Monday, May 13, 2013

Make the most of your twenties

I found this TED talk quite interesting. It filled me with a sense of urgency that may be important to me right now (I just turned 28 and am about to change careers -not just jobs- once again, a stressful and utterly reviving time).
But in the end I agree even more with the comment by Vero Borja below, because it is closer to where I see myself in three years and the kind of life I want to have lived by then:

I’m 31. Yes I am single, and no I don’t have children. But, I didn’t spend my 20s as if it were one long spring break. I travelled; I finished 2 master degrees and am about to finish my PHD. I lived in 5 different countries, spanning 4 continents, learned 4 languages, and made strong and fulfilling relationships (friendships are just as important and fullfilling) that have deeply nurtured and changed me. In other words, I lived. I learned to love in different ways, and I learned to surround myself by people who love me. 
Thinking of your life in terms of periods in which certain things must be fullfilled, just limits life, and life goals. What does the 30s are the new 20s really mean? it is as empty a suggestion, as implying that the 20s are somehow more defining than any other moment in life. After all, people and the lives they lead never stop changing.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Don't be idle, just jump!

I thought I was prepared. I really thought I had nothing to worry about and that all the pieces would fall into place pretty quickly soon after my graduation. A job would be found and I would move there to take another step on my path, and then another to bring about positive change in the world. Sound a bit naive to you? Well, it certainly does to me now. Not the part about worrying, because I believe it is not a good use of anybody's energy to worry too much, but the part about the job finding. It is NOT something that is just found. It is something one needs to go and look for, do research about, get to know people and most importantly apply for. If like me you have not already been working in the field you would like to dedicate yourself to, then you need to find and entrance, a starting point. And this is not an easy task.

Over on my other blog I wrote about my jobsearch and the lack of inspiration that I face now that I got out of university. Here I would like to add a second aspect. The aspect of not-knowing-what-to-do. This is different from not-knowing-what-you-want, which is one more difficulty.

Not knowing what to do is about the insecurity what your next step should be, and the cocktail of fear, self-doubt, anger, and frustration that inevitably starts brewing the longer you sit around without getting active. It catches me while looking at job listings. They never describe what you expect your dream job to be, because dream jobs are not advertised to individuals. It's a personal affair to define what your dream is. Mostly you would not even recognize your dream job in a paper, if you saw it broken down into qualification requirements and tasks. So what is one to do. "Jump in", everybody says. "You will only know later if it is what you wanted." And so I sit here again, idly looking around, losing and gaining a little bit of inspiration left and right and wishing I was more of a machine that could mechanically do the necessary.

So here is some advice that I will try to take to heart again now:

Those who do not have their own vision of the future will have to accept living in the vision of other people. Where the capacity to draft new desirable images of the future is left unused, change can only be tolerated or suffered, but never created or designed. (changeX magazine)

If you'll excuse me, I need to write another job application now.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What should I do with my life?

I have been reading this article and found it needed to be reblogged. I wrote about it in my other blog though, so if you would like to find out about the article and my thoughts about it, go here. The original article by Po Bronson can be found here.

To give you a taste, it begins like this:

"It's time to define the new era. Our faith has been shaken. We've lost confidence in our leaders and in our institutions. Our beliefs have been tested. We've discredited the notion that the Internet would change everything (and the stock market would buy us an exit strategy from the grind). Our expectations have been dashed. We've abandoned the idea that work should be a 24-hour-a-day rush and that careers should be a wild adventure. Yet we're still holding on."

Thanks to Leila :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Seeing the wall and hitting it head-on

I am just publicly venting my mental state, so don't pay too much attention to what I am going to say :) Maybe someone could tell me if they have felt the same way because not being alone with this might help. Is there another way out of the dead end than just waiting it out?

I feel an urge to write because all the icky feeling inside starts showing in my daily routine. I don't go to bed because I am not tired. Then I watch some movie or play a stupid little flashgame, read the news and miss the right moment to go to bed. When I finally go to sleep it depends on the plan for the next day whether I have to get up early and spend the day sleepwalking or whether I can stay in bed till noon and then spend the afternoon feeling unproductive and guilty.

