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Bedoor Bluemoon

Everyday writing to expose the soul

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Life Lessons

The First Week on the Job- Bewildered

Bewildered

deer

Congratulations on your first job!  You are fresh in the workplace with many many many assumptions about what goes on.  You’ve been chosen from a list of candidates and impressed the bosses.  You’ve jumped through this hoops and finally got initiated into this wonderful place. Do you think it’s going to get better?  Well, it can’t possibly get worse, right?

Wrong.

Because now the real work starts, and I’m not talking about the tasks on your job description (if you’ve been given one), I’m talking about the merging of yourself with your social surroundings: your colleagues.

Similar to your first day in school, there are people who will accept you and people who wish you never set foot in the company.  There are people who will help you and people who will try to make your life a living hell.  Well, welcome to the real world, it’s a thousand times worse than school, you can’t take a sick day just to run away from a test, and above all that you’ve got your career at stake.

You will feel bewildered, lost, clueless, and will wonder what you are doing there.  You will question yourself, your knowledge and skills, your upbringing, and you will definitely have a little bit of inferiority complex to top it off.  In the end, you can use the “smile and nod” technique, play the “strong and silent” role, or chew gum.
Smile, this too shall pass.

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The Freezing Lake

Source: Writing Prompt #350

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She floated above the freezing lake waiting for the monster to reveal itself.  The cold air fluttered around her like pigeons.  She sighed, breathing warmth into her cold hands.  A little ripple barely noticed was all that she needed to smile.  He’s come, she thought to herself.

She turned to her right just as the monster’s head gently surfaced.  His blue skin was sleek with water dripping down, his green eyes glittering with the reflection of the mountains around.  Sarah, is it time?  It said in husky voice.

  • yes, my dear.  It is finally time
  • And are you certain that you’ve made the right decision?  Is this the right way forward?
  • Yes, I am certain.  I have thought of this long and hard.  I cannot bear to think what could happen lest I stay.

No answer, the sound of silence was calming.  She looked at the monster whose head was rested on its back and thought of the many days she spent conversing with her friend.  Their friendship was anything but conventional and she will miss it dearly.

  • The road you are taking is dangerous.  There is no way back.
  • I don’t want to come back
  • What if you do?  What if you miss me?
  • You will always be in my heart, Barlac
  • Will you remember me?
  • Always
  • You will be too busy with test after test.  It is not sheltered out there as it is with me
  • I am ready to undergo all the tests that are sent my way

More silence.  A cold wind brushed across Sarah’s face.

  • Are you already packed?
  • Yes
  • Did you pack everything you need?  Did you pack something to eat and something to drink?
  • I only packed my food and water
  • What about your clothes?
  • I don’t need anything more than what I’m wearing
  • It will get too cold

The sun was setting and Sarah felt like it was now or never

  • Barlac?
  • Yes, my dear
  • What will you do without me?
  • I will wait
  • Wait?
  • Yes, I will wait for another girl to stumble upon my lake so as to teach her the secrets of life
  • But life is out there, not in here
  • Is it?
  • Yes.  Everything you taught me cannot be applied in the outside world!
  • Can’t it?
  • Is this good bye?
  • Yes.  Thank you for everything
  • Never forget who you are
  • I won’t.

And with that, Barlac tipped forward onto Sarah’s head in what can only be considered a kiss and quietly descended back into the quietness of the lake.  She stood taking the scenery in for the last time, recalling the days she sat discussing Barlac’s teachings, debating morals and historical events, and uncovering answers for questions she never asked.  It was time to learn and unlearn, time to move on, and time for another chapter in her life.

Scars and Stretch Marks

tattoo

Many people prefer to hide their scars and stretchmarks not keeping in mind that they make us who we are.  We are all born the same: an empty canvas which awaits what life brings upon us and which can be showcased to our grandchildren.  Yes, scars remind us of the times we learned and stretchmarks remind us of the times we grew.

Scars.

