A letter to my older-self: age well

They don’t have all the answers, but at least there are certain things that they know better”.

In my culture,  we are taught from childhood to respect our elders, for they are great sources of wisdom. As I grew older, I came to understand that even more. (I am a lovely woman who is between 20 to 30 years old, hehe).

Since I live alone abroad, I don’t have any family members I can interact directly with as much as I wished. Lately, I had the idea to search on Youtube for influencers who were 60 years old and above. I am usually brilliant (I don’t mean to boast) but that was one of the best ideas that ever came to my mind. I highly recommended it, especially if you’re a long-term planner like me. Who can give us better heads up about life than those who lived a little longer?

Of course, young people have fresher ideas that are more up to date with their times, and old people don’t always have it all figured out. Some of them might have even failed us or didn’t leave a good exemple. In any case, I like learning from whoever I can learn something good from, be they young or old. Kids are innocent, youngsters are passionate and  innovative, and older people have experience.

On the other hand, I made myself a little chart summarizing certain things I observed about life. They might not be completely accurate, but I found them interesting.

0- 25~30 years old: the time needed to learn about life as much as you can (theorical and practical knowledge) and prepare for adulthood . Trial and error are still allowed somehow and more easily forgivable.

30-60 years old : time to implement what you learnt and work to save money to prepare for your retirement. Try to avoid major life mistakes. If you mess up too big, you’re screwed cause you have less lifetime to turn things around (depending on what you got yourself entangled into).

60- 100 ~ deathday: time to start thinking about how you’ve lived so far, and to try to making up for some mistakes you’ve made. The body starts failing more around this age and it makes you more conscious that you won’t be on earth forever.

Yes, I am that atypical young lady who says we should listen to our parents. I still remember two good advices mine gave me,which saved me a lot of headaches.

First: do not fall for just any guy who tells you you’re beautiful and that he likes you.

Second: Never get tired of doing good to those around you. Your kindness will come back to you, one way or the other.

Mom, Dad, thanks for those heads-up. I haven’t been on Earth for so long, but I’ve lived long enough to experience how accurate those tips are…

By the way; a common mistake we make as young people is to think that we won’t grow old.

One of the worst days of my life was when I  woke up one morning, went to the bathroom and got the shock of my life when I looked into the mirror. “Who is this?

My reflection looked so mature that I thought I had seen a stranger. I wondered if that face was due to lack of sleep, or if my skin lacked hydration. The following days, I tried to sleep better, and I also got some face creams. But… it was in vain.

Then, when I got on the bus or walked on the streets, I started paying more attention to older people. Skin spots, cracks, wrinkles, I discreetly observed a lot. That’s when I understood what was happening to me. “I see… so, this is what it means to start growing old…”. I was shocked, and angry as well (not towards anybody in particular…) because I wasn’t prepared for this.

In regard to this week’s meditation, I felt inspired to write a letter directed to my older self. I should check it when I turn 60, haha.

Zaragoza, 19th March 2021.

Dear older me,  

If humans are said to live up to about 100 years, I am about a quarter far on the road of life. I am still young, yet my eyes have seen and understood more things than the peers of my age who are still innocently carefree, merry and jolly. I grew up being the youngest  in most of the social circles I belonged to. Thus, I have had the privilege to learn from their stories instead of having to go through certain experiences myself. I learn from older people as much as I can whenever I have a chance,  I hope it’ll help me avoid unnecessary  mistakes and pave a softer way to make my future life better. What better way is there than to listen to advice from someone who has walked on earth longer than I and seen more things than I will ever catch up to? Of course, they aren’t always right and don’t have all the answers, but what they have to say does make the life of us youngsters better. If only we cared to take heed. Sadly, On the other hand, the elderly’s health gets weaker and weaker, sometimes preventing them from teaching as much as they wished. Also,  youth is blinded by passion and vigor,  and they think they can take on and conquer the world based on that alone.

I have a young body, but the heart of an old lady. It sometimes makes me stand out among my peers, and my sermonings makes them uncomfortable at times. I either sound too known or too holier-than thou.Yet, I do not regret at all, and I cherish my way of life. It is not my aim to sound lofty. I simply desire to have answers, to know the way, and to gain wisdom. That is the best way to live comfortably here on this earth.

I don’t have great ambitions. I simply wish to live comfortably, and help those in needs, within my possibilities.

