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How Friendship In Action Changed My Life

Updated: Mar 22

You may be familiar with the concept of the monomyth. Commonly known as ‘The Hero’s Journey’, it’s the universal story structure outlined by American mythologist, writer, and professor, Joseph Campbell. The protagonist of a story is, in this format, the ‘hero’ – an archetype that inhabits the psyche of every individual.


The Hero’s Journey comprises a 12-step path, beginning with the call to adventure, followed by a challenge or quest that presents itself to an ordinary person. Said quest is fraught with tests, ordeals, fears to be faced, and ultimately, survival and transcendence. When the hero returns to the ordinary world, having fulfilled their duties, they are transformed. (Fictional heroes like Frodo Baggins, Katniss Everdeen, and Harry Potter come to mind.)


Why the explanation of this mythical journey? We mere mortals can find ourselves unexpectedly called to action that leads our life in an entirely new direction and changes us for the better. For us, the hero’s journey can be thought of as a roadmap for personal growth and transformation along our life’s path.


Looking back on the past two years since being welcomed into the FIA fold, I see a pivotal point when my personal heroine’s journey began. I stumbled across FIA unexpectedly through an acquaintance, at a time when I was looking for new opportunities to work with youth. It was all pure serendipity – a coming together of things – that led me to FIA.



From there began a period of intense learning that has branched out and expanded ever since, an endless quest for knowledge, creativity, and self-actualization. FIA has brought a new awareness and richness to my life, so much so, that when I recently came across the concept of The Hero’s Journey, I related to it immediately.


Before choosing to stay home and raise our kids, I had always felt rudderless, career-wise. FIA led me out of that fog and into my quest to find myself and my purpose. I’ve become kinder to myself, a more compassionate person, a more understanding and empathetic parent, a better teammate with my husband, a better daughter, sister, and friend. I’ve put in motion the realization of dreams I never would have believed possible, and my gratitude guides me forward.


I would like to thank our Executive Director, Gerry Mabin, for taking a chance on me. I hope I can give back to not only our organization but to the lives we touch through our work, as much as they have given me. To inspire positive change in the life of others makes the journey a worthy one.


Learn more about Friendship In Action's online groups for adults and youth.


- Jen Tse, FIA Group Facilitator