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Sunday, November 27, 2005
Is it really me or an imitation of others?
I have just finished reading Jean Paul Sartre’s “The Words” (Les Mots). This book has really gotten me to think about my childhood from a very different point of view. I used to think what I did was a manifestation of me, I never thought of it as imitation. But I probable was just imitating the grownups, my only companions in our small universe – our apartment.

Kindergarten and my little friends from the block were probably the reason that kept me real. But I always loved to please my parent, to impress the grownups. At about four I was my fathers pride, as I was able to learn short fables (Lev Tolstoi’s from a little book I have later read several times) by heart and reproduce them with the book open with such accuracy, that our guests actually thought I was reading.

The reading part come a bit later, at about 5. It wasn’t my parents idea to teach me. It was just that they used to read after work and I wanted to do the same. So I just told them I wanted to read. I started learning the letter and the first word I ever read was “Flacarile” (Flames), the title of a book that I only read a year ago. The first book I read was “Fram, The Polar Bear”, a quite large book, with lots of pictures, followed by “The Jungle Book”, in the very same format.

I remember this huge smile I had on my face when I ran into the kitchen screaming I could read. They all came to the living room to see the show: there I was a small, tiny little girl standing by a huge bookshelf (we have always had a few thousand books in our living room) and pointing to the book whose title I managed to read…

Then writing came as another means of impressing people (grownups and kids all the same) A secondary school student writing a novel about a girl-bull fighter from Spain…My Geography teacher was impressed! Then in high-school my target was the Literature teacher – the means, essays and the only novel I ever finished. She checked it, said it was good and that I should go on trying to publish it.

I didn’t. You might wonder why…Well the novel was never good enough for me! The hardest person to convince, impress and mesmerize was me…See I was always a great student in my first 12 years in school (before university). People admired me. Yes, but there were two persons that actually knew what a lazy time waster I was: my mom and I. While my colleagues thought I was spending all day long studying to get to be that good, we knew I was always studying in the last moment, with fear deep inside my bones.

It was always easy for me to learn, study, and for most subjects the information was not lost, although to an outsider my way of learning might have seemed mechanical. But I knew my full capacity was never tried out at least. Maybe only for a few hours a day…But I got tired of it and never even tried to push my limits. I’d rather read a book or write one, watch TV or have a walk…

I’m still the same person, although I try very hard to get myself on track, to finally use the maximum of what I have, to stop wasting it. But the easy way is sooo tempting, even for an almost grownup.
posted by Alina @ 10:36 AM  
  • At 11/28/2005 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very, very impressive little genius!

  • At 11/28/2005 5:29 PM, Blogger Nightlegend said…

    Thanks Kayla for this glimpse about your rading life & habbits ,and it's great that you still able to manage sometime for reading inspite of your busy schedule.
    Keep us updated about the titles you read.

  • At 11/28/2005 9:00 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    No, not really a genius, or not amynore :)

    Night, I will surely keep you updated. My time for reading is mostly reduced to subway rides but it's still better than nothing.

  • At 11/28/2005 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My face is still hurting! :)))))

    Hope the exam was ok! :)

    Take care!

    ps I forgot my blogger account and password...I am a shame for the world of bloggers..but you gotta addmit I am special :)


  • At 11/28/2005 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ah, and I agree on the reading part!

    kiss, kiss


  • At 11/29/2005 11:19 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Hey, C, how are you? Your face will be ok, eventually :))

    What reading part exactly? Please be more specific on the problem you are facing, as this supporter is down with a cold and on morning shift, in a word, sleeeeepppppyyyyyy! :D

  • At 11/29/2005 11:16 PM, Blogger bart said…

    your story echoes mine in some ways kayla... i'm glad you're trying to achieve as much as you can now, it's so important to keep the brain cells occupied in a meaningful way, failing to do so leads slowly but surely to a kind of "brain death"....

    i've been a chronic underachiever most of my life, letting myself be distracted in any and many ways... now i'm really trying my hardest to maximise potential i'm being tied down in so many ways that it's hurting...

  • At 11/30/2005 8:58 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Yeah, I found myself close to brain death a few times. I am trying hard to stay away from it.

    Trying to maximize potential is one of the hardest things I ever had to do. For example, when I finally managed my time properly, all my plans were royally screwed up by a damned cold that kept me in bed after work...:)Well, I'll have to find a way to also fit the cold into my schedule!

  • At 11/30/2005 3:38 PM, Blogger DCS said…

    Kayla, I admire the fact that you still take time to read. I love reading, but it's hard for me to find time to read for pleasure. That may be due, in part, to the fact that I read so much in my job. Like your parents, I have a ton of books at home. In fact, I need to buy another bookcase.

    As for Sartre's philosophy, this is my take. There is no question that parents influence their children. Obviously, your parents influenced you in some very positive ways. But, at some point, you carved out your own identity. You have determined who you are today. And you should be very proud of the person you have become. I'm sure your parents are!

    As for maximizing potential: It seems as if my life mirrors yours, based on what you have written. Simply put, I haven't grown up yet!

    Thanks for such a thoughtful post.

  • At 12/03/2005 10:47 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    DCS, not that much time...maybe an hour a day. And I don't count what I read for school and work, that is a must, not something I choose to do.

    I agree Sartre's theory is only partially true. But he gave me a different view on the reasons for which I started doing some things. Later I bacame myself and did everything for me, mostly.

    And simply put, I haven't grown up yet, don't wand to just yet and don't wish it for others either! :D

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Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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