By nurimroatun - July 08, 2021

"Be patient with yourself. You are growing stronger every day." (Robert Tew)


Some months ago, I finished a 5-week Australia Awards Scholarship Pre-departure Training Program. I belonged to a class consisting of 13 scholars with various backgrounds, meeting for the first time in a virtual classroom. At the end of the program, every student received a final report, and mine is shown below. 

Reading the comments, I remember the first days I joined the training where I could barely speak in the large class situation. Whenever I wanted to speak, a part of me argued whether my grammar is correct, the idea is share-worthy, and the delivery would not be awful. My mind at that time was like: “How if the words I use sound mediocre compared to the sophisticated English words my friends used? How if my grammar is messy? How if people think that my idea is plain dumb? How if I can’t deliver it fluently?” *on repeat *ugly cry T.T


Had too much hesitation, on top of an unconfident self, I ended up not speaking at all except for the introduction part in the first days of the training. I was too silent for a class of only 13 students where the opportunity to speak is basically scattered everywhere. Then, I was left behind with deep regret that I hadn’t done my best to at least contribute to the discussion. Honestly, it was frustrating to see yourself want to do something but end up not doing anything, right? *sobs*


After the class, I cried because it was upsetting that I didn’t push myself harder to participate in the discourse. I suddenly blamed myself that I don’t have a glamorous starting point like my friends. Also, I shouldn’t waste my time but use it wisely to master English. I should’ve worked harder to be fluent. I should’ve joined a lot of English courses back then when I was a student. I should’ve …………… *stop, iim or else the list is gonna be a long one. #itiseasytoblame hoho

However, while it was so discouraging, I realized that I have to accept that everyone’s starting point is different. I come from a small village in Purworejo where the awareness to learn English from the very beginning simply wasn’t there. With that humble background, I had done a lot just to speak decent English. I could say that I am underprivileged when it comes to this area but the fact that I didn’t give up is good enough. My starting point is way behind but the fact that I accepted and did something about it should instead be celebrated. I shouldn’t feel sad because look! with my modest beginning, here I am today with them. It gives me a comforting optimism that no matter where I start, as long as I make progress, I will be there someday. 


I also learned to embrace the fact that my slow progress is also progress. Not many people know this but I used to be a very quiet girl who was comfortable fading into the background. My confidence level was so low that I always sat in the corner as a spectator. Here and there, it’s not hard to find me struggling with confidence issues. Up until now, I’m still working hard to gradually become more confident. The fact that I am no longer have cold sweats to speak in public is already an achievement. Finally, I understand that my slow progress is still progress, my minor growth is still growth, and my small achievement is still an achievement. I should be delighted by them. 


That training also made me kinder to myself. I know that I might lag behind but it’s okay. I only make tiny progress each day but that’s enough. That minuscule growth itself is an achievement for me. Looking back at that quiet village girl in the past, I know that I should be grateful for how far I’ve come. I am a work in progress and I respect the small betterment I make from time to time. 


Dear everyone, please respect the progress you’ve made. Only you know how hard you've worked to be the now you. Only you understand the journey you’ve gone through to achieve things you have today. The fact that you are better than the former yourself is praise-worthy. It indeed is great news. Be proud of your progress because you deserve to feel that way. Cheer up :) 

Your friend, 

Someone who wants to be a millionaire respect her progress :p


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