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…

The tyranny of excellence

I don’t know how many of you are able to make a living out of your writing. However, I don’t. Actually in order to make a living I work in a company which implements Information Technology related projects to several customers. I am the analyst, the developer, the project manager etc in every project I am involved in. Is this a good practice you might ask? If I have to be honest the answer is definitely no. But this is not the subject of this post.

Well, this last month of my life turned out as a living hell to me. And let me explain. 

I was assigned to implement a project which was of really high standards. A complicated algorithm which everybody else seemed they were trying to avoid in every possible means. But, no, not me.

I thought that no matter how complicated something is, I could just try to break it down in smaller pieces and reduce the level of complexity. And that is what I did. I had completed almost 85% of the project and it was working as expected. There was only this 15% missing and the project would be successfully completed and delivered to the customer.

Sometimes you just are not enough

I was working on this for more than two months. Constantly trying to squeeze my brain, break the big problem to smaller ones, thinking of ways to overcome each one of them and produce a solution. I was really happy about it and my superiors were happy with the results. 

Until one day I just could continue working in the same rhythm. I might have gotten tired, I might also have had other personal problems that were just distracting me from the project. I also had some health issues that were considered as more important, since they were.

The struggle with myself

The thing is that I did not want to admit that I was going through something like this, that I was unable to produce results. I wanted to convince myself that I could continue working as I did for so long. I got extremely stressed. I could not think of anything clear and make a good decision. Even when talking with others about the project I had a feeling that there was a black sheet in front of me and I could not hear, see or process anything that was discussed. 

I started having those terrible headaches and in order to make it through the day I had to take 4 painkillers a day. My heart was beating like I was constantly running. At night I could not fall asleep. These last few weeks the maximum night sleep I could get was 2 hours. And even within these 2 hours I would jump out of bed due to dreams or thoughts related to this 15% of the project that was missing.

I was longing for the weekend to come when I would finally find some time away from everything. I thought that I would use this time in order to relax and take my mind out of it.

But, I didn’t. Instead of that, I spent those two days fighting with myself because I was not good enough. No matter how much help I might have been provided I just couldn’t finish the project I had started. My head was ready to explode and my nerves were stressed to their limits. I was crying every time my thoughts went there, which was almost all the time. I even called my director on Sunday afternoon to submit my resignation, just because I could wait until Monday morning.

I was advised to take some days off just to relax and take care of myself. This is what I am still doing until I get my final decision.

Now that I think about all these I had to go through, I realize that my expectations for the excellent performance of myself were the ones that actually caused my problem.

Why did I have to put myself into this?

And ok since I did, when I realized that I could not proceed anymore why didn’t I want to admit that I just couldn’t?

Because I was afraid to admit that I was not enough.

Sometimes we just are not enough, and you know what? I think it is OK!

We should not struggle and make ourselves suffer. Our body sends us a message and we should be able to hear it. When we try to ignore it we make it even harder to deal with.

We are humans. Most of us are mediocre. And that is also OK. Thinking that we must be excellent in whatever we are working on could be just an illusion. Could be just a way to make us suffer because we realize that we are not excellent at all.

Do you try to perform excellently in whatever you work on? How often do you make it?

How do you react when you realize that you cannot make it as good as you thought you could?

How to overcome your fears through daring choices

This story begins almost 20 years ago. It was before I had my final exams to enter university. It was then that I had a bad accident and had to spend 3 months in hospital with my doctors questioning whether I would ever be as I used to be and whether I should ever walk again. It all happened around Christmas and my final exams to enter University were in June.

As you can easily understand, I was not in the condition to take those exams. However, I did. As expected I scored really low. I did not take those exams at the time because I thought that I might get a high score. I did it because honestly I was terrified that I might not even be able to get to the exam center. I was afraid that even if I finally got there, I might not be able to climb up the stairs to the first floor. That I wouldn’t be able to write at least those few things that I had managed to study, and that would happen because I would get too tired sitting on a chair for too long. My physical condition was really bad back then.

Once I finished the exam, I felt exhausted, but so happy for myself just because I did it. I went there, climbed up the stairs and took those exams. I could have decided  not to do it. I was excused. But at the time it felt like I would be giving up if I didn’t. It proved that even if my score was low I managed to be accepted in one school. It was of course one of my very last choices but it still was one school of my choice.

The school was “Landscape architecture” but I decided not to attend it. Lots of things would have been much different if I had attended it. But I didn’t. I decided to take the exams again next year, as I did, and entered a school that was my third choice. Computer Science and Digital Communications.

It was a year and a half after my accident, but I still hadn’t recovered completely. The school that I entered was 450 Km away from my home city. My parents were terrified even at the thought of me moving so far away. I was still in need of medication and medical supervision. Who would be cooking for me? Who would be looking after me?

