Explore. Dream. Discover.
Yesterday, I rediscovered one of my favorite hobbies as a child – #origami.
There’s something magical and meditative about folding paper.
This boat also goes well with my favorite quote from #marktwain about life.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ” ⛵️😍
Which childhood hobbies will you rediscover? What dreams will you dream?
paper #art #inspiration #life #quotes #marktwainquote #motivation #lovelife #livelifetothefullest #origami #dream #goals #beyou
If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree. 🌲
For me, this quote is deep-rooted (no pun intended) in my life motto.
At 15, I wasn’t performing well academically and didn’t like the school where I was at, so I asked my parents to move me to another school – in Australia. That shook things up and I had no choice but trying my hardest to study English and a whole new system.
Last year, I was part of a volunteering team where I was disrespected and humiliated in front of many people by my supervisor. We were meant to work together as a team. I left the next day after telling them how I felt.
My brother and I went to see a movie where the people behind us were talking loudly. We’d politely asked them to keep the noise down and they continued to talk to each other. So we moved to the front where it was quiet – after checking to make sure that the seats were available.
At times it feels like we have no choice but staying in the same job that we don’t enjoy for many years, being in the same living condition that is uncomfortable, having the same circle of friends that we’ve grown out of, speaking up for ourselves and others etc. We are afraid of leaving as we fear of the unknown or people might judge us.
But we always have a choice – a choice to be happy in doing what we want in life!
Definitely not a tree!
10% vs 90%
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R Swindoll
This is true!
Ten years ago, I graduated from uni. Five years of hard work, where would my Master of Speech Pathology take me? It’s a scary wide world out there!
Unlike some classmates, there was no job lined up for me. I came from Vietnam and was on a student visa, which would expire in 6 months’ time after the graduation. My possession was a credit card with a limit of $1000 and less than $500 in my savings account. My parents and big sister had kindly paid for my tuition fees and living expenses throughout most of my uni life, and so I didn’t want to burden them with my issues. I was a big boy and it was time for me to take the full responsibility for my own life.
Up to this point in time, I’d been in Brisbane, Australia, for 8 years and fell in love with the place. I decided to stay. But how?
First thing first, I needed a job to survive. In order to work legally, a working visa was required. A company would have to sponsor me, or I could apply for Permanent Residency. I chose the second option, and at the same time, sent my job application to as many job advertisers as I could.
At this time, I had already moved out of the unit where I used to live with my friend, Megan. We both graduated from the same uni. All I had was my 11 year-old Misubishi Magna, my books and some clothes. A friend of mine offered me his couch until I could find my own place. I was truly thankful.
With my awesome housemate, Megan, on graduation day, Dec 2003
To fill in time and make some cash, I found a casual waiting position at a local restaurant. Due to my visa conditions, I could only work up to 20 hours a week. I got paid $10/hr. The amount that I made went towards paying for food, petrol and emergency savings.
January 2004 – I finally got a phone interview for a job in Melbourne. That was my first ever interview which didn’t go so well as I was way too nervous. Two weeks later, I received an “I will keep your records on file.” letter. Still, I didn’t want to give up.
Another job interview came up. This time, it was in Port Macquarie (PM), which was 6 hours drive from Brisbane. I was extremely excited, jumped in the car and made a road trip to PM. The interview went well. The Senior Speech Pathologist rang me the following day to offer me the job. I was over the moon, jumping up and down around the house like a lunatic. However, there was one problem. My bridging/working visa hadn’t come through yet. The job was handed over to someone else.
The process of job hunting continued. Ideally, I would want a job in Sydney as I had visited this vibrant city once before and actually liked its beaches and the Opera House. It’d been 3 months after my graduation and I was still working at the local restaurant. For some reason, I had a feeling that something good was going to happen quite soon!
…And one day in March 2004, the bridging visa came through. It was finally eligible for me to work in Australia. Ironically, I still hadn’t had a job.
Early April 2004, I received a phone call from Sydney. A Speech Pathologist named Kate was impressed with my resume and she wondered if I could come to have a face-to-face interview. I jumped at the opportunity and said that I would be happy to see her by the end of the week, on Friday. This time, I was determined to drive to Sydney on Thursday, and stay there until I got a job, any job, regardless of the outcome for this interview. Wednesday night, as I was driving home from work, the car started to make some strange sounds, and then stopped in the middle of a highway. There was smoke coming from the bonnet. I got freaked out. The first thought that came into my mind was, “Damn, I need to be in Sydney by Friday morning. Without the car, how am I going to make it to the interview? Why is this happening? And why now?!”. While I was sitting there thinking of a solution, NRMA turned up to tow Mr Mitsubishi to the nearest automobile, which happened to be KMart at the time. I later found out from the mechanic that it would cost over $700 and would take a week to fix the problem. I was devastated.
I went home and sat in silence for awhile. “What am I going to do? There has got to be a solution…..This isn’t going to stop me!!!”
“Right!” – I jumped online and used my credit card to book a return ticket to Sydney, arriving early Friday morning. “Whatever it takes, I have got to get to the interview.”
Friday morning – I caught the earliest flight to Sydney and then caught a train to Campbelltown, where the Speech Pathology clinic was located. I met Kate and performed the best that I could at my first face-to-face interview. At the end of our conversation, Kate said that she would call the next day to let me know whether I’d got the job.
I spent Friday night in a hostel in Glebe. “Did I get the job? Just have to wait and see!”
Saturday morning – While having MacDonald’s with one of my childhood friend, Thao, who was studying in Sydney at the time, my mobile rang. I looked at Thao and said: “Here we go!”. I answered the phone. It was Kate. “Congratulations, Binh. I was very impressed with you and just so you know, the job is yours! When can you start?”. I was stoked and almost choked on my burger! I couldn’t believe it. Really? Me? I’m moving to Sydney, to work, as a Speech Pathologist?!
