Monday, September 3, 2018

When I Grow Up...

No one asks a grown up "what do you want to be [when you grow up]"?

It's like everyone just assumes that once you've reached a certain age, you stop growing, stop dreaming. You stop setting life goals for yourself and no longer want to become someone or make something of yourself. And that's a shame, because that one innocent question can actually do so much. It can help someone start to re-think their life and goals.

When I was little, my answer to this question would always be "an athlete" or "a singer".

When I was in Elementary School, like most kids, I wanted to follow my mom's footsteps and become an accountant.

When I was in High School, I started taking this question more seriously and answered "a translator". (Although, we had to fill in a questionnaire at school and there was a question - if all jobs would have equal pay, what would be your dream job? - to which I answered in bold caps - a BARTENDER! (go figure...)).

Now, at the age of 25, my answer would be completely different. Just no one asks anymore. But I'm going to answer anyways!

Observing the relationships of my parents, friends and people around me, has made me realize how truly selfish people can be, and how much I actually desire to be loved and to love someone back. Day by day it gets more clear to me, that my true goal in life is not to reach the very top of my career ladder or to have a fortune in my bank account, but to be a wife!

I see people make so many mistakes in their relationships. How selfish, ungrateful and impatient they are. How intolerant and non-supportive. Everything is done by a selfish intent. There are scoreboards with points on them for each and every selfless and kind act, just to shove them in the other person's face in the future.

Of course, this doesn't mean that everyone is bad and evil in their relationships, but there are some simple wrong-doings that are just so obvious to me and make no sense, as it is not what I would want or do in a relationship and partnership.

All I want is to just be with someone. To love someone unconditionally, with all my heart, to support, do good and help! Not so I could keep a score on an imaginary scoreboard or to get a big, loud "THANK YOU" in front of everyone, but so I could simply make the other person smile, feel better, safer and not so lonely in this crazy world. With no stupid competitions, pointless mind games, schemes or silly grudges. I just want to truly love someone and be loved back.

What has brought this all up, you might ask? A lot of things combined.

First, my dad's mom died today. I'm not calling her a 'grandma' because she's never been one to me. But despite all that, this isn't a time to remember all the bad things and dwell on them. This is a time, when we all must forget the past and be there for those, who lost a mom, a friend and so on. Even if just for the day. But... Everyone else in the family thinks differently. They believe this is the time to think about all the hurt feelings and resentments over the years. Which, if you ask me, is pretty selfish.

Second, I have many friends who are unhappy in their relationships. I'm everyone's therapist and a private diary, which I don't mind, but it gets frustrating sometimes, since they tell me everything in detail, while they're not willing to talk to their partners at all. And it might be just my opinion, but in order to resolve something, you need to actually talk it out.

All this makes me think of how selfish and unappreciative people can be. They take these relationships for granted and don't appreciate what they have. They're not willing to put in some extra effort to make it work. Meanwhile, I'm over here just being completely alone with all this extra love and care, and understanding, but no one to give it to. (Which really sucks for my cat Martini, who has to deal with my annoying, unconditional, overbearing love).

That being said, I love my friends and family, and they are all amazing and wonderful people. Who I just want to slap sometimes. But we all have those urges, right? Someone, please, agree with me.

Now I must bid you adieu! As I check out all your blogs while sipping my 900th cup of tea, since I am incredibly and annoyingly sick.

Take care, everyone!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Let Go, Let God

Oh boy, it's been a couple of months... 

And so much has happened, I'm not even sure where to start. First things first, Happy New Year to each and every one of you. I hope it has started out well and everyone is doing great. I've been away from the blogging world for a while because, well... for the first time in history - life happened! 

Now let me fill you in on that dramatic statement. For a long time I've been calling myself an "emo hamster" who had no life. Meaning - I was a workaholic who lived at home with my parents, all comfy in my little "cage", stuffing my cheeks with food and meeting friends as rarely as possible. Life was very comfortable that way. I was living in a constant circle, like a hamster's wheel - eat, sleep, work, repeat. I've always been insecure about myself in every single way, so I've been avoiding people and public places as much as I can my whole life. I liked being alone. I still do. But before New Year's Eve I did a lot of thinking and came to a conclusion that I was in need of some change. I simply said to myself - 2018 is going to be MY year!

