Rebuild

Time is short. We don’t really want to hear those words, do we? Whenever someone says time is short it just makes us realize that our lives could come to an end at any moment now. We don’t want to even consider that, especially when we know we want to achieve so much more, we have so many goals, not just for now but for future that is yet to follow. We struggle to achieve our goals, our lives ending abruptly is just something we can’t think about because we’re just not done yet.

Sometimes we grow so frustrated trying to reach out for those impossible dreams that life becomes too much to handle. We grow tired, sad, depressed, disappointed in us and in life itself.  And, sometimes we just stop, realize we should enjoy what we have, cherish the people around us and just go with the flow.

We want to fight for that peace, that place, that feeling that makes us complete and makes us feel like home. In the meanwhile we are trying to survive the best way we can and cope with our past, regrets and disappointments. We try to learn from our mistakes and wake up to a new day as a new better person.

Love is still the answer in every little thing we do. The love for our passions, family, friends or whatever keeps us going.

So, if you are struggling, don’t worry. You are not alone in this! We each have our path to follow. Trust yourself, trust your dreams. It’s ok as long as you’ve tried. And if you are sick of trying, remember, when it all falls apart and your entire world breaks, there is only one thing left to do: Rebuild!

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Porto, Porto, Portugal!

Everyone is fascinated by Portugal lately and circumstances brought Lisbon and Porto on my path this February.

At first I was worried the weather will be harsh because after all it is winter. But, what a surprise, Lisbon offered sun and a temperature of 18 degrees to 22 degrees.  Porto was a bit colder and there was more wind, which is logic as it’s closer to the sea.

But in some moments I could have s   at in the sun wearing only a t-shirt…if only I was not always cold haha.

I am not going to talk about all the things you need to visit while in Lisbon or Porto. But, I would like to say that the people and the food truly impressed me. People are very calm, friendly and mostly mind their own business but if you need help they don’t hesitate to give it. The young people love to chill out in parks. At sunsets you can find the youth gathered around with their guitars, frees bees and all kinds of creative things. They love to sing, dance and express their emotions.

What is truly worth seeing is the Dom Luis Bridge in Porto. Sit there on the grass and watch the sunset accompanied by so many other souls dreaming just as you are.

I didn’t take the tram in Lisbon instead I visited bairro alto which was amazing to see and experience during the night. Bairro alto holds so many young artists singing in pubs and creating a place worth seeing and enjoying.

About food, I experienced all kinds of restaurants and I loved all of them. I am unfortunately not a fish lover but I did try out some delicacies and when it came to sweets, I had to try them all. Surprisingly I discovered some Brazilian products I loved such as the Guaraná soft drink and the Pão de queijo. And I must say I didn’t expect Lisbon to be so international but they have everything there and the people are also just as diverse as the food, all kinds of colors, nationalities mixed together in a calm and beautiful country. Let’s not forget the Porto wine which I found delicious and the so many wine varieties. You only need time and money haha.

Is Portugal worth it? Definitely! You must visit Lisbon and Porto but ignore the common touristic sights and try to enjoy the life there, watch the locals and lose yourself in the streets. It will be an unforgettable experience. And don’t worry, most of them speak English so roaming the streets is more for fun.

Why have dreams?

How many of you have a dream but have no idea how to make it real? Which one of you gave up his or her dreams afraid of what others might say? How many of you had to ‘grow up’ and become the same as the rest?

Why do we have dreams? Are they there just to make our lives miserable? To make us see something we can’t reach? Or are dreams there to guide us? Make us strive for more? Perhaps the dream itself is just a way to push you in the right direction and on the way there you will discover much more.

I have dreams. I have many dreams, countless…And yes, I am well aware I can’t have them all. But, I know in trying to reach for them I can learn amazing things on the way. If I dare to fly I will be able to see things I never dreamt of.  And this happens. It’s not just a theory. Sometimes I have a dream, on my way there I discover other things, other dreams, other opportunities in life and I continue on the new paths I’ve discovered.

Dreams aren’t illusions. They are there for a reason. They are the core of our personality, our childlike self when we were innocent and fearless. Never give them up and never stop listening to them no matter how crazy they may seem.

Just starting on the journey to follow your dreams might open doors you have never expected.

Moments

Moments. Our lives are made of moments, aren’t they?

