Let’s just go with it…I guess ?

β€œThe only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
― Alan W. Watts

Something great happened today ! And I’m so so excited about it !

I’ve been wanting to find a job since April and while I’m not sure what that means for me as an entrepreneur, I need it if only for the money. I’ve been sending my resume to a few places that are looking and today I had my very first work-related interview. I also had a test.

It was so nerve-wracking but I felt so much more at ease than I’d have a few years ago. It was like I was at peace with myself and it was amazing to realize that no matter the outcome, I’d still be satisfied with where I currently am with my life. It’s a strange, rare and wonderful thing for me to feel peaceful and at ease with the person that I’ve become. I won’t lie, it’s kinda great πŸ˜€

And I am proud of myself because I did well. Apparently so well that they wish to hire me, hopefully everything goes according to plan and I should start working there in June. Life is really strange because I’ll be working there as a kind of medical secretary and God only knows how bad medical school went for me. To be working in a field that deals with that is mindblowingly WEIRD to say the least.

I’m going to do it because I want to do it but I have to put things in order where the bakery is concerned. I still very much want to work towards that goal but I feel like I should put my money where my mouth is and just earn money as of right now. Money is also one of the two things that’s holding me back with the bakery so the more money I’ll earn, the more I’ll be able to go forward with the bakery.

I don’t really understand where this new thing is taking me but when it happens, I can only hope to fully take advantage of this new opportunity. That’s why I don’t want to think too hard about it, I want to take things as they go.

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I used to be discreet

β€œMay you reach that level within, where you no longer allow your past or people with toxic intentions to negatively affect or condition you.”
― Lalah Delia

Sometimes, things happen that make us realize how deeply we’ve changed. Those things may be small, they may be big, they may be neither big nor small but they happen anyways.

Today, that happened to me. I used to be discreet, I hated confrontation and I hated talking about stuff that made me uncomfortable. I’d more often than not go with whatever opinion was dominant. I wanted to be liked so I didn’t want people to think I had a different opinion than them. I figured if I said I thought the same way then probably, I’d end up more generally liked than I was.

Now that I think about it, I feel like it’s a behaviour that’s normal in your teenage years but it carried over to my adult life and today I realized that though it may have taken longer, I have matured ever so slightly.

My sister was having her school fair today and she insisted I come. I have been in a weird mood this week so I didn’t want to but still, I went.

All was going well, I had recorded her dance and I was going back to my seat when some old guy called me over. Thinking back, I should have totally ignored him but I thought maybe he had a problem with his camera or he wanted me to record for him, it’s happened before so I went. He then told me, pointing to his phone “look what I recorded instead of filming my granddaughter” and he had a big close-up of my ass while I was filming my sister.

I don’t think a stranger has ever made me that angry. I think I could have gotten violent with that guy. Instead of telling me I was in the way of his phone, he recorded me.

And I fought, I threatened to call the police for sexual harassment, I really really made sure he got what I meant.

It still makes me so mad when I think about it. I still don’t know if I reacted the right way. Maybe I should have checked that he had deleted his recording, I asked if he had but didn’t ask for proof.

Two years ago, I never ever would have reacted the way I did. My mother’d have had to do it for me, I’d have asked my older brother to take care of it, I’d have called my father. Anything but fight myself.

I have a tendency to get violent when angry, I’m fully aware of it and I know that if I had been able to, things’d have gotten physical. I’m not scared of fighting with someone bigger, I don’t care about staying pretty, I don’t care if I get hurt, do me wrong and give me the opportunity to hurt you and I will. It’s reckless but sometimes, that’s the only thing that really makes me feel better. For example, I know that what happened today will haunt me for the next few days, I can’t just put it behind me and forget it.

Despite all of that, I’m super proud of myself. I know I can be pretty outspoken when it’s with people I know but when I don’t, I’m so meek and discreet, it disgusts me. I had noticed a slight shift in the way I interacted with strangers, I have been more open to strangers and able to freely discuss with them but it had yet to happen in such a context.

I don’t know if the people reading this have opinions about this situation but if you have, please share. I’m curious to know what you think about this. I find it easier to pour my thoughts on here and put stuff like that behind me. I do feel like this blog is becoming more about myself in genereal than just the “work” part of my life, it’s a bit weird.

Bullet Journal

β€œSome people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.”
― Michael Jordan

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to start bullet journaling and that was a few months ago so here’s my take on it.

