"I made resilience my strength; I rose, learning, growing, and surviving from the ashes."
Author - Sumyrah Khan
I have always ricocheted between the definition of endurance and resilience. Where did one end and the other begin? I found the diverging difference between them when I sought after two things of priceless worth- loving and learning.
I constructed my life around this need to meet them. It didn't satisfy me halfway like I had imagined it would. Instead, it responded with harsh realities and adversities.
They diverged when at two, my only daughter was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. That fact had shackled my entire 'life plan' and the aspirations I had for my child, her needs and happiness became my guiding force, and I used that purpose as a compass to guide all my decisions. I had accepted that every decision from that moment on would pivot around her betterment.
I wanted my daughter to be immersed in a sound education system and have a better quality of life that she would cherish.
I decided to move to Dubai looking for greener pastures, start a life from scratch, wishfully hope to build a happy home for my child, and salvage my marriage, which was otherwise at the mercy of an unsupportive partner.
A better life rested on my endurance against trying times so that my daughter could incentivize on this purpose. I had to ‘man up’ to resurrect a sinking boat.
I could see my naivety dissolve quickly; Nothing lures the truth out as much as bad times will. I had realized how I had endured everything in an abusive and unrequited relationship. I dismantled and unlearnt and reconstructed an entire belief system, and I quickly sought a separation.
The only thing that kept me going through a vulnerable, uncertain time, sometimes empty coffers, was my core-my daughter; we had each other, in a foreign country alone. I made resilience my strength; with the help of my supportive parents and the encouragement of some close friends, I rose, learning, growing, and surviving from the ashes.
Ten years ago, we were strangers to the city, and now it's home. It welcomed us with open arms, fed us, and kept us warm and hopeful. I have evolved to know the right from the not-so-right. Learned and equipped me with discipline and knowledge that I have gained from my work experiences from these past few years. Especially now, working for women-led organizations has given me more confidence and courage.
Trying times still come in waves, but courage and conviction keep me afloat.
I am no longer the girl who would fret every night, thinking how she will face the challenges waiting for her the following day; I am now the girl who isn’t afraid to look it in the eye and say, 'Bring it on'.
Today, I only stand humbled and grateful to where life has brought me. The only two attributes that have been my constant in this endeavor have been to love and learn and look at how my tears ricochet.