What Can You Learn From a Kid?

I have started doing lately what I have always loved the most – that is teaching English! I have not been doing that for at least a year, even though I have an active advertisement on one of the tutoring websites. I was just not being contacted that often. And suddenly there is this woman who wants me to teach her and her 11-year old daughter English twice a week. They live completely the other side of Warsaw. It takes me around 1,5h by public transport to get there! Many of my friends commented that it too far, what is the point?, why can’t they came to have lessons at my place? First of all the mother wanted the lessons to take place in their place, second of all I have forgotten already how much pleasure teaching English was giving me.

The moment I started I got along with the 11-year old very quickly. She is such a positive and smart girl and I feel I will be able to help her develop quickly in the matter. The mother, however, seemed closed. I thought I might have a big problem with her as for me teaching is not only sharing my knowledge with other, but also building relationships. With the girl, as I mentioned – we clicked immediately. She is smiling, open-minded, catches the grammar and the vocabulary very quickly. Does not get offended while being corrected and show willingness to learn. After just two lessons with me, she had a test at school and the mark she got was A+! I was so thrilled! 🙂 She is not a bad student, just an average getting Bs and Cs. Anyway, I do not think marks at school define one’s worth. The mother however is young, in her mid-30s and emotionally closed. I really thought our lessons would look like these from my school time: texts to be read, exercises to be done and tests to be passed: / However last time she opened. By opening I mean she revealed a bit about her traumatic childhood. I felt it somehow brought us closer. I also know she did it only becasue I was not afraid of speaking openly about mine. I know it will take us some time to build at least a friendship relation, but at least I see such a possibility. At the beginning, I was a bit afraid there will be the coldness between us all the time. However I got to know why she builds such a the distance and in the same got to know she is very aware of it. It will help me a lot communicating with her.

On the other hand the 11-year old girl is incredibly adorable. One hour with her passes by so quickly! It only makes me realize how much I have always loved teaching. Usually I go there on Wednesdays and Sundays, but the dates are always flexible. Last time when I was leaving and asked the mother when she wants to me to come again, the girl said: “tomorrow” 🙂 It made me smile. It made me realize how much the kid already likes me and how quickly we have built a relationship. When I was thinking deeper about it and discussed it during my therapy, the psychologist said that it looks like I have given her hope. Then I started thinking more about the hope and it made me realize that having such a close mother must be tough. Well, I know it also from my experience as I had an emotionally absent mother during not only my childhood, but an adult life too. However I am a grown-up now. I do notice that the girl’s mother is a really good one. She cares about the girl, spends a lot of time with her, drives her to school and back, cooks with her etc. All of these responsible parents tasks she fulfills perfectly. What lacks is love. And it makes me sad. From one hand because I see how much the girls needs her mother just to hug her and on the other because I see the same pattern of what I have experienced during my childhood. And I feel how hurts the girl.

Looks like I have appeared in their lives for a reason. I also have an opinion that we meet certain people in our lives for a purpose. I hope I will give the girl at least a bit of positive attitude, smile, attention and love. I know it will not substitute mother’s love, however maybe, in time, I will manage to open the mother that she stops being afraid of showing a bit of affection to her kid. Building distance in my opinion is a way of protecting oneself and, I am not against. While it is being done toward other grown-ups, it is totally fine, but just do not do it to the kids! They need a parent who will also filfill their emotional needs! A simple smile, a simple affection, no judging if the kid gets a C at school and no comparing to others! Small things like that will make a kid a happy one. And a happy kid will have a happy life while being an adult.

My relationship with the 11-year-old is mutual. I see what emotions she lacks and in the same, I see what I was lacking in my childhood. At least I can share a bit of my love with her and in return, I get it back! Kids are incredibly smart and if we only treated them with respect, we’d get it back! I am looking forward to observe how my relationships with these two are changing and what positive emotions I will get while teaching both of them.

