The Curse of Everything

Human mind is a beautiful place. Complex, busy, influenced by the environment and experiences.

We constantly evolve, ever since the moment we’re born. With every new sound, color, word, picture in our mind, something changes inside us. We begin learning to like and dislike things around us, at a very young age. The more exposure, the more we alter our path in life, our likes and dislikes, and dreams and aspirations. Most of the time, we don’t know what we want, but our experiences taught us what we don’t want.

As children, ever since we can remember, we’re asked by many people the same question: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?‘. That question sets our minds free. The answer has no limitations, the only limitation is human mind. So we think about it, and we come up with ambitious dreams. We want to be astronauts, firefighters, superheros, princesses, scientists, doctors, police officers, and many others. Our innocent souls, dictate our path in life, and ration doesn’t have much to say in it. Influenced by animations, love, and goodwill, we seek to be happy, regardless of the form it takes.

“Passion is the difference between having a job or having a career.”

With age, we’re slowly guided towards the slot in society we should occupy. Exposure makes us forget or ignore what our previous goal was: to be happy. Once school becomes a major part of our lives, things complicate, we become more job focused, getting lost in the illusion that what builds a career aren’t actually dreams and passion, but solid knowledge.

The more people we meet, the meanness of the persons around us, the cruel society, the situations we’re confronted with, alter the way we see the world around us, our dreams and desires. And our worldview changes. Our ambitious dreams are replaced by heavy thinking and struggling to occupy that position dictated by society. We go back and forward between choosing the right career path. And most of us find it. Influenced by the school subjects, material gain, people around us, we feel like we finally fit in that slot, and we work towards making our dream come true.

Hard work pays off and we become good at something. Our entire lives are shaped around us becoming something when we grow up. And for most of us, it works.

It’s really easy to choose to ‘become something’, if you know you’re good at one thing, and you feel like you can only do that, at a level which makes you happy and turns you into a skilled professional. It’s easy when you know you will get a job.

But what if you still don’t know the answer to ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?‘. What if you are passionate by many things? What if you just can’t choose? What if you’re that ‘annoying’ type of person which can do pretty much anything the mind is set to do, and can’t settle for a job? What if you change your mind every few months, and your heart defines ‘career’ in a totally different way? What if you just have no plan to ‘become something’ once you’re done with your education, in comparison with all your other colleagues?

Being multi-talented, training your mind easily to switch from one field to the other, might seem like a blessing. However, you realize soon enough that you are not like others around you, you don’t know how to do just one thing, but you can be anything you set your mind to. Even if we are trained to believe we need to find that ‘job’, and fill in that empty slot in society, for a person like you, it’s almost impossible.

Doing almost anything, can become a curse. It’s never easy to mix different skills from art, writing, technology, love for animals and environment, people, to a personal life, into ONE career path. You can’t be everything but you can’t be without everything. And then you face the curse of everything, with makes it almost impossible to choose.

So, what do you do? How do you find out the right path for you? Is there such a thing? Can you focus on one thing only? Can we be happy with being less than we want to be?

In the crazy race for a career, money and a future, we must not leave our heart behind. Once we try to remove a part of us, from our future, we soon realize we lose our happiness. For people with so many passions and interests, the only way to live a happy life is to not leave any passion un-nurtured. Our artistic side is always waiting to come to surface, our compassionate side is present in all our actions, and all our skills combine and become a lifestyle. We can’t just NOT do what makes us happy, unless we amputate a part of our soul.

“Doing what you like is freedom.

Liking what you do is happiness.”

When it comes to a career path, we tend to choose from our passions and skills, the ones which have the potential to bring the most income. However, long term, income is not enough. Think about removing all monetary benefits, setting all career options right in front of you, and picture what would you do, if you could choose from anything, and all would pay the same. Would it still be the career you had in mind before? Making a career from your passion, feels like you never go to work, not even for one day. Wouldn’t that be beautiful, to be so free? That’s true happiness!

When life gets busy and complicated, we immediately remove the time allocated for what really feeds our soul. However, the crazier life becomes and the less time we have, the more time we should invest in our true passions. We should never forget that nurturing our heart is as important as feeding our body. Losing ourselves in the process of building a future, takes us to an empty space, where sunshine can’t reach. Can fortunes feed an empty soul?

“In Order to Succeed, Your Desire for Success Should Be Greater than Your Fear of Failure.”

– Bill Cosby

Passions … there is no right and wrong. The right choice is the one which makes us happy, and we shouldn’t settle for anything less. Our hearts and minds need peace, and once we take the time to listen, we’ll choose our true path in life. We’ll just know it, as we’ll give 110% in anything we do, and it won’t ever feel like a job, but it will feel like freedom. It will feel like happiness.

Remember we’re not meant to fit in that slot society created for us. Taking the time to find out what really makes us happy, nurturing our passions even in the busiest times, our desire to succeed, and a positive attitude, will put us on the right track to a career and fulfillment, and keep us away from getting stuck with an unsatisfying and time consuming job.


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Saying goodbye to a wonderful team

Working for 2 years in the same office creates very strong friendships. With all the ups and downs, one thing is for sure, even if I won’t miss everything about my job, I will definitely miss my friends.

Never goodbye. It’s see you later!

1,000,000 reasons to miss you guys, in pictures

For all those beautiful memories filled with laughter and joy

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For all the pranks and ‘special’ farewells 

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For all those funny notes and special gifts

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Thank you for supporting me and making me smile everyday! You are absolutely amazing people and I’m very honored to call you my friends.

