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Bedoor Bluemoon

Everyday writing to expose the soul

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Life Lessons

Life as a Fraud- Inferiority Complex

Fraud

inferiority-Complex.jpg

They say confidence is key.  Key to what, I wonder as I put on my beige dress.  Here I am getting ready to graduate at the top of my class from a great university and I still wonder how did I get here?  I never thought I was the sharpest tool in the box (is that how the saying goes?) and I never really did so great in school; and yet I got accepted in the state university on a full scholarship.  I remember joking with the counselor who insisted I apply for the scholarship telling me that I was a great student and all universities would love to have me.  I thought he was joking but I got nudged into it by my mom who held the camera as I played the violin.  I missed a few notes but didn’t feel like redoing the whole thing, so I sent in the tape with all the mistakes.

A few months later, I got the acceptance letter and felt ecstatic.  Scared, but happy.  Then my complex kicked in: am I as good as they think I am?  Am I really worth the money they’d be throwing away?

I walked around campus those four years trying to keep to myself most of the time but it was evident that things cannot go unnoticed.  My high grades got me on the honors roll and I was turned into one of the university teaching assistants and library buddy.  I was also playing the violin in university performances and was given awards for “best performance” and “Classical music guru”.  Yet I kept wondering what they see in me.  What can they see that I can’t?

When things go against my will, I understand.  I live in that unknown and thrive in knowing nobody is watching.  Then I excel, and everybody watches… and I start questioning.

Am I a fraud?  Am I an illusionist who has everyone scammed into believing I am made of something that I am not?

Then I look around, and see people who have accomplished less than I have, look half as good as I do, and are less talented but who are booming with confidence.  I choose to keep quiet in seminars, even though I know the answers before anyone raises their hand.  I try to live in the shadows of my doubt, to live behind those who are in their fuschia and turquoise dresses, screaming for attention.  I choose to stay in the shadows where only those who are looking for perfection would find me, could find me.  They would take me out, polish me a bit, and stand in awe at who I am.

And then, as I stand glistening in the sun, I will still wonder if I’m a real diamond… or a fraud.

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Scars and Stretch Marks

tattoo

Many people prefer to hide their scars and stretchmarks not keeping in mind that they make us who we are.  We are all born the same: an empty canvas which awaits what life brings upon us and which can be showcased to our grandchildren.  Yes, scars remind us of the times we learned and stretchmarks remind us of the times we grew.

Scars.

Physical scars from childhood reminding us not to take that route,  not to climb that tree, and not to play with those kids.  Physical scars from adulthood reminding us not to take that route (yes, again), not to forget the seat belt, and not to talk to that guy.  Emotional scars from childhood and during adulthood reminding us that best friends may change, boyfriends may cheat, and loved ones may die.  Scars that represent lessons in life, that tell a story of where we have been and where we once longed to be.  Scars tattooed all over our bodies and souls making us human.

Scars that cannot be covered.

And stretchmarks.  Representing the times we changed and grew: gaining weight after high school, losing weight when you realize that weight you gained was a bit too much, growing less confident, growing more confident, pregnancy and motherhood, changing what we believe, changing who we believe, changing who we are.  All those changes are changes to our skin and our minds.  Not accepting to change means that we are made out of stone and are no humans.  Not all change is evident but a simple change makes a big difference in our humanity.

 

I do not wish to hide my scars nor my stretchmarks.  On the contrary, I wish to show everyone all my wounds, to show how alike we are and how human we can be.  I accept the lessons in my life and thank the growth that they brought upon me: work less, love more, and be gentle.

Peace

Magnetic

meditation-aids-healing

You are a magnet to all the beautiful and good things in life.  Love, laughter, joy, money, success, are all being drawn to you.  You are powerful in yourself.  You have in you the power to heal yourself and others all through your mind.

You are powerful.

And I am powerful.

And the person sitting next to you at work is powerful.  And the person sitting in his house halfway across the globe is powerful too.  Every person is given the power to change and alter his universe through the meditation and mindfulness that places him in the now.  Meditation and mindfulness that turns us into magnets for the good that we want and hope for.

Meditation and mindfulness strong enough to gather all the strength of the universe in the center of your being, thereby pulling towards you all goodness found around, and releasing it to others in the form of love.

Loving kindness meditation, a Buddhist tradition, is when a person concentrates on sending love and kindness towards another.  We often find ourselves thinking of loved ones when we are away from them, so knowing that we can send them love is heartwarming.  Knowing that there is love being sent your way is heartwarming too, someone thinking of you and wishing you are well.

