Joanna Leng is a single mother of two and upcoming author. To share her story and to empower others to share their own hardships, she founded A Story For Her. A Story For Her is meant to empower women of all walks of life and to know that being vulnerable & opening up is okay! To get more of the scoop on A Story For Her and Joanna Leng herself, check out our Q&A together below:
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a single mother of 2 primary school children. I work as a financial advisor and my aim is to make financial education accessible for everyone. Now, the author of my upcoming book Financial Empowerment for Single Mothers.
How did you come up with the idea of A Story For Her?
Being a single mother, you face many challenges, the look friends give you, how society tag single mothers as problematic. It is both physically and mentally challenging working, looking after children, trying to get a foothold of your life when society is not so understanding. Being a mother to both a boy and a girl has its disadvantage and advantage. The advantage I got was, my little girl will ask questions on why daddy and mummy are no longer together. She is more affected than her elder brother even though they get to see their father.
Hence, I wanted to document down the little memories we created together, our daily life, the sweet times, therefore the birth of the idea A Story For Her, and yes.
Can you tell our readers a little about A Story For Her and what it’s all about?
Later on, I found writing difficult. It is tough to try to recall every night how your day had been, what more writing it down. I shared this with a mentor, and he suggested, why don’t I open it up to other people that might want to share their story? The idea came as absurd to me as I was thinking who will want to write a story and share with the world, but I was very wrong.
Now, I have been receiving emails from women across the world wanting to share their stories. I feel very blessed and grateful for taking this step in sharing the platform A Story For Her to other women who wants to be heard, and also hope their stores can be a form of comfort for others to be encouraged and inspired, also to stand up for themselves, and for the the rest who are reading, to be aware of how the real world actually is an move towards a more accepting world.
How did you get the courage to share your story with followers?
I made a lot of realizations, and one of them is:
I am only rejected because I allow myself to reject myself, and if I accept myself, the people around me will start to accept me as well.
It is these new friends that I made, and the answers I get now of past events gave me the courage to share, and you know what? I got more encouragement than I never could have imagined.
Were you scared to share your very personal, life story? How did you conquer that fear?
2016 was an amazing year for me. I took the courage to start my life in a totally different way. I struggled, took a step of courage, fall, and cycle repeat. It took me a great deal to even want to think about it, not to even mention to speak about it. However, as I was taking those tiny insignificant steps to learn, speak to people, have an open mind, share my thoughts, I got to meet people who are so genuine and real. These people accept me imperfect me, they and all the other women who’s stories I receive, keep me going.
What story, that has been shared on the site, has affected you the most?
I receive tons of emails every now and then on people wanting to share their story, and I read every single one of them after putting my children to sleep, I look at my emails using my mobile phone. I reply to every single one of them as well. All stories touches the heart, and I resonate much more with stories coming from Single Mothers. I cannot say which one affected me most because we all have one or more similarities, but after reading all the stories others have shared, it always makes me feel better. It makes me feel better knowing that I am not alone.
What is a piece of advice you have learned and kept with you from a woman’s story?
What I have learned is, everyone is unique. Trying to fit in is boring, if I do not fit, I am not meant to be. Embrace what I am good at, and be great at it.
What is one piece of advice you would give to women going through struggles of any kind?
All struggles will come with a lesson, embrace it and learn the lesson, not resent it.
What do you hope women gain from A Story For Her?
I hope all women, girls can find the courage to accept vulnerability, to know that we are empowered to change things and we are limited by the walls we built.
How do you think A Story For Her is empowering for women?
It allows the writer’s mind, emotion and soul to have a place they can call “home”, to be where everyone that has similar struggles to come together. As for the reader, to know they are not alone, and there are so many inspiring stories they can learn from and be better.
What is one activity you do often that empowers you?
Count my blessings. I did a 60-day challenge where I write down all the little things I can be thankful for before I close my eyes. If I do not feel I have anything, I reflect. We often take for granted the things we have and seek for those we do not. There are people who lost their child, while I have mine. There are people starving, while I can choose what to eat. There are people who cannot have children, while I got 2 munchkins to give me headaches.
What is a quote you live by everyday?
I will never be able to please everybody, and if I allow someone to put me down with their words, it means I am dropping down to their level, and that is exactly what they want. To drop down to THEIR level, as they are insecure that I have took the step to surpass them.
Example on my upcoming book, Financial Empowerment for Single Mothers. I do think of the criticism that I will receive when I first decided to share my book cover, however I keep reciting and reminding myself if I want to move forward or be put down by words that will be forgotten. Guess that is the most amazing part? Not only have I not got any criticism, I got cheers from friends around me, some I have not even met.
To keep up with Joanna Leng click on any of the links below!