Grey, but authentic.

To all Bulgarian (and not only) people .

‘-Everybody looks so grey.’- whispered a voice in my head when I was in the local supermarket.

‘-Grey clothes, Grey expressions, grey predominates the whole atmosphere around me’- the internal voice kept on ranting.

This internal realization happened when I was back home in Bulgaria. I spent a whole month in my home country, as I usually do, at end of each academic year. I went to the big cities and smaller ones. I also went to some villages. However, this greyness predominated the whole atmosphere. Do not get me wrong, this phenomenon is something that I have noticed before, while growing up in Bulgaria. However, this time I made the correlation between the colour and the general mood of the people around me. Greyness emanates depressive mood. A hopeless situation. An endless cycle of negative emotions. The ridiculousness of the whole story is that if you ask anyone on the street, they will know what causes this greyness, or rather they will list a few reasons what puts them in this grey mood. For a starter, ‘everybody is corrupt, politicians are crooked, the judiciary is a complete parody’ etc. These are the top most complains. Oh, and of course my favourite the ‘we’ll never get better’ chant. I am not saying that these claims are not legitimate or not real. They are! However, organizing our entire lives around them is rather problematic. This predominating grey mood puts everybody, even the more positive inclined people, in a pathological path of pandemic depression. In addition, as most sociological studies suggest, negative emotions only lead to divisions and conflict, whereas positive emotions, lead to more cooperative patterns of social behaviour. Think about it- if I hate going to the cinema, would I be more willing to go with you to watch a movie or not? In sum, Greyness predominates the scenery.

However, no matter how pathological Bulgarian people might be at times, we are generally authentic people, when it comes to expressing our emotions. We are going to shout at your face, when we are angry. We are going to lough loudly, when we are happy. We are going to cry loudly, when we suffer some pain. We are going to stand our ground strongly, when we are passionate about something. We are going to say things directly as they are. We are not going to be passive-aggressive; we simply will be aggressive when we mean it.

Therefore, greyness is not productive, but authenticity is what keeps us sane. I would rather be grey, but speak my truth, than be bright, but fake and sugarcoat everything I say to others. Authenticity is what makes relationships work, be they family, friends, or business. Authenticity prevents future conflicts occurring. Authenticity is the mother of progress of any kind. Of course, the perfect scenario would be if we could cultivate this authenticity more often, so we can become brighter, rather than grey. Unfortunately, we are not perfect. Or as the song goes… ‘I am only human after all…’

PS: Be grey, but keep on speaking your truth.

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