So if everyone is a magnet, and everyone can send and receive love, ideally we can get rid of all things bad around.  If love is in the air, literally, thoughts of love flying from one person to another, the world that is filled with hatred and discrimination and war must deteriorate.  If thoughts are our most powerful force, and humans are the most powerful vessel for such a force, we should be able to get rid of darkness through love.

Meditating and mindfulness, thoughts of love, loving kindness meditation, are all arms and tools we shouldn’t ignore when facing wars.

Because what can be more beautiful than forces of love towards a fellow human?

What do you wish for?  World peace.

Dignify our Elders

Dignify

image

When you think of old age, you either think of someone else or of a funny meme you saw online of an elder doing something funny or technology related which, in your opinion, is purely cute or basically obscene.  It is never that we think that we, one day, will be old in our age and will have to consider how the younger generation perceives us.

You see, how old you are in your mind varies from one person to the next.  I always saw myself as a late teenager/early twenties person.  My sister always perceived herself as she were, and a friend of mine saw herself as an older person.  (In Your Mind, How Old Are You?)

It is not a joke when you start having grey hair.  Thank you, mom, for the great genes (yaay).  It is also not a joke when you get diagnosed with high blood pressure, kidney stones, diabetes, heart conditions, and all the fun stuff that are pointing towards the way life is flying by.  This is not a post to make you seize the moment, by all means, carpedium all day.  This is a post for you to consider those elders in your lives and what they feel.

Their bodies are not as strong as they used to be.  Imagine how that would make you feel?  They can’t see as well, start losing a bit of hearing, and some start forgetting words.

No.  It’s not very dignified.

And we come in, all young and stupid acting like we know best.  Some have lived through wars, seen how life changes, lost loved ones and families, and yet we come in, all young and stupid acting like we know best.  Acting like our limited knowledge of how smart phones work gives us the power to know.

No.

It doesn’t.

Just because they ask us how to download their emails or they believe everything they see on social media doesn’t make them any less.  It makes them more.

They are pure in heart, pure in soul.  Lived longer and seen more.  Wiser, warmer, and much better than we ever will be.  And we will only know their worth when they are gone.

God bless our loved elders who still have patience in all our foolishness and childishness.

Dignify your elders and you will be dignified.

When on Vacation- Buy Lollipops

Lollipop

 

lollipop
I love traveling.  Who doesn’t, right?  There are many ways in which you can turn your travel experience to better or worse.  Obviously, you must research where you are going, what you’re going to do, and what your budget is.  Who you’re traveling with is very important too because you don’t want to end up stuck with that person you can’t handle for ten days straight, right?

Well, this is the first time I travel with both of my children.  One is three and a half years old and the other is almost a year old.  Things were great, I didn’t expect to have some alone time, nor did I expect to have any free time to shower but, all in all, we created good memories.

Things I learned in this trip could be written in a book but this is a post about lollipops.  Let’s go back to 2009 when I visited Scotland (swoon, sigh, and nostalgic music). I loved every second in Edinburgh and my husband and I would go to St. Giles cathedral and order from their great selection of tarts. I would walk by everyday and see these big pieces of fudge staring at me. I mean, they would look at me walk by, like the Mona Lisa, I tell you!  There was a specific light brown piece which would practically beg to be bought but I never did thinking I’d come back for it.

I never did. (Heartbreaking, tears flowing down my face)

Do you understand, I never did.  I never got that piece of fudge and since 2009 and I regret it everyday!  I never knew what it tasted like, never knew how it would or wouldn’t crumble on my tongue, and I would never know its flavor.

And why’s that? Because I postponed buying it until the day I would travel and to my surprise St. Giles was closed.

Fast forward to 2017. My husband and I were pushing our children in their strollers in the airport and my three year old passes by a big lollipop and says he wants it.

We were running late and my husband refused so we went on.  The light brown fudge popped into my mind and gave me a knowing look, I knew what I had to do.

I held my ground and told my husband that we must buy it or else (OK, not really, I just offered to pay for the overpriced candy) and he lovingly obliged.

We were very late, my husband was very angry, but I got my little boy his candy so it doesn’t haunt him (and me) for the next ten years.

When on vacation, buy your lollipop.

