea of having my body lifted up in the air. Since my dad loved the sky and airplanes, he would ask me, "How are you going to travel?" and I'd always tell him that cars were the greatest way to go far. He would chuckle then stare at me with the most subtle look of hope in his eyes that one day I would share his passion of flying.
That day came when I was 11 years old. My parents and I were on our way to Vietnam and I could no longer avoid airplanes. Prior to boarding, I observed the passengers as they got on the plane. I also looked at the sky imagining that I'll be up there very soon. Finally, it was time to get on board and my dad said, "It's time to get strong" so I took a deep breath and cried like a little baby. In a few minutes the plane would lift off. My dad saw the fear in my eyes and whispered in my ear, "Do you want to play a game?" I pretended that I was in control of the airplane and my dad was the copilot. He showed me every trick in the book on how to fly an airplane while telling me about his adventures during the war. Without realizing it, my fears vanished and I just laid back and enjoyed the time I had during our flight.
I never thought it was possible to overcome my fears. I felt that the idea of fear was implanted in your mind, something that would never go away. However, not only did I have hope within myself but my dad influenced me to do my best. With hope and effort, the world has no limits and challenges can be overcome as long as there's a will to do it. This I Believe."