Physical scars from childhood reminding us not to take that route,  not to climb that tree, and not to play with those kids.  Physical scars from adulthood reminding us not to take that route (yes, again), not to forget the seat belt, and not to talk to that guy.  Emotional scars from childhood and during adulthood reminding us that best friends may change, boyfriends may cheat, and loved ones may die.  Scars that represent lessons in life, that tell a story of where we have been and where we once longed to be.  Scars tattooed all over our bodies and souls making us human.

Scars that cannot be covered.

And stretchmarks.  Representing the times we changed and grew: gaining weight after high school, losing weight when you realize that weight you gained was a bit too much, growing less confident, growing more confident, pregnancy and motherhood, changing what we believe, changing who we believe, changing who we are.  All those changes are changes to our skin and our minds.  Not accepting to change means that we are made out of stone and are no humans.  Not all change is evident but a simple change makes a big difference in our humanity.

 

I do not wish to hide my scars nor my stretchmarks.  On the contrary, I wish to show everyone all my wounds, to show how alike we are and how human we can be.  I accept the lessons in my life and thank the growth that they brought upon me: work less, love more, and be gentle.

When on Vacation- Buy Lollipops

Lollipop

 

lollipop
I love traveling.  Who doesn’t, right?  There are many ways in which you can turn your travel experience to better or worse.  Obviously, you must research where you are going, what you’re going to do, and what your budget is.  Who you’re traveling with is very important too because you don’t want to end up stuck with that person you can’t handle for ten days straight, right?

Well, this is the first time I travel with both of my children.  One is three and a half years old and the other is almost a year old.  Things were great, I didn’t expect to have some alone time, nor did I expect to have any free time to shower but, all in all, we created good memories.

Things I learned in this trip could be written in a book but this is a post about lollipops.  Let’s go back to 2009 when I visited Scotland (swoon, sigh, and nostalgic music). I loved every second in Edinburgh and my husband and I would go to St. Giles cathedral and order from their great selection of tarts. I would walk by everyday and see these big pieces of fudge staring at me. I mean, they would look at me walk by, like the Mona Lisa, I tell you!  There was a specific light brown piece which would practically beg to be bought but I never did thinking I’d come back for it.

I never did. (Heartbreaking, tears flowing down my face)

Do you understand, I never did.  I never got that piece of fudge and since 2009 and I regret it everyday!  I never knew what it tasted like, never knew how it would or wouldn’t crumble on my tongue, and I would never know its flavor.

And why’s that? Because I postponed buying it until the day I would travel and to my surprise St. Giles was closed.

Fast forward to 2017. My husband and I were pushing our children in their strollers in the airport and my three year old passes by a big lollipop and says he wants it.

We were running late and my husband refused so we went on.  The light brown fudge popped into my mind and gave me a knowing look, I knew what I had to do.

I held my ground and told my husband that we must buy it or else (OK, not really, I just offered to pay for the overpriced candy) and he lovingly obliged.

We were very late, my husband was very angry, but I got my little boy his candy so it doesn’t haunt him (and me) for the next ten years.

When on vacation, buy your lollipop.

