May 20 2017

Be the change you want to see in the world

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 12:44

While I was in Frankfurt a lot of things happened, a lot of things got done, a lot of them got postponed, but overall it was a good experience. But there is one thing that is really worth mentioning. While I was here, after a difficult day in which I had to do some serious negotiations for deadlines, after having a colleague shout at me during a public meeting because he misunderstood me and another basically telling me that I’m a bad manager, again in public, because this is where things like these are done apparently, all I wanted was to have a nice bike ride and then enjoy some blueberries from the local supermarket.

So I and a colleague of mine, take our bikes and go to the supermarket. We park the bikes and go in. The first thing that caught my eye was a guy dressed in dark with a hoodie and his face covered taking money from one of the counters. He did not belong, his outfit was definitely not the store uniform, the store that I’ve been going to for past two years while being delegated to Frankfurt. And then I noticed why nobody was trying to stop him, he had a huge butcher knife in his hand. And in that store there were about 6 employees, including security that were paralyzed with fear and some clients hidden in the store. I was so confused, he was one guy, with one knife, and a lot of people, and nobody was doing anything.

I scanned my surroundings fast to check what I could do. I’m quite small and he had a knife. I needed to throw something at him to make him drop the knife. But I’m not a good thrower either, so I needed something big and heavy if possible. Next to the shop door, where I was, there were some bags of flower compost. I just took one, threw it at him. He did not drop the knife, so I ran and in my way I was looking for anything else I could throw at him. Luckily he was scared of the unexpected interruption and he ran as well.

I did not want tot be praised for my actions, but I did not expect people to try to make me feel sorry about it either. Because a few people told me that I should not have done that, because it was not my money so I shouldn’t care. Why put myself in danger for no reason, right?

Well, it’s not right! Maybe I’ve seen to many superheroes movies, maybe my difficult upbringing left me with a superhero complex, but when I see somebody trying to scare or hurt other people I just can’t do nothing. Why? Because if actions like these are tolerated, bad people will draw the conclusion that hurting others is acceptable and normal, and they will keep doing it. And this kind of behavior might even propagate. What if that guys was not there to rob the store, but was there to hurt someone? What if that someone was your partner or your child? Wouldn’t you want for somebody to interfere?

I do not want to live in a world where evil doings are tolerated. I do not want to live in a world where if I’m in danger, nobody will interfere. Also I do not want to have kids in a world where they could get hurt and nobody would try to protect or save them, even if we all know this is the right thing to do. We keep saying that we are civilized, that we live in communities. Communities come together, help and defend themselves. Not interfering when bad things are done is the opposite of what community actually means.

Sure, it was dangerous. Sure, he could have hurt me. But he didn’t, but instead he got the message, there are people that do not tolerate this kind of behavior and are willing to do something about it. And next time, maybe something heavier than a compost bag will be thrown at him. This never happened to me before. Honestly, walking in on a robbery was stuff of movies for me until a week ago. Next time I’ll be more prepared. :D

After he left, the supermarket just continued to sell stuff as if nothing happened. And you want to know the worst thing? No bloody blueberries…


Apr 09 2017

Song inspired post

Category: English posts,MiscellaneousIuliana @ 13:10

It’s no secret for my friends and for my oldest readers that I am a peculiar music lover. I get lost in songs that beside sound also have deep and meaningful lyrics because this combination moves people and makes them think. The song “Happier” from Ed Sheeran is such a song. I just finishing listening to it and felt the need to write here where my mind went.

I remembered how I felt when you left, I remembered a few of the things you told me, among them I hope I remember properly, you said you do not want to stay in my way. Almost three years ago, all the things you said about leaving me for my own good seemed such bullshit and still hurts a little thinking about it. Because at the time it was bullshit that you trying to feed me, to keep my love for you alive, just in case your new relationship would not have worked and you might have realized at some point that you loved me and you were better with me.

It’s ironic really, that bullshit from three years ago is not bullshit anymore. You were in my way. I sat four extra years in a town that I did not like, in a region of the country I loathed, just because I thought I I loved you and you felt the same and I should give that relationship a chance, even against all odds. I really hope you are happier now, happier than you’ve been with me. I was never good at this relationship stuff and I know I probably I made mistakes that I didn’t acknowledge at the time and don’t even remember now. I can’t remember the times when we were happy that much. So I have nothing to compare with my current situation.

I’m definitely more tranquil and focused on what I am passionate about. I’m definitely more aware of my own desires and what brings me satisfaction. I am more open-minded to new experiences and new people. I am more accepting of my failures and of others as well. I am more indifferent to the human nature, I have become less critical about the world and more careless. I don’t know if this is bad or good from others’ point of view, but sure feels good and comforting. And what else is happiness if not loving what you’ve got after all? So I guess I am happier.