Honestly, everything happened so fast. In a blink of an eye I was a completely different person. I didn't just step outside my comfort zone. It was like I had tied that comfort zone to a balloon, let it go and watched it fly away and disappear into the abyss of the Universe. 

I spent New Year's Eve with my best friend in Riga, which is the capital of Latvia. I've never even liked the city, yet here I was, an ex emo hamster, celebrating with million strangers side by side. I met many new interesting people, made new friends and even arranged a date at midnight because I was determined to get a New Year's kiss and, honestly - it was the best New Year's Eve in my life! 

Next step was dealing with my confidence. My family booked a week long vacation in Canary Islands. Now, imagine someone who's completely insecure about her body being forced to relax by the pool under a palm tree, surrounded by many people. Day 1 was an emotional roller-coaster. I was super excited, since it was my first time in a place like that. But I was also panicking about the whole people/pool/sunbathing situation. But then my sister said those famous words - WHO THE HELL CARES? And I thought to myself - indeed. Nobody cares. Everyone is there to relax, have a great time and mind their own business. So why should I care? And just like that - I stopped. I truly stopped caring and I was laying by the pool the next morning with a cold beer in my hand, enjoying the view of the volcano without a single worry. (Beer was super cheap there and I was on a vacation, and it was super hot so don't judge me, people!)

My view every day for a week

Tenerife is the most beautiful place I've ever been to. So far. And I came back happier than ever, charged with positive energy and enough vitamin D to last a lifetime. Or at least a couple of months. Now, I know what you're thinking. Usually this whole - new year, new me - thing doesn't last long. And that was one of the things I was worried about. Since everything happened in full swing, I was scared my enthusiasm would burn out too fast. But then a week after I got back from the Canaries, my friend called and said: "Hey, I got a job offer in Riga. Wanna share an apartment with me?" And it took me only a couple of seconds before the new me was ready to jump into yet another adventure, the words came out themselves- WHY NOT? So as of February 1st I'm officially living in Riga. 

It's been only a month, but my life is changing more and more each day. But it's all good stuff! Most of it is, at least. I've had some ups and downs, some tears, some laughs, some good events, some weird events, some dates and funny stories, but lets leave it for another post. For now I'm just happy that my wish is coming true day by day. 2018 IS my year. And I couldn't be happier. And I'm not writing this to brag; I just want others to know that it's possible to change your life and thinking for the better. And it is actually not that hard to just LET GO! Of everything. It's easier than we think. You just have to want it. For the first time in my life I truly understand the saying 'Let go - let God'. I'm a living example of it. Just let go, people. Let go of the fears and insecurities. Stop worrying what others think and just enjoy life! 

I'm gonna finish on this spiritual, encouraging note and try to catch up with all your blogs. It's gonna take me some time, since I only stopped being an emo hamster, I never stopped being a workaholic, so I gotta combined work with reading. But I'll get to it!

Take care for now!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas lights everywhere!

I've always liked Christmas time but this year in particular my obsession with Christmas lights is getting out of control. If it was a thing, my dad would definitely sign me up for "Christmas light-holics anonymous". The first step towards recovery is admitting you have a problem. So here it goes. My name is Baiba, I'm 24, and I'm addicted to Christmas lights. 
[Reginald the Raccoon looking dashing as always]

[Try to spot Marty in this]

Ok, so maybe putting lights on a dog is not a good idea, but I'm handling myself quite well. I've only got one more string of lights left to put somewhere. But don't you worry, I will figure it out.

