What is Happiness and Will I Ever Reach it?

How pleased are you out of your life? If you were asked, would you answer “very pleased” without even hesitating a bit?

Honestly, I spent many years of my life without even being able to understand that I was not pleased with what my life was like. I guess the everyday routine took me with her and I did not even have the time to stand still and think.

The “Dream Job”

For the last thirteen years I had been working as a business consultant. It started as a nine to five job with great career and financial prospects. I never felt really enthusiastic about it but, hey, the money was good and clients appreciated my work, so it felt like a reward.

Friends and family were happy and proud of me and my career in this “dream job” as it might seem like in their eyes. Finally, I could rent a bigger apartment in a nice neighborhood, I had enough money to travel and no need to have second thoughts if I liked something and wanted to buy it.

I guess you would say that that was great. And yes, I definitely liked the fact that I finally could live without thinking of my finances every single moment. That I finally could live in an apartment that I like, that I could travel and shop whenever I wanted to.

But I just couldn’t do it whenever I wanted to.

When the “Dream Job” Turned Into Nightmare…

The nine to five job schedule very soon became nine to whatever time the job is done. Considering the fact that most of the clients I was working for were situated at least one hour driving away from home, that also extended my working schedule.

And the deadlines, oh the deadlines…. So much stress and pressure because we had to stick with the project plan and deliver on time.

So, I had a job that offered me financial security and the prospect of a better life.

But, I was renting a great apartment which I was actually using as a hotel since I would use it only to have a shower and get some sleep. I could travel, yes, and I would travel every time I had the chance. And this is something that I loved and I am grateful about.

The thing is that I constantly had the need to travel because I needed it as an escape out of the life I was living. I would shop and spend money not because I needed the staff I was buying but because I could.

And then bam!

The Coronavirus

Coronavirus arrived and changed everything worldwide.

To all of us it was and in some aspects still is a shock. But the greatest change it brought to my life was that I stopped traveling and started working from home. Everything related to work was set up in just a few hours so the transition was quite fast and sudden.

There was no need to drive to the other side of the city, not even need to take off my pajamas in order to work. I found it as a great chance to finally enjoy my apartment and get some “me” time.

The isolation that came along with the lock down to me was not that horrible as it was to others. I have always enjoyed solitude and having such a busy schedule as I used to have did not offer me enough time to recharge myself.

Time to stand still and look inside

It was at that time that I found the time to stand still and think about myself, my life, my needs and feelings.

Another thing that I did not mention, for which I am really grateful since my job financially allowed me to take it, was a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. I had really studied hard due to lack of time but by the time Coronavirus arrived I had already finished all my lessons and there was only my master thesis that I had to submit.

If it wasn’t for Coronavirus and the lockdown work from home status I don’t know if I could have ever made it on time and submitted my master thesis. While spending my time equally to work and studying during the first lockdown I realized even more how fulfilling writing is to me.

Time to Blog

Even after the lock down had finished I never got back to the office, I kept on working from home. It was at some point during last March that I felt like I needed to communicate my writing with others and thought of starting a blog.

I had tried it again in the past but quit within days. I never stick to it long enough to understand whether I liked it or not. This time was different. As I said above I needed to communicate my writing. When you understand that you do something because not only you just like it but also because you feel that you need it, you do it under totally different terms.

Of course the job did not become less demanding, tiring or stressful just because I was working from home. But something had changed. Even if I felt exhausted I would still sit on my laptop for a few hours after work trying to find out how blogging works, write a post etc.

It was something new. It was engaging and it was related to what I love most, writing. I would spend hours trying to figure out things but the amazing thing was that I would not feel like getting tired.

I read about bloggers that manage to make a great income out of their posts and I honestly admire them. I hope I will be as good as them one day!

I know I know…. I have a million things to learn and should work really hard to get there.

The Decision For Change

My job went crazy the last few months. There was a point that I felt like I was ready to collapse due to stress and too much pressure, so I decided to resign. After all, it was not like I ever really liked the life I was living the last 13 years of my life. I am grateful for all the things it allowed me to do and have but no, I cannot recall even a single moment that I felt happy in it.

I am also grateful about some people I had the chance to meet but I strongly believe that you never really lose those you care about. So I am not sad about it. I will be in touch with them. Not every day in touch because I have to but now and then in touch because I want to.

I don’t know what I will be doing from now on. I will definitely be blogging more because every day I realize how much I like it. Apart from that, whatever happens I decided that I will not let myself be carried away again by any routine. I will be sitting still and listen to myself and its needs.

Time is precious to be wasted in things that don’t offer us any joy at all.

“Happiness is a constant work-in-progress, because solving problems is a constant work-in-progress – the solutions to today’s problems will lay the foundation for tomorrow’s problems, and so on. True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.”

