Be kind. To yourself. To others.

We make mistakes, we fall. We misunderstand. We are misunderstood. Heck, we don’t even understand. Nor ourself nor others. We overreact. We exaggerate. We feel hurt. And we hurt back. We are caught up in the moment. We don’t see it clearly anymore. Maybe things are just blurred by those tears falling down our cheek. Blurred by those feelings of being shattered. (Once again.) And while all this concatenation of stuff is happening, reason is not our best friend. Future consequences don’t exist. No one else matters while we try to pick up the pieces and mend ourself. And at the end, all that is left behind is: guilt, remorse, awkwardness, uncertainty & change. Relationships have changed. We can’t go back and there is no way back. We don’t even know where we would go back to. We no longer feel the comfort in that relationship. We are left with doubts. About everything. About the future.

Afterwards nothing is quite the same anymore. We realize that soon enough.
Unfortunately. We might be left feeling guilty for the whole situation. As if we have no one to blame but ourself. We might talk ourself into believing this. And we might talk ourself into feeling guilty. Or we might blame others. 

♦But please let us be kind. Be kind to ourself. And be kind to others.♦

We might have made a mistake or many mistakes. But we can’t continue living consumed with guilt or anger. We can’t continue playing the blame game. We need to learn our lessons & we need to forgive ourself. And we need to forgive others. Most importantly we need to grow. Keep on growing & moving forward. Don’t stay stuck in that uncertain moment. Move forward. Be happy. Explore. Perfection doesn’t exist and we are far from being perfect. We too deserve a second chance. We too deserve to be happy again.

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How dreams turn into goals, choices & priorities..

Many goals, dreams, hopes. Tons of aspiration. Some procrastination. Tiny budget. Time to cut off things? 
Why can it be so hard sometime to determine the worth-it’s from the not-so-worth-it’s (run away as fast as you can-deals)?

♦This heavy burden of hopes and dreams and goals even. I don’t feel light weighted knowing all the things I want to do during my lifetime. It just buries me deeper in my aspirations. ♦

Travel. Good grades. Learn how to swim like a pro. Pay for it.
Get your driving licence. Pay for it out of your own pocket.
Buy a bicycle because you have always wanted to own a bicycle.
But where would you put it on your already crammed third floor apartment?
Is is worth that hundreds of euros? To eventually have a bicycle to ride once in a while, when the sun chooses to appear and when free time sips in?
Cause let’s get real: how often do you plan on riding your bike? It’s not like you’re gonna go to school on it. So, scratch that deal off the list. One day when you have enough money and enough space to home a bicycle, go buy a bicycle. But now  is not the time of the “bicycle – dream”. Now let’s get to the driving licence part of the bargain.
This is an important skill you should definitely acquire. Now. Pronto. Invest. Invest. Invest. If you have money you can spare, working on your condition is not that bad an idea. Keep that swimming lessons thought in mind. And good grades? They don’t grow on trees. You reap what you sow. So put the necessary effort.
As for travel, don’t plan thousand and one things you can’t maintain. Plan one thing. And make that thing a reality.

Dreams need to become reality. One step at a time. 

But eventually it’s not just about “want” and “need”. It’s about priority/ priorities. 
Prioritizing things in your life. And that can be different for each person. What is important for you, might be unnecessary for another. This doesn’t mean one is right or wrong in his or her way of living life.  Because the truth is, life is all about choices! And choice also means loss.  In order to gain something you might end up loosing another possible choice. So be smart and be brave and choose.  And most importantly don’t falter and don’t linger choice-less.
And one more thing, don’t make your “now is not the right time for …” excuse more than needed. Cause truth be told, the “right time” may never show up and only keep you waiting.  

You reap what you sow…

Watercolor ©2014-2017 rukiarulez2076

You can’t clean your house once and expect it to stay clean forever.
Clean house = daily effort.

