I am "Bạc Hà"

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" – Eleanor Roosevelt

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Hành trình tuổi 30

Hắn vô tình đọc được câu này khi chuẩn bị bước sang tuổi 30 và đó là lần đầu tiên kể từ sinh nhật 15 tuổi đến giờ, hắn không cảm thấy mình đang già đi.

Tất nhiên, ai cũng đang già đi, nhưng một người sẽ già nhanh hơn khi anh ta bận bịu suy nghĩ và than thở về cái sự già đi của mình mà quên mất rằng anh vẫn còn trẻ và sẽ luôn luôn trẻ hơn những người sinh ra trước anh. Một chân lý thật đơn giản nhưng phải mất nhiều năm để hắn chiêm nghiệm ra.

Ba mươi tuổi là một cột mốc quan trọng, là hẳn một chương mới trong đời người. Vươn lên tiếp hay lụi tàn đi cũng được quyết định bởi những năm tháng này. Thử thách và gặt hái nhất cũng bởi những năm tháng này, tại sao mà không háo hức cơ chứ. Đặc biệt hơn, ở tuổi 30, người ta không nhiều bỡ ngỡ trước những ngã rẽ mới như khi 20, nhờ những kinh nghiệm đã được trau luyện, những nguồn lực đã được tích cóp, và cả bởi những trách nhiệm đang đặt trên vai. Trọng lượng có thể là gánh nặng, nhưng nó cũng tạo ra sự đằm khi cần di chuyển.

Ba mươi tuổi, trâu đã tậu, vợ đã cưới, và nhà đã xây. Những thứ cơ bản đã được ổn định. Đã đến lúc bước đi một cách nghiêm túc và quyết liệt cho những thành tựu của đời người.

Protected: 10-year plan

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Toastmasters – A Four-Year Journey

September, 2010

I came to America when I was 23 years old. I had 20 lbs less in fat and flesh, and I could be knocked down easily by an evening breeze. Feeling tiny and weak, I always tried to shrink myself to the smallest, so everyone would not notice I was there. Like most of my fellow countrymen who came to America for the first time, I could rarely communicate. If I happened to have a conversation, I rarely understood what other people said. I usually had to asked them to repeat for three to four times and normally they would just give up on the whole idea of talking to me. In some rare cases that I did understood, the burden of comprehension would then switch to them. Though I didn’t mind repeating what I wanted to say for a hundred times, the fact that people would always misunderstand it to something else was so discouraging. Consequently, I muted.

March, 2012

One and a half years in America, myself esteem was too low that it almost buried me alive. I could not get a job. I could not make friend. I could not even lift my head up enough to see farther than my toes. I was so depressed that I started counting the words I said every day. Since speak-able words was such luxurious things, I used them as frugal as I could. In a daily basis, I spent 12 words to the cashier to get my groceries, I spent another 9 words to order a drink at Starbucks where I would stay for hours to read a book or, sometimes, just to see the time flow slowly and wastefully. I saved 4 words in case someone need to ask if the seat next to me was vacant. The last 4 words of a day would finally be spent when I got home and notified my mom about my existence. For a while, I managed to survive with merely 29 words a day. And then things started to change shortly after that, when I added another word I soon learned from my great uncle.

May, 2012

Following the new word that I had just learned, I started to walk on a new path, a path I am pretty sure we all heard about at least once in our life, the Toastmasters path. I found a flyer of a Toastmaster club at the local library so I paid them a visit. At first, it looked like a senior club where the youngest member was at least two times of my age. They were all confidence and they spoke so well. I was scared but I had no other place to go, so I stayed and joined with them. I moved awfully slowly. For several months, I was scheduled to do the minor tasks and except the time I did my first and second speech. It took me four months to do the Table Topic for the first time, and before I had a chance to be a Toastmaster or an Evaluator, I dropped! I had a job and I needed it to pay for school and to pay the debts I accumulated to survive through my 2 jobless years in America. That was November of 2012.

March, 2013

I quit my job and came back. I wouldn’t say I like my job, or my boss, very much. But the desire of being able to communicate, to speak, like those people in Toastmaster was another major reason why I made my decision. I knew it would be tough and it turned out to be even worse. But what I didn’t expect was how the club members treated me after abandoning them. They welcomed me like a long lost child that one day returned to his family. Every single person said welcome back to me when they had the lectern. I was deeply touched.

As life went, there were good times and bad times. I did feel down and I did bounce back, but I never gave up on going to Toastmasters. One speech after another, I finally finished my Competent Communicator manual a few weeks before my third Toastmaster anniversary. The completion of my Competent Leadership manual followed two months after that. I volunteered to become a Club Officer and then an Area Director. When I volunteered for those position, I had no single clue what or how I would do, but I believe every piece of my time devoting for those job would be paid off by another invaluable piece of skill or experience. How could it not be when I have mentors and many experience fellow Toastmaster by my side?

May, 2016

After four years with Toastmasters, I am now a confident citizen, an MBA with a distinction honor on my diploma, and the owner of a small business that grows steadily and healthily, I am so proud to give the credit of all those successes to Toastmaster and to share my story to everyone I know and challenge them to let Toastmasters transform them, like it once helped me to survive through my cold dark night to, one day, see my American dream come true.

Minh Le, CC, ACB

Cành Nhỏ

1.

Cành cây nhỏ cắm trong lọ hoa để trên bàn từ nhiều tuần trước vẫn còn xanh, thậm chí còn bung chồi.

Cả cành cây ướt đẫm như thể đổ mồ hôi, một điều kỳ lạ và xa xỉ ở cái đất sa mạc khô queo và đang mùa gió rít này.

Ốc đảo Mara

1.

Chập choạng, trên ốc đảo Mara:
– Này, cậu còn đi đâu đấy, nắng tắt rồi.
– Tôi đi tìm một người bạn.
– Bạn cậu đâu rồi?
– Đang ở đâu đó quanh đây. Tôi không biết nữa.
– Ừ.
– Ừ.

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