All the methods of time management I have heard about don't seem to save me from this vicious cycle. It obviously makes a difference knowing what's the best way to handle a situation and acting on it. This knowledge lends a self-destructive sensation to it, and that part actually is somehow thrilling. Am I making sense? I hope not.

Recently a friend told me that carrying responsibility has marked the end of procrastination for him. He is busy at his job, but definitely seems content in his new life. So far I only have responsibility for myself and my studies and this freedom is hard to balance with discipline. There is a little guilt when I think of my parents or the hopes I have in myself.

This is not supposed to happen to me. My self image does not involve undisciplined lazy stupid behavior. It does not even involve berating myself beyond a certain limit. So why am I still here?! Well, that's all. End of rant.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Legend of the Island of the Nonce

"Apparently, somewhere on the Nonce(though I've never seen them) is a tribe of winged creatures called theFathathai.  A gentle, shy people: almost like angels.  There are very few of them on the island because" -he looked at his feet- "because they don't find love very easily, and so a Fathathai wedding is a rare event.  But anyway, the legend goes that there was one of these creatures by the name of Numa Child, who did fall in love."

"Lucky him."

"Well, yes and no.  You see, he fell in love with a woman he met here on the Nonce, called Elathuria. She was, he thought, the most beautiful woman he had ever set eyes on.  There was only one problem."

"What was that?"

"She wasn't flesh and blood like he was."

"What was she?"

"As you know, this island is home to some very strange lifeforms.  And Elathuria was one of the strangest."  He paused then looked up at Malingo as he said: "She was a plant."

Malingo only managed to suppress a laugh because there was such a look of deadly seriousness on the dragon killer's weary face.  And though he did manage to suppress it, Finnegan nevertheless said: "You think I'm joking."


"I've learned only two things in my life.  One, that love is the beginning and ending of all meaning.  And two, that it is the same thing whatever shape our souls have taken on this journey. Love is love. Is love.... Well, when Numa Child first met Elathuria she was in full bloom.  She was perfection.  No other word for it."


"It gets stranger still, believe me.  Did I tell you Numa Child fell in love in a heartbeat?  I mean, literally, it was that fast.  He saw Elathuria, and that was that.  His fate was sealed."

"Love at first sight...Do you believe in that?"

"Oh, certainly, it happened to me.  The very moment I set eyes on the Princess Boa, I knew that there was no other soul I coul ever love...." Finnegan looked up at the rain, which was beginning to cease.  He licked some of the raindrops off his lips, then he went on telling his story.

"So, Numa Child told Elathuria instantly.  'Lady,' he said, 'I will never love anyone the way I love you.'  And much to his surprise, Elathuria invited him to kiss her.  'Quickly,' she said.  'Because the sun is hot and the hour is passing.'  Numa didn't think very much about the significance of this.  He was simply happy to be invited to kiss his beloved.  And as they kissed and talked and kissed again, the hour ticked away..."

"This isn't going to end happily, is it?"  Malingo said.

Finnegan didn't answer.  He just went on with his story.  "When Numa kissed her again, there was a little bitterness on her lips."  'What's happening?' he said to her. She told him, 'Time is passing, my beloved.'  And to his horror, he saw that her blossoms, which had been so bright and beautiful when he'd first set eyes on her, were now beginning to losethat brightness, and her green leaves beginning to turn gold and brown."

Finnegan's voice, as he told this part of the story, grew soft and full of sadness.

"Finally, she said to him: 'Don't leave me, love.  Promise me you'll never leave  Find me again, wherever I go.  Find me.... Look for me wherever the wind comes,' she said, her voice getting more and more hushed.  'I will grow again from the seed that is carried away from this place."

Numa was, of course, happy to hear this, but his mind was filled with questions and doubts.

'Will it really be you?' he said to her.
'Yes,' she told him 'It will be me in every particularity.  Except one... I won't remember you.'