By the way; it seems that the romantic quest finding a life partner and the professional endeavour to secure a stable job to make a decent living is what keeps us young people busy and gives us purpose. Now that you’re 60, you’ve probably achieved those, or given up. In any case, what are you focusing on? What is driving you through the days? I hope you’ve not falling to the excuse that you’re old and can’t do much. I hope you’re still living to the fullest and staying active. I’m sure there are still things you can do.

So tell me, dear old me; With all the lessons I learnt through the years, are you living a better life? Have you achieved your goals? What stage of your life have you reached? And this one is to make fun of you: how is your frantic and ferocious battle against wrinkles going?

I’m sometimes scared about how I’ll look when I grow old and my body starts to decay. But, for the sake of my own peace- and yours, I have reached a certain level of acceptance; there’s nothing we can do about the passing of time. And also, I want to stop worrying about what hasn’t happened yet. Ever more, lately I’ve been seeing a lot of beautiful older women, and it reassured me that even though our body changes, one can look good at any age. I was greatly encouraged.

Therefore, I’ve decided to not be afraid of aging and live in anxiety, worried about how I’ll look when I grow old. I’ve resolved to be confident about myself and look my best no matter what age I reach. I’ll grow to be a cute, delight-looking granny. So, I’ll take care of our body, keep fit and eat healthy.

I’m not in a hurry to meet you… But see you in some few decades.

Warm regards,

Your younger self.”

This marks the end of today’s post. What are some of the good pieces of advice that have marked you? Do you think the gap between generations is an obstacle or a blessing?

And if you’re facing the same worries as me, I hope this post brought you a little comfort.

Forever overthinking,

Nuna Blomevi.

To love… or not to love: how much of myself do I invest in others?

Happy couple, happy family. Happy family, happy society. Happy society, happy world! 

Rewind… First of all, how do we get to the happy couple stage? 

Backstory: I was comparing today’s pre-marriage processes with how it was done in other eras. People of the past used to investigate and carefully select the family of the bride or the groom before choosing a spouse for their children. Education, heath, values, and morals, they checked every detail they deemed necessary. They knew well that every individual comes with their own background, and what they bring with them affects marriage life and even their future children.

Nowadays, people choose based on “tingles in the chest” or “heartthrobs”. Anecdotally, I’ve heard in a K-drama that it takes only 3 secs to fall in love. Well, it’s possible. However, for a relationship to last, it will take more than just butterflies in your stomach. 

 1- Love: From us to others

 At first, dating was a “preliminary process” where lovers met for different activities to know each other better. In modern times, falling in love seems to not be the only reason why couples are formed.

The original purpose seems to be disappearing. People look more focused on choosing a person they deem cool to hang out with, share meals, exchange gifts, have fun and entertain themselves. 

Peer pressure in schools sometimes pushes young people to date because it’s “ trendy” and they don’t want to be the odd one out. It’s “cool” to have a boyfriend/girlfriend, a.k.a “your special person that is special to you and that treats you specially as well. You don’t have one? Bummer”.

On the other hand, society teaches us how to impress others by looking good, kissing good and developing our attractiveness etc… But…  it hardly teaches how to genuinely care.

One time, I heard an interesting reflection that has left me quite impacted. It tells about how we make our list of requirements: how we want them to look like, what we expect them to do for us etc… It’s not a bad thing. Nonetheless; as we set the bar so high for others… What do we have to offer them?

That hit me… I immediately reexamined my standards. I resolved to improve daily as a person, in accordance with the qualities I would ideally like to receive.

Why are you attracted to the person you like? Is it a “heart tingle”, “butterflies”, “trend”? Or are you genuinely in love with them, and you want to be by their side to make them happy? Introspect in your heart and check your motives… 

2- Love: From others  to us

Humans beings are complex and constantly changing. There is no fixed formula to handle social relations, and there is no way to fully grasp who a person really is. Your loved one may try to “fix themselves” for you; however, their nature might be stronger and more unmoveable than you think. Old habits die hard. Make sure that at least the majority of what you perceive or know about them is not fake.

When you allow somebody in your life, you are investing your time, your body, your mind, your heart, YOURSELF. Be sure that the person receiving is worth it. Enquire about everything you WANT to know and NEED to know about them. Check what you’re getting yourself into, and ask yourself: “Can I bear with this for the rest of my life?”

Anytime you see something that you consider a red alert, don’t ignore the signs. It might come back to bite you later. Love with your eyes open! Don’t lose yourself to someone else. You’ve got only one life to live, so take care of yourself and choose what’s good for you. What is healthy for your body and your mind.

