Saturday, March 16, 2013

Letting Go

Feels good. Feels damn good to finally let go of all the things that stopped me from truly appreciating my life in Paris. It's true that time heals (almost) everything. And another Facebook quote is also true: "If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living the present!".

So yeah, I accepted the past and learned from it. I hope it did not damage me too much. I guess this the most challenging part, to not let the past destroy who you really are. But I think that the core characteristics of one can never be changed.

I decided to make Paris my home. Took me a while. It wasn't in my plans to move here, but it was the first opportunity I had, so I just grabbed it, without even thinking about it. This is something that I didn't change: to say "Yes" without knowing exactly what that means. That would include to move in another country or to do something I have no idea of how it would end up. I wasn't scared at all. There are few things that scare me, actually. I guess it comes with age and/or experience. :) And most of the times just saying "Yes" to something new, ended up being a cool and meaningful experience or at least an experience I learned a lot from. So I will not change "saying yes to something if I feel like". Because it makes me feel alive and makes me feel I am taking advantage of every moment. And life would be super boring without feeling alive.

The first months of living in a country where you don't speak the language are the hardest ones. I was expecting them to be hard and after all they weren't so hard, maybe just because I was expecting them to be hard or maybe because it wasn't the first time to move in another country and start over. Starting over is not easy, but step-by-step becomes easy. And then you realize you got over it and made a living in that place.

I love my tiny flat. I love that I live alone, even though I like having people around me all the time. It was exactly what I needed. To be alone, to manage on my own, which is so important for me, to think, to analyse, to cry, to laugh, to talk to myself, to laugh at myself, to swear if I feel like, to wake up early, to sleep, to run for the metro and the train, to read blogs, articles and books, to watch stupid videos, to check out old & new photos, to watch my favourite series, to listen to a certain song over and over again until I get bored of it, to go for groceries in the morning, to tell the Romanian beggars in Romanian that I don't have money (read: I don't want to give you money), to realize what makes me happy, to be angry at myself, to be proud of what I did up until now, to criticize everything, to appreciate the small things, at the same time, to not give a f*ck, to care about small things, to discover myself. Indeed these months were about re-discovering myself, as I thought I didn't know how I am anymore. And that was because "I did let people turn my sky into a ceiling", which I will never ever let again.

It's wasn't an easy process, but I had to be patient. Patient with myself, in order to find that peace. And indeed you find that peace after letting go and accept that there are things you can control and things you can't. And life is about learning constantly how to control/manage better the things you can actually control and take things the way they are if they cannot be controlled/changed.

I met a stranger that asked me if I am looking for freedom. And I instantly answered: "I am free!". And damn, it feels good. Not having any strings attached. I loved the look that person gave me. It was a connection I haven't felt in one year. And I loved the conversation we had. Very direct.

So yes, I will make/am making Paris my home. And I will learn/am learning French. Even though my Paris is not about Tour Eiffel and boat rides on La Seine, but about dirt, beggars, grocery store, my flat, metro, train and the run in between. But it's about going out and having fun at the same time and discovering Paris and discovering what makes me happy and doing those things. So yeah, it feels good to be free to do whatever I want. Because I chose to. In the end, it's a matter of choice. And it feels damn good to have the freedom to chose whatever you want and in the end to actually do those things! :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What about her?

There was this episode in one of the early seasons of Grey's Anatomy where there was a train crash and one woman and one man had a pole that struck through their bodies and they were "trapped" by the pole. In order to save one of them they had to sacrifice the other, so they chose the one that has less internal damages. So they chose to save the man. When they separated them the doctors started to operate on the man and they didn't even try to do anything for the woman, since they knew she will die. Meredith started to scream then.. "What about her?", "What about her?".

I feel like that poor woman at the moment, especially this time of the year. Moving to have an internship in Paris, wasn't my dream. At least for the moment. My dream had a different path. A beautiful one. And I put all my energy into achieving it. And I was stopped on the way. Not only stopped, but dragged into the mud and was hit so hard, so I would never have the chance to ever walk on that path. Why? Because of such a huge ego that could not take others' opinion & perspective and needed to show that the ego is the one with the last word. I was unfortunate enough to align myself with this kind of people. Or I wasn't smart enough in the first place to when making the choice.

