Aug 23 2019

Emotional scars

Category: English posts,Miscellaneous,PersonalIuliana @ 12:02

I know the title seems like this article is going to be one of those annoying medium entries, but it’s not. I promise you, it is not.

I have this way of viewing the world: I don’t think any of us is perfectly sane. I think we are all mad or broken to some degree. We do not live in a perfect world, and since we make up this world, neither are we. I’ve said this before to some people and they took it personally and felt offended. How can I assume they are broken? How do I dare to make them doubt their sanity? I think the worst thing you can do to yourself is to view yourself as being good, normal or whatever positive thing makes you feel good about yourself. Because when you see yourself in this over-positive light you might stop working on yourself and you might become an overly righteous prick. Maybe. I’m not saying it will happen to you. But during my lifetime I’ve met some people that felt entitled to tell me how I’m being wrong, what I’m doing wrong, what is wrong with me and how should I change to be right.

I am not secretive when it comes to my childhood. My parents were not the worst parents, but they were not the best either. My relationship with them was toxic, there was some emotional and physical abuse here and there, and when given the chance at eighteen to leave them behind and going to study in a different town, I never looked back.

The love of my life died when I was eighteen. He was probably the only one even remotely sane person in my life for six years, he always had something good and encouraging to say and he never made me feel like there was something wrong with me.  Him dying was probably one of the worst things that happened to me. One more emotional scar in my collection.

Because of the toxic upbringing and the hole in my heart, I wasn’t able to make the best choices in relationships either. My last relationship, the way I remember it, seems to have been toxic and seasoned with some emotional abuse. It might not sound that bad, but considering that my psyche was not in such good shape when it all started, you can imagine it was not a joy ride.

It took me a long time to understand and accept everything that happened to me. And I realized the consequences all those events had on me.  There are things about me that I will never be able to fix. But despite all that I am a functioning adult. I can hold down a job and I managed somehow to have a lot of friends that are way more sane than I am. I am aware of some things in my character that might be detrimental to others and I keep them under control and warn them beforehand, so they are aware of them and decide if they want to take a chance of being close to me or not.

That is why I am not keeping my struggles secret. I do not want to give anybody the illusion that I am normal(whatever that means). I want people to know I’ve been dealt a really shitty hand, but despite all that I am where I am. If I could hold down a job, train other people to do it, inspire them and make people happy here and there, whatever kind of broken I am, it might be a good thing after all.

Sure, I will never stop working on myself, I will never stop monitoring myself and drag myself to a psychologist if I think I need it. Because I refuse to let my past define me, I refuse to let all this emotional baggage drag me down. I bloomed as a person, despite all that. Sure, I wish sometimes things would have been different, but the past cannot be changed, and I refuse to be bitter because of it.

My parents will never say I’m sorry for being a shitty parent! because in their mind the person I am today is proof that they did a good job. So I accepted the fact that I shouldn’t be expecting that kind of closure.

The only thing I can do is keep blooming. Yes, I have some emotional scars. But honestly, with all that happened to me, it is ridiculous to expect anything else. Even rocks get scratched and chipped. I am sure everybody else has their own scars as well. And because I have mine, I know how to relate to people better. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours, right?

Stay safe, stay happy!


Jul 11 2019

Blast from the past(part 6)

Category: English posts,PersonalIuliana @ 22:45

Here we are, year 2011. This was a really good year. I had quite an active social life, I was a renown blogger in Iasi. The Iasi blogospere was just taking off and there were a lot of events. The first group of bloggers from Iasi was quite a tight-knit team. We were together a lot during that summer. We were playing basketball and then we were going for a beer twice a week sometimes. The weekends were long and we were walking from pub to pub, sometimes getting home the next morning.

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Jan 30 2019

Technical Muse

Category: English posts,PersonalIuliana @ 2:35

If you do not know what a muse is, here are a few definitions:

1. Greek Mythology: Any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science.
2. muse
a. A guiding spirit.
b. A source of inspiration: the lover who was the painter’s muse.
3. muse Archaic:A poet.
(source:https://www.thefreedictionary.com/muse)

The most wide spread meaning, aside the band of course, is a source of inspiration. And it is usually used when talking about artists. The Romanian national poet had quite a few muses, and being a heterosexual white men, clearly they were women. His romantic poems are hymns to their beauty and how they made him feel. Ask the members of Fleetwood Mac who their songs are about, or ask The Beatles members or John Mayer. Their best creations are about a person that they either loved or admired so much that the overall feeling was one of worship. The subject has been even approached in Californication series in season six. The best creations of artists are born when a muse is involved. It is not always have to be a woman, it can be a heart-shattering event or a drop of rain if the artist is in the right state of mind(or high enough :D). But, in my later years I noticed that muses are not present(and necessary) only in the art world.