School Life is Imaginary

Imaginary

We all know that dreams occur when we’re fast asleep.  So when we are expected to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to get ready for school, some of our dreams are still lingering in our heads.  We manage to pull the energy to get dressed and, in good days, style our hair in a bun other than a high ponytail and we’re off to go.
Life, as we know it, exists within the school premises.  Life, all of life, is what we see, what we learn, who we hang out with, and on weekends, who we go out with.  We spend at least eight hours a day with our fellow classmates (and thus our BFFs forever!) and never reconsider another way of life.
Why is that?
Because it is very rare that social circles are beyond our school life.  We get to meet children from other schools when we play against them in our Junior Varsity and Varsity teams but it usually never advances to friendships.  We are mostly lazy, sticking with our childhood friends because we forgot how to make new friends and thus end up with that girl who just so happened to be sitting next to us in grade one.
How convenient.
Or if our parents are social butterflies, we befriend their children who, surprise surprise, probably go to our school as well because it’s “the best school there is.”
Then we get into groups.  People who like sports hang around with each other, people who play music, people who are technologically advanced, people who are technologically illiterate, cool kids, bad kids, popular kids, it’s all the same across schools and countries.  So you hate certain people, and like certain people.  And that’s the way it goes until the big day.
Graduation day.
You’ve been preparing all your life for this moment (this is probably the most used sentence in graduation speeches, alongside “we’ve done it”), and you’ve looked forward towards wearing that graduation gown and walking down the aisle.  You’ve discussed it a million times with your friends and were so anxious that you didn’t realize the car crash afterwards.  (sadly, a group of girls who graduated with me had a car crash but fortunately we didn’t lose anyone.)
The car crash called life.
Your close friends met your parents and so it’s no surprise when they meet them again in the ceremony.  It’s the other kids who turn all weird.  All of a sudden, that mean boy has parents.  Huh.  He has parents who kinda look like him and who, surprisingly, are very proud of his achievements even though they’re not so impressive.  BAM… Life…
A close friend decides to ignore you and concentrate on her family.  BAM… Life…
A girl who totally ignored you for the past five years comes up and takes a picture with you.  BAM… Life…
A guy who had a crush on you decides to introduce you to his mother who looks at you knowingly. BAM… Life…
People who didn’t really deserve the high achievement reward gets it and you wonder if there’s any foul play related.  BAM… Life…
And you walk in a haze… everything you once knew is completely gone.  Everything you thought was life is imaginary… everyone who walked on the school grounds suddenly is connected to people… It’s like a mind map of who knows who and who knows what and what money is being transferred to pull strings…
Then you realize, your college application could have gone through if only you had the money to “donate” and get into the amazing college of your dreams.  BAM… Life…
Life as you know it does not end within the school premises, life is what your parents have been trying to shelter you from because it’s a cruel cruel world for kids like you…
So be prepared to swim with the sharks, little fish.

Asking SIRI- A Life Lesson

siri

We all know that sometimes it’s easier to talk to SIRI than actually going through the whole swish the finger across, swish it again, tap, and get what you want (we are a generhation who took the word lazy to a totally different level).  SIRI uses voice recognition to follow commands given by the owner of the IPhone/Ipad/Ipod and other I-related products.  For more information about what SIRI is, google SIRI wikipedia.

Last week, my five year old niece comes up to me and asks, “Can I talk to your phone?”  I didn’t quite understand her and was like huh?  She said, can I talk to your phone for a bit?  Her mom tells me from across the room that her daughter wants to talk to SIRI so I tell her to go ahead.  I was having a nice cup of tea and didn’t really need my phone so I didn’t think I would miss it.

A few minutes later, I hear my niece screaming, “I SAID SING A SONG!”  over and over again, louder and louder each time.  What she didn’t realize, though, was she wasn’t changing her command and when she does, it is very minimal.  I totally ignored her for the next ten minutes and then started worrying about my battery.  Luckily, she managed to get SIRI to “sing a song” which was basically just playing a random song from my music playlist.  She was beaming!  I took the phone away.

My three year old son wanted to, obviously, copy his “amazing older cousin” so he came and said, “mama can I use your phone?  I want it to sing for me.”  Which is very adorable because it sounded like he wanted someone to sing him a good night song.  I let him have my phone and he, come to think of it, knew how to get SIRI working.  Hmmm, I just realized this now.  Anyway, I told him, “Tell her play a song SIRI” and he did.  He was ecstatic and went to show his cousin who was surprised.

I got to hear how she doesn’t have a SIRI in her Ipad (it’s probably an older model) and how her mom’s SIRI isn’t working.  So today she comes up and asks to talk to SIRI again, please just for five minutes, ok three minutes, pleeeeease.  And I give in.  She picks the phone and before she says anything I say, “if you want her to play music don’t ask her to sing a song, ask her to play music.” and she did.  She didn’t have to scream, she didn’t have to waste her energy, she didn’t have to waste battery life, and she knew what she needed to ask to get her required result.

