Légomai Eleuthérios

It was the day before Poppy Day when the son, brother, and friend known as Aldrin, author of this lazy arse blog, fucked up big time. Sinking into a pool of shame, guilt, and sadness, he descended into the abyss of his own making, and perished.

Just kidding. He isn’t dead–not literally, at least–but he is trying to resurrect himself from a figurative death as we speak.

Half a month after shutting people out from his then-dismal existence–on Lebanon’s independence day, no less–Aldrin decided to reconnect, taking the name of Eleutherios (ancient or modern pronunciation, doesn’t matter).

I am now Eleutherios.

Born again, through the fires of freedom and truth, though not in any evangelical or new-agey way. Halleloo.

Now, you can still call me by my old name, no problem, but it wouldn’t hurt if you called me Eleutherios, too.

The reason I decided to change my name is because it’s symbolic of what I’m going through right now. Nothing overly dramatic, but still signifies a death and rebirth of some sort. It’s a powerful act, taking back control.

I’m turning 30 next year and I feel like I need a radical change in my life. One that has just been waiting to happen, apparently.

It won’t be easy and it will be painful, but I’m willing to go through it if that’s what it takes. Truly, this year has been transformative. Painfully transformative. This is what you get when you delay the necessary.

I’m not a major mess. Heck, I’m relatively lucky in terms of the support that I’ve got and the lot I’ve been given. That being said, I still fucked some things up, hurt important people in my life, and I’m just taking ownership.

I’ve broken some hearts, but I broke mine, too. So help me me, I will fix this shit and un-horcrux my soul.

remembrance-day-poppy

Image via sunsetinn.com

Turning three decades

Thanks, Google!

Thanks, Google!

It’s my last year in my 20’s, and for some strange reason, I feel really excited. I’m literally at the edge of a new era.

The past year up to now has been truly transformative for me, and I mean that in a good way. I feel so different from who I was a year ago and it feels strangely liberating.

I’d like to personally(?) thank those around me — and even you, my two or three readers — for staying with me as I moulted and transformed. If you remember, 2013 was a little rough on me, but 2014 made up for it real good. I’m only hoping 2015 finishes it right before I finally turn 30.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to get back on some resolutions I made last year.

#1: Plan. Plans don’t always work, but planning gets your head straight for the important stuff. Also, don’t just have one; have several of them. Life is rarely linear, and following a single path can sometimes lead to a dead-end.

Plans have been a little slow, but they’re still there, and, at least, they’re moving. I’ve still got my eyes on Canada, despite some distractions and the financial challenges involved. Alternatives are also in place.

#2: Never lose sight of your goals. If and when you do, pause to realign. Even if it takes you half a year’s time; you need to realign.

There are days when I doubt what I’m doing or where I’m going, but generally, my goals have become more solid.

My linguistic goals have certainly moved forward and my other scholastic oaths to Athênê have been kept. I’ve been keeping a diary of things I’ve learnt, brushed up on my Korean and Spanish, and even started learning Irish. I did pretty well on my DELF and IELTS, too.

#3: Question and examine your goals as you go along. They change as you change, too.

Yessir, I have. I’m pretty sure I still want to emigrate, but it’s very important to know (and remember) why I’m doing it and what for.

#4: Each day, be more “you” and who you want to be. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you’ll ever have. Don’t let yourself down for anyone else.

Oh, man. I cannot stress how important this is to me now and how I’ve learnt how to love myself more these past few months.

I am reminded of Eartha Kitt’s words on love and compromise:

I fall in love with myself, and I want someone to share it with me. I want someone to share me, with me.

Damned straight, Eartha.

#5: Let your hair down more often. Let it go. Even if you have to tell this to yourself in 25 languages.

When I said that I’d let it go, some people thought I’d become more of free-spirited Anna (or perhaps be more like who they think I should be). What I actually meant was, speak my mind more often and more openly.

And I have. I’ve never been prouder of the things I’ve said to people’s faces. I still think cunning diplomacy is the way to go for me, but I realise that there will be days when I’ll have to tell people to just fuck off.

#6: Smile more. You might feel just as happy whether you smile or not (because you’re Ti like that), but smiling changes the people around you, too. I’m sure you’d be happier to know that they’re happy.

Following up on acting more ‘me’, I have decided to smile when I feel like it. A good friend of mine told me that, “the closer you get to Dionysos, the harder a time you’ll have trying to hide your authentic self”. See #5.

#7: Do not be discouraged by failure. I know you’re an incredibly brutal perfectionist, but you need to learn to let these feelings go. Advance through trial and error. Mistakes are best avoided by precaution, but if it’s the fear of making them that’s preventing you from exploring and expanding your comfort zone, to hell with that! Just do it.

