Sarah Hyland has been through a lot — including a kidney transplant in 2012 and an allegedly abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend Matt Prokop. As the Modern Family star told Seventeen magazine, however, her hardships have only made her stronger.
“I was born with so many health issues that doctors told my mother I would never have a normal life. And she said, ‘You’re right, she won’t — but it won’t be because of her health,’” said Hyland, 24, who covers the magazine’s May 2015 issue. “When my mother told me that story, it resonated with me: If I can’t have an ordinary life, I might as well have an extraordinary one. If you set your mind to something, you’ll achieve it.”
The inspiring star, who was granted a restraining order after she claimed her boyfriend of five years physically and verbally abused her this past September, admitted that she’s also learned that happiness “comes from within.”
“I am happiest when I am doing something I love. And I love Modern Family — it’s the best job I’ve had in my 20 years as an actress. It didn’t come easily or fast or free: It took me 14 years to land a gig like this,” she explained. “When you’re feeling vulnerable, it can lead to doubt and second-guessing. It will steer you away from your goals and your happiness. Once you have a goal, keep moving forward — even if you’re taking baby steps!”
Hyland has been vocal in the past about overcoming her adversity. During an interview with Meredith Vieira, Hyland spoke out for the first time on being an victim of abuse. “There are two quotes that I want to say,” she said, without directly referencing her former boyfriend. “One is a Dylan Thomas poem: ‘Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light,’ which is one of my favorite poems. It just strikes a chord in me; and also Robert Frost: ‘The only way out is through.'”
Seventeen magazine’s May 2015 issue hits newsstands on April 21.
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