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Who are you?

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This question can easily bring some philosophical reflections, but before I personally start the exercise one of my favourite Disney characters, Mushu, pops into my head. Whoever watched Mulan can easily remember below quote:


Mulan:
Who are you?

Mushu:
Who am I? Who am I? I am the guardian of lost souls! I am the powerful, the pleasurable, the indestructible Mushu! I’m pretty hot, uh?

This dialog helps me relax before I open the door to meet my inner demons. Whether I like it or not they are part of who I am, and therefore I invite them out whenever it’s necessary to review our coexistence strategy. Today is one of those days.

The demons are my friends, because they easily highlight where and when I lost my true self. Yes, I am aware that the true self is not a static state. I know that what yesterday held true might not apply today. We, humans, are changing as fast as any new technology, but not all of us are truly conscious of this because it is too great a burden to bear. It is so much more comfortable to stay oblivious and experience only the surface of yourself.

Unfortunately, I’m not made that way. I live intensely certain situations and somehow manage to go down the rabbit hole every time. As painful as these experiences might be, I do try to look at each of them as a wake up call, as an opportunity to search inside me and come back stronger. I know I have the power to rebuild myself in ways that may seem impossible. All it takes is for me to wish to embark on the journey… But each time the very first step is the critical one and the most difficult part of the journey.

So far 2017 is a year that I want to forget – the balance between the happy and the sad moments is tilted towards the latter. Probably all the events that happened entail necessary life lessons and I should cherish all of them, but today I just want to Shift+Del Enter them. So, 2017 please stop challenge me this way!

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The beginning of the end

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Reflecting on yourself and your actions is the main source of growth. However, many people prefer not to do it because sometimes this entails pain. It’s not always pleasant to learn who you truly are and what you stand for. Therefore, individuals form this invisible citadel around them and stay oblivious to the impact they have on themselves or on others. They let the world’s expectations direct their path, and they live only touching the surface of the life itself.

Pain is a powerful motivator to overcome your status quo, to challenge what you think you know, to enhance your life in different shapes and forms. Pain opens doors to unknown lands, and it will help you explore your limits. Pain is an emotion that we should never hide from because it enriches our existence.

Failure is a state that none of us wants to be in. But once in a while we end up there simply because our current achievements or behaviours are not reflecting our past expectations. The perfect state we were aiming at is not reachable for various reasons, and this hurts us both mentally and physically. At the same time, if you take the time to embrace this suffering, you will gain valuable lessons. However, to learn from your experiences you have to commit to a long journey of self assessment. Sadly, many people I know don’t prioritise this because it’s an effort they perceive to be irrelevant for their well-being.

Success, on the other hand, is the state that all of us want to be part of. We want to feel good about ourselves, and therefore we identify and adopt a benchmark for success and aim to achieve it without considering that this standard was defined by another fallible creature. Unfortunately, we do not spend enough time to adjust the barometer to our own needs and wishes. Hence, we will unfailingly come across failures and adversities which hopefully will open our eyes and motivate us to sit down, take a breath and think about why we ended up here.

When we are done reflecting, we will have a holistic view of who we are and what the future might look like. This is the moment when the beginning of the end will start, and instead of being affraid of it we should cherish it.

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Why a vessel is called „she”?

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In 2013 I sailed for 5 days with Ebba Maersk which was once the largest vessel in the world. But knowing that there were bigger vessels out there didn’t stop me from being mesmerised when the car dropped me next to the gangway.

The reason for on-boarding the vessel was to understand how a ship works in general, but more importantly meet some of the people I was communicating with on a daily basis, a.k.a the vessels’ crew. I strongly believe this was a great opportunity for me to have a clearer overview of what life at sea implies, and similar trips should be mandatory to anyone that works closely with the vessels.

As in any industry shipping has its particularities. As a newbie I was absolutely flabbergasted that my colleagues in the office were referring to the vessel as she. With my humble knowledge of English, I was sure that a thing that doesn’t breathe is an it. However, she was clearly the unwriten rule of how one was addressing a vessel. Therefore, during my trip I asked one of the officers to enlighten me on the matter. And this is what I got:



Now, I don’t believe this explanation still applies in 2017 when we are also having women captains, and the number of female officers in the world’s fleet is increasing steadily. So, I’m wondering when this unwritten rule of calling a vessel she will fade away?

