Monday, February 29, 2016

About the whole Valentine thingy

I had Valentines day, Dragobete (the Romanian version of Valentine's) and made me think of what I need in my future, what I want give, what I need to receive and what I want to build with the next person next to me. 

To be frank, I feel I had it all: screwing things up for someone, being screwed and getting burned for my hopes and my wild expectations. I had short distances, long distances and very long distance, willing to travel across the ocean for the person I loved or thought I loved. 

I've also looked around and saw unhappiness and suffering from the people around me. People that have kids, married and  being hurt by their partners whom they just chose to cheat on them. That's something that hurts even for me because I know it will break my heart and my life to pieces if something like that would happen to me. Somehow this has made me a bit cold, not having so many "butterflies" in my stomach with the fear of getting hurt or hurt the person next to me, or whether this period of so called happiness would end in an expected suffering or a boring routine. It's weird and somewhat depressing and I hope I get rid of this mentality soon. 

But running long distances makes you think a lot of what you want and what you have. Overtime I have been thinking what would I want from the next person. Of course there is still the 4S rule: simple, sexy, smart, sensitive. Secondly: we live in a world that is not only about the city we live in, the country, it's about the whole freaking world. We live in a connected world and we all have a play in it. We all have an impact. If there's something that we need to do is to be less selfish, less superficial, more informed about the world around us and start doing more for the world around us and the community. 

Secondly is about fighting for the other person and the other way around. I remember one story from Stephen Covey's book "7 habits of highly effective people" and it sounded like this:
"Stephen, I like what you're saying. But every situation is so different. Look at my marriage. I'm really worried. My wife and I just don't have the same feelings for each other we used to have. I guess I just don't love her anymore and she doesn't love me. What can I do?"
"The feeling isn't there anymore?" Stephen asked.
"That's right," he reaffirmed.
"And we have three children we're really concerned about. What do you suggest?"
"Love her," Stephen replied.
"I told you, the feeling just isn't there anymore."
"Love her."
"You don't understand. The feeling of love just isn't there."
"Then love her. If the feeling isn't there, that's a good reason to love her."
"But how do you love when you don't love?"
"My friend, love is a verb. Love -- the feeling -- is a fruit of love the verb. So love her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her. Are you willing to do that?"
...and this goes both ways.

Lastly is time and action. I will not based any relationship on words and things that are said in the heat of the moment. I prefer to have a long lasting burning candle rather then a overnight camping fire that would get me through the night.

And who knows, maybe the person is just around the corner. :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Reflections and resolutions

In the Georgian tradition it is said that the way you live the second day of January will reflect on the whole year. I didn't know that in the beginning because I woke up really late and that's something that I will avoid most of the year. Secondly we went to a  Turkish bath and I was surrounded by a lot of naked men. That's again a definite NO when it comes to living 2016. :) I continued my day by attending an online course which is something that I want to do throughout my life: learn and develop. I ended 2ns of January by going with my friends in a restaurant and trying some new Georgian food. Experiencing new things is something that I will never stop doing. When finishing our lovely dinner I was surprised when the lights went off, the pianist in the restaurant started singing happy birthday and my friend Nurana was approaching the table with a birthday cake full of lit candles. My heart stopped. If there's anything more that I want to have for 2016 is to be around friends and family and have lots of special moments together.

Togrul, Nurana, Nana and I
One year has passed and it felt like a second. To be frank, 2015 felt like a numb year, a lot of things have happened but I am not sure if I really had the chance to live them. I was in London, (twice), Berlin, Trieste, Paris, Gdansk, Baku, Galati, Chisinau, Hamburg, Tbilisi, recovered successfully from two surgeries, finished projects at the university, ended my project at work and really started a social life in Denmark, It somehow felt that I was numb since last year's long distance deception. I had to deal with a strong feeling of betrayal that somehow even until now lingers around. Maybe that's why I even stayed away from this blog and stopped writing.

In my stay here in Georgia, I had some time to reflect about what I wanted to do in the previous years and what I want for my future. So I decided to put these on my wall and have them in front of me every day:

  1. Finish my Masters degree.
  2. Get a full time job.
  3. Move to a new apartment.
  4. Finish a half-marathon.
  5. Finish a half iron-man.
  6. Visit one modern wonder of the world.
  7. Re-visit an old friend.
  8. Make a plan for buying a house/apartment.
  9. Chair a conference/event.
  10. Read a book every month.
  11. Say more happy birthdays to my friends and family.
  12. Have a blog post every month.
  13. Go home for Christmas.
  14. Make a plan for the next five/ten years. 
  15. Most importantly never stay lonely. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

The long distance deception

I was putting her to sleep after she had way too many drinks at some guy's birthday party. Brushing her cheek with my hand I told her:

"You know...I am going to miss you". A mumble drunk truth got out of her mouth with a sarcastic: "Ough really?". Took that straight to my heart, stayed fifteen more minutes and I couldn't just leave without saying something to her. Whispered in her ear:

"I have to go now. I have a flight to catch.Through all the hardness, stress and shit you are getting in this country I wanted to be there for you. I am just sad you couldn't be there for me as well. But it doesn't matter. Whatever happens I want you to be happy. Now, I have to say good bye now. I... "

And I left alone in the night...and I came back for my phone and then I left again. :)

What happened? I said to myself last year that I will not do the mistake of going long distance. In one way or another we like to think that we are going to be true to ourselves but then we have all the time to make illusions and then end up stirring through their ashes. I said no long distance and somehow I manage to break my own word. Not because I forgot but because I thought the person I was doing it for, was worth the effort. It turned out to be a mistake, again.

