365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 157: When I Stopped Trying To Do What Others Expected Of Me…

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… I became free to find my own way.

I carved my own path, according to my own desires and following my heart.

And I was right to do so, because where I am and who I am today would not have been possible had I continued on a path that was not mine to follow.

I guess it’s no wonder that I always loved Frank Sinatra’s song “My Way”. Here’s a link so you can listen to it right now: “My Way“.

So I say: it’s better to look back and know that you had the courage to do things your way, rather than having regrets and wishing things were different.

Are YOU doing it YOUR way?

Love,

Rucsandra

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365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 156: How I Finally Got Accepted To A University

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If you followed my last few posts you know about my struggles to get into a university. You also know that after many failed attempts I decided to stop trying to be something that I was not, find a job and forget about a degree in something that did not interest me to start with.

And so I moved to Bucharest and started my first job (what kind of job that was will make the story for another post). I felt free and happy and started earning money.

I forgot all about universities and acceptance exams and lived day by day, in Bucharest, surrounded by my wonderful friends, enjoying my life with my boyfriend, soon to be my husband. My daily experience was very different than theirs, as they were all university students. I enjoyed it nevertheless.

This was the time that Romania started to shake and brew great changes. I have many stories to share with you about the time just before the 1989 Romanian revolution and what happened right after (subjects for many posts to come, I am sure).

During the next couple of years following the revolution, Romania went through much upheaval and many struggles. There were many new beginnings and many opportunities.

I don’t really remember why, but my interest in pursuing a university was ignited in me again. There was a newly created program at the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest and I decided that I was going to TAKE THE EXAMS that summer. I also decided that I was only going to study for two weeks! I was very clear about it.

So, I took two weeks off from work, just before the exams, to brush off on my math and learn a little geography. The three exams were going to be: algebra, calculus and Romanian geography. I only wanted to study about half the geography material, because the other half did not interest me at all. And that’s exactly what I did.

I went and wrote my exams; without fear, without apprehension and with determination. My family and friends were worried and waited for the results to be posted. I believe that they were expecting another failure, given the fact that I had only studied for a couple of weeks. I did not expect failure and was not attached to the result either. I was relaxed. I knew I’d done a great job on the math exams and half a good job on the geography one (since I had studied only half of the material).

The results got posted a few days later: I got accepted. My acceptance grades were great: 9.6 and 9.4 out of 10 for algebra and calculus and 4.5 for geography. The math grades got me in. I quit my job and in the fall I went to school again.

So here’s the thing: when I decided to stop trying to do what others expected of me, I had no trouble doing what I wanted to do.

I love sharing all this with you!

Thank you for being here.

Love,

Rucsandra

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 155: I Kept Failing Until I Did This

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After my many failed attempts to be accepted at a university, tired, worn out and disillusioned I announced my parents that I had had enough and decided to stop trying to be what I was not and to do what I did not want to do. Obviously – I told them – I am not university material and I will not make myself feel worse by failing again. I was going to get a job and accept myself just as I was. My parents, having watched my suffering year after year after year, told me that I could do whatever I needed do in order to be happy.

And so I stopped studying and started to think about getting a job. In communist Romania, the process of hunting for a job was somewhat different than what North America knows to be the norm, so I asked my mother to find me a job. She used her connections, she talked to her friends and colleagues and she did get me a job.

I felt free! FREE! For the first time, after the 16 years I had spent studying things that I did not care about, I was finally allowed to not study. With very few exceptions – languages and anatomy – I had no interest in any of the courses and classes I attended during all my school years.

I can’t begin to tell you how relieved I felt and how proud I was to have actually had the guts to make this decision. I moved to Bucharest, started my new job and felt like I was living for the first time in my life. I was 22 years old.

My life as ME started right then and there, through my refusal to stop doing something that I did  not want to do from the beginning: follow a path just because everybody around me seemed to think that it was the right one, even though it felt wrong to me.

Up until this point, I did not know that I had the power to say no to something I did not want to do and choose something else instead.

This is when I took the reins and decided to create my life according to my own vision and my own desires.

What happened next, only a few short months later surprised everyone around me, but it did not surprise me!

Stay tuned.

I’ll tell you what happened tomorrow!

Love,

Rucsandra

365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 154: Why I Failed So Many Exams

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As I wrote yesterday, I attempted and failed to pass the university exams four years in a row. Despite the fact that I studied really hard, I failed over and over again. I always blanked out in front of the exam papers, only to remember all the correct answers after handing them in. I failed every single time for four years.

There are a few good reasons for my failures, so let me share them with you:

  • My heart was not in what I was studying; I could definitely understand the concepts well enough in order to be able to pass my exams, but I did not want to study Food Chemistry and Biochemical Technologies (first attempt), or Organic Matter Chemistry and Engineering (second attempt) or pure mathematics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science (third and fourth attempts).
  • I was without a purpose, since the only thing that interested me (helping people heal) was now off-limits (read about this in the blog on Day 152) my energy was not being directed somewhere I really wanted to be. I felt stagnant, so I stagnated.
  • After the first fail, I started to believe that I did not have what it took for me to go to university. All my friends and colleagues got accepted by the universities of their choice, so I thought that I was not good enough to succeed. As a result, I did not.
  • My feelings of inferiority were a continuation of how I felt during high school: all my close friends and classmates were really good at math, physics, chemistry and I always felt like I did not really belong there. Excelling at algebra, calculus and geometry was applauded and earned respect and praise. I was not that interested in math and so I never excelled. I felt inferior.
  • I did not know that I had the power to change my mind, the power to choose what I wanted. I really believed that forces outside myself were running my life.

So you see, for as long as I stayed in this frame of mind, I did not succeed. I was creating my own reality, according to my beliefs and how I felt about myself.

For as long I continued to feel like that, I experienced failure.

Until one year… when I created success.

More on this tomorrow.

Love,

Rucsandra