Sunday, March 27, 2011

I now know

I don't really believe any of that stuff I said or was told by others. Like the fact that there's plenty of people who wish me the worst because I didn't deliver in their lives and that's why things aren't looking up for me. Or the fact that I push people away because I don't believe I deserve their trust and affection. Or that we only get a limited amount of love and mine has run out.
I actually know that I got just what I wished for. When my last committed relationship was over I wanted a few years off. To figure out what I actually liked. Where I wanted to go in life. Who I was when all other variables are constant. And I'm not even half way there yet. But what I do know for sure is that I'm where I'm supposed to be and that somewhere deep inside I still believe in love and that it's never too late.
I'm moving through the five stages of grief. It's not so much about the death of my dating years as the burial of the that void of personality and character and perspective for myself as an individual. I've been through denial, trying to hook up with boys I used to dream about or those who were trying to lend a helping hand. And it didn't work out, because it was not what I was looking for. I've been through anger, bitching about everyone and everything and making innocent people feel bad about themselves just so that I could get the edge off. I've been through bargaining, trying on relationships with people who I knew didn't fit me, but could maybe give me an idea of what I want. I've been through depression, giving up on the idea that faith or humanity or myself had anything left to love. And I guess now I'm growing into acceptance, realizing I am an amazing person even taken separately and that we all are once we put on the right goggles.
But mostly, I know I'm almost into a new phase, which is evolution. Where I've already assumed the lessons learned so far and will actually be making baby steps towards the future I imagine for myself. A future where I can let someone in, as a partner and a trusted friend, and not be afraid to reveal myself to them, nor change my way or the things I enjoy just to make them love me more. A future where I can be loved for who I am and not who I could or would've been, where I am a person and not a hypothesis I create in my head.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Yet another quiet Sunday

"I don't think you appreciate the severity of your situation. You are rapidly approaching end stage male spinsterism. That cat, that diabetic cat that you're shooting up with insulin, buying dime bags of catnip for, that means you've given up on ever finding anyone."
(Gregory House)

P.S.: I stumbled upon the above comic on Tumblr and only today figured out the source. So I must give credit to cat versus human. Check it out, I'm already a big fan!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Everybody leaves

I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while now but it seemed too grim and dark to post it on a colorful blog like this. However, as the winter is slowly hitting the road, I guess I can see now how behind the whole idea there was something more I wanted to say. But basically it’s true. There are very few people who stick by us throughout our lives and even those have to move on at some point. We seem to forget every time we get left behind that once again we took things for granted and we go on and on doing the same thing with different people. It can’t even be called a mistake. Mostly because the first time we do it may turn out to be a mistake, but choosing to persevere in our absurd game of building social relations as if they were forever can only be called a choice.
I should know. I’ve moved around all my life. I’ve had different sets of friends and colleagues every few years and somehow I never learned. Not to mention family. Relatives, grandparents, siblings, even parents will not be around forever. Best or worst case scenario they die on us or we die on them. Some will leave or some will simply drift away. Blood relations and decades of sharing practically everything do not guarantee that in a few months the people closest to us won’t just vanish into thin air.
But this is not really what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about change. About how some things, especially people, who leave our lives, are actually what made us who we are today. And if we cherish ourselves we should look at all this loss with more consideration. If I were still besties with my childhood neighbor I would be a different person right now. I’m not saying I’m the best alternative version of myself. We can’t always see things as better or worse, but as different. But as long as we like this one version, we can easily discard and make fun of the others. What I’m saying is that change is good and however painful or confusing loss may seem at some point, it may be for the best.
So now that it’s spring and the cold is melting away, we should maybe leave the resentment build over the winter behind. And look further ahead. But if we insist on taking one last glance over the time past, I believe we should do it with more tenderness and self-awareness. We are what we are not only because of the things that have happened to us, the people we’ve met, but also because of those that didn’t and the ones we were spared of. People are constantly changing and that is a beautiful thing. And knowing that everybody leaves eventually doesn’t mean we shouldn’t trust or invest in others. It means we should have the courage to take a (hardly calculated) risk and take the leap. And most of all, cherish who we are right now and cherish the people we have in our lives. Because we never know when that might be over and who could come and take their place. Nobody is irreplaceable and nothing is forever. But again, the whole beauty stands in this inconsistency, whatever makes us human must be deeply connected to the uncertainty that comes with human interaction and we all owe it to ourselves to try and beat the odds from time to time.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Elephant's Journey

"The past is an immense area of stony ground that many people would like to drive across as if it were a road, while others move patiently from stone to stone, lifting each one because they need to know what lies beneath."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Something to believe in