In a nutshell… Love yourself, and also love others. Loving oneself is different from being selfish, and loving others doesn’t mean they should prosper at the cost of you. It’s all about balance.

Also remember: Love is not a feeling, it is a decision.

Happy Valentine’s day!

Forever overthinking and forever meditating,

Nuna Blomevi.

The enchantment of Storytelling: A magic charm to move hearts

The links to the resources mentioned in this post are available at the end of the page.

Some stories are born when someone sincerely pours his/her heart out, and some others are craftfully edited to manipulate.

Some months ago, as I was on the job hunt, I made some peculiar findings. I was looking for vacancies related to translation, content writing and copywriting. Then I came across an interesting term called “storytelling”. Let’s look at it from these two aspects: its use and its purpose as well as its functions.

1- Use

In a certain way, it is a writing technique used to make a story sound sensational and more stirring than it originally is (or should be). With a great dose  of embellishment and a touch of exaggeration, the purpose is that the said narrative should be able to shake the most unmovable rocky heart.

Fine! That’s great stuff. I should apply it to my novels to make them more exciting”, I said to myself. I did some further research to know more about the methods applied. In the course of that, I discovered that not everyone has candid goals as I do. I somewhat knew that storytelling is utilized a lot in marketing and advertising (if you noticed, some ads just don’t make any sense); however, I was horrified to learn that it is widely used in politics to create effective electoral campaigns. My excitement immediately melted away like butter. Funny enough, the opposite word for “story” is “truth”…

This is dangerous”, I thought. “If we fall for a well-written scenario and we vote for its candidate, we might actually put that person into power based on a convincing show.” No wonder the world is at it is. If the candidate is a good person, what a relief. If not, the country is doomed…

People are not people… It’s recommended to not believe everything that we hear or that we think we see. We don’t know what happens inside their homes, in their private lives. We only see what TV and the Internet grace us with. And if they are corrupt but powerful enough to cover things up, we might only get to find out about their evil deeds a hundred years later when journalists record a documentary about it (or reveal the innocent ones who had been framed.) . Some writers and movie producers also try to warn us through books, series and TV shows when they cannot warn us directly. One of my favorite quotes is from Virginia Woolf: “Fiction here is likely to contain more truth than fact”. It represents so well the main characteristic of our modern era, where it’s hard to distinguish genuineness from manipulation. Our world’s characteristic has always been “a bit of truth, a bit of fiction”. It’s hard to tell what’s what.

The laws that rule our countries and daily lives are passed by a small group of people in a small room, and they come out to tell us what was decided. The only power that we have is to choose who goes inside that small room (for those who don’t live under a dictatorship, of course). We elect them after meticulously scanning their words, lives and portfolios through their campaigns and speeches. We put faith in their promises, hoping they’ll improve our countries and therefore make our lives better. Electoral campaigns have now become like courtship between lovers: “If you marry me, I promise I’ll make you happy. I will never make you cry.”(Well, experienced people know that nothing is more unsure).

Frankly speaking, we can’t really choose wisely even if we’d like to. It would be convenient if there could exist an instrument to measure sincerity… A sincerometer? (Goodness… I said that word randomly, but I googled and it does exist, though that machine hasn’t been invented yet).

2- Purpose and functions

The main intent for storytelling is to exert an influence on and / or to suscite a certain reaction in the reader (interestingly, the word “influence” etymologically means a power or a flow that can change someone’s behaviour or destiny). Of course, there are other goals as well. Let’s look at each one.

  • On this earth, human beings are not eternal. Be it through literature, music or graphic art, we pass down the legacy of our lives from generation to generation. Coming to think of it, we are able to create a certain sense or eternity by remaining in history.

Remembrance. It might be faint in comparison, but it is the ultimate form of immortality that we humans have reached. When we pass away, we will not be present to witness how well-remembered we are or if we are not forgotten. Nonetheless, we don’t want to leave this earth without at least having the comforting feeling that someone we left behind will think about. As many people as possible, the better. It’s one of the reasons why we perpetuate stories. And the best of all the stories we leave behind is the story of how we lived.

  • Another reason is that we tell stories to leave traces of things we cannot or do not want to say openly.
  • Lastly, elaborate brainpowers use stories to subtly change people’s minds. While some have good intentions, some of them can be dangerous…  I was reminded of Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf”. We all know the disastrous consequences that it provoked. Just the thought of it made me shiver… And wonder: did he change people’s minds, or did his writings make stronger the secret convictions they already had in their hearts unconsciously? Both he and his followers had the firm conviction that they were in the right, even though their beliefs brought a bloodshed. Ironically, when I searched the book on Google just this week, 80% of those who read it like it… which implies that after all that happened, there are still people who agree with him today. 80%… By the way, why is his book still being sold freely up till now?

