My Green Spring

By Zohal Hasin

Hardship is like a cup of tea that you expect to be sweet, but when you take a sip it’s hot and bitter, and you realize your expectations were all wrong. You add sugar, you keep taking small sips, and when it’s cooled down enough you take bigger gulps to enjoy its full pleasure. I belief difficulties and hardship ought to be sweetened. If you take your time dealing with them, you will feel the sweet taste of reaching your goals.

What I was doing didn’t always work out, maybe I wasn’t paying attention, or maybe I was going the wrong way, and I still blamed myself and hated myself more. Until the time came when I had to push myself, I had to do something for myself and my destiny.

In 2021 I waited enough to attend private university to become a nurse, but the tuition fee was astronomical. I thought for a long time what I should do, but I couldn’t think of a way to get money. In I asked all my friends and family to search job sites so that I might find a job. Finally, my brother told me one of the private schools needed a teacher for elementary classes. I didn’t think they would shortlist me, but I was lucky.

In the beginning, I was full of energy, but it was difficult as I had no experience teaching. Besides, the school was an hour walk away, and I had to stay on my feet all day and practice with the students. I had to work hard all day, I didn’t even have time to drink a cup of tea or coffee, and some days I couldn’t even eat lunch. Every night I told myself, ‘You can do it! Zohal, you must be able to! You’re strong, don’t get tired! You have to endure for your future.’ But the salary wasn’t enough to cover the tuition fee.

I needed a mobile phone to look for a better work. I had so much expenses, all of them put a lot of pressure on my mind. I almost lost myself, it felt as if my hands and feet were tied, but one Thursday afternoon something beyond my imagination happened. I begged my friend Nahid to lend me her tablet that she no longer used, but it was broken long time ago. I felt such despair, but then she said, “Zohal! Why don’t you send one of your stories that you wrote to the GOAT PoL?”
“What is the GOAT PoL? I’ve never heard about it.”
“There is a site called the GOAT PoL where anyone from anywhere in the world can send stories.”
I stared at her lips in surprise and asked, “Anyone? Even I who live in Afghanistan? Does that mean that I, who have no value here, can send my writings to someone to read them?”
“Yes, even you can send your story. Maybe God willed it and you become a great writer this way,” Nahid said.
“But who will read my story?”
“Several people work for this site, they’re called editors. One will choose your story, edit it with your cooperation and correct the mistakes. They’ll help you improve your skills. When the work is done, it will be published.”
“You’re not kidding, are you?” I said. “Does that mean that if I send my story, they’ll read it and help me write future stories?”
“Yes, be sure that they will do their best.”
“But I don’t have a cell phone, how can I send my story?”
“You can use my phone to send your story.”

I was out of my mind, smiling and thinking about my beautiful future. God opened up a path for me to achieve my dreams. To think someone would listen and work with me to achieve my goals was so exciting to me.

That evening I was walking along Mastofit Street to Fargheh Street, thinking about the stories I could tell, and I started running to get home early and choose one of my stories. I wrote my story, and rewrote it again and again, trying to remove any mistake. I then sent it to my friend and asked her to give me feedback.

When I explained my mother what I was doing, she said,”I always knew someone would read your stories with full attention!” But I still couldn’t believe it.

After two weeks of working on my story, my friend came to my house to tell me my story was accepted and that it would be published on the site.
“Wow, are you kidding me? Tell the truth, will they really publish my story?”
“Yes, and the interesting part is that they will pay you for it as well.”
“What? Money? They will pay for writing?” At first, I thought my friend was joking, that she’d transfer the money to my account herself out of support, but then I read my editor’s email, and realized that she was right.

I wrote stories and I saved money to cover some of my university’s expenses and I was able to buy a mobile phone. Now I can connect with the GOAT PoL and search job sites very easily.

The GOAT PoL made it possible to achieve my goals and it made my whole family proud of me. It made me believe in myself, my powers, my abilities and my talents. It made me take a keen interest in life and wake up every morning with incredible enthusiasm. It made me understand I still have value. I never thought that those who are thousands of miles away could revive hope in my heart, help me to achieve my goals and pay attention to my stories.

Some may think that it’s meaningless to talking about your problems, but I can confidently say that I am proud to talk about my problems, because after that dry season with dusty gusts, a season came to me that was like spring with a calm and cool breeze, with Purple blossoms with a mild and fragrant fragrance.

The reason for my re-splash was Goat Pol, and Goat Pol was the same green spring season for me.

Thanks to GOAT PoL, my green spring.

25 October, 2023