A little bit of everything…

February 18, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s been a while since I last wrote on my blog. Meanwhile, a lot of things happened, I experienced a great variety of feelings, met interesting people, acquired some knowledge, but, above all, I learnt more about myself. I can simply call this period of silence, time for introspection. 

It hasn’t been about not having topics to write on, it’s been more about keeping eveything for myself, locked inside my mind and soul. I felt as if the greatest novel of all was being written on its own, without allowing me to have any control over it. I was just a secondary character, one of mere importance, whereas the main ones, more powerful and audacious could decide the course of the action.

Life has mysterious ways, we can pass from despair to happiness in only few moments, from tears to laughter, from disappointment to hope and strength to move on. In order to overcome all difficulties, we must keep our mind and heart open, never give up on our dreams… Good things happen to us when we least expect them… The answers to our questions are closer than we might think, in fact they are right within ourselves.

During my time for introspection, I learnt to listen to my inner voice first, then to consider all the other possible answers. Happiness lies in small things, insignificant gestures and apparently simple words.

I have understood the importance of the novel within and of its main characters. I’ll continue to write, express my ideas and share my opinions with all the people that might feel the same. Altogether, writing is therapy, pleasure, hobby and method of self-knowledge.

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. (Gustave Flaubert)

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On and on the rain has fallen…

It has been a long week, something like a strange mixture of hope, disappointment, joy, fear and struggle to go on, determination to swim against the tide.

 The word swim fits the context perfectly, as it has rained a lot this week. Don’t get me wrong, I like rain, sometimes it conforts me, yet enough is enough. The summer weather has played a lot of tricks on us the entire week, because it has been colder than usual for this time of the year, there have been several powerful storms with lightning and thunder, menacing clouds and a great quantity of water that almost flooded the streets of the city.

Yesterday I had to experience the flood when I was coming back from work. I guess I have truly understood the meaning of the expression ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’ once it for all! I admit that these were the only words coming to my mind while I was trying to make my way amid the heavy rain drops pouring down from the sky. It was unpleasant and magnificent at the same time! What a sensation to be soaked to the bone, feel as light as a feather in the wind that dances its final waltz to the ground, and crave for arriving home so badly that the rain drops seemed like creating a thick wall between me and my home, sweet home. I managed to get home safely, well, with a little bit of water inside my shoes and a nice cold that I am feeling today…

With all these, I definitely like summer rains because they remind me of my grandmother … she used to tell me that each rain drop is God’s tear that He sheds for us in order to wash away all the bad things in this world. I was only a child back then, I didn’t understand the deep meaning of these words… A lot of rain has fallen from the sky since then… A lot of time has passed and it still seems it was just few days ago… Every summer rain brings back memories of my childhood, of long holidays spent in the countryside with dandelions shining in the pure sun, the brightest rainbow ever, the smell of burnt ground and grass right after the rain and all so on. I wish I could sense the same perfume on the street yesterday, I were a schoolgirl again, laughing and running barefoot in the field…

Now I associate rain with cleanliness, futility, beauty, hazard and hope. It does wash away the ugly part of the outside world, but also creates life by helping the plant germs grow. After all, we are all passengers in this world, fragile and hopeful, weird and ordinary, but strong and tenacious as water making its way through dangerous cliffs.

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star, like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are, how fragile we are … (Lyrics from a great song by Sting)

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I’m just a girl…

”The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” (George Orwell)
 

        I’ve been there, I’ve done that…

Lately I have realised how wrong I was struggling to be PERFECT. I have finally understood why I was feeling so tired, almost exhausted at the end of  every day… Why I was so disappointed at myself. Why I was feeling so dissatisfied with many aspects of my life… Simply because my mind was set on achieving perfection in each and every situation! But, one day, out of the blue, I have figured out that I am only a human being and I should stop trying to play the role of the perfect teacher, the perfect daughter, the perfect lover, the perfect friend and companion, etc. STOP. THAT’S IT. No more Miss Trying to be Perfect! No person notices your efforts anyway, they are just there waiting for you to make a wrong step, the slightest mistake, so they can immediately tell you how imperfect you are.

