Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Unwanted House Guests

Today is my birthday! 

I've never had any problems stating my age. Not sure if that's something women struggle with only at a certain point, but 2 days ago a cashier asked for my ID for a bottle of rum, so, with that being the ultimate compliment, I gladly announced I'm about to be 28!

I'm 28, engaged, mom of 3 cats and a lemon tree. That last one might be a purchase I regret. If the internet is right, it's going to be a giant pain in the ass to take care of it. But it looked so cute at the store! Can you blame me?

It's been over a year since my last post. Since the world has kind of stopped functioning, I didn't really feel like writing. Nothing happens, we don't go anywhere, don't see anyone, I've kind of been living in a bubble with Brian and the cats. (Who are pretty much attached to me at all times now)

[even as I'm writing this post]

But today I'm feeling great. It's my birthday, the summer is coming, birds are chirping, even though they shouldn't be at 5am... 
My life is pretty good, compared to everything else going on in the world. Or at least it was, until I found an unwanted party of guests in my apartment this morning. And this time it wasn't 3 strange men, who just casually entered my house, like last time. This time it's worse. This time... it's ANTS! And not just a couple of ants. A whole COLONY! 
Brian's at work and I don't know what to do. The internet has 100 different solutions, but how do I know which ones actually work? Do I kill them? Do I make friends, infiltrate the army and lead them elsewhere? Do I give them a hot beverage because I'm a good host? Do I just set the house on fire? SEND HELP! Or good advice, I'll accept both.
Stay safe and healthy

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Is It Worth Being A Good Person?

Have you ever been so close to an emotional breakdown, that even the smallest thing like dropping your sandwich sends you on the floor, crying your eyes out?

That was me two days ago. The only good thing is, I'm a really ugly crier, so every time I start crying, I make myself laugh because of how ridiculous I look when I'm bawling.

The world is a scary place right now. And not because of the virus, but because of people. Obviously, everyone is aware that there are pretty bad people in this world, however, it takes a global epidemic to see how truly shitty the mankind can be. 

People are trying to scam those who help, trying to get some money, things or attention for no reason and so on. But what surprises me the most in this whole global mess, is how truly mean and pathetic some people can be. I usually don't read any news and specially the comments, simply because there is never anything good. It's mostly just lies and fabricated garbage, just to get people all riled up. However, since I live far away from my family and friends, I like to be updated on the current situation back at home, so I have to read the news whether I like it or not. But, unfortunately, the little devil in me makes me also click the comments, and that's where things start to go wrong.

There are so many articles about people not being able to get back home because the borders are closed. And to me that's sad and scary. But the comments mostly consist of: "It's your own fault. Stay where you are, we don't need you and the virus here. If you wanted to leave so bad, then don't come back. I hope you get the virus." Or, whenever there's an article about a politician or a celebrity getting the virus, people post comments like: "You deserve it! Finally! I hope you die!"

Now, the last one is the scariest one. How pathetic does ones life have to be in order to wish something so bad to someone else? This jealousy, this anger, spite and hatred towards someone they don't even know. Where is it coming from? And why? Why are there so many bad people in this world?

And this brings me back to my meltdown. I'm not claiming I'm an angel or a saint, however, my whole life I've tried to be a good person. I donate money to charities, I adopt animals instead of buying them, I've bought gifts to children for Christmas, I've bought food for a lot of homeless people, I always help all my friends and family and so on. Countless times people have told me that I'm actually too nice.

I do all this without expecting anything back, because I truly believe in Karma. And I can't complain about my life, because I know so many people have it way worse than I do. However, for the last couple of months, a lot of bad things have happened to me and my family. We barely get back on our feet from one problem when the next one occurs. So the other day, after months of stress and financial problems, when I dropped that sandwich, that was the tipping point. And as I sat on the floor, weeping in total defeat, I couldn't help but ask out loud: Why do bad things happen to good people? Is it even worth being a good person? 

And the answer is Yes. Here's the thing. I know I'm too nice, there's no denying it. I let people take advantage of me, I do work for my friends for free, I don't ask enough money for my work, because I hate asking people for money, I care too much about others and their problems, I've been scammed twice, because I only tend to see the good in people, and so on. Those are obviously my mistakes and I try to learn from them. BUT! I do think it's worth being a good person. Being good costs nothing, but it means everything. One act of kindness could brighten someone's day or even save someone's life. And if I can make even the smallest difference in a world full of grayness, I will do it. Being good makes me feel like there's hope. Hope for a better future, a better society. And if there's ever a time to quote a line from one of my favorite movies, this is it:

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies."
/Stephen King

Be good, be kind, be safe!
Take care.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Morning Surprise

If I got a penny for every time something awkward or incredibly stupid happened to me, I would be on Forbes as the wealthiest / weirdest woman alive.

And this isn't one of those cute awkward stories. When you mix the ultimate awkwardness with shyness, insecurity, anxiety and clumsiness, you get the opposite of cute. You get ME! The amount of awkward situations I've got myself into is just ridiculous and I'm not sure what to blame. Is it me? Is it my fear of human interactions and lack of social skills? That can't be right... So the question remains - WHY ME?!

I'm not even going to list all the times I've tripped or knocked something over by simply being me. There was that one time I fell and laughed at a funeral, but people just assumed I fainted from all the emotions and were super nice to me and told me to sit. 

