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This story is not new, and is not new to me neither. I posted this already on January 1st at the beginning of this year. I turned this post inactive for a while to see if I can really follow my resolution. I am proud to say that I made it. We are almost two months away from the new year and I feel pretty good about myself for clearing my soul off from all the unnecessary lies and falsity. I found peace in myself, in being myself, in accepting myself with all the gifts I have to offer to others and my flaws I have to keep an eye on. And so, I am re-posting this article again today and feeling satisfied of my accomplishment. It’s time now to think about my new resolution. As usually I leave my soul to lead me. So far the theme has been LOVE. I will let my soul to drive me again…

My New Year’s Resolution is “Take off your mask, be yourself, be real, and fight against the hypocrisy.”

I learned a valuable lesson these days that masks do not stay on for too long. Here is the Real Cinderella Story and how I painfully lived it:

Cinderella purchased a ticket to attend the Silvester Ball in Vienna on the New Year’s Eve. Cinderella worked hard all year, saved some money, and finally went to Vienna to see how it feels to be inside the castle and to be treated like a real princess. Well, before going to the party, Cinderella had a little thing to fix, her dress. Luckily for her, in the apartment she rented for her short stay in Vienna, she met her two step-sisters and that young boy,the childhood friend as the story is told. Cinderella knew that she could count on this young fella as the story has been told and retold many times, but what she learned in this visit is that her step-sisters were really, really nice people. Not only two step-sisters were happy for Cinderella to go to Ball, but they also helped her getting ready and all fixed up. As luck had it, one of her sisters was good at fixing the dress as she was doing her master degree in fashion. So, while sister Yvonne was fixing the dress and the young lad was preparing some coffee, sister Tamara was keeping Cinderella in a good company. She was very very happy.

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As Cinderella made it to the Ball, she could not believe her eyes, how beautiful everything was and she kept taking pictures to make sure that this was not just a dream.

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As she got inside the castle she became amazed more and more. Indeed that place was like a dreamland. People that she met there, other Ball attenders, liked her very much, and Cinderella felt for awhile that she belonged in that crowd and that she was going to have a good time that evening. Why not? Everything seemed so perfect.

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The shocking moment came pretty soon. As Ball attenders were getting to the rooms based on their tickets, Cinderella learns that she did not belong in the main room, where the New Year’s Eve program was going to take place soon. She had specifically requested and based on her purchase a reserved a seat could be there in the main room for Cinderella to sit and peacefully enjoy the program that evening. Unfortunately, she learned that not all that shines is precious. Some snobby people did not want Cinderella in the room with the rest of others ball tenders who were escorted by partners, while pretending to be happy, or that had tons of money. Cinderella does not fit that bill; she comes from a working class that works hard for her money. Cinderella also didn’t think that false advertisement would be a normal thing for the Silver Ball organizer Sabrina Weber. Cinderella is used to life in Canada, where you pay for the service and you get it, no matter what class you belong, no matter if you are single, divorced or married, if you are straight or gay, no matter who you are, you feel worthy in Canada. But that night Cinderella felt pretty bad when she learned that even though she paid 250 Euros for a table in the main room, as advertised in their website, Cinderella had no chance sitting there in that room that night.

Sabrina Weber, the Ball organizer, at least could not deny the purchase of the ticket, but instead of the main room she offered Cinderella the Winter room that true to its name was as cold as a cellar. What made matters even worse was that fact that this room had no access to the main ballroom, where the program was playing. Cinderella was furious with Sabrina’s maneuvers of taking advantage of simple people and probably gave her seat to someone more important, with titles and money that probably purchased their ticket the last minute. Cinderella asked Sabrina what is she supposed to do in the room where nothing was going on, not even other ball tenders in that room; just some waiters, empty tables and a bar? Cinderella didn’t buy her ticket to sit alone? She was hoping to bring some sense in Sabrina’s little head, but Sabrina answered in her snobbish way “Look outside the window. It is beautiful out there.”

So folks, even though Cinderella made it inside the castle, she was told to enjoy the beauty outside the castle, because the party inside the castle was forbidden for Cinderella… Cinderella, was too simple for Sabrina’s taste to belong in any of the rooms that had access to the main program. Cinderella realized once more, how glad she was to be living in Canada, free of frames and titles.

Cinderella did not know what to do; to stay in the Winter room since a table would be available for her to sit during the evening, to stand at the door of the main ballroom and watch the show from there just like other ball tenders who did not purchase tickets with seats, or live the castle all at once will all the hypocrisy and the lies behind? So unfair! Cinderella felt humiliated, and ripped off by the false advertisement. At that moment Cinderella remembered Sabrina’s words, “Look outside the window.” And Cinderella looked outside of the window and once again she felt like she did not belong inside the castle with snobbish, closed minded people like Sabrina. Therefore, Cinderella left, running away one more time just before the mid-night, without leaving any slipper behind this time.

Cinderella went back to her simple accommodation, hoping that no one would be there at that time in the apartment, so that no one would know what happened to her and how she was tricked in purchasing an expensive ticket to just sit alone in one of the rooms of the castle. But, sure enough, as she was climbing the stairs, her new friends, her step-sisters and the lad, were just going outside to celebrate the New Year’s arrival soon. They heard Cinderella’s story and they hugged her and comforted her. Their warm hugs and love made her realized that Cinderella belongs with them, with simple people that have no prejudice about nationality, religion, politics or money. Their warm and sincere hugs melted Cinderella’s heart. That special hug, that group hug, the love with which they showered Cinderella, made her realized that it was her destiny (as sister Tamara kept reminding her) to be with people that are worthy because of their hearts not because of their money.

And so they all went outside, and joined the mass of happy people who were standing outside the castle, and truly and sincerely celebrated the arrival of not just the New Year but the arrival of the New Area.

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My Cinderella story does not end here. We all four vowed to fight for justice and peace in the world, and we will be doing this by spreading the sincere love. As my sister Tamara put it, it does not take a war to stop a war, it takes love.

So, I am calling out to all people out there that are like me and my friends, to take your masks off if they feel like burdens to you, stop pretending or trying to fit somewhere in those groups with snobbishly rich people. Instead be happy with who you are, be happy with yourselves because you are all worthy. You are worthy not because of what you can offer with your money but what you can offer from your heart, and that is priceless, that is the precious thing that money cannot buy, that is love.

If you feel worthy, not because of your money or the statusquo, but because of what you can offer to the humanity with your valuable skills and your heart, then send me a smile, so I would know that I am not alone.

Thank you,

Ardiana Bani

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