Why you must try new things

Old friends, new connections.

I’m here sitting at a café on the last day of my stay here in Berlin. Time passed way too fast here, and you could say this is because I’m having too much fun, but I can also say, after visiting this particular city on 4 particular occasions already, things are way less interesting than the first few times.

There are so many things I’ve seen in the city, and I’ve begun to remember the streets and where everything is. Suddenly, it’s not so interesting anymore. But that is not to say, this city has more charm than others.

And that’s when you need to get out there and seek out new experiences.

Or else, I realized. Any city would be boring.

Berlin is a nice city to be. It is very vibrant. It isn’t like North America where everything are so distant and far and those distances must be conquered by personal cars. Over here, one could easily hop on the many modes of transportation, the U-Bahn (underground), S-Bahn (train), or one of the trams and busses – you’ll get to where you need to be in around 20 minutes or so.

I’ve been lucky enough to stay in the vibrant Center of Berlin, where walking home at 2AM in the morning and you’d still people out on the streets drinking their beers and smoking.

There’s life here that you wouldn’t experience elsewhere.

With that said, through my friends I’ve also met many new connections here, many of whom are incredibly intelligent and inspirational. I’m also incredibly surprised how well I was able to resolve some personal issues as well, rather than focusing on what I can’t change at the moment, I’m gearing myself up for the moment and what could be done.

What can I say. Overall, this trip was therapeutic and productive in its own way. A nice city break.

When you realize life is beautiful.

Ok, as promised, here’s the longer post on the trip thus far.

What can I say: everytime I’m away from home it’s an adventure, an exploration. I always discover new things I would’ve never discovered if I stayed home. I would of course go explore new places, but sometimes, I go back to places where I’ve already been but still discover new things about the place and of course within myself.

As everything stands, each second in this city (and this continent) in general is making every cell in my body alive. I can only say that staring at the cityscapes I’ve missed so much makes all those 12 plus hours working a day worth it. I can’t say much about anything else in life that makes me this happy, being around people I love and in a city that reminds me of my actual home.

Now with that said, I also noticed a harsh truth: no matter where you are, the struggle will be the struggle. The struggle is universal. I can say this from visiting my friends whom more or less are all around my age (millennials) and contrary to popular belief we’re all busy either working or studying or doing both or juggling with our own business ventures – yeah, we’re all busy bettering ourselves and our situations, no matter which city in the world we reside in.

The work is never done. And quite frankly, I find the friends that I’m with would agree with me. There’s always something to do, something to improve upon. And therefore, life might be challenging, but it would never get boring for us.

I would also like to remind myself and those that find themselves in my shoes (because I know this is also common), if you ever wake up angry, frustrated, depressed or just unmotivated – remember that every second of the day that you spend angry or resentful or in a negative state is a second wasted. Sure, I get it. There are times when it’s hard to turn off those emotions – but you must remember and laser focus on your journey and your goal. Remember where you want to be, rather than be distracted by the right now – live for the vision that you have in your mind rather than the circumstances you find yourself in currently. I know I’ll need that reminder for when I get back to my current ‘homebase’ (which I absolutely despise). Make it possible for yourself to find peace, with your vision in mind, push for the reality that you’d imagined. 

 

 

Greetings from Berlin

I’m back in Berlin. Having caught up with a few of my friends in the past three days, it really feels good to be back. The old cobblestones and side street cafés are a nice break from North America’s concrete and franchise chains. I especially love that the cafés play techno music (which is pretty much my workflow music anyways). I have much to update on in the next post and preferably when the laptop isn’t at 16%. This is a quick check in. Greetings from Berlin!

Is this life all you’ve hoped for?

I’m currently on route to Berlin, I’ve spent the last week in one of my favorite cities on Earth. I caught up with friends and of course met new ones. Now I’m on route to Berlin. I’ve come to certain realizations as I’m leaving.

  1. I really don’t give a f*ck about the city I currently reside in: the further away I am the better. I can’t be bothered to read the news about that place, and honestly I don’t want anything to do with it. For me, there’s nothing to cultivate or nurture. I’m not a fan of endless nothingness and more nothingness.
  2. I need to work harder: as things are standing, I realized the best thing I can do at the moment is to enjoy my summer adventures, learn as much as I can, strengthen my skillset and then set off and try and try again, so much so that I can not give a f*ck about my current homebase. I realize how important this is, how my friends are all struggling in some ways, no matter which great city of the world they reside in. The struggle is universal. Learn to live with it.
  3. I’m the one I need: not exactly an realization, but I’m at that point of my life where I’d rather be alone and do great work than being distracted by anything else. While the cities I’m visiting this summer has a lot to offer, I realized the work I still need to do must be done alone. I realized my productivity diminished to zero since I hit the road. This is going to change. I have a 3 hours wait time at the airport later. Time to crack open books and get working.