Teaching has always been my passion. I have been doing that since I was 17 years old and always managed to build incredible friendships with the students! I have only forgotten how much pleasure I was getting out of it and this girl keeps reminding me about it twice a week! 🙂 So I carry on smiling 🙂

Georgia – a Forgotten Country Worth Visiting

I spent 10 days travelling around Georgia and I would never expect that I would love the country so much! I felt as if I was in Poland in the 1990s. It meant a bit as if I was coming back to my childhood. Even though the country is still not that well-developed, there are some aspects of modern society. The train I took from Tbilisi to Batumi was a very new one. Let me share all my Georgian experience from the beginning 🙂
I started my trip from Kutaisi, a very small town where there are not a lot of things to do around, however trips that are being organised to sightsee the area are worth attending. The one I took was about 500 km both ways. I visited three Georgian cities – Borjomi (known from its water), Rabati – with an amazing castle to visit and Vardzia that I loved the most with its walk around in the rocks. It occured to be kind of a private trip, as there was just a driver, myself and two other travellers. We started at 8 in the morning and came back at midnight. The only person missing was a guide, but it doesn’t surprise me we did not have one, as in such a small city it would be difficult to gather at least 20 people every day to have very well-organized trip. It is much easier to do so in Tbilisi, which is more touristic. However I did enjoy that day very much. 115 lari as far as I remember, plus the entires and the food on our way. Also the car company I was a good one – a Slovakian couple I spent all day with 🙂 It is a pity the driver did not speak English that well, however we managed to communicate – either a bit in Polish, Russian or using hand gestures. Unfortunately Georgians do not speak English that well, Russian is the language they use the most. For me, as a Polish girl, knowing a bit of Russian helped in communication. I did not expect getting into deep conversations with Georgians about life, so just buying food or moving from one place to another was and easy task.
The next day I decided to have a walk from Kutaisi to Sataplia – about 20 km both ways. I went to see a small Georgian National Park which is quite close to the city. Unfortunately that day the cave and a bridge were closed and I couldn’t see the most important part of it, anyway I enjoyed my walk and the calmness the park gave me. It occurred to be a nice spot with lots of nature around, nice point with a Panoramic View, and a good walk in the countryside of Georgia. Anyway if you decide to do so be aware of the dogs. They are everywhere! Even though they are sterilized they are hanging around all over the place! Sometimes they were making me feel scared :/
The capital – Tbilisi is just a typical capital. Cars, streets, traffic jams. And it is true that half of Georgia lives in Tbilisi. It does not surprise me, as the country is not a very rich one and people who are looking for more opportunities move to the cities. What struck me most when travelling by “marszrutka” – a mini van taking people from one city to anther and being very cheap (Kutaisi – Tbilisi was only 10 lari), was that the countryside, I was passing by, was totally deserted. 4 million Georgians and 2 living in the capital!
From Tbilisi I took an organized trip to the mountains. I wanted to see these so much! And that day it was snowing that heavily, that probably I would need to get back there to see Georgian mountains view 🙂 For the time being I only saw Georgian snow 😉
Batumi – my third spot occurred to be my favourite one. It has a 7 km promenade by the sea, looks very modern, and I think the reason I like it so much was that it was not crowded. The time I was there was just beginning of April, which is not a touristic season and the beach was almost deserted. I could do what I love doing most – relax by the Black Sea and enjoy its sound. I think it must be terribly crowded during the summer. I would not have such an impression about the city if I had to maneuver around lots of people in order to pass by.
Overall when it comes to people, prices and other important things that matter when I travel, to my surprise I felt incredibly save there. As I usually travel alone and my safety is the most important to me, I admit I felt there as if I was home. Georgians are quite poor, however they were not aggressive towards the tourists while they were offering any excursions or products to buy.  While I was not showing any interest they were not pushing me into purchasing, what I really appreciate. By observing the architecture I really felt as in Poland 30 years ago with lost of ruined buildings and broken pavements. I had the impression that as the Soviet Union collapsed, Georgia stayed the same for the past 30 years. Poland has developed much – thanks to  foreign investments, European Union and the fact we are close to Western Europe what is pushing us into development. Georgia however is surrounded by countries like: Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia – and do they care about its development? I do not think so. However, in my opinion, the country has lots to offer: lovely coast side, polite and friendly people, beautiful landscapes, and probably amazing mountains I was not lucky enough to see.
My ten-day Georgian trip occurred to be a very good one with very interesting observations and lots of positive memories. I was hosted in Tbilisi by an amazing international couple, and in Batumi by a Georgian guy. They also brought new perspectives into my life and added a lot of value into my trip!
One thing I may say about Georgia – 100% recommended! 🙂 Amazing views, good food and friendly people – could I ask for more while travelling? I do not think so, that is totally and even more than enough! 🙂