Most people think I'm too excited for Christmas. Everyone's always worried about money, presents and everything else. But here's the thing. In my family, we don't really buy Christmas presents. It's been like this for over 10 years now. Of course, when we were kids, my parents would get me and my sister many wonderful gifts, but as we grew older, we realized we don't really need anything. So there's only one thing I ask my parents every year for Christmas - a chocolate Santa. That's all I want. If I need anything else, I can buy it myself. I don't need any expensive gifts, that's not what Christmas is about. So for my family it's a wonderful time of peace, kindness and food. The only ones who get presents are actually our pets. Both dogs and the cat get a cool new toy every year and let me tell you, it brings us the greatest joy to get them something, because they get so excited and happy, like little kids.
The only thing I have mixed feelings about is snow. In small amounts it's kinda cute and it makes this whole Christmas thing more jolly. However, as someone who drives a lot, I'm not a big fan of it. The roads are terrible, some people drive like maniacs and it just creates a lot more problems than joy. But this year even I get a little excited whenever we get some snow. This morning I woke up to a blizzard and giant piles of snow. My dogs were excited and so was I. I even made a ridiculous little snowman on my balcony. Meet Maverick.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "But Baiba, it looks creepy as hell. And is his face made out of cat food?" Why yes. And his nose is a peanut m&m. But if you think that's creepy, wait 'til you see what happened to it 10 minutes later...
[RIP Maverick]

The snow is melting fast, but my Christmas spirit stays strong. And so does my will to be kind and do good. Every year I try to donate as much as possible and as of last year, my family joined the so called "Operation Shoe-box". In case some of you don't know, but would like to join - Operation Shoe-box is when you get a small box and fill it with all kinds of goods of your choice. It can be candy, toys, mittens, puzzles, coloring books, Christmas ornaments, anything that would bring joy to kids. You wrap it up all nice and pretty, write a little note with the approximate age of the kid it's meant for and give it to the local officials who take care of this charity. And they will deliver the box to a less fortunate kid in need of a little Christmas kindness. Of course, it's important to do good things all year long, but during this time of the year, when the less fortunate feel the pressure of the Holidays, it's nice to help them out a little and put a smile on their faces.
So be good and kind to yourselves and others :)
Take care.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Weird Cravings and Self Discoveries

Dear friends and fellow bloggers,

My apologies for being absent for a while. I've been busy with a tremendous amount of work (which paid off very well) and I've also been in a weird funk that I'm slowly getting out of.

For the past two months or so, I've been struggling with insomnia. I go to bed at 11pm or 12am every night, feeling tired and ready for the magical embrace of my comfy pillow. However, each night I find myself awake for hours and fall asleep around 4am. It makes me mad, because I'm wasting so many hours. I could be working, but I'm too tired to do that. But apparently, not tired enough to close my eyes and drift off into the dreamland. The thing is, I can't seem to shut my mind off. It's like I'm going for the gold medal in a "Constant Thinking Marathon". And let me tell you... I'm winning! 

I feel like there's something bothering me, but I don't know what. Technically, there's nothing I should be worried about. Life is good. Everyone around me is healthy, happy, I have a good job, there should be nothing stressing me out. But something clearly is. Otherwise... what the heck is going on? 

I thought it was because of my routine. I'm a translator, which means I spend most of my days in front of a computer screen, translating documents, movies or just about anything else. But I love my job and all my hard work has paid off (I was offered a promotion!). And it's not like I work so much I don't see the daylight...

Another thing (not sure if related to my insomnia or my funk), lately I've been getting these weird cravings. By that I usually mean food wise. But not this time. One day I suddenly had the urge to read a book. It might sound silly, but it's been a while since I last read a book and all of a sudden I wanted to read one. Not just wanted... I had to. So I went to the bookstore and, being the little psycho that I am, bought not 1 but 6! books.

Most of them are collections of mystery stories by Edgar Allan Poe, which I'm totally obsessed with. So that week was the week of books. I read 3 in 2 days. Safe to say I didn't do much else and probably looked like an addict, getting my daily dose of mystery. But my needs were satisfied and I felt at peace.

Much to my surprise, the weird cravings did not end with that. The next one was the sudden urge to go to a forest. I genuinely just wanted to be in the woods and spend the day just walking around and picking mushrooms. I hate mushrooms, but picking them is a fun activity for me. Thankfully, I have a great, supporting family and friends who go along with my ideas. It didn't take long to gather a car full of people and off to the woods we went.
The day went by so fast! Fresh air, nature, woods, mushrooms, thousand cobwebs in my hair, scratched legs, fights with tree branches and a squirrel... It was all worth it. Not only did we get buckets full of mushrooms, but that night I slept better than ever.

