A different kind of December 1st

The beginning of December usually means two things: Christmas is coming and, also, my country’s national day. It is a day of joy when people gather around in our city center to see the fireworks with their family and friends. Now, throughout the years have I never really went out on this particular day mainly because my introverted side was giving me reasons not to. Last year was actually the first time that I’ve managed to convince myself to give it a go and since I really enjoyed it I decided to go this year as well.

The night started off normally as I met up with some of my friends in our central park. We decided to first check out the Christmas market since the fireworks weren’t going to be until 8 PM. Honestly I don’t know if this was a mistake or not because even though we literally got squished in that crowd, we ironically ended up laughing so hard as we tried to find our way out from it. Amazingly enough though, most of the people had our flag in their hands while smiling and cheering. For me, that was a confirmation that there is unity, that there is love for this country. Words cannot describe what I felt especially during fireworks. It was a magical moment filled with beautiful music that made you feel like you were actually in one of the Harry Potter movies. Seeing everyone smile and be in awe of how beautiful the sky looked because of them warmed my heart. I guess it is true what they say: Beauty comes from little things. I felt truly blessed that I was able to be alongside people who were feeling the same emotions as I did.

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Before each of us went home, we stopped at a little restaurant since we were all freezing and starving. Truth be told, it is a horrible idea to search for a place where you can warm up and eat on that day. We could barely find a restaurant that had a table available. I think we knew better than to continue searching but we really wanted to spend more time together. Perseverance can be quite rewarding because after almost an hour of searching, just moments before giving up, we found that small restaurant. At that point, I didn’t even want to order anything since even the waiter said it would take a while for the food to come.

After the others ordered, one of my friends asked us if we wanted to play a game. Immediately I was intrigued by her idea. She suggested that we each answer honestly to some questions. I remember the way we looked at each other, unsure, maybe a bit scared, but also excited and ready for what was about to come. To say that we shared one of the most intimate moments in a restaurant is an understatement. The whole world shut down as five people were about to pour their hearts out and didn’t even know it. The first question:“Why would you want to fall in love and why would you not want to?” had pretty similar answers. We all believe that falling in love with someone can be the greatest thing but also the most challenging and there is always that risk that you will get hurt. We each took our turn and listened while the other person was giving their most sincere answer. The second question was: “What would you want to feel when you are in love?” Now this question got us to really think about what we actually wanted. My mind without even having time to process it all, immediately took me to a quote I once heard from The Vampire Diaries: “You want a love that consumes you. You want passion, adventure, and even a bit of danger”. As I said those words out loud, I could feel the others staring at me.  The attention they were giving me was like a door towards intimacy. It is a terrifying yet fulfilling emotion because you get to open up and be vulnerable. Each of us managed to express some things we didn’t know we wanted until they came through our mouths. I will never forget when one of my friends simply said: “I want love, yes, but I have to fix myself first, and I am not there yet”. When you think about it, how can you expect to be treated like the most special human being out there when you don’t do the same towards others.

The truth is, we all need to acknowledge that we are not perfect, that we are flawed  and we make mistakes. It is natural to want love, to want affection and safety but it is also important to work on yourself, to realise that yes, you are going to make mistakes, but as long as you want to fix yourself, everything is going to turn out just as it is supposed to be. We often tend to forget that we are enough on our own, that self love needs to come from within. And with this I want to say that yes, I want to love and be loved in return but at the same time I know I need to be a better person before actually having that chance. Love can be a subject some people would want to avoid talking about, which is precisely why I think we ended up discussing it. Not everyone can allow themselves to be vulnerable around others but they know, all of us know that love is the greatest thing we do.

 

XX

Lost and Flawed

For years I’ve seen people from all around the world build up the courage to put themselves out there and tell their stories. For me, it was and still is an act of bravery. Putting yourself in that vulnerable position is one of the most meaningful and strongest thing you could ever do, mainly because you can help millions of people with just one small video or post. I cannot tell you how much these stories helped me when I was in high school and now. They empower me. They show me that I am not alone. With this thought in mind I decided to share my story.

There are many things that I want to say. Some make their way through my mouth but the others are often too stubborn, patiently waiting to come out. In the end I always find my confidence when I write. I am able to access my deepest thoughts, to share them, to be as raw as I can possibly be. There’s endless possibilities, no shortcuts, no forgetfulness, no holding back. Some may find that pouring your heart out may be too difficult to bear but I, in spite of being shy, believe that expressing how you feel holds unimaginable beauty and truth.