That is how powerful someone’s influence can be. On how many occasions did we change opinions because TV or social media said so? Or buy something we didn’t plan to? Or come to like / dislike something we didn’t before?

Even more, we are thinking creatures and talking creatures, so it is impossible to live in society without exchanging points of view with others. Our convictions are made or broken everyday. Emotions and intentions are invisible forces imprinted in all that we see, hear, or what we say or do. And they hold a tremendous power of influence.  Our bodies are static, but thoughts and ideas are dynamic and constantly shifting, causing societies to mutate. And the more powerful someone is, the more their opinion prevails over the rest and leads them to dominate other people.

In previous centuries, we used to complain that we were subject to obscurantism and we fought hard to break free. Nowadays, artificial intelligence, advertisements and algorithms dominate our lives and dictate our behaviour. Probably, it’s just the methods that are different…

Leaving the socio-political scene and coming back to literature , I am personally not fond of works that contain a lot of gore, violence or nudity, both as a reader and now as an author myself. The amusing detail is that they are usually classified as “adult content” (seems to imply human nature gets worse as we grow old).  I’m not criticizing preferences here, but only expressing opinions.

Whether it is from sincerity or manipulation, no text is effectless. Like little magic spells, they will suscitate either hate or admiration (just to name a few emotions). Be careful of what you set your eyes on, and what you expose your heart to. And if you write, may your works bring good influence unto humanity. As an aspiring writer myself, I feel the weight of that responsibility. I hope my writings bring out good.

Forever overthinking, forever meditating,

Nuna Blomevi.

Storytelling

1- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storytelling  some of its purposes: Using narrative to manage conflicts/ Using narrative to interpret the past and shape the future/ Using narrative in the reasoning process

2- https://vilmanunez.com/que-es-storytelling/

3- 4 P’s of Storytelling: People, Place, Plot and Purpose. https://vimeo.com/blog/post/storytelling-the-stillmotion-way-part-1/

4-https://www.harvardbusiness.org/insight/telling-stories-how-leaders-can-influence-teach-and-inspire/

Commentary on Virginia Woolf, “A Room of One’s Own”.

1-  https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/roomofonesown/themes/

2-https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/811265-at-any-rate-when-a-subject-is-highly-controversial

Age of enlightenment vs obscurantism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

Etymology and origins of the word ‘influence”

1- https://www.universalis.fr/encyclopedie/influence/

2- https://dicocitations.lemonde.fr/definition_littre/14523/Influence.php

3- https://www.etymonline.com/word/influence

A Grinchy Christmas: overcoming loss and celebrating life again

A sweet and sour post, specially dedicated to lonely souls.

18/12/2020, a life recap.

As I was walking on the street today, I stopped at a traffic light to cross the road. I raised my head and looked around. Crowded shops, busy people, our town was bubbling. The queues waiting to enter stores or restaurants were endless. Pandemic or not, life must go on, it seems. I thought people might find it difficult to celebrate 2020’s festivities. Due to the Covid-19, we’re all a bit grinchy this year, but I guess human beings are good at adapting.

This year I really thought hard about how to celebrate Christmas. It’s not the first time I’ll be alone, but this year the feeling is different. I am ready for it.

When I looked at the happy people on the street, I thought: “Christmas is supposed to be a happy occasion, but it’s not always the case for everyone. There are some people somewhere who aren’t going through their best moment right now”.

Christmas celebrations made me reflect on the stages of life; it took me some years back.

When I was a kid, I really enjoyed the end-of-year celebrations. The gifts, the food, the cozy home atmosphere… Just like any child, I totally loved it. That’s the magic Christmas has, that special time of the year that we spend with the ones we love the most. A sacred period. It’s our society’s designated time to cut our hectic world some slack.

Well, it’s not exactly true every year. I remember, after that peaceful period of my childhood years, my family faced a stormy period due to one of our members’ serious illness. Then, the following end-of years, we faced death, the parting of a loved one. I was just a teen back then…

That’s when my feelings towards Christmas changed. “Arrrgh… It’s this time of the year, again. I hate Christmas so much! And all the new year festivities or what not. I wished the year would end quickly.” Hearing carols got on my nerves and decorations made my eyes itch. The allergy was severe…. I put extra effort in hiding in my room until the Christmas season was over and people stopped bothering me with their celebrations.