Now I'm slowly managing my sleep. It's still not ok, but I'm getting there, as my weird cravings continue to grow. (This week I insisted on going to a concert. So... my next Saturday is all planned up). I truly hope my family can bare with me for a little longer, while I try to figure what's wrong with me... Good luck to all of us.

What have you all been up to? I'm gonna dedicate a day to read all your blogs. Maybe someone has been craving weird things too. I'd love to hear about them. In the meantime, I have some TV series to translate. 

Take care.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I'm angry at life

What? But Baiba, you're such a positive person. How can you be angry at life? Well, let me tell you.

6 years ago my sister took a drastic decision (something she never does, well... never did) and flew to Germany to work as an Au-pair for this little family (Latvian mom, German dad and a little boy who was 1 and a half years old at the time). We were all surprised by this decision, as she had never done anything like this. She's the good kid. I'm the black sheep of the family. Not to say that this was a bad decision, it was just so sudden and out of the ordinary for her. She used to be this quite girl who always does the right thing, stays safe etc. And now she's packing her bags, moving to a different country to work for complete strangers. We were all scared for her, but she was calm and confident about her decision. And it was the best decision she's ever made.

This family is one of the best people I've ever met. They're open minded, nice and welcoming. My sister has traveled half the world with them, helped them with their son, housework and basically became a part of the family. Imagine my surprise, when I was accepted just as easily when I visited. I used to spend my summers in Germany and they took me in with no questions asked. I was treated like family. 
Last two summers my family has driven from Latvia to Germany to visit them. The bond that we have with this family is extraordinary and simply amazing to say the least. I'm not sure if all Au-pair experiences turn out as ours did. My sister has helped them raise the kid into this young, wonderful little boy who's a passionate hockey player and the smartest kid in class, and our families have had a wonderful 6 year long relationship which, I'm sure, will last forever.

A month ago we received some terrible news. His dad had lung cancer. His surgery was scheduled in August, so we all agreed that the kid would spend the month in Latvia with my family. He loves visiting here and we had planned some great, fun activities.

5 days had passed since he landed in Latvia and had settled here for his vacation, when we got the last update... His dad had passed away. 
I've gone through some terrible things in my life. Many deaths, suicides, bullying and just about anything else. But nothing quite like this. Obviously my whole family was struck by this. My sister the most, as he was like a second dad to her. It hit me hard too, because that man was so inspiring and amazing, and we all appreciate the things he's done for my sister and our family. But the thing that hurts the most is the fact that a little 8 year old boy is left without a father. 
And that is the hardest thing I've ever had to witness. 
When his mom called to tell him, I couldn't take it. I cried so much, my eyes were sore. How do you tell a little boy his dad is gone? His best friend, his biggest fan. 
When a kid is hurt, you just want to hug him and make everything better for him. But this time I had to witness a little boy's heart get broken and there was absolutely nothing I could do to make it better. And it's the worst feeling in the world.

So, why am I angry at life? 
Sure, amongst all the wars and killings, and other terrible things that are happening in the world, this might seem as such a small thing. But it's not to me. I'm angry that there are so many truly evil people alive, healthy and living their pathetic lives. But this kind, selfless, smart, wonderful man who's done nothing but good in his life is now gone because of a stupid cancer, and a little boy is now without a dad. It's not fair. And yes, I'm not a kid, I know life's not fair. But that's exactly why I'm angry.

My whole family lost a dear friend. The little boy lost a father. His mom lost a husband. And the world lost a truly good man. 
Rest in peace, my dear friend. Thank you for everything you've done for me and my family. Thank you for inspiring me and making me see the world differently. And don't worry, we will all keep an eye on your little boy. He's family.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Now what?

