Poshified provides a scholarship award to the woman with an essay that best matches the theme and provides inspiration to the Poshified blog readers. The theme for the Fall 2016 Poshified Scholarship was:
“ACTION! Turning those dreams into reality as part of empowerment requires ownership, accountability, and responsibility.
And the winner is….
Hannah is an engineering student at NYU. Not only was her essay inspiring, the prose was impressive and her ability to dream impossible to suppress.
Her winning essay is posted below. Essays by the runners up will be posted in the coming days.
I must say, this was one of the most difficult rounds to decide upon. So many of the submissions brought a tear to my eye and caused me to dream a little harder. And take action on my own dreams too.
THE WORLD OF A SPONGY SOUL
“Never despise a person because of his sensitivity. His sensitivity is his genius.”
- Charles Baudelaire
I’d like to you to go somewhere with me.
The Vast, I call it. In this place, trees dance in crystal raindrops and waterlilies sing on snowflakes. In this place, stars plunge into cups of liquid suns and burst into flames upon skies of Technicolor. Souls are enflamed with amazing sensations, actuality fades into nothingness and fresh waterfalls of knowledge are manufactured…
Isn’t it beautiful?
This haven is just one of the countless worlds that are birthed in my mind every single day. And in the minds of so many other highly sensitive people that I know. Growing up as a “softie” in a small poor country on the stomach of Africa, I felt incredibly wealthy. Everything from the subtle difference between Persian and Rose pink to the spherical nuances of contemporary music resonated deeply within me. I can distinctly remember sitting alone in a candle lit room when I was eight years old; I cried like a baby as I watched the soft light of the candle selflessly bleed onto the ghostly shadows within its tiny scope and burn them into oblivion. I wanted to be like that candle one day.
Though I found the sensitive part of myself invaluable, the fact that my spirit was so absorbent made it very difficult to live in an increasingly fast paced and aggressively stimulating world. Innocent remarks made by people who probably meant no harm kept me up at night shedding immeasurable amounts of tears, and being in crowded places for too long felt like an internal thunderstorm of its own. My physical health was especially vulnerable to noise and strong smells and I had frequent visits to the ENT specialist, who, disappointingly, didn’t have plausible explanations for my ailments.
Unfortunately, my psychological health also took a harsh and almost debilitating beating. Other people’s emotions and traumatic experiences latched onto my emotions so easily, and I took on burden I did not own ten thousand fold simply because I was highly perceptive of the world’s discord. My spirit was weighed down further by constant castigation from my peers. “You are such a cry baby.” “Can’t you just toughen up?” “You are so weak and immature!” The waves of overwhelming sensory energy and pain slowly started to suffocate me, and when I
felt their cruel fingers start to reach into my body and hack away at my soul, my will gave in. I walked to the pharmacy and bought a bottle of sleeping pills.
As I sat on my bed that evening with a glass of lemon water in hand, I made the decision to end my life.
It’s amazing how dandelion flowers can flourish amidst the cracked and often infertile soils of deserts. I wanted to leave this earth. I really did. But I knew that by choosing to end my existence, I was concurrently destroying that one surviving flower; the same one that nurtured my creativity and imagination; the one that felt passions so profound they greatly surpassed the treasures of the earth. Beneath the harsh waves of pain, I decided to hang on just a little longer.
I dried my tears, threw the pills in the bin and walked back into life’s warm embrace.
Over the next few weeks, I couldn’t help but ask myself, ” Is there someone else out there like me?” I then decided to start a small online community at my school, with a few details about my characteristics and to encourage people who identified with me to talk about their own experiences. I was shocked by the number of responses that I received! People out there were actually suffering with the same exact issue, but they just did not know where to voice their heavily bottled up emotions.
I then continued to schedule an actual HSP meetup for all of us (20 to be exact) to interact and support each other. The first session was incredibly successful. We all shared our emotions and offered helpful coping mechanisms to each other over some tea and cookies. I am planning to continue expanding this network at my new university, and hopefully someone out there who is struggling will know that help is indeed very existent, and they don’t have to feel alone anymore.
The first and most important piece of advice that I give new members in HSP sessions is that being sensitive is VERY okay. It is infact an innate gift that God has placed upon us; the ability to quickly recognize normally ignored imbalances in society and use our talents to make a substantial difference in those particular areas. Notable personalities like Jessica Chastain, Micheal Jackson and even Albert Einstein have all confessed to being highly sensitive.
However, I also tell them that it is imperative to know that we own this trait, and not vice versa. Channeling our sensitivity into creating brilliant projects is wonderful, but it should be controlled if letting it manifest itself results in compromising our goals and priorities as humans. Sometimes the lion has to be tamed for a little while, so the deer can go out and play.
My sensitivity is my wealth.
Want to send us a submission for a Spring 2017 Poshified Scholarship?