But how could you live and have no story to tell?
These are words following me since my years as a teenager. Blame Dostoyevsky and his White Nights for their echoing beauty, a book I read maybe too early in life.
By 27, my sleepless nights of working hard as a small entrepreneur in Romania, eventually showed me the jackpot. A big contract that promised my way out of endless struggling and poverty. It held many risks. Still, looking behind, I could not see anything there, so I said yes to the chance and to the unknown.
It started hard, it turned into bad and it ended into a nightmare that had stolen ten years of my life, my youth, during which I had to choose constantly between two things to survive my challenges and my opponents: the right thing and the smartest thing.
I did the right thing and it led me to the bottom of hell. Obviously, it wouldn’t also get me out of it. The right thing strategy wasn’t good enough in my context. Overcoming what lied ahead involved a higher intelligence, goodness had nothing to do with it. On the contrary, the only way to become better (as a person) was to become more intelligent or to learn how to use my intelligence, assuming there is one inside my head, if I were to look on how things turned out under my guidance at the time.
The world’s mechanism is not so black and white as we might need it at times. As there was no way out, the only way ahead was stepping into the darkness and hoping that at some point I will find some light, or at least I will improve my night vision. Eventually, if I am not able to fly again, at least I can improve my speed as a crawler. You know, if you crawl fast enough, you might end up flying higher than birds.
But when did I really fly? Who am I kidding? I was born a crawler. I just haven’t accepted my nature. Till now. Year 2008.
Ten years later, in 2018, I can tell you a different version of my story.
Looking back, I see that was not the story. It was the plot. It was what changed me irreversible and unlocked a much interesting journey and life.
The story worth telling is the answer to the question: “who this person is going to become after being turned into words?”
When I realized that my entire life story is just the plot, I had a breakdown. I was so burned out that I could not want to want, that I didn’t know what to want anymore. I remember myself staying numb in St. Mary church not being able to put my heart together in a prayer. After a while, the priest came and told me: the endurance of the war is a prayer on its own. Those words lifted me up like no other words.
“In the beginning was the Word…”
This is how I began myself again. With a word. With words I solved problems oceans away I am proud of and in return they solved part of my problems with the awards received, with words I rebuilt a part of my life and with words I push forward. With words in a language that is not my own, paradoxically. Part of my story is already told. The other part I am still writing.
Ten years later I can say that words have a power and intelligence of their own and if everything that’s left of you are words, then have faith in them and let them lead you.
If this is your story, then you must tell it. One way or another. And if this is the last and the only thing you’ll be able to do, so be it. This is what I told myself back then and I haven’t changed my mind.