The power of pain

I hadn’t endured that so much physical pain and energy drain than I did in the past few days when I was on this terrible business trip. It challenged by patience and endurance to the extreme, to the point that I could only say to my colleagues, who were equally exhausted, “Can someone just put a bullet to my head? Kill me already. Seriously.”

I can go on and on about how shitty the trip was and how I worked from 8am to 3am one day, but what I’d like to highlight here is, like every other experience that didn’t kill me, it made me stronger.

The past year has taught me how to be develop mental strength, how to stand up for myself, how to be brave, how to conquer my fear, how not to let anyone shake me, and how to have hope and faith even in the darkest place. I’m proud to say I’m emotionally more resilient than ever, but physically? This is the first real test.

For almost half a year, I had been working 12 hours everyday to save for my PhD. Though it sounds like a lot of hours, I gotta say not everyday is hectic. I don’t have to do any hard labor. I make money by engaging my knowledge and the skills I already have. I still have a lot of down time, and on average I still get about 6 hours of sleep.

It was different on my trip. Not only did I have to run around in high heels, I also had to perform manual labor and move stuff. When I got home, I almost broke down in tears for physical exhaustions and emotional frustrations.

Now that I’ve recovered from the pain resulted from this semi bootcamp, I feel mentally excellent. I’m again amazed at what I had accomplished. Although I don’t look forward to my next trip in a few weeks, I know I will be stronger, wiser and better prepared next time.

I hope it is not pathological. I’ve come to enjoy the satisfaction of getting through painful experiences, emotionally and physically. I love discovering more about myself. I love proving myself wrong. I love feeling grateful for what I have. I love being able to overcome obstacles. I love realizing hidden potential in myself. I love reaching a stage of being that I didn’t know even existed.

I once said, “I’ve grown numb of rejections.” It was a rather cynic way to look at it. I’d like to rephrase it now, “My immune system has grown stronger.”

I was a girl who had to force herself to be a strong woman because she didn’t have the luxury to be weak, because no one will take care of her if she didn’t take care of herself.

One day I will be that strong woman. I wouldn’t have to force myself. I will be strong.

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About Nicky

Nicky English is a journalist, an educator, a podcaster, a couch potato, a dreamer, and a child at heart. Learning is her passion, so is the English language, which she believes is the tool to unlock the door of knowledge. Born in Hong Kong, she received intensive writing training at The University of Iowa, where she double-majored in journalism and political science. Apart from the Hawkeye State, she’s lived in Chicago and Philadelphia. When she was a guest student at Georgetown University, she fell in love with Washington, D.C. She also has a Master of Arts in Communication. A little side note—she cannot imagine a world without her Mac and iDevices. Like many crazy ones, she hopes to change the world one day at a time.
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