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Bedoor Bluemoon

Everyday writing to expose the soul

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learning

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.

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.

Wabi Sabi: The Beauty of Imperfection

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They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when many eyes are watching you, the definition of beauty changes from one person to the next.  Nowadays, we are being watched and judged by the way we look, how we present ourselves, and who we know.  When society provides us with the mold we should abide by, what is our net worth as individuals?

With the advancements in medicine and technology, we could be faced with the choice of having a genetically enhanced designer baby free of ailments and closer to perfection than we ever will be.  (Ted talks: Paul Knoepfler: The ethical dilemma of designer babies – TED.com)  My question is, however, what kind of life would a designer baby have?  A child, and later on an adult, who can do things easily, doesn’t feel the need for competition because he/she is the best anyway, looks amazing, and doesn’t have to put up with acne, lives an empty life.  Some people might say that yes, this is the life they want for their child and why not give them a step up in life while they can?  If I had to choose, I’d rather not.

We meet people who have great skin, who have great hair, and who are more talented than we ever dream to be but it does not make us any less.  In a life filled with perfect people there will be nothing to do.  No feelings to feel, no issues to solve, and the easy life will be boring.

An empty life.

Beauty in life comes from our imperfections.  Our uniqueness makes us who we are.  Our different levels of talent, our different skill set, our different backgrounds, merge to an ocean of possibilities.  Possibilities of meeting the right person, making friends, fighting with someone who doesn’t believe in what we do.  Differences in people are what makes life what it it.

A life that is meant to be lived.

Heartbreaks make the heart beat stronger… scars make us who we are.  Subjecting ourselves to the confusion of not knowing, of searching in the oblivion for a clue as to who we are and what is our purpose in life gives life meaning.

Our learning curves when we were babies are beautiful.  Watching a six month old try to talk to beautiful.  A preschooler not knowing the difference between the colors orange and red is beautiful.  A seven year old finally understanding the concept of fractions is mind blowing.  The minute our brains battle to understand and conceptualize life around us makes us humans who we are: knowledge seekers.

Emotions of love, pain, pride, despair all contribute to the journey of self discovery.  The uniqueness of each person, the imperfections, the not too straight nose, the frizzy hair, the gap in the front teeth all make us unique… and from this uniqueness, from this diversity emerges the beauty of humankind.  The beauty of life and its many quests inwards and forward towards our end.

Wabi Sabi: (Japanese) a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay.

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