Well, they were right. Moving so far away from home and living alone at the age of 18 and having all the issues I had at the time, ment only one thing. That there was nobody else to take care of me, but me.

I have to admit that at the beginning it was hard and scary. I knew nobody. I had never been to this big city before and I had no idea where everything was. I felt like the fish out of the water.

At this point I have to mention that in my home town is situated one of the biggest universities in the country. And as a matter of fact, it also has the same school I entered back then. The thing is that I never chose the school that was near. Not because it was not good enough for me, but because if I stayed I would not have become good enough for me.

All the schools I chose back then were at least 300 Km away. I wanted to challenge myself to do all those things that my parents were afraid of. I wanted to challenge myself to do all those things that I was terrified of.

There was a chance that they would prove right. There was a huge chance I would be unable to manage it on my own. It could have been a wrong decision, a mistake. Maybe I would have to give up and move back home. 

But I didn’t. I stayed there, I fought and finally made it. All by myself.

Looking back I am so glad I made that choice. 

Yes, fear of the unknown is huge and always our decisions might turn out as big mistakes, but, what are we if we do not make mistakes? If we do not make hard decisions that might change our life forever? If we don’t push ourselves to our limits?

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain 

What about you?

What was the most daring choice you had to make in your life?

Unreachable

Photo by Marc Coenen on Pexels.com

Unreachable,

Charming dream.

Take me with you, 

in a world 

still try to understand.

I disbelieve

whether 

I like challenges.

Powerful words.

Where does this power

originate?

What are you,

saying?

No interpretation.

Abyssus,

in front us.

Abyssus,

our thoughts.

Me,       

shipwrecked 

in the vast sea

desperately 

seeking for help 

5 things you should know about me

1. Lots of people think of me as weird

This is why I gave my site this name. There are not many who can relate with me, but those few who can know that they will love me as much as I know that I will love them. I think it is mostly my lifestyle that does not follow the “normal” or common way of living for people my age. I am a woman in my mid thirties in case you are wondering. I will elaborate further in next posts.

2. I think of myself as an Introvert

I am not a social type of person. I like spending time on my own. In fact, I love spending time on my own. I call this time precious. Who else could be a better company for myself than myself? Actually, there was a big period of my life that I had no other choice than to spend it completely on my own and I realized that I am perfectly ok with that.

3. My friends are family

Yes, I have friends and I actually love them. When I decide to spend time with them I do it because I actually want it, not because I don’t want to be alone.I have written another post about how much I appreciate my friendships (weirdlifestyle.com/2021/05/15/8-great-quotes-about-friendship-how-they-made-me-appreciate-even-more-the-value-of-friends-in-my-life/ ).

4. Passion for words and literature

I love reading and writing fiction. For many years I used to read all the classics like Dostoyefski, Tolstoy, Dickens etc. It was the last ten years of my life that I started reading Stephen King and I fell in love with his writing. Of course I keep reading other writers but he is and I think he might always be my favourite.

5. Positive no matter what

Even in the worst circumstances I rather focus on the positive side. Even when I am really sad I try really hard to paint a smile on my face. It might not fix anything but it will make me feel a bit better and I know that everything starts on how we feel.

I will end this post with some famous words about being weird which in some way inspired me to start working on this blog.

I think everybody’s weird. We should all celebrate our individuality and not be embarrassed or ashamed of it.” Johnny Depp

I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird.” Frank Zappa

I am weird, and you know what? That’s OK. So are most interesting people.” Em Bailey, Shift

This memory of you

[This is a work of fiction.]

>

You always used to sit on my right. I remember how much I loved to turn my head and look at you while talking. You used to tell me how you spent your day, talk to me about your past, make dreams about our future together.

You were the one who always started talking and I would complete your sentences. I cannot ever remember you saying something that would make me disagree or make me feel like I wanted to say something completely different.

We used to spend all our summer nights like this, on the narrow balcony of my small apartment downtown. Just the two of us with a bottle of frozen white wine, talking and laughing for hours. Always until some neighbor from another apartment complains about the noise and we had to get inside. We used to call my apartment our little oven cause it was too damn hot those nights.

Closing the doors and getting inside we used to feel like children being punished for something they had done. We would then go to bed and make love, and then continue talking all night long as if we needed to say everything to each other. We would talk until we fell asleep one in each other’s arms. And this is how we would wake up each morning, one in each other arms.

Everything was amazing. Almost magic. I had never felt like this before. It was so great that I could not even recall how my life was without you.  I remember feeling that it was worth being alive just to spend some more hours with you.

It is summer already and I still live in the same apartment with that narrow balcony downtown. Maybe this is why today of all the times that I met you on my way to the office, I had that memory of you.