I love it.

I’ve tried many other productivity tools and none of them performed as well as this one does. It’s a stange fact when you know that a bullet journal is what one makes of it, it’s not a premade journal and as such, you need nothing other than a notebook and a pen. Because of that, I can’t think of anything bad about it. But I can make a list of what I like because you know…lists.

  • It can be what you want it to be : it can be a tool to help productivity, it can be an art notebook, it can be stripped to the bare bones… You want to doodle in it ? You can. You want to change the key ? You can. You want a quick, hassle-free but efficient diary and journal all in one ? Here it is.
  • It’s quick. The core of the bullet journal is very easy and quick to understand. I’ve tried many different layouts but when I’m in a hurry, it barely takes five minutes and boom, you have a journal.
  • It’s cheap. Any cheap notebook will work and any pen will work. When I started, I wasn’t sure how long it would last or if I’d like it enough to spend more on it so I bought a 1€ notebook and I started. I personally think it’d work in any exercise book so if you have one laying around, use that.
  • It travels. Mine goes everywhere with me and it’s very useful outside for notetaking. I’ve stopped doing that because my notes are messy and I hate that but it can be used for notetaking. It’s also a useful resource to have on you at all times, for example I have a collection dedicated to emergency numbers like my dad’s and my mom’s which has proven its use.
  • It keeps me on track. I often procrastinate or get lost in my head so this helps me actually see what has been done and what still needs to be done. And since it’s always with me, anything I have to do gets written and not forgotten. This also makes me see how productive I’ve been in a day so this aspect of bullet journaling is probably what helps me the most in my day-to-day life.
  • It’s a great creativity outlet. I am crap at drawing but I enjoy doodling anyways. And it’s a great place for that. Even if you can’t draw or simply don’t enjoy drawing, there are many other ways to be creative with this tool : the layout of the pages, the trackers used, the colour combos, the key,…all of these are ways to personalize your bullet journal and be creative with it. That might be my favourite thing to look at on Instagram, that and cakes of course πŸ˜‰

If you don’t know what bullet journaling is, here’s a link to Ryder Carroll’s video. That guy is the creator of the method. You can also find a great amount of information and inspiration on YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

DSC00023

I’ve been toying with the idea of putting some pictures of mine here but I wasn’t sure but no one really cares what I do here beside myself so why not ? Also, this is a fresh notebook so I’m feeling the love like the first time I tried the method.

Aside from that, I felt like posting today because I was feeling guilty about not posting updates for a month so this will make me feel better.

 

 

I’ve hit a wall

β€œOur greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
― Thomas A. Edison

My last update was quite gloomy and before that, I hadn’t published anything in quite a while. I have articles in the process of being written but somehow they fell short. I think I’m trying to be too perfect and I forget the true purpose of this blog.

As the title says, I’ve hit a wall. I shouldn’t beΒ  surprised as I am, it should and will happen because life is a bitch and nothing goes right. I had probably gotten used and comfortable with too many things going my way.

I am done with my three-months-turned-five management training program and I’ve now access to entrepreneurship. I am getting better at handling people. I enjoy the process of negotiating (I think I do). We found a potential place. I’ve moved this project along and it’s been going great.

BUT.

Of course, life is a bitch so there’s a but. It’s not really a bitch. It’s just that by something going right elsewhere, it went shit on my side.

This project was based on two things :

  • Me getting access to management.
  • My brother being available.

It went bad because my brother found a job and now, I’ve access to management but no access to the baking part of the bakery. To gain access to it, I need 3 more years and my mother will have it in one more year.

The place we found is time-sensitive as other people will probably be interested in it quite soon and the project itself is time-sensitive since I expect people to try and open the same kind of thing.

So, I’m doomed. Since I have to wait, all the things I have worked for these past few months won’t wait and I’ll have to start again from scratch. This is making me depressed. Actually, writing it is making me depressed but it helps to have a clearer picture.

I know I’ll have to see a lawyer to know exactly what my options are but this sucks.

 

 

29th of April 2017

Today, 29th of April 2017, my grandmother passed away. I think I loved my grandmother. We had our problems but I loved her. She was a constant in my childhood summers, there’s not one summer memory where she isn’t there. Amidst the hot Algerian summer days, you could always find her. I think it’s the case for all of her grandchildren old enough to really remember her. Unfortunately, as time went by and people aged, things changed. But that’s not what I want to talk about.

