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 🙂

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! 🙂

Home Alone for Christmas?

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This time of the year is coming when it feels strange if you spend Christmas alone. For the first time I felt the same. I thought how come I am spending such a wonderful time a year alone when I am not even old, my parents and my brother still are alive and I feel I do not want to spend Christmas with them?! Everybody around tells you it is such a special time you should (I hate this word!) spend it with your relatives. What if you do not really like your relatives? Shall you force yourself to be with them? Shall you visit them, pretend you want to be with them when in fact you are praying for the evening to be over? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we force ourselves to spend time with people we do not feel good with? Because the society says so? Because before Christmas and on TV as well as billboards we see these perfect commercials with perfect people sitting around the table who seem to be sharing and enjoying every moment of this special time? Do we live in such an illusion we can also have it with our own families when most of them are very imperfect? Do we think someting might change and improve our relationships with relatives during Christmas? Does this time really bring miracles?

I need to admit, the first time I decided not to visit my parents for Christmas, hurt. I spent Christmas Eve alone! Yep, alone! My father did not really show the respect for this time as he decided to work till midnight that day, to earn more money. He is a tram driver, so shifts he does are different ones and I do understand he needs to work in barbarian hours sometimes, but hey – it was Christmas! He did not need to take such a long shift, he could have finished at 6 pm, he had a choice! Yet he decided to neglect, in my opinion, Christmas Eve, and negate his own words when he was each year saying that Christmas is a family time and everyone should be with their families then. And he did exactly the opposite! It also made me wonder why grown ups say different things and later on act differently? If he said he did not give a damn about Christmas, I would understand his behaviour. Everyone has right to their own perspectives. So adults can act in a funny way some of the time. He went to work, and me, I decided I am spending this time at home, alone. As my relationship with my mother sucks and my brother is kind of good but totally irresponsible person, I admitted to myself I prefer to be home alone than in a bad company, even though this bad company occurred to be my own family :/ Felt strange at the beginning. The plan was simple – I had some dinner, a glass of wine, watched some TV. Nothing special, yet the company was special, because it was my own. 🙂 And the next day, when I woke up, I realized the drama did not happen. I was still alive and smiling. It only proved me the worst is always the first time. Whatever you do, the first time will always be most scary. I cannot say I was very happy about the fact my family sucks and is incredibly imperfect, but I realized if I do not want to take part in it, I do not have to. I am not going to force myself into spending time with people who have negative influence on me just because it is Christmas and they take part of my family. I prefered to visit my aunt the day after Christmas Eve instead. She lives a few kilometers outside of Warsaw and with her I can talk about everything – my life, my emotions, my travels and future plans. Even though she is 70 we get along perfectly and she supports me in every aspect of my life! This part of my family I love the most! 🙂 And I want to be surrounded only by people who wish me well and support me in achieving my goals. It makes me sad these are not my parents, yet I know I cannot change it. We do not choose families we are born into. However as an adult I can choose people I want to spend time with.

So this 2018 Christmas I am going to the mountains with a friend. The plan is to relax, do some hiking, maybe skiing, spend Christmas Eve just the two of us and share only positive emotions! Finally I am allowing myself to choose how and with who I want to spend this special time, instead of pretending I have a wonderful family that cares about each other when in fact it happens to be a very dysfunctional one. No point sacrificing my precious time with people who do not know how to love. This Christmas I am going to love my friend, and the mountains, and the snow, and the cold weather! 🙂

And I wish everybody to spend this special Christmas time with people you feel good with, who bring only positive emotions into your lives and make you happy! Life it too short to be surrounded by any aspect of the negativity 🙂

