The family member who made me super proud is my cousin.
Actually we are about the same age, so it might be a little weird if I say she’s my idol or something, but it’s true. I really look up to her.
Here’s the story.
My cousin was really talented in music, and she has always wanted to be a singer and songwriter. But her parents, I mean, my uncle and my aunt, were not that supportive. They are pretty conservative, and they believe, in China, the only way to get ahead is to study hard, get into a prestigious university, land a decent job, get married and start a family.
But my cousin thinks differently. She told me there must be a better way to live her life.
But things were not that easy. She didn’t take the college entrance exam, which pissed her parents off. And they cut her off, which means she’s completely on her own. She could hardly get by on the money she made by performing in the bar. But she’s a tough girl and nothing could bring her down. Fortunately, she got spotted by a talent scout, and long story short, she’s about to release her first album, so it’s fair to say, she truly made something of herself.
So, you see, I’m really proud of her.
Anyway, what I learned from her is that we could be anyone if we put our mind to it. I know it’s a little bit cliché, but she makes me believe that it’s totally true.
look up to = to admire or respect somebody
conservative = opposed to great or sudden social change; showing that you prefer traditional styles and values 例如：
the conservative views of his parents
music which is accessible to an audience with extremely conservative tastes
Her style of dress was never conservative.
get ahead (of somebody) = to make progress (further than others have done) 例如：
She wants to get ahead in her career.
He soon got ahead of the others in his class.
prestigious = respected and admired as very important or of very high quality例如：
a prestigious award
a prestigious university
the city's most prestigious and exclusive hotel
piss somebody off = to make somebody annoyed or bored 例如：
Her attitude really pisses me off.
cut somebody off = to stop the supply of something to somebody例如：
Our water supply has been cut off.
They were cut off for not paying their phone bill.
(all) on your own = without help 例如：
He did it on his own.
get by (on/in/with something) = to manage to live or do a particular thing using the money, knowledge, equipment, etc. that you have 例如：
How does she get by on such a small salary?
I can just about get by in German (= I can speak basic German).
bring somebody down = to make somebody lose power or be defeated例如：
The scandal may bring down the government.
spot = (not used in the progressive tenses) to see or notice a person or thing, especially suddenly or when it is not easy to do so例如：
I finally spotted my friend in the crowd.
I've just spotted a mistake on the front cover.
Can you spot the difference between these two pictures?
Her modeling career began when she was spotted at the age of 14.
Spotting the disease early can save lives.
Neighbors spotted smoke coming out of the house.
No one spotted that the gun was a fake.
I soon spotted what the mistake was.
talent scout = scout, talent spotter = a person whose job is to find people who are good at singing, acting, sport, etc. in order to give them work
release = to make something available to the public例如：
Police have released no further details about the accident.
to release a movie/ book/ CD
new products released onto the market
make something of yourself = to be successful in your life
put your mind to something = to decide you want to achieve something and give this all your attention 例如：
She could have been a brilliant pianist if she'd put her mind to it.
cliché = a phrase or an idea that has been used so often that it no longer has much meaning and is not interesting例如：
She trotted out the old cliché that ‘a trouble shared is a trouble halved.’
a cliché-ridden style
It has become a cliché to say that Prague is the most beautiful city in Europe.