To not be extraordinary, permission granted


In 2015, while taking a walk outside, I saw a poster on a wall. It said something about a running & fundraising local event. I said to myself: ”I want to do something new in my life. I need to. I will run and raise some money.” In my mind, I felt that I could run for a few kilometres. I had no plan on how to get the money, but somehow I trusted that I will manage to do it.

I could run for 1, 3, 5 or 8 km. I chose 8 km, without any prior running experience. Afterwards, I decided to do fundraising for a project aimed to bring supplies for a kindergarten from a rural area. Out of 3500 lei, the total amount for the project, 1234 lei was my goal. Three weeks before the event, I started to train, running 1 km, then a little bit more. The progress and photos with myself sweating were posted on my FB account.

Then, I asked my husband to help me with a flyer in order to spread the news about my campaign. I asked my mother to tell her friends to contribute. In the end, I raised more money than expected and have been so grateful to see the people around me responding and donating money.

While training, an idea came to my mind: “What if I get the first place as a runner to this event? Wouldn’t it be cool? Wouldn’t I be cool?” I was so seduced by the thought, already seeing myself being the number one person to cross the finish line. I became so sure of my success.

Then, in the day of the event, I saw quite a lot of persons running. Some of them looked fit and experienced. I ran as fast as I could, but it became obvious that other people were faster. In the end, it turned out that the running time of the winner was less than half of my time.

I was pleased and actually happy for being able to run 8 km after only 3 weeks of training, for raising more money than planned, for all the encouragement and help received. Overall, I felt inside like a butterfly that got out of the cocoon. I’d say it was the most fulfilling experience of that year. At the same time, I was a little bit disappointed for not being the first runner.

Over the years, I came back several times to that moment of disappointment. As a child, I have been taught by family and society that I had to be better than the others, preferably in all aspects of life. I learned that I have to perform in school and that this should be my main purpose, everything else being of less significance. This thought followed me later in life, as I grew up, feeling that my life has meaning only if I am better than the others and that I have to prove it over and over again. So exhausting.

Now, when I think of or talk with my parents, I feel like some sort of duty and expectation to be extraordinary for them, to not disappoint them. I can feel the trigger.

So, I am letting go of the need to be extraordinary for my parents. I choose instead to be more ordinary and make decisions that are good for me, even if this is scary for my parents. I let go of the need to have their approval in everything I do. I love them, but I will lower down their voice inside of myself.

I also hope I can take the pressure of being special and extraordinary from my son’s shoulders. Of course, I am already failing at this.

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