The Healing Power of the Sea Waves

I am now sitting by the Black Sea in Batumi – Georgia, listening to its waves and realising how much healing power they seem to have. It is early morning, the weather is nice and sunny, even though it’s only about 10°. As it is only spring time, beginning of April, the sun feels good anyway. I don’t feel much of the coldness and watching the sea makes me feel incredibly relaxed and calm. In general the whole Georgia makes me feel at ease. Even though it is a post-communist country, reminds me a lot of Poland in the 1990s, I see it is quite poor and the people here are not really wealthy, they do not make me feel it. In many places they make a living out of tourism, but they’re not acting aggressively. When comparing it to Morroco I visited last year it made me not wanting to visit any of the Arabic countries anymore, as they were scamming tourists on every corner! With Georgia it is quite the opposite.

While walking around yesterday, just by the Promanade in Batumi, I did about 18 km by foot. I can imagine how crowded and full of people it must be during the holiday season. So I’m even more grateful I’m able to visit Georgia beginning of April, even though the weather is not so perfect and I cannot stay by the beach in my swimming costume all day long. However I can still sit on the stones, in the totally deserted sea area and have a feeling I have it for my own! 🙂 It is very relaxing – having such an incredible view, listening to the sound of the waves and observing the nature. I do feel that the these have kind of a healing power. And they look so amazing in the sun! Another part, that I also love while spending time by the sea, is the smell of it. Yesterday for a few hours I was just inhaling its smell! 🙂

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I think in our western societies, we do not appreciate much the nature and what it can give us. The truth is that what I’m doing now is nothing, really nothing! I’m just sitting, observing the sea and smiling. 🙂 Being totally unproductive! Is anything wrong with that? For some who are much into making money and business all the time, they would probably say: yes! As for me, now, I totally do not care about the rest of the world. 😊 I love this feeling! Such a perfect peaceful state of mind! I started to appreciate these moments some time ago as they make me feel incredibly relaxed. When I am home, I work eight hours a day, 5 days a week, then I do some houseworks or deal with other stuff. It happens I go to a park to relax on a bench, but usually I am too lazy to do so 😐 In here, it is seems so nice observing the nature. The healing power of the sea waves wake me up into life! I don’t really have much time to do what I’m doing right now back home and in the same for a big-city-girl being by the sea everyday would be quite of a challenge.

I feel now the sun warming my legs, the sound of the waves making me calm and the smell of it making me only healthier! I do want to enjoy every single moments of sitting here and doing nothing – just admiring the Georgian Black Sea. I think in our western society appreciating moments like that counts a lot. Knowing how to do so is also very important. That’s why I’ve always loved travelling! Capturing and appreciating small things happening around me means a lot to me, as in my everyday life I don’t often do or notice these while living in a big capital city. Such a travel escape brings calmness info my perfect, capitalistic, wealthy life. And what matters most, in my opinion and in my life, is not the money but these healing moments I will remember for the rest of my life 🙂 It feels as if regaining my stillness of heart!

