It's a Beautiful World
by Swan Liu
  • February 24, 2022
  • 5 mins story
1. Maybe you have an idea for a story. Feel free to tell that story.
I am Swan. I’m from China. I came to Madras from Australia in 2016 with my ex-husband for his family emergencies. And we divorced in 2020. After we divorced, I experienced some hardship. I lost my direction in life. My family was far away in China. My culture and history were not here. I couldn’t stand Chinese New Year because that’s the day for families. I didn’t know why I was still here. I thought about going back to China and never coming back again. But I stayed. Because I love this town. My in-laws still treated me like family. My coworkers sheltered me when I had nowhere else to go and gave me rides to places. My friends taught me how to drive and they were always there when I needed support. My neighbor mowed my lawn when they saw me struggling with the big old gas lawnmower.  These are all nice and respectable people.

The past 2 years were hard for the whole world, especially for the Chinese people. I always heard the news about Chinese people being attacked in foreign counties because they blamed us for bringing this upon them. I was worried about my own safety at first. But people around me all treated me as usual. No discrimination, no harsh words. All I received was kindness and encouragement.

2021 was a special year for me. I started walking out of the shadows from my past. I got my driver’s license on my birthday and finally made my first trip outside of Madras. I experienced my first car breakdown at a traffic light. As a new driver, my head completely went blank. And two nice people helped me push my car off the road.

There might be a lot of darkness out there. But here in Madras, I’m happy. In Spring, I can landscape my yard, In Summer, I can go to the lake, In fall, I can walk on the path full of leaves, In Winter, I can enjoy the snow falling from the sky.

My world is very small. Just work, home, and friends. But this is the life I love and enjoy. No matter what happens in the outside world, when I’m here, life is peaceful and beautiful. And I can always find help when I need it.

It’s not that the world is awful. It’s us who need to learn to find beauty in life and ways to be happy.

My playlist changed from “Barely Alive” to “Sing for Myself”. And I’m sure, very soon, it will become “Sing for the World”.

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