Lots of love,

Loredana

xo

When it doesn’t float your boat…

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Maybe I was a different type of teenager, but to be honest, when I finished high school I had no idea what to do next. What made the choice even harder is that with the right amount of work and dedication, I could be good at pretty much anything. Putting so much passion into what I do, got me from one field to another, in just a few years, confusing me even further about what I really want to do in life.

After getting my first paid office job (previously I worked as a volunteer for almost 1 year), I was extremely excited to finally earn my own money, learn new things and meet new people. I was lucky enough to start working in a multicultural company, which gave me the opportunity to improve my language skills, interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures, and broaden my horizon. Even if I was a bit disappointed with myself for not getting a job in the fields for which I studied for (I first started learning programming-since 5th grade, then I went to Law School and got my degree which offered me the amazing opportunity to work for an NGO and finally UNHCR), I was very happy, and didn’t doubt my choice.

The problem with working in such a company is that while increasing the number of employees(which more than doubled since I got hired) the company turned from friendly, to ‘Romanian’. When you put the power to run the company into the hands of locals, the company’s culture goes very fast from foreigner to national, which means a dramatic change in vision(the change happened in approximately 1 year after I got hired). Different managers, different teams, different rules. For me, this meant not enjoying the same rights as other colleagues did, and being constantly brought down about my work performance.

Working in such an stressful environment for about 1 year, brings your spirit down and kills your enthusiasm and motivation. The question is…. What do you do?

The solution I’ve found

Being intellectually active since as long as I can remember, I really constantly feel the need of a challenge, of gaining other skills and applying my knowledge. After thinking about what I can do to keep this up, I turned back to computer programming, my first passion. For months, I’ve studied after work, on my own, but without any concrete results. The high level of stress, combined with lack of time, didn’t get me that far, but I never gave up. In the end, even a bit of progress is better than no progress!

The questions which were always on my mind: When do you take the plunge? When is the right moment to switch jobs? When are you ready?
The answer: You are never ready, and you will never be ready if you keep on waiting for things to happen.

So, about 2 weeks ago, I’ve decided to go after life, instead of waiting for life to come to me.

The decision making

At the beginning of the company, this would have been a very hard decision for me: to quit the job I’ve worked so hard to get. Even when it got difficult and stressful, I’ve postponed this moment for as much as I could, thinking about what will the company do without me, how will my colleagues manage without me(silly thinking process). Also, I had no idea how to do it, even if it sounds stupid. I felt like I was putting the company into a difficult position and also showing them that I am not loyal. One day though, my boss made it easier for me, saying ‘no one is irreplaceable’. A mix of these words and the constant stress factor made me realize I am doing it wrong. Being 25 and wasting time on a consuming job, isn’t the right way to go about life. I am loyal, but I shouldn’t allow someone to constantly take advantage of this. Loyalty is great, as long as it’s directed towards the right persons, which wasn’t the case anymore.

The right moment for anything is NOW!

But what if NOW is the moment in which you are left without an income, and a fat chance that you won’t make it into the field you want to switch to? Well….what other better moment to find out, if not now? Investing more time into something which doesn’t bring out the best in you, which doesn’t help you grow, and evolve and become someone better than you are today, it’s simply just time wasted. You might lose an income, but you might gain something bigger than that: peace, balance, time, yourself. Once you are at peace, you can focus on your real passions, and improving your skills will become so much easier than it was when being in a stressful environment. This will get you to the point where you grow, improve and, most likely, earn more than you did before. In the end, our most precious possession is our TIME. This is something we won’t ever have more of, only less, and you can’t buy it, at any cost.

Even if the new career won’t earn you more money than the previous one, I wonder if it’s all about the money. Stress is such a huge factor in your mental and physical health, that we end up working to earn more money, to get loans, to live a lifestyle we can’t really afford, to get even more stressed because of the financial issues, to alter our health, and to work more or get more loans to fix out health.

I’m sure it has to be a better way to manage my time. So, keeping this in mind, I went ahead and quit my job. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very happy I had this job. This experience taught me so much, much about what I shouldn’t do if I ever have so much power in my hands. Also I’ve learned a lot about myself. Being in an office 8 hours/day or more, with the same people, all with different worldviews, with different problems and mentalities, for months and months, gives you a chance to see them at the highest and at the lowest moments of their life. For some persons, the lowest moments, bring out the ‘best’ in them, and this got me to realize a lot of times, that’s not how I want to be like. Many times, such experiences were like a mirror, in which I got to see all my faults, and realize where I go wrong in the relations with my friends and family. This helped me very much with changing things about myself, which I’m very thankful for, and also proud.

Getting ready for the career

With a whole new way of seeing things, a new set of skills(still work in progress), and a brand new attitude, I get ready for the future. Before quitting my job, I was full of doubts and fear. Now I am confident, positive and excited! In my head, sky is not the limit. Not even close. I can conquer the sky and more, through programming…This is what I really want! I want to be able to not only tell the computer what to do for me, but also to show it how to do it.

After going through the basics of HTML, CSS, JAVASCRIPT, JQUERY, PHP, MYSQL, I’ve realized I want to do big things. Being so creative, I want to do more than just programming. I want to combine all my skills, passion and creativity and turn them into a new career. For now, the possibilities are endless. With the support of my friends and family, I will start something new, something amazing.

If I will succeed or not…I guess it’s just a matter of time until we’ll find out. All I can hope for, is to not waste my most precious resource: TIME, on anything else, but what really makes me happy. With a lot of work, dedication and a lot enthusiasm, there’s no room for failure.

Keep your fingers cross for me!