I have a bad memory when it comes to dates, unless I write it down, I won’t remember that she passed today. We may not know her birthdate, as she was born in a time and place where such things didn’t matter so I at least wish to remember this date and celebrate it in her memory.

I don’t really know what I want to say in this post but I feel the need to write my feelings somewhere and this medium pushes me to be more honest.

She was a loving and caring grandmother. I remember always going to the market in Bouzareah with her, I loved going there and I loved going there with her. It has a certain flavour that going with others just doesn’t have. I also remember the big big sleepovers : all the blankets on the ground, all the couches ready for the night, the noisy children and she was there. She always slept with us in the living room and we would talk and fight and sleep through the night. We were a bunch, which is normal when you have 11 children, almost all with their own children.

I also remember the breakfasts, almost always with croissants or if nobody woke up, then bread and butter. And always always with coffee.

I remember the nights before we went back to Belgium where all the family gathered and my aunts would make huge pans of traditional pastries for us to take back.

I think those times were the happiest and I sometimes wish that that part of my life hadn’t grown up. I wish I had been able to still love Algeria as much as I did when I was a child. Maybe then I’d have seen her before she passed. It makes me really sad and angry that things changed.

I wish my grand mother had died happy. That’s probably what’s saddest to me. She didn’t die happy and content. She didn’t die at ease.

Today is a sad day. I don’t cry a lot and I didn’t think I’d cry as much as I have. It hurts me that someone who had such a strong presence in my childhood could pass the way she did.

I wish I had done more and I wish I had loved her more because I don’t feel I loved her enough. And it hurts so much when I think of that. It really really hurts.

 

Word of the Year : Productivity

β€œYou don’t actually do a project; you can only do action steps related to it. When enough of the right action steps have been taken, some situation will have been created that matches your initial picture of the outcome closely enough that you can call it “done.”
― David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

I often feel overwhelmed by the things I want to do, so much so that I feel crushed by the task before even starting and after having been faced by that situation time and time again, I have come to the conclusion that the ideal for me is to forge ahead and only think about the next step. So, without realizing it, I have acted in agreement with that quote. I divide each task into small, non-overwhelming steps.

But what if I apply that to bigger goals ? I have things I want to achieve in 2017, they are not resolutions but real life achievements. And they seem so big, thinking about them as such scares me. It makes me second guess myself instead of just going for it. Here’s an example : I want to learn to drive. Here in Belgium, there are two steps to getting your driver’s licence : theory and practice. I passed the theory few years back and when I needed to train, I got so scared by other cars and trucks that I let my theory expire. So now, I’m really doubting myself. I’m afraid the same will happen, I’m afraid of car accidents (my family has had a stroke of bad luck with cars these last few months), I tell myself I don’t have time and so on… but I need that licence. I need to be able to get myself from point A to point B without relying on public transport or someone else’s will. I need it to be able to deliver my cakes on my own. I need it to help my mother. And really, if there ever was a time to get busy with it, it would be now. I have time. I am free. I can focus my energy entirely on that.

It’s the same with the bakery. It’s a project and as long as it was a project, I was so so so excited about it. It felt like I was nursing my baby, pouring all of my ideas into it. And now it’s starting to grow. And I’m starting to second guess myself. Especially since I have been given the tools I need to make it happen. I have been advised on what next steps I should take, the road is totally open, the light is green…and I’m stomping on the brakes.

It reminds me of rollercoasters. I’m always hesitant to ride them, they scare me but attract me at the same time. I know how good and exhilarating their thrill is. So I always cave and say yes. Then I get into the long long long waiting line and the closer we get to the seats, the more anxious I become. Was it really such a good idea ? Is the risk really worth the thrill ? Why did they drag me here ? It was never my decision after all. We are finally in the seats, always first row. And the ride starts. The butterflies in my belly are trying to come out but I won’t let them. Close your eyes, take a peek, don’t look down. OH MY GOD, it’s so high. And then I fall. And I don’t remember the scary part when I’m back on my feet. I only remember how high it was, how I screamed so much I lost my voice, how strong my grip was on the seat. And I suppose that’s the reason I keep repeating the same cycle. It’s okay, everybody’s used to it by now.

Life is the same but the risk is a bit bigger. No one can check to see if it is safe. I think it’s a part of the problem. I’d want someone to try then take their place and claim the whole risky endeavour to be mine.

