FROM THE INVISIBLE OBSTACLES SERIES

Stronger Now

AMERICAN CRUCIBLE, Part 1

As told by Arpine Babloyan
Photography & Editing by Ashia Ray

 

Divider line“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

Maya Angelou, ‘Letter To My Daughter’

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Mother watching teen daughter dance in living room with purple rug

Image Description: Arpine watches Bianca practice dance routines in their living room.

WHEN THINGS FELL APART

I came to this country 12 years ago, leaving my friends, relatives, and career, following my husband who wanted to move. It was hard to start over and work on a brand new career with a language that wasn’t my first.

Shortly after, I went through a hard divorce, leaving me with a huge debt, a mortgage I couldn’t afford, my daughter, and with very little support on this continent.

On top of it, I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and had to go through major surgeries to get rid of pain – all in one year that was probably the hardest of my life.

 

Teen girl does her mother

Image Description: Arpine looks at the camera as Bianca fixes her hair.

OVERCOMING IT

I’ve heard that it’s hard to be an immigrant. It’s hard to be a single parent. It’s hard to be a working mother. It’s hard to be a single income supplier for the family. It’s hard to get out of debt. It’s hard to start over a career. It’s hard to not have family members around to rely on. It’s hard to go through surgery.

And I have been able to overcome all of that – at the same time.

 

Mother and daughter go up stairs in glass building

Image Description: Arpine and Bianca head up a flight of stairs in a shopping center.

ENDLESS

‘What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’ – this is true, and after what I’ve gone through, I believe in this even more.
Almost nothing can scare me now.
That year when it all happened was probably the most difficult year of my life. It felt like it was endless. Moving to another country was the first obstacle that I came to – before I even learned more obstacles would follow.

…Read more in Part 2: Lost In A New World

 

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This session is from the Invisible Obstacles Series. Families in the Invisible Obstacles series provide a glimpse into daily life while navigating adversity. Names and locations of minors may have been changed to protect privacy. Permission & quotes attributed to Arpine B. unless otherwise specified.

If you enjoyed the Invisible Obstacles Series, find out how to support Ashia’s do-goodery projects on Patreon.

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