Mircea Serediuc, also known as Tzury. A nickname that would change his life. You may know him as a public speaker, TEDx speaker, Android developer, volunteer, but, most important of all, experience creator. Similar to some colors put chaotically on an easel by a painter. But it turned out to be the most beautiful creation when the colors got to fuse.
His eyes are green and may seem a little nervous, his deep voice reveals a strong decision to open up, to be alive. Tzury’s story is, from my point of view, the one of an emotional abandoned child who traveled an adventurous and explosive road, so he can learn who he is. You could admire him for a lot of his achievements, as you will find out as we get close to this coverage end. But their real value comes from the fact that the stairs he used to reach them are the same he went down, before, one by one, in what we can call a hell of a pain.
“A kid doesn’t care if you are a manager, a CEO, whatever… No, a kid wants to play with the man sitting beside them. My mom was a quality control manager, my dad was a businessman…”, Tzury says.
His parents had important titles, so they offered him everything, except their presence. He grew up until he was 5 years old with his grandparents, facing an acute urge of belonging, wanting, more than he could realize, to be seen, accepted, loved for who he was.
“This is how we grow up, with ‘Don’t embarrass me’ forged in the back of our head. We disconnect from the reality we are living in so we can make others proud, so we don’t abash ourselves, so they can continue loving us. Shame is telling you that you’re not good enough. Not that you should feel guilty about anything. You define yourself as a man that doesn’t know how to draw or do this or that. And then I got to ask myself, do I even want to be good at this?!”, he says.
He was put face to face with a system that would crush his identity, both at school and at home. To meet the expectations his parents had for him, in a social context, even in his own imagination about what he should be, so he can have the right to exist. And as he felt that he couldn’t relate to those unbearable patterns, his emotional unbalance was rapidly surfacing. He became obese, weighing 137 kilos (302 pounds).
Nine years he had been bullied, his fellows were calling him Tzury, they refused to play with him unless he had a ball to share. He hadn’t had a girlfriend until he was 24 years old because, as he recalls, he was fat…
And so, years went by playing video games, he had found a friend in alcohol, desperately seeking for any kind of external validation. And when he managed to date a girl, he found himself drowning in pain, after a breakup. The abandonment seemed to stubbornly take bite after bite out of him. “When I realized I had to stop running away from pain and actually face it, live it, I had some pretty rough times. I kept thinking I didn’t deserve that…Watching girls passing by and not having the guts to ask them out. And I had put so much pressure on myself, blaming myself that another night passed by, and I kept on failing on finding someone. And I kept on crying, kept on getting drunk until I eventually got tired…”, Tzury says.
The worst time of his life was when he found out that his dad wasn’t really who he thought he was. His father not only got sick, fighting with diabetes, which he had neglected, along with a cerebrovascular accident, but he had also kept silent regarding some things that would leave a lot of scars.
He had to make a decision, not an easy one, but a necessary one, to take his father to an asylum. Also being the man in the house, a role Tzury silently took over from childhood. After a second cerebrovascular accident, the man he idealized had died. Seeing his father on the battlefield, with his weapons down, after yet another breakup, Tzury was standing on the last floor of a building, thinking about taking a leap.
Without any hope left, identifying himself with his father before he had died, Tzury learned how to defeat death, by choosing to take the first real step towards being alive. He woke up from this suffocating pain, so he could be alive. Just like he had done ever since he was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. “I had the chance to work with this shrink who asked me: ‘How many children were you?’ And I replied: one. ‘And how many were you supposed to be?’ I don’t know…I’m the lucky one who got to live…”, he says. So he decided to stick around and see what happens next.
In his new journey which, somehow, started since his dad got sick, over 40 kilos of unbearable emotions were released, he discovered meditation, a method of bringing peace to his mind, he paid more attention to his sleeping schedule, so he could find vitality from within and he started working out. It took great courage, but, with professional help, he started creating new experiences, he wanted more than just filter some information.
“Six months I walked through the world, I went to a ‘You got Humor’ audition, I had a stand-up comedy number, I gave skydiving a shot, I collected funds so I could teach children from Kenya, Indonesia, and Mexico. I was also a mentor at a public speaking workshop, I took dancing lessons, I even dressed up as a woman once, anything you can think of that could make me experience shame, so I can feel it and not run from it…”, says Tzury.
In spite of it all, he mastered finding his way home, coming out of his shell. “I belong, I belong to myself, it took me a while to figure it out. It all starts with self-acceptance, and this is not quitting, this means finding another way to get there, because if you quit, it’s you that you’re quitting on, it’s you the one who doesn’t get another chance. People quit because they believe they are not good enough, they start comparing”, he says.
That one experience that may seem singular, but it isn’t.
“I believe that the things that we need most are within us, somehow. But, in the same time, you need someone to sit next to you, to help you figure out some things. It’s live driving, you always have this blind spot and you need someone that can see. Not to get addicted to, but someone you can be mirrored in, from another perspective, there is always hope”, Tzury says.
How he got to accept the name Tzury: at the end of a play, as an actor in a troupe of people who weren’t officially accepted as actors, the entire auditorium was calling out his name, cheering for him; he realised that his place was on stage, so he continued going on all types of stages, calling himself Tzury.
He dreams of having a family, a child whom he will not abandon, and a community of people who can look into each other’s eyes and say “I know how it feels”, even though this is often accompanied by shame, fear, and doubt, things he continues to encounter, but now he can also joke about them. He strongly believes that each of us is born with a mission, and his mission seems to be that of telling how he accepted himself, so others can accept themselves too, and then tell their stories. Regarding his phenomenal intuition, as he names it, he thinks he has to live more so he can figure out how to use it properly.
This coverage is part of the #saniting project – “One step on the edge of life”. Any donation for building an emotional balance support center is welcome.