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Toate vârstele

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Se spune că fiecare vârstă are farmecul ei. Mi se pare deosebit că la fiecare vârstă avem altceva a spune. Asta nu înseamnă că ne schimbăm 100 de procente, ci doar că privim cu alţi ochi lumea din jur.

Când eram mici voiam să fim mari. Atât de mari încât să fim independenţi. Ca şi copii atât de mult ne dorim maturitatea încât sărim cu paşi grăbiţi peste aventura copilăriei. Ne credem specialişti în toate şi ne punem întrebarea ce am putea afla mai mult decât atât? Însă la fiecare pas adăugăm o nouă experienţă şi perspectivă existenţei noastre.

Îmi amintesc de mine acum 15-20 ani. Eram o copilă foarte ambiţioasă. Aveam ţeluri mari. Bineînţeles că am trecut prin destule stări sufleteşti şi am încercat multe posibile cariere de viitor. Pomenesc aici de cele standard: doctor, învăţător, educator sau vânzător. Ştiţi unde mi-ar fi plăcut mie să fiu vânzătoare? Mă vedeam într-o librărie mare înconjurată de sute de cărţi. Cărţile mi se păreau tare misterioase. Fiecare carte avea de oferit ceva special. Întotdeauna când citeam o carte simţeam cum se creează o relaţie deosebită între mine şi personaje. Eram implicată în poveste 100%.

Tot ce ştiu este că voiam să fiu mare. Mai voiam să am un job care să mă pasioneze şi care să-mi permită luxul de a vizita lumea. Se tot vorbeşte de vârsta nebună în care încerci multe şi mărunte şi anume cea dintre 14-18 ani. Eu în acest interval eram sensibil mai matură decât cei din jurul meu. Aveam multe obligaţii şi munceam mult ca să nu îi decepţionez pe cei care îşi puseseră încrederea în mine. Orice pas pe care îl făceam îl gândeam înainte, pe principiul de 7 ori măsoară şi o dată taie.

Nu regret că nu am fost mai infantilă atunci, dar regret că atitudinea mea matură (în mare este rezultatul trecutului meu) mi-a limitat indirect experienţele de viaţă. Bineînţeles că nu ştiu cum aş fi evoluat dacă aş fi avut un comportament mai zvăpăiat, dar asta nu înseamnă că nu mi-ar fi plăcut să cunosc şi acea realitate. Deoarece maşina timpului încă nu este un element real, cred că este cazul să trec mai departe.

Acum am ajuns unde îmi doream când eram mică – sunt mare! Sunt adult cu acte în regulă, independentă financiar, cu un job care îmi oferă posibilitatea să călătoresc atât în interes de serviciu, cât şi în vacanţe.  Sunt un contribuabil serios al societăţii şi, mai presus de toate, îmi trăiesc viaţa în cel mai bun mod pe care-l ştiu.

Dar aşa mare cum sunt, eu vreau în timpul meu liber să fiu infantilă. Vreau să explorez lumea şi să mă descopăr. Vreau să trăiesc viaţa aşa cum o simt fără a lua în calcul definiţia societăţii pentru maturitate. Noi, oamenii, suntem aşa de mult ancoraţi în regulile prestabilite ale societăţii încât foarte uşor uităm să trăim cu adevărat. Suntem prea concentraţi să îi mulţumim pe cei din jur cu aşteptările lor cu tot, şi uităm că în esenţă avem o viaţă şi ar trebui să o trăim fericiţi cu adevărat.

Fiecare vârstă are farmecul ei, dar parcă etapele vieţii ar fi mai grozave dacă societatea şi-ar vedea de treaba ei şi tu ai învăţa să nu-i acorzi atenţie. Acum eu cred că trec prin procesul în care învăţ să-mi văd de viaţa mea şi să o trăiesc aşa cum îmi doresc eu şi nu cum alţii aşteaptă. Wish me luck!

Sursa foto

 

It’s all about us

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We are all unique! This is something I truly believe in because it is the only logical reason that can explain the entire range of conflicts and dynamics in this world.

Our uniqueness comes from our experiences. Some of them are our own choice, others happen due to circumstances that we have no power over (or so we think). Regardless of how we ended up experiencing something, we had the chance of learning a lesson that will prove later to be valuable or not.