The funny moment you went on that skinny dipping and you were both naked in the water, he or she looked at you different and on that breathless moment you fell in love;  the sudden moment you realized that for just that second you were happy; the sunny moment you closed your eyes and felt peace…

So many moments to think about, so many moments to live for, but they hurt…don’t they?

When you lost that moment and you think about it in a couple of years you realize it has slipped away and you would do anything to relive that moment over and over again.

So what can you do about those lost moments? The ones you think so much about. It seems there is a new detail every time. Then you get scared because you think you might have created new details instead of remembering the facts as they really were.

But what do you do? You create new moments. You search for a thrill, a moment to fall in love again, a moment to perhaps remember the old moment and feel a bit closer to who you were. But it’s not easy creating new moments that can live up to the old moments that you have come to worship so much.

I hate some of my moments. They hurt, hurt so much sometimes I’d like to reach in my head and in my heart and rip out every detail, forget everything about them and never feel that pain again. But I’m not sure what would remain of me then. If I take out my moments, my memories…they are everything I have left.

They are mine and mine only. I am the only one that felt them and remembers them the way that I do. They are unique in every sense of the way and no one can experience them the way that I did. So, if I take those moments away, no matter how painful it is to remember them, I would be taking a part of me out…or basically just my entire self.

And here is my dilemma: remember those moments because they were really beautiful, deep and real? Or erase them all because they have become a ferocious torment to my every existence?

Life is a gamble

A few weeks ago I was sitting in a restaurant completely irritated that the waitress was taking too long to take my order. I was about to leave. Then the waitress finally showed up. I ordered a sandwich and within a few minutes it was in front of me. I tasted the sandwich and I thought wow! This is incredibly good!

If the waitress told me from the beginning that their food was so good, I would not have bothered growing so impatient and irritated with her in the first place. This, because I would have known that the outcome will be great.

I had to think about it for a moment. Doesn’t that apply to our everyday lives? If we knew something good was about to happen to us, we wouldn’t bother overthinking everything anymore. We’d look at our present differently. We would enjoy the moment knowing that good things will come our way and that those good things are certain. Unfortunately, we don’t have that certitude.

It would be easier, wouldn’t it? To know that a job will lead you somewhere eventually so you know your efforts now will pay up later. Or that a relationship will grow and become so much more, so that gives you strength to put up with the down sides now. Or perhaps the other way around. If we knew now that the path we’ve chosen will lead us to nowhere, we’d be able to take a different path and spare ourselves the trouble.

But we don’t!

I could have just as well gotten a crappy sandwich instead, and my irritation would have just grown bigger. Or I could have left to a different restaurant and missed out on this perfect tasty sandwich.

What is the point that I’m trying to make?

Life is a gamble. If you don’t gamble at all, you will never have a chance in winning. If you gamble a lot the chances are you will either win more than you could have imagined or take the worst fall you’ve ever been afraid of all your life. The decision is in your hands. Patience, forgiveness, ambition, these are all qualities you need in order to succeed. Invest them in the wrong path and you’ll be wasting your time and talent. Then again, there are people who say we don’t waste our time when we are trying to achieve something, even if we fail, we either win or learn.

Looking at my own life I don’t know what is better. I have the tendency of liking too many things at the same time when it comes to my hobbies, to my career perspectives and when it comes to love, well…I put all of me in it. I go all the way when it comes to the matters of the heart which also means that I fall all the way down when it goes wrong. Quote strange because, when it comes to changing my career perspective I usually decide to stand in the middle afraid I might fail and will have to start all over again.

From both these experiences I learn a lot but I can’t say my health finds it very invigorating. And what else do we have than our health? If our health goes down, then the story ends. So, to me it’s a constant juggling between my passion, ambitions, love and my health, trying to keep them all in balance. Some might say change the way you are, the way you think. To me it’s difficult to be selfish when I care too much about others and it’s difficult to be indifferent when I can see even with my eyes closed. And I don’t want to shut myself from the world, become one of those cold hearted people, my only aim to make money and live in luxury. I am not like that. To me, if there is no one to share it with, money, life itself become completely useless.

