Goodbye Belgium

I must admit that I have spent six amazing weeks, but it is time to say “Goodbye Belgium“. I can honestly say this has been a life changing experience for me. 

I know this will sound selfish, but I had fun being on my own. It was nice to have time for myself. It was nice not having to worry about being on time, to take the dog out, feed the cat, not being tied up to any responsibility. It made me realize how much I missed being by myself. 

Don’t get me wrong, it feels great being back home, but this experience was an eye opener on many different levels. I like myself a lot now, and I do believe that I can achieve a lot of things if I set my mind and heart on them. If this isn’t confidence, then I don’t know what it is. 

I must admit, it is really hard not to feel happy after spending 6 weeks in Belgium. It is an amazing place, that can go from peaceful to down right crazy.

I came back with a lot of great memories, and souvenirs and some great friends from Belgium. I am happy beyond words. I do believe that for a while, I will not have time to settle back in a routine. I have this feeling that good things are still to come and that I should just go with the flow. 

Goodbye Belgium!

Being happy

Time flies when you’re having fun. I am tired, but oh so happy. I’ve made some great memories in the past two months, and done things that I wouldn’t have dream of.

It feels liberating. It feels just right. I feel happy.

The best part is that more is to come, and I truly believe that this will be a memorable year for me. I’ve learned new things about me. I have become more confident and the best of them all: I am back! I’ve regained my wild self that takes chances and doesn’t back down when there is something that I want.

I used to be so servantile, wanting to please everyone around me.

Now, I just go and do the things I want without asking for permission or waiting for others to join in.

