My trip to Dortmund is eyeopening. I heard so much about how hard life is for Vietnamese people abroad. Now I witness one. My uncle’s life in Germany is hard. Really hard. Imagine how he first stepped on this land, not knowing a German word, and now he’s built a house here, a family, a home, and a business. But even now when he seems to achieve everything, life is still hard for him. Day in day out, wake up at 9, get a boring breakfast at a supermarket nearby, work hard all day at the restaurant, go home at 11 at night, dinner at 12… Daughter moves out so he gets himself a dog as company to feel love. Every single day like this… He smells like oil and food. I can imagine how lonely he is everyday when driving on the street shipping orders, so lonely that he shows great joy having me or my mom next to him to talk. He misses home so much that in every pieces of stories he tells me it shows a bit of the eagerness to come back to vietnam one day. How he considers himself still a Vietnamese at root. 25 years and still a Vietnamese anyway.
This got me thinking about my decision to stay in Vietnam, despite the wave of all of my friends studying and living abroad. I felt like I skipped a lot of opportunities to go abroad. I know I have the capability to do well there, but time after time my decision is always to stick with this land. Idk why and sometimes I feel jealous of my friends but actually now I feel different. I also feel I am really a Vietnamese at root and how much I love this homeland :) So yeah, let’s stay here and try my best because face it, it’s life. It’s hard everywhere.
You Don’t Deserve Someone Who Comes Back, You Deserve Someone Who Never Leaves
I used to wonder about people coming back after they’ve decided to leave. I used to wait for the day they come back and realize that they messed up or realize that life is miserable without me. But then I realized that better than all this mess is someone who never leaves.
Someone who never leaves when you hit bumps in the road, someone who never leaves when the rain starts falling down on you, someone who never leaves no matter how many other people are trying to get their attention, someone who chooses to stay every single day.
You deserve someone who never leaves when you tell them about the things you did that you’re ashamed of and the things that happened to you that you promised not to tell anyone. When you tell them about the things you really don’t like about yourself and the things you hated about your past. You deserve someone who never leaves no matter how dark it gets.
You deserve someone who never leaves when you tell them how much you love them, how much you really want to make them happy and how they make you feel something no else made you feel before. How they are special to you and how you really just want to spend your days looking at them and spend your nights sleeping in their arms.
You deserve someone who stays no matter how passionately you display your love and how fearlessly you show your emotions. You deserve someone who is not afraid of the way you love them.
You deserve someone who never leaves even if they found a better job or made more money or bought a fancier car. Someone who never leaves when they’re at their best, when they can get anyone they want but still choose you, when they don’t even care about exploring all these other ‘options’ to realize your worth because they know what they have and they know that you are one of a kind. You deserve someone who makes you believe that some people can stay.
You deserve someone who never leaves when things are not that exciting, when life becomes overwhelming for you to handle, when you are tired all the time, when you’re lost and confused and don’t know what to do next, when you keep doubting yourself and your capabilities. You deserve someone who reminds you of how you survived, someone who reminds you of your strength, someone who reminds you of your greatness and someone who reminds you that even though you can make it on your own, they want to be there, they don’t want you to be alone this time and they want to fight your battles with you.
Even though we all have that one person we wish could come back, what we really should wish for is someone who never leaves. Someone who left before could leave again but someone who could’ve left but decided to stay is exactly the kind of person you need to be with – is exactly the kind of person you deserve to be with.
It’s 11.17pm in Paris. I’m laying in bed with mom. We have been chit chatting over million things tonight. Actually we have been doing it over the past 10 days. Tonight I told her, “mom, i just realized this has been the longest number of nights we spent together since I moved to Sg”. She wrapped me in her arms and say: “it’s my privilege then”. Haha. Since when it’s such a rare thing for her to hold her daughter in the arms to sleep. I must have made it very difficult for her. I am so sorry mom :) sometimes I feel I am really selfish. I really am.