I talk a lot about gambling but perhaps another word for it is faith.  Have faith that all will turn out well and not worry about the future. But then again, that word seems too positive for me. I can’t say I always expect good things to happen. I am not a very positive person, never was and never will be. I just believe that being too positive creates different expectations and only leads to disappointment, while expecting the worse leads to either affirmation or pleasant surprises.

What to do next? Perhaps start gambling a little less and then see how it goes from there. Invest in love little by little instead of spending it all at once. Not sure if that means I will suffer just a bit every day instead of suffering all at once…

I am sure you have your own opinion on the subject, so I will end this post by quoting Heath Ledger’s smooth statement from the Casanova movie:

‘I have too long dominated the conversation. What are your thoughts on the matter?’

Cold weather, cold heart

It’s the 24th of February, the ‘Dragobetele’ is here. It’s the traditional Valentine’s Day in Romania but the weather isn’t making things easy. It’s cold, just snowed and we’re expecting temperatures up to -18 degrees during the night. No wonder everyone is so gloomy lately. It’s cold when it should be warm and the other way around.

I don’t know if it’s because of the weather but I have noticed a change in people lately. I’ve noticed how everyone, step by step is closing in. I noticed how people have become selfish, distant and secretive. It’s understandable. We all have a past to deal with.

We all, sooner or later learned we can’t trust the people surrounding us. Someone broke our heart at one point so, we decided to keep it more hidden from the outside world. We all came to the conclusion we should love ourselves first in order to move on and that priority one should be us. I understand that. But…selfish?

There is a difference between putting yourself first and expecting everyone else to put you first. People have become business men. You do something for me first then I will consider doing something back. It seems as if everyone is sitting on a bench waiting for the other to stand up, make a move, to act differently, to give hope. But, if we are all sitting on the bench, how will we make that possible?

I had a theory a few days back. A sad theory. I came across it when I looked at myself. It was Valentine’s Day and I expected to see love around me. Not me particularly but at least around me. I know Valentine’s Day has become commercial and seems an obligation but there is no need to spend money or act as expected from the rest of the world.

On that day I only saw people complaining about that day, ridiculing it. On that day I saw selfish people, demanding people that did nothing but at the same time expected everything to happen to them. I grew sad. Then I thought of young people, how reckless and crazy they can be. They act on their feelings and take no time to let their heart be told otherwise by their mind. Why is that? Why when we are young we can do so many things, never expecting anything in return and later on we grow so cold?

Because we were young, new, fresh and had no generous past to carry on with us. The older we get the more luggage we accumulate. Our thoughts and feelings change. Perhaps in the past we did a lot of things never expecting anything in return but then one day we realized why did we do them for people who did not deserve them? Now we think, it’s time for the other person to do those things for us. We set our priorities, blame our parents, clean out our friends list and start new. We start stronger. That’s the illusion.

Stronger. We think we are stronger because we don’t let anyone come near our hearts that quickly anymore. We think we are stronger because, we know what we want and we know we only deserve that, no less than that because we know our self-value. Stronger? Perhaps we should say colder. We’ve become colder. We closed ourselves in and created an ice fence around our hearts. We don’t have time for the things we used to have.

We don’t want to ‘invest’ in people we don’t know or listen to people that seem somewhat different from us. Time is essential. We don’t want to waste our time! Colder. Sometimes a part of the fence melts. We let someone in. We begin to hope again and expected something more. Then something happens. We freeze again. The ice around our hearts becomes stronger and even more difficult to melt than before. Cold. We think we are stronger and have the ability to deal with disappointments easier because we’ve learned to not have any expectations from anyone. In fact, we are detaching ourselves from the world. We become colder and colder until our hearts are unreachable.

How do we solve this? We can’t. We can’t expose our hearts anymore. It’s too precious for us. It’s become our treasure, our most valuable pearl. Perhaps one day, when the weather is warm and the birds are singing, for one moment, by mistake, a little part of the fence will melt and at that moment someone will steal our most valuable possession.

Let’s only hope that the thief is…an honest and worthy one. What can we do until that day? Do our thing. I believe we all have our thing. We have the ability to create. I believe creativity is the key. Do something, no matter what it is, as long as you put passion into it, it’s good. And look around, do something for others too. If you give a compliment or make someone smile, you are not giving away a part of your heart. You are only doing something expecting nothing in return as you used to do when you were young.

