Here’s my story
I’m the first American-born child in the history of the ancestors. My immigrant parents wanted me to be a doctor and marry a “good,” rich Chinese boy. No pressure, right?
Well, I had other ideas. I became a journalist, professor, divorced single mom, artist and pet lady. Today, I’m a life coach. I’m also the recovering daughter of my beloved, control-freak immigrant parents. Here’s my story. P.S. – For the speed version, there’s a short bio at the end of this page.
Personal life: I’m 66 years old. Mom and Dad were Chinese immigrants. That’s his widowed mom in the first pic. My kid sister and I were born in New Jersey. We grew up in NYC’s Chinatown. My ex-husband and I were together for 24 years. Back then, Black-Asian couples were rare. So were mixed-race children, like our wonderful daughter. We all struggled a lot. But by the time he died of cancer in 2020, we had worked things out and felt reconnected. He now joins my parents as one of our ancestors.
Pets: Animals have always been my guardians, always there with unconditional love – and endless laughs! My daughter grew up with three cats and one deaf, ancient little rescue dog. They had long lives. There’s one cat left: Minty is 17. I live with him and Bobo, our very fashionable rescue pit bull.
Journalism: My journalism career started in the late 1970s with a success perm and an internship at The Village Voice. Once I got into Columbia J-School, my mom was finally proud of me and forgave me for marrying outside of the race. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, I was the first Asian American at every newspaper that hired me. I am a founding member of the New York Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association.
Teaching: Most of my work as a legacy newspaperwoman took place from 1980 to 1995. Then, I quit to do the mommy thing, watch my marriage fall apart and get divorced. As a single mother, I needed a flex-time job. That led to 16 years as a part-time professor at half a dozen colleges. I worked at three universities straight through the pandemic. In 2021, I took a break to focus on developing my coaching practice. (This is when NYU hired me as a life coach.) I still miss my three favorite, longstanding part-time gigs: teaching journalism at NYU, communication skills at Westchester Community College and creative writing at The New School. Btw, I’ve always wanted to teach, ever since I was in the “Future Teachers League.” I think this was the 7th grade.
Coaching: In 2017, I went for training to be a life coach. I was certified in 2018 by the International Coaching Federation. I keep my skills fresh, and have earned certificates in all sorts of professional development topics. For many years, I’ve also been studying the Daoist (aka Taoist) approach to Chinese medicine, which focuses on integrating the whole person, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Their approach dates back to ancient philosophies and practices as free-spirited nature lovers. The Daoists were like the hippies of China! These ancestors believed in the power of childhood and play, which resonates with my work in helping people reunite with the kid within themselves. Going forward, I have trademarked “Inner Child University.” I’m bringing everything I know under this umbrella as an online coach specializing in trauma work related to childhood, diversity and money issues.
And, lastly, if you’re still reading, here’s a brief bio:
Betty Ming Liu (she/her) is the Life & Work Coach for the online journalism graduate degree students at NYU, where she is the recipient of the university’s Outstanding Teaching Award. As a life coach, she specializes in issues related to diversity, communication skills, writing, alcoholism and addiction, domestic violence, the immigrant experience, and, transforming childhood triggers and traumas – including money trauma. Before becoming a professor and life coach, Betty spent 16 years as a full-time New York City journalist and was a New York Daily News columnist who reported on diversity and the immigrant experience. She is the recovering daughter of her beloved control freak Chinese immigrant parents, who raised her in New York City’s Chinatown. After decades in New York, which is the land of the Lenape, Betty recently moved to Los Angeles, the land of the Tongva people and home base for her grown daughter. Betty now lives in a three-species California bungalow with her rescue pit bull and an old cat.