I immigrated to New Zealand 19 years ago, leaving my job, friends, and family back in the Philippines. I was excited but also nervous to face a new life in a foreign country. It wasn’t easy adapting to the mixed culture, the colder weather, and the laidback lifestyle. I tried so hard to fit in, but still felt out of place at times. Even though I know how to speak English, it was quite hard to understand people with the different accent, and there were so many kiwi words that I hadn’t heard before. There were lots of challenges and learning for me, and there was a time when I thought of moving somewhere else. But, I persevered and stayed in this beautiful country that I now call home, together with my husband and two daughters who were both born and raised here.
When I saw the ad for the #IAMFEARLESS campaign, I thought to myself: "Why not apply to be part of it?" I still don't have the courage to jump off the plane to sky dive, or ride the scariest roller coaster, but I had overcome difficult situations in life that had taught me to be fearless.
To keep trying even after so many failed attempts.
Not to be afraid to disappoint because it’s impossible to please everyone.
To show my authentic self and not to pretend or try too hard to be liked.
To free myself from hate and grudges.
To demand for what I deserve rather than waiting for it to be given.
To admit my mistakes even how embarrassing it is.
Not to worry about what people say and think about me.
To ask for help when I needed it rather than trying to do it all on my own.
To recognise if someone is taking advantage, and finally say “No.”
Not to take responsibility for other people’s obligations.
To look after my health and mental well-being.
To stop complaining about things beyond my control; either accept it or let it go.
It was a long journey finding myself and the courage to speak out. I struggled silently, and I'm glad I didn't give up because now I'm a lot happier and more contented. I don't know what the future holds but my new mantra in life is to: be kind... be honest.. be FEARLESS!