I tried for three or four months to be there as much as possible for her, for us. I've put my hopes and cards on the table. I spent time, energy, effort and money. And because of some moments of weakness, I have somehow scared her away. Or she saw something that I am really not.

I am smart guy but I am a dreamer and a fool for something that can become beautiful.

I realized that long distance is not for everyone. It requires time, energy, effort and God damn sweat. Not only from one side but from both.

I looked at some friends of mine that have been through a lot, being together at a distance, from a time when there was no good internet connection. They've defeated time and distance and are now together. I look at them and I say "maaan I wish I could have that".

I indulged on many things. I indulged the fact that there was no interest in her knowing me, I indulged the lack of interest of building something together. I indulged in the physical and emotional distance. I indulged because I had hope.

Whatever happened, happened. Should've, could've, would've are part of the past. I cannot change any second from what happened in the past but I have the power to write all the moments of my future. And I am thankful to have received this quote from a friend: "If someone is willing to lose me rather than to win me, then I shouldn't disturb that person with my existence."

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Five surprising things about Peru

Peru was surprising, tasty, colorful, full of energy and life and very adventurous. These are some the things that will remember, surprised or shocked me:

  1. It's not a fully developed country. In the sense an European person is used to. I had a bit of a Spanish soap-opera/telenevola view of the country. I thought that the country might be at the same level with Brazil. I was wrong. When it comes to architecture and the way cities are build there's not really an urban plan for that. At least for the cities I visited or not even the capital there was not a lot of order :). In Lima you will see a lot of houses that are built with no order, building plan or even not a care for the aesthetics, each one builds and paints their house on their own choice. Outside of Lima, in Cusco, Puno, Arequipa and not only, there's not even the painting to make them look OK. In Puno, when I was on Titicaca lake, the city looked from afar very orange, from the material used to build the houses: bricks! I guess I am spoiled European brat! 
  2. Traffic is crazy. Wherever I went on a taxi or bus, traffic was crazy. Only the traffic lights are the ones that are keeping the cars under control. In the taxis I took the driver always used his horn before passing through a crossroad, just to signal a potential other driver to be careful, there's another incoming car. 
  3. You can do your travels by yourself. As one of the taxi drivers put it: "Papitooo, you don't need a guided tour, you can do it yourself. Listen to me papito". He was right. You can travel the country alone and visit some of the main attractions without the guided tours. You just need to read a lot more, get informed and be more fluent in Spanish than I. And I think there's also good to be fit. When I did the Salkantay Trek there was this guy who carried his tent, sleeping bag and food in his backpack. He was always waaaay ahead us each day. 
  4. The food. First of the Chinese food, they eat a lot of Chinese food. That was something that I wasn't really expecting in Peru. They have, "chifa",  Peruvian and Chinese cuisine fused together. I guess another that will surprise any European is the "cuy" or the Guinea pig that you is being fried and served to you. I am not a fan but I had to try it out. There are also places in Peru where you can go to a restaurant and choose the Guinea pig you want to eat. Just like a fish! Not to mention that you can eat pretty cheap. They have have these daily menus that you can pay from 4 to 6 soles (1 to 2 euros) with soup and main dish included and the food is pretty decent. 
  5. Changing landscapes and the Milky Way. I think I was very much impressed by the way the landscape changes from arid highlands with snowed high peaks to high and Amazonian jungle. Another amazing thing was to see the Milky Way, especially when you are up there at 4000 m,at night,  you can enjoy the a sky full of stars and the impressive Milky Way. I was blown away by the view and it will be one of the highlights of my trek to Machu Picchu(which is something I will talk in a later post). 
With the good and the bad there's a certain charm to Peru that I will never be able to fully explain it. You just have to be there and live it. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

One year in Denmark

It seems like an eternity since the last time I wrote on this blog. I've always wanted to put something here but the inspiration didn't come.

I felt that I wasn't ready to do so after telling a bit about my experience in Paris and I focused a lot on climbing back up and finding motivation from work, my studies, building a sense of life here in Denmark and in general.

At the beginning of last year I wanted to continue my studies and I had two options. One, was a school in Germany(due to high hopes of living with someone) but my German wasn't at the highest level so it was a definitely a "Nein!" and the second option was Denmark. I went for it because it was a combination of quality of education and the financial effort I had to put to myself and my family which was to the bear down minimum - only had to pay my living here, tuition is free for EU citizens. Yey!