Many years have gone by, and our mourning has passed. We will never forget the hard memories, nor forget those who left us to a better world. Nonetheless, our hearts have healed since and we are stronger to continue the journey of life. After the tears, the living must go on living, they say.

Because of those past wounds, I always have on my mind people who have time during the Christmas season and New year. Whether it’s sickness, death, or any other difficult circumstance, my heart goes to them. Like a magic spark that flies in the wind, I hope my thoughts and sympathy can reach them. Like in cartoons, let us all gather some warmth and transmit it to them in these days, so that they receive the strength to make it through and come out victorious and stronger. Yes, the nightmare will end. Let’s say a prayer and light a candle for them. I’m sure people did it for my family too.

Back then, I cried so much that it felt like I was shedding tears of blood. I cried till my lacrimal glands emptied; my eyes got so stiff from the dryness. In those days, when people used to tell me that tomorrow would be a better day and that my tears would dry up one day, I was too torn to believe it. “Yeah, right. They’re just saying whatever to comfort me.” I hurt so much that I thought I would die too. When the pain pierces your heart through and through, it’s hard to believe.

Now I believe it. And I am more mature to smile at the future, no matter what happens.

I have survived my painful past, and I have grown into a beautiful adult. And now, I like Christmas again. Today, I was jumping on the streets like a deer, going from shop to shop and my eyes enlarged, all frenzy looking at the items. Gosh, everything was so nice and the stores smelled so good (I went to buy cosmetics). Oh, the divine fragrances! My lungs were so blessed today. Every woman has a shopping weakness; mine is expensive perfumes or similar scented products, aka exotic shower gels, shampoos, detergents or hand washes. (I bought three different hand washes today…)

Truthfully, as an expat living alone abroad, away from all family, I dread this year’s celebration a bit. (Last year I was sick with a bad flu so I wasn’t really in the state to worry about parties…). In past years it was harder, but I’m getting used to it now and I think I can pull it off. I used to get invited by friends to join their family celebrations, or  I “located” other friends who live alone like me and organize joint celebrations. This year I’ll skip. I’m in a “Home Alone” mood. I just feel like staying home. I’m going to break that everlasting law that says that we have to be agglutinated for Christmas. I just want good food this year…

Plot twist: I got invited by some friends last minute, and I couldn’t resist, Haha… I’ll be home alone only on the 24th on Christmas eve…

I’m planning to pamper me and spend lavishly on getting myself good food and nice gifts. I didn’t feel like decorating this year, so my house is as bare as it’s been all year long. I wanted to buy a little Christmas tree but I got lazy. I’m a foodie, so I’m going to invest in that instead. (There’s a particular Japanese menu that I’ve been targeting for these past weeks). There’s no issue in life that good food doesn’t solve.

I’m already planning the menu. I got inspired by Korean Mukbang videos on Youtube, so I’m thinking of organizing a virtual dinner with my family back in my country. (We did it for my birthday and it was great).

I guess I’m giving alternatives/  ideas to people who’ll be spending Christmas alone like me. I hope they are helpful. Hang in there. All depression,shoo! Be gone! Haha. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.

Will I hate Christmas again in the future? I don’t know. If you love Christmas, I can relate with you. If you don’t love Christmas, I also relate with you. I have come to learn that it is not a celebration with a fixed pattern based on the sparkly, merry, ideal image that society has drawn for us. Christmas is different every year. Christmas is what you make of it personally. Your Christmas is you.

Others may be unaware of what you are going through, or they may be pushing you to celebrate as a way to forget your loss. Your Christmas doesn’t have to be happy because theirs is. Ride the tides, mourn, until you feel confident to smile again without having to fake it.

Bend, but do not break. Survive your loss, and let’s meet on the other side.

A grinchy Christmas to you!

Warm regards from a fellow life warrior. Forever overthinking, forever meditating,

Nuna Blomevi.

P.S.: I prepared a special song for you. Enjoy!💋

Fighting against the odds: compete with yourself and win

Today’s meditations led me to this topic: fighting against circumstances.

We all have something that holds us back or stops us from getting to where we want to be or achieving certain desired results.

Personally, I mentally listed all the characteristics that, in my environment and my context, might not be in my favor. The perspective looks sinister. “I am a foreigner living in another country. My skin color demarcates me from others on the spot. No matter what I do, I remain an alien. Even more, though I have learnt the local language and fully adapted to the local cultures, the absence of the corresponding legal documents makes me unrecognised as part of the natives. I will always be ‘the one who came from another place’.

