top of page
Viva Polk White.png

4927 Southfork Drive Lakeland FL 33813

Anecdotes that inspire



On the eve of International Women's Day, this March 8, 2023, I think it is important to remember and thank all those people, who have somehow influenced us. When I review the trajectory of my life, I realize that, in my thirty years of work, I have been able to find a small number of people willing on my way, not only to help me be better in my profession, but they have also encouraged me to achieve goals beyond what I imagined possible. Thanks to their urges, I could forget the many times they told me that I was not smart enough to achieve my goals. I remember that I was between six and seven years old, and I was in front of a very large window in the small airport of our provincial city in Mexico. There, my father and I were waiting for the plane that would bring part of our family to visit. While we were waiting, my eyes were dazzled by such a wonder. The planes arrived and took off as in a fascinating ballet dance. Finally, the plane arrived and while my father did not stop jumping and waving with his arms open so that they could see him out the window, my eyes were focused on the pilot and the flight attendants. When my father finally stopped jumping, I asked him if it was difficult to be a pilot since one day I would like to do the same. His answer was quick and short "look, they have to travel all the time and yes, maybe they live a very interesting life; but you are a woman and as such, you have to watch over your family someday. In addition, - he added with determination - being a pilot requires a lot of intelligence and you simply are not." And so, like magic, my ambitions disappeared. About eight years later, my paternal grandmother was hospitalized. His condition would not improve without surgery. During our visit to the hospital, I was able to meet and listen to the doctor surgeon who would take care of my dear grandmother. It was impressive. The doctor was royal and projected a lot of confidence in herself and her technical knowledge. And at the same time, she was very human and affectionate towards my grandmother. While we were in the surgery waiting room, I asked my father if I could be a doctor one day. Without reservation she answered me "you know, it's fantastic that you want to be a doctor; but you should know that doctors are slaves to their profession and they also have to be very intelligent." And as if his answer had not been enough he added, "someday you will get married and have your own family and you will not be able to be a wife and mother with such a complicated profession... it also requires that you be very intelligent and you are not... if your brother wanted to, he could be because he is very intelligent." That easy, I continued to live my life with its unexpected turns and turns, which would include immigration to this country and the eventual separation from my parents. A few years after living in this country, my father left and I would not see him again for the next 20 years. When she came back for a short visit, she was already happily married and had two young children. I had also graduated with two master's degrees and was about to obtain a doctorate. I had also obtained my license as a residential contractor in the state of Florida. I was very successful thanks to people who saw my potential, made me believe that I could and offered me opportunities to learn and demonstrate my skills. At that time, I was the Administrative Director of several medical units of the local hospital, head of more than 10 doctors, and an outpatient clinic. In total, he was responsible for the lives of more than 350 professionals, thousands of patients, and the administration of almost 20 million dollars. During his stay, I invited my father to visit my work area. Since we entered the hospital, all the people we met in our path greeted him very cordially. When we arrived at my office, my secretary offered her a coffee because she used to have mine ready at my desk every morning. When she left, he told me "you have a very nice office and I am very proud of you for being the head of the secretaries here in the hospital." I looked him in the eye and answered him very calmly, "you know, I wouldn't know what to do without the help of my assistant. I am very proud of her and of being her supervisor so that I can have the opportunity to help her fulfill her own dreams. However, I am not the head of the secretaries. I am the Director of Clinical Services of this hospital. Every person who greeted you today since we entered this hospital works on my team, including all the doctors you met." I think it was the first time my father was speechless. At that moment, I received a call and had to leave my office to resolve a situation. When I left my office, I felt immense gratitude, but not for him. Yes, thanks to my teachers, my supervisors, my husband, my mother, my children, and a thousand other people who helped me believe in myself. All those who used their position and influence to offer me opportunities. And yes, it took me a lot of effort, but it all starts with believing that you can. This upcoming International Women's Day I advise you to surround yourself with people who not only value you but also help you identify and take advantage of your potential. My wish is that both my afflictions and my triumph will serve as a platform not only for you to move forward; but also to give encouragement and strength to other women who need support.

1 view0 comments
bottom of page