Welcome to my story. To make a very long story very short, I took a day job as a janitor in 1999 just to get out of the house. I started learning Mandarin during Christmas time in 2003 as a result of an answer to a prayer for help. I had to decide whether to accept the answer to my prayer as a solution and begin studying the Chinese language or not. I chose to study and I’m glad I did.
Studying in the Chinese community broadened my circle of friends. I have an extended family who have welcomed me with open arms. One of many women who adopted me as their Chinese brother noticed that I looked sad and depressed while mopping the floors in the lobby at work. She said, you shouldn’t be depressed. You have learned our language. You have lots of potential. So, she gave me the Chinese name Shi Zhi Peng as encouragement and inspiration. It is now my logo.
Basically, I mentally escaped boredom and negative thoughts by entertaining thoughts of the Chinese language and sentences. Then, I changed my point of view of the mop and floor. The mop became my Chinese brush and the floor became my canvas. I would write hello on the floor with water not ink. Even though the residents couldn’t see the character on the floor, they could tell me that I wrote the word hello because they could recognize the brush strokes written with the mop. Today, I write characters and put them on products for the world to enjoy.