Someone to talk to

I happened to stumble upon these words-on-image just after I had such a day – the kind of day you wish to sit back and relax, have a cup of tea and a good conversation with someone. And trust me, there is nothing more inspiring than the right conversation at the right moment.

You will have conversations with almost every person you meet, but not all will be useful. There are people who do nothing more than whine and feel bad about themselves. They stay wherever some authority puts them, too afraid to say out loud what they really want, if they want something. Sometimes they don’t even know what they want and continue with more whining and resenting. If you happen to find them, accept them. If they want to change, help them… be patient. If they don’t, leave. These people are toxic and their negative energy will slowly take hold of you, whether you’ll notice or not. Leave and don’t look back unless something has changed into the better. If you look back, you are lost.

Stay close to people with dreams that can come true, people who try, people who take one step at a time but never give up, people with talents and vision, someone who can inspire you and from whom you can learn. Someone to keep you going. Someone you will be happy to share success and defeat, someone you will be happy to be by his side and help carry on with his or her dreams.

Remember that the right conversation with the right person can trigger unlimited ideas. Listen and learn from everyone, but more important listen to the one you look up to. That someone who shares your principles even though he or she does not share your dream. Look up to the one who hurts you for your own good, not to the one who hurts you for his own pleasure. Listen to the first and “detox” yourself from the other.

Talk to someone and bloom. Remember that that someone might be also blooming in the meantime.

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When did I stop…

…listening to music? And I really mean  listening to it, not use it as background noise.

This question came to me while I was with a friend today, fooling around and singing songs that were popular when we were younger. We knew all the lyrics and voice inflections that made the songs crazy, enjoyable and funny. I still can’t believe I remember all the words after all these years. Now, whenever I listen to a song, I easily forget the lyrics (even after hearing them 4 or 5 or 10 times) or even the music.

I often wonder whether I have neurological problems that affect my attention and concentration, or it’s just that I’m not that fond of music any more. It’s not that the music is bad; it is, but I don’t listen to mainstream too much. I even find it difficult to keep track of the bands and singers I liked since I was twelve, that are still active and haven’t disappoint me with their slightly changed styles. I don’t even care to change the songs on my mp3-player, or even bother to take it with me when I go out.

Is it age? Is it that my priorities have changed? Maybe there are too many songs and lyrics I wish to learn by heart. I still enjoy it when I listen to them, but I can’t seem to do more that that. There’s definitely some cleanup I have to do. I don’t want to lose my passion for music, it’s my only easy-to-get pleasure and comfort. I can’t imagine myself living happily without its presence. They day I stopped listening and enjoying music will be the day my transformation into a corporate robot or capitalist working class will be complete. And that, my friends, is the real zombie apocalypse!

P.S. If I will ever have the courage to do it: there will be a very personal post, soon.

Strangers

Lately, I’ve been in a complete frenzy. You know what they say about the “calm before the storm”? Well, last month had been so calm that it was impossible for the “storm” to stay hidden too long after. I was simply enjoying my time, my last spare time until I would finally get a job and/or start a MA program at the University. But my “no worries, just patience” time was abruptly transformed in “no time, just panic”. Long story short: I must leave my “crib” and find a new one a.s.a.p. or else risk going camping in the nearest park.

Whoever moved at least once knows the feeling: search, call, get negative answer, search again, someone you dislike contacts you, search again, and so on. I will say from the beginning that, as much as I would be grateful for a nice place to live, in a nice neighborhood with access to all kinds of public transport, I care a bit more about with who I will be sharing the place. Not everyone is meant to be together, even if it only means sharing a 2-room apartment, meeting only in the hallway or kitchen when you come home from work or classes. You might be ok with it, might not care or sometimes you might wish you could punch thy neighbor in the face. And as much as you’re good at it, you can’t ignore forever the person sitting in the next room. The same goes for him/her, and at some point you’ll have to face each other and each other’s own habits.

Visiting apartments proved to have a side-effect that would have never occurred to me until I got to experience it. I got the chance to be Me. Yes, ME. I once read an article in which the author emphasized that we are at our best when we’re around strangers. It seems there’s a smaller risk to being judged and your exposure won’t give the other one the chance to try to change you, like when it happens when you talk to a friend. Moreover, you can’t event disappoint the stranger because he/she has no high expectations of you whatsoever. And when you’re in a hurry to find a quiet, cozy place to live, you can’t afford to act – it will get to you sooner that you expect it to.