Anyways, all in all, I was not the only one that was treated unfairly. But today, justice was done for the other person. But still... for me, it will never be done. At the same time I appreciate the fact that I'm in Paris, having an internship and a life here. I think I would have gone mad without this. But still this affects me. A lot. Because taking and ripping a dream from someone is the worst one can do. And I could have never imagined that there are people or leaders in AIESEC that would do anything to take your dream away, just because of a stupid ego. Actually those cannot be named leaders. Leaders encourage, develop and enable their teams and members to go as far as never seen before. It's devastating and depressing to see that nothing can be done and your biggest and strongest dream was teared apart. It destroyed every piece of me.  And I will never forgive the one that took away AIESEC from me in the most ugly way possible. Because AIESEC meant a lot for me. And this kind of people with stupid ego affected my experience, my life. And what's even worse is that, that "stupid ego" has the power to affect other experiences and destroy the AIESEC brand, without even knowing the power of its decisions. And when I tried to make justice for myself no one has paid attention. Nobody cared. So, what about me? What about me?

But life goes on, no matter what. Yes, I am aware of that.

Monday, December 31, 2012

My 2012 Story II

So I left to Albania. A new, difficult journey was lying in front of me. I was not afraid at all, because I knew I will not be alone. And I knew that no matter what, I will be ok, because I was doing something worth living for. I got in Albania after ~40 hours of travelling. I wanted for a long time to be part of a National Committee in AIESEC, so I wanted to take advantage of every single thing it came with it. Being faci in the National and International Conferences, being part of the Global Support Team, while building something that lasts in Albania.

I took AIESEC Albania very seriously and I put a lot of heart and soul for it. I worked as never before for something I truly believed in. I felt I was doing the right things, in the way I thought it was best. Unfortunately my way of doing the right things was not appreciated. Or it was appreciated, but too late. It's very hard to start something having no infrastructure, no human resource, the most important for AIESEC. Since I was in charge of the Talent Management area, I managed to attract some cool people that believed in AIESEC Albania.

At the same time I was selected to be faci at the National Conference of AIESEC Switzerland, which is known to be one of the best conferences in the network, because the unique experiences it provides for facis and for the delegates. It was one of the coolest experiences for me. I felt there at the right place, in the right environment where I've learned so many, thing I haven't felt for some time. I was looking for such an experience, where I can develop and learn. I am grateful to have been part of such an amazing conference team.

I was also selected to be part of the Global Support Team of Integrated Experiences (team experiences & exchange experiences). Another one I truly believed in, as I was raised in a culture that was fighting for this one. Being part of a global, virtual team was cool and challenging at the same time.

Being back from Switzerland, in Albania I realized how important is the MC role to organize the national conference, so I decided I will give everything to make a memorable conference for the Albanian AIESECers. Unfortunately I didn't get this chance.

Since I was accused that I am too aggressive, too strict, etc. the team turned against me and I was forced to leave the team and Albania. The moment I said good-bye to Ergita, was one of the most emotional feeling I felt in years. I never thought I would cry so much. But at the same time, I knew I will be ok. Whenever I think about it I have tears in my eyes. I wish the good intentions I had were seen, I wish the team trusted me more, I wish I would have expressed better my good intentions, I wish all of them took it seriously the way I took it. I spent a lot of sleepless nights thinking about this. It affected me a lot. There were so many things that weren't ok, but I realized how important are personal relationships, when it comes to professional work. The thing I regret the most is the fact that I wasn't let to finish what I started. And now it's frustrating when some members are writing to me when they need help or when some things that I had to fight for and weren't accepted were implemented afterwards. I wish the team would have been more wise and see the bigger picture and focus more on long-term things, than short-term ones.

This is already in the past and once with the end of 2012 it will not matter anymore. And I appreciate that 2012 did not let me down and showed me that after every storm comes the rainbow. A Parisian rainbow. So 2013 will begin with a HR internship at GE. It's 2012's way of showing to me that no matter what, things will turn out the best way for me.

Thank you 2012 for teaching me the following:
  • If you will not ask, you will not be given
  • It's not enough to have good intentions, you have to prove so that every single moment
  • People are jealous and incompetent and will not lose an opportunity to bring the competent ones down
  • Managing those people is something good intended people are learning every day
  • Responsibility
  • What doesn't kill you, indeed makes you stronger
  • The "how things are done" is sometimes more appreciated than the result itself
  • That last-minute miracle is something as real as a Christmas tree
  • Good things happen to good people, no matter what crazy things they will be dragged into

2012 you have been crazy, intense, reckless, you punched me in the stomach and when I got up you punched me in the face and then you rewarded me for no reason. All in all, if I draw the line, I acheived most of my goals for 2012. I was expecting you to be more smooth, especially after 2011, but I guess you just wanted to teach me all those things above. And I thank you for that! :)

2013, I have great expectations from you and I know you have from me, too. I want to become a better person and realize some of my dreams. And this time, I will pay more attention at the "how", but the results at the same time. This is my promise for you. And I will make them happen. Cuz, I'm committed like that.

