ArchiveJanuary 2022

Give me back my red T-shirt!

G

Once upon a time, I was a student who was finishing his first year at the university. I did not find so much meaning in what I was studying, but that’s another story.

For a few weeks, I moved to a student campus: a colleague of mine was going home and told me that I could use her room and sleep in her bed. The room had two beds and it turned out that the other bed was occupied by another girl, for a short period of time, in a similar situation to mine.

I had 2-3 weeks with exams, therefore I was spending most of the days inside the university learning for tests, returning in the room in the afternoon or evening. I did not get to know so well the roommate, but I remember considering her a beautiful girl and that her boyfriend was a Police officer.

One afternoon, at the end of exams period, I returned as usual in the room. The door was open, but nobody was inside. The room had a small sink and in it I saw a small carpet, all wet. The roommate and her stuff were not there anymore. I found a handwritten note, signed by this girl, saying that there has been a flood in the room when nobody was inside and somebody else entered the room to turn off the water. She also noticed that some of her objects were missing and that she went to her home town right after the event.

Shortly after, I noticed that some of my belongings were missing too: a blue dress, a red T-shirt, some other clothes and cosmetics. I just assumed that, with the door open, anybody could have taken them. I felt quite overwhelmed by the loss and had a strong feeling of despair. I did not know what to do in that moment. I would have called my mother, but was not so sure that she could just listen without making me feel guilty, so I gave up the idea of talking to her. I looked in the mirror above the sink, took some scissors and started to cut my hair, 3-4 cm. I just had to do something as I felt like I was losing my mind. Back then, I had no idea how to process a loss. I was feeling lost and it all seemed like a very bad dream. I could not believe that such a situation could have happened to me.

After some days, while getting on a bus, I noticed the girl who was my roommate. She was wearing exactly the red T-shirt that was missing from my stuff. It has been bought from another city and had a not so usual design, so right away I noticed it. I realized that the girl was the one who had stolen my clothes and cosmetics and that the handwritten note was all bullshit. Still, the thought that her boyfriend was working in the Police made me give up the idea of reporting her to this institution. I felt small, helpless and sad, with a heavy weight in all my body.


Now, such a situation requires a more spiritual approach.

Me, the one I am today, I am getting on that bus and go straight to the girl wearing my red T-shirt, look her in the eyes and yell at her: “You give me back my red T-shirt and 10 times the value of goods you have stolen from me. Now, bitch!”

And when I get off the bus, in one hand I have my red T-shirt and in the other hand, the money.

Done.

To dream, permission granted

T

The verb “to cope” means to face and deal with responsibilities, problems, or difficulties, especially successfully or in a calm or adequate manner.

There has been a time in my life when, facing dificulties, I felt only a mixture of helplessness, sadness and pity for myself. The idea of me having any sort of struggles and not finding right away the solution was the proof that something was wrong with me. I was also convinced that other people were always better than me in finding solutions when dealing with problems.

Eating was my coping mechanism. Eating in excess, feeling very bad about it, eating more again, hiding when eating, feeling guilty for eating too much and not being able to have control on what and when I ate, then not eating at all and starting all over again.

I used food like other people use drugs.

Each day felt like a battle with food and in 98% of days, I was not a winner. I felt weak and surely unlovable because of this weakness. Living like this day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year, feeling each day like a failure, I slowly gave up the idea of wanting or making plans to achieve something significant for myself, as deep down inside I was literally intoxicated with the taste of failure. “If I don’t try anything, than I cannot fail anymore, don’t I?”

So, it felt easier to let the others decide for me: society, traditions, parents, teachers, employers etc., going on beaten tracks. I was like a walking dead in my own life.


Therefore, right now, I am officially giving myself permission to dream, make plans, have initiative, experience life, say YES or NO. I know I have the Universe by my side and people around that can give me a helping hand. I am not alone anymore.

Therefore, I open up to all the good that this life can offer me. I do.

Say my name

S

As a teenager full of insecurities, I lived feeling that I had to reach certain standards in order to be accepted, lovable and loved by the people around me. The hair or my clothes should have looked in a certain way and the friends with whom I appeared in public should have been popular enough in order for me to be seen and perceived to be desirable, acceptable, valuable, lovable.

One thing in particular frustrated me. My name.

Cristina Elena

I had a strong belief that if my name was not so common, I would have been happier. I had no wisdom in order to dive deeper into this idea and see if it is true. I never actually verbalized this belief or talk to anyone, as I learned that people do not speak about this kind of stuff, about how you feel inside. Pretending that you are ok was the only way.

So I truly believed that with a more unique name, I would have had more visibility, I would have been considered more interesting and my life would have been more fulfilling. Being seen and appreciated was like a validation that I was ok, otherwise I was not. I felt that my common name has stolen me the possibility to be happy, therefore I had to overcompensate by doing or being more in other aspects of life. I also disliked the common names of my parents and grandparents. In time, I tended to judge people based on the uniqueness or commonness of their name. From the start, people with more exotic names were more interesting and valuable to me, although I knew absolutely nothing about them.

I am going to meet now the teenager Cristina who was taking walks in her city, dressing in order to be seen, hoping to be seen, as this would have been the confirmation that she is adequate. I will meet her, smile and then take her by the hand. We will go together and sit on a bench.

“Dear Cristina,

I can feel you and I see that you are tensed and that you want so much to be seen by the people around you, to feel appreciated by them. You are unsure if you are worthy to be loved, if you are lovable and you seek the answer to this question outside, in how the people react when they see you.

I’ll tell you something: most of the teenagers around you have insecurities, they feel they do not look good enough or that they are not good enough. They too look for validation outside of themselves. It is very unlikely to hear them say this, as they might feel ashamed to do so, considering that this is a weakness and weakness is not acceptable.

But every feeling is human and acceptable. It is ok to feel insecure.

Cristina, you might think that your value and worth are attached to something like your grades in school, the clothes that you wear, the jobs of your parents, who you spend time with or what people say about you.

But my dear, you have always been 100% worthy. And you will always be, no matter what.

You are worthy no matter what you name is, or the name of your parents or grandparents. You are ok just the way you are.

Next time you are going to doubt yourself, remember my words.”

The teenager Cristina is somehow confused, as nobody has ever told her that she, a human being, is enough just the way she is.

And I am going to leave her with all those new ideas, to think about them and then find the answers she is looking for.

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