These are seriously crazy times, and the Texas real estate market is white-hot to boot. All my fellow real estate lawyers know exactly what I am talking about. This is an all-hands on deck, keep your head down and take it 24 hours at a time type of situation. Fourth quarter is looking daunting right now, and you are probably wondering how you will make it to the end of the year. There’s this ever-present temptation to whine and complain to anyone who will listen and throw yourself a pity party.
If you find yourself in this situation, read on and hopefully you will gain some insight and wisdom on how the right mindset will help you persevere through the end of the year.
One of the cornerstones of Latino culture is the close-knit family unit. I have two kids, two dogs and one husband – and Mami and Papi live with me too. It’s a full house and that’s just the way I like it. That’s the way it was growing up, too.
My grandmother came to this country in the 1960s from the islands of Honduras as a single parent with nine kids, and they had to live in the housing projects of New Orleans. She worked three jobs to support her family while my father, the oldest of the nine siblings, held down the fort at home encouraging and helping his mother in any way that he could. He always says that he acts like a teenager now because he sacrificed his childhood in order to raise his brothers and sisters. Eventually after many years of hard work, my grandmother was able to fulfill the American dream and buy her very own home.
Chauppette’s grandmother and father in front of her grandmother’s first home
My mother, a native mainlander from Honduras, came to the United States as an exchange student with the intent of mastering the English language so she could return to Honduras to become an English teacher. As fate would have it, two people that at one time lived in the same town in Honduras finally met when they were both living in New Orleans. I am very grateful that my mother decided to stay and marry my father. She too made very difficult choices and sacrificed so that I could have the opportunities I’ve had.
I heard these stories of my family history many, many times growing up, but I didn’t fully appreciate what strength and courage it took until I was a mother myself. I am inspired by my grandmother who moved to an entirely different country, leaving behind her extended family, and worked her way up from nothing. I am proud that her blood runs through my veins. She was the matriarch of our family, and growing up my parents used her as a role model and an example of a strong, Latina woman for us to emulate.
When I am discouraged or feeling overwhelmed, I think about my family and the sacrifices they made so that I can have the life and opportunities I have now. If they could do that, then I can do this! I refuse to waste this opportunity my family worked so hard for me to have.
Having this mindset is a game-changer. It enables me to enjoy my work and be grateful for how prosperous we are right now. I fully attribute my success and longevity as a BigLaw attorney to my support system in my family at home and my work family. The close-knit family unit that permeates our Hispanic culture gave me a better understanding of people. I believe this is because it’s ingrained in our day-to-day way of life. We’re focused on each other, we’re taking care of one another and anticipating each other’s needs. Growing up in my family, I’ve been an expert at conflict resolution since the age of 5.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I encourage you to take a break from the daily grind and reconnect with your family. Grab a bottle of tequila, bring some good food and ask them to tell their stories again. But this time instead of rolling your eyes because you’ve heard it a million times, listen with the mindset of gaining wisdom and perspective of what it took to get you to where you are today.
This isn’t just for Latinos either. We all have our stories; we are all immigrants one way or another. Most of us wouldn’t be where we are today without the hard work and sacrifice of those who came before us. Take stock in what your unique family history can do for your present mindset and how it can encourage and support not only you, but those around you.
We’re all in this together. Take this as an opportunity to bring that skill set into the workplace to better understand and connect with clients and colleagues.
I hope that by sharing a little bit of my family’s story, others will be inspired to do the same and together we will dig in and press on, like those who came before us.
Lolly Chauppette focuses her practice on real estate transactional matters and is an associate with Greenberg Traurig LLP in Dallas.