Jan 12
nonfiction challenge: Hardship
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My Hardship

Throughout my childhood and into my adolescent years, I knew my life wasn’t the standard of normal that comes into mind when we think upon what a normal childhood of a young girl would look like. Playdates with close friends and family outings were rarities and blessings to me. But on the other hand, I’ve spent many hours confined to the bustling kitchen allocated in my family’s restaurant. Helping my family keep the business running regularly has occasionally been a very rewarding experience but it can quickly become a hefty weight that settles down on me. Maintaining education, attending sport practices, and working at the restaurant has taken its toll on me. Missing time with my friends and the difficulty of finding time to see them has had me grinding my molars more often than not. From my childhood, I’ve learned to navigate obstacles by myself. The overwhelming feeling of resentment and responsibility were becoming troublesome the more I pushed it to the back of my mind. 

    I didn’t want help. I wanted a break from the neverending events occurring the moment I woke up. I didn’t know that what I truly needed was balance in my day to day living. I did too little of the things that made me feel alive and focused heavily on the things that made me feel drained. I’ve always been a hard critique of myself. I didn’t know whether I always was so harsh on myself or if it stemmed from an internal issue long ago but whatever the cause may be, I knew I needed a sustainable schedule consisting of free time slots for myself between the cracks of work. 

    Fast forward to present day, I’ve since implemented changes that work in my favor and included habits benefiting my health. Focusing on my health has singularly been the best thing I could have done for myself. It’s not a linear journey but it’s been consistently better on my end. I wake up with renewed energy and intentions to begin the day, I know when to take it slow or when to have a break, and most importantly, I’m in a much happier position than I was before. If there’s something I wish I could have told my younger self, it would be that there’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first.
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About the Author: isabelle.chen
Isabelle Chen
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