There was that time in Paris when a guy in McDonalds opened the trash can lid for me. I thought he was being super polite, so I poured my trash in, said the one word I knew in French - Merci - and walked away. As it turns out, his phone was on his plate and he had dropped it in with his trash, so he was about to fish it out. But instead he had to watch me pour my trash on top of his phone, smile, thank him and walk away. 

I am SO AWKWARD, I don't even know how to politely interact with people. I had a job interview on the phone and at the end of it, the guy said - thank you for your time, Ms. - to which I replied with - you're welcome. ONLY BECAUSE he kept calling me Ms. and was so formal and polite the whole time, I'm not used to it.

Okay, as I'm writing this, I get the feeling that it might be mostly my own fault. It's still debatable...
However, the surprising encounter this morning tops all of those above mentioned cases.

For the past 3 weeks, the apartment above ours has been under construction. Since I work from home, it's been a real nightmare, trying to translate under a constant noise. Then about a week ago, one of the workers told us that the water pipes in the bathroom have to be changed, so - some time in near future - they will work in our bathroom as well. No one said when exactly, no one said how long it will take, no one said anything. This morning, when Brian had left for work, I decided to sleep some more and get up around 9am. As I was drooling on my pillow, all snuggly in dream land, I got woken up by the sound of 3 male voices inside the apartment. The bedroom door was not fully shut, so I could hear them loud and clear. I got the courage to let out a quiet "hello?", to which all 3 men responded immediately. One of them shut the bedroom door, the other kept saying "oh my gosh", and the 3rd one said: "We told you we'll have to change the pipes! We knocked, but no one answered the door, so we let ourselves in!"

Now, I might come from a 2nd world country, but even there things are not handled this way. In my opinion, (correct me if I'm wrong) they should have come to us yesterday and told us that they're coming today. Not just knock a couple times at 8am and barge into someone's apartment without a warning.

Of course all the guys are really nice and I can laugh about it now, but this morning I was not that happy about this whole situation. And the worst part is, I don't speak German that well, so I have no idea what they're telling me. I don't know how long they'll be here, I don't know how long it will take to change the pipes, I don't know if we can use the bathroom... AND I REALLY NEED TO PEE!!!

I hope you're all having a better day.
I think I need a drink.


Thursday, January 2, 2020

New Year, Old Me?

Greetings, people from far away lands! It is I, the weird raccoon-loving, positivity-leaking Latvian ray of sunshine!

I know it has been far too long since my last post. But for the first time in history I have actually been busy - [hold for a dramatic effect] - living my life! *gasp* (I hope at least one of you theatrically fainted somewhere in the distance).

But yes, it finally happened. I got a life.

A year ago I decided to stop being an anti-social hermit, pack my entire life in 1 suitcase and move to Germany. For someone who's been very comfortable living in the shadows her whole life, this was a giant step for me.

And here I am, a year later, living with the love of my life, three adopted kittens and a dream of moving to America! Oh, AND, a brand new slushy machine! So, cheers to a New Year!

Left to right: 
Amy (Ames, A-moosh),
Cooper (Coop, Coopowski, Coopman),
Reginald (Reggie, Ragout, Rigatoni)

Now, I know what you're all thinking - but Baiba, what about your love for dogs? Don't worry. Brian (he's real, I swear) promised me a house in the future for my 5 dogs. And possibly an alpaca? That topic is still to be discussed...

So that's what I've been doing for the past year - becoming the ultimate housewife, who's darn proud of her garden, three fluffy babies and a patient, wonderful man, who has the strength to keep up with her shenanigans, sarcasm and the never-ending supply of Christmas lights.

You might be wondering (you're probably not, but I'm gonna tell you anyways) why have I returned and what are my plans. Well...

This isn't going to be one of those - new year, new me - things. I don't want a completely new me and I don't plan on changing my entire personality or making promises and undertaking some New Year's resolutions, which I will most likely ditch within a week or two. I am already on a great path of self-discovery, growth and improvement since last year, so I just need to keep going in the right direction. However, there is one thing that has been on my mind for a long time now, and I feel like this could be The Year. It's my unconditional love for writing. I love writing. I love reading. I love reading what I and others have written. I love expressing myself in words, and I actually think I'm quite good at it. I love the English language and I think I can express myself in it the best. It's one of the reasons I became a translator. I love sharing my stories and positivity with others, and maybe even inspire someone out there. That's why my dream has always been to become a writer. I just never knew what to write about, in what form and how. I always doubted myself, thinking no one will care or enjoy my writing anyways, I'm not good enough or funny, or smart, it's just a waste of time. But, NO MORE! I am making it happen this year. Whether it's through frequent blog posts, articles or even my own book on how to tame a wild raccoon - mark my words, people, I will write this year!

Now all that's left is to shoo Cooper off my laptop, make a fresh batch of delicious flavored ice, crack my knuckles (figure of speech, as I hate the sound of cracking knuckles) and get to work!
But first I have to go check all your blogs and see what you've all been up to!
I hope you had a wonderful year!

But for now, take care!

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.


Unwanted House Guests

Today is my birthday!  I've never had any problems stating my age. Not sure if that's something women struggle with only at a certai...