I am writing all this from a hotel room with a view over a beautiful city while the sun is shining in my windows and Ed Sheeran is still playing his guitar on my speakers. I took a break from doing something that I love and that I will shortly go back to. And it’s not a man :)), its a technical book that I’m writing, that is yet another part of my legacy that I will leave to this world when I’ll be gone.

This and many fulfilling experiences would not have happened if you wouldn’t have decided to stop being in my way. I know you did it for the wrong reasons at the time, but currently I couldn’t care less.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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Apr 08 2017

You thought friend-zone was bad?

Category: English posts,MiscellaneousIuliana @ 20:33

Before telling you what is worse than friend-zone let me tell you a few things about me.

I did not have the occasion while growing up to cultivate friendships because my parents moved me from place to place, there was no internet, or even phones back then, and we were also poor, so keeping in touch with my friends once we’ve switched cities was not an option.
I studied in a technical high school and a technical university. Maybe the situation improved now, but when I did all those, there were not many girls interested in technical domains like computer engineering. So most of my colleagues were boys, and because we spent a lot of time together, few of them became good friends. Some of them are men now, they have wives and kids and the whole package, but they are still my friends. People that are lucky enough stay in one place they make friends among neighbors, among school colleagues, faculty colleagues, etc. I did not have any of these for a enough of a long time to build long-lasting friendships. Friends have changed over the years and the most lasting friendship that I have is 11 years long and going strong and he is a guy.

I currently work in a domain that for years used to be dominated by men, and in some countries, like Germany for example, still is.

And another information that might seem useless, but it will make sense soon: the love of my life died in 2001 and since then every relationship was a failure for me and I took the decision to stay away from romantic involvement, because I do not want to waste anybody’s time, not anymore.

Why have I told you all this? Because a while ago I met a new colleague and we seemed to be hitting it off right away. Not in a sexual attraction/romance way, in that “two peas in a pod”, “brother from another mother” way. The thing I like most when befriending adults, it is really easy to put everything on the table. We’re not insecure adolescent hormone bombs anymore, so you can make dirty jokes and say silly things without the worry of being interpreted in a different way. Because, we are adults, we accept that might happen and well… life goes on and not everybody must like you.

When a colleague asked me about this guy, I just told him straight away: “I think I have a geek crush!” Talking with him about tech, the company we both work for, peculiar movies and books is just time well spent. And I really really wanted to have a beer with this guy, because he seems really uncomfortable at work. So being the no-filter person that I am, I told him so. And that’s when it happened: he colleagued-zoned me. Yeap, this is worst than being friend-zoned. Because what it means, is that this person does not even want to be friends with you. Why did he do it? Well… something about his wife being jealous of him making a new friend that happens to also to be a girl. I can understand that, sort of.

But for me this was never a problem. If my ex-boyfriends would have gotten agitated every time I left the house to meet with my male colleagues, the relationships would have been much sorter. At some point I was going to some of my faculty colleagues houses to work on projects and faculty related stuff, colleagues that they did not even know. I was jealous in two of my relationships, but I had reasons to be. Of course looking back now I realize, that instead of being jealous I should have just ended it. But oh well, mistakes were made. Live some, learn some.

Of course after that chat I never dared saying another word to this guy. It’s not like I’m dying to befriend him or something. I can live well enough with the friends I have. But it just feels stupid. Here we are in a world where we are trying to convince people to treat men and women the same, but I can’t start building a friendship with a guy, because his wife gets jealous.

So yeah, I’ve been colleague-zoned. Achievement unlocked. :D

Stay safe, stay happy!

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Apr 05 2017

Sonder

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 21:39

Until today I had no idea this word existed and what it meant.

sonder
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

It’s like ponder, but a little deeper. Until recently this word had a different meaning, but because people are creative and languages evolve, this word was reborn with a new and interesting meeting. I guess the English language tries to follow German that has words like Schadenfreude, Erklärungsnot, Futterneid, and one of my favorites: Weltschmerz.

I’m not gonna tell you what they mean, I won’t make it easy for you. ;)

Stay safe, stay happy!

 

Source of the new definition for sonder: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows


Mar 27 2017

Today’s good manners code

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 0:55

In the image on the left there is a picture of the book I’m reading now. It is in Romanian and it is called Today’s good manners code.
It’s not that I lack manners, nor I want to learn how to act as a princess, but I’m just curious how much manners I already have.

