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From Fear to Victory

The road from childhood trauma to professional achievements

By Ameer BibiPublished 22 days ago 6 min read
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The image belongs to the author (I am riding on International Day of Women, 2017)

My name is Amir, and I overcame a childhood fear of driving on the road when I was 14 years old. As the only sister of two confident brothers, the thought of riding a bike in traffic has always made me nervous. When I was five years old, I saw a terrible accident that would change my life forever.

While my friends raced and sped on their bikes, I stood still, frozen by a fear I couldn’t explain. Because the memory was so clear and scary, I couldn’t fully enjoy how empowering and exciting it was to ride.

When my dad saw I was having trouble, he came in to teach me what I needed. He handed me a bike with the challenging words, “Amir, it’s time to face your fears and pedal towards your dream.”

“The first step is the hardest.”

I don’t know what gave me the courage to get on the bike, but I did. Were my legs shaking because they were so excited to find the pedals or because they were so nervous? Did you find that your initial attempt lacked the enjoyment you had hoped for? Why did I sway like that, sliding across the street, holding on to the handlebars for dear life?

I always imagine how much fun it must have been for my brothers to learn to ride bikes. But I couldn’t stop wondering: what set me apart? My dad had been watching and finally responded, “Okay, dear, I’m here with you. It’s time to get going; I’ll be there to support the back side of the bike as you pedal. Initially, I said, “Yahoo, this is a good strategy!” And then I felt I was finally willing to go on the ride!

You’re never truly alone when you have someone’s faith in you.

“You’re doing great, my child!” a jogging parent said from the sidelines. “Continue biking!”

I smiled and added, “This is much easier with you here, Dad.”

I could tell he was encouraging me. Walking beside me, he grinned and said, “I have faith in you.”

We laughed and spoke, and I commented, “We make quite a team.”

His voice suddenly came from afar. I wondered, “Wait… Dad, where are you?”

He said gently, “You’re doing it alone, child! So, keep going.”

When I realized I was alone, I said, “Oh, I can’t!”

His passionate response was, “Yes, you can!” The broad road awaits you from here. My father ran to laugh as I fell suddenly.

“I fell.”

“That’s not failure, my love,” he smiled. Until I left, you were doing well. Your fear won, but you rode alone for a while.

“Out of adversity comes strength.”

In the following weeks, my determination grew, and with each ride, I gained confidence. My fear began to fade. My brothers, once amused, became my biggest supporters. In 1996, my father left us when he was only 47 years old. His departure gave me the worst experience in the world and many strengths to move on, and his wisdom taught me.

I was only 16 years old when I suddenly had to care for my single mother and two younger brothers. After his silent and sad departure from a home of 5, only four persons lived alone in our house.

It was tough at first. I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t shake the thought that everything I’d seen was something I’d made up. My thoughts returned to a scene where he cheerfully emerged from hiding and said, “Guess who’s back! Do you think I’ve left for good? Your mother has a tiny heart and trusts my jokes, so I have no hard feelings.”

After his unexpected death, our house lost the energy it once had and felt very empty. I was devastated and could not eat for many days due to irregular eating and stress, and my stomach faced bad GERD (Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease). Life was different, but my mother united us for his family’s love.

However, I continued my higher education journey, as it was one of his biggest wishes. I was the first girl from my paternal family to attend college and university. He sent me to school against the will and traditions of my grandparents and other family relatives.

Everything went well after being admitted to a professional degree program in agricultural sciences. It was again a night when my mother decided to accompany my father, as two years without him were like two centuries for her. So, Allah Almighty, in His mercy, did not test her further and sent an angel to reunite her soul with her partner. Now, they are together in heaven with my youngest brother.

As for me, I was left as the seemingly cowardly girl, alone with one brother in a universe of billions. I was about to quit my studies to care for my home and my lone brother. To him, I was the mother, father, and brother. But fate led me to the university hostel and classrooms, where the library, my friends, and teachers became my new home.

