In my salad days, I was a self-assured, optimistic upbeat creature. I thought I could do anything in this world. Be superlative in everything I do.
My parents never bought me any books. But I never felt any lack of knowledge. I went to libraries a lot instead. My parents never took me to any swimming pools, cinemas or shopping malls, but I never sensed any lack of fun. I found playing with my kardus (cardboard box) doll-house truly amusing. My parents only bought me one doll in my life, but I thought it was more than enough.
Never considered that any lack of materials would hold me back from climbing to the top.
In my salad days, I was a content, blissful ambitious small human being. I strove to be the best no matter what. I worked out all talents I had. I sang, painted, wrote, and was best in science and math. Yet I played hard and had fun all the time.
Yeah, in my salad days……
I grew up, becoming an adult. I gradually became more what adults wanted me to be. “Realistic,” that’s the word adults used. Less dreams. Less optimism. Less content. Less ambition.
Adults’ words ate me up. They said: “You can have dreams but you have to be realistic…”; “Don’t be a dreamer…”; “Know your limit… “; “Acknowledge your inadequacies…”; “Not everybody should be brilliant…”; “Some people aren’t born as stars…”; “You don’t have to be best all the time…”; “It’s ok to be ordinary…”.
Standards were lowered. Ambitions were toned down. Some dreams were rubbed out.
Never anybody told me that I was a failure. I had a good job. I earned more than some of my friends. I did what I had to do. But my life had become weary. I had stopped pursuing my dreams. I didn’t become what I wanted to be.
It was one ordinary day. Seven years ago. I heard myself asking. Who am I to stop dreaming? Who am I to stop pursuing my childhood dreams? Who am I to be ordinary? Who am I not to be brilliant?
That day I came back to my salad days.
Probably Marianne Williamson was correct….
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It’s our light, not our darkness, that frighten us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
Maybe she is right, “playing small doesn’t serve the world” and “there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you […] And as we let our light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Life is too precious to fill with ordinary things. It is not about becoming the famous or the rich. It is not about luxurious cars and lavish houses. It is not about gold and silver. It is about making the best out of you. It is about doing best in everything you do. It is about enjoying what you do best. It is doing best in what you enjoy. It is about believing in yourself. It is about being brilliant in what you love doing.
Who are you to be ordinary? Who are you not to be brilliant?
m in los angeles, 2006