A while ago, I had the intention to write a post about titles and what they really mean. I did some fast-scanning of my blog and realized that I did not do it. I wanted to say something like this, if you were given a certain title in a certain context, or small society, or universe you are part of, if you do not act the part perfectly, the title means nothing. And I wanted to give myself as an example. I only mention my company given title if somebody asks me, otherwise I am just Iuliana from the XBRL team. Why ? Because the work I currently do, does not match the title. They call me a software architect, but I haven’t designed a full software solution since I got promoted. So I don’t feel comfortable when being called a software architect, thus I don’t mention the title in social situations unless asked. Actually, I go so far and not mention my title even in work situations. I let other people that know me mention it.

And apparently, according to this book, this is the right way to go. Of course, I was not mentioning the title for other reasons, but in my world, still counts. And when writing these lines, I can only think of president Trump. He’s got the title, but he does not have the behaviour, nor the manners, nor the expertise. Must really suck being him. If he is not retarded and totally oblivious to the world around him, he probably knows this too. And he probably feels like shit.

Another thing this books says is that you should never refer to your superior as boss.  Apparently it is impolite to do so, and it is most of the times used sarcastically, or it is used by ass-kissers. How should you refer to your boss then? Just call him sir or mister, and you can also add his family name, probably if he is a good guy, he will tell you to call him by is last name quite soon into the first interaction.

Also, this book is the one that basically convinced me to never write about politics ever again.  Also religion should never be a topic as well. These two topics are known to cause fervent disagreements which can actually dissolve friendships. Giving up politics was easy, but I cannot give up criticizing religions tough, especially since my almost 18 years of being in the church quire, basically growing up in the church and the fact that I’ve actually read a few versions of the bible gives me quite a lot of expertise.

I’ll probably come back with some more details related to what I read in this book, other sources of inspiration I do not really have at the moment.

Stay safe, stay happy!


Mar 19 2017

Freaky brains

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 20:38

I was just talking to a good friend of mine and he just told me he was doing some work around the house and he started day-dreaming about some old time in his life when we were living together and I was wearing some sort of dress. And I just had a realization, if it’s good or bad I don’t know but here it goes.

When I think of the past, I only think of not so pleasant things. It’s actually really easy to do, because there were not many pleasant things anyway. But I digress. Really, when I think of the past, I tend to get lost only in bad memories. I do that because I want to educate myself to appreciate the present. Because it’s not all good days and sunshine, but it is not that bad either. My life is way better now than it was for the first 30 years of my life. So when I tend to slip into dark thoughts about the present, I think of bad things in my past, to have something way worst to compare it to. I do not know if this is normal or not, but this is what I do.

When I day-dream, I day-dream about the future. I dream about my future career and my plans, I dream about cities I will see and people I will meet. I day-dream about unreal scenarios involving people that I know in different contexts, I day-dream cartoons and movies that were not made yet. But I rarely day-dream about good times in my past. And if I do it is really short. And the strangest thing is when people start telling me about great things I did for them in the past, and I cannot remember them. And it makes me sad a little, because I really… really want to remember things that were meaningful to others, because they should be meaningful to me as well, right?

No idea why I am this way. Maybe it is a survival mechanism. Maybe I’m stuck mentally at my child-adolescent level, when all I wanted was for time to fly faster and to wake up when I’m an independent adult with the strength to work and fight for what I need and want. All I did as a child/adolescent was to read, learn and dream of better times.

Maybe I’m defective. But maybe it is in a good way.

Stay safe, stay happy!


Mar 17 2017

Made my day

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 0:05

I’m going to a rough period at work, I’m struggling a lot to get some work done and nothing seems to work. And my manager got sick so I had to deal with the hellfire of some releases being late. Today I was at the gym, and left without my equipment knapsack. So yeah, I am that tired, and that out of this world. I went there and I have no idea how I could focus, because all I was thinking of was how to tackle down the problem I had at work.

No I’m not an workaholic, but here’s the thing: my career, my problem solving skill, my ability to deliver high quality code and solutions is the sole source of satisfaction for me at the moment. Seriously. I was not able to buy a ticket to a John Mayer concert, the sabbatical is not happening, neither is learning to play guitar and I’m sort-of broken hearted as well. Believe me, work is all I have at the moment. If work does not bring me the satisfaction I need, I fall down into the darkness of low self-esteem and depression.

It is during this times when I start thinking about who I am and what I am actually doing. And I remember that all I wanted to become was the perfect wife and mom, I wanted the family I never had. I wanted somebody to love me and a couple of hyper-active kids. And what did I get. Apparently… the ability to make money, to inspire people, to motivate and lift them up. And I have no idea how I’m doing it, because I cannot do the same for me, at least not now.

But tonight, after a bad and disappointing day somebody’s words made my day. One of the people that bought my book, left me some messages on hangouts telling me that she likes one of my books, that she is very impressed with my work and that will help her prepare for the exam.

It is not the first time I receive thanks for one of my books. And sometimes they come at the moments then I need them the most. Thank you Sindiso Mpofu, you made my day!