This feels like the right way to go…

~~~~~~

I have been hiking with two other friends.

I have been in Belgium (and a few other places), for training (for my current job). Tomorrow, I shall leave again for Belgium for another three weeks, for more training.

This was an experience that I will not forget any time soon. It has been wonderful on so many levels.

It was a welcome break from all the things that have made up my life, till now.

Then, in August we shall have a one week vacation to Greece (all paid for with cash up front). One week of just relaxing in the sun and enjoying the sea. To put it in perspective, it has been three years since we last went to the sea side.

My co-workers are planning a hiking trip, then team bonding and team building.

Did I mention that I beat my own personal record at wearing make-up (just because I wanted to): two full months!

I know it might not seem much, but for me it was an eye opener. We’ve been focused so much on work, and trying to make things right with everybody that we’ve put ourselves on second place.

I am not saying that things will carry on like this forever, I’m just saying that it is great to have the chance to experience so many things after a complete lock down on our social lives.

Heck, I even got the chance to fulfill one of my childhood dreams: I got a Goku tattoo! I wanted this for so long, but never dreamed that I would wake up one day and say I want it and then get it done.

Sure, it was painful and I still need another sitting to finish it. But, it is an achievement. It is one of those things on my bucket list that I never dreamed of fulfilling.

When I think about it, it is not like I am working less or being a lazy bum. No. The work is new and demanding, but it is fun and rewarding. I am going to give full credit to this to the awesome team that I am in.

I realized yesterday, that we do have things that piss us off. But, the fact that we talk openly about them and try to find solutions, by ranting and swearing, and even with logic and different opinions, it fills me up with joy.

My old team was awesome. I do miss them. But, the environment we were working was so restrictive and toxic that it made us all bitter.

I can honestly say I am currently happy. Happiness really is a state of mind. Having a balanced life, between work and home really does wonders.

Note: I also got a chance to relax and just be myself!

New beginning

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings – Lao Tzu 

I am not sure of what I want to say, or what I am feeling. The only certainty that I have is that this is a new beginning for me. 

It only took one simple hello, and everything followed after. To put it simple, I got a new job and met new people. I’ve actually started one week ago, and I’ve had my hands full ever since. It is a normal job, from 9 – 5. I have the weekends off, and vacations are not a problem. There are also benefits, plus a good pay check.

That would be the simple description. 

Yet, it is not that simple. It is much more complicated than that, and the benefits are far better than I could imagine. I was so happy all week long, that my new colleagues thought that I was either that kind of person, or that I smoked something before coming to work. None of those are true, of course. I am not the happy go lucky kind of person, nor do I entertain myself with smoking week (cigarettes are my only poison). 

I was happy that I got a chance to start over from scratch in a place where no one knows me. If that is not a new beginning, I don’t know what is. 

It will be interesting to see where this will lead, since the entire department is new. Basically, we will be the foundation of a department of 30 people. At the moment, we are just 6 people.

Those 6 people – myself included- with the team leads, will be flying out to Belgium for training. Three weeks, followed by a break of two weeks at home, and then another three weeks of practical implementation. This is a huge opportunity for me. I have never been on my own (without John), and never for such long periods of time. 

At the beginning, I was unsure if I will be able to manage the challenge, or if I want the responsibilities, but now I am good. Why? Because, I’ve already been through the process. I know what to expect and what to do now. So, that old job of mine did had some use. It will be the base for my new beginning. 

Documentaries

I missed wasting time! The weather is just perfect for staying in, and watching documentaries, making plans and just slacking around.

I am so happy I do not have to worry about getting things done, because I do not have the time. I have plenty of time to waste now, and I am going to waste it by doing things that I love. 

Yesterday it was stitching and finishing up a book. Today, it is watching Korean documentaries and, later, stitching and more reading. Happy happy, joy joy.

I am currently interesting in making a learning / studying plan for myself. I want to learn a new foreign language. It has been on my to do list for quite some years, but never managed to fully immerse myself in it. Lack of time, motivation and even the will to do so, have hindered all of my efforts. Then I remembered something, from long ago, from a random blog that I cannot seem to find. It was about a lady who went in Japan, and was struggling to learn the language. She enrolled herself in a weekend class, and was surprised that the classes lasted all day long. When she asked the teacher there why, she was told that the only way she could grasp the culture and learn the language, was by immersing herself in study and practicing the language as much as possible. 

Now, I do not think I will be enrolling in any course for foreign languages. Nor do we have after schools and libraries like the ones in the documentaries, but self study has always been my way to get through stuff.

 It does make a lot of sense, that if you want to learn something new you must dedicate yourself to it completely. 

Long story short, that is how I ended up watching a BBC documentary on YouTube about Korean schooling system. 

 

I don’t know about learning all day long, but I can surely pull 4-5 hours a day. I do have a lot of free time, where there is just me in the house. I am not going to count Pluto and Marlanu’, since they sleep all day long. 

I hope till the end of the day, I shall have a game plan. Until then, more research by watching documentaries. They are good for the soul. 

Monday morning

It is a rainy Monday morning. I am happy to say that we have no plans for today. We don’t even have to go to work. Of course, I am officially unemployed and Johnny is on Easter holiday.

We’ve had a great weekend.

We did nothing out of the ordinary, but it was awesome nonetheless. We went to the park, where Pluto finally conquered his fear of water.

This was possible with the help of a fellow Labrador. We were actually amazed that they got along so well, considering they were both males and not sterilized. In fact, it was the very first time they meet each other.

We went to the country side. We ate to our hearts content, and enjoyed the sunny weather. Considering that today it is raining and gloomy outside, I think we were lucky. I also got a lot of tulips and some common lilac from my mom. Tulips and lilac are my favorite flowers. 

Basically, we enjoyed a mellow weekend. It has been a long time since we had a weekend like this one. I cannot blame John, since he always had the weekends off. It was my who was working and couldn’t take the time off. 

That shouldn’t be a problem anymore. I am free as a bird, and I do not plan on making any steps in becoming employed again till the end of the month. I have missed being free of any obligation or responsibility. I have some free time and I am going to make the most of it. Even if it feels weird right now, not having to go to work or be stressed about stuff or people.

The only stress I can get now, is from Pluto and his never ending energy. 

Even if it is a gloomy Monday morning, it is a beautiful day to stay inside. I can read, clean, play with Pluto and many other things. I am going to enjoy each day at a time. 

Early morning

It has been a while since I woke up at 5 AM, for no apparent reason. It is early morning and I already walked Pluto, and now he went back to bed and is peacefully sleeping with Johnny. Marlanu’ is by my side, eating away. And the house is peaceful. I can actually hear the birds outside. 

It is quite nice.

I am pondering on what I should do today. My options being limited, since I will go to work in the evening and at some point I will need sleep. 

Two more weeks till freedom. I was thinking about it, and I made up my mind. I am officially postponing my job hunt. It is clear I need a break from about everything. 

A simple recharge of the batteries is not enough. It is not about being tired from being overworked. I’ve passed that point a long time ago. It has a lot to do with my self worth, and what I want from myself and from my future. It is hard to explain. I know I am not the best out there, but I still felt proud of the work that I did. I felt like a valuable member. I know I did a good job. The fact that there are more people upset by me leaving than the people that can’t wait for me to leave, proves it. Yet, slowly and surely, I have been reduced to a failure. I failed at my current job and I failed to get a job, that others with less experience than me got with less effort. 

OK. It is not the end of the road, but it is clear that things are not going in the right direction. I should not feel desperate when going to a job interview. I should not feel that everyone if watching me, waiting for me to fail, the gossip train going wild. 

I have horrible thoughts. I wouldn’t want to work with my current self. Even when it is early morning I can’t stop thinking about things like that. 

So, I am going to take a break and go on adventures (even if it is just to the supermarket). That and clean the house and take better care of myself.

Not meant to be

It was not meant to be. I was not sure if I should post this, but after giving it some consideration, I think I will.

I just got my very first rejection. 

What hurts the most is the fact that when I called in two weeks ago, they mentioned the feedback was positive. That and combined with the referral I got, kinda got my hopes up. Long story short, after a month of waiting the answer was “no”.

They packaged it really nicely as well:

“We have now had the opportunity to consider your suitability for the vacancy and although we found your experience impressive, it is with regret to say, that on this occasion, you have not been successful.”

And continued with:

“We will retain your resume on file to be considered should an opportunity arise.” 

And, delivering the final blow:

“..may I take this opportunity to thank you for the time and effort that you have invested, and wish you all the very best in your future career.”

I am sure that every single person goes through this, at some point or another when trying to find a job. I am also certain that it will not be the last rejection that I will receive. That doesn’t make it any less painful.

It really feels like a deja vu for me. The same thing happened two years ago, on three separate occasions, in the same circumstances, with the same results. Confidence wise, I am at an all time low right now. 

What next?

I am going to continue my job hunt. Hopefully, it will be less painful and more productive.

Pluto, Marlanu’ and Stitching

Pluto, Marlanu’ and stitching, make the best days off. I love spending time with my pets! I am pretty certain that they love spending time with me. We love to hang around, play, sleep and even do nothing, if possible. 

But mostly we love playing. 

It can be at home, when I am trying to browse the Internet for new stitching kits. 

 

#marlanu #playtime #cat #gingercat #petofinstagram #pet #catsofinstagram #catoftheday #cutemoments #cutcat #fatcat

A post shared by Alina Constantin (@creness) on


 Or, it can be outside.


 But my favorite moments is when I stitch and they just lay around. Those are the moments that define our relationship, and strengthen Johnny’s belief that we are all lazy bastards. I just think that he is jealous of us, since he has to work during the day.

Even so, I am happy they allow me to indulge in one of my favorite hobbies: stitching. It has been a long time since I finished something, and I am amazed that I managed to stitch for months at just one project. 

It might not look like much, but it is a pretty big stitching project. Truthfully, I was expecting to get bored of it in a couple of months. It seems that was not the case, and I have not worked on anything else. Hopefully, I will finish it till the end of summer. 

I am being realistic here, since I know that there might be times when I will not have the chance to touch it.

Wednesday Vibes

The last few weeks have been wonderful. I cannot believe how amazing it feels to be out and about.

Road trips, movie dates, lunch dates, shopping & grocery trips, going to the country side (to visit my parents), and many more normal things.. I cannot believe how much work can affect a person’s life. What the hell have I’ve been doing with myself for the last year?

No wonder people have avoided me and John for so long, All we did is to talk about work and more work. We didn’t have anything else to talk about.