Fortunately I don’t need a muse for my work, but I do need discipline, time and the right state of mind. But I’ve had an epiphany recently, while talking to a good friend of mine.

You know how in IT there’s a technique called Rubber Duck Debugging, which involves talking to another person or a rubber duck if there’s no one available trying to explain the problem you are having in multiple ways, to gain new perspectives with the final goal of finding a solution? Well, that rubber duck, or the person can only help you so much, it cannot really inspire you, or maybe they cannot ask the right questions, or provide the incentive you need for you to properly focus on solving the problem. But you know who can do all that? A muse.

Well, for this friend of mine, I’ve always been a technical muse. The irony is that even if we both work in IT, he is working in a slightly different area, but I still can ask the right technical questions, provide the appropriate advice and inspiration that help him find solutions and keep him engaged in his work. He is the one that made me realize I am good at this. And because of my strong technical background, I can actually provide some real technical assistance too. He started joking that he will hire me as a muse and pay for my services, but I am still like… what the actual fuck?

That is until another person asked me for help with a project. Initially I was, like: No, I don’t have the time, Don’t pay me, let’s see if I have any idea of what you are trying to do here, etc. But slowly, I was able to provide the technical help and advice necessary to make the project happen. And because he was in a difficult situation at work, a lot of managers and architects involved, each with their opinion and reasons for putting their mark on his solution, with little valid technical arguments I might say, I also advised him what to say in order to make things happen his way. And apparently it worked.

So here I am, apparently I am a technical muse. I know how this sounds. And I know this sounds just as ridiculous as Technical –  Evangelist, Monk, Champion or Guru. I never liked those terms, because IT is a logical domain. And regarding those terms – it’s not a religion, it’s not a belief.

For me it’s something I enjoy a lot doing.I ‘m passionate about it, I am engaged, I am driven. But I would never try to “convert” someone to this domain or to the programming language I work in. Mozart made music for people to listen and enjoy, not to transform everybody into the genius that he was. He could probably teach someone his songs, but their interpretation and creations would be their own, and marked by their own inspiration and talent. I’m a bad ass at what I do. And it’s not just Java. It’s Software Engineering. I can share insights, I can direct a person in the right direction, but their path is their own. And I’m very good at this too.

So yeah, I’m a technical muse. Apparently. But I won’t use this term in the technical world until I get more than two people to recommend me as such. ;) So anybody out there needs a technical muse? :D

Stay safe, stay happy!


Jan 04 2019

Is there a country where the health system is not a mess?

Category: English posts,Miscellaneous,PersonalIuliana @ 1:37

…because if there is, and you know which it is, just share the secret with me, because I want to move there. Anyway, this blog entry is a rant against the UK health system, so at this point you might be interested in reading something else while having your coffee.

I mentioned a few entries ago that I have sprained my knee while playing football. Because I was still able to drive and walk I postponed going to a doctor, especially since I just moved to a new country and I did not have a family doctor yet. The knee was swollen for a bit, but then the swelling started going down and I could put my weight on my knee, it did not feel unstable or anything really worrisome, so I just paused all challenging physical activities to give it time to fix itself.

Continue reading “Is there a country where the health system is not a mess?”

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Dec 31 2018

It’s been a good year

Category: Miscellaneous,PersonalIuliana @ 3:54

I started the year with a loner retreat to my favorite spa in Brasov. I continued with a visit to Valea Oltului.

In February I’ve travelled twice to Ramnicu Valcea, to meet some more childhood friends.

Then in march, I went to Edinburgh for my interview and after that I flew to London to celebrate my new job. I baptised my first godson in April, then flew to Stockholm for a few days of relaxation. I then started packing to move to Edinburgh and took a break to fly to Barcelona for my first Spring IO conference. At the end of May I left Romania for Scotland. I think I’ve made the best decision of my life.