Mark Manson

What is the right decision and how to be sure you make one

Was there a time you had to make a decision which, at least at the time you had to make it, seemed as if it was a matter of life and death?

How to identify the right decision

You thought about all the alternatives and tried to figure out which choice would be the best one. You even made scenarios of what the outcome might be short term and long term.

That is something that is always stressful and I think is always doomed to failure.

We usually try to collect all information available, we ask for other people’s experiences and opinions. What would our friends and loved ones do if they had to take this specific decision?

And then what?

Is there anyone who can reassure us that this is the right choice for us? And after all, what does the right choice mean?

Usually, most of us are carried away by what other people usually do in similar circumstances, by what other people advise us, by what we think that other people will think about us once we make a specific decision.

But, I think that if you ask the same question to 100 different persons there is a good chance you get lots of different answers and then it gets even more confusing.

What did each one of them have in mind when giving a specific answer? What were the experiences they had that led to this answer? What was the emotional status at the moment the answer was provided?

Truth be told. Nobody, but nobody, can really help us in taking the right decision.

Each one of us is so special and different. And that is good. It is great actually!

Even if we try our best to make sure we have collected all the data available that would probably help us in making the best possible choice, we can never be absolutely sure that this was it.

Honestly, how much could we ever know about something that has not yet happened to us? About something we have not yet experienced?

Right. Nothing!

“When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons”. Sigmund Freud

The meaning of feelings and decisions

There is only one thing we can tell for sure related to feelings and decisions and that is how we feel the moment we finally make that decision.

Happy? Relieved? Excited? Frightened? Anxious? Terrified?

All the above and even more are possible post decision making feelings and usually more than one of them simultaneously. Do they indicate whether the decision was right or wrong? I would say not necessarily.  

They indicate exactly what they are and nothing more. Our feelings the moment we made the specific decision. Whether the decision was right or wrong is something that only time can tell for sure.

Embrace your choices

Whatever the choice made, what we have to do is embrace our choice and move on as if we are absolutely sure that this choice was the best. Because it was the best at the specific moment.  No need to question the choice. This would only cause unnecessary suffering and fear.

The important thing is to make a choice. A choice that could save your life, change your life, change you and your relationships with others.

Our life becomes what we make it, through the choices we make each and every day of our life. Even the smallest ones can lead us somewhere we have never imagined.

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Theodore Roosevelt

“If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you’ll find you’ve done it”. George Bernard Shaw

What about you? What are your thoughts about the decision making process?

Believe

Didn’t know whether I believed

Eyes were flooded with dark

Unaware of everything

Felt helpless

Alone

Questioning everything

Why did you

Chose me for this harsh punishment?

I owed what and to whom and I had to pay?

No fear

Feel light and free

Darkness is transformed into light that blinds me

The voices fell silent

Soul in peace

I follow the light

You know why you are taking me with you.

I’m silent, I believe…

Why being sensitive is not that bad after all

First of all, what do we mean when we say that a person is sensitive? A person called sensitive is strongly affected by what he / she experiences. Recent researches have shown that everyone is more or less sensitive and separated people into three different groups depending on how sensitive one person is. These groups are low, medium, or high and were labelled as dandelions, tulips, and orchids.

For more information related to sensitivity research you may visit https://sensitivityresearch.com/research-on-sensitivity-past-present-and-future/

A highly sensitive person, like me, who has to deal with the brutal reality which has to keep me busy all day long, attend meetings, phone calls,  keep up with numbers, constantly try to prove my value etc. can be easily overwhelmed. 

Quite often my friends and family advise me to stop being that sensitive, to grow up, to become stronger. As if being sensitive is a malfunction or problem.

Honestly, in this society we all live in, we are taught to be fast and efficient in whatever we do. We must be productive and in most cases being sensitive is not considered an asset.

However, I believe my sensitivity and feelings are there every time for a reason. I know that I am able to sense and understand things that other people cannot. They call this intuition. I call it the ability to sense that something is wrong or needs attention. Ability to understand that another human no matter what he says he is not ok.

Ever since I remember myself I could be happily laughing one moment and burst into tears just minutes afterwards even at the sight and only of an injured animal, of an old lady that could not walk by herself, of a child begging for money.

Growing older and having to work for big companies like banks made things worse. I could feel that I was so much different than the others. I usually felt out of place and I would just try to hide myself as much as possible, try to do what I could and just wait for another day to end.

Truth is that when something was not ok I could sense it. If one of my colleagues had a problem or was not feeling ok I could understand it just by taking a look at his face, his expressions or even via phone by the sound of his voice.

I could even understand if there was a problem between some of my coworkers,  what was the new manager‘s opinion about each one of the personnel or if there was some kind of problem with the processes and status of a project. All these just by paying attention to other humans, their expressions and reactions.