Now, everytime we meet I say hello and ask about your news just like I do with everybody else I once knew.

This is how I feel about you now. You are just somebody that I used to know. Somebody that I pass by on my way to the office. Somebody that I passed by on my way of living my life.

It was only today that I had this memory of you. The memory of a love that no longer exists.

8 Great quotes about friendship: How they made me appreciate even more the value of friends in my life

One of the things I love reading is quotes. I always thought of them as a collection of wisdom. I would like to share with you my friends some great quotes I found about friendship and how I interpret them.

Discover myself

1. “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” – Anais Nin  

I feel so grateful that I was able to find people in my life that made me realize aspects of my personality and character. Those amazing people that are my friends came along and helped me evolve. A different perspective, a different background, even different habits are all valuable gifts that introduced me to a whole new world.  

Support me

2. “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” – Walter Winchell  

There were times in my life that everything around me went from bad to worse. Even my own family had no words to support me anymore. The only thing that they kept telling me was that I failed. That I had to admit it and I should just give up. Only two people in this world insisted that I should hang on and they kept helping me no matter what.

Transform my world

3. “Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” — Tennessee Williams

I am the one who makes the choices for my life, and of course my friends are also part of my choices. They are there to support me and to help me evolve. Who I am and the way my life has turned out is also the friends I have chosen to accompany me in this ride.

Remind myself of who I am

4. “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”– Donna Roberts 

There are times that the everyday struggle to survive holds me back from all the things that are important to me. It is then that I tend to forget all those things I should be grateful for. All those things that make me feel happy. I tend to be overwhelmed and frustrated, full of nerves and stress. A good friend is always there to remind me what I am fighting for. Is aware of my goals and when he realizes that I seem to lose my way is alway there to help me find my way again.

No uncomfortable silence

5. “True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.”
— David Tyson Gentry 
 

Being with a person who is truly your friend means that words are not necessary. You can just be there and enjoy the presence of the other person. It feels like magic. You don’t feel the need to talk, but yet you know that you are not alone. There is no need to break the uncomfortable silence because there is no uncomfortable silence. 

Always live inside me

6. “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”— Frederick Buechner

Life itself often separates me from dear friends and family. There are times that I might spend even years away from a good friend. But, no matter where I am, no matter how much time has passed since I last saw him, there are still things I say that make me think of his reaction. There are jokes I say and think of how they would make him laugh. And when we meet again, it is always as if we were together just a few hours ago. Oh, time is so relevant when you think of loved persons that you always carry with you in your heart.

Recognize myself in them

7. “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one” – C.S. Lewis  

Haven’t you felt that there are times when you meet somebody and you somehow know that you will become friends from the first moment you start talking? This is because we recognize part of ourselves in his /her words. We know how to communicate, and even if we don’t always agree on everything there are those little things that we used to think of as our things which when recognized to another person is the beginning of a new true friendship.

Love my weirdness

8. “Intimacy is the capacity to be rather weird with someone – and finding that that’s ok with them.”  — Alain de Botton  

When you are with a true friend you feel this kind of intimacy. There is no need to suppress yourself. You can be exactly the person you are, even if it means that you are not what most people call “normal”. True friends are there to accept you just the way you are and that is what they do. 

Do you have a favourite quote about friendship?

I would love to read your thoughts.

What is left behind

[This is a work of fiction.]

Three photos. That is all that’s left from you.

Back then, taking photographs was much harder than now. You had bought that film for that last college party. While placing the film in the camera, you remembered we had no photo together, just the two of us. See, we always used to care more about living our moments, not taking photos out of them. You took those three photos yourself using your long arm while hugging me using the other. We were supposed to choose the best out of them. 

Along with those photos there were also some of your stuff. One t-shirt, your desk, some books. At the time I could swear that I would keep them forever. I wanted them to remind me of you.

Two years later I had already gotten rid of them. I did not even care much about letting them go… 

We had a plan. You were supposed to leave only for a year or two. We would still be in touch, call each other, try to meet from time to time. Yes, you were supposed to visit me back home and I was supposed to visit you there. 

We had made these promises. Promises we felt we needed to give to each other, to make the pain of separation smaller. All these endless hours I used to spend at work after you left. There seemed to be no reason to leave on time any more. You wouldn’t be at home waiting for me. 

Those first months I used to get back home really late at night. Tired to hell. So tired that I couldn’t even think how much I missed you. So tired that I would fall asleep as if I was falling in a small coma every time.

I remember how mean and indistinguishable everyone seemed to my eyes when they kept on asking about you. 

Where is he?

How is he doing there? 

I used to give fake answers smiling, hoping secretly that they hadn’t spoken with you. I used to lie to them. I used to lie to myself as well. I didn’t want the truth to be heard out loud. 

