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Kill the Bugaboo!

October 25, 2009

table football“You are a disgraceful, miserable, wretched human being. You build up your self-confidence on the account of others.You have poisoned my school years and killed my studying passion.” – these were the approximate words my sister-in-law has thrown eloquently into the face of her school principal (from now on “the vampire”). It happened on the last day of the epopee, culminating the graduation ceremony. Standing up there, observing her school-mates and their parents from the stage, clutching the diploma in her fingers, she had nothing to lose. And I feel proud for her. Proud, and a bit jealous, as I know I would never be able to do the same.

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I saw a movie once, don’t really remember its name or year, but the plot was the following:

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An elderly couple met each other after thirty or forty years of living separate lives. Both widowed, have grown children and grandchildren. Age has removed unnecessary fetters of shyness that can be such a nuisance in younger years.

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The two are sitting on the bench next to each other, and the old man says:

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“I used to be in love with you. I saw us living our lives together.” And the lady says: “You know, I felt pretty much the same way too. And I surely would have married you…”. “Why didn’t you, then?” asks the man. (A silly question, isn’t it?) “Well, you never asked me to”.

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***

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Just to think how things would have looked like… had we always said the right words to the right people in the right time. Two folks separated for a lifetime by a barrier of a momentary diffidence, repeating itself time after time. Some might say “Determinism! It was probably meant to be”. And I say “bullshit!”. A man builds it all with his own hands and mind, fully and solely responsible for every piece of shit he produces.

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***

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Back on course – how do we disintegrate this impenetrable wall of fear, shyness or reluctance? How do we kill the bugaboo?

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Said relative of mine offers a simple and effective solution. “Always be one step ahead your fear”, she says. “Don’t give yourself the luxury to think the whole phrase through, but shoot the first word. Just start the gambit no matter what, and you’ll see that there is no way back but say it all…”

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Good advice, though I have never tried it myself.

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Developing “thick skin” is another way, though it might cast side effects on every other flanks of life. Lack of sensitivity shields you from being hurt but burns out the dyes of joy as well. The equation is always canceled from both sides. These are laws of math. There are laws of life. We don’t want to cancel joy now, do we?

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I beat the fear by reckoning. Weighing the advantages of positive outcome vs the risk of being refused.

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Although it was not always like that. It took fear a while to stop hindering me.

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***

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“Tommy, go make friends with Jimmy…”

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Imagine a playground swarmed with toddlers and kids twirling and whirling, emitting tonnes of young, joyful energy. Friends make friends in a split-second. Without terms and conditions.

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If you take a closer look, you’ll notice a child, standing aloof, silently watching others. Waiting to be formally introduced by a third party.

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Who is this kiddo?

 

***

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Fear is not your enemy, it is a part of you. Frivolously speaking, fighting it, is just like fighting yourself – vain and pernicious. Learn to manipulate it and have “a little chat” with yourself when it is getting too far on you. It’s a shrewd way of finally reducing it to “smoldering rubble”. Take my word on it, would you?aware of his existence

 

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Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Steven Harris permalink
    October 27, 2009 11:53 am

    There are many things I wish I had said to my father but they all pretty much boil down to the same thing. What I needed to say long ago, and what I am sure he still fails to understand, is that my world view and his world view are quite at odds with one another and I am disinterested in spending my life apologizing for not sharing his more unpleasant and bigoted opinions. What did I have to lose when I was younger and too afraid to admit this? I guess I was still thinking of a father as someone whose respect and acceptance a young man needs. And now? I know that it depends on the father.

    • ostrix permalink*
      October 27, 2009 5:02 pm

      I guess this is the first sign of maturity: when you don’t look back at your parents as the only authoritative figures. When you trust your judgement and are not jittering when confronting somebody’s principles. I’ve been through the same with my mom (my Dad is on another continent, so I didn’t have a chance ))) Sadly, but some people never outgrow this issue and keep apologizing for not sharing somebody’s (including their parents’) interests. The second sign of maturity, I guess, is when you feel you don’t need to prove anything – not to your Dad or anyone else. Let them stay with their dogmas and creeds and generously forgive them (your parents, in this case) for adding a pinch of potion into your earlier years. I think I’m on the way to this stage )))))

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