Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Under the surface

So I am happily starting to have lunch with a colleague I had met in a Jane Austen event and  I was ready to talk about Jane Austen's books, the regency time and much more when she comes with the questions: so how come you read...and in Colombia are there bookstores, WiFi...?

At the begging I was a bit surprised, shocked and even upset...but then I thought...fine...I am going to answer her questions...which by the way I have answered since I have been away from Colombia in the last 10 years more than thousands of times.

What made me think was that very difficult to make connections when you are from another country. How many times have I stayed myself on the surface..the basic questions...the even biased questions...

At the end we all want that...we want to be seen under the surface.What I wanted to tell her was that I think I am a quite fun person that loves reading, writing, going to Movies, that loves Classical Music that has traveled a lot and has a fantastic son.

I am more and more adapted to this society....but now I recognize that I want to be able to be seen under that surface and that I make those questions and not go deeper.

So my goal for this year to continue adapting to Netherlands and to strengthen friendships and make new ones: Go under the surface...and I am definitely insisting to people also that with me...wish me luck.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

What I have learned today December 1st,  2018.( Soon to be 46 years old).

The end of the year is coming soon and somehow feels like  a milestone. I guess after this I will soon be the furthest away from being young and  officially stepping closer into the senior world. I am not afraid of it. I just wished I had the wisdom I had when I was 20. Would have made my life so much easier back then but  hey...I would have missed the fun of learning right?

Here is what I have learned and what you can expect from me now...

1. Kindness is not weakness. I  have noticed this much more being in Netherlands. Dutch are strong in character and in manners. I have chosen kindness in many ways over not saying Hello or not smiling or not helping if needed. I have chosen to be kind to everyone around me including those that ignore me or treat me wrong. Is not that I am weak. I actually chose it. And because is a choice means sometimes can be difficult and sometimes I want to or I am as rude and hurt others as they  have hurt me but I believe that kindness is what we need in this world...more than arrogance, intelligence or position.

2. Always leave doors open. This relates exclusively for Business and Volunteer positions. Ever since we got married I have had to move here and there. Adapting, giving my best to where I am and then having to say good bye. I have been blessed with most of my managers. One exception. The rest have become friends and mentors. As I am naturally loyal( Loyalty is also not weakness) I have doors open in places I worked before and where I volunteered. I cherish my ex managers, my colleagues...all those that shared with me my business life or my volunteer life. As for the rest...toxic people, those that hurt you with intention, those that don't want to  like you as you are or simply don't take the time for you...those doors can be kept closed.

3. Marriage is not easy but definitely fun and comfortable: I have been married for almost 10 years. Of those years we have had harsh ups and downs. I have wanted to run away to feel free then the next moment  I know could never live without my husband and so on. We are completely different in many ways, we can talk for hours but we can fight for hours...difference makes it never boring, common grounds makes it very fun and laughter is what keeps us going strong.

4. Family is THE most important thing. Having moved around there were moments when you don't have much with you and I have  to confess that I felt overwhelmed in many cases and my faith was very thin. However, only when I hold my son with me or I when I am  in the arms of my husband or I have a nice talk with my mom is when I could feel the balance. Nothing compensates the fact to go home and have someone waiting for you.

5. Have fun. Life is too short to stay in places where you are not welcomed or feel miserable every day. Try to enjoy what you do, enjoy the happiness and success of others, help others, volunteer...believe me..the energy I get by doing this is amazing.

6. Write. The best therapy. When I write I feel an immediate feeling of focusing. The hyperactive mind I have seems to calm down only when I write. dance and never stop. This is of course related to the Have Fun Part...and if your husband dances like mine..even better.

Getting ready for next year...