"Even as she spoke these words, a breath of harsh wind sprang up and shook her violently, so that she was entirely shaken apart."

"No!" Malingo said. "Had she gone?"

"Well...yes and no.  The wind had scattered the seeds over a considerable distance, but Numa was determined to find some trace of he searched like a wild man, not resting until his search was rewarded.  At last, after a long time searching for her, he finally found her, rooted in a new place.  She was still growing, but he knew her immediately and fell in love with her again, just as he had the first time."

Now Malingo began to see the significance of what he was being told.  It was no accident that Finnegan was the bearer of this story; he was, after all, here on this island because he had lost the love of his life.  It stood to reason that this legend would capture his imagination as it so clearly did.

"So history repeated itself?" Malingo said.

"Indeed it did.  Not once, but over and over...."

"And do you really think they're still out there, loving each other, and then being separated, and him finding her again, only to be separated again?"

"Yes, I do." Finnegan said.

"What a terrible way to live."

Finnegan considered this for a moment.  "Love makes its demands, and you listen.  You can't bargain with it.  You can't fight it.  Not if it's really love."

"Are you still talking about Numa Child and Elathuria?"  Malingo said. 

Finnegan looked up at him "I'm talking about all lovers."

--from Abarat II: Days of Magic, Nights of War, by Clive Barker

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What matters to me?

I especially like the Ainstein quote at the end.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Vanishing room, comment on "on passing through doors"

There's been doors i've had to go through in the last few months, doors i saw and doors that I did not see. A dangerous thing to have change happen and not to notice, a frightening thing to suddenly notice that you're in a different place than you thought you were.

I have had to look around and recognize my sorroundings, to understand my place in the space, what am i doing here? how did I get over here? How did I walk in and close the door behind me and not notice?

I recently walked through a door into a place i knew i had to go to and out of a room I had long ceased to belong in.

The room I was in was no longer holding together. it was showing itself to be made of less than solid stuff and unless I left it, it would completely disappear around me. I struggled to remain in the vanishing room. willing with the force and might of all my denial to remake the walls as solid things, to give back the floor and ceiling their opaqueness, to remain in this room I had made myself believe I so wanted to be in.

I now see that I had forced myself to remain there.
In hindsight, I knew going in that this room was never solidly built, but I'd faith in my carpentry skillz.
In hindsight, I know that i saw the vanishing happening, I even knocked down the load bearing wall with my own hands.
so much for carpentry skillz.

The room I am back in now is bare and it is cold here, the walls and floor and ceiling have a raw, unfinished look to them, though solid enough. This is a room I can be in. It has never shown any signs of vanishing. This is a room I was working on before while I was in Sardinia.
I know that the foundations are sound in this room and if it's not pretty, it is good shelter.  More than that, it is where I need to be now.

I abandoned the work in this room to go to the vanishing room.

I was enticed into the vanishing  by it's beauty and promise and novelty and excitement. 
it was a cooperative effort, the vanishing room. unlike this room, where no one was allowed, a work in progress, you don't want to go in there, it's a dirty mess and there's no place to sit and talk. Let's sit on these big cushions and look at all the pretty things on the walls and look out the windows at the possible futures we could make. And our dreams were the things that glittered and shined so pretty and our plans were the rich colors of all the tapestries and hangings and cushions everywhere. 

When i found i was alone in this vanishing room, i noticed things began to disappear around me, cushions, carpets, hangings, statues, bookshelves, pretty pottery and other things. I saved a few things and I'll keep them safe, things that did not disappear, the things that were real in the vanishing room, some things i had brought with me, others we made there.

I will continue the work in my room. lots of cleaning and arranging, holes to patch, years of dust and grime to clean off the windows. so much neglect. it's gonna take some time and work place liveable, it's a hazard right now. there still needs to be some breaking down and rebuilding in here. The work might never end.
 but I will make it home here and maybe i'll invite a friend in now and again. And I will keep the treasured things we made in the vanishing room to remind me and to warn me and even to warm me.