For a positively memorable 2013 a mash-up of all 2012 songs, since I couldn't pick just one.

My 2012 Story I

My 2012 was sooooo... I can't even put a label on it. It was full of ups and downs and ups and downs downs downs and again ups. :) It was a year full of learning points. And yes... You learn the most from the "downs". I'll get back to the learning points.

It started with me being responsible for bringing people from 110 countries in Hungary for a conference. The pressure was so high, as everyone worked so hard for it and imagining a conference with no delegates, because they did not get the visa, was my nightmare. Meanwhile I was having my exams in 2 weeks, while being online all the time with my team in Hungary. It was a crazy period and then the conference began, where everything happened super fast. The conference ended and it left me with a big question mark "What now?".

I lived the expat life in Budapest afterwards. Going out, birthdays, good-byes, travelling, etc. It was cool, but the pressure of not finding someone for the room I was renting was terrible. I sorted that out somehow and I was back in Romania, where I had only one thing: my Masters. Therefore I was travelling almost every week to Cluj to go for classes and while looking for something to do. I wanted a job in Cluj at the beginning, but I wasn't sure about that.

I went with my printed CVs at a Career Fair and met there some AIESECers, of course. One just told me there is an available HR position in an IT company and in one hour I had the interview already. Once again it was proven to me the power of the AIESEC network. The interview was cool, but I didn't know exactly how things will turn out.

The answer for the interview was not showing up and I decided that I will not put my life on hold for a simple "YES/NO" answer, which could have changed everything, but still I hated the fact that my life depends on a simple answer. So I just went on with the plans I had: being a volunteer for the Film Festival was one of them. I had a good time there and I am happy I made that decision.

During the Film Festival I realized I still want to do something in AIESEC and so I started to write an application. It's the way you start everything in AIESEC. In 2009 in Portugal I met someone that was working for an AIESEC Expansion. I felt so inspired by that person that had the ambition to start AIESEC in a new country, to put another country on the AIESEC map, the impact this ambition would have. I don't know if he remembers me from that moment, but it was really cool to see Daudo and his team-mate (I think Marco was his name) in the ISCTE Uni cafeteria planning to make AIESEC Mozambique happen.

Since then I had this in my mind that opening a new AIESEC country would be such an amazing opportunity. Since I wanted to stick to Europe, because I have have my cultural experience outside Europe before, the European countries AIESEC was expanding were: Luxembourg and Albania. I had the impression that in Albania, AIESEC would have a bigger impact, so I chose to apply for the Expansion Team of AIESEC Albania. And I was selected. And if I would have taken the HR position in that IT company I would have still gone for Albania.

Then I had my exam session which turned out to be the best one in years, according to my grades. Then, summer came by and I spent most of it at home. It was cool, because I got the chance to enjoy my grandma's garden and its fruits and vegetables and spending time with my family. I also got the chance to chair a local conference of AIESEC Sibiu. It was such a cool experience, even though it was a small conference, I felt AIESEC Sibiu being a true family. I remember during the parties being on skype with Ersida, helping her to raise her EP Form. Even though I was exhausted, it just felt right to do that late at night. I didn't know then that Ersida will be the first realized EP of AIESEC Albania, the first AIESEC Albania member that will experience a new opportunity abroad.

At the end of the summer things started to become a bit more crazy. Everything was in a rush. I went with my family for a 5 days vacation in my beloved Istanbul. It was amazing to be there again after 2 years, but it wasn't the same without my crazy Kurtulusians. We went for one day at the Bulgarian Black Sea, where I had a very good time. I love the sea. I so love it!  Coming back home, I had few days before hitting the road again to Albania for a longer period this time. Unfortunately my grandpa got very sick and he had the first of the 3 surgeries he had in 2.5 months. I postponed my departure for few days, so I can be with my family a bit more. Before leaving I had such a soul-storm, but I was lucky that my parents supported me to deliver on the commitment I took.

That would be it for the first part of my 2012 story.

Friday, June 22, 2012

About Commitment...

WOW! It's been 2 years since my last post. One reason I stopped writing was that I had this stupid idea that people will perceive me as vulnerable, so I just wrote for myslef some notes. 

A lot of things happened since 2 years ago. But now I would like to write about my last experience as Congress Committee VP for Delegate Servicing at Global Leaders' Summit Hungary 2012. 