Let’s Play a Corporate Game

It happens I work for a big corporation. For the past six months I’ve been trying to change my current job. The reason I am doing is not the job. It is the toxic and incompetent manager I work with. Three years ago I accepted the job without knowing who the manager would be, as there were two recruitments ongoing in the same time – for my position and hers. I kept my optimism while accepting the offer as I consider myself an open-minded and easy-going person who can get along with everybody. Well, in this case it did not work :/ shit happens :/ So after 3 years of a cooperation with my current manager, that has its ups and downs, I decided to look for other opportunities. And there goes my experience!

On LinkedIn I see lots of recruiters providing tips about the interviews. Usually they say to be honest and sincere, as the job interview is an opportunity to present ourselves to the future and potential employer. So I’ve been incredibly honest and sincere lately during these! The reason I was doing it was that I think I will only attract people similar to me by being authentic. What a crap! This does not apply to the professional career, no matter what recruiters say! My conclusion is very simple – I need to play the corporate game in order to get a new job.

Question nr 1 recruiters usually ask during the job interview – Why do I want to change the job? Well, there are only two reasons for changing the job – people want to earn more money and learn something new. As as simple as that! However I learnt I cannot say it so openly. I need to bullshit the answer with a statement like: the current company I work in, does not give me too much opportunities to my professional developpment bla bla bla, so I have decided to look for new chances outside of it.

Question nr 2 and one of my favorite ones: what do you consider your biggest failure in your career? And mine was accepting a job, three years ago, without knowing who the manager would be. In my case I ended up on a therapy. From the time perspective I do admit it was the best that could’ve happened to me! However, I noticed when I speak openly about it, the interviewers back off. Hey, is there anything wrong with the psychotherapy? Is there anything wrong admitting that I come across a toxic manager and in order to deal with the issue I was looking for help?! In my opinion it only shows how emotionally developed I have become.

And here comes the paradox – the recruiters require from me, as the potential employee, to be honest, but when I am, they are not able to handle my truth! Would the reason for not getting a new job is being too honest? I cannot even find it out as they never call back with the recruitment results. I am a big girl, I can handle rejection. Knowing the reason of not being offered the job would make me analyze it and work on what the recruiters/ hiring managers think requires improvement from my side.

So what is the point of writing on LinkedIn, I am quoting now – “Be yourself- people will immediately see when you pretend to be someone else. Authenticity is key!” Is it? I have been authentic for the past 6 months and the result sucks. I’m well educated, 13 years working experience in IT, I speak two foreign languages not including my mother tongue, I have a few certificates, I am responsible, hard-working and reliable, so the question is – why don’t I get a  job?

And I think I found the answer to the question. Too much honestly and authenticity does not pay off. From now on I start playing the corporate game. Even though the social media tips for an interview may say differently, my latest experience shows the best is to use the bullshitting tactic during the interviews. As I have never really liked it, I find it hard to play the game. However I am willing to see where it will lead me. In my opinion the interviewers or hiring managers don’t want to hear my truth, they want to hear I will adapt to the company and its rules, in the same I have no right to have my own opinions. Sad, but true. Or maybe I’m looking for a job in the wrong country? Maybe in other European countries interviewers are different?

I’ve always loved working with people! I keep saying that processes and procedures you can learn, but the most important is to have good relations with people, as only then you have the job done and the business running well. Looks like my point of view is totally different than the corporate one, so I decided to play the corporate game 🙂 Let’s see where it takes me in the nearest future!

Positive Mindset

How is it that sometimes we meet people who just burst out with their positive attitude toward everything and sometimes we get to know these who complain about every aspect of their lives?

When I was thinking deeper about our ability to think in a positive way and how we can learn it, it occurred to me there had to be, for a certain amount of time, a person present in our childhood who would show us how to always look on the bright side of life. In my case that was my father. Even though my relationship with him got a bit toxic, but when I look back at my childhood I remember him showing me the world through travels, sending me to English classes that in 1990s in Poland were extremely expensive, comforting me when something went wrong and making me search for the silver lining in every situation. In the same he also taught me an incredible responsibility for my actions.