What we learn from this is

  1. when you want to ask for something, identify exactly what it is that you want and ask for it clearly and precisely.
  2. If you use the exact same words to ask for something, do not expect different outcomes at different times.  This expectation is known as insanity according to Einstein (doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results).
  3. You will not get different results when you shout, you will only get a headache.
  4. Kids will get what they want when adults are having a tea break
  5. Sometimes when copying a cousin, you still need to listen to your mom for directions

Break Outside your Comfort Zone

comfort zone

When you change nothing, nothing changes.  When life reaches a point where every day is like the day before, things get comfortable.  You know what is expected from you, what you expect from people, and what you will achieve that day.  But in the long run, your achievements will be minimal in relation to the number of days you lived.

So why wait for the change to happen when the factor that is needed is you.  You need to change to enforce change.  You need to do things differently to get higher results or, at least, something else.  Yes, we are all guilty of taking the back seat in our lives but we shouldn’t settle because there are many things out there that can be achieved.

Things you wanted to do before you turned 30 shouldn’t be a list thrown away.  Even though 15 year old you is only living in the past, you owe him/her some respect towards their desires; he/she is still a part of you.  When change happens, everything happens.

Your comfort zone is like your home.  You feel comfortable in it and you stop growing.  You stop learning, and you stop expanding your horizon.  The world is continuously changing and people who follow these trends and accept these changes are no longer prisoners of their fear.  Fear of change and fear of growth.

But how can you be the factor that induces this growth?  Takes you from one phase in life to another?  First, you need to accept the challenge and know your strengths and weaknesses.  You need to identify what you want done, face your biggest fear, your demons, head on.  You need to take one step outside your comfort zone.  Feel uncomfortable: it won’t kill you.

There are many cliche sayings such as “think outside the box” and “there is no box” and “be the change you want to see in the world,” but in my opinion, the best is “There is no spoon”.  Yes, there is no spoon because the boundaries and your fear is all in your head.  For example, let’s assume I am afraid to present in front of a big group.  It’s not an impossible task; many people are capable of doing it and yet my speech starts to slur and I feel like I’m having a nervous breakdown.  Now, this contains me in a little bit, taking away possibilities and choices, and reduces my skills by one skill.  Imagine that this goes on to include more skills: networking, socializing, report writing, too scared to watch movies that have to do with death, too scared to read books that have more than 300 pages.  These are all restrictions on ME.  I am actively putting myself in jail and making it smaller by these ridiculous constraints that nobody placed but myself.

So why do it?

Because it’s too scary?

Well, outside is where the magic happens.  Where possibilities are infinite and everything is within reach.  Stepping outside your comfort zone may be hard to start, but after a few steps and familiarizing yourself with your new surroundings, you have a new bigger comfort zone.  One that may have included one thing you consider “magic.”  And you take another step out, and you grow your comfort zone, thereby including more magic in your life.

Stepping outside your comfort zone doesn’t necessarily mean meeting new people, it could mean doing something different.  Skiing, skateboarding, traveling, meditating, taking a journey inwards, taking a journey outwards, reading a new genre, it doesn’t matter.  It only matters that you made the effort to change your days and understand that perception is everything.  You are the only one binding you with unnecessary limits in a place where there are no limits.

Think.  Step outside.  Grow.  Find your magic.  And remember, there is no spoon.

photo_movieMatrix-quoteSpoon

Lesson #1 at Work

welcome

We’ve all been there.  Our puppy eyes wide open and looking forward to our first day in our job.  We were finally able to convince someone working in the HR department of some company that we actually know what we’re doing and, surprisingly, they take our word for it.  The excitement, the anxiousness,, the butterflies in our stomach, the sleepless night, and the many outfits we tried are all witnesses to our new step.  We don’t just panic, we ARE panic.  We don’t have breakfast that morning and have a coffee instead.  Everything seems to be surreal and amazing.  We walk up to the office and meet the sweet HR lady who, for what we believe, is our only support in the new found land.  We listen intently to every word she says.  Induction… break time… new employee… parking… refrigerator… telephone… the list goes on.  You hear some words and miss out much more. And if your workplace is big, you fear getting lost.

“meet your colleague, XYZ, he is assigned to be your ‘buddy’ and show you around.  For the first two days, just be his shadow.”