I was very confident when I applied and then very excited about the whole year ahead of us as a core team. I was supposed to have an internship while working for the conference. Thank God that didn't happen, cuz maybe now I would still be in Budapest.

Ok, regarding commitment. It is one of my strengths. And by accepting this role, I was also committing to a one-year position for the first time. I wanted to see if I can live up to the challenge.

Why was it challenging? First of all, because I was living with my parents again, after 3.5 years of living on my own. Because I had nothing happening in my life at that time besides this "job", which for the first half of the term I was barely doing something, virtually, which gave me the feeling of being useless. With this a lot of questions pop into your mind like: "Is this really worth it?'. And then I realized something: you can never figure out if it's worth it or not along the way, but at the end of the experience, when you draw the line. And then every experience, good or bad, comes with a lot of learning points.

Things were spicing up when I got an internship offer, which according to the JD was the job of my dreams. And then again, you start putting everything in the balance: Should I stick to the one-year commitment I took which barely offers me anything both professional and personal or should I just take the internship which would give me so much on the professional side (I can't guarantee for personal)?

Personally speaking, it was damn hard. I wasn't expecting much, but I was given nothing. Nothing at all. I wasn't expecting for anyone to pick me up at 3 am in a frozen night of March at minus 15 degrees  (when I had to wait for an hour for the bus station to be opened, so I can sleep there until 8, when I met one of my team-mates). I wasn't expecting to take a trip of around 15 hours to present a roll-call in front of a plenary and that is all. I wasn't expecting that if I had to stay in Budapest for a week, I was promised accommodation only for 2 nights. I wasn't expecting people to be super friendly at the beginning. I wasn't expecting for my team-mates to trust me right-away. But I did expect them to trust me after few months, I did expect them to care more than the work and the general things. I did expect them to understand that in order to be present, I need more cooperation. I did expect them to speak more English. I did expect them to appreciate my flexibility and not push it to the limits. I may have not lived up to the expectations at all, but I did expect few lines about my work at the end, even if those were meaningless.

So yes, I did commit, while not receiving much, personally or professionally. Cuz I convinced my self that "in the end it will definitely be worth it". But in the end, I was given more slaps, instead of hand shakes. So, there's another question popping into my mind: "Have I lost one year of my life for nothing?". For sure not. I learned a lot. I learned to be more diplomatic, to not let my emotions out that easily, to be more selective with people I choose to spend my time with, to have a clue if it's worth to invest or not my time.

But in the end, I think that it was just about that incompatibility between the 2 "entities". Regardless the flexibility or tolerance, it was just not working.

Another lesson is about when you learn to say STOP! Because in this case, I did stick to the commitment, but no "entity" was happy. But you can live with it, on the professional side. On personal side, it's another story.

The commitment I took was to myself, in the first place, and afterwards for the conference. So I think I didn't want to break this "self-commitment". 

I am not expecting pink unicorns to fly around in my life all the time, because there will be no lessons to learn and no posts to write after 2 years.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"The art of never giving up"

I believe life without challenges would be boring. I cannot imagine myself living a perfect life when I don't have nothing to strive for.

Therefore every time, if you're "lucky" (sometimes you're nothing but lucky) to live on the edge, you have something to strive for. It depends on each situation how long the process of acheiving that thing is. But it also depends on how much you really WANT it. And this one can be reflected in the period of time spent for each achievement. Of course, the external factors are part of the process.

Speaking about the external factors... Those big pains in the ass that are prolonging the achievement process, that can diminish your inner "I so want it!" strenght. And sometimes, believe it or not, some of these external factors are... people. And it's kinda sad. But even so, you and only YOU, are in controll of your inner "I so want it!" strenght.

I don't believe in motivation that much. I believe it all comes from yourself, from within, as you are in controll of this. Yes you loose your "Let's do it!" spirit and positive attitude, but that shouldn't stop you from doing the actions/steps you planned towards the things you strive for.

This equation is all about karma. What goes around, comes around! Trust me! Even if the "comes around" is late sometimes, you figure it out, it was worth waiting.

This is how I got selected in the CC of IC 2010. Yes, the 2010 one! :D And YES, this is my "strategy" for getting the money and the visa to acctually fly to Incredible India and live, maybe the most exciting experience of my life. We are 27 nationalities in a team of 60 people. This conference is all about big numbers (700 delegates, 110 countries, 60 partners, 2010, 2015 etc.).