The Man Who Buried 

Bury

He was known to bury his feelings. A great actor with a greater teacher. A teacher who taught him that when you were born and cried, your mother wasn’t there to hold and comfort you, for she abandoned you. A teacher who taught him that being bounced from foster home to another only meant friends changing and never settling in. A teacher who taught him that he is not wanted, a dog when families required puppies. 
 So it went on… a child living everyday wishing it was his last and not feeling anything because, come to think of it, why would he want to feel anything?
So he buried a piece of himself.
When He turned 18, he was given the opportunity to leave the home and find his way in the world so his teacher encouraged him to do so, just to slam every door in his face. It was difficult to find a job, any job, so he looked some more. Persisted and chose to bury all feelings of disappointment when he was turned down at interviews. Until he found a job that required him to work night shifts moving truckloads of trash away from civilization.
So he drove all the way out every night, and buried a piece of him. 
His life got better: the orphan boy who could. Many people invited him to their homes, it was a way his teacher showed him what he never had growing up but he still looked with curiosity. He buried all feelings of longing and envy.
His teacher taught him that there is a person out there for you when he met his girlfriend, then he found out that things can only get better… just to get worse. So all he did was bury a relationship before it ever became anything.
He buried his hopes and dreams of a family when he buried his heart. 
The more he learned, the more he grew.

 The more he grew, the more he buried.

School Life is Imaginary

Imaginary

We all know that dreams occur when we’re fast asleep.  So when we are expected to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to get ready for school, some of our dreams are still lingering in our heads.  We manage to pull the energy to get dressed and, in good days, style our hair in a bun other than a high ponytail and we’re off to go.
Life, as we know it, exists within the school premises.  Life, all of life, is what we see, what we learn, who we hang out with, and on weekends, who we go out with.  We spend at least eight hours a day with our fellow classmates (and thus our BFFs forever!) and never reconsider another way of life.
Why is that?
Because it is very rare that social circles are beyond our school life.  We get to meet children from other schools when we play against them in our Junior Varsity and Varsity teams but it usually never advances to friendships.  We are mostly lazy, sticking with our childhood friends because we forgot how to make new friends and thus end up with that girl who just so happened to be sitting next to us in grade one.
How convenient.
Or if our parents are social butterflies, we befriend their children who, surprise surprise, probably go to our school as well because it’s “the best school there is.”
Then we get into groups.  People who like sports hang around with each other, people who play music, people who are technologically advanced, people who are technologically illiterate, cool kids, bad kids, popular kids, it’s all the same across schools and countries.  So you hate certain people, and like certain people.  And that’s the way it goes until the big day.
Graduation day.
You’ve been preparing all your life for this moment (this is probably the most used sentence in graduation speeches, alongside “we’ve done it”), and you’ve looked forward towards wearing that graduation gown and walking down the aisle.  You’ve discussed it a million times with your friends and were so anxious that you didn’t realize the car crash afterwards.  (sadly, a group of girls who graduated with me had a car crash but fortunately we didn’t lose anyone.)
The car crash called life.
Your close friends met your parents and so it’s no surprise when they meet them again in the ceremony.  It’s the other kids who turn all weird.  All of a sudden, that mean boy has parents.  Huh.  He has parents who kinda look like him and who, surprisingly, are very proud of his achievements even though they’re not so impressive.  BAM… Life…
A close friend decides to ignore you and concentrate on her family.  BAM… Life…
A girl who totally ignored you for the past five years comes up and takes a picture with you.  BAM… Life…
A guy who had a crush on you decides to introduce you to his mother who looks at you knowingly. BAM… Life…
People who didn’t really deserve the high achievement reward gets it and you wonder if there’s any foul play related.  BAM… Life…
And you walk in a haze… everything you once knew is completely gone.  Everything you thought was life is imaginary… everyone who walked on the school grounds suddenly is connected to people… It’s like a mind map of who knows who and who knows what and what money is being transferred to pull strings…
Then you realize, your college application could have gone through if only you had the money to “donate” and get into the amazing college of your dreams.  BAM… Life…
Life as you know it does not end within the school premises, life is what your parents have been trying to shelter you from because it’s a cruel cruel world for kids like you…
So be prepared to swim with the sharks, little fish.

First Impressions

Impression

impressions

First impressions are usually everlasting impressions.  When you meet someone for the first time, you immediately decide what kind of person he is, whether he is educated or not, what he does for a living, what his social status is, and other issues that brand the other person and place him in a specific box.  Other people, upon meeting you, also do the same thing even though we sometimes forget and try to stand by that people shouldn’t be labelled without knowing them.

Well, it’s a shallow world and people will see what you present to them.

When entering the workforce, newly graduated students are informed to wear a suit to your interview and make sure to go on time.  They are right, it makes a big difference in your employ-ability rating (how employable are you.)

Some issues cannot be changed such as if the person you are meeting generalizes all women into being soft or all people who graduate from a certain college to be smart.  Some generalizations may come to your advantage but you will never know which would fit your future boss.