Well, I’m still an incredibly brutal perfectionist, but I think I’m a lot more forgiving now? At least, I’d like to think so. I don’t need to convince myself that “everything happens for a reason” to forgive myself and move forward. Shit happens all the time, so just keep on walking.

#8: Talk to people. Please. You need to get out there and meet new people. You can keep your small circle of trusted souls, but expand your network. Expand your horizon.

I’m quite proud to say that I’ve done a pretty good job in this aspect. In addition to building a more solid network of friends, allies, and kindred spirits, I’ve also talked to several strangers randomly. Twice in French, and in a particular instance, with no less than the French ambassador!

Keep ’em coming, Hermês.

#9: Love yourself a little more. Self-pity isn’t going to get you anywhere good or far. A lot of people probably love you more than you know. Do them and yourself a favour by loving yourself more.

I’ve still got some old issues hanging about, but I’d like to think that I’m loving myself a lot more. See #4. It’s truly important to know your self-worth.

I’m really, really excited for this year.

Unexpected turns

[For my 299th post, I’m going to pretend that it hasn’t been 4 months since I last updated. I never claimed to be a persistent writer, anyway.]

So, last time I talked about how thankful I was for the job I had been offered after a long, bitter winter of unemployment.

Well … that didn’t really work out; didn’t even last 2 months. I actually have no clue why. It seemed perfect: I was doing what I did best (teaching language), I had intelligent people for both learners and colleagues, and it was less than an hour away from my place. But, I was still sad; I still felt lonely, and I still don’t bloody know why.

I don’t regret anything, of course. All of what I said here still rings true: it wasn’t a very long stay, but I was able to reflect on my life a little bit more. Maybe I left my winter wonderland too soon? Who knows.

What’s important is where I am now, which is a relatively happier place. I took an unexpected turn, and I’m back at my old job from last year. Who would’ve thought they’d invite me back? Indeed, the mantra/hashtag still holds: #StillQuiteLucky.

Google hosted image from gods-know-where

Google hosted image from gods-know-where

In 2015, I hope to finally cross over to the ‘new era’, but for now, I wait; for now, I prepare.

On self-worth

Today, I was reminded by my seerapist of one of the most important things I’ve learnt in my 7 years working: self-worth.

iloveme

This whole time that’s what you’ve learned: self-worth; the ability to detect what a good deal is from a bad deal. If you’re earning 20 grand for the effort you’re putting in now, why not earn 20 grand with less effort in a different job?

There’s no point in working hard or sucking it up if it doesn’t lead anywhere. You have nothing to prove to anyone. You can endure a job for a full year, but if you get out of it empty-handed, other than the satisfaction that you were able to endure a year in a shitty job–that makes you strong, sure, but it also makes you kind of stupid. Life’s too short for that. Remember, the only real money you have while you are alive is time. It’s like beating with a fork vs beating with an eggbeater. You’ll get the same result but one is more efficient than the other. The quicker you’re able to reach your desires in your lifetime the richer you are. Wealth is speed; speed is wealth. These are things you’ve internalized over the past few years, and now you have the internal compass to help guide you, something that should’ve tingled your intuition a long time ago.

Remember, remember, the Kalends of January

Obviously, this was intended to be posted on the Kalends of January. Then, we had another New Year, but I forgot about that, too. We supposedly had another one in March, but I let that slip again

Luckily, the Mestizo calendar gods have given me a fourth chance to do this today, the 2nd of April, not too far from another ancient New Year.

 


Dear me:

I know you don’t normally do resolutions–and this is certainly not one of those mushy, unrealistic resolutions to start a year–but words of advice from someone who’s always been there for you can never be a bad thing. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Plan. Plans don’t always work, but planning gets your head straight for the important stuff. Also, don’t just have one; have several of them. Life is rarely linear, and following a single path can sometimes lead to a dead-end.
  • Never lose sight of your goals. If and when you do, pause to realign. Even if it takes you half a year’s time; you need to realign.
  • Question and examine your goals as go along. They change as you change, too.
  • Each day, be more “you” and who you want to be. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you’ll ever have. Don’t let yourself down for anyone else.
  • Let your hair down more often. Let it go. Even if you have to tell this to yourself in 25 languages.
  • Smile more. You might feel just as happy whether you smile or not (because you’re Ti like that), but smiling changes the people around you, too. I’m sure you’d be happier to know that they’re happy.
  • Do not be discouraged by failure. I know you’re an incredibly brutal perfectionist, but you need to learn to let these feelings go. Advance through trial and error. Mistakes are best avoided by precaution, but if it’s the fear of making them that’s preventing you from exploring and expanding your comfort zone, to hell with that! Just do it.
  • Talk to people. Please. You need to get out there and meet new people. You can keep your small circle of trusted souls, but expand your network. Expand your horizon.
  • Love yourself a little more. Self-pity isn’t going to get you anywhere good or far. A lot of people probably love you more than you know. Do them and yourself a favour by loving yourself more.