Sex and Warsaw City

I have lately realized that I like ruining stereotypes. The one I have just ruined concerns relationships. Usually it is considered quite normal for an older guy to be dating a very young girl. I’m not going to speak of the exact age while they are dating, because it doesn’t matter, what matters the most is the age difference between two people. When it comes to a woman, dating much younger guy is not considered to be accepted and normal within the society we happen to be surrounded by. So I got involved, a few months ago, into a relationship with a guy 14 years younger than me 🙂 I am 35, he is 21. We are both quite young though. At the beginning I also got a bit attached to the stereotype and considered him too young for a relationship. I falsely assumed I am too old for him and we probably wouldn’t get along. However seeing him as a friend was not a big problem for me. Why? Why would I be able to make him one of my friends, but when it comes to love affair I was stopping myself from any emotional involvements? But then I changed my way of thinking as I followed my heart. I need to admit this relationship was one of the best ones I have ever created! From the moment we met, we had lots of things in common, lots of subjects to discuss, lots of similar interests, and there was this amazing chemistry between us that you don’t get with everybody. The only thing stopping me from having sex with this guy was his age! We felt so at ease with each other that we could spend all night talking about life, exchanging our points of view and sharing life experience. So after a few days I realized there is no way I’m going to control myself more as I felt an incredible emotional connection between us. The question arose – why would I discipline myself and hide the feelings I had toward this guy just because of the age difference? There is 14 years difference between, so what?! 🙂 When I compare him to some of the guys I happened to date and were a bit older than me – around 40, I found them so immature, insecure, not understanding my emotions and acting like kids, that I did not want to get into any relationships with them. Yet they were older what seems fine for the judgmental society. However their ego and insecurity made me realize I do not want to stick to such men. And then comes into my life this 21-year-old, brings peace and quiet, is emotionally well-balanced and doesn’t fight any battles inside himself. I feel and see how easy-going, relaxed and cheerful this person is and then I start wondering how come such a young guy can be so matured compared to much older ones that I totally do not want to date?!In one of an interview with a psychologist I read that women tend to get along best with men who lived in symbiosis with their mothers. My latest experience only proves this theory right! Do not interpret it that these mothers were overprotective, it only means they were able to create and be in a healthy emotional relationship with their sons. So thank you these types of mothers – you are really doing a great job!
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After a few days I spent with him I realized I’m not going to stick into this stereotype and stop myself from having sex with him only because I’m much older. I felt shouldn’t be doing that only because from a 35-year-old woman you would expect decency. What a crap! 🙂 I listened to myself, followed my emotions and do not regret every single minute of it, because I spent the most incredible time with him full of love, calmness, interesting conversations, amazing sex, chemistry, passion, and tenderness. 🙂 It only leaves me with wanting more of him and his incredible well-balanced personality. Even though he had to leave, as he was only visiting Warsaw for a few weeks, I will never forget him and will try the see him again as soon as possible.

What is very important to me in this story is that I ruined another stereotype in my life. That is that a woman can get involved in a relationship with a much younger guy and it can work out! It is only a matter of personality when it comes to people we meet and invite into our lives, not a matter of age. It doesn’t mean the older you are the smarter you get. That is bullshit! We, as people, tend to judge everything – relationships, the way others act and think, their opinions, their way of life and many other things. I know the only person that can live and feel my life is myself. I have always liked doing things in a totally different way the society tells to do. In this case, if I listened to another stereotype I would have never allowed myself to get involved with 21-year-old and I would have never experienced such a wonderful relationship. The best was for me to listen to myself, my needs, my emotions and follow my heart. 🙂 I wish he didn’t leave, I wish he stayed longer, yet I know he has his plans for life and we managed to meet only for a certain amount of time. I’m grateful I allowed myself to make the best use of this time and gained in return not only another life experience, but a lot of love, respect and tenderness! I know now that men I want to build relationships with, must be the ones that don’t have any problems with their egos and are well-balanced. I love learning through my own actions and need to say I don’t care what the society says. I am aware I might be judged, but these who do not allow themselves to live a real life will never experience what I had with this 14 years old younger guy! 🙂 So thank you my life for this incredible experience!

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Polish Girl Independence

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This month there was 100th Independence anniversary of Poland and such a celebration  made me wonder what it means to me? Poland disappeared from the world map for 123 years. Only after the First World War it gained its independence back. How about its people? How about me? What does it mean to be independent?

For me independence, and in the same freedom, is the ability to make my own decisions, deal with its consequences, and most importantly – not to be judged as well as lead the life I want to live. When I have a good look at Polish history, my analysis brings me to a conclusion that during the communist times I would never be able to buy my own flat and live on my own! I would need to get married to leave my parens home. It wouldn’t mean to live only with the husband and starting a new family with him, probably I would need to move from my parents’ to my husband‘s family as during these times it was not at all easy to get your own apartment. You had to sign up a wating list and wait a few long years to be assigned one. Of course it was not even certain you would! I remember in the flat of 54 m², where I spent my childhood, were living three generations: my grandparents, my parents, me and my brother. Three rooms – three separate ones – each for one of the generations. Nowadays, when I compare the conditions I spent my childhood in with the ones I live now, it shows me how my perception of having my own space changed. I live in a flat of 48 m² and cannot imagine having a kid there. However I remember spending my childhood and sharing a room with my brother of 9 m². We managed, there was no other way. I remember I envied my friends who, when living with their parents and their siblings, still had their own room. For me that meant they had their own space and were allowed some privacy. I can’t say I had such an opportunity. That is probably why now I need a lot of my own space and privacy. In my opinion everybody needs it. We need to have our own corner where we are able to calm ourselves down and know that is the only place no one else has access to without our permission.

From one hand independence and freedom for me is to have my own physical space in life. On the other hand it is also making my own decisions without being judged. I tend to claim that the only person, at the end of each day, that is allowed do judge me in any way – is myself.

I also think that I happen to live in the most incredible times! Yes!!! Amazing ones 🙂 I can travel as much as I can, and where I want, as long my budget allows me to do so. I think money is just money, these can always be earned. The most important is that I can choose whatever destination, then take a flight and just go! 🙂 Isn’t that lovely? Within a few hours I can be on the other side of the globe! I wouldn’t be able to do so, in such an easy way, during the communist times. Luckily I was only seven when capitalism arrived to Poland and I don’t really remember a lot from communism. I think with my free spirit and eager to travel, meeting international people, visiting as many places as possible, I would feel a prisoner in Poland about 40 years ago. I am incredibly happy living in a free country now that allows me to buy my own flat, to make my own decisions, keep the passport at home and use it whenever I want it, to host foreigners, to observe how the city I was born in and live is changing and how colourful blocks of flats are becoming as well as notice how many tourists are coming to visit Poland. I am amazed how much Warsaw, the capital, grately changed during only 28 years of capitalism. Looks like freedom also means development.

