In the previous post I wrote about money where I shared how I achieved my goal and what was the price. I had to learn how to take money easily through a scary experience. But if these bad moments didn’t happen would I be the one I am today? In this one I will write about how a bad ending actually led me on the right way.
The story started in December when I went on a 2-week trip to the USA after a break up. I planned to go back for 1 month to my boyfriend, Panda but 1 month before I left we broke up. So I turned that 1 month into 2 weeks and I travelled to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
But before the trip I had a chance to hold a speech at the Invisible Conference. It was organized by Invisible University where I volunteered. Standing on stage to share my experience had always been my dream since childhood. But due to my silent and introverted personality I never tried to go for it. Until this moment. It was tiring to prepare for the speech while I was going through a break up, had to plan the trip, and still keep working and studying. Many times I wanted to give up. I’m not the one who can speak well. Trainings and preparations for the speech also gave me hard time as I didn’t have enough confidence. But no matter how hard it was I wanted to make it happen. I wanted to prove that a break up cannot defeat me.
I had 1 month to prepare along with another 12 people. We had experts who trained us and told us how we could do it better. Bearing the critics was hard but I really liked it, because they were constructive and I could improve from it. Then the day came. I didn’t flutter until I was about to go on the stage. I was even scared to hear my voice through the speaker. Fortunately, after 3 sentences I let myself go with the flow and just talked and talked. My speech ended after 13 minutes and I came down. I was like: “That’s it?”
That’s why I was fluttering? It was almost like nothing. You glow for 13 minutes and it ends. I realized I was working for the result but it wasn’t the result that made me happy or satisfied. It was the process of going towards the goal. Sometimes we want to achieve the result so much that we reach it we end up in dissatisfaction. Therefore instead of only going for the final accomplishment we should enjoy the process of going there. Because achievement is just a second but the process is a long time. Just like I said in the previous post. Time is not equal to money. We can never find the time back. So the process. You will never have it back. So even if you just want to finish your work as soon as possible still learn to enjoy the road you are going on to reach the target.
The journey to the happiness
1 week after the speech I left for the USA. I spent there two weeks with many up and down. It was the first time I was scared of travelling alone (Blog diary of the trip). I faced a huge loneliness. Not just physically but emotionally as well. All of the bad accident that can happen to anyone came to my mind. I kept scaring myself and couldn’t help to stop it. But the good thing was I didn’t have to hide it. I could cry if I wanted to. Though it was a battle between mind and heart. My mind told me to stay joyful and strong. My heart kept feeling the pain. Even though my speech was successful and I should feel proud, I didn’t feel it.
I remembered once my coach said “it’s not bad to feel sad. Instead of resisting it we should accept it and let it go.” I tried to feel like this but inside I still felt bad and shameful.
This happens to many of us. Since we all were raised like “crying is for losers”, “being angry or sad is pointless”, “boys can’t cry, girls can’t raise their voice”, “losing is unacceptable”. We were all forced to suppress traits what we naturally have or to feel shame for what naturally happen in life. “Don’t cry, don’t be sad” because it symbolizes the weakness. Failure, mistake meant you are a loser.
So even when we grow up we take loss as if it determines the rest of our life. Then we start to stress out. And we get even more tense when we realize we shouldn’t feel bad. And we want to win. We think winners are always strong, kind and keep smiling. But that’s just doesn’t make sense. Anger, sadness are just like happiness and joy or crying and laughing. They are all natural human behaviours. And pressing them won’t take us forward.
So I learned to accept the fact that I was sad, lonely and I cried. After I came home I dared to seek for help. Once I attended a language exchange program where the coach hold a speech that I could relate to. I met him two years ago, and this time it was like destiny that I could attend his speech. I arrived home and wrote him about my situation after break up. I couldn’t understand Panda, why he left me so suddenly. I kept searching for the answers but none of them made sense. I wanted to get out of that state. I told all this to my coach. He asked me:
“What will happen if you find out why he broke up with you?” – he asked, but I couldn’t answer.
“What do you want to feel to be happy? – he asked again, but I didn’t know the answer as well.
“How do you want to feel?” – he asked again, this time I could answer.
“I want to be myself, the one I was before I met him?”
“What do you think you need to do to achieve it?
” I should let him go. But I don’t know how.”
“What could possibly happen if you let him go?”
“I would feel the ease and happiness again like I used to be.”
When I said this I realized, I just need to simply let him go to be myself again. So I did. I still couldn’t exactly forget him until I realized things must happen like this. We were too different and the only common trait was that we both were stubborn to reach our own goals. But our goals weren’t the same. So of course to make it easier for both, it’s best to live separately. After all, there is no technic about how to let go. The only one thing you can do is to question “What could possibly happen if you let it go?” Think about the consequence and allow yourself time to let go.
The main point of this story was to let you know, you have a right to cry and to be sad. You have a right to feel sad, lonely. You can lose. And you can ask for a help. They are all natural. It’s not something to be shameful of. You can only cherish the victory when you know how it feels to lose. The main point is how you react to it. You can feel sorry for yourself and play the victim role or you can stand up and make the best out of it. I chose the latter one.
Opportunities only come once
I allowed myself to cry, to feel bad. I urged myself to feel them faster so to get over it, but it doesn’t work. Just let it go. When the time of standing up come, we will automatically get better. I still did my everyday work. Going to school, teaching. I started to focus on my blog and writing.
Right at that moment we had a chance to attend a speech contest in Romania. The topic was environment and we had to say it in Korean. Korean wasn’t my strong point, but I had always wanted to participate in a speech contest, because the prize was an education in Korea. Later it turned out, the prize of this one wasn’t it. Winner could only get smartphone. But I still wanted to try it out. It was a trip to Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where they refunded our train ticket and we had a free accommodation and food. So basically it was a free trip.
I didn’t win at the contest. And yes, I felt bad. At the same time I also learned to look at it differently. After all I had a free trip and good food. This is another example of why we should enjoy the process rather than the result. The result can be satisfying or not. But due to the process it is more probably worth it.
After arriving home we had another speech contest and conference organized by the MSC students. I applied for both. This speech contest’s prize was a summer university or 1 year language training in Korea. However, that time I didn’t really need it anymore. I participated just to try myself and practice standing in front of many people. I didn’t win the contest but in return I won 2 books. I love books, even though I don’t read a lot, but if I receive a book I’m always happy.
The conference was much more interesting. I presented my thesis. The specialty of Korean Lunar New Year comparing to Chinese Lunar New Year. In my thesis I compared Vietnamese and Korean Lunar New Year, but since at the conference I only had 20 minutes, I couldn’t say it all. Still it was a really pleasant experience.
Of course the road to reach this point wasn’t smooth. It had all the up and down. I was nervous, stressed. I was afraid how others would think about me and wanted to give up. But I didn’t. Because I knew this was my last chance to try all these out. If I laid back I might never have a chance anymore. So in my last year of university I applied to all of the opportunity that I was interested in. This is how I will go to Korea in August 2018.
So after all, this break up gave me a huge shock up to the point that it changed my life in a positive way. I could have chosen to let everything go and feel sorry for myself or stand up and make the benefit from it. Of course I made a benefit from it. I dared to stand up in front of many people to hold a speech. I travelled for free. I can do things I like. I met amazing people along the way as well. Until now I still cherish the time I spent with Panda. But I don’t let my happiness end there. I still keep going forward, enjoy and keep creating memorable moments. So yes, bad ending is not surely bad. Indeed, it might be the start of something new and much more amazing. The question is: “Do we believe in it?”