I ended up in Herning, somewhere in the middle of Denmark being accepted at one of the Aarhus University branches. A small city that has grown has grown because of the textile industry and the wind energy innovations that are very prominent in the region. So yeah, August 2013 I started up a Master Degree in Technology Based Business Development. Sounds fancy and cool, I know. It is a bit cool :). I did have some interesting courses and different ways of doing things here. A lot of focus being put on methods of research, reading individually, working in a team and coming up with some kind finding, either small or big and being able to see from different perspectives/angles of the same topic. It did change the way I had to work and study.

Student life in the campus is as one guy told me "what you make of it" and I didn't make too much of it. Maybe because a lot of the student life in the campus was around how much we can party and partying was associated with heavy drinking. :) And it was also about not going out and spending too much money.

Talking about financial effort. Although it was to the bear minimum, it was still high. Denmark is a freaking expensive country. When I first arrived at the Copenhagen airport I paid 35 Danish Kroner which is about 5 euros for a ticket to the city center. Not to mention the rent, for a 25 sq meter studio in the student campus, I paid 500 euros per month. Fortunately I found a Bulgarian dude with which I shared the room. Saving money, Eastern European style! It has always baffled me the fact that the rent was almost just as much as it was in Paris. But Herning is not Paris, not even close!

I spent a lot of my time searching for a job, which after three months finally happened. I started working for one of the big companies in the area, Siemens Wind Power. Although my job is related to a support function, it fascinates and motivates me to work there. The fact that we are building a piece of technology that is harnessing the power of the wind to produce electrical energy for thousands and hundred of thousands of homes all around the world is just amazing.

I tried to volunteer or to work for some students organizations and I think I needed to have a more pro-active approach. I think I was expecting people to come to me with offers after telling them about my extensive experience with AIESEC. In some cases there are organizations that ask a membership fee and being in Denmark, they are not that cheap so I decided to pass. Nooo thank you! At least for now. But I am still thinking about volunteering, one way or another.

Apart from my life challenges in this country I see happy friends with their other half. Of course happiness doesn't stand in a happy face in a random picture posted on Facebook. I think that behind those happy faces there's a lot of fighting with each other and FOR each other. I see friends getting married and relationship updates keep popping up on my wall, photos with babies and so on. Social self-pressure put aside I guess there's a need to be needed from time to time. :)

What the future holds? Future is about making dreams happen. Starting next week is about making a dream happen. I will be travelling to Peru for 15 days visiting Lima, Cusco, Machu Pichu, Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon. Not to mention that I will have the chance to see some friends in Paris and Madrid.

Other than that I am with a smart, simple, strong and beautiful person. It's in the hatching and "knowing each other better" phase Again I have put myself to be in a long distance. There are fears and most importantly there is hope!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Climbing up again

"It doesn't matter who you were and where you were in the past, it matters who you are now", a long forgotten quote that was whispered in my thoughts when facing past "demons".

I was asked recently to a small movie for my home town AIESEC chapter to prepare a small movie and some pictures with my international experience. I looked over the pictures and I was thinking "damn those are some nice memories": my first internship in Italy and the summer of 2007, when I traveled to five different  countries. That was something I will remember with pleasure. And then I saw Paris, 2012, the good moments, the fun, the nice events, the travels in France and around and of course the painful ones that followed at the end of my experience there.

As I was saying in one of the previous post 327 days in the city of lights, a chapter was over and I was happy to realize it and getting it all out. I still have doubts and resentments of why people let me down and at the same time why I didn't live up to their expectations and showed more strength in mind when facing true challenges. Maybe that's why Paris spit me out of its belly like a weakling. I couldn't handle the city anymore. 2013 followed, the accident, surgery, recovery time, moving to Denmark and I being dumped via a Viber message in September.

Two weeks ago, I participated at the event of another organization of personal development, leadership, training, networking. I lived through those and I don't need through it again. Inside I was feeling superior maybe arrogant, both maybe.

And then, that night, I remember and looked for the full quote:
“It doesn't matter what you did or where you matters where you are and what you're doing. Get out there! Sing the song in your heart and NEVER let anyone shut you up!!”.

What is done is done. I realize that. Some doubts and remorses will remain but I am happy for the people that are still close to me from Paris. A few, but quality. 

The accident, the break-up, all are healing now. And you know what? I feel like climbing back up again!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Moving through time: same guy, different person

It's London 2007 and a younger me visits London for the first time. Excited about one of the best cities in the world, he goes to the British Museum and takes a picture with one of the greatest wonders in the world, the so called "moai", the men statues from the Easter Islands. Only two of these statues can be visited outside the island: one in Santiago de Chile and one in London.

Six years and a half later he visits the same spot and takes a similar picture. I look at the difference and yes, physically there's one thing that stands out. It's like nature took a lawn mower and used it on my scalp. Other than that I can't stop to think about the person Mihai of 2007 and Mihai of 2014. Maybe I look a bit more sad, but damn, 2013 was a challenging one.

Both of these guys are extinct already in certain manner. Since the last picture was taken I did changed a bit more. And like the sign on the right side says they both show and remind me of how I lived and how I might end my stay on this Earth. 

Overall awesome picture.