~~~~~~

One day in February, we woke up, drank our coffee and just went out. When I say out, I mean we got in the car and drove to a different city. We ended up in Pitesti where we had lunch and walked around. The weather was fine, and the city was peaceful. Compared to the crowds that were out and about in Bucharest, it felt like we were on a different planet.

We even found this lil store where they had Italian products. I was happy, cause I ended up buying olive oil, balsamic vinegar and coffee. I know there are a lot of malls and shops in Bucharest, but it was much cheaper and they had stuff you normally you don’t find.

We even ended up at La Tuciuri. It is a small restaurant, very pretty and the food was just amazing. It opened at 12 PM, and we thought that we were early, but in 15 minutes the place was crowded. And for good reasons.

It was rustic, small and the people there were friendly.

The food was amazing! It has been a long time since we found a place that could satisfy both my tastes and Johnny’s. 

They even do home delivery, but I doubt that they will deliver to other cities. 

This outing really opened my eyes. So, for the next couple of weeks more things happened. We went out to the movies, with colleagues and friends. We saw Split and Logan (it was awesome!). We have plans to go see Ghost in the shell as well, with the same people. 

We went out more, even if it was just for coffee. Even our walks with Pluto have become longer. We take him out more often, as well. I know this last part is influenced directly by the weather. But, we were all in need of exercise and fresh air (as fresh as you can get in the city).

This last weekend, we went to the country side. I was supposed to meet up with some friends afterwards, but I didn’t make it. It was hard to leave from there. It was sunny, warm and my mother cooked some of her best dishes. I just stuffed my face with everything she made, and then just soaked in all the sunshine I could get. 

Even if I didn’t get the chance to sleep that much (working the night shift + going out during the day), I felt fresh. I have recharged my batteries, and no amount of sleep could’ve had the same effect on me. 

I am content with how things are going. Soon to be unemployed, but happy. There is much more to life that working your ass off, and not being able to enjoy anything.

Books, books and more books

There is one thing that makes me get through the days at work: my colleagues! I am grateful to be able to meet and befriend such amazing people.

Not only do they keep me grounded, keep my sanity in check, but they surprise me in ways I couldn’t even imagine.

After a long day at work, with just one break for a quick phone call (also work related), I felt like crawling under a rock. It was one of those days, where nothing made sense and things went from bad to worse, with no chance of improvement.

And yet, in an instant the world became a better place. 

I still can’t believe that someone took it upon themselves to remember what my favorite book is, and also the fact that I do not own a copy of it. That same someone, decided I should own a copy!

I am now the proud owner of the Romanian version of Stardust, by Neil Gaiman! It is still in its wrapping, since I can’t bring myself to open it yet. Like all good things that happen in my life, I want to enjoy the moment. So, for a lil while it will stay in its wrapping.

Oh, and that’s not all. That same someone, decided I should own a copy of one of their favorite authors. So, I am also the proud owner of a copy of The Last Orc by Silvana de Mari.

I can honestly say it made my day brighter in an instant (even if it was almost midnight when I left from work). 

I also can’t wait for this Sunday to come around. It will be the night shift get together. We all decided to go and see Logan at the cinema, before starting our shift. Good things are yet to come, I just need to be patient.