In June I participated to my first Codefest, in July I continued enjoying my homelife while decorating the house I rented. In August my dearest childhood friend came visiting and I’ve met the guys from Foil Arms & Hog.  In September I kept enjoying my homelife and Friday evening company boardgames and finished my fourth book. In October I kept walking everywhere in Edinburgh and took amazing pictures. I also went to Glasgow for a Three Days Grace concert. In November, my cousin visited, I met Daniel Sloss and sprained my knee while playing football.  Also, a dear friend from Sibiu visited and I drove him to my favorite places around here. He gifted me a steampunk hat, still not sure where I can wear that.

And December, what could be said about December? I’ve re-visited Annecy(yes with a sprained knee). I’ve won Codefest with a carpool application. I’ve participated to the Christmas eating competition and lost. I’ve spent  Christmas with a very nice male friend. I’ve been to the Christmas market and had cheese fondue in a bun and drank mulled cider. And bought myself a jar of Moonshine. And my cat seems to like the Christmas tree.

Eastern Europe is going back to communism, Trump is president and global warming made Scotland feel hot. But, nevertheless all is well with the world.

Thank you for still reading me, I know I’m not doing such a good job entertaining you lately. I wish you all the best and a Happy New Year!

And my blog is slowly taking over the UK. :D

Stay safe, stay happy!


Dec 23 2018

Your duty is to try

Category: Miscellaneous,PersonalIuliana @ 14:36

As you’ve probably figured out by now, from what you’ve read here, my family is the typical broken family, with people scattered all around the world, all of them trying to detach from their past so they can start new and do better, because if you do not want to get cancer the smartest way is to move farther away from the power plant. Don’t stop reading, this will not be a sad blog entry, I promise!  From time to time members of my family do manage to meet after years of not seeing one another and is fascinating for me to discover the people they have become.

I have a cousin that has become a wonderful strong woman that is hell bent on fixing this family through acceptance and communication.

I have a cousin that is torn between his duty to a small part of family that raised him up and gave him a career and the girl he loves that happens to live in a city  too far away from where his life is build so nicely.

I have an uncle that is learning how to live at fifty four, because more than half of his life he spent taking care of his parents in a place that kept him isolated from the real world. And he is the guy I want to talk about. Because he found a type of wisdom in his simple life and his duties that people rarely do. And I consider myself lucky to know him and to be able  learn from him. He got dealt a bad hand, but he did his best and at some point in my life, I decided he deserves more and I set up to help him live the rest of his life the best way possible. I won’t tell you his full life story, I will just list here a few things that I know about him that are really impressive to me.

He quit smoking after thirty years of this nasty habit. He was stressed by the fact he did not have much money and I guess he was thinking about quitting for a while, but one morning he woke up, burned the rest of cigarettes in the house and decided he won’t smoke from that day on. He just acknowledged that smoking is a toxic and costly habit, that he did could not afford anymore and he quit, just like that. It was not easy to break a habit like that, because he went through rehab alone, not in a specialized center, there were no nicotine patches, no other dugs to soothe him. He was living in the country side so he worked the field, drank a lot of water, went to sleep when he felt sick with headaches or feeling nauseous and in two weeks the nicotine was out of his system and he never smoke again.

He was convinced to leave his job and move to the country side by his parents, well his mother basically, because she was the head of the family. She told him he should move back close to family because there is money to be made in agriculture, that they had land to work that could produce a lot of crop that could be sold, but they were old and needed help. And for some reason he believed it and  gave it a try. And here and there there were little successes. He made enough money to buy a horse – that was a nice and gentle horse by the way, I’ve met him, it was love at first neigh – working the fields became easier for a while. He bought himself a motor bike and he taught himself how to ride it, but never got a license, because he never got too far out of the village on it anyway.

He tried getting married, but after getting his heart broken by his last fiancé, he gave up on the idea altogether. He said that his life is miserable and he had nothing but misery to offer, and who would want that? Years after I found out from another cousin he confides these stuff in, that he was in love when he was younger with somebody that went on and married somebody else and he never got over her. Apparently after he restarted his life, he met her again and she was divorced and they are starting something –  so life finds a way.