How did my colleagues react to this ability of mine? They would call me strange, irrational or would think that I am overreacting in some cases. And to some point they were right because I know that it was hard for them to understand what I was trying to tell them at the time.

For me being in such a position was  disappointing. I have spent most of my life wishing I were different, less sensitive, and less emotional. I just wanted to be harder and crueler in a way. Not being affected by others words, opinions, emotions or expressions.

Lots of people of course had thanked me during my life for being there for them when needed someone to understand, to offer them compassion and kindness. This is of major importance but for some reason seemed not to matter that much compared to my pain and suffering through all those years.

Seemed that my gain compared to what I was losing was meaningless. People continued to underestimate me, doubt me and overlook me. I kept on for years being nothing more than one productive unit which was actually not working as well as others.

Feeling like this made me start trying to develop myself, to try to make myself a bit harder. The thing is that along the way I found out that what I thought was my biggest problem I found out that could prove to be a huge asset if used and not tried to bury it.

Let me point out what I think are the biggest assets of sensitivity.

4 reasons why being sensitive is an advantage

1. You are aware of yourself, your needs and feelings.

Having a deep understanding of who you are and how you are each time of the day is what makes you able to understand what is good and what is bad for you. Being sensitive enough to understand what another person might be going through sets you able to correspond accordingly, taking his feelings into account.

2. You can feel and share compassion

As pointed above compassion provides that someone can be able to understand someone else’s feelings. While living in a cruel and selfish world I consider compassion a strength that could prove to be super power.

3. You can sense when something is wrong

You have the ability to sense things that other people don’t. You are able to catch the vibes, read the faces and expressions, and translate what one says not only by his words but also by the pace, tone and sound of his voice.

4. You can use your sensitivity to be creative

Artists are well known for their sensitivity and their ability to sense emotions. Artists are also well known for their ability to set their emotions on fire with their creations.

For those who read my blog you also know that apart from articles I also share some short stories and poetry. How could I possibly be writing about other people, my heroes, if I were incapable of being in their shoes, thinking their thoughts and feeling their emotions? How could I be writing for other people without being able to inspire them with my heroes’ emotions and thoughts?

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create— so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off… They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.” Pearl Buck,The Good Earth

How do you feel about your sensitivity?

Have you embraced it or trying to fight it?

Orpheus

I was longing for
to see your face
in the sunlight.
No steps heard behind me.
I shouldn't look back.

In a moment 
you were gone.
I was left alone.
No hope.
The fault was mine

If only I hadn't dared,
If I hadn't run behind you.
I should be left 
in grief.
Creating only mourning music.

The pain would be endless
but the fault, 
someone else's.
I remain 
unforgiven to me.

Compassion from none.
I loathe the sadness 
to see in their eyes.
Even that, I don't deserve it.
Me, who I convicted
You my love
in eternal darkness.

Inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice

Based on greek mythology Orpheus who was the main representative of the singing art and guitar was married to Eurydice. When she died he created beautiful mourning songs and music that made nymphs and gods cry. They consulted him to visit the underworld and play his music to Hades and Persephony. When Hades and Persephony heard his music they agreed to let him take Eurydice with him to the world of the living. The deal included that Orpheus should be walking in front of Eurydice and should not look back at her until they both reached the world of the living. In the middle of the road Orpeus got anxious since he could not hear Eurydice’s steps and broke the promise, he looked back to see if she was indeed behind him. Eurydice disappeared immediately and Orpheus lost her again, this time forever.

How to find the positive aspect of the worst situation

Isn’t it strange how everything seems to change from time to time? Ok, it doesn’t happen everyday. What would the point be in this case? but there are certain periods of our life when we make one single decision to change something that magically drifts everything else along the way.

Maybe it is a universal necessity or something like that. I don’t know. Is it easy or pleasant when it happens? So far I have to say it isn’t.

Let me be more specific cause I don’t know if I make any sense to you so far. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, recently I resigned from my job after working there for the last 12 years of my life. It was one single big decision that I felt I had to make.

After that, in order to complete all the necessary paperwork since I have been working from home for the last year and a half I had to get back to my city apartment. That is what I did. However, when I finally got here, I had an unpleasant surprise. Somebody had broken into my apartment while I was away and everything was a total mess. 

Lots of things were missing but that was not my biggest problem. That sense of my personal space having been violated was the worst. I had to make my apartment mine again. All my clothes, shoes, contents of the wardrobe and drawers were everywhere. All my books and notes were all over the place. I honestly spent days just throwing everything in garbage bags and placing them out on the balcony. I had to clean everything and throw away lots of my stuff.

It has been more than a week now and only the last two days I managed to get some sleep. I was in such a tense thinking that somebody could enter while I would be sleeping that I just could not relax.