Just like cleaning your house is a routine, so should blogging/ writing be.
A daily habit. A commitment to myself and my aspirations.
I haven’t posted anything the past few weeks.
And I have a reason for it too! It’s once again “finals”.  Whether my reasons are valid enough, that’s up to you readers. I have my own doubt whether it’s legit or not.
But yeah, end of the second semester = those dreaded exams to test your knowledge…
But I have enjoyed my courses this semester, it has been quite a rollercoaster.
We discussed American realism with authors such as Mark Twain, Henry James, Booker T. Washington etc. Only 7 authors in total and a work of each. But it really was a journey through America of that era.

AND the heat outside is unbearable. Who would have thought that this summer (in Brussels) we would have so many hot, hot, hot days in a row? I didn’t.  
So yes, I have been working hard, procrastinating at times, feeling depressed (in a very minor way of course), asking myself many philosophical questions about life and reason and purpose, browsing through internet researching all those awesome travel destinations. Mainly studying.

But one thing I haven’t done at all. I haven’t updated my writings.
And in a way, this is me realizing my mistake. My lack of commitment to my dreams, goals and aspirations.

You reap what you sow. A highly known proverb.
I am sowing for good results but I forgot to sow for my writings.  Without sowing, how can I reap (no matter the worth of the harvest)?
And lack of discipline surely played a part.  So, in my pursuit of growth, happiness, enrichment, fulfilment I need to find that daily discipline. And commit myself to it.

I need to start sowing.  And I need to keep sowing. Daily.

The questionable existence of the “perfect job”

Each Saturday I work in a clothing store.
It’s always a long day of work, long hours of standing on my feet.
It’s only a student job for me, a way of earning money for my own leisure, no pressure/ responsibility attached.  Money I can spend on my own terms. Hard earned for sure.
But non the less for my own leisure, no responsibility-attachments.
But for some workers there, it is their regular job. Responsibilities-attached. Their income.  Money that pays the rent or gets food on the table.

What I have realized working there for quite a while now is: it is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. It has made me appreciate my college studies even more. That I have the opportunity to aim higher. To reach for the stars (as a matter of speaking…). To pursue the studies or careers I am interested it, that will challenge me, that will fulfill me in the long run.  I have all that handed to me. All that’s left to do is grab what’s given and make the most of it.
Live at the maximum of my capacities.

Now being a student, studying language-literature, people often ask me “What can you do with your studies later?”  And nowadays it has become a dreaded question for me. Because I don’t know myself. “You can be a teacher.” That is a truthful enough answer. And something like: “Yeah companies are always hiring linguists etc.” is another one.
But truth be told, there is no specific answer to that question. Maybe I am not well-informed? Or maybe there are so many answers to that question: Teacher, radio, newspaper, magazines, museums, publishing houses, companies and other tons of possibilities. I have all those possibilities. I have the freedom of choice. I am not stuck in a non-stop train, heading somewhere with a tunnel vision.
Of course I can’t become a doctor or an architect all of a sudden.
But altogether there are a lot of possibilities within my field of education.

Language is the foundation of our civilization, isn’t it?

Another think I have come to realize is: change is permanent.
Whether it be your outfit, you appearances, dreams, hopes, goals: they can change. If there is one thing certain in life, that would be change. The same goes for “the dream job”-concept. It is an illusion. It is temporary. It is change on its own.
My dream job a few years ago is not my dream job today, which might not be my dream job 5 years later.

When I think of my dream job now, it would be something like “travelling the world, writing stories/ adventures for National Geographic Traveler” of “being a digital nomad & earning money”. But again, that is my dream job right now, in this very moment of me being a 21-year-old with silly hopes and dreams in the corners of my mind. And when people ask me “What do you want to do later?”  here is my answer: “Heck, I don’t know. I would love to work in a publishing house or explore being a translator or a writer.”
Once again that is my dream job now, at this very moment.
And as we all know that people change, so do dreams, while you grow up.
So may be I’ll get to be all those throughout my life: an editor, a translator and a writer. May be I won’t be any due to change of dreams and aspirations within a few years. And that’s okay.

