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Dedicated to my father

In my 4th grade, I had to move from the countryside, where I was living with my grandparents, to Bucharest, to live with my parents.

During my childhood, many kids were growing up with the grandparents, in the countryside. It was easy to make friends and spend all day playing outside.

Moving to Bucharest, I had to start going to a new school.  New kids, all the stress of relocating. After one summer holiday, the literature teacher asked us to write a story about how we spend time with our friends in the holiday.

I had an original idea.  I wanted to stand out in the class and write something original. This was my chance to show that I am talented and stand out.

I spoke with my father. He was a journalist and a very good writer; I was his biggest fan. I told him what I want to do, and he was happy with the idea and encouraged me to write the story the way I wanted.

The day came to present our assignment and the teacher asked us to read out loud our stories, in front of the class. My heart was racing, I was barely breathing of emotion. I lifted my hand up, requesting to read. And now it was my turn. After a short description of the place where I spent my holiday (my grandparents place), I started to describe how I spent my days with my best friend, what we were doing every day. I had to be very careful in my description not to disclose that I am not referring to a human, but an animal friend.

And, at the end of the story I said: “my best friend during the holiday was a cat”

At this point, everybody started to laugh. Even the teacher was smiling.

I was upset and confused. I thought I would impress the class with my story but instead they were laughing!  I came home upset and talk to my father. I remember him smiling as well. He told me that there was no problem with my article, it was a nice one, but not everybody will understand or like my original ideas.

Ten years after I met on the street by chance an ex colleague from school. After few pleasantries, she asked me: Do you remember the story you read that day? About the cat? It was so funny; I still laugh when I remember the story.

It was not easy to accept that I did not win the “Miss Popularity” price for my effort. But being original and true to my real talent paid off in the long run . I had by my side people that appreciated me for my talent , for whom I really was .