I've been trying to transfer my blog to my own domain this month. These last couple of weeks I've been having some trouble, but finally my brother Rafa helped me get it straightened out again.
Sooo please visit
My blog in anayosten.com
Take care everyone and God bless!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Perhaps you have felt sometimes like you’re lost, like you don’t belong, or like you don’t know where to go. As confident as I may seem most of the time, I have to confess this is how I feel quite often. This loss of sense of direction can have three degrees: you know exactly where you want to go but you don’t know exactly how to get there; you have an idea of where you want to go; or in the worse case, you have no clue where you are headed.
I have always envied the first. It’s as if they had their destiny embedded in their blood or tattooed on their skin. They just know what they want to do; either they have always known, or at some early point in their life they have a revelation and suddenly know their destination. They don’t change their mind after that. They decide one day they want to be a doctor or an astronaut, and that’s what they become. They know what they have to do to get to where they want to go. They know how to become what they want to become. Sometimes they just don’t know the way completely. Sometimes it might take them a couple wrong turns until they finally find their path. There are times I wish I could be like these people, because even if they don’t know every single turn, they always know exactly where they are headed. It would be so much easier if I knew, but I am not in this category. I am probably between knowing the direction and not knowing at all where I want to go. Assuming I do know the direction, there are so many possible paths to take. Nowadays we have so many opportunities. So many, indeed, that it has become harder to choose because all paths sound good and exciting, and it is hard to decide one thing and close all other doors completely. In a way, we still want to have the other choices available in case we don’t like what we’ve chosen. It is important to choose something, to go somewhere, even if you end up in an undesired destination. Going somewhere is better than going nowhere. The journey doesn’t end if you arrive at the wrong place. The journey ends when you decide to stop going. Here I would like to add a story.
It had been one of those nights, the kind of night with an air of nostalgia. I don’t remember what had happened but I remember feeling miserable and lonely. I had nothing to do, no one to be with, and nowhere to go, so I decided to go downtown by myself. It was getting dark and I rode my bike forty five minutes to downtown Frankfurt. I sat by the river, and prayed and cried. A strange man came by and started talking to me. He had had a throat surgery, he explained, so he spoke awkwardly. In half-German, half-English, with a foreign accent, he told me about his wife and daughter. I think he was Arab because of his accent and the close distance he tried to keep between us. He showed me a picture of his wife, a woman who was covered in a full burka*. I didn’t know what to say, I told him she was beautiful. He kept asking me for advice and I had no words, for I felt the most lost person in the world. I must’ve looked lost from his words and miserable, because after talking for a long while, he read my face. He apologized and left. It was late when I started riding back home, and it started raining. I thought to myself I deserved it. As I rode, I noticed a familiar street which I thought would be a shortcut; but I was wrong. At that moment I knew where I wanted to go. I wanted to go home. I just didn’t know how. The rain blinded my eyes, the water thickened by my own tears. With a swollen heart and eyes, I could hardly see the path before me. I tried guessing the direction, but each turn brought me deeper into the darkness of back alleys. I looked up to the black sky, hoping to hear a voice telling me where to go. I grew desperate of trying without success, of taking the wrong path, of riding the bike uphill (literally) and never getting to the top, of being lost in all possible senses.
Deep into the night, I finally started recognizing some buildings. When I knew where I was, I felt disappointed. I had been riding for so long and I wasn’t even halfway. In the midst of the rain, I stopped my bike. I started crying. Another man on a bike stopped and asked me if I was alright. I said I was fine, that I had been lost but now I knew where I was, and wasn’t happy about it. He thought I was drunk, and he didn’t just think it, he asked me too (you know, Germans can be pretty direct). I said no, but he didn’t believe me, I saw it on his face. He thought I was crazy, drunk, maybe something worse. He suggested I take the train. But that wasn’t the point. I wanted to get home by my own means. I was already soaking wet anyway, and getting home by train would take me just as long. I gathered my scattered pride and continued pedaling all the way home. As awkward and discouraging as the night had been, at least now I knew where I was going and how I was getting there. That’s what it took me to learn, to understand, and to purge myself. It was a night I will never forget.