For the past two years, I’m not going to lie, I’ve been really struggling. 2016 wasn’t the best year of my life. I had just finished high school and for one moment I truly felt like I knew what I wanted, so much so that I felt totally safe so to speak. Once I started college everything changed. I started questioning myself, who I was and what I wanted. The pressure was undeniable and I lost myself completely. Because of this I’ve ended up disappointing people that mean everything to me. The problem was that I couldn’t see the damage I was creating. I thought I was fine, that if I pushed everything away instead of not dealing with everything I was feeling one step at a time that it would be okay. How wrong I was. And so, early this year I had my first ever panic attack. It was the first time where I truly felt that the emotions were beginning to take over me. Instead of taking that as a sign, I kept going without acknowledging the truth. As the year progressed it became worse and worse. I experienced some failures in school which made me feel worthless. I took everything in my life for granted, from my family to my friends.They were there, especially my mom, dad and my brother, who have seen me at my absolute worst, but I was too isolated in my dark little world to see it. I am sure that they felt so helpless and didn’t know what to do to help me. This went on until I was hit by the cruel yet saving truth. After it was pointed out to me just how bad I’ve been, I began to slowly see all the damage I’ve left behind. There’s a true lesson that comes out of all of this: you can either let your mistakes take the best of you and consume you or accept them and try to become better. IMG_1304

Most of you will now think that I was depressed, and yes I was, on top of having anxiety and felling completely lost. In spite of everything that I’ve gone through, I have no regrets and I am grateful because if I continued going the way I was going I would have destroyed myself. Realising this does not make me completely fine and healed. I am just taking my first step into becoming a better person. Everything that happened thus far made me see that I am one of the most blessed people on this Earth because others struggle with so much more. It’s made me see that I am human, that I make mistakes, that I am imperfect, but that’s okay. Being human means to care, and when you care you love, and when you love you suffer. This is just a part of life and I believe that everyone is able to get through anything if they have faith. Faith that God is pointing us in the right direction, faith in themselves and faith that everything happens for a reason. I hope this will help some of you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Everyone struggles and we have no idea what is going on in other people’s minds.

  I am lost, and I am flawed, but that is okay!

“The quirky things that make you different are what make you beautiful”

When I was little, I used to think that celebrities were the embodiment of perfection. Every time I would see them on TV or read about them I would express in my mind my desire to be just like them.

As I got older, I started to see the bubble that was shielding them from reality.  What we sometimes don’t realise is that we are all human. We all make mistakes, we struggle, some more than others. I wish that I knew this back when I was 16. I was so insecure and shy. I lacked self confidence to the point where I would think that I was worthless. In short, I wasn’t capable of loving myself. I used to envy everyone around me and saw beauty in each human whom I’ve crossed paths with but myself ( still do sometimes ).  I would look at different celebrities and think Oh, I wish I was just like her/him, they’ve got it all figured out. If only I knew then how wrong I was. By the time I graduated I thought that I knew who I was, that I was ready for the real world. But let me tell you something that I would have liked to know back then, you’re never ready. I was just a 19 year old who was stepping into the real world and didn’t fully grasp the full meaning of that aspect. College life proved to be a difficult yet exciting change and for the past year I’ve grown so much as a young woman. I guess it’s true what they say that everything happens for a reason. The experiences that I’ve gone through so far have shaped my mind and soul so much that I no longer saw celebrities as inhuman. Of course they had fame and money but that didn’t mean that they were by any means happier than us. The more my blindness started to vanish the more I saw how vulnerable they truly are.


I’ve been a huge fan of Lily Collins ever since I saw Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in 2013. Once I heard that she was writing a book, more specifically a memoir, something told me that I had to have it.  I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get it when it was released as I am living in Romania, so I had to wait a little for Unfiltered to be released here as well. My life got so busy due to my exams that didn’t have the time to even think about buying the book. As fate would have it, I would get my hands on it when I needed the most. Two weeks ago my instincts told me that I shouldn’t delay it any longer and sure enough, three days later I had Unfiltered in my possession. Even though I was really excited I can honestly say that I didn’t know what to expect. Was it going to help me? Was it going to empower me? I will never forget the moment I turned my first page and read The quirky things that make you different are what make you beautiful. 

From that moment I was hooked. For the first time we were given the opportunity to see that a celebrity is nowhere near perfect but that imperfection holds an unimaginable beauty. Reading about how Lily struggled with anorexia as a teenager made me understand those who suffer from this more. I was almost in tears when she explained her fear of never being able to have children, a fear that I also have because of my small ovarian cysts. I have come to admire her more ( if that was even possible ) for her courage to share her life without any filters. Through her words, she encouraged me to love myself even if it will be hard at times, that I am enough on my own  and I don’t need anyone to complete me, that I can be silly because that’s our best part. I found myself relating to her more than I could have ever imagined.