So to make sure you are doing things the right way, at least in the perspective of many managers out there, make sure to follow these points when meeting someone for the first time, especially if you are going into a job interview.

1- Make sure you prepare for the interview in advance.  Read about the company you are going to and know the position you are applying for (you’d be surprised how many people aren’t sure).

2- Make sure you know the means you will use to get to your interview and what route you will be taking.  You don’t want the interview jitters to mix with traffic and a blank mind.

3- Print your CV and use a sheet protector to protect it.  Make sure to keep an extra copy just in case there might be more than one person interviewing you.

4- Arrange what you will be wearing in advance.  Give yourself a chance to go buy something just in case.  Choose what you will wear wisely.  This is very important, your clothes should fit you correctly, you need to make sure that your outfit is ironed, and you shouldn’t be running around last minutes looking for your other pair of shoes.

5- Read and review your CV.  Yes you may have just written it but you might not remember all points listed.  You do not want to be in a situation where the person interviewing you is asking when you graduated and you mix up your dates.  This puts a big question mark on who actually wrote your CV which makes you an unreliable candidate.

6- Make sure that you get a good night sleep.  You need to be fully rested.  So ignore Netflix and get yourself into bed.

7- On the day of the interview, do something that relaxes you spiritually.  You may choose to pray or meditate or call your mother for support.  Do something that would give you an extra boost of confidence.

8- Make sure you care for your hygiene.  Take a shower, use deodorant, brush your teeth, wipe your shoes, and put some – not overwhelming, perfume.  Do not smoke before your interview, they can smell it on you and it’s not pleasant.

9- Get there at least 15 minutes before the interview.  Give yourself some time to relax and get acquainted to your surroundings.  When walking in, pay attention to the surroundings, they might give you some information about the company and how it functions

10- When your name is called, breathe, stand up straight, and with confidence walk into the room.  Knock on the door, smile to the person you see, and go for a good handshake.  In some cultures, males and females are not supposed to have any physical interactions so make sure you know the culture you are in too.

11- Sit when requested and look the part

12- Answer genuinely.  Honesty is the best policy.  Talk clearly and maintain eye contact.  When you don’t know the answer to a question simply say that you don’t.  It’s alright.

13-  When given the chance, try to talk about your accomplishments as objectively as possible.  You are simply stating facts so there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

14- Show your interest in what the interviewer is saying.  You need to listen attentively and respond accordingly.  THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO DAYDREAM!!

15- At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer and if you are not told what the next step would be, ask politely.  One way would be, “would I be getting a call in either case of acceptance or rejection?”

16- Breathe: you can now daydream, take off your tie, get into your slacks, forget to shower, and simply be you.

Good  luck 🙂

Taking Control- Who’s Pulling Your Strings?

strings

Control

We like to think that we have “everything under control” and that the time spent doing things not on the top of our priority list is an actual choice we made.  Ha!  Wake up and smell the coffee.  Who is really pulling your strings?

Values and preconceptions have been embedded in out minds from a young age and seldom do we question their validity.  We do not question why our parents raised us a certain way and why they enrolled us in a certain school.  We take it as a given that they were and always will be looking out for our best interests.  Now let’s assume that somebody’s parents were selfish people who couldn’t care less what he did in school and who he’s hanging around with.  Does it mean that the strings they are supposed to hang on to and care for get thrown down for anyone to pick up?  Yes, that’s precisely what it means.

If parents are not there to “pull their children’s strings” before the children are all grown up and can pull their own strings, someone bigger and probably not wiser will be more than happy to control them.  Watch out for your kids.

Alright, back to you.  Now after we as children were being controlled by our parents’ values and limits, we quickly graduated to have the school teachers have some control.  This control doesn’t necessary mean it’s bad, on the contrary, it means that we still need some guidance before the time is right and we’re ready to fly from the best.-

The issue lies when we are introduced to a bigger circle.  Friends included in a bigger social circle, the society and its many different ideologies, sometimes religion and people who represent it, celebrities, people with big names, people with no names, your neighbor, your local milk man, anybody can hold your strings and control you when you least know it.  What can you do?  Don’t allow it.

Don’t allow anyone to take control.  Hold your own strings and stand your ground in regards to your beliefs.  You may be surprised that one day you will turn from being the puppet to being the puppet master.

Influence, do not let people influence you

Lead, do not be satisfied with being led.

Make your own mark, find your own voice, and speak.  Believe in yourself: you are your number one everything.  Do not allow yourself to be controlled

Control, who’s really holding your strings?

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