Dreams do come true after all!
I flew back to Brisbane, got my car fixed, said goodbye to my friends and my boss at the restaurant, and drove to Sydney a week later.
..And that’s how my life in Sydney started.
The journey was long and there were hiccups along the way, but “giving up” was NEVER an option.
We don’t have any control over external mishaps. We, however, have control over HOW we react to these circumstances.
Here is the lesson that I’ve learnt:
- Have a clear goal
- Stick with that goal
- When mishaps happen, asking ‘Why is this happening to me?’ isn’t going to help. Asking ‘How am I going to deal with this problem?’ will definitely display some options for a solution.
- Take massive action to achieve desirable outcomes
- Have faith in yourself
- Use all the resources that you have available to help you reach that goal
- Most importantly, be thankful for everything. When you come out the other end and survive, you will be a stronger person.
23 years old, In Sydney, finally
“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” – Napolean Hill
Thank you for reading. Love and peace to you.
I’m currently writing an E-book on how to be yourself and be happy. Please fill out your details in the contact form below and you will be notified when the book is ready!
Come out, Come out, Whoever you are
I’m gay, and proud of it!
I was born in Saigon, Vietnam. Only about a decade ago, if a guy acted in a feminine way, he would be laughed at and/or given a well-known label, “bê đê” (a Vietnamese word that has its French origin meaning: fag). The term was commonly used. It could easily hurt someone’s feelings and lower their self-esteem. I certainly had this experience ever since the age of 4.
Being the youngest in a family of 4 children, I found myself spending more time with my 2 older sisters playing with dolls, tea sets and dress up.
My brother, who was on the opposite end of the spectrum, participated in all the boyish and adventurous activities e.g., football, karate, running around with bare feet… I admired him for that as he was much loved by the kids in the neighbourhood and my relatives.
I, on the other hand, was known to be the quiet one who was good at art, singing, dancing and literature. Most of my close friends were girls and I found them to be easy to talk to as we shared common interests.
As a result, I was automatically placed in a “different” category and name-calling was not an exception. I went through my childhood feeling attracted to the same sex. I thought that it was just a stage of development that would pass in time. I even thought that, when I grew up, I would get married and have kids just like everyone else.
At 15, I was not doing well in school. I used to be at the top of my class in Primary school. However, for some reason, my grades were lower than expected as I became older.
At the end of year 10, I asked my parents if I could leave Saigon to study in Brisbane, Australia. At the time, my parents were successful entrepreneurs and so I was lucky to be flown to Brisbane, where I finished my High School and Tertiary education.
Growing up with my Christian beliefs, I used to tell myself that “homosexuality is a sin”. I kept the secret to myself until I was 21 when I met my first boyfriend at a social gathering. That was one of the happiest moments of my life.
Living in an open-minded country like Australia allowed me to be myself. I made new friends to whom I came out, and they had offered me a tremendous amount of support.
Throughout my teenage years into adulthood, I was not around my family and therefore they did not know much about my “other life”.
My parents often tried to match-make me with a nice girl every time I came back to visit them in Saigon. I often kept quiet about my lifestyle in Australia as knowing the truth could potentially disappoint my family.
I then moved to Sydney where my second relationship took place. Up to this point, I’d never had a girlfriend. People often questioned my sexuality. I was fed up with social expectations.
I decided to come out to my siblings. To my surprise, they’d known for quite awhile now. They would still love me regardless of my sexual orientation. Pheww! What a relief to know that I was very much loved and supported by my brother and sisters.
The next step was to tell my parents. I often avoided the question of marriage.
Until one day, my Mum directly asked me: “Binh, as you’re older now, it’s time to think about finding the right girl and getting married…”. I thought to myself, this is the moment.
So I replied, “Mum, I’m interested in men.”. Mum did not respond or appear angry. She remained calm but did not look at me.
I turned to my Dad and said: “I’m sure you guys know!”. He said: “Yes! We’ve known about this for awhile…and at this stage, I don’t think it really matters. We are open-minded and as long as you’re happy, that’s all we care about!”.
I was in tears. That was much easier than I thought.
Both of my parents passed away not long after that due to terminal illnesses.
I’m glad that I came out to them as they are my parents and have the right to know.
One might think she/he has to be ready to come out. In my opinion, it is a progressive process which involves a number of small steps that should be considered in order to achieve the ultimate goal:
1. Come out to yourself: Get to know yourself well: your strengths, weaknesses, interests and sexual orientation. Accept and love yourself for who you are because at the end of the day, you have to live with yourself for the rest of your life.
2. Come out to your close friends: Coming out to your close friends is a good place to start. Some will be happy for you. Some will be confused. Some will get upset. Just come out anyway! You will at least receive much-needed support.
3. Come out to your siblings: If you have siblings, come out to them. Like it or not, they are related to you by blood and they might want to know the truth. You’re now a step closer to telling your parents!
4. Come out to your parents: This can be the biggest challenge! Take a plunge and tell them when the right moment comes e.g., when they ask you about your relationship status or suggest that you get a BF or GF. You will feel so much better afterwards. Parents often have great expectations of their kids and some will find it hard to accept the truth. Time will tell if they are able to live with this truth or not.
5. Come out to the world: Now that you’ve gone through all of the previous steps (remember, it doesn’t have to be in that particular order), it’s time to come out to the world and let them know how proud you are to be yourself
While “hiding” in the closet, I missed out on a chance to “seek” my truth.
By coming out, I am being true to myself and others and live a happier life. Coming out is hard, but not coming out is even harder.
Be true to yourself. Be happy.
Love and peace to you.