August 19, 2018

And after all this time I'm still wondering what life is about

It's been a while. A quite long while.

You know that saying "if you haven't got anything smart or nice to say, be quiet?" yeah, that one. So I didn't know really what to say for a long while. I was either resignated or angry. Usually, anger works wonders for my writing, but I've found out in the past 6 months that I'm so exhausted from feeling both. En plus other feelings on top.

I imagined this adulthood in a completely different way. Sometimes I don't even think I spent too much time analysing it, because honestly if I had, some things wouldn't shock me as much as they do. But they do. I wonder sometimes if we were so cocooned at University that we simply didn't see past the exams, past University? But we started University when the economic crisis started, so it's not like we didn't know what was happening. And the economic crisis did affect us, I can certainly say it affected me.

I never really gave a thought about moving abroad before I was 20. And the furthest my thoughts went was the ERASMUS semester. But then all this crisis and "you need to be competitive in this market that only wants the best", ofcourse you start looking for possible solutions to the problem.

But even doing a Masters abroad while also working a stressful job, I still didn't see it coming. I don't know what I thought that when I will get my degree all the worries of the world will just evaporate? Man, was I wrong. That was just the beginning.

Coming to Brussels affected me in a lot of way on how I see things. Especially this "job market" and what is the supply and what is the demand. Somehow the young people always come up short. I must say it's quite a mourning experience when you think of all the things you wanted to do in life and all those dreams and hopes you had.. and they are all dead. All these images you created in your mind of possibilities of how it's going to be. And that it's just not. And not because I didn't achieve something *incredible* by the age of *25*, but because I was genuinely shocked at what actual tasks at work are. Most of the time I was thinking.. this is it? This is the big bang cool adulthood thing that everyone has been bragging about how we young people don't understand yet? I've seen all the job ads there were in Brussels roughly in the past year and a half, and most of the job tasks sound like some cool stuff, and you imagine it and it looks wonderful. Until you discover that the job descriptions are just written super super nicely and wrapped in this very sparkly pink ribbon. Reality is very different I've found. Is it the "instant gratification" striking again? Like "omg look this sounds soo cool, I really want to do it, I'm so excited to start, then poooof; you discover is nothing incredible or cool. It just sounded very cool.

Yeah, I still don't understand. First I thought maybe it's because I am doing it for the first time, and then in different places will be different. In Brussels, it's not that different I must say, in this sense. How can people stand all this paperwork? All these projects that last for years and take so much work but then get just shelved in the neverending basement of project discoveries? It's so sad.

In the last 6 months in my job, I discovered something very important. I was right, you can do and learn absolutely anything you set your mind to do. Really, it's that simple. I've been saying it for years that all young people need is being given a chance. Just a chance. Anything there is in that job we can learn it and master it in weeks. And we can. But that wasn't the problem. The second thing I discovered is that, on the other hand, if you don't see why you are doing it.. then in time it becomes a problem. The why I discovered, is very important. More important even than the sum of our skills. That feeling when you see the bigger picture and you can see that little dot in the big circle and you think "evo, that was my contribution and I played a part in it" - that good feeling, you know? Or when you've been playing around with the code for hours and it doesn't work it doesn't work and it's eating at you and then after two hours you go back at it, you look at it and say "but wtf, this must work" and boom one hour later it works! These are the little things that make me feel complete. And smart.

In the past 6 months, I've also discovered that if the tasks you are doing don't challenge you, then after a while your self-esteem starts dropping, and you don't feel really smart. Actually, you feel anything but smart. And when you start taking on this narrative things start becoming very dark, very fast. Narrative. Also super important I came to discover. I've been working on it, but as everything with the human mind, it's a process.

I'm very happy with my decision to try a different path. Don't they say "you can't keep doing the same thing and expect the different results", right? Let's try and see. I'm a little scared of what's to come, but this feeling makes me feel alive. And the fact that I'm a bit nervous, but I can't wait to learn all the new cool things and skills! I'm really excited. Like a little spark.

I hope it stays alive.

It just crossed my mind that the month of August is the month that I started this blog 7 years ago. Waw, 7 years I have been occupying this little corner on the internet. It's my longest commitment so far.

Until next time,

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