DON’T LEAVE ME HANGING! by Julia Furedi

#GAHSPsubjective is a new initiative introducing thought-provoking testimonies of Creatives revealing their raw reactions to specific themes. The goal of this campaign is to shock and to disturb.


RVZR, As I am. Completed September 2021 on Procreate. Courtesy of the Artist.


As our first guest we invited dr. Julia Furedi from Hungary to speak on the topic of "SILVER LINING". Furedi is an Organizational Psychologist, HR Specialist and Writer. With more than 25 years leadership experience in corporate environments, she became an advocate for the HR paradigm shift improving psychological safety and digital transformation. Her latest book, published in August 2021 (FÜREDI Júlia, ELÉG! Kiégtem. Most Hogyan Tovább?. Kulcslyuk Kiadó, 2021.), entails the phenomena of burn-outs, providing an insight of how you can notice early signs of it, as well how you will be able to overcome such a challenging mental and physical state.


RVZR, She. Completed July 2020 on Procreate. Courtesy of the Artist.


DON’T LEAVE ME HANGING!

by Julia Furedi


... and they lived happily ever after. No, no, no, no, no! How dare you leaving it at that?! I demand to know what exactly happened to them afterwards!

How did Cinderella cope with household chores then on? Did she develop PTSD, when she opened the broom closet? What happened to Snow White? Did she ever have a fight with her prince husband about her past? You know...having lived with seven men under the same roof for years? Did they go to couple’s therapy? How did it work out for them? Did she ever visit the Dwarfs again? And what about the little guys? Who cleaned up or cooked for them when she was gone? Did they get a microwave and advertised for a cleaning lady?

What happened to Little Red Riding Hood after that gruesome incident at granny’s? Was she sued by PETA? Did she inherit the house? Did she pay taxes on that?

How about Sleeping Beauty? Did she contemplate ever taking up a new career following that unfortunate workplace accident with the spindle? Or did she decide that it was best to stay away from it all and raise her kids in the palace?

Aren’t you curious what happened? Or is it just me?

You see, growing up I loved fairy tales. And when I started to read them to my kids, I got this growing sense of unease.

If we accept the premise that tales are to mirror reality but in a way that good and bad are simplified clearly and distinguishable, we create a moral compass. However, I noticed that we do leave a lot to luck. Serendipitous events turn the fate of these characters from abysmal to heavenly in a short span of time. Just by chance princes find, save, dance with these ladies. And that kind of luck does not mirror real life.

I am fully aware of the fact that most of you who are reading this, lead a life that is more than ok, though might be far from a bona fide fairy tale.

But from time to time, we need a kind of map of some sort, that shows us the way out of a situation. And even if we do not know where we will end up eventually, we can hold onto the reassurance that we are doing fine, we are moving in the right direction. Each tiny step of the way, we feel a sense of accomplishment that is the result of our grit, perseverance and creativity. The belief that we will be able to find the solution, come through is a powerful one.

You see, I grew up in a country that lost all its wars, except for the hopeless ones. As if it was in our DNA to make sure that when all else seems to fail, we reach for our last resources that could be anything from wit, innovative juices, through unlikely collaborations to sheer willpower. Strangely enough, luck is hardly ever on our side. We are not used to getting lucky, hence our pessimism that fully contradicts the ingenious ways we regularly get ourselves out of sticky situations.

For the past two years all of us have been winging it on a daily basis. We have encountered uncertainty, fear, grief, sadness, isolation, disappointment and the list goes on. And we are sorely missing the blueprint that could help us cope. Those who live in close-knit families, or have their tribe of trusted friends are able to adjust easier. They share stories of relatives, ancestors, acquaintances, who went through tough times and we can listen to the details of their hardships, their solutions, their escapes, their survival, and most of all: the answer to the question, now what?

The immense power of these stories lies in their ability to show that there is a silver lining. And that silver lining is called hope.

Coming back to our fairy tale heroines, I would like to see them in action, when they acknowledge the fact that they got lucky once, but since then they have become down to earth and are able to deal with the trials and tribulations of everyday life. But we have no information on that.

This is why I prefer the tales of the Hundred Acre Wood. Just look at this bunch of lunatics! Here is Winnie-the-Pooh, the epitome of body positivity, while clearly an emotional eater, whose answer to any kind of stress is a jar of honey. Piglet is in a constant state of panic, surely missing all healthy coping mechanisms apart from hiding under the bed squealing. Rabbit is neurotic and a control freak, so any kind of event on a larger scale (think global warming or a pandemic) would make him freak the hell out. And there is Owl, the arrogant know-it-all, scaring everyone else by showering them with random pseudo- scientific facts. Let’s be honest here, Kanga is a full-on Jewish mother with all her nagging, while Roo is just a spoilt brat, period. Tigger is so full of himself and has zero sense of danger, so risk management is a big issue for him. And of course, there is Christopher Robbin, the grown-up, the voice of reason among this lot, with little accomplishment to show for it. And there is my favorite character: the clinically depressed Eeyore. The grumpy one, who whines and mumbles gloomily hours on end. Any resemblance to those around you?!

I bet you are sitting next to a Piglet or a Roo in this very moment. And the fact that these colorful, yet flawed group of creatures are able to survive their adventures, get themselves out of dangerous, often life-threatening situations, that to me is a true blueprint. Luck is hardly ever involved. It is their dependence on each other, their creative problem-solving skills, their empathy that always saves the day and their asses. And I just love that! This is what I am missing from those fancy fairy tales!

So, you see, we really need to know what happens after the living happily ever after part, and three dots. Because what follows, it really matters: the nitty-gritty stuff. That gives us hope. And hope dies last. At least, that is what I am hoping for.


RVZR, Tribe. Completed September 2019 on photoshop. Courtesy of the Artist.


Written and edited by Julia Horvath

Image Courtesy of RVZR