Princess Leia the Fleja
TThe power of suggestion can make some individuals lucky to gain the confidence to utilize their talents. Princess Leia - Fleja can come at any time in life.
“Martha! Get down from there! We don’t have time, and I’m not sure the boots will be visible in that light,” said Alex, the photo master.
“How does it look?” I asked not sure about a strange outfit combo I pulled off.
“Yeah, you look like someone out of Star Wars, especially with that headgear!”
“Star Wars…” I laughed, shaking in the cold Scandinavian wind, and all of a sudden my mind dipped in the sweet dust of high school memories…or maybe it just went into hypothermic shock because- don’t be tricked by the golden light- it was very cold that day.
I was 15 years old, pacing the high school corridors waiting for the math class, thinking over and over, “Help me, fire drill, you’re my only hope.”
Suddenly I heard Sebastian say: “Princess Leia is coming!” As I approached the wooden bench, too nervous to sit down with the rest of the kids.
“Why do you call her Princess Leia?” Asked my friend Kate.
“It’s because of the hair,” laughed Sebastian- “Twisted in buns on top of the head?”
“Well, that’s not exactly Princess Leila’s double bun vibe, but I don’t mind,” I said, amused, taking the compliment before I would take the mathematic beating in front of everyone.
I was scared of math, and my general likability was the only thing that helped me save face from the utter humiliation I experienced every time I stood helplessly at the blackboard, unable to finish an assignment. Sometimes someone sitting in the first row would whisper what I should write next and that would help me to wing it. It was pretty awful. Gladly the nice nickname Princess Leia stuck more than the recognition of my poor mathematical skills and I was never made fun of- something not all high school kinds were lucky to escape.
Back at home, I bumped into my sister.
“I heard everyone calls you Princess Leia at school, huh?” Said my sister with a mischievous grin.
“They all should know that you are truly a Princess Fleja,” (our made-up slang for a slob) she teased, “And that you smear chocolate all over your hoodie when you eat Hershey bars!” She laughed, and I laughed too because the names were super funny alone but even funnier in the combination – Leia the Fleja! And in a way, it was true. I had been smearing chocolate all over the place when I ate bars and had a habit of deconstructing the candy into elementary particles…
After I snapped out of the high school memory vortex, I started to think – can the right words at the right time shape the rest of your life?
Listening to yet another podcast about the power of suggestion, I learned that blind people who were suggested that they could “see” using echolocation could function and interpret the world far more meaningfully than those who were not encouraged/suggested to do so. I found that interesting and wondered how being perceived as Leia – Fleja affected my teenage years and later on adulthood.
The power of suggestion and the subsequent gap between how the world sees you and how you then do or do not grow into that suggested expectation can make some individuals lucky to gain the confidence, to utilize their talents or not. Princess Leia – Fleja can come at any time in life. It can come from formal, educational, work feedback, or a friend at any moment – the right words at the right time could help or hinder shaping the rest of your life. The type of words that could pierce the armor wrapped around the hidden, intimate areas of life can have an even bigger influence.
That potbelly, those small tities, that big nose, that laugh – the first time your boyfriend or girlfriend likes them could influence how you see it- you could look in the mirror and either see a queen or a stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder. Nobody matters like those first early critics; mainlining reviews direct to your heart before it has time to build a shell…if they like your dimples or your hips, maybe you have a lifetime ahead of liking them too. Especially when these comments come early in life, they make a big impression because we don’t have a huge audience of opinions. We get the people that happen to come with our community. Strangers on the Internet can’t replace that. So the words of a local bully get the New York Times opinion value, which can shape the rest of someone’s experience.
Did the power of suggestion help, hurt? These are the hidden forces that shape our stories for better or worse.