After my 3 years of therapy and knowing some friends who also attend theirs, I noticed they did not become happier. I know the therapy’s aim is not to change anyone’s attitude toward life from negative into a positive one, but to get to know yourself better and in most cases stop hurting yourself subconsciously. Yet I noticed that the way my friends were unhappy with their lives before the therapy, they are still unhappy after it. Now they are more conscious about their unhappiness. So where comes this incredible positive attitude toward life in some of the people from? My observation is that it must have been taught from others. There just had to happen a person in our early days who would show us their optimism, easy-going personality and positive mindset. Only by observing such a person we were able to learn how to stay optimists.

I remember a one girl I met through Couchsuring who I spent with 2 weeks traveling in Asia. It was supposed to be an amazing time – Taiwan and Philippines with her and then South Korea on my own. Unfortunately what I noticed about her behaviour was that she compared everything to Thailand she visited a year before. While traveling around Taiwan she did not like the landscape, the food, the beaches etc. With the Philippines it was the same. I felt like telling her one day to buy the tickets and immediately fly to Thailand if she loved it that much. Anyway I shut up and just backed off. And after a while we were sharing only a hotel room and spending the days on our own. It was a good lesson for me to be learnt:

  1. Never go traveling with a person you know so little
  2. Just because someone attended psychoanalysis does not mean they are able to appreciate life
  3. Stay away from negativity and toxic people

I remember I was so happy when going on my Asian trip. Gee, I flew 8000 km and visited 3 countries in 3 days! 3 new cultures, many Couchsurfing experiences, meeting incredible people, sleeping in strangers’ houses – imagine in Taiwan out of 8 nights 5 we spent Couchsurfing!, making new friendships and experiencing amazing landscapes! I was able to live through these 3 amazing weeks! Yet I chose an improper person to share my positive emotions with. Now I know I will never do that to myself again.

I consider myself a very positive. Whatever happens and has a negative impact on my life I try to look for a silver lining every time. I think every situation will teach me a lesson, and I do not want to stay negative, but rather think of good aspects of every story. What I have also learnt is that positive mindset has to be taught to us. It does not come itself. It is possible to try to change our way of thinking, but that is a very long way. It is easier when there was a person in our surroundings showing us good aspects of life and in the same teaching us how to appreciate it while we were young. It really helps! Now I am grateful to my father who, even though was showing his miserable attitude sometimes, managed to teach me that life can be amazing and it is only up to me what I do with it! 🙂

Is Your Brain Attracting Others?

I have observed an interesting phenomena of my brain. I am sure if all of us dig deeply, they will find the same examples. What I am about to describe is the way the brain works with attracting people. To make myself very clear – I think of a person and this person either calls, texts me or simply appears in my life quite quickly. Do not get confused – my brain does not attract each person that is in a way present in my life, so it does not work the way that I think of a lady working as a shop assistant in a shop I visit every day, and suddenly she texts me when she does not even have my phone number. I rather mean how our brain attracts people we are in a kind of relationship with – friendship, marital, or parental one. We, as people, build different relationships in which some tend to be emotionally stronger and some weaker.  The phenomena I am talking about happens, as my observation shows, when two aspects are fulfilled – we need to be in a quite close relationship with the other person (emotional, physical or both) and we need to think quite intensively about them. In such cases many times I noticed, my brain drew attention to the person I was thinking about and kind of made them contact me, subconsciously I presume.

Examples are best, so here is mine. I was involved, for a couple of years, in a very toxic relationship. It was an in and out one in which I was never really understanding my behavior that was only destroying me. Till the time I started psychoanalysis. However I noticed such a phenomena that when I was thinking about this guy, usually before going to sleep, the moment I woke up the next day I had several missed calls. I cannot say it was happening each time and just a simple thought of him draw his attention to me, because it was not that way. I just noticed the repeatable schema. Just because we were somehow emotionally connected, my brain was able to draw his attention into me when I was thinking about him in 80% of cases. Knowing this and thanks to understanding why this relationship was so toxic to me, I started changing my habit. Now, when I catch myself thinking of him I immediately stop myself and explain my brain I do not really want to repeat the past. After a 20-year-old fucked up relation, I will probably never get rid this guy from my brain and memories as he is part of my past experience, however I can stop hurting myself.

