Friday rewind of the week

If you’re keeping up with the news, this week has been just as hectic as any before. Discussions on the U.S. election are still ongoing, difficulties in Libya are brewing, the Hurricane Eta is “visiting” Florida whilst the Philippines are hit by a typhoon leaving many to be evacuated from their homes.

As we get closer and closer to Christmas, some people are fearful for a different reason – that Christmas will now be “cancelled” due to the need to stay at home or what’s even worse, that shops are now closing their doors from the masses of people desperately trying to purchase their gifts for both people whom they like, just as well as for those whom they are obliged to buy at least a new pair of socks this winter.

As I’ve taken the time today for reflection in order to also cure my spine-induced vertigo, I’d like to ask: can’t they just go online and purchase the things they feel they need to gift?

Our daily death toll in Italy has now 2 days in row reached the over-600 statistics from April. I’m a strong supporter of helping our small local companies in this time of crisis, many of whom though have now come up with creative ways on still remaining customer-centric whilst not compromising the health of their employees.

In summary, if I can have an ask for this week – please have a look for the small store in your vicinity (may it be a bakery, a cake shop, local bookstore, cosmetics brand or even a toy store), see if their portfolio of products can be of use and try to support them whilst also shopping consciously. I for myself am happy to reduce the number of unnecessary gifts which will at least help me buy better gifts for those closer to me. And perhaps if all goes well even an extra pair of socks for my mum.

Take care everyone

finding happiness in Italy

When clinging to the idea of a normal life and hoping to remember days from the past that we didn’t spend locked up in our individual homes, restarting an age old blog that was ignored for some time can be considered a new start (call it in part therapy) in this otherwise stressful year.

I’m not trying to be melodramatic. Whilst there is a pandemic looming over all our heads I remain very grateful to be where I am right now and with just as much to my surprise as to others, I am currently residing in Italy, the land of history, arts, fashion and what’s even more important, food after a life-changing opportunity and decision to change the life for the better. I like to think we are non-dependent on fate, let alone destiny, yet I find it at least to be a good portion of luck that when I needed the change, the right opportunity arose.

I’ve not been here long by a far stretch so I can admit with a reasonable amount of self-depreciation that I still find it a little difficult to get used to the cultural differences. By this I don’t intend to start a long tirade on how difficult is life here – first, it is how you look at things and second, it is our job as expats is to learn to live in the new city.

I will admit though that I haven’t fully understood the cultural differences I will be facing when in the new country. Sitting now at home and listening to Sting’s Englishman in New York, the differences to an outsider may be visible but when it comes to the gros of it, the key driver, it takes more to uncover that. No cappuccino after 11.30am but cappuccino is reasonable for merenda (afternoon snack) isn’t important by now – what I decided to understand is more important and it is, what is the overall driver for the society.

So I have started to read a new book by David Gilmour The Pursuit of Italy which is pretty much a baseline starting point to get a footing in the modern times. The author walks us through the formation of cities up to the 21st century, arguably with bigger leaps than necessary when it comes to ancient Rome, however it offers a very good image of how the North and South formed and also, where the cultural and intellectual differences originate from. I highly recommend the book to all who are curious and enthusiasts of history, to start your journey in time.

Until we are allowed to return to the Life as we know it, the book is a good option to also leave our homes just for a little while, until we finally can do so also physically. This is what I would call happiness as of today.

the continued quest for happiness and [who knows if] being wiser

Hello Friends,

It has been a while since I was last here. Most likely before I started my next job and graduated from Masters and took on a white collar role at a corporate. This time it’s a better one [yes, the tone says a lot about the image of corporates], yet this time our corporate is truly helping people. But my post won’t be about the feared word corporate, but the quest for personal happiness [and NOT the romantic one, thank you very much – self-realisation is the one I am looking for].

When I consider how I thought back in 2016 at my last post, it believe I was -and I most likely was- young and ignorant. Back then, I have signed up for a job where I worked relatively remotely -manager sitting in a different country-, which really hit it’s mark on the first year. Simply put, I was out of my league and felt it badly. The situation had become better later [I was too stubborn to give up] and I managed to learn the most from my immediate peers, but having been still enrolled in full time uni study, I was missing some of the more “existential” questions of contentment and happiness.

After settling my education status by graduating, I am now starting to feel, maybe with some delay of having worked already 7 years with full time studies, a sudden panic and rush of fear of missing out which I believe should be “The Life”.

Just like the crisis hitting of 1928, as a 28 year old I fear of missing out the possibility of happiness coming from reaching ones full potential. Those who studied management or business related subjects will surely appreciate that grand idea that the market -and extrapolatedly we humans should – expect unending growth, not only at work but also in our personal life. I admire those who have figured things out but I wonder – is there anyone else has felt uncertain in the search for ultimate contentment with facing some odds?

Admitting fear though has not been and never will be attractive. The English culture is not ready to answer questions of “How are you” with “Thank you, unfortunately I am facing some uncertainties”, as it can be also seen as overly negative. The more uncertain we are, the more others will try to convince us that some things should be this or that way. Toppled that with existential and self-realisation questions arising, seeing others getting ahead without the same grit and sacrifice shown in life in general is a hard pill to swallow as now, it is not only grades that you are missing out on.

I wonder if you have experienced similar situations and if yes, how did you find your answer? I would welcome advice, otherwise will continue seeking my way as I have – with a half smile and lots of greenery around me.

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Spring – summer walk in Athens 2019

Nothern Skies

A video from one of my favourite singers, Dido. The song is very calming and the video is simply beautiful. It makes me want to travel, discover new places, cultures.
I also recommend “The Day before the day” and “See the sun”.