I said I am surrounded by selfishness but there are exceptions. I have met someone who helped me by giving me information without expecting anything in return, I have met another who gave a present just because he felt like doing so and another who loves to give hugs and compliments just to see me smile. Are they expecting something in return? Perhaps or perhaps not.

I believe that heroes are not the ones we see in action movies. I believe heroes are those who have been through enough in their lives but are still able to look around, do something for another person and dare to move on. Those who let a part of their frozen fence melted knowing that that is the only way to stay alive.

One day all the little things you do for others just because you want to, will add up and you will see. Dare. Make mistakes. Don’t throw yourself off a bridge…but dare to do things that you usually wouldn’t do. Make mistakes and learn. Time is valuable, I agree, but moments are above it and moments last forever. Don’t be caught by time and don’t think your time is that precious because time is not a possession, it’s merely a measurement method. At work time is money. But we are not working every single moment of our lives, are we? If we do then we are only machines and nothing more.

So on this crappy weather day do your thing, let go of the time notion and dare. Dare to live and dare to give.

Theory of happiness

I can’t let 2017 pass without posting an update. I can say that in the last period I have been rather distracted but I won’t use the word ‘busy’. When people say they are ‘busy’, I see this as an irrelevant information. It can only mean two things. One: you are either trying to show others that you are more important than you truly are, this making me question your self-esteem. Two: you have too much on your plate and lost control over the situation thus not realizing where your priorities lay, and I am about to send you to a time management course.

So, no. I haven’t been busy. I just didn’t find the need to post this until now.

I have been living in Romania for almost three years now. It feels strange to realize that I feel at home in a country in which I only lived five years before. What is home to me anyway? Am I not just a nomad? Or is that the reason why I feel the need to call a place ‘home’?

In Romania, I feel at home…in a way, yet there are doubts to whether this will be my final destination. I don’t know where this country is going and I am not sure I am that compatible with the people living in it either. In a way I still feel alone. I am certain the Netherlands was not my home though I appreciated it (now even more) for its infrastructure and order. The people there were even less compatible with my character and the environment did not suit me at all but there was less chaos and greed there than here.

People say that home is where your heart is. Home is where you will find the people you love. Yes, that is true but though I have the people I love around me there is still something missing. Perhaps my sanity is missing…

Yes, perhaps it is just me. I am just as restless as I have always been. That little Tasmanian devil inside me is turning and twisting asking for yet a new change. To where do I want to escape this time? From what am I running now? Responsibilities? God knows I’ve always had those and I accept them all so that can’t be it. Love? Life? Children? I want them all. I do not fear them. But I also want to reach my dreams. I grow frustrated that I am not there yet. I work hard but the results are minimal. And at the same time, I think, what is the point? Why am I pushing myself so? I remembered a beautiful quote by Einstein, it lives within me from time to time:

“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness,”

I am always eager to learn more, to achieve more. I want to fight, make myself heard, I want to achieve so much yet things always seem to stand in my way. But am I not trying too hard to achieve those things? Should I not be taking a deep breath instead, enjoying the little things? Should I not stop worrying, pushing and criticizing myself about the things I can’t do better or faster?

It’s time to look back and see what I’ve achieved since I moved to Romania. When you don’t put much thought into it, you don’t realize it. I am not a famous book writer (YET). I haven’t traveled to the end of the world (but I did visit some splendid inspiring locations within Europe).

I have new amazing friends, restarted old friendships, meeting new people and am taking singing lessons. It’s an incredible experience. I have always loved singing and performing but I have underestimated myself in that area. That’s the worse I have done to myself. I have underestimated my worth.

In the end I’ve done a lot of wonderful things, yet I don’t allow myself to see the positive things and the things I achieved. I only look forward and want to reach for those dreams. They can be achieved but not if I keep pushing myself in the wrong way. So cliché, isn’t it? And yet, I must remind myself of this daily to be able to focus on the good things and not on the things I don’t have.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I am sure that one way or the other you might have been through this as well. Perhaps there are words in my post that you find familiar. Perhaps these words will make you think about your own life and give you a little something to think about. We live in a strange world, in which becoming rich and famous seems to happen to people overnight. We wish for so many things yet, we haven’t the least clue what we will do with our wishes once fulfilled.

For this Christmas I will shut off my thoughts and enjoy the little things, all the things that come my way.