Let’s embrace being a little different

smallsimonandnati

Let’s talk about criticism.

When I was a little girl I remember being bullied. Yes, I do remember it. I arrived in Venezuela when I was eight years old. I was the “new girl” who could not speak spanish and when I did, I had a “mamma mia” accent. I was from a different country and culture. My friends didn’t understand my liberal parents and they surely never processed the idea of going topless to the Greek beaches. When I spoke to my mom in Greek they made fun of the “funny” words we used.

My dad got very sick when I was thirteen. My classmates made fun of him. They said terrible things at school. That hurt so much more than hearing negative comments about myself. Why on earth should you make fun of someone who is sick? They also picked on my sister and my mom.

They called me fat because I had a big booty (oh dear, you have no idea how much I appreciate that asset now). Some teachers and fellow students thought that I was stupid because I was terrible at math but then again I was the first one to raise my hand when the teacher asked “do you know what a pentagon is?”. I had no idea what it was but I told them that it came from the Greek word meaning “pente” that means “five” and “gonia” that means “angle”, so my logic told me that it must be something with five angles (yeah, so stupid).

I made terrible and embarrassing spelling mistakes. But hey…I guess that is the only negative thing about speaking 4 different languages at the age of ten.

Why am I telling you this? Because I hate the fact that so many people enjoy bringing others down. The reasons for that are endless, but I would like you to know that they can only hurt you if you let them.

Yes, I was constantly bullied and it did get to me but that all stopped when I turned thirteen. It didn’t hurt me no more because I knew whoever was behind that bully was so empty, that he or she had to empty someone else with their negative criticism. I embrace positive criticism. That is my way of getting better at whatever it is that I am doing.

When I started promoting my music I received all types of comments. Some of them did hurt and some of them made me feel so loved that I couldn’t believe it.  I understood that not everybody could like me and that was ok. I like me. I believe in me and I think that is a good start point. 

I have learned to love myself. It has been a terrible battle with so many voices in autopilot inside my head but I did manage to make peace with myself. You don’t realize it, but sometimes WE are our biggest bully.

People are going to have their opinion and that is ok too. They are going to judge whatever it is that you are doing. Good or bad, right or wrong. So go ahead and ignore those comments. They are not worth it. You know exactly who you are. Negative comments are just a way of improving yourself. You are simply spectacular just the way you are. Yes, you heard me. SPECTACULAR. 

Someone once told me “whatever rocks you find in your path put them inside a bag because at the end of the road, you could build a house with them”. Well I have built a big solid building with a big parking lot, thank you very much.

 

 

The art of standing out

Image

I am sitting still and meditating a little. It is hard to concentrate with all the noise outside my window. I try to focus on my breathing but it is hard to breathe when you have a small pain piercing your heart.

Sometimes I miss a lot of people and a lot of things that used to make me happy. But sometimes you have to let go and keep moving forward.

When I decided to become a dancer I knew the road would be lonely. Dancers often submerge in their world and isolate themselves in straining rehearsals, studios full of competition and with no time for external contact with the rest of the world. I decided to stop studying dance when I felt that it wasn`t fun anymore. I stopped dancing because I was getting more pain than satisfaction. Dont get me wrong, I still love to dance and I always will. Personally, dancing has become like a long-lost lover that I miss but know it’s not the most important thing in my life anymore.

When I stopped being a dancer I became a singer. It wasnt something that started overnight, I always sang, but I decided to pursue it as a career because music was a big part of my life. I loved to write my songs and started to drain emotions every time I wrote one.

So I isolated from the world once again. I lost close friends, I ignored the partying, I stopped smoking and drinking and eventually stopped living in the real world and submerged in the parallel world of music.

I started working like crazy. I went home from the studio at 4:00 am. Everybody else at my age went partying and having fun. The only thing that cheered me up was going again to the studio and working. It was my world and I loved it. It also came with a price: I was surrounded by some many people but I felt so lonely.

That is when I realized it was my fault and nobody else´s responsability but mine. The road to success often is a very lonely road. You will be alone. People will start to bring you down because they simply don’t understand you. But you are happy in your way and you know that in the end it will be all worth it. I still am working towards my goal. There are good days and bad ones. But I love it and it makes me truly happy.

Dont be afraid to dream big, don’t be afraid to fail, believe and trust yourself. I guarantee you that it wont be easy. But then again if it was easy, everybody would do it. Do not be afraid to stand out, whoever you are and whatever you wish for. Be thankful that you have a flame inside you that makes you strive for something big.

Everybody is unique, there is no exact copy of who you are. Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t want. Remember that at the end of the day your happiness depends only on you.