This is what happens in life sometimes. Some paths take you somewhere you don’t want to go. Sometimes they seem familiar, like the right choice, or like a shortcut, but finally they lead you to the wrong places or end up getting you lost. If you know where you are going, just keep pedaling in that direction. Sooner or later you will either hit the right road or find someone who can direct you to it.
What if you have no idea where to go? Start walking: somewhere, anywhere. I know sometimes I myself feel too afraid to start walking because I fear I will end up in the wrong place, or taking the wrong path. I’m scared I will find myself in a place where I feel unhappy, or taking a path that is too hard. The truth is, there isn’t a perfect path, and our destination depends on us. Even if you don’t know where you want to go, do not stay standing. Life is too short to live static. If you start your journey not knowing where it will lead you, at least you have the chance to discover yourself and the things you like. Somewhere along the way you might find the path you were seeking, and had you not started walking, had you never known it was there. You might also find people who will guide you. As all of us do at some point in our lives, you will get lost sometimes, or make mistakes, but we all need to take those wrong turns. It is all part of the journey, part of its beauty. They help us remember where we do not want to go, and teach us life is not about getting somewhere as fast as possible. It’s about getting lost and found in a labyrinth. It’s about walking forward even in the most confusing, challenging, and lost stages of our lives; because all we need to do is keep walking. Somewhere. Anywhere. Life will take us where we need to go. If you stay motionless, you will never know where you were supposed to go, or the wonderful people and places you would have discovered.
Walk, keep walking, and live.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
If you knew someone in the subway would change your life forever, would you randomly start talking to people?
So there I was, sitting… thinking how nice it would be not to feel so lonely. The truth is, I didn’t want to share my pities with anyone. I hadn’t told my host family how bad I really felt, because I didn’t want them to worry. My stop was the last so I knew it would be a while, and I observed the people get on and off... I noticed a guy in a suit got on and sat across from me. He looked tired. There was something about him, he just looked so… sad, too. His blue eyes were staring out the window and it seemed as if he was thinking about something really serious. I wanted to talk to him but at the same time I was tired of trying, trying for no reason, with no success. I wish a friend would just rain down on me… But ok… those things don’t literally happen. He never got off, and I still wondered: “should I say something? Maybe I’ll disturb him, he is listening to music”. The closer I got to home the more I thought in my head whether I should say something or not. There was one more stop to go. The music was so loud I could hear it. I asked: “What are you listening to?” He looked at me and said something like “fast music”, I don’t really remember because he said it in German and it was kind of long, and I didn’t know what kind of music it was anyway. He said “do you want to listen to it?” and I said “sure”. So he let me listen from one of the earphones. I told him he looked tired and sad, and asked him why. He just said he didn’t like his job so much, and he had had a rough and long day. He asked me what I did, and told him I was an Aupair. And then it was my stop. I got up, said thanks and went out. To my surprise, he went out too. When we got off, we introduced each other (we hadn’t said our names before), said where we came from, and exchanged phone numbers (it wasn’t anything romantic), because if you ever wanted to meet a person again, you had to have some way to contact them. I was happy that we had the same metro stop, because that meant he lived close by, and I had a better chance of making a friend if I could actually reach him or her.
I had a little trouble remembering his name, for me it was hard: Suat. Finally, I decided it sounded like SWAT except the tonic syllable was on the “u”, and got it in my head. We stayed in touch; I would go out with him and his friends, and I made more friends thanks to him.