But talking about choices, what is a choice and how we make it? I think that the majority of our choices are made consciously after fully using our rationality, but still a great part of them do not run through the same process. We simply act based on feelings which seldom can be explained by reason. So, is that really a choice or just nature? I recently learned that it is the latter, and it is close to impossible to change anything by using rationality. Some events just need to happen in your life, and you need to find and learn the lesson – a task that is ridiculously difficult, at least in the beginning.

This leads me to the next questions:

  1. Can we maneuver safely through these emotion-propelled feelings?
  2. And can we ensure that our feelings-based actions will not raise any regrets later?

I would say no to both of them because we need to live on the edge from time to time to understand ourselves entirely. We have many facades that we are not aware of, and it is critical to bring them up to the surface and learn who we truly are even if we might not like what we are learning. However, this is key to our growth and development, and the only way not to be caught by surprise in some situations.

Breathing means that you are forced to experience the world around you, consciously or not! So better embrace it and learn as much as you can while remembering not to lose yourself in the process.

“Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.”
― C.S. Lewis

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Trying and failing is far better than not trying at all

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I watched the attached video and my main takeaway from J.K. Rowling’s speech was: „It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default.”

As my brother always told me, every experience in life is a lesson to be learned. Unfortunately, in the society I was growing up failure was not an accepted result. Hence, I felt always the need of being very cautious about my actions which, in return, led me into not being open enough to grasp and apply the „try and fail” method.

I learned over time that one has the power of changing the mindset and accomplish in life whatever one desires. Therefore, accepting you as you are and being fearless in the face of the unknown is the attitude that will help you live a life without regrets.



Victoria cui?

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9 mai 2015

Mă minunez că după 70 de ani noi în continuare celebrăm victoria unui regim totalitar asupra altuia. Moscova s-a pregătit riguros pentru a arăta încă o dată lumii întregi cât de mult ţine la trecut şi la aşa-zisul Marele Război pentru Apărarea Patriei. Majoritatea statelor lumii au fost invitate să participe la cea care s-a vrut a fi cea mai mare paradă din istoria Rusiei. Din fericire pentru omenire doar 30 de lideri din întreaga lume au dat curs invitaţiei domnului Putin, aceştia reprezentând în special statele CSI, Asia şi câteva ţări africane.

Mă întristează să văd că un popor încă mai crede că o astfel de celebrare este necesară în secolul 21. Nouă mai pentru mine este cel mult poate o zi în care oamenii ar trebui să se întorcă în trecut şi să înveţe o lecţie. Nouă mai este ziua în care ar trebui să comemorăm victimele nevinovate care au murit sau au rămas afectate pe viaţă luptând să hrănească grandomania unor lideri de ţară.

Din păcate în 2015 încă asistăm la realitatea în care nazismul este condamnat, dar comunismul este invitat la masa învingătorilor morali în ciuda abuzurilor staliniste. Cu toate acestea, nemţii par să îşi fi învăţat lecţia istorică prin acceptarea responsabilităţii acţiunilor teribile ale lui Hitler, dar ruşii dezamăgesc prin a le saluta pe cele ale liderilor din perioada sovietică.

Când vom învăţa să nu ne uităm istoria atunci avem cu adevărat şanse să ne îndreptăm către o societate bazată pe pace, înţelegere şi susţinere reciprocă independent de identitatea naţională. O victorie asupra unui popor, anexarea lui şi impunerea de valori nu este o politică de succes de lungă durată. Cel mai bun şi clar exemplu pe care-l avem este Uniunea Sovietică. De aceea, Rusia trebuie să accepte că atitudinea de care dă dovadă acum nu este sănătoasă şi că dacă va continua acelaşi joc tinde să rămână singură pe terenul de joacă.

Nouă mai este una din zilele în care ar trebui să ne amintim trecutul pentru a nu-l repeta.

Sursă foto: gandul.info

Learning how to fly: nature vs. nurture

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Sometimes I wake up in the middle of a situation and I feel people are staring at me. It takes me a couple of seconds until I figure it out that they expect an answer from me to a question that I don’t want to respond. I prefer having my peace in the very little world I created around me.

I like not giving explanations every time I make a decision or I take an action. I already think too much before I act on something. I don’t want to be questioned by anybody just because this is considered to be a default. I fight the so-called standards as long as they don’t define me.