I am proud I got here and I am not going to give up now.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Speaking Egyptian?!

In my last post I was talking something about Egypt... Yes I was in the country I always dreamed to visit and stayed there for 5 weeks. My parents were a little bit scarred about me going alone in a totally different world, a muslim country, a culture that it takes some time to understand /adapt to it. But still they know that even though I like the adventure, I can manage myself. And I did. I am proud of myself. It was more than challenging, but AWESOME in the same time.

Although I don't like to regret the things I've done, I do regret one thing. Not appreciating the experience at its level. I left myslef affected by some things I could pass over, if maybe I have had attended an ICPS. I understood its importance then. As Silviutza says I adapt really fast to places, but not people. It's true. Unfortunately. But improving, improving.

Now let me note the Egyptian words I learned. :D

I will start with no other than...

  • Khalas - Enough
  • Misr - Egypt
  • Salam Alekum - Peace be with you
  • Alekum Salam
  • Meshy - Ok
  • Aiwa - Yes
  • La'ah - No
  • Deluatti - Now
  • Shukran - Thanks
  • Flus - Money
  • Habibty - Baby/ Honey
  • Ya Moora - Cuttie
  • Ya Moozza - Hottie
  • Wahed - 1
  • Hamsa - 5 (I forgot the other numbers)
  • Aha (A7a) - Fuck Off! (that's the only curse I know and it's very offensive to say it in public!)
  • Helwa - Pretty
  • Ya Raab - Oh God
  • Wallah - I swear to God
  • Inshallah (ISA) - With the Help of God
  • El Hambdidulallah - Thanks God
  • Yalla - Let's Go! / Come
  • Ramadan Kareem - Happy Ramadan!

I think it's Khallas. I will post more if I will remember.

More facts about the Egyptian Flavour...Tomorrow!


....For Good!!!! Thanks for the ones, who didn't give up checking my blog!

Here we go...

Picture I stole from Ral . I have it on my desktop since ages. I'm trying to respect what it's written there. =) (=

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

... New Year!

This is the first post that I'm writing while feeling in an odd way. I hope I won't be misunderstood, cuz I noticed that some people perceived me totally wrong, anyway...

It's not because I just came back from LCC 2 and I have seen my dear Silviutza receiving a glass of water on her (she run for the position that I ran in LCC), or because I had a big fight with my parents, or, or, or... It's something else. And I won't talk about that anymore.

I applied as a teamster for MENAXLDS and by now I should have received an answer. I didn't. I really need an intense XP in the next period, so I can grow up. Maybe it will be Egypt or not. We shall see. I worked really hard for that application form. I can say that I had no holiday at all.

Tough period is waiting for me and I wish I had a more positive attitude. I know this year is going to be an unforgettable one and I guess this spirit is a small part of a huge process. The "Changing me!" one.

Until the final result, I'm still dreaming until I will receive a concrete answer!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2 + 0 = 20 !!! : )

And I changed the prefix! It's a nice number, although I didn't want to reach it at all. Because I felt like I was getting old :O. :)) But it's not like that. I feel really good about this. It's a nice number 20. A cool one :P. My mum baked me a cake. They wanted me to blow in 20 candles, but we hadn't and I said "No, it's ok". But then I remembered what Pookie told me when she called me to tell me "Happy B-day!": to think about ONE wish and then blow the candles off. And I have wanted to blow off the candles just to whisper a wish, so I can be sure it will come true. :)) But I know it will become true even though. :P I will whisper another one at the New Years Eve! ;-)

My grandma tells me every year that every Christmas morning she watches the religious service live from Bucharest and at the end the pope is talking about all the "Cristina"s and "Cristian"s. These names are coming from Jesus Christ. And she is always thinking about me and cries. And she cries while is telling me all this. My name was supposed to be "Anca Ioana", but as I was born on Christmas Day, my dad decided that Cristina is the proper name for me.

I hope I will celebrate my B-day in Cluj. Because there I have most of my friends. Lots of things happened lately... More to come.

I was just telling Roxi that before LCC I told myself that depends a lot my spirit and mood through the Holidays if I will be elected or not as an OD. And I wasn't. BUT my Holidays are not shitty at all !!! Contrary I felt them in a very good way. Helping my preferred grandma to bake lots of "cozonaci" (14) :P and going to carol with my fellows from highschool was incredible. I was really happy to see them all. I told to a really good friend, Alex from Brasov, who is in Sweden right now, that I cannot imagine Christmas without being at home close to my family.

I hope this lovely 20 will bring me even lovelier adventures for the next year!