This post is not gonna be about the 'zip it' topic I mentioned in my last post, simply because that would be something too serious and I don't really feel like getting into it. Instead, this post is gonna be about the big, scary world that awaits me as I just GRADUATED UNIVERSITY! Ok, technically, the graduation ceremony will be on June 17, however, University is officially over, my final grades are better than ever and I'm getting my diploma. That's also the reason I've been away from blogging. I had to take the final qualification exams, write my Bachelor thesis and balance all that with 2 jobs and a little bit of life. If anyone's interested, my thesis was about 'Sign Language Translation in Modern Communication'. 60 pages of nonsense, however, I did learn a lot about this topic, and Sign Language is on my bucket list.
Since May was an insane month, I'm taking a couple days off and am just enjoying the nice weather and a ton of popsicles. (Don't judge me).
Looks like Marty is exhausted too.

These 4 years went by so fast, and I'm glad they did. Sure, I have a lot of great memories and I've learned a lot, however, dorm life and sitting in classes all day is not for me. And here's the crazy part - unlike all the people posting memes and pictures on the Internet on how they don't like being adults - I don't hate Mondays, I don't want to be a careless kid again and have my parents take care of me and, you're not going to believe this, - I like paying bills. I've had my own apartment for about a year now and I absolutely love all those responsibilities. I like being independent, having my own place and money. I like spoiling my parents since they've done so much for me and I absolutely love adult life. Of course everything is not all jolly and perfect. But that's what makes it interesting and I'm learning a lot.

It also opened my eyes on something not so great. I turned 24 on May 12. I don't know if I'm only 24 or already 24, and, to be honest, I don't really care. However, I'm noticing how I'm changing and my friends are not and it's making me re-evaluate some friendships and wonder if maybe I'm just wasting my time with certain people. Unlike some of my friends, I don't wait for the weekend so I could get wasted and hit the clubs. Don't get me wrong, I still like to grab a drink or two and go to parties and have fun. But I'm more interested in a different kind of fun, such as concerts, plays, events, hockey games and traveling. Conversations with those friends are becoming more and more empty and I'm finding myself feeling alone since we have nothing in common anymore. And those are people I've been friends with for 15 years now. However, time doesn't make good friends. There are some people from University who I've only know for 2 or 3 years and they are some of the most important people in my life now.

Anyways, that got too serious so I'll stop there. The big question everyone keeps asking me is NOW WHAT? University is over and the big, scary world awaits. Well, bring it on! I honestly can't wait to just enjoy life and experience new things and people. I'm not gonna get a Master's degree. Not now. Now I wanna grab a beer and some popsicles, enjoy my summer and see where life takes me.

Take care.

Monday, May 1, 2017

P would be for Procrastination.

I could have done the A-Z challenge. Starting with A for Alzheimers (you can check out my last post. Grandma's doing good, we visited her again) and ending with Z for  "Zip it!" which I'm planning for my next post (when I get to it).
However, as the title suggests, I would have never made it in time for the challenge.

My name is Baiba, and I'm a professional procrastinator.

No matter what I have to do, whether it's homework, job, housework or a simple task, such as brushing my teeth or going to bed in time, I will always do everything in the last minute. 
A simple example - I need to submit a translation of an episode due tomorrow. It's 8pm and instead of translating, I'm writing this post. But don't worry, I'll get to it. Occasionally. 

One question always comes to mind - WHY AM I LIKE THIS?! 
I'm pretty sure I've NEVER submitted anything way before the deadline. And for some weird reason I've noticed I work better under pressure. It also means I live in constant stress. Which I shouldn't do to myself, yet here I am. Procrastinating. 24/7. It's like I have this little monster inside me that sleeps all the time and wakes up only when its the last minute of something and I have to gather all my strength and focus for the task. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sloppy with my work. I always do everything well and precise, just under a lot of stress. But somehow it works for me.
We had 4 months to work on our Bachelor thesis. The draft was due April 20. All my friends were posting pictures of them working on it already in February, March... I started writing mine on April 18. I wrote all 46 pages in 2 days. Of course it's not perfect and I still have some improvements to make, however, it is just as good as those who people worked on for months. 

So I'm not really sure whether or not I should do something about this bad "habit" of mine. I know it's awful what I'm doing to myself, however, my whole life it has worked for me.
It's not like I'm proud of it. But I also can't help it. Well... I'm sure I could, just not today.
 Take care,

P.S. Any fellow procrastinators out there? How do you people do things on time!?!?