Where have you been?

And so it seems, with that last post, I completely vanished off the face of the earth.

However, that is clearly not the case as demonstrated by this post here.

The past four months have been some of the most intense times of my life – but hey, I made it out alright and that’s all it matters.

I’m weathered, older and wiser.

On top of that, I’ve traveled to more places, met more interesting people, matured through laughter and heartache.

But mostly heartache.

Apparently, that’s the main driver behind life these days.

But even so I’ve managed to pacify and make peace with.

There are things take needs taken care of before I move on to the next steps and of course, I will have time on my hands now to recount them and regather myself.

Moving forward.

What to do when things simply aren’t working out

It’s been 48 hours.

48 hours since I’ve returned and it isn’t a happy reunion.

In the past 48 hours, I’ve had a lot of time – not only to myself but also to visiting friends. Yes – seeing my friends who’s visiting me was great, but after we parted ways, I realized how I was only having fun because my attention was them, and not what was around me.

Again, I don’t care for my own city.

I was due for work – walking out the door, and then realizing I was about to waste an entire day doing nothing I wanted was a complete waste of time.

Sure, I was going to be paid, but that’s not good enough anymore.

I ended up turning back and heading straight home and writing that letter of resignation that contained only 2 lines – Hi, please consider this short email a letter of formal resignation. I quit.

There.

Now that’s done, I’m looking at the countdown on my phone.

87 days until I’m out of here again.

87 days to make it count.

I know full well of what’s at stake.

But I’m not afraid anymore, like I was used to.

If I was to think about this clearly, I was only scared and clinging onto that job I should’ve given up a long time ago because I didn’t want to go deal with the pandora box I’m about to open.

Having a “job” was the safe option, but that option will lead me to nowhere.

I know that.

So.

It is time for a new and exhilarating adventure.

A different kind of thrill.

We are what we repeatedly do – Aristotle

2000 something years later, this statement still holds true.

I’m used to going to bed late at night, then feeling completely plastered in the morning.

I’m used to doing things last minute, because of poor planning.

I’m used to misuse of my imagination over worrying for worst case scenarios.

I’m used to being cynical and stopping myself from doing what I really want to do out of several types of fear.

I’m used to misusing my energy, because of inner chaos.

And I realized, all of these unnecessary fretting really doesn’t help at all.

The older I get, the more I know myself – through experiences and retrospective observations – the outlines of what I ultimately want are getting clearer.

 

I know that what I’ve been repeatedly doing is detrimental, but when you’re caught in a never ending loop without much hope for change – because everything is the same – you’re in the same city, doing the same job, seeing the same people, thinking the same thoughts – it’s hard to break out of a rut – truly.

We are what we repeatedly do – Aristotle

So I rebelled.

I said “no” to all that bothered me.

I did something different.

I went somewhere different.

I met new people.

I tried new things, had successes and failures in various aspects of my life – the highs and lows – I didn’t shy away from either – but the thing is – things weren’t perfect, yet I made them work – I realized, I could handle so much more in my life than what I had thought to be possible.

Namely:

  1. Being uncomfortable: Ever been to a party where you knew practically no one? Check.
  2. Swallowing pride: Starting a conversation with someone whom you thought was ignoring you, but it turns out they’re just busy. The old me would never do this…the old me would’ve let those worries run amok and shrivelled up in my shell of self doubt.
  3. Making things happens: Surprising your friend and yourself by your party planning skills.
  4. Bounce back from fatal mistakes: Having a little too much fun in club and being helped home by a friend. Opps. Don’t ask me to party for the next 3 months…
  5. Stand up for what I believe is right: Helping someone out even though it makes little sense to other people, but for you its the righteous thing to do.
  6. Letting things go that doesn’t serve the bigger picture: Realizing fully that I’m only behind the wheels of my own life, and not anyone else’s. Therefore, I am completely detached from anything that doesn’t concern me and my attention directly.
  7. Spending time with people who matter: because these are the moments and the memories you will cherish and remember.
  8. Turn thoughts into action a priority: but all in all, taking all of this experiences and recognize that if you didn’t take the initiative to be creative, or put your thoughts into action in time, then none of the wonderful and not so wonderful things would’ve happened – for better for worse, you should continue this adventurous streak even when you’re back in the other city.

The past month was about experiences. It was about doing things I would never do normally and breaking through barriers, regaining confidence, and a sense of balance despite all the chaos.

And that’s exactly the most invaluable thing about the trip, the experiences that I’m taking home with me and knowing that across from the ocean I have not only promises to fulfill, but bigger and better projects, and magical moments waiting for me for when I get back.

