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…

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

Let me start this post with a personal story of mine.

The 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.

4 Steps to Overcome Your Fears

1. Identify the fear

What is that that is causing you fear? To me when I decided to take the exams for the first time was my bad physical and medical condition. The second time was the fear of the unknown. The fear that I will not make it on my own.

2. Identify the logic behind the fear

Is this fear a logical fear or something else? For me when I decided to take the exams for the first time I was afraid that I might collapse during the exams, but it was a logical fear since I was still in really bad condition. I also used to be afraid of heights but this is a phobia not the kind of fear I am talking about. My second fear, the fear of the unknown, had no actual logic behind it since if you think about it better every single day of our life includes the unknown.

3. Create a safety net

Let us be reasonable. I would never suggest you jump out of an airplane without a parachute. Even at the most daring choices you must have a little plan in case everything is fucked up. For my first fear of collapsing, what I made sure of was that I took my exams in a special examination center for kids with health issues. This meant that there was an ambulance in front of the building and a nurse inside each class, just in case something happened. It was a reasonable fear and had to deal with it accordingly. For my second fear I just believed a bit more in myself and showed some trust in the universe. Ah, and also tried to find doctors and health check centers within the first week I moved, also just in case…

4. Take that daring decision and trust yourself

Nobody knows if a fear can be left behind until they actually try! If you know what is that that you are afraid of and why you are afraid of it you can start creating your safety net. Once you are done just do it! Worst case scenario you will just fall on your safety net. Best case scenario …..Who knows?!

Looking back at my story I am so glad I made those choices. 

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 (https://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.