неділя, 29 березня 2015 р.

WHY I AM, WHO I AM TODAY [CAUTION! overemotional essay]

It has been a long time since I last wrote. I don't really have any reasonable excuse, but I would guess that January turned out to be a tsunami and I just can't help, but catch the extreme waves, trying to alter the boredom around me. March approached me within a glimpse. I am back to my university [cross-web cry], which means closer ties with insomnia and constant exposure to tiredness, but I actually am enjoying it so much more now than back in 1 semester. 

Today I am spending the day off to share something very special. I have been writing since I first learned how to hold a pen. As far as I can remember, I never introduced you to anything truly-seeming like a legit essay of mine and today I am going to make this happen. People often mistakenly describe me as an ountgoing person, but somehow it evolves in me so much of inner debate. Answering to the question, requested by this contest that I participated in January made me think deeply into what and who I am. What benefited and caused me turn into a person I am today. It took me a whole month or so to figure out. I know I could have done a better job on this, but let's move on. 

Without further a due. This is WHY I AM, WHO I AM TODAY. [hopefully, this is not my last post in this month]
Being the individual, who I am today, is the direct result of the adversities I overcame in the past. I know exactly what it means to overcome adversities, as they have taught me to trust in my values and shaped me into the person I am today. When I reflect on my personality, everything comes to conquering three main things: failure, disability and betrayal.

Failure. Most people take their character and personality for granted, which never came easy to me. One of the biggest struggles in my life was to find myself and cope with my own fears. Even though I have been living in Ukraine all my life, it was tough for a lot of reasons. The feeling of being a black sheep has haunted me for most of my childhood. I was the only child in school of a different race, very scattered in my mind, with no opinion or confidence. People often bullied me, teased me as a failure and acted as if I did not exist. It made me estranged and hopeless, I felt no escape. I think that that рeriod of time has left a scar in my soul, but I decided to take my life into my hands. If the world did not accept me, I would change myself.

Step by step, with a lot of determination and my family’s support, I fought my own inner fears: I started participating in various social movements and clubs. I learned about people’s interests and found common ground to simply start communicating with my peers. In 2010 I finally felt comfortable to become a part of the student’s council. Later that year I lost my first council president election by six votes. Nevertheless, I never felt like being a loser. I was over the moon, as the progress that I had made and the character I had built inspired 125 students to give their votes and faith to me.

Disability. There is no bigger mental struggle, than to be restricted from following your fierce passion. In 7th grade, after getting concussion at a soccer game, the doctors told me I would never be able to рlay ball sports anymore. I have never thought something like that could ever happen; it hit me like a ton of bricks. Suddenly, it felt as if half of my life had abruptly gone. Three years of hesitation and fear passed away rapidly, when at the dawn of a new school year I decided to take a new turn in my life. That day, I signed up for the cross country team.

I remember the first practice of mine as if it was yesterday, losing breath running up the hill and fainting at the finish line of my first 5k-distance. I was not the fastest runner in the county and it felt like a burden every time I stepрed onto the starting line with competitive sportsmen, but at the same time it was like reaching  a staggering achievement. Running became my way to express my anguishes, feelings of happiness and sadness, but most importantly that every person is capable of anything they set their mind to.

Betrayal. My school has never been as quiet as that day, when the police station next to our school started destroying criminal records in the backyard to cover the track. The students were forced to keep silence, but for me that betrayal of hopes and expectations from people we should have relied on, was murderous. Later that night I published a video-report to warn the community of this law violation, because I felt it was my duty as a citizen to let people know what was going on behind their backs. It caused my family to receive numerous threatening calls. The next day the principal рunished me with suspension, because the incident was recorded. I was terrified, but not as much as furious, because the blatant reality had just shown me that freedom of speech did not apply to everybody.

Betrayal filled my heart with pain, but also inspired me to take action and organize a flash mob of national symbols the next day, despite the suspension. Even though I heard criticism and felt cold looks behind my back, I truly believed that speechless once, my voice was heard then. Most of the students bolstered me and carried national attributes at least twice a week for the rest of the winter. This little rebellion proved to me that in every one of us hides enormous strength and potential, but the way we expose and use it is the most essential thing. I did not bring a huge change to society, but like a part of the universe, I altered it by contributing something small, which triggered something big.

For years my motto has been: ‘Believe in your struggle’, because no hardship came without a lesson. Facing failure shaped my personality, disability taught me to be determined toward things I am focused on and betrayal turned out to be another validation that doing something small can change the world.

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