I met lots of people that year in Germany: interesting people, cool people, and not so cool- more freaky-like people. But friends, true friends, were rare. The friend I met in the subway changed my life. It sounds exaggerating, but it’s true. I’ve thought about it: my year in Germany would have totally sucked if it weren’t for him. He almost became my psychologist; he was like my brother. He listened and he cared, and made me go out when I didn’t feel like it cuz it was freezing cold outside. He had patience with me, and taught me German, both slang and formal. He had enough patience to explain a lot of things to me. So I’m glad I took the impulse that night, as sick as I was of trying, to talk to him. Now I think about it, and I know a few seconds on the train made a difference in my life. If I would have decided not to say anything, which would have been easier (don’t think just because I talk to people on the streets it means it is easy for me, it takes courage and strength!) I would have a few less friends today. And probably the following winter months would have been miserable. It was always funny when they asked us how we’d met. It sounded very silly and almost embarrassing: “We met in the subway, when I randomly started talking to him”.
So you never know… try it sometime!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I often look back at what I’ve done, but I am a pretty exigent person and I expect a lot from myself. I know it isn’t good to look back, but I have the need to evaluate myself to see whether I did the right thing with my time. I hate to realize I’ve wasted it. It is when I don’t get what I want when I realize I didn’t prepare myself well enough. Life is full of challenges, problems and failures. But is also full of victories, rewards and in some cases, happiness... and many of these things depend on the decisions you make.
Oh, it is easy as a child, you don’t need to make any decisions - oh well, maybe you have to decide what flavor of ice cream you want or if you will do the homework or not- but those won't ruin you- even if you would choose wrong. Most of the decisions are made by your parents. 99% of the time without your consent. As a child it may feel like injustice or even as a pest, like when your parents decide you have to eat the broccoli to be healthy, but as a kid you don’t realize that THAT is a relief!!
As you grow older you discover you have to make your own decisions. And the older you get, the harder the questions in the test are going to be. Sorry, that’s life! When you think that when you’re finally through one of the stages of life, like adolescence, high school, or college for example, you find out that life only gets harder. There are no breaks and it never gets easier, just face it. What is really depressing is to know it in your heart. When you’re about 18 (that is when most people are just out of high school), one of the big decisions in life comes: what you want to study, where you want to go, and it can even pretend to aim for the question “what are you going to do for the rest of your life?”
But you can’t know that. You can’t know what you’re going to do for the rest of your days being 18 years old. You can be conscious that the decision you make will affect your future, but you can’t decide the end of the story before it’s over. As a young immature person that you are at that age (and believe me, most people are very immature at 18) you have many expectations from the world and from life. You have hopes and dreams. You want something big and nice and something that will make you happy. Somewhere along the road they stuck into our heads that we want to be successful, but choosing the right career might not be what will make you happy or rich or successful. Yet because that’s what we’ve been told, it makes this decision ever more complicated than it should be.
There’s another thing: the world is full of lies and full of shit. If you buy it you will end up eating crap all your life: trying to find the flavor of the piece of cardboard that you’re biting on. Money doesn’t make you happy, nor do things nor do people. God makes you happy, but only if you let Him. You can experience Him through people, because He is in the hearts of those who open their hearts to Him.
If you are feeling like me, with this fierce desire to know what you are supposed to do with your life (or at least with your youth)… with this energy, this spirit of hope and ambition… and you want to go out into the world and give yourself to it, with mind and soul… and you want to grasp the world in your hands… Don’t expect the world to give you the answers you need… because the world is cruel and deceives. Put yourself in the hands of God first, that you may have the strength you need to grab a hold of the world. Make the world yours and don’t let it possess you, not that you become from the world.
If you are my age, and are able to grasp what I just wrote: Good luck, because not everybody at this age is able to understand what is coming. Not everyone is able to be conscious that what they have lived is almost nothing, and that the real life is actually ahead of them. That the problems from adolescence are nothing compared to the ones of life. You don’t get to make a drama like a teenager, or have an excuse to do it. You will have to make your own decisions now… you are your own responsibility. Prepare yourself. Be ready to live you life, to fight and choose with love. Know that you are not alone. The world is at hand. Be ready to realize that the adventure has just begun.
Written sometime last year, perhaps june?