My name is Daniela, I'm 30 years old. I live in a small town in Portugal. My mom raised me alone and with a lot of financial struggle. So when I went to college I asked for financial aid, and I was granted 48€ per month which wasn't even enough to eat. I then asked for a 15 000 € student loan, which with interest ended up being over 21 000€.
I graduated in 2010 in business management and soon after started to pay my loans every month. At the time, Portugal unemployment rate was very high and I was quickly part of those statistics. Things got a lot worse very soon, when my mom got sick. For the first few years we didn't know what she had. She was tired all the time and was doing a lot of tests all the time to figure out what she had. That made her tired even more. At this point I was helping out with her small flower shop. Later on I took over completely, because with health issues she couldn't work. In 2014, my mom's health deteriorated very quickly and she passed away in October. It was only when she died that doctors told me that she had a liver autoimmune disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis.
I was devastated. It was always just us two. She was my mother and my best friend. I wanted to die with her. Some how, I needed to go on. The little savings we had, were gone with my mom's health issues and the business had suffered too because we spent so much time away in the hospital. I had a lot of bills to pay. Since I couldn't find a job in my area, so I kept the flower shop running. In such a small town the business was dying, so I worked part time in some places to make ends meet and also counted with the help of some friends through my ongoing depression.
Nowadays it's still hard for me to find a job in my area, I guess I missed my market queue. I would like to go back to school, but I this time it's financially impossible. Also I don't want to add up to my student loan, it's hard enough as it is. I still have the flower shop open, so I work two jobs but it's still not enough to turn my life around. The way I see it, the first thing I need to do is finish with my student loan, because it is draining most of my money every month. I also need to improve myself to get a better job.
I need to improve my life, to turn my life around, maybe even have a family of my own.
That's what my mom would have wanted.
Here you can see some of my work as a florist here: