If everything can be reached without hard work, one may not realize the true value of what one has got. Without going through difficulties, one may forever be unable to acquire the skills and experience needed in life. I think however little one has achieved, he or she would have made tremendous efforts for it. A life has meaning only when it’s filled with ambitions, objectives and a desire to succeed. Along the path I have taken, I can proudly say that I have never abandoned my ambitions to succeed, even in the most difficult times. For decades I have continued to work very hard along a difficult journey. Time and again I fell, and time and again I rose and moved on. I have become stronger, and have learned a great of things which otherwise I would never be able to learn in the classroom.
I arrived in the
I remember when I first came, I had basically very few people whom I could rely on. My English was rather poor then and I had very limited financial resource, not to mention that I also had a daughter who was only six years old. So I urgently needed to find work. But will I ever be able to face all the problems and survive in this unfamiliar world? I kept wondering this question and often felt stuck and helpless. I realized that in order to survive I had to make sacrifice and huge efforts. I decided to start from anew, first to improve my English. I divided my daily duties into three parts: one third for work, one third for studying English, and one third to be with my little girl and doing the chores. I worked twelve hours a day. Often I would take a little rest after sending my little girl to bed early in the evening, then got up again to study English. I took my work and studies very seriously and worked very hard on my homework. After a year or so, I made some improvement in my English pronunciation. Then I carried on working on other subjects for another four years. I then took examinations for these subjects and passed them all. I was very glad that I did make good progress in my studies.
Not long after arriving in the
On the other hand, I continued to acquire knowledge needed for business, even during those very difficult times. With a better command of the language, I had made considerable progress in my study five years into my migrating to the UK. This helped a great deal in my dealing with business transactions. To be frank in terms of English acquisition, I more or less taught myself. Unlike others I did not always have a teacher who could correct me all the time, or give me help when I needed it. Eventually I was able to complete a degree course in 1992, fulfilling the dream that I had had as a young girl so many years ago. Besides, all along I always tried to offer help in a Chinese community centre. I began this in 1983, starting as a volunteer. Later I was voted a chairwoman of the group’s management committee. In recent years I have been involved in fundraising activities and seeking donations for Chinese older people. I enjoy being a volunteer and derive lots of pleasure from it. I feel life wonderful and meaningful.
‘Aspiration is the father of success’. This is the belief that I have held all these years. It has given me the courage to move on, guiding my way even in the darkest days of my life. With a strong character, I have always been able to overcome the problems I faced and come out successfully. And because the fact I have always been persistent, I have been able to achieve most of my goals. I believe, only when one has a well-defined goal and a vision for life, can one move on along a successful journey. I hope today’s young Chinese can excel in their studies and succeed in work, and be able to realize their lifelong dreams.
Translated by Cao Yuan