As I plodded slowly through the waiting line, the butterflies in my stomach dispelled the drowsy state of mind. I took a deep breath of the suffocating air inside the U.S. Embassy. Everything was fine until I heard my utterly shaking voice. I got my Visa rejected.
My dad walked me out of the place. I was waiting for some overused lessons which he always stuffed into my ears whenever I messed up, yet this time was different. I could tell the sorrow through his solemn eyes: he was excessively disappointed.
On the way home, we did not say a word. He even told me what I should do after graduating in the United States the night before. I knew he was expecting a lot and I let him down. It was a crowded summer morning, but I felt a void inside.
As soon as I came home, I went to Reng Reng coffee shop– a small well-patronized place. As the tantalizing aroma of coffee sweetened with condensed milk and whipped cream lingered on my tongue, I started to think. “My future has just gone,” a voice inside me said. “And well, so has my past,” I just broke up with my first love after two years of being together.

The sweetness of the coffee was reminiscent of our beautiful time. My first love was ineffably effusive yet blind. I have made mistakes because it was my first love. I tried to blame for that, and I was good at blaming. But it did not help this time. I started to regret. I was loving her in a childish and selfish way.
The coffee woke me up like an alarm–just like the name Reng Reng. “I was stuck in the vicious circle unconsciously until now,” I told myself. If those things did not happen to me, I could hardly have a chance to look back and correct myself.
I did not feel confident about the interview. And my dad knew I had problems with self-assurance. I took his advice – once used to be overused lesson to me – and started to talk in front of the mirror. “You need to get used to it, practice makes perfect,” said dad. I set the daily goal to have a conversation with at least one person whom I barely talked with. I forced myself to go the extra miles, and it was far from easy having to step out of my comfort zone but I got used to it quickly. I had my confidence with me in the second interview and fortunately, I succeeded. My dad and I were so happy that I got my Visa issued.
That method also helped bring different perspectives on my break up as I talked to others about my sad experience. I bought a self-help book which was suggested by my dad, and a whole new world was widely opened. Through books, others’ views, and my past, I have learned that the good way to build up solid relationships was to push myself and others forward at the same time. I have also learned from books valuable lessons which I used to consider “overused lessons” from my father. Now I can understand his unconditional love was packed into those.
Only two weeks went by, I could tell how childish I was when I told myself “my future and my past were gone.” I did not even know how to start a conversation a few months ago. I now have good friends who constantly push me forward to reach for the better. The support from my dad and my friends is invaluable. Sometimes, I joke with my dad that I used to hate what he taught me, and tell him now I sincerely appreciate that. I do not regret my past but I would rather feel thankful instead as it has shaped who I am today.