I’m afraid, but I’m courageous. I’m a piece of the puzzle. I’m all and nothing. I refuse to play by the book. I never close the doors behind me. Involuntary, I leave people wondering if I miss something to feel complete. As of recently, I found out that people perceive me as a person that doesn’t have strong opinions about the things happening around me. Trying to guess why this is the case, I came up with a very simple explanation. I accept everyone’s beliefs and wishes as long as nobody is forcing his on me. Therefore, I have no strong urges to impose my personal ideas/views. Additionally, I never express an opinion unless I have studied the subject. I guess for this attitude I have to blame academia and the fact that I dislike people that form an opinion out of thin air. Clearly, I’m a science person.

Since day 1, life is all about learning and developing. In the begining, we have our parents to guide us and teach us the dos and don’ts. Further, we have an entire system that was created to offer us the opportunity of a wider and brighter future. Then we should have the tools to explore the world we are living in. In the process, we learn that if we can pay attention to others, we may learn from their life experiences. In a way, witness a different life without getting out of bed.

Learning from others’ mistakes has its perks, but also it has its disadvantages. I skip some steps in the development process assuming that I will reach faster and easier my final station. Is that indeed better? Do I really save some time to invest in something else? Or am I just losing the sight of me? I don’t have an answer. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m learning how to fly and how to conquer this world bit by bit. With or without help, I’m on my way to an adventure and I’m open to explore. Life is what I make out of it. Let it be great then!

If I live or if I die, it’s surely all up to me.

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Bucuria unui zâmbet

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Viaţa este capricioasă în felul ei. Uneori te surprinde în moduri în care nici nu realizezi. Şi totuşi, cică lucrurile se întâmplă cu un motiv. Oare?

Oare ne căutăm noi singuri motivele? Oare subconştientul nostru funcţionează într-un mod diferit decât ne aşteptăm? Să credem în ceea ce raţionalizăm sau în ceea ce se întâmplă fără voia noastră (dar unde suntem complici)?

Mă gândeam în general la cei 26 de ani ai mei. 26 de ani plini în care am crescut mai mult decât ar fi trebuit în unele privinţe. Şi cu toate astea, în faţa unor provocări eu sunt un copil care încă mai are de experimentat atât, atât de multe. Şi da, sunt un copil. Sunt un copil pentru că aleg să fiu unul. În majoritatea timpului joc rolul adultului, dar îmi place să dau jos masca cât de des pot pentru că viaţa este mai frumoasă prin ochii copiilor.

Copiii sunt nişte fiinţe deosebite. Copiii se bucură de tot ce-i înconjoară şi sunt creativi prin naştere. Copiii se uită la tine ca la un Dumnezeu şi tot ei sunt cei care te pot face să te simţi Dumnezeu. Copiii sunt simpli şi naturali. Copiii sunt un suflet fin şi curat, iar zâmbetul lor face cât o mie de bucurii mici.

Background-ul desktop-ului meu este poza unui copil drag mie. Zâmbetul copilului îmi înseninează ziua de fiecare dată când văd poza. Fericirea supremă nu vine pe loc, ea este o adunătură de fericiri care se încheagă într-un tot. Aşa că eu îmi iau porţii mici de fericire în fiecare zi şi am siguranţa lor din bucuria unui zâmbet imortalizat.

Where am I?

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noideawhereiamI feel like I’m living in a parallel world. Somehow today was the day when all hell broke loose. Nothing really happened, but the whole day I had a zillion thoughts flowing in my head and a zillion feelings running through my body. I felt confused.

Lately I feel like things are changing too fast and I miss the times when I could stay still and reflect for hours. I miss me in my restless days. I miss the days when I felt the sky is the limit. I miss not missing things. I miss the days when I was in a carpe diem mood. I just miss something I don’t have now, something that I have dificulties in explaining or defining.

However, I’m here, in the state where everything is mixed and nothing is really clear. Is it the weather? Is it that time of the year? Is it the people?

What was it that triggered this state?

I’m continously looking back trying to find it and, so far nothing stands out as being a proper cause of my current condition. I guess I just need a break from my daily activities. I assume I need to see some of the people and places from the time when I was entirely sure of who I am and who I want to be.

Probably some confusion is needed now and then in order to take a step back and analyse where you are, to which degree you achieved what you wanted and verify if adjustments are necessary to follow your path.

Now I will take a step back…going on holiday will hopefully help.

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