Independence is something you cannot buy in my opinion. It is something you need to fight for, like I was fighting to buy my own flat that brought a lot of autonomy into my life. Nobody controls who I am inviting into it and in the same into my life. If I was still living with my parents, they would see who I am meeting and most probable they would make their own observations and comments about my friends I would not really want to listen to. I do not like being controlled by anyone or judged, even if these people are parents who do not wish me bad. As a grown-up I know, and I am aware, that the only person responsible for my life is myself. I stick to my beliefs, try to make reasonable decisions, and if some occur to be wrong I deal with the consequences, so I only try to make these that don’t hurt. 😉 Apart from living on my own, making my own decisions and sharing my positive emotions with others, taking responsibility for myself is the biggest independence and freedom I have ever achieved in my life. Even though capitalism may not be one the best systems, it gave me the possibility to have at least a bit of autonomy in this crazy, egoistic and commercialized world. 🙂

73-year-old Couchsurfer

Can you imagine how surprised I was when a few weeks ago I received a request to host a 73-year-old woman?! I consider the couchsurfing website as the one mostly used by quite young people, aged 20 to 40. This time however, and for the first time in my whole couchsurfing adventure, I received a request from an old woman! Unfortunately I need use such an adjective as “old” because there is no better equivalent. I accepted her even though I had some doubts if we get along. And again another person brought new perceptions and a lot of new ideas into my life! 🙂 What makes her amazing is that she learnt English only when she was 40, as her biggest dream was to visit the United States. She managed to do so, and even worked for a whole year there. She started travelling once her two sons grew up and moved out to make their own families. In my opinion it was her second chance to make the most of her life. In her case the statement in which some claim that life begins after 40 makes sense and proves it right 🙂 While observing her I noticed only the generation gap between us, especially when it comes to technology. However she made me so surprised and amazed with her eagerness to travel, willingness to get to know the world, being incredibly open-minded, having such a free spirit as well as using couchsurfing both ways –  to be hosted in strangers’ houses and hosting others.

Usually 70 something people are considered more as grandparents who usually stay home, watch TV, do some crosswords, take care of grandchildren and tend to have many illnesses. She was completely not that type! She is a great example that at any age you can fulfill your dreams, only if you really want them to happen. In my opinion it takes a lot of courage to travel alone when you are a pensioner. On the other hand she made me wonder who I will be by the age of 70? First of all will I still be alive, second of all will I still be travelling alone? Will I be in good physical condition to travel? Will I be willing to be hosted by strangers? Will I still be hosting? She made me wonder a bit about my future and where my life experience may lead me.

I think the most important is that she brought a lot of positive energy into my life and shows an amazing example that it is only a matter of strong personality and willingness to achieve your goal –  the age cannot even stop you! I realized I only want to be surrounded by such amazing people who show me there are no boundaries in anyone’s life and the only one who can stop us from fulfilling our dreams is ourselves, our fear of failure and million excuses! 🙂

When Enough is Really Enough?

I was wondering lately what does it mean to have enough. When enough is really enough? And what does it mean to have enough in life?
I started analyzing it was after hearing in a radio a commercial created for one of a discount shop in Poland. The guys there were singing about buying more and again buying more. It made me then wonder when it will be enough? Not only for them, but mostly for myself. What enough means for each of us? What is enough for me? Do I still want more? Do I really need more? Or do I have enough?
In my case enough was buying my own flat, even though I am still paying the mortgage for it. I can’t say I need a bigger one or I would like to buy a house – that would mean not having enough and still wanting more. Do I want more? No I don’t. So I think I have fulfilled my need of having enough. 🙂 By realizing this fact I am now able to enjoy my “enough” fulfilled dream 🙂
However what is enough for others? Have they reached their enough level? Will they ever have enough? Will they always want more or will they get into the point when they will finally have enough? Will they even enjoy their enough? Or are we, as human beings, will always be wanting more and will never have enough? Is this happening because of the society always requiring from us to have and want more? Do we feel better by buying more and more things we usually don’t need that much, but the commercials we see around and on every corners are so convincing, that we believe we don’t have enough and shall want more?
For me enough is to have a nice and warm flat; to fulfill my basic needs as having something to eat and a central heating for the winter; to afford incredible and adventurous travels; read an interesting and educating books; go to the cinema or theatre once in a while; meet and talk to interesting people over a glass of wine or a beer from time to time and exchange our points of view about life; host some foreigners and learn from them their way of life; and the most important – to feel free. Kind of basic needs I would say 🙂
Summing up I need to admit I have reached my enough level. It makes me feel happy in my life 🙂 How about you? Have you reached your enough level? Or are you still searching to get an answer of what enough means in your life?