As I mentioned before, I’ve had a hard time loving and accepting myself. I never saw myself as beautiful until I was 18 and still then it was just a small progress towards confidence. Yet everyday I tried to look at myself in the mirror and repeat that I am beautiful over and over again. I knew I had a long way to go but I kept trying not for anyone but myself. I had to understand that not everyone is going to like me, so I needed to accept myself as I am because there is only one of me. When I read her first chapter about her insecurities due to her eyebrows and that she learned to love what makes her unique thanks to her mother’s advice, something in me changed. It’s only been a week and a half since I read it but I can honestly say that I’ve never loved myself more. Of course my confidence still needs some work but I realised that if I don’t love myself then why expect others to. I also felt self conscious about my hair when I was younger. It used to be very bushy, and because of that I referred to it as “Hermione style”. I hated the fact that it looked so burned and I preferred it to be flat rather than full of volume. With time though I started to take care of it better and today I adore my hair, it’s become one of my best features and I always get compliments on it.



I was on the train, trying to get away from the city life when I reached a chapter where she talked about how she looked too young for her age. Believe it or not, looking younger than you are can be both a blessing and a curse. Everyone around me told me that I should appreciate it and believe me, I do, but sometimes it can be a bit annoying because people tend to treat you like a child. Reading about how Lily struggled during her auditions because she looked too young made me feel so relieved that someone finally understood.


 Also, like Lily, I like to surprise people too. I love the look on their faces when they find out that I’m 20 instead of 15-16 and that my personality is way different than what they’ve had in mind at first glance. I am also not a fan of drinking to have fun and sometimes I am too compassionate. I loved how she talked about tattoos, how a story could be told just by a simple tattoo. What impressed me the most though was the story of her abusive relationship. When you’re in that kind of situation, it’s hard to leave that person because you love them and in your mind you feel like you have a responsibility to help them. It must have taken a lot to speak up and accept that you deserve better. When someone shows you who they truly are, believe them. I will never forget this.

I urge everyone to get Unfiltered not only because you’re a fan of Lily Collins but also because there’s not a person in this world who cannot relate to her book. It has now become one of my favourite books that I will most likely re-read when I am feeling down about myself. The truth is, we are constantly evolving. No one has life figured out yet and even though sometimes things might be hard remember that things are going to get better and you are strong enough. We need to accept the things that make us unique! 


            Love Always and Forever”

                                               -Lily Collins


Afraid

 

I am afraid“. These three words are always the hardest to come out of my mouth. I don’t always like to admit it, mainly because I have this idea in my head that I would seem weak. We all are afraid of something and that’s normal, but sometimes it is hard to accept the idea of fear. It consumes us until the loneliness of that dark place becomes too overwhelming. I always have to remind myself that being afraid doesn’t make you weak. Admitting it actually makes you stronger. So, yes, I am afraid…I am afraid that my life isn’t going to be epic, adventurous, amazing and, most of all, inspiring.

Lately I’ve been feeling like I am trapped in this dungeon which keeps me from the outside world. I only know half the way to reach the and and escape. To be honest, I actually don’t know what I want to do with my life, which path I should take, and everyday I become more and more confused. I know that I want an extraordinary life, filled with passion, adventure and even a little bit of danger( quoting Damon Salvatore a bit there hehe 😀 ) but I don’t know how to fulfill those things. I am so afraid that my life will end up being ordinary, and while most of the people want that, I actually don’t. Every life has a purpose, and I want mine to be special, to be inspiring. There is just so much more to this life than ordinary. I see all these people changing lives, doing extraordinary things and I’m just sitting here, doing nothing. This bothers me the most. I guess Belle’s words really represent me, they are a part of me, the part which is desperate to get out. Not everyone understands my desires, which makes me feel even lonelier. My conscious wants to scream, to be set free but I just really don’t know how to do that.

            “I want adventure in the great wild somewhere,

          I want it more than I can tell…

         And for once it might be grand

        To have someone understand

          I want so much more than they’ve got planned”

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I feel trapped and it is terrifying to think that maybe I won’t ever get out. There must be a way out, there must be something to help me escape this blur. It is a very lonely road ahead of me and while I don’t really now it yet, I am ready to face every challenge, every hardship just so I could find who I’m supposed to be. I hope it will be worth it… That I am worthy of an extraordinary life…

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    I want to LIVE