And you know, the semester awaited me with more mid- and final-term examinations. During this challenging time of the decision, I had a dream. In it, my father appeared, guiding me to remain calm as the plane took off, signifying my journey overseas for higher education. Waking up, his voice lingered in my ears for a long time as I prepared myself for the next ride of life.

The image belongs to the author, 2016 (Project manager with her research team)

“Taking courage is like pedalling a bike on a winding route to your dreams.”

With a heart full of courage, I rode into the future, knowing that conquering fears, no matter when, makes for thrilling journeys. I learned it’s never too late to chase your dreams; all it takes is that first pedal.

Image belongs to the author (Scholar exchange program, IPO office UC Davis, CA)

I ranked first among undergraduate B.Sc. (Hons) Agricultural Sciences undergraduate students and was awarded a gold medal at the faculty level. My parents’ courage, support, and wisdom remained with me throughout my educational career. I appeared in competitive exams for scholarships to continue my PhD studies and luckily got a fully funded scholarship for four years.

Author near White House Washington, DC (IVLP program, Women in Agriculture, 2014)

From a shy girl to a fearless young woman, I’ve gone through a fantastic change. I was the girl who could not cross the road. But with time and courage, I was able to apply to the IVLP program of Women in Agriculture, and luckily got selected; there were only 7 females from the whole country, and I was the first one from my province and university to join that extremely prestigious program hosted by State government of US. We visited Arizona, Washington DC, Georgia, Indianapolis,

At Soybean Genomics Research Institute with IVLP members of Women in Agriculture 2014

The road that used to scare me now looks like it will have exciting obstacles. I transformed from a girl terrified of the road into a young woman prepared to embrace life’s challenges. Now, I am working as an associate professor of plant breeding and genetics, and I have a beautiful family of five: two sons and one daughter.

Whenever I saw a young girl ride away on her bike, I felt joy and sadness. In that simple act, I couldn’t help but picture a loving father guiding her every step of the way.

Disclosure: Published by the author originally on medium.com but for vocal made little bit changes, as it is my personal story.

how totravelsiblingsparentsgriefadviceself helpsuccesshealinggoals
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About the Creator

Ameer Bibi

I teach at a university and used to write simply for fun. But now, writing has become a passion of mine: helping intelligent but deserving students. So, if you like my story, please support the education by donating Tips

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Outstanding

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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Comments (14)

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  • Gabriela Trofin-Tatárabout 9 hours ago

    Heartfelt and inspirational 💕🙏

  • Eyekay4 days ago

    How well you have captured this inspirational moment, more power to you!

  • Ebiyemi Ololo9 days ago

    You're amazing!

  • Alice Elizabeth11 days ago

    How far you've come! I'm sure your father would be so proud of you.

  • Very relatable as well as inspirational❤️

  • Tabby London12 days ago

    Inspirational. We’ll done you 💝

  • Zélia Alyie12 days ago

    I loved this! >> "You’re never truly alone when you have someone’s faith in you."

  • Highly motivating story about your life mam Ameer. Humen generally see the destination of someone but not the struggles and think that he/she gets it easily.This type of reality based stories must be shared with others to remain confident and hopeful in the time of crisis.

  • Mary K Brackett16 days ago

    I didn't learn to ride my bicycle until I was nearly 8 years old. It sat for years before I was brave enough to let my dad help me learn. Thank you for such a beautiful story.

  • Staringale16 days ago

    This is such an inspirational story. I salute your efforts it takes a great deal of courage to do what you just did. By the way thanks for subscribing.

  • Asad Message17 days ago

    travelling is a part of life

  • Ainy Abraham18 days ago

    You remarkably overcome your fear. Your story is inspirational. Weldone.

  • Caroline Craven18 days ago

    Good on you. That was quite a journey and you’ve achieved so much. I’m so sorry you lost your dad and your mum and your brother. I think a lot of people would have crumbled. Wishing you all the very best.

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