And you look in the face of your new friend.  Your only friend in this unknown land and you smile, thinking that this is going to get better, that this is not so bad after all.  So you put all your trust in that one person and think that you have grown from being the newborn holding onto your HR mother to a toddler, happy to go a bit further and spread your wings.

Now, you took it as a given that XYZ is a good person.  A person who will tell you the truth and give you insights as to how to conduct yourself in the workplace.  Little did you know that many times XYZ turns out to be something else.  Let’s take different scenarios:

XYZ is a

1- Loser.  So you end up being stamped as a loser from day 1, thereby losing all your chances in ever being a part pf  the in group

2-Disgruntled employee.  So you end up hearing what a bad place your work is and you question your decision regarding taking the job

3- Lunatic.  So you end up questioning everything including your sanity and you may also turn into a lunatic yourself (remember, this is your first job so you’re fairly young)

4- Optimist.  So you see flowers everywhere you go and will end up falling flat on your face when reality strikes

5- Pessimist.  Similar to disgruntled employee, a pessimist at work will show you how bad your work is.  You leave your job and end up with somewhere worse, thereby wishing time would go back.

6- Mafia king.  You can be taken under his wing if you are lucky and will feel like a part of the family until someone ends up sleeping with the fishes and you question your “luck”

7-Mean girl.  You throw all caution (and your values) to the wind and be part of the group.  You only question yourself if (and only if) something wrong happens because being a mean girl is just fun

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8- Nerd.  And thereby dig a grave for your social life.

But you could also end up meeting a friend.  Someone who would always be there and who would always give you great advice.

Be careful who you hang out with once you go somewhere new, it could make or break you.  Take things slowly, understand that the person introducing you is just doing his job and you can always find the circle you are most comfortable with.

After all, isn’t work just like school at a bigger scale?  And isn’t life just the same?

Try to play by your own rules and be comfortable with who you are.

Good luck

Wabi Sabi: The Beauty of Imperfection

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They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when many eyes are watching you, the definition of beauty changes from one person to the next.  Nowadays, we are being watched and judged by the way we look, how we present ourselves, and who we know.  When society provides us with the mold we should abide by, what is our net worth as individuals?

With the advancements in medicine and technology, we could be faced with the choice of having a genetically enhanced designer baby free of ailments and closer to perfection than we ever will be.  (Ted talks: Paul Knoepfler: The ethical dilemma of designer babies – TED.com)  My question is, however, what kind of life would a designer baby have?  A child, and later on an adult, who can do things easily, doesn’t feel the need for competition because he/she is the best anyway, looks amazing, and doesn’t have to put up with acne, lives an empty life.  Some people might say that yes, this is the life they want for their child and why not give them a step up in life while they can?  If I had to choose, I’d rather not.

We meet people who have great skin, who have great hair, and who are more talented than we ever dream to be but it does not make us any less.  In a life filled with perfect people there will be nothing to do.  No feelings to feel, no issues to solve, and the easy life will be boring.

An empty life.

Beauty in life comes from our imperfections.  Our uniqueness makes us who we are.  Our different levels of talent, our different skill set, our different backgrounds, merge to an ocean of possibilities.  Possibilities of meeting the right person, making friends, fighting with someone who doesn’t believe in what we do.  Differences in people are what makes life what it it.

A life that is meant to be lived.

Heartbreaks make the heart beat stronger… scars make us who we are.  Subjecting ourselves to the confusion of not knowing, of searching in the oblivion for a clue as to who we are and what is our purpose in life gives life meaning.

Our learning curves when we were babies are beautiful.  Watching a six month old try to talk to beautiful.  A preschooler not knowing the difference between the colors orange and red is beautiful.  A seven year old finally understanding the concept of fractions is mind blowing.  The minute our brains battle to understand and conceptualize life around us makes us humans who we are: knowledge seekers.

Emotions of love, pain, pride, despair all contribute to the journey of self discovery.  The uniqueness of each person, the imperfections, the not too straight nose, the frizzy hair, the gap in the front teeth all make us unique… and from this uniqueness, from this diversity emerges the beauty of humankind.  The beauty of life and its many quests inwards and forward towards our end.

Wabi Sabi: (Japanese) a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay.

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