When I really look back at it, I realise that I have come a very long way to get to the place I am today. It’s not to say that the journey was easy, but it was a memorable one.
There were times where I did feel like I was out of place. Sometimes, I get questions from other people about how I am able to be so giving and to put on a smile every day. I never answer this question properly, but to be really honest with you, it’s because I don’t want anyone to feel the way I did a few years ago. Let’s just say that my younger years weren’t the best. Ever since I was young, I was bullied – about my looks, my family, or just about anything you could find out about me. I would have my bike tyres slashed, my bag thrown around and one night I had a bucket of cold water thrown at me from the third floor above. On most days, I would come home in tears and at that time, I hadn’t even turned ten.
I guess this really did crush my confidence; I turned from the girl who wouldn’t hesitate to ask a stranger a question to one who would refuse to come out of her room. I would find other interests, such as drawing or reading to pre-occupy my time. It died down in high school, but I wasn’t in my best state then either. Every step I took, every action I made, I would constantly wonder what others would think about me. It kept going for a while. Then, there was one day when I was sixteen, where I thought to myself: Did I really want to keep living like this? Being upset every day and worrying about what others thought about me?
It was from that day, where I decided to change the way I viewed myself. Rather than focusing on the hardships, I would divert my attention to what made me happy. It was a slow and difficult process, but I learned to appreciate the little things that happen in life and who I am as a person (it does sound very cliché, when I come to think about it…). From that very day, I saw my life from a different perspective. Every day, I would set myself goals to put myself out there, reaching out to other people and I am glad I did, as I was able to make so many new friendships out of it. I must say, that on some days, it was and is still quite hard for me, but to me, being courageous is when you are able to be vulnerable; showing who you are in a world that wants you to be absolutely perfect.
I spent days thinking about whether I should share this story or not, because it is something that is close to my heart. I really wanted to share this with you, because I wanted you to know that each one of us has faced many hardships along the way but for me, how we come back fighting is what defines us as who we are. Even though I had a painful experience in the past, I’m still very proud of myself knowing that even this won’t be able to wipe off the smile I have on my face each day!