When his parents started to get too old and needed care, his life started going down the drain. People in my family judged him for drinking now and then. Because the expectation was for him to become an alcoholic like his father, so if he even got tipsy, the hate would flow. But during one visit I talked to him and told him about my university experience and how I drank to forget, to detach myself from a life I did not like, from the me I did not like. The conclusion was that if alcohol is the curtain we put between us and the part of us we do not like, but it is not the solution. If you don’t like yourself and the life you have you have to stop hiding from it, you have to stay awake and find ways to change it all. And I saw his face lit up. For the first time he was not judged, he was not considered a despicable drunk like his father, somebody saw him exactly as he was, a man in a difficult position, a life that was not satisfying to him and a person he did not like. He had accepted the fact that he won’t have a life of his own until his parents died and he accepted the duty to care for them until that moment. There was no way for him to fight it or run away from the responsibility that he realized he took upon himself when he decided to move back in with them.  So he graciously accepted it and fulfilled that duty the best he could. Sure he drank one too many now and then, but he wasn’t and most probably he will never be an alcoholic.

Last year, February his mother died. His father was long gone. I’ve have visited him before and noticed this guy never smiled and  I realised he was plagued by the family disease of bad teeth. So I offered him the opportunity to get his teeth fixed. Told him to go, ask a doctor for an estimate and the money will be wired into his account. The next time I saw him he had a smile that he could light up a room. You probably have no idea that smiling makes you look at least ten years younger. I did not know it either. Now you know why I look so well for my age. :)

Long story short, he fixed his teeth, and since the whole thing costed half as estimated, with the rest of the money, he got him self a new set of clothes and a ticket to Italy. And the rest is a happy story, how he got a job and he is amazed by how much his work is valued and how beautiful Italy is. He has plans to visit the whole country and take in all the beauty Italy has to offer, but he is putting money aside to pay me back and build a self-sustaining clean energy house one day. And when he came back to Romania on vacation, he asked out the woman he loved, because now he was confident that one day he might have something else to offer than misery.

One of the most important thing I heard him say and got stuck in my head and probably gave me a little nudge here and there to try absurd things, is that as a human being you have the duty to try. Of course at the time he was talking about girls, he was quite young then and hadn’t totally given up the idea.

So no matter how ridiculous is something, how absurd, how unreachable,  if you really want it, it is your duty to try. So if there is something to take from this entry, this is it.

Stay safe, stay happy!


Oct 13 2017

The day everything became clear

Category: English posts,PersonalIuliana @ 23:20

When I started seeing a psychologist, I was looking for healing. My heart was broken and my soul crushed and I wasn’t enjoying life at all. I went there hoping to heal my broken heart, and be able to use it for love again. Because I do not have many fears, but being unable to love again, turning totally cold, forever because of a bad relationship was one of them.

And it turned out I had a lot of repressed feelings – mostly anger – to solve. I did not have a good life, but I never imagined the tool took on me would leave me that broken. I’ve has suicidal thoughts since I was 11 years old, but when it turned too difficult to have a normal life because of them a solution had to be found. Because I have spent my life until 32 years old learning a lot of things, except how to live.

I think it has been two years now since I started living. And then I started loving. And for the first time, I realized that my psychologist was right. Because of my upbringing, probably I’ve  never really felt love before. Only need, dependence or just … fear of being alone. When I realized I was in love again, first I got scared. What if I mess it up? What if he doesn’t love me. Turns out I was right at least in one of my fears. He does not love me. And I’ve tried to stop loving him, because what use is a love that is not reciprocated, right?

Well, it has a purpose. Being able to love, makes a person better. It gives you a different view on the world. Loving someone that does not reciprocate gives you the occasion to be close to them without the pressures of a relationship. It gives you the opportunity to be there for them, to see them for who they are and not the hormone bomb people become when in love. It feels nice, because you can definitely see if they are worth your feelings or not.

Oh, and he is worthy! He is one of the best persons I’ve met in a while. He is genuinely good and nice to me, not because he wants “something”. He’s far from perfect and he pisses me off sometimes. But the conversations I have with him are never boring and whenever I need him, he is one click away. And I reciprocate that. And I finally understood what love is. Love is when somebody’s well-being and happiness are a big part of your own. It seemed far-fetched when I grew up. It did not seem possible to love someone romantically and not be with them. Unless they moved to the other end of the world or there were other impediments, that is.

Well, he is on the other end of the world now. And I did my best to help him stay there, because that’s where he is happy.

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