This Inspirational Moment brought to you by Aaron Trieu & Joseph Farry
What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to go through in your life?
Aaron: Losing my dad 7 years ago. His passing was sudden and I was not prepared for it, especially coming a few years after losing my grandma (his mother) to a long battle with cancer during what I felt should have been the golden years of her life.
Joe: Seeing Aaron and his family go through such a trying time in their lives during the passing of their dad. It was very sudden and for me, I wasn’t quite sure what to say or do during this time. I decided just to be there for Aaron and his family for anything they needed and if they needed words of comfort I was there to give them. I can relate to how they felt because of my own loss of my grandma in 1999. She took me in when I was two years old and raised me as her own. I was very close to her and it was very hard to see her go from such a healthy strong woman to being bedridden.
What did you learn from it that you could pass on to someone else?
Aaron: I think these losses reinforced to me that no moment is to be taken for granted. There are so many times I wish I had said this or done that in a certain moment, but I don’t, and end up hoping I’ll get a chance to “make it up”. Well, who knows if another chance will come? I still struggle with this, but my goal is to minimize this “debt” as much as possible. I much prefer the awkwardness of saying or doing something stupid than the regret of not saying or doing something I wish I had.
Joe: Giving my support and love during a time of grief meant so much to the people I care about. To be present and willing to give your time to others is a great complement to the kind words that are used to comfort someone. To cherish the time you have with the ones you love and care about.
What has been the Happiest Moment of your life?
Joe: There is no comparison to how I felt when I married Aaron. This was truly the happiest moment in my life. Twelve years ago I would never have imagined that I would have this opportunity to marry the person that I love. Three years ago in front of everyone we love and cherish Aaron and I became husbands. Today I look back at our wedding with fond memories and with a big smile on my face.
Aaron: How can I not agree with that?! To elaborate on that, I grew up in denial about being gay because I felt it meant that I could not have the happiness of true love, acceptance, and marriage. Those are such basic things to believe are not going to be available to you. As we near the end of June which is in many places known as LGBT Pride month, I relish every friendship, every conversation, every moment where I am able to be true to myself without shame, and our marriage in front of family and friends is certainly a pinnacle of that.
What is your Passion?
Aaron: I have become an avid runner and am also generally passionate about physical fitness and wellness. As context, I was a good 40 pounds heavier and dealing with major health issues 10 years ago, and changed things only through making thoughtful eating and serious exercise a consistent part of my life. These days what I eat may vary day-to-day, but I would not be able to maintain good health if I didn’t learn to appreciate and in fact crave a good run, boot camp, yoga class, etc. on a daily basis.
Joe: I went back to school at a later age and found that Psychology is something that I am well connected to. While finishing up some of my general education I took a psychology class that inspired me to pursue a career in the field. I have always felt and have been told that I am a good listener and that people that talk to me feel they can open up to me and talk about things they may be going through. I recently graduated with my BA in Psychology and I am now working with children in both the home and school that have special needs. Seeing these kiddos learn and grow and to be able to help make a difference in their life is an awesome experience.
What inspires you?
Aaron: Something that inspired me in a lasting way was something I first saw when volunteering with AIDS/LifeCycle 3 years ago. On that year’s ride (and every year since then) I met individuals who experienced the tragedy of losing a loved one to HIV/AIDS – just imagine for a moment how that would feel – and made the decision to honor that loss by giving their time and energy to this ride which saves and improves the lives of so many others still fighting this battle.
I can go on about this for hours, but no words will properly convey how it feels to personally witness the many acts of kindness that happen on this ride, knowing that they often originate from past sadness and yet have such a meaningful positive impact on someone who needs it here and now. It is this experience which has inspired me to keep applying myself in the service of others, getting involved in causes like Team in Training which I know have a real and positive impact on those affected by cancer.
Joe: Working with kiddos that have special needs and their parents inspires me every day. Things that you and I take for granted on a daily basis are a major event in their lives. Watching how strong they make me grateful to be able to be there to help guide them. Seeing how strong the parents of children with special needs are and how much they advocate for their children in getting them the care they need is truly inspiring to me.
What is your favorite Inspirational Quote?
“All young people regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential” Harvey Milk. I have many favorite quotes by Harvey Milk but I feel this quote still has so much relevance with today’s youth. We have come such a long way in creating an environment where LGBTQ youth can thrive but it’s also important that we remember the people like Milk that made it all possible.
How do you try to inspire others?
Aaron: I like to think that regularly putting my foot in my mouth inspires others to speak their mind because it really can’t get worse than whatever I just said.
Joe: Expressing a positive tone regarding something an individual may be interested in, and encouraging them to seek out their passion. I like to talk to people about their strengths and encourage them to put their strengths into action when it comes to something they have a great passion for.
One non-profit you support?
Aaron: That, and also Team in Training.
What is one easy thing you can do to change the world for good in the next 24 hours?
Aaron: Perform an act of kindness in support of someone who needs it. Something as small as listening to someone having a bad day, or as big as finding an opportunity to volunteer/fundraiser to benefit a community in need. I’ve come to learn that you yourself will get more out of the experience than you put into it.
Joe: To say something positive and motivating to each and everyone I come in contact with.
This Picture Makes Us feel HAPPY!
This picture makes us feel BEAUTIFUL!