I really made a mistake when I thought I could be the perfect professional that knows the answers to all questions, helps her colleagues unconditionally, without waiting for something in return,  is absolutely flawless in her behaviour… Such things do not exist, one way or the other there comes a time when you make a mistake, simply because you have a bad day or a health problem… or it just happens… Although you spend a lot of time feeling miserable and guilty afterwards, for disappointing those who trusted you and all so on, you cannot do anything about it…

The same goes for the personal life… If you struggle to fill in the role of the Perfect daughter, that always listens to her parents, gets good grades in school, is the teachers’ favourite, wins a scholarship at the University, finds a well-paid job… but one day just quits it because she dreams of something else… boom!!!! The myth of the Perfect girl breaks into million pieces. And you start feeling bad, you see something different in your parents’ eyes, you hear a lot of unspoken words of disapproval… After some sleepless nights you get used to all these, you keep repeating to yourself that you’re entitled to make personal choices. After all, it’s all about your life, your ups and downs…

The moment you discover that, even though you have been trying really hard to be the Perfect lover, your efforts do not matter at all, is a very difficult one. Yet, better late than never. You open your eyes widely and face the naked truth: cannot be perfect as you are just a girl, with all your ”curves and all your edges”. In time, I have learnt that men tend not to observe how hard you try to be Perfect for them and take it for granted. If you only stop being like that for a second, maybe because you are a bit under the weather, they immediately reproach you have changed, you don’t pay any attention to them, etc., etc.

So, after all these I said to myself that I should just be myself, act as naturally as possible, and expose my ”perfect imperfections”. They make us unique and loveable, not the pointless fight to achieve Perfection!

Be wise and imperfect!

Regards,

The (imperfect) EnglishTeach

Urban Story

    Caught up in the whirl of everyday life, I almost forgot to enjoy the beauty and simplicity of our existence. Thanks to an amazing story that I witnessed last week, I remembered how beautiful our life really is, how innocent and pure our feelings would be if we remained children forever.

   One afternoon, while on the subway, reading something and simply waiting to get to my destination, a very nice thing happened right before my eyes. Sitting on the chairs in front of me, there were a boy, of about 5 years old and his mother, maybe coming back home from the park or playground. The boy was very talkative, cheerful and seemed to be very creative, as he was continuously telling stories or asking his mother different things. Nothing surprising until the next station, when a very pretty little girl got into the subway, and, elegantly, sat on a chair near the boy. The 4 year-old girl looked exactly like a modern-day princess, as she was wearing a puffed-white tulle skirt, a pink T-shirt and silvery flats. Her hair had the colour of wheat in the rays of the summer sun, shoulder-long and with a French haircut, making her look like a beautiful angel just coming down from the sky.

   Accompanied by her father, the girl looked fragile, yet the glitter in her eyes was a proof of determination and intelligence. After sitting, she took her father’s phone and started playing. All this time, the boy noticed the girl, looked at her insistently and stopped talking, as if he was out of words. He kept gazing at her, somehow wanted to say something to her, but the distance between them prevented him from doing that (the girl’s father sat next to him). In a complete state of nervousness, not knowing what to do and say, the boy looked around, to his mother, to the adult next to him, then to the girl again, when …. the ‘impossible’ occured: the girl left the phone behind, looked back at him, and, barely articulating, he asked her if she wanted to be her friend (wow, it was such an innocent moment that I had the impression I was reading the best book ever written!). I really appreciated the boy’s courage and I guess all the other people witnessing the scene felt the same. I could sense all the strength in his frail body gathered in those words: ‘Will you want to be my friend?’

    Having heard the boy’s words, the father decided to switch seats with his daughter and … here they were sitting close to each other, two nice children experiencing adult emotions, looking so pure and serious at the same time. Acting as confident as he could, the boy regained his voice and started asking her different things: if she went to the kindergarden or not, what she liked doing there, etc. Not eager to waste any moment with the girl, he was talking and talking, at times boasting himself by saying that he was 5 years old and would go to school next autumn. The little princess answered, smiled politely, also paying attention to arrange her puffed skirt from time to time. It was only a matter of 10-15 minutes, but I am sure it was even a shorter period of time for those involved.