Yaaay! Daisydays has a new spring look, somehow the old version was just sad. It's not like I write super happy stuff, so at least the view should be refreshing. I don't know why most times I sit down to write I end up complaining or something like it. At least I finish up in a more cheerful note.
Today I was wondering why I didn't react when somebody asked me last summer how do I put up morally with my job. I guess it was because I still felt like I have control over what I write and to some extent it's true. I don't get asked to write something I wouldn't and I haven't been censored yet for anything. But I also don't use it to forward my opinions. I guess I started working with a belief that you can do journalism and keep the scientist's neutrality, that you can pick the good news and the subjects that lack controversy and that way avoid taking sides. I can't say I've succeeded in that completely, mostly because there have been subjects that changed my opinions based on first hand experience. It still feels like if I were a different kind of person, one that not only stands behind her beliefs, but also shares them and tries to bring more people on that side, I'd be a different, maybe a better journalist. However, I may not do it out of respect for other people's points of view or out of trust they can think for themselves or just because I'm a coward and I lack the will to walk the walk.
And it's not the only thing that gives me this feeling. It's also that I don't take part in protests. No matter how strong my interest in the matter, no matter how mad I am about a certain situation. My most active endeavors have been signing petitions, supervising elections or participating in clean-up campaigns. Again, it might be because I see the problem as deeper rooted or I see better means to make a change. But maybe it's because I'm chicken and I don't publicly fight for things I believe in. It's true, sometimes I heat up discussions so much, people want to hit me. I've been accused of being a long list of -isms and most of them make me really proud, although I don't see how I could deserve the honor.
I just wish I'd act more according to my beliefs. And I know it's a recurring theme in my writing. But I guess I tackle different aspects of it. I'm not saying I want to go swing a sign. But I would like to help people better understand things. To give them a chance to be on that side that is closer to their deepest values. Because I guess deep inside I think most of these values are part of our collective consciousness and even though there are different right and wrongs, after several filters we can all tell blue skies from pain.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


It finally dawned on me that I have the amazing talent of scaring people off. Not pushing them away. That I still don't master too well and it's a different cup of tea because it's something conscious. I'm referring to when I'm having a great time and the other(s) just want(s) to get the hell out of there and away from this crazy lady (I've been considering adopting another cat, so it's just a matter of time until I become that lady). Thinking about it, I realized it's not just one thing that does it, I have a whole array of loony ways of creeping the hell out of people.
For example, I talk about my past love life. And I don't do it like any regular harmless crazy who just says "I hated the guy so much I wanted to chop his head off". No, I'm all about how lucky I've been and how much everyone enriched my life and all that stupid hippie talk. Now nobody likes a high hippie. People usually think I'm a huge liar or I'm still hooked or I'm just a weird case of easygoing commitment seeker and confusion is worse than a psycho. Except for when I'm the psycho. Cause I like to take things to a whole new level. I sometimes say things that are scary in themselves. I give people bad trips or uncomfortable truths. Because I have a hard stomach I can talk about any sort of gruesomeness while eating, while I'm sure my audience is not as excited.
I also stand on an intellectual high horse. Yeah, I start light but eventually, as I heat up the debate I want to discuss ideas and not the weather. I'll get stuck on the big stuff when all people want to do is drink their beer. It's Christianity or neurosis or the depiction of female sexuality in witch folklore. And I even take it further and at some point the other is so tired or just wants to go back to the mundane talk about pets and mold. Best or worst case scenario, the light conversation they're gonna get from me is about me.
Honestly, I'm the biggest over-sharer I know. I'll talk about more than people want to know any day. It's not enough that I talk a lot, I talk a lot about myself. About my family. About my friends. About every little thing I want to brag or complain about. What I had for lunch and how my cat fell off the bed last night. And nobody wants to know those things. But I do it anyway because another bug in the head I have is being super egocentric. Most people, I don't talk to them because I really care what they're saying. I'm just waiting for a subject I'm interested in to pop so I can take my turn to yap and yap about myself. I'm usually, deep inside, totally dis-considerate towards other people's thoughts or whatever it is they want to share. I only remember what people I really like say. And you know that saying, I don't even like the people I like.
So yeah, I'm pretty scared myself now. I never really thought of all this until a few days ago when a guy just couldn't wait to beat it as fast as possible when I put all of the above charms into a conversation that had gotten a bit on the dark side. And I don't blame him. I just hope realizing this stuff will help me control it and make a step towards learning to really have a conversation, not just using others as mirrors for all the crazy stuff I bottle up every day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Here's hoping

