I remember the first time I felt really alone, was when I was about 6 years old.
I just switched school, it was the first day.
My dad went to school with me. The entrance of this school was at the bottom of a set of steep stone stairs.
I remembered we walked down these stairs, and right when we were about to reach the entrance, my dad let go of my hand, urged me to go ahead, and then he turned around to walk away.
At that moment, I got so scared! My dad was leaving me!
I started crying.
I remembered looking at my dad, he turned halfway back to look at me, with a helpless smile on his face.
At the same time, another girl was going to school with her dad. He started talking to me and whisked me into the school.
Since then, I felt like I had to keep doing things on my own. I came to believe that I have to face every change on my own.
I grew to become very independent, yet I felt very isolated.
I believed I had to figure things out on my own.
I didn’t know how to ask for help.
I didn’t know how to trust people.
I would turn other people down first before they turn me down.
I built a very high wall that not many people could reach through.
I didn’t believe that anyone cared, so I stopped caring.
I remember while I was doing my leadership program, we had to do a project at the end.
And I chose to do a 8 hour virtual live event.
My buddy, the lovely Silky Zhou, my phenomenal friend Anna Ouroumian, and my group stood beside me. Supported me throughout.
At that moment, I realized what it meant to have someone to walk with me.
And then looking back, I saw that many many people were actually walking with me.
Like the dad who whisked me into the school.
Like my wonderful friends who stood by me when I was fighting with my mom.
Like my husband who devoted his time and energy into the family so I could attend to what I needed.
But because I was so focused on the belief that “I was alone”, I didn’t see.
This is not to invalidate my experience of being alone.
I believe that, it IS because I acknowledged that I had to do everything on my own, and that I felt hopeless, helpless.. only after that, then I could expand my vision further.
Now, I’m slowly building up my community.
I search for the support I need, being ok to ask for help.
Still many times, I have the thoughts, “I don’t belong”, or “People don’t care.”
And being ok with those thoughts.
Because for someone who’s always been independent, it has been programmed as a default mode.
Now, I’m learning that, asking for help doesn’t mean I’m weak. And other people do care about me.
It’s great to have someone there to talk to you, and support you.
I know how hard it can be to find people in your life who can give you the time you desire.
I want you to know you matter. So if you’d like to have someone to talk to and hear what you have to say, I’m offering free 30-min coaching sessions.
There are no strings attached to them, it’s time I’m giving back to support you on your journey.
Reaching out takes a lot of courage, and I was you to know that, just by you thinking about it, is the first step.
You’re not alone, and there are people who care about you. Let’s talk!