Monday, November 10, 2014

Pursuit of Self-Confidence

Lately, I have been going back and forth on the idea of ‘finding your true self’ and ‘being who you really are’. I keep coming across these beautiful quotes that I post all over Facebook that help me remember to ‘be myself’. But if one does not know who they really are, how is it possible to ‘be themselves’?
The other day, I texted my mom saying “You know, I think I know where all my sadness and confusion come from. Vladik (my best friend back in Russia) and I spoke about it when I went to Russia a few weeks ago. We were talking about being ‘wannabes’ and how that really affects our lives.” We are the people who want to achieve some specific creative dreams – like being a musician, an artist, a writer – but are unable to. Usually this inability to achieve those dreams is caused not by the lack of skills and talents, but by our own fears. I can’t say that I’m a great artist, writer or musician, but if I were to dedicate myself more to any or all of these activities, I could have probably gotten much better, and much closer to my dreams. However, the thoughts of ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I will fail anyway so why even try’, ‘no one will see what I have done (artistically, musically, etc.) anyway, so why does it even matter’ end up shattering those dreams on the very initial stages.

Today I realized something, hence this post as I will want to return to it. I may never be Dave Grohl from Foo Fighter, or Joan Didion or Dali to other people, but I may become those individuals to my own self. When I start believing in what I do and truly enjoying it, without a goal to impress someone, that will be a dream achieved for me. After all, if you are not confident and happy with what you do, how can you expect others to believe in you? I am 100% sure that none of those people sat around waiting for people to tell them they were good at what they did before they became good. No, they believed in themselves, and they made everyone believe that they were indeed ones of the best. Self-confidence has been a big topic for me for a long time, I keep finding ‘the truth’ and then straying away from it as the fears start popping back in. However, the more I work on it, the sooner I will achieve it. I know I am close, and I know I will keep working on it. I am good enough already and I am great at what I do, even if I am the only one who believes it.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

New Home

I have had quite a few events worth writing about since the last time I posted. I apologize for not being ‘on top of it’ for the past few weeks, but I will try to catch up on at least the most memorable moments. First of all, since my last post was the expression of how I felt right before I went to Russia, of course I would like to write a little bit about the trip.

All in all, the trip turned out to be great. Despite all of my prior concerns, I am actually very happy that I went. I had a wonderful time seeing my family and friends and living the life I used to live eight years ago. While I was there, everything seemed normal – it felt like this life in New York simply did not exist; it felt like I never left Russia. I was in this state on euphoria for almost the entire trip, but it would be periodically interrupted when I needed to interact with people outside of my family/friends circle. See, in Russia you simply cannot ask a sale person a question as their reaction to any question is to stare at you silently for a few seconds as if saying “Did you really just ask me this dumb question?!” and then reply with a three-four-sentence condescending response when all you need is “Yes” or “No”. And the lines. The lines in the stores, pharmacies, at the post office are simply ridiculous. But to be honest, these are the only two things that seemed unusual compared to our lives here. Other than that, I was surprised to see my home city improve quite a bit.

I made it a point of my entire trip to just take things in and enjoy every minute of my visit, and I think I was successful at doing so. Every single day I would find it difficult to believe how much better things got there. At some point, I even started questioning whether there is a possibility that I may come back. But of course these crazy thoughts completely vanished as soon as I stepped my foot of the grounds of JFK International Airport. 

 {My grandma and I - first day of my visit}

 {A view from our apartment window, this is where I grew up}

 {My best friend and I}

{My uncle and two cousins}