It’s okay as long a I keep aiming for something at each present of my existence. As long as I keep working hard to achieve it no matter how small the goal. That I don’t give up or feel like I can’t do it.

When I was a young girl I literally believed everything was possible. But than through the end of high school and first two years of college, something changed. I was broken somehow. All those pretty smart kids around me, wrong study choice etc. made me feel worthless. I felt like a failure and headed towards burn-out/ depression. I realized that I had never really felt that self-confidence, at least not 100% consciously. I was stuck with that feeling as if I had drifted through high school without fully being conscious of myself as an individual with a personality. Without growing as a person.
But  things are changing. I am changing. I am more aware. Not only about my surroundings but also about myself.  And more importantly I believe in myself. And that feels wonderful.

I would like to end with one of my favourite poems called “The road not taken” by Robert Frost.

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Continued: Magie irlandaise by Nora Roberts

© Watercolor “Round tower Ardmore county, Waterford”, Keith Thompson

I finished it. 1053 pages = omnibus “Magie irlandaise” 

2. Les larmes de la lune (Brenna & Shawn-story)
3. Le cœur de la mer (Darcy & Trevor-story)

Wow, this really gets me interested to research Ireland, its folklore, its scenery, its everything.
All the movies with Irish settings, portray the land as being magical.
Simple. Mundane. Full of serenity.
This book did the exact same.
It was magical.
Well obviously been a romance, it was all lovey-dovey with a stereotypical plot.
“Girl meets boy. Boy meets girl. They fall in love. But there are some issues. That they have to overcome. But it all ends well. “

Though, the characters really were interesting! Even perfect in some way?
Well at least, they seemed perfect to me, with all their defaults.
And the red thread of Gwen & Carrick throughout the stories really did the trick.
We all know that eternal love exists. All you have to do is, look at those “eternal, love will never fade, until the death do us apart”-couples.
But than again, not everyone is getting their fairy tale ending.
How is that determined anyway? How, who, why?
mm some are lucky, others overcome many obstacles and hold on to their loved one…
But sometimes love simply doesn’t last. It’s complicated. 

But these novels being “romance”: all the couples in this trilogy of Nora Roberts are “love for life, once married”, “until the death do us apart” & “so perfect for each other”.
No wonder that it leaves one wondering.

But there is so much more than love.

– Ardmore, home-feeling –> “Home is where your heart is” 
– Roots: Do they matter and/or determine you as a person?
– Traditions & ancestry: Should one hold on to the past? Should one embrace the future? The change? 
Travel: Dare one take more risks?
Ambitions (or the lack of… ): Should one stop being afraid and pursue?
Importance of that close circle of friends & family : How to love them unconditionally?   
Scenery + tourists: One should appreciate the things they have, the mundane existence while it exists… Because “All good things come to an end”- Nelly Furtado 
Magic + legends + myths + fairy tales : should one believe in this all? 
– Destiny + guidance by some unknown force
– Feelings, all over the place
– Business, strong head 
– A lot of personality. Strong characters!!!!
    –> “Can I have some of your strong personality and mold it to fit mine?” 

etc.

Ireland is definitely worth a visit someday. One day.
In that aspect, I do feel like Darcy Gallagher.
All those places waiting to be explored. 

You carry two bags throughout your life

This is something I recently heard.
That particular person told me:

You carry the load of two bags with you.

“The one is black. It is heavy while you carry it on your back.
It contains all your stories you better leave behind.
All the heartaches, misunderstandings, bad experiences.
All the things you’re better off without.
So don’t look back! And don’t reminisce pain or insecurities.”

“The other bag, you carry in front of you, it’s white and light.
Fill it with the good memory, the simple happiness.
Fill it with all the love, for yourself, for others.
Also the love other people feel for you.
Fill it with all those good things in life you can think of.
And keep looking ahead. Always.”

That easily said than done. How can one forget it all?
“Forget” isn’t quite the term though.
How can one learn from it and move on, without any bitterness?
That’s a tough question.
But one thing is sure.
We won’t know until we try.
Until we try to move on and get going.

While we look forward with our heads held high…