This trip also makes me realize how much we have grown from mother-daughter into best friends. I have been sharing with her basically everything in my life. From work, study, classmates, friends, to even love life. Of course there are still the naughty part of me that I hope she never finds out, lol. But yeah, she really is my best friend now.
Walking with her on different streets of Europe, seeing her smile, laugh, breathe in the wind and close her eyes bathing under the sun, I feel so much in love. We hold hands like couples do. We are like two eager kids exploring places we have never been to. No mom, it’s me who feels privileged. To be born your daughter, to be loved and cared so much by you, to be brought up with such inspiration, to be empowered to do all that you believe I could do. The pleasure is all mine, my lady.
I love you. So much that I have tears in my eyes writing these words. Please stay healthy so I can bring you to different places. Because we have so much more to explore together.
So, this is it. You are done. It’s all over. Hooray!!
Looking back I can’t believe it’s almost 2 years. Two years of hardwork and dedication. Flashback to those Tet days of 2015 when I made up my mind to pursue higher study. I remember finish reading the book “The Dream Giver” (Bruce Wilkinson), an xmas gift from my dear friend (thanks Paulo!). It talks about how God gives you something you need to do in life and your heart will nurture it and you will always have the itching feelings that it’s what you need to accomplish. And then the universe will work its way around it, God will give you strengths, guide you to the right people, open to you the right opportunities and all you have to do is to take it with determination and drive. It was a master study to me. I felt the urge to complete it so strong that yeah no matter what let’s nail down GMAT. And here it went. 6 months of sweats and tears (given the fact i was enduring the most horrible horrible relationship of all – those dark days…). 6 months of no weekends, waking up at 6-7 am studying GMAT before work and finish work at 7 then sit on the table at 8 to start revising. Almost no social life – me? No social life? … I didn’t know where I got those discipline ( man if you know me, you know how spontaneous I am).
Then the dreams of studying abroad seemed so small. No matter how hard I tried, work and GMAT at the same time couldn’t guarantee me a score of 700. And without it no way could I get a scholarship. no scholarship? no higher study. Plus the job opportunities, the money I was still making – i am not rich to ignore that. Plus my mom’s health. So many opportunity costs, so many concerns. Suddenly comes along this program. How random I found it. How I quickly fell in love with it. The program. The schools. The curriculum. The recruitment process. I was almost one of the last students that got admitted. Took me 2 weeks to complete my application. 1 week for admission decision and 1 week for financial aids result. BOOM! I GOT IN! So happy….! :):):)
And then I realized how difficult it was to balance work and life and study. I got super stressed out. On top of that I made the decision to jump ship – moving to Unilever. Gosh the workload seemed to double, and travel every 2-3 weeks. I got burnt out. I barely moved through courses, forums, essays, assignments, projects… i knew I could have done better, but with all the time and efforts, this is the best I could get. Not a glamorous transcript (not typical me, remember how competitive I was back in University?) but something I am very proud of. Yes, I did it, after all, I did it.
A bit of reflection makes me realize how fast time flies. Along with this study a lot has happened in my life. From work, love and family. I got my nephew. I changed job. I fell in love and then fell out of love. I struggled. Only 2 years but I have grown a lot…
Now what? What to do with my life now? How to prove that this degree is worthy of all of that? It’s a big question that for now I have no idea and Absolutely no clue. But I will keep being strong and pulling through.
As a friend said: “enjoy it while it lasts…”, i would just close my eyes, lay back and enjoy the monent…
One of the episode in “How I met your mother” that I remember is the “Wedding bride”. The one where Ted has this ridiculous idea of everyone carrying their personal baggage around the city. It’s either the time where you got left at the altar, the fact that you got gambling issue, or your various emotions/ stupid experiences. It’s what makes you the “You” today. And whoever wants to know you, has to know and even accept your baggage. But sometimes it’s extremely difficult for you yourself to overlook your baggage and move on.
And I guess my past experiences give me rather enough baggage to drag around….