There’s a person that I know. She’s kind, caring and a wonderful mother to her kids. But our friendship had a bit of a slow start. I’ve had many recent experiences where I have been hurt and my friendship was taken advantage of. So when I met this lovely Mum, I was hesitant in getting too close. I didn’t want the same thing to happen again. But yesterday, I reminded myself that I can’t let the pain of the past influence the future. I need to learn move forward and have the courage to take risks.
Moving beyond the past
Photo Credit: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I have been emotionally abused by people who should have been there for me. I have forgiven much more than most people could. I have been confronted with so many challenges, yet I still held onto hope. I was determined never to give up on the possibility of a better future.
We’ve all experienced some form of pain in our lives. Conflict with our loved ones, death of a loved one, financial or career problems, abuse, struggles within ourselves, or simply, what someone else has done or said. And maybe some of this pain has been easy to deal with it. Other pain – not so much.
I was 16 years old when I fell in love for the first time. I didn’t think very highly of myself at the time. I thought I was useless and worthless. I got my heart broken and it took me a very long time to realise that I am worthy of being loved. That I don’t have to change who I am for other people. That there are so many qualities within me that make me unique and lovable. And here I am now, 26 years old and I’ve been married for almost 7 years to someone who loves me for I am.
The thing is, many of my experiences could have left me feeling negative and cynical about the world. I could have chosen not to trust other people at all. To stay where I felt comfortable and safe. At times, I did feel conflicted. At times, I did want to stay within my comfort zone.
But what sort of life would I have been living? Did I want to just be content or be happy?
A risk that I made recently
Two months ago, I decided to return to study. I’d been a stay at home mother for almost 8 years. Four of those last years I spent working from home as well. It’d been 8 years since I’d been a student.
I was terrified. My mind was filled with so many questions, so much doubt. I asked myself:
“Would I be able to adapt easily to study again?”
“Would I struggle to have that same determination, passion and focus that I had as a 18 year old?”
“Had I chosen the right course?”
I enrolled in a Diploma of Youth Work and I can proudly say that I am a student again. I am a mum of three young girls, I work from home and I study from home too.
I’ve completed two units in two months, and I got 100% on my first assignment.
I was so scared that I couldn’t do it. I believed I wasn’t capable.
But I had to find the courage within me to believe I was.
I know now that I am more than capable.
My new friend
My new friend – the kind, caring and wonderful mother – is quite easily one of the best people I’ve ever known. We may not have known each other very long, but she is someone who makes my life brighter just by being in it. She makes me laugh, cry (for all the good reasons), and she helps me to see life from a different perspective.
It was so easy in the beginning to feel afraid to trust her. It was so easy to hold onto my past and let it cloud my future.
But if I hadn’t had the courage to take the risk, I wouldn’t have her friendship.
And I’m more than glad that I have hers now.
Thuy Le (formerly known as Thuy Yau) is a freelance writer and Youth Work graduate living in Perth, Australia. She loves to share her own personal experiences about overcoming adversity, as she believes that human beings are more capable than they realise. She writes to make a positive difference in the world and to inspire others to learn from themselves and their own experiences. Her writing has been discussed on radio, won writing contests, appeared on The Huffington Post UK and major Australian sites such as news.com.au, SMH, Kidspot and Essential Kids. She is currently writing her first book.