However, these last days that I have been checking all my clothes, shoes and other stuff I have realized that lots of them I hadn’t actually used in years. I had just stacked them somewhere out of my site and forgot they even existed.

In this awful way I realized that I was keeping lots of things I did not need. My apartment is not that big so it was a good idea to get rid of everything useless. I never had the time to do so, so far though.  

Even if it was a really bad experience that I wish I hadn’t gone through, I must say that my place is now cleaner than ever and by letting go of everything I don’t need I have made some extra space for all those that I do need.

Lots of other things have changed so far also but I will not write about them now. At this time of my life I feel like a computer which at some point got stuck and needed a restart to become functional again. This is what I am going through, a restart.

Could it be true that everything, no matter if it is good or bad, happens for a reason and happens when it has to happen? I would like to know your thoughts on this.

But over the years, I’ve learned not to believe too much in luck or accidents; I think everything happens for a reason. There’s something to be learned from every moment, every experience we encounter during the brief time we spend on this planet. Call it fate, call it destiny, call it what you will; it really doesn’t matter“. Syd Field

Who is to blame?

We are all to blame

Me and you,

and everyone

believes he is not responsible.

Looking away

The fire does not go out.

The drowned is not saved

 by pulling his own hair.

I tolerated them 

stepping on my back.

 I was voluntarily blind,

lying to myself.

We were all drugged.

It is time to wake up,

to collect

our scattered pieces

Now is the right time for mistakes

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

In one of my previous posts I referred to daring decisions and how they can help us to overcome our fears (https://weirdlifestyle.com/2021/06/04/how-to-overcome-your-fears-through-daring-choices/). When I wrote that post, which was actually just a few weeks ago, I had no idea that I was about to make another daring decision. Although, I think I wrote it because I had a hunch or something.

I knew for some time now that I was doing something wrong with my life and I desperately needed a change. The thing is that with everything else going on at the same time I could not realize where and what was actually that that was the root of my problem. Financial insecurity, lockdown psychological side effects, long term work from home with the least possible human interaction. I think everything had something to do with it. 

The daring choice

I was working at the same company for more than 12 years now. The reason I say “was” is because I decided to quit last week. I know what you must be thinking about. She just mentioned financial insecurity just a few sentences back.  

Yes, financial insecurity still exists. I did not win the lottery or something.

The thing is that I was in this job for 12 years and realized that some things will never change. I will not suddenly wake up one day and love a job that I physically hated all these years. It is a job that gives me too much pressure and stress and I get no joy out of it at all. Not only I don’t get joy but I am even underpaid for what I offer. No, it just isn’t worth it.

The future plan

Honestly, I need to take some time away from working, at least in the same kind of industry. Maybe I will try something new that I like and get some joy out of it. I don’t know.

Do I worry?

Of course I do. But you know what?

The minute the words “I resign” came out of my mouth, I felt like a huge weight was removed off my shoulders.

I think the feeling shows something about the impact this job had on me. 

Maybe whatever new I try will turn into failure. Maybe I will eventually prove wrong and have to get back to work for the industry I hate just because I have to make a living somehow.

Yes, maybe.

But what if maybe I manage to find something that makes me long for working on it. What if I find something that might not offer me lots of money or recognition but gives me joy and makes me happy?

I mean, life is short and we will all die eventually. Why shouldn’t we at least try for this little time we have available on this planet to make it something more than just surviving?

After all, if I don’t take action now, when should I?

And what if it turns into a mistake?

At least I will not have to wonder what would have happened if…

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein  

Silence

Silence, just a word. The meaning of silence to you is death. To me is just isolation, of all those noises that offer nothing.

Silence, a moment of rest. A moment to hear my thoughts, to look inside me.

In silence words find me, one after the other, hold each other and start dancing. They come alive on this white piece of paper.

Pages full with images, memories,  emotions. Out of nothing everything is born.

Worlds, stories. Humans, breathe, live, die and are born again. As if they never died.

Endless journeys to places far away. Magical, dark.

The biggest journeys. The journeys inside me.

I isolate myself from everyone to hear my silence, to speak its words.

In silence everything is transformed. Everything seems more real when heard in silence.

Faded image

The look you had is always in my thoughts.

The one you had that last night.

I did not know it was the last.

You hugged me so tight,

A bit tighter would break me.

You knew.

You would not see me again.

You said nothing.

For a minute only,

You just looked deep in my eyes.

Your eyes open wide while looking at mine

I was diving deep inside your mind.

No.

I was drowning inside your head.

Getting lost forever,

A faded image of your mind

I couldn’t stand that look.

I tried to lower your head.

I didn’t want your look on me anymore.

You didn’t like it.

No, not like this.

You knew.

Lowered your head and left

almost running

away from me…