Linda Beck

Name

Linda Beck

Age

32

Location

NYC - sorta

Occupation

semi-retired optometrist turned COO of a hockey training facility. yes, ice hockey.

Own Words

1. No, I’m not adopted, nor is my dad some German dude that created Beck’s beer. Although I did tell many people growing up that my dad owns Beck’s beer. I am 100% Korean. I am the only family member of both my mom and dad’s sides to be born in the US. I have no cousins or aunts or uncles or grandparents that live in the US. My dad just happened to spell Beck, as Beck, and not Baek or Paik or Pak. I’ll probably keep my name - it’s just easier since I’m always with a white guy, people will just think it’s my married name (at my age). Or if I’m traveling in the mid-west, they will think it’s my adopted last name, since I can still pass for 22.

As for my first name - Linda. I’ve met maybe 2 Korean Linda’s in my life so far. But there are about a gazillion Linda Beck’s (all older white women) when you google search. I’m not sure if that makes me common, or uncommon. Once I had a patient with the exact same name as me - it was weird when she handed me her prescription and it had MY name written on it.

My older brother was born in Korea and my parents left him there with my grandparents till he was 4 while they set up a home in Virginia. My dad got his masters and was planning to get his PhD until, surprise! I was conceived. He blames me for not getting his PhD. I truly believe my dad is the smartest and funniest man I know. My mom is a pharmacist who has always worked in a hospital. She has a picture with George W. Bush and Kitty Bush, and has seen Clinton and Princess Di at her hospitals. Deep down, I think she is so cool and courageous and also super (book)smart. She is probably the only Korean woman that doesn’t know what Chanel, Tiffany’s or Ferragamo is. My parents live in a million dollar house, but my mom buys her handbags from Kohl’s....on sale. She is so charming.

2. No, I am not married. WHAT? yes, I am not married and I am above the age of 30 and I am a Korean girl. Yes, we do exist and are thriving. No, I am not a lesbian and I am not fat and ugly. Yes, I do have a boyfriend.

3. Do I plan on getting married? maybe. It’s not on my bucket list, if that’s what you mean. But I do plan on starting a family very soon (2011?) before I get married. Is it that ludicrous to have a pregnant unmarried Korean girl? I don’t think so, but many of my peers think I’m out of my mind. And then when I see all the updates on Facebook of my peers and everyone’s life appears so scheduled and perfect, I do doubt myself. But then I realize my mom doubts me enough for the both of us, so I must believe in myself, because who else will?

4. What’s the NYC-sorta for? Hey, I did live IN NYC for 10 years until last year I moved out to NJ. I am still in denial that NJ is my home now and that I can’t just walk down the block to pick up something at Duane Reade. My driver’s license is still a NY license, so there!

5. What do you do? Tell me your story. Like almost ALL Asian-Americans, I studied to be a doctor in college b/c that was the only acceptable thing to do, right? The zillion years of schooling/residency/fellowship/internship didn’t sit well with me, so I opted for Optometry school (only 4 yrs after your bachelor’s). I got a practice location in the Upper East Side a few months after graduation and thought - wow, I have it made. Then I met a guy that fit “the Korean-American future spouse checklist” and we moved into a condo in NYC; and I thought “now, I really have it made.” We had a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo w/ balcony, a car with a garage spot, and a purebred dog in Manhattan. Dreamy right? Did I not achieve NYC living bliss? Then I opened a practice downtown near Wall St and thought, “Wow, my life is going according to perfect Korean-American plan! I just need to get married and pop out some kids and my life is set and my mom can brag about me to a! ll her friends!” Then I really started living MY life according to MY rules, MY hopes and dreams, and conquering MY fears. So I quit my job/career, left my guy and fab apartment and even more fab dog, disappointed my mom (again), and at the tender age of 30, I co-founded Evolution Hockey Training Inc. in NJ.

6. Any regrets? Yes, I wish I took a year off between college and Optometry school and worked as a flight attendant. It was one of my top 5 careers to go into on those career tests I took in high school. I know I would have made a great flight attendant and I would have rocked those uniforms. But I am grateful I went to Optometry school and practiced. My experience in Optometry has made a huge impact on who I am as a person and professional today. Also, I got to travel to cool places like Burkina Faso, Chile, Mexico, and Thailand with the OneSight Foundation and provide free eyecare to the underprivileged.

7. Any words of wisdom? I once believed it was absolutely necessary to have a PLAN for your life and to go by that PLAN every step of the way and any deviation from that PLAN was failure. Now I realize that it is even more terrifying to know exactly how your life will pan out and the only surprises your life may have room for are bad ones. The unknown is a gift. Leaving your life open to even more spectacular and greater things than what you have today is a better way of living your life.

Popular Locations

Visit KoreanBeacon.com

Latest From Our Blog

READ MORE BLOG POSTS »

Latest Tweets

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER »

Join Our Mailing List

We’ll be sending infrequent emails about new features, fun events, and cool merchandise. Sign up and be in the know!

JOIN NOW »

READ OTHER KOREAN AMERICAN STORIES

Ellen Lawrence

Age 23 | Minneapolis, MN
Full-time Job Seeker

Linda Beck

Age 32 | NYC - sorta
semi-retired optometrist turned COO of a hockey training facility. yes, ice hockey.

Kim Johnson

Age 23 | California
Daughter, Sister, Life-long learner

Rayna St. Pierre

Age 33 | New York
mother, writer

Aaron "Schoolboy DUKE" Kim

Age 21 | Los Angeles/San Diego
Student

Grace Lee

Age 30 | NYC
Record Label Exec