Monday, June 02, 2014

sometimes they return...

One of the joys of student life is undoubtedly moving house at the end of each year. 
For me is a nightmarish experience as I try to pack my earthly possessions with a facade of rational order. However, packing up your whole room has some perks, like finding traces of memories which had slowly drifted in the back of your mind (and of the closet).

Like this card, which I found earlier , while emptying my bookshelves. Just a warning: I am going to get personal in this post, partly because I owe a long overdue thank you to some amazing individuals and partly because I am learning the value of expressing my feelings.

Let me quickly rewind time to a warm August day 4 years ago. A sixteen-year old version of me was begrudgingly boarding her flight to London Stansted to spend 5 weeks in Cambridge to improve her English. For the first time in years, I wasn't excited about leaving but rather scared, as I was going to attend a course for over -17- year-olds where most people were university students. I was the most doubtful I could fit in.

Fast forward 5 weeks and we are in Nando's for a goodbye dinner for me and  Abdullah. That's when I received that card together with a very cute English soft toy. The messages inside were among the most empowering I had ever received in my life.

Back then, the plan of studying in England was little more than a dream, the idea of running a marathon a speck on a life bucket list, a half deal with my mother- I didn't even have a half in my shoes-, yet these amazing people never doubted I could do all this. And when I say amazing, I mean it: they had traveled, studied/were studying at high profile institutions, earned scholarships or got themselves through university by working hard. One of them was a marathoner: a hero at my sixteen year-old eyes. They were cool, clever, sassy and badass in different proportion. Never would I have dreamed that such extraordinary personalities could take enjoyment in talking to a goofy, dreamy, introverted teenager (that's how I saw myself). 
with my mexican sis: one of the strongest young women I have ever met!

Yet, somehow, they saw something in me and wrote positive, encouraging words. Words which have been my mantra through hard times, interviews, tests, exams and moments of discouragement. Words which picked me up when I was down and made me gaze to the future with hope and confidence. Words which made me find my light and make it shine bright, which drove me out of my comfort zone.
Today, I still don't know what they saw in me or how/if they saw my unused potential, I only know that their faith in me was the most significant confidence booster of my life. Because sometimes your parents' encouragement is not enough to face the scary world by yourself...sometimes you need the kind words of a bunch of strangers who had become your friends in a matter of weeks.

So, Eddie, Majo, Masa-san. Anderson, Navid, John, Begum, Diana, Rafael, Cristina, Maria and Abdullah... wherever you are in this crazy vast world, thank you for your kind words of many years ago, they still mean a lot to me today.

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