As I spoke to the kind strangers whose homes I went to see, I became more and more aware of what my priorities and principles are. Without noticing, I gave myself answers to what I need, seek and what makes me Me, just by answering simple questions as “What did you study? What do you plan to do next? What’s you daily routine?” with straightforward answers. I couldn’t have been this sincere with my friends simply because they have already pictured me in their own way in their minds. It is a simple matter of objectivity – but it makes a big difference. I’m not saying that friends should be turned into strangers – not talking to someone dear would be awkward and rude. You still need them, because they know you and know what’s best for you (in certain circumstances, of course). Yet sometimes they judge too much, compare you to the one you’ve been some long time ago or at a certain moment, and that would be inconvenient if you want to look at things in a more detached way. Being sincere with a stranger helps you focus and see things in a more realistic way, without being afraid of judgement, rejection or braking a relationship – it won’t mean anything if it happens, but it would hurt if it happens with a dear one.

This friendly kind of exposure to strangers, although in a short time, gave me a lot of ideas and new perspectives. I guess this is what high-school graduate girls refer to when they call their university life “a new beginning”. By the way, I didn’t feel this “new beginning” when I moved to Bucharest from my hometown. I guess I didn’t give too much attention to it… or maybe I’m just plain weird (or maybe airheaded?), but now I do feel it. I will move with strangers, I will live with them, I will occasionally (if not often) talk to them and hear their stories – and they mine (maybe). I will get out of my comfort zone. It’s scary, but I believe it’s the best thing to be done now. The Me has been staying for too long in its own comfort zone, taking people and things for granted.

Now, I don’t want to get melodramatic and all, but I wonder: does this “strangers” recipe apply to the one you love? Would you be able to bring the You in front when you’ve already become strangers and meet again? Can your You relate to the estranged You when nothing else ties you both, or is it because you never realized that the “Yous” were the ones tying you to each other that you focused on small things and let them estrange you? And isn’t it time I stopped pouring questions and went to bed? After all, I told strangers I’m an early bird, so it might actually be true – so I’ll try my best to keep it that way.

3

This is not a melancholy post. This is not a tearjerker and I do not intend to go all peachy and fuzzy over small, insignificant things. This is a record of what I have learned – the nice or the hard way – and what I still have left.

Nothing is simple, and yet nothing is too complicated; as long as you know what to do. I didn’t. I was letting it all for later. I drifted in my comfort zone for too long, enjoying nothing but placebos that come and go like the wind in the summer… that summer when you promise to yourself you’ll do what you planned to do, yet end up doing nothing. That summer, and the next one, and the next one. And the last one. And then those thoughts start haunting you. “Should I travel? Should I work? Should I go home? Should I make my own home?”. You want to see the world, yet you want to built some sort of foundation. Then you realize that you would love to do things on your own and have some independence, yet doing things on your own takes time and effort and you have little support if any at all. Suddenly you’re too busy being divided on the inside to notice you’re still in the same place you were some time ago.

In the beginning you were very enthusiastic. In the end you wonder what the bloody hell were you thinking. Nothing fits your expectations, you can’t use what you have supposedly learned for the higher purpose, you feel locked and useless and lost, like a child separated from its parents in the middle of an amusement park on a busy Saturday. Then, when you feel like you’ve grown up a little, you realize you’re still too young to be treated seriously and yet too old to start from scratch. You tell yourself it will get better, but it doesn’t. And when it seems to get better it’s not very good for you on the long term. Regrets grow, frustration goes too damn high, confidence goes too damn low. People keep turning away, others betray you, use you or simply don’t care, doors are shut one after the other and paths seem to get tangled, fewer.

Let me tell you that everything starts from Nothing and it starts with One: you. Even when you think you have nothing, you still have yourself… and maybe more. You hate yourself? Good. Keep that thought and start proving yourself wrong. Sulk, whine, eat a bucket of ice-cream, cry yourself to sleep, but next day carry on. Don’t be scared or shy to admit that what you have now is small, be convinced that small things can get bigger with proper caring. And to support my point, I’ll share this:

So what if it’s fantasy, it applies to all of us. We all are in some kind of desert, walking like lunatics, days and nights. We have followers that may get lost on the way, but the true, loyal friends never leave our side. And we each have our “baby dragons” which are useless and fragile, but we mustn’t forget that they grow with us and it is our duty to keep them alive and healthy. Go ahead, be patient and grow your “dragons”. Yet don’t tricked by fake promises made when you are desperate at the gates of a so-called “prosperous city”, don’t trade your “dragons” for luxury.