This spring started with a wonderful day. It was sunny but still a bit chill, the snow was melting and birds were singing like crazy. I didn't feel so good, though, but managed to get back on my feet and visit my parents for some conversation and my mother's amazing cooking. So all in all, I have high hopes from the rest of this year. It's going to be yet another turning point in my life and I'll try to take it a step at a time.
Two seasons have passed since I last wrote here and things have been weird. My cat is everything I imagined and more. Her unconditional affection and good energy make my whole day better when I get home and have helped me deal better with things by putting them into perspective. After she came into my life I had a few months of social isolation. I really enjoyed spending my time at home cooking and reading and all. But somehow in the winter I got pulled back into my crazy old ways, spending nights and money in search of fun, something that would take the edge off. Maybe it was because I had some extra work and was also stressed about my exams. Maybe it was because of the excitement of enjoying old friends' company and making new ones. But I eventually got tired. Good thing my course load is completed and my grades are better than ever and I also managed to gain some pennies on the side helping out with all sorts of academic stuff. Still, I feel like it was too much and I should fall off the radar again. I won't just stay at home. But I'll be searching for more self-fulfilling entertainment. Someone I follow on twitter said a while ago that fun is fast food, but joy is a four course meal.
So there is a lot to look forward to. It's the final countdown for foreign universities' PhD admissions and I should also take a step towards ensuring myself a spot here at home. For the last semester I'll be working on my dissertation and getting the scholarship would help so much. I want to keep working at the newspaper for as long as I can because experience in a field, even remotely connected to my area of interest, is quite something on a resume. Also, I'll be trying to keep close to the university staff and lend a hand anytime they need it, maybe next year we'll be some sort of colleagues.
I intend to keep writing as often as I get the chance here because I use it as a diary and it really helps me put things in my head in order. There are two other online projects I've been or will be working on. It's a blog I write with a friend and an events website where I'll probably be writing reviews. Because I wanna be out doing all these things I love - concerts, theater, movies and so on. I want to put my money to a better use than just cocktails and drunken mornings. I'm compiling a wish list and I'm trying to figure out how to manage all the things I want to do for myself. I've always been busy so this is nothing new to me, except for the fact that I finally feel like I can see where I'm going and I have a strategy for how to make the trip both effective and delightful. So here's hoping that my plans will work out better than expected because, you know what?, I finally believe I deserve it.


There is a custom in the Balkan area according to which every beginning of spring we wear a lace made out of entwining white and red thread. Some wear it on their wrists, like I noticed with my Bulgarian friends and some wear it together with a small decorative object (used to be a small coin or even a button, now the sky is the limit in terms of variety) on their coat’s lapel, as we do in Romania. Some wear it just for a few days and others until the weather gets better. In some areas people wear them until they see the first stork. In others, until they see a blossomed tree and when they take it off, they tie it around a branch.

Even if it became a commercial holiday, in which people just buy and gift these tiny decorative objects, Martisor is already a cultural reflex for Romanians. People make these gifts in order to show appreciation, but it’s such a wide spread practice that women who don’t receive any will wonder why. But as a ritual that marks the beginning of spring, Martisor is also associated with practices of cleansing, of welcoming the new season with a clean house and holiday clothing. In most areas men give Martisor to women and children to the elderly. But there are regions, such as the Eastern part of the country where girls make gifts to boys and they receive gifts on Women’s Day, on the 8th of March.

Initially, the lace was white and black because black was not associated to death and suffering. In later customs, black had been replaced by red, as a symbol of youth, of beauty and vitality. Red is also associated to spring as a new beginning, so the Martisor is a symbol of the succession of the two seasons – one coming and the other one going. Back in the days, mothers used to make Martisor for their children. Later, women and young girls started wearing them as well, as ethnographers explain. Some women wore it as a necklace and men would decorate their hats with them. People even tied them to their doors and roofs so that the house is protected from evil spirits.

There are various superstitions about Martisor. Some say that wearing it protects children from disease and young girls are protected from the blinding rays of the spring sun. The two threads had to be entwined because this action kept the bad luck away. Another superstition is about the “old ladies”. Between the 1st and 9th of March people can pick a day and depending on the weather that day, you can predict how your whole year will be.

This superstition comes from a story that has some historical roots. It says that Dochia, the sister of Decebal (the king of the united tribes that lived on the Romanian territory before the Roman invasion) was courted by a Roman soldier and she didn’t want to marry him. When her brother committed suicide (rather than see his country in the hands of the enemy) she ran away to the mountains. It was the beginning of spring and the weather was very unstable. She tried to disguise herself as a shepherdess and she had lots of sheep skin coats on to keep her warm. But as she was moving upwards on the mountain with her sheep, the weather kept changing and she would take the coats off one by one. At some point, when she was left with barely any clothes on, it suddenly got very cold and she froze. She remained knows as “the old lady Dochia”, although the legend says she was young and beautiful. The first days of spring are named after this legend, to emphasize the instability of the weather during that week.
I was planning for a while now to write a little post about these Eastern European customs, especially because I know we have a few foreign readers and maybe they would enjoy an insight into our cultural practices. As for my fellow citizens, please feel free to complete or correct my accounts. And may all of you have a happy fulfilling spring!