Tuesday, September 28, 2010


It’s amazing how some challenges may split your personality and provoke the never-ending inner debate, the heated discussion of the pro- and con- opponents, which managed to coexist peacefully in your mind before. The problem is you don’t know who you should side with… On the one hand your ambitious driven side is pushing you forward, to face the challenge, to take the leap, to make a change. You realize that stagnation is almost dangerous to your sanity. And then your defense system issues a response that you are getting too old to chase after victories, big or small, that life is not all about reaching a new mark every single day, sometimes it’s all about just living, pausing mindfully to take in moments, given things, what you have right this second - not some future possibilities from the dream world. So you want just to take this day and live it as it is, grateful and humble, without having to spend it constructing your better tomorrow.

So when all your back-and-forth thinking is put on a scale and what you can see is the equilibrium, you turn to alternative resources. You try to pay more attention to the signs that life is supposed to send to us at times of uncertainty, when we are at the crossroads. Trying to interpret these signs (or what you take for them) drives you crazy because it only confuses you furthermore, clarifying nothing.
In the end you just feel so worn out that you silently scream: I have no answers to anything! I don’t know what the next step should be – I am not even sure if this step is needed! But maybe it’s true that the history is already written? And all this daily hassle is only meant to occupy you but changes nothing, because the time of choices will come when it is scheduled. You breathe out and release the tension that has chained you.

You do you stuff. You try your best to keep all the anxiety away. You trust the highest power that everything will be fine.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When and Where

We frequently feel lost in life. The intense feeling that only yesterday you knew exactly the direction you were moving in but today the knowledge is gone, you are in the unfamiliar surroundings, you don’t know how you ended up here and what your purpose was. And it’s okay because it’s pretty natural to switch directions multiple times in life (it’s more unusual not to), one of those tricks the newly acquired portion of wisdom plays on us: you thought this would make you happy, it didn’t quite – not a big deal, just keep looking.

So when you are stuck in one of those “what’s next?” spans and the answer wouldn’t present itself immediately, you may want to look at your current life from a different angle. Just like on a roller coaster – you climb uphill, and then you pause briefly before you start moving at crazy speed: down, back up, down… non-stop. That pause is life too. As one door closes and the other (others?) has not yet opened, it doesn’t mean that you temporarily ceased existing. Just quite the opposite – you can live very fully even if it’s just in your head. You can do all the pondering you kept postponing till better times. You can learn to make solitude from your enemy to a good friend. And you can catch and enjoy so many previously unnoticed moments simply because you have more time now.

Me? I signed up for a library account and went from occasional reading spells straight to reading fever. I get to absorb all the stories in the world, anything I can get my hands on. Maybe it’s truly a bliss not knowing when and where your life will take another crazy turn, roll out at ever changeable speed, barely leaving you time to catch your breath. For now it’s time to enjoy a rare moment of tranquility. What do you do when you don’t know what tomorrow holds but today you have so much time at your disposal? Do you make use of it when you get to slow down?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When Reality Hits too Hard

It could have been a beautiful life if there was more magic in it. If it stopped being so real and feeling so real but was more like a dreamy fog curling around you, deforming the objects, making them into something else than they initially appear to be. We would look for a hidden meaning in things, sense the important facts of life rather than know them (or think that we know them). Sensual, dreamy, soulful life where unimaginable happens on a daily basis and miracles take a consistent pattern.

We often make a temporary escape into the world of color and form (art), sound (music), dreaming the impossible in real life dreams (fairytales and movies) which provides some relief and inspiration. But if we stay in the real for too long, if we keep reading the news that contain nothing but horror and violence whereas a fairytale book is collecting dust on the shelf, if we devote too much attention to solving everyday problems in order to feed the ever-hungry life-planner inside of us with accomplishments and achievements - our downfall begins.

Your life may feel real but the harshness of this reality hits you hard because there’s nothing to soften the blow – you gave up dreaming, believing in miracles, looking for magic in ordinary things because at some point you figured it’s a waste of time that you cannot afford, because you need this time to acquire real things, things you can touch, store, show off. Reality sucks the soul out of us if consumed in excessive quantity. It needs to be diluted with a hearty portion of fantasy not to extinguish that light in our eyes we used to have in abundance as kids.

It’s better to be a delusional dreamer than a soulless shell, a sleep-eat-work zombie. Don’t bury the child inside of you, let him guide you occasionally into the world of magic where you can feel free to believe in anything worth believing.

Friday, September 10, 2010


It’s good to be back when rediscovering your old daily routine feels like an adventure. Stepping on a familiar path with uncertainty because being away for almost a month turns you into an alien thrown into the foreign land. It takes a while to get back in tune with the rhythm of the city, your old schedule , your old life, so well-known at some point, strange and erratic now.

I dread and love those days of readjustment – when you are no longer there and still not here. I actually admire this feeling of being in between because you get to see things so clearly, as if you were temporarily detached from life: not a participant, just an observer. But very quickly life swallows you again, you must be present in it with your entire essence, solve problems, return phone calls, answer the “How was your trip?” question for a hundredth time… Planning, organizing, running out of time, taking a break, taking a deep breath, trying to figure it all out, what you can change, things that can be improved, what you should leave alone till better times.

Vacation allows you to slow down so you find it somewhat hard to catch up with the real life pace once you are back. In a week or so it will feel like there was no vacation, only photos and some vague warmth in your heart will be the proof that it did happen. It’s not a bad life. I missed work (thought I probably missed lunch breaks more – since I get to spend them in the nearby bookstore) . I missed planning what I will wear to work the following morning. I missed looking forward to weekends since when you are on vacation every day is a Sunday. Vacation was. A lot happened. I recharged physically and emotionally – those blessed three weeks of non-thinking (at least in the old familiar way). I was with my family discovering new ways to be with them, to coexist with them because we are all a couple of years older and wiser. Now it's time to come back to reality loaded with uncertainty, questions, puzzles, coincidences, occasional disappointment and non-stop dreaming. I am back - I whisper.
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