   As much as I enjoyed the scene taking place right there, before my eyes, the moment to get off the subway arrived. While standing up, I observed that the girl and her father were also preparing to get off, therefore I could witness the moment of their goodbye. From a small bag, the boy took out a pencil, with a big number 5 on top and gave it to the girl. Reluctant at the beginning, she didn’t want to accept the gift, yet her father assured her it was all right, therefore she eventually took it. The very next moment, the girl waved goodbye and that was all… As the subway train was leaving the station, I could see the boy’s face staring at the window and his mother trying to say something to him…

  Long after I arrived at my destination, I was still thinking about the two lovely heroes of my urban story. I could not stop wondering what would happen if they ever met again, and if their meeting was by chance or was meant to happen. One thing I know, they really made my day, brought a little bit of sun into my heart and showed me that we should never lose our innocence

  Express your feelings and cherish love, friendship, purity as they are the essence of life!

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Where are the holidays of my childhood?

Ou sont les neiges d’antan?, the French poet Francois Villon asked himself as a pretext to discuss the human beauty that fades away in an instant…

I am asking myself the same thing, but referring to Christian celebrations such as Christmas and Easter. Since today is the third day of Easter for both Orthodox and Catholic people, I think it is a good opportunity to discuss something that has been on my mind since Christmas Day: do modern people still cherish the traditional values?; are they still fond of the customs passed from generation to generation?.

The fact is that the last two days made me become nostalgic and really miss my childhood, especially the way we use to celebrate religious holidays back then. I remember how my grandmother taught me to dye the eggs using natural colours, for instance onion skins to obtain reddish eggs, to embelish them with flowers and leaves of different shapes and sizes, to prepare delicious pasca with cheese and raisins filling, etc. Every Easter I remember those smells and flavours, also the custom of washing my face with some water in which a red egg had been previously added in order to help me stay forever beautiful and young, the tradition of wearing something new on Easter Day, that of going to the church at midnight to take the Holy Light and bring it home in order to purify the house and celebrate Christ’s Resurrection, the victory of life over death.

Even though I try to respect those customs every year and not let them be forgotten, I can’t sadly observe that modern people tend to demistify the importance of religious celebrations, focusing mainly on their commercial or materialistic side. Caught in the whirl of everyday existence, facing problems and relying on technology, children and youngsters seem not paying attention to the spiritual aspect of holidays, being more and more interested in what presents the Easter bunny or Santa Claus will bring them. If you ask them what is the significance of Easter, for example, many will probably give an answer related to the Easter bunny, chocolate eggs or days off from school.

I really think that keeping tradition going from one generation to the other depends on each of us, therefore do not forget them and convince your children that their significance is a lot more important than what we can see from the outside.

Be merry and feel blessed!

What if we could stop time?!

February 28, 2014 Leave a comment

We are only humans, cannot live forever…

One has to learn that… as time runs, and runs, faster and faster,

With each second passing by….. we come to an end…

One borns and dies alone, is incomplete and always searching for something…

What might it be: an extra second, the feeling of wholeness…?

Nobody knows… we are travellers and seekers throughout our lives.

We search for love, happiness, hope, mercy, inspiration…

Yet time does not stop… it runs and runs…

To the implacable end…. keep seeking… it is still some time left!

Categories: What IF...? Tags: , ,

Here comes spring… It’s time to reborn

February 26, 2014 Leave a comment

spring flower

I really like spring, as I have always considered it the greatest season of the whole year. It is pure, fresh, full of light, perfumes and colours … I guess there isn’t any reason in the world for not enjoying it… After the cold days of winter, spring arrives to make our hearts dance, sing and live again. It is a good vibration in the air that seems to reach your feelings, put you under the spell of love, friendship, etc.

Spring is the time of nature’s resurrection, also the reborn of our humanly body and mind.

As the song goes you ‘only miss the sun when it starts to snow’, we realize how much we’ve missed spring only when it’s finally here. These days everything is changing, from the weather to the people’s faces, and we can clearly see that spring has come.

The flower shops are full of beautiful tulipes, daring snowdrops, pink, white and purple hyacinths, fragile freesias and their strong scents fill the air. If I could, I would buy all the big bunches of spring flowers and take them home, because for sure they would help me transcend all barriers of this world, sending me to the Elysian Fields, where I would be able to experience perfect hapiness.

The trees are in blossom, your imagination runs free, therefore one moment you might be in your room, the next one, might be walking in a Japanese garden among pink-whitish cherry trees, spreading their charming perfume towards the sky. You have a great state of mind, your strength is renewed, therefore you can even move the mountains if they stand on their way!

Go out and enjoy the sun, we’ve missed it for a long winter time!