The above example was a negative one, as it spoke of attracting a person who was causing me harm. On the other hand, there are many positive examples. Lately I got closer to a colleague, a girl who I meet from time to time, travel with from time to time, spend time together. We managed to build a kind of emotional relation between us as we support each other and speak openly about everything that is happening in our lives, yet I cannot say we are addicted to each other – healthy relationship I would say. What I noticed lately is that when I think of her, she usually texts me with a quick note of what has just happened in her life or how she feels. She told me I do the same 🙂 It means we attract each other, or rather our brains do that 🙂 The same phenomena is happening with my father with whom I have a very close relation. In 9 out of 10 examples when I think of him, here it comes – I get a phone call from him the same day or even a few minutes later! 🙂 Amazing, isn’t it?

The most important to me is that by realizing how phenomenal my brain is, I am able to have it on my side and improve my life by attracting only people I want to be surrounded by and geting rid of the ones I was hurt by! 🙂

My Quick Way of Recognizing People’s Personalities

I will start with my quick explanation – by observing people’s behaviours I started to distinguish two types of personalities – weak and strong. How do I do it? It takes me 3 seconds and just a handshake. If it is a firm one, I immediately know I am dealing with a person who will not bullshit me and will tell me what they really have in their minds without any manipulation tricks. My observation also makes me wonder what they have been through their childhood, as it seems they grew up strong because of their childhood experience. When it comes to weak personalities – the handshake is a faint one. Oh, that is something unbearable to me!

I do not even remember when I started putting so much attention into somebody’s handshake. It is said you cannot make the first impression twice and in my opinion, handshakes take part of it. It happened to me I met people with an indifferent handshake and only then I realized they are neither strong nor weak. So my conclusion was simple – they are like their handshakes – indifferent, apathetic, dull. I try not to judge people only by the strength of their handshake  and I always try to get to know the person better, however I have proven myself many times my distinction does not lie and mostly tells me the truth about the other person’s personality.

As it may appear quite obvious, men have firmer handshakes than women do. They usually tend to be considered stronger physically too; however, when it comes to their handshakes I also noticed there are more and more men who are weak. Just because of their sex, they are considered strong, but when it comes to their personalities, I noticed they manipulate the same way weak women do. As I consider myself a strong personality, I also prefer to stick to strong ones as these types of personalities do not lie, are honest and sincere, say what they have in their minds no matter the cost. I know with them I can conduct interesting and fruitful conversations that will bring into my life new and interesting points of view. When it comes to weak personalities, my observation is as follows – they manipulate and they are incredibly good at it; they avoid confrontations; they are not able in explaining their needs in a clear and concise way, and I always get the impression I need to guess what they really want or need.  For me such traits are impossible to accept and I try to avoid these people. They annoy me. I know it is their way of survival and a way they protect themselves from any harm. However I prefer to stick to strong personalities as they help me grow and develop emotionally. In my opinion, only these people make the world a better place! On the other hand, if everyone were strong how would the world look like? Probably it would be a boring one and we, as human beings, would not need to grow emotionally as all of the people surrounding us would be real and honest.

Nowadays, I think our human biggest goal in life, is to learn how to be real and not to be afraid of showing it. And guess what? I am doing it – trying to be real, honest, and sincere as well as not being afraid of showing it! From the moment, I decided to act 100% real I started attracting people who think the same! That is the best that happened to me so far! Strong personalities I am surrounded by help me develop, help me grow, help me learn how to be a better person 🙂 Weak people would only show me how to lie, manipulate and cheat in order to achieve my own goals. What they have taught me however is who I do not want to be – a weak person! Moreover, the most important lesson occurred to be the one when I realized that I have a choice! 🙂 And I chose to be strong –  that is to fulfill my needs in an honest way. That way, by the end of my day, when I go to sleep, I dream peacefully 🙂