The truth is that I never even saved your new number. I can still recall the old one. Even if I wanted to forget it, I never could.

But what about the new one?

I tricked myself by telling him that I just forgot where I wrote it. I never meant to call you anyway. 

To be honest, I don’t even know if you ever called me.

I never pick up the phone from unknown numbers. 

Are we turning into some kind of social weirdos?

I believe that all of you would agree that the Covid-19 pandemia brought huge changes to the way we all used to live our lives. It has also made us change the way we act, and react, in several cases. Most of all, I think that now we all, more or less, try to avoid several things that we wouldn’t do so in pro Covid times. I am sharing my personal experience regarding the way that my social life and behaviour has changed during this last year.

Avoiding the office

Since March 2020 I have been working from home. It was not my decision, but it happened. To me this was a huge change since I would normally spend more than 12 hours a day at the office, or on the road, going to, or leaving from it. To be honest this change is not that bad. The job itself can be done from the comfort of my own apartment. What I do miss is the social part of my job. I haven’t even seen any of my co-workers in person since March 2020. Even though we have daily zoom meetings it feels cruel cause the interaction is not the same. I miss our after work Friday night drinks. Actually, I miss going out and having drinks in general but that is another story.

Avoid supermarkets and stores

If I can shop online then this is what I do. Back in the old days I would visit the shops without even wanting to buy something. Just to walk around, see the shop windows, maybe even try some clothes just for the fun of doing it. Well, I don’t anymore. I might spend hours browsing but it should be something really extreme for me to go out and actually look for it. 

Avoid public transportation

I used to love moving around using the subway. It always gave me the feeling that I was able to feel the pulse of the city and of course it is so much faster than driving through traffic jams. Now, even the thought of it repels me. Too many people, too close one to another. No, not for me. Not anymore. At least for now.

Avoid social events

Just a week before my country entered a lock down for the first time I had a party. I used to plan social events and now I choose not to attend to any of them. Yes, back then I used to be a social person.

Avoid meeting in person with someone unless it is absolutely necessary

I used to turn every phone call to a meeting. I always felt that meeting someone in person helps to deal with every possible problem. Even if something is hard to deal with, meeting someone would somehow make things easier and smoother. Now, the prospect of meeting with someone when I can avoid it seems that makes no sense.

Avoid getting too close to other people

Even when I meet with close friends and relatives I don’t get too close to them, I avoid shaking hands, hugs and kisses. Every kind of human relationship is important to me, but I feel that I am somehow getting trained not to be as demonstrative as I used to be. 

Avoid others out in the street

When I go out for a walk or running I try not to get too close to strangers. I would even choose another route just to avoid the crowd. I used to be the person who would go for a walk just to see other people moving around and now I feel like I run away from them.

All the above came as a result of the fact that social distancing was the master rule in order to protect myself and others from Covid -19.

Sooner or later, we will get rid of Covid, but I honestly don’t know how socially weird I might have become since that day.

Did you have similar changes in your social life or behaviour?

I would like to learn about your thoughts on this.

The little story of my relationship with this weird thing called writing

Ever since I remember myself I was fascinated by these little things called letters. Even my first memories at age of 3 or 4 years old include me trying to draw letters. It felt totally magic that those little pieces of drawings on a piece of paper would have their own sound. That they could be combined in so many different ways. That could be structured side by side like an army of soldiers ready for battle. That even their presence there could drive my imagination so far away that nothing else could. 

Yes, I was a strange child. I even hated books with drawings or photos. I only loved books full of words and nothing more than that. I did not like anything that could drive my imagination at one specific direction only.

As you can imagine when I was finally able to write full sentences using the basic staff I had learned, I started writing fairy tales. It was a need. I needed to know that I could use the army to create my magic world. That was at about the age of 8 years old.

While growing older I adopted my older brother’s reading habits. I have to mention that he is 10 years older, so when I was 10 he was 20. He was an adult who had long ago started questioning everything and went far beyond of what you can call “children literature”. 

To me it was a fascinating new world. Strange, but so much more interesting. I remember reading Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” at the age of 12 and Nietzesche “Zaratoustra” at about the same age. The years that followed, until the end of my teen age, my writing became what I can call the process of understanding myself, my relationship with others and all the changes I was going through. It became more experiential and philosophical.

During my college years, since my basic studies involved IT, I used writing as an escape. IT is pure logic and rules that need to be followed to get from A to Z. I felt trapped in a big joke and had to write to save myself. Years after establishing my position and had a steady income I decided to follow my heart. I took a Master in Creative writing and I finally studied something that I honestly enjoyed.

My relationship with this weird thing called writing is my only steady relationship. I am in love with words. I am in love with thoughts that can be translated to words. I am in love with all the imaginative worlds that I can get lost inside.