I am from a very small nation that many here do not even know exist. I went to a great school in the land where I come from, but since my nation is not known, my Cum Laude degree does not count. My physical features, my foreign name, my age, they all stand against me on my CV. Where the natives have it hard to get a job, I have to make a triple effort with no guarantee of success. In spite of my academic achievements and professional experiences, I never get chosen. I rather get discriminated against and at occasions people look down on me. When I am wronged because of my origins, many at times I cannot say anything, again because I am not from here and do not have any power in this foreign land.”

It’s easy to drown in discouragement and accept failure. “That’s how things are. That’s how the world works”. Yes, I could say that. It’s true that certain things don’t change no matter how hard we try and bump our heads against the wall.

Still, I want to give life my best shot. When I die, I will close my eyes without regrets and know that I have done my best. In case I don’t make it, I will still be remembered as the one who did all she could. Or maybe, things will work out for me. Why not?

This year, I did all sorts of crazy stuff I never imagined I would do as the risk-free and  highly “will-it-work”,“take-your-time”, “are-you-sure”, “did-you-think-through” person that I am. I started a blog, started a business, created a YouTube channel. At the last minute, I went back on my decision to return to my country where I planned to live a comfortable life with my family. Instead, I recently submitted my candidacy as a student representative in my university.  Part of me is saying: “You must be out of your mind! What have you gotten yourself into?” while the other part says: “Well done! It will take time and effort, but it will work. You won’t regret it!”. Truthfully, there are days where I just want to silence both voices and quietly go on with my life. I don’t know how things will turn out, but I’m glad I did something noteworthy with my existence. It will remain a special memory.

I don’t know what your limitations are. I don’t know what wall you are facing. Tonight, I want to give someone a bit of courage as we all strive and work hard to walk through this life with our heads lifted. Little by little, with wisdom and of course, integrity, let’s break free from what holds us down, step by step, and walk towards achieving our dreams. Yes, you failed before and might fail again. Keep trying. Yes, nobody cheers for you. Encourage yourself.  (And let me tell you a secret: I also got some encouragement from above). God has his ways of bringing us support, as well as the positive words we need to hear. He shows us the right path to follow and roots for us everyday.

Think about that great person you admire or that celebrity you’re jealous of. Do you think they had nothing holding them back? I’m pretty sure they were in the same situation as you and me: the roundabout of “all or nothing”, the turning point of “make or break”. I wonder what fear they left behind and what small steps they took in the past that converted them into legends today.

Is something keeping you from moving forward? There are different ways of dealing with an obstacle: either you remove it, or if you can’t, you go around it. Or if it’s very big, you keep on knocking and scratching it until it crumbles down. Think outside of the box, or create your own. What can you do to make the best out of what you have, and use your circumstances to your advantage?

December is, for me, a key month that represents both a start and an end. At some few days to the closing of the year, what big decision will you take that will propel you to the next level? The access to your success is within your reach. Will you let life pass you by?

I hope you take your leap of faith.

Farewell and see you in my next post!

Nuna Blomevi.

A Journey to Self-Discovery

a.k.a: A tale of Introspection

What happens when you don’t like being you?

(……)

The question may sound brutal, but it’s a good occasion for a reality check. Some of us don’t like who we are, and we turn to others to define us. Meanwhile, they don’t know themselves either, and what they let you see is a poor version they’ve put together from copying traits of other people.

Authenticity.

I never fully realized the importance of that term until now. 

During the Covid-19 quarantine I wrote a novel titled “Unescorted”. The story revolves around Tegan, a young adult who freshly graduated from high school and enrolled into university. The plot unfolds on how she adapts to her new life, and more importantly, how she tries to fit in and enlarge her social circle. Being an only child, her top goal is to find the ultimate best friend.

 It’s the first novel I’ve completed since I started writing. I had even uploaded the chapters here and on Wattpad. However, as I was editing, I wasn’t completely convinced so I took them down. It felt as if something was missing from the story, and a huge detail at that. What could it possibly be? I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Four months after I considered the story done, I went through a particular experience that made me realize what the novel was lacking: character. Maybe I should add that Tegan couldn’t blend in because, truthfully, she didn’t really like herself? 

Bam! I caught the revelation. I think this song expresses her feelings so well:

In my personal life, ever since I was little, I heard a lot that I was too different, too quirk. Personality-wise and creativity-wise, I couldn’t fit in the same box as other kids so I felt lonely. As I grew up, when I interacted with others, my thoughts were often way ahead of time. Some people were uncomfortable around me, some were intimidated. Some found me weird, and others, interesting; but afterwards, the “newish”, entertaining impression I gave them faded. My ideas were considered creative but too far-fetched or bizarre, and many at times they were tossed aside. I’ve been misrepresented and my words misinterpreted on various occasions. “That’s not who I am”, “That’s not what I meant”: I’ve felt the urge to explain myself many times. I began accepting that maybe, they were right and that there was something wrong with me. I didn’t know what to do with all that imagination I had inside me. I kept it to myself because I didn’t want to hear those distorted perceptions about me anymore. It caused me to create a façade, a patched-up personality made of “socially accepted traits” that would adhere to “other people’s standards”. I wouldn’t speak my mind even when I felt wronged, or I wouldn’t voice my opinion or ideas, because I’d seen too many times that people didn’t take them into consideration.This went on for years. 

However, one day I got to know a preacher and motivational speaker called Cindy Trimm. She often talks about how to live authentically and how to put the talents that God has given us to use. I can’t ever finish to describe the huge impact she had on me. I began to accept myself more and live more authentically without being “others-dependent”. I got a bit better, but recently went through a relapse due to certain interpersonal conflicts. They made me question myself again: “Why am I the way I am?”, “Why can’t I be more like others?”. 

Then, the recent experience I mentioned earlier made me realize this: “No matter how hard you try to fix yourself, you can’t get everybody to like you. Stop sabotaging yourself as if you’re the worst human being out there, when you’re not even a criminal. The others you consider so highly at your own expense also have flaws. Moreover, people have the right to like or dislike you; in the same way, you also have the right to like or dislike them”.

Of course, it’s wrong to be too self-centered or pompous. Besides, nobody is perfect, and it’s also important to be open to receive correction or learn from others. However, when you depend so much on external points of views that you’re not yourself anymore, then there’s a problem. There is a fine line between being open-minded and being too conscious of other people’s opinions, or between being a considerate person or a pushover.

It took me years to learn to know myself, my good points, my weak points, what I have to let go or what I have to improve. Nonetheless, I’ve decided to stop wasting time on that never-ending cycle of fixing and refixing myself to blend in. I’m going to put my talents to use and make a positive impact on this world. Keeping that in mind, in the years to come, I hope the future me will look back and tell me that I did a good job.

This makes me recall a great analogy I heard (though I can’t remember where exactly):  as far as social relations are concerned, we are like numbers on a dice. To some people, we are number one. To others, we are number six. Those numbers are different facets seen from different perspectives and circumstances. What I learnt from that metaphor: people’s opinions are extremely versatile, they change their minds as easily as sea waves crash on a shore.The important thing is not the numbers, but the dice. 

I hope that, just like in this last song, we find the answer we need and we make peace with ourselves.

What about you? Have you ever experienced a similar situation? How did you overcome it? Let me know in the comments below!💖

Now to end on a warmer note:😊

Fight Fear With Hope

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With a strong grip, it staked through my heart and wouldn’t let go. At that moment, I wished time would stop, and I wished it was my last breath. But no; as I opened my eyes, I realized that the nightmare was still there.

This week, all day long, I’ve kept on thinking about a powerful demon that has been loosed and is causing a rampage across the globe: fear. Spreading with poisonous news, invisible yet loud, it has left many sick and defenseless. Its roar is raging across the planet and an unquenchable fire is consuming the earth.

Tonight, I woke up as a another victim of this plague that is toying with our feelings and is enjoying seeing us helpless, drowning in uncertainties. We all have different reasons why fear is being fueled in our lives. Fear of the pandemic, fear of tomorrow, fear of the dark, fear of the bills, fear that your loved one will leave you… Be it secretly or openly, we’re all afraid of something, aren’t we? And just like everyone around me, I am looking for a solution.

What do you do when fear grips you? How do you keep your cool and keep going forward?

I don’t have an extraordinary solution that would work like magic. Nonetheless, I believe it is high time for us to embrace each other and rekindle our solidary bounds. Fortify those who are sinking and have lost confidence, those who have surrendered and think that they won’t be able to make it.

Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com

You might have what somebody needs. We need to lend each other a comforting shoulder, a warm meal or an encouraging word. They don’t cost much, yet they are extremely powerful weapons. Life would be so much bearable if we all had someone to rely on, so let’s start a domino effect by being ready to help in whatever way we can. Are we going to selfishly hide in our houses, waiting for the plague to go away and for the world to end, or are we going to initiate the change we want to see in our communities? Don’t wait for others to start, just begin and the rest will join. Change doesn’t necessarily spark with a large scale project; small gestures towards our neighbours may have a bigger effect than we think. Your smile and positive attitude might change someone’s life.

Without a doubt, this truth is crucial:

HOPE MUST NEVER DIE.

It is the most important conclusion I have come to, and it is what is keeping me going. As the emergency alarm has been ringing loud for so many months now, let’s stand strong and not lose ourselves. There will be a better tomorrow, the sun will shine again, and the dark clouds will dissipate.

With love,

A letter from a human to another human.

 #CornerTheTalkingBrain #NunaBlomevi #FightFearWithHope

HOW TO BE JOBLESS AND NOT GO CRAZY

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   Special: “Post- Covid 19”

A little post to encourage each other on the rough path of life

We’ve all received these unpleasant notices many times: “We’re sorry, but we cannot accept your application”, or “your CV has been rejected.” So many other circumstances may occur: maybe you didn’t get into the college you wanted, or you’re a stay home parent and you don’t feel valued, or you bombed your exams and have to start all over again, or you’re a full age adult and you don’t have the means to be financially independent…

Whatever the reason you were given – or not-  about your rejection, (lack of qualification, lay-off, sickness; or, due to Covid-19 etc), you find yourself without a job -or maybe you lost your business. It possibly led to a dire economic situation, and you have to rely on aids from the government, family or from charity… which is hard to swallow and takes a toll on your pride and self-esteem.

After getting rejected time and time again, you’re home, worried about the future and what is going to happen to you. How to pay bills, debts, how to raise your kids (if you’re a parent) etc.

The most spread issues of our modern era seem to be “stress” and “fear about the future” . Especially in this post-pandemic aftermath, many people have fallen into anxiety, worry and despair. What to do when things look dim and problems seem to have no end?

  • Do not lose hope

Remember that no matter how hard the situation is, it will only last a season. Light will come, and you will see the end of the tunnel. Don’t forget: do not lose yourself. If not… you would have really lost everything. Take the time to mourn and let out your feelings, but get back on your feet and fight back! You will have beauty from ashes! We humans have a fantastic adaptation capacity. Things will get better. Keep looking, keep trying, there is always a solution!

  • Use your free time to build yourself and discover your inner resources

Was there something that you’ve ever wanted to accomplish (even though it might not be professionally related)? Maybe you’re an excellent cook, or you like painting, writing or doing music. If you have access to Internet, look for free online courses available in any fields you’ve always been curious about, or watch tutorials. Maybe you could even volunteer in helping other people in need, if your situation allows it. You never know what you’re capable of achieving until you get to a decisive moment.

 The point is, it is important not to sit at home recriminating or embracing negativity. Avoid indulging into self-pity, self-blame, (or taking it out on people around you) and do not waste time on trying to find what could have possibly gone wrong. Avoid thoughts like “I don’t amount to much”, “I can’t make it in life” or “I don’t know anymore”. Rather find something positive to focus your mind on while your professional situation gets resolved. It will save you from getting depressed or falling into addictions or vices that may seem like tempting ways of escape but may prove to be snare that will worsen things (alcohol, drugs or gambling).

Whatever your case may be, do not give up. There’s always something to do!

  • Not getting your dream job or not working in your field? Find other alternatives

It’s not always that you will find a job that is completely related to what you studied in school. Moreover, many courses can lead to various options: if you studied languages for example, you can choose between become a teacher, a translator or an editor. If you come accross an legal opportunity that offers you good working conditions and pays well, why not give it a try until you find something you’d prefer?

  •  Think outside of the box

Try to make use of the ressources availables. Make something out of what you’ve got, even if it seems little. Remember that the nice company you’d like to work at was also founded by someone who had an idea, decided to implement it and created something where there seemed to be nothing. 

Be careful, though, to avoid shady opportunities or risky business ventures that may cause more jeopardy.

  • Do not live beyond your means

You don’t have enough money to get those delicacies you like, or those high-quality products you’re fond of? 

Focus your budget on settling urgents bills and needs. Get cheaper products. When your situation gets more stable, maybe then you can grant yourself a little gift. For the moment, priorities are priorities, and first things first!

  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help

Always remember that you are not alone. When things get too hard to bear, don’t hesitate to reach out to others – friends, relatives, or professional counselling- and share your burden. Don’t give up.

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