In the end, it’s down to one question : do I want to regret having tried or never having tried ? Because, whatever I choose, I probably will have regrets. I just don’t want to be bitter about them.

In the end, I’ve thrown myself at the task. I am afraid but I want the challenge of making a project completely mine. For that very purpose, I’ve had quite a few interviews on how to build my own project. I’ve also signed up for a training course during which I should come up with the overall structure of my project.

It’s weird how just last month I was feeling very scared and hopeless but this month has been quite the opposite, I’m feeling strangely positive, with an unusual sense of purpose. I think it’s doable. It might have to do with breaking up this humongous wall into bricks. The bakery is at the top of the wall and to climb this wall, I have to push at some bricks so that my feet can slip into the new holes I’ve created. And brick by brick, I climb higher and higher. I’m not really high right now and I’m not yet longing for hard soil beneath my feet so I feel exhilarated.

Apart from that, since the last update, we have finished the rooms so I’m back in mine. My father’s leg has almost completely healed and he can start walking without crutches. My mother’s birthday came and went and we celebrated by having a big surprise party out in Brussels, I was so happy because my mother was surprised and totally didn’t see it coming πŸ˜€ I also have a big order on Sunday, for a cake and a sweet table, all Minnie Mouse-themed.

I have also started bullet journaling. It’s been one month and it seems to be working. I will keep up with it to see if I can really stick to it. I like that it can be both organized and disorganized at the same time. The order of pages has no rhyme or reason, it just follows my whims which helps. And I also don’t have to feel guilty about skipping a week because I’m not wasting pages already set up.

I think that’s all I have for this month πŸ™‚ It’s the first time I’ve written a post over the course of a month instead of in one evening and I might start doing that.

Productivity…maybe ?

Happy new year everyone ! I wish you all the best, health-wise, relationship-wise and all-important-aspects-of-life-wise πŸ˜‰
I’m a bit early for this update but this new year has really made me think about a lot of things. I think it has been brought by my recent foray into the world of bullet journaling. I like being organized and as such, I’m always looking for a better way to stay organized. As with all methods of planning, it goes from the minimalist to the overly decorated approach. But I’ve noticed an interesting thing in common with many practitioners of the method, it’s the Word of the Year. The principle is simple : pick a word you would like to embody, figure out steps needed to do so and follow through with your steps. I was mystified by this idea. 

But then, as it often happens to me, I can’t sleep (it’s 5am right now and I cannot sleep πŸ˜‘) and I think and think and think when a word came to me. If there was a word I wanted to embody it would be “productivity”. I want to be productive. Especially these past few months, since November. So I want to try this approach. See if besides this blog, having that thread tying everything together might actually be useful. I’ll be trying it out this month, along with bullet journaling. Let’s just see how it goes.

Aide from that, I have a few things to report back :

  • I met with my Forem counsellor. It went well, I think. I was frank with him about not making any job research and I told him I wanted to open a bakery and that I had alreay taken steps in that direction. That seems to make him realize that I was serious about it so he booked me a meeting with another counsellor who will be able to better advise me on the next steps to take towards the end goal. So hurray for that πŸ™Œ
  • I don’t think I’ve ever talked about that but for the past year or so, we had been renovating our bedrooms and for the past 2 weeks, I had to move out of my room. It’s almost over. All that’s left to do is paint the doors and I can move back in as well as start decorating. Today, we went crazy in Ikea and bought all new furniture. It was nice and made me realize how materialistic I am πŸ‘ I seriously thought that I wanted my future to be great enough that I wouldn’t need to think about it too hard when I spend money. That’s not a good thought to have πŸ™…πŸ˜±
  • I’ve been trying to spend more time outside, especially these last two weeks. It was the holiday season so I had no class to force me out of the house. It’s made me realize that staying in puts me in a murderous mood, not the greatest thing when you live with people.  
  • I’ve been trying to spend less time online. It works until I go to bed. I am looking for a solution so if you have suggestions, I’m open to them 😜

      I think that’s all I have for this month. December is a pretty awkward month for me since I don’t celebrate Christmas and the New Year so it’s always pretty slow but at the same time, it’s a pretty relaxing holiday when you don’t have to think about decorating 😁 however now, I need to start preparing cake ideas for February and Valentine’s day, I’m pumped πŸ˜†