How to be Amazing

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure to have a truly inspirational person visit me for a week in the Netherlands (cue to my MIA status on here).

And in that week’s time, I’ve learned so much, not only about myself, but about life in general – you could say I was inspired to no ends.

Now, let me explain a little bit on the background story with this quote by Bill Murray:

Friendship is so weird.. you just pick a human you’ve met and you’re like “yep I like this one” and you just do stuff with them

And that’s sort of what happened in October last year.

You meet someone by chance.

They’re on your frequency.

You soon start exchanging not only words, but your hopes, fears and dreams.

This person then inspires you to no end, because they make you curious about the world again – they challenge your world views, sometimes shaking up the already established status quo – they make you do a double take on the world, a double take on yourself and a double take on the relation you have to the world.

They make you want to be a better human, not even for superficial reasons.

And yet, you then look at them and realize that they too are just human.

Flaws and all.

 

And for that reason, you are both baffled and intrigued when you glean into their day to day.

Despite your admiration.

You know what you’re seeing is not perfection, but it’s a lot closer than what other people (you included) have achieved thus far.

Still, they’re like a mirror – reflecting back that it’s possible to achieve what you want to achieve.

And of course, this led me to wonder – if I should gather all of my idols and put them on a common denominator – what is it about these great figures that I absolutely admire?  I started the exercise in my mind. Listing out all of the qualities that I truly admire from them and how much of it only took practice and perseverance.

So, in short, how to be amazing?

Know that it is possible to achieve what you want for yourself and go achieve it.

Amsterdam: The perfect city and what it all means.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to be out and about in Amsterdam once more. One might expect it was all a fairytale moment, with the sun peeking through the clouds and the birds singing and in the distance there’s Prince Charming galloping on his steed to meet me…or something along the lines of that.

It wasn’t as if I haven’t anticipated this moment enough.

Stepping off from the train at Centraal, I was excited. But I was also aware that it was dark, gloomy, and raining. There has been several thunderstorms over the weekend in the place I’m staying, just a little under an hour away. So, I wasn’t exactly expecting any different. Oh and of course, it was also windy as hell.

Shitty weather? Check.

Still, I was excited as ever.

After all, I was here in April? Hah.

I skipped off the train and headed into the city. The central station is as I remembered, as is everything else – except it was covered up all in a shade of clammy greyness from the weather – I went ahead and started to run errands in the city I was just reacquainted with, then I found a work-cafe I’d been eyeing online and went there to caffeinate, followed by some shopping and then some post-shopping falafel eating at one of my favourite falafel places before going home.

It was a very productive day indeed. Then I went home and turned on social media, seeing posts from my friends back home tagging familiar places which I don’t miss – it was as if seeing those places gave me more motivation to work hard to get out (oddly to the inner monologue of Rose in Titanic, “the same boring people, the same boring endless conversations until eternity.” ) And that’s exactly what I DON’T want in life.

And yesterday, I realized, it’s gonna take a lot more work to achieve just what I want, but also a city doesn’t have to be perfect – the reasons why you think a city is perfect, or perfect for you, is at your discretion. After all we give meaning to the narrative in our heads. What makes sense to us internally might not make sense to others externally. Yet, if that narrative in your head gives you purpose, then it is up to you to give that purpose a go and see where it leads.

Because really, what is life?

Is it destiny?

Is it destination?

Work-caytion 2016 begins now!

I have the next twenty days to myself.

Meaning, I have the next twenty days (480 hours) to be completely in control of my own life, my schedule, who I see, where I go – I don’t think I’ve had that level of freedom in a long time.

It is currently some ungodly hour on GMT + 1 and I’m bubbling over with a sugar rush from chocolate and the sheer excitement of being here (okay, so maybe I’m a little bit jetlagged too).

I have great things that I have planned, both alone and with friends. And for the next twenty days I will see those plans to fruition and go home refreshed.

Here’s what’s different about this time rather than the past number of times I’ve been to Europe.

I will be stationary for the next 20 days (for except day trips to other nearby cities).

I wouldn’t be moving around as much.

Why?

Because traveling too fast is exhausting – for both your energy levels and your bank account.

I can only speak for myself, but I can’t possibly get anything worthwhile done, when I’m going around different cities in a whirlwind – as I’ve found out last time, by the time I stopped for 3 short days in Amsterdam then went to Vienna for a week, all I had wanted to do was to sleep. Not only did I not have the energy to do anything in Vienna, but it’d feel like that time was wasted – and I’m not a fan of time-wasting.

Not only that, cluttering your schedule with tasks and sights takes the enjoyment out from the traveling experience (and this is another reason why, I almost always do solo traveling, as with others, compromises will have to be made).

So now it’s 4:12 AM. I’m making up a day’s plan and delegating tasks, a great start of the day I’d say.