Also, keep those loyal knights at your side and don’t lose too many of the ones that follow you because they believe in your strength (yes, you have that, don’t be modest!). Be happy for the times you spend with them, treat them as kindly as they treat you… even more. Don’t get bored, get creative. Listen. Smile. See beyond. Be thankful. They might not be as you expect them to be, but if they are as true to you as they can be and you feel it one way or another, appreciate it. If they don’t like you, if they keep you down, if they run away, it’s not for you, it’s not worth it, it’s just poison.

There. I said it. It has nothing to do with what I said in the beginning, but who cares. You still have nothing. Nothing but your “dragons” that can’t grow in a week like flowers in a pot, a desert ahead and a certainty that there may be some city that will receive you – not without a price – as an honored guest. And don’t get hasty to finish the book, you might skip the best parts.

die (Un)Ordnung

Sunt în plin început de semestru. “Ei, şi ce?” ar zice unii, “e o ocazie bună să ieşi la distracţie, mai e până vine sesiunea.” Da, poate aşa este, dar petrecăreaţa din mine şi-a luat de mult vacanţă. În schimb, ce-a(m) mai rămas stă acum şi se uită în jurul ei. Analizez fiecare părticică a spaţiului dintre cei patru pereţi albi şi reci ai camerei, nu-mi scapă nimic: laptopul pe care nu-l las o clipă să-şi tragă sufletul, biroul cu picioare strămbe, cana plină cu ceai verde, fierbinte, telefoanele care stau aliniate unul lângă celălalt ca doi îndrăgostiţi timizi, hainele purtate azi aruncate fără milă pe pat… şi, bineînţeles, noptiera gemândă de cărţi şi materiale de curs.

Pot să spun că am o adevărată junglă de hârtie populată cu diferite specii de texte, fonturi, texturi şi culori. Dar aici nu locuiesc animale, ci idei. Multe idei. Şi definiţii. Şi exemple. Şi excepţii de la reguli. Poveşti cu final tragic, poveşti cu final fericit, poveşti fără final, ne-poveşti. Ficţiune, biografii, autoeducare. Limbi amestecate. Două ziare – le-am luat pentru că îmi dădeau cadou alte ecosisteme din celuloză şi pigmenţi. Cert e că în toată dezordinea asta se găseşte ordinea pe care o caută omenirea de secole. Este o dezordine ordonată, scrisă de oameni pentru oameni… pentru cei ce au ochi să vadă, urechi să audă şi suflete să simtă.

DA! Simte puterea Gramaticii Generative! Lasă-te cucerit de literatura Victoriană şi de cea Modernistă! Înghite pe nerăsuflate gramatica perversă a limbii Germane!

Răspund chemării sălbăticiei. Gata cu oraşul, gata cu tehnologia… sunt doar eu şi biotopurile de idei. E fascinant cum lucruri atât de abstracte îşi au locul în obiecte cât se poate de palpabile.

La mijloc pufoase, pe margini tăioase.

Nu-mi mai trebuie muzică atât timp cât aud ritmul silabelor. Sunetul unei foi întoarse e cea mai bună muzică ascultată în surdină: nu deranjează şi nu întrerupe decât atât cât trebuie. Este unda care îmi gădilă uşor urechile aducându-mi aminte că sunt cea mai banală vieţuitoare a junglei. Da, sunt banală pentru că sunt vie, deci trecătoare. Eu voi fi curând fertilizator pentru următoarea generaţie de celuloză care va fi împroşcată cu pigment şi va trăi timp de secole. Şi după ce acea celuloză albă va îngălbeni şi va putrezi, ideile îşi vor lua zborul spre o nouă casă, vor forma o nouă junglă în camera albă şi rece a unei alte fiinţe vii şi banale.

Ewigkeit.

Dar până atunci e cazul să fac ordine în dezordine. Trebuie să închid fereastra pentru că se face frig iar zgomotul de pe bulevard mă perturbă, şi trebuie să deschid uşa ca să îmi aduc aminte constant pe unde se iese şi dincolo de ce există o altă junglă, mult mai crudă, mai sălbatică, dar din care nu pot scăpa oricât m-aş ascunde în ecosisteme de hârtie.

Dar, înainte de asta, îmi verific mail-ul şi mai sorb o înghiţitură de ceai.