I’m sure there’s more, but these should do it for now.

Warm regards,

Me/You

427110_513890661970095_1699119063_n

A year of thanks: 2013

I’ve been too busy the past few days (for only the best of reasons worthy of thanks, I assure you), so I apologise for not being able to follow up on this series. I’m thankful for so many things, I don’t even know where to begin! And whilst I’m always thankful, year after year, I’d say that 2013 was rather an eye-opening year for me. Like I’ve been saying all this time, I’ve only been really thankful for all the little pleasant surprises that spring up from the most unbecoming of circumstances. Still quite lucky.

tumblr_mvesrxNDq01rl6dpbo1_500

For sunlight, daisies, and realised dreams, I am thankful.

Valencina de la Concepción, Sevilla

For every chance at a new journey, I am thankful.

friedrich-strauss-cheese-wine-grapes-clematis-flowers-and-lavender

For cheese and wine, the little pleasures, I am thankful.

559694_451216714947887_103337397_n

For communion and outdoor dining, I am thankful.

538122_335743473161879_2036427022_n

For gentleness in wild places, I am thankful.

380360_469046119807831_170001145_n

For wisdom and strength in old things, I am thankful.

64072_572303282786985_628896651_n

For life unstoppable, I am thankful.

autumn stairs

For roads that lead us up and forward, I am thankful.

Fanad Head Lighthouse, County Donegal, Ireland © Andy McInroy (andymcinroy.com)

For the guiding light on the horizon, I am thankful.

melissani_cave_2_c

For light that cheers the darkest of hearts, I am thankful.

971953_447953931968229_1318464550_n

For roads that lead us home, I am thankful.

chapel-hill-pink-flowering-tree-big

For change and pleasant surprises, I am thankful.

tumblr_mj03cypKvr1r09lako1_500

For true friends, I am thankful.

Harbor

For the warmth of a cozy home’s embrace, I am thankful.

2013-06-27 11.49.10

For learning, I am thankful.

1012116_10151548659754440_1618907686_n

For the coolest people you’ll ever meet, I am thankful.

earth-day-thumb

For the pale blue dot, for home, I am thankful.

A Traveller's Prayer

For the quiet in strange places, I am thankful.

tumblr_m5b8qkr5mF1qe59s4o1_500

For cute, athletic, intelligent boys, I am thankful.

Three poems in Esperanto I wish I had made but did not

For the arts and its gods, I am thankful.

To the Ancestors

For my ancestors and their gifts, I am thankful.

Salvete, Lares Familiares!

To old kindly spirits, I am thankful.

New Blog: Man Talks

For love and family, I am thankful.

Some good changes.

For a beginning to every ending, I am thankful.

For these and so much more, I am thankful. May we always have things to be thankful for.

One year ends, another begins, still quite lucky!

Last Christmas, as you might have seen here, I had lots of money to spend on the holidays. This year, I only had a little over a thousand pesos in my pocket (roughly $20), and it wasn’t even in my pocket; it was in my piggy bank! I wish there were more, but it was all that little golden pig could carry: 200 pieces of 5 peso coins.

Hail, Singh the Golden, the Magnificent, the Stupendous!

Here’s Singh, inspecting how much gold the little pig was able to keep for 2013.

Fortunately, I’ve got a very supporting family and the most generous of friends, so I never needed to spend any of that on any of the days I was jobless. I’m still unemployed, by the way–on my fifth month now–but I’ve got a good feeling (and I’m good at feelings) that all that’s going to change very soon. Immensely. The period of purification is ending, the mist is parting, and the path ahead seems clearer. Still quite lucky, even to the very end of 2013.

As soon as I received word from the Dionysian oracle of Eugene that great things were coming, I promised the Gods I would spend what little I had on a feast, all from my own pocket. It would thus be a feast in thanksgiving and honour of every god and un-god who’s ever helped me in 2013, especially through the darker times.

Here’s the small feast as presented before the All-Gods on Christmas Day, right before being shared with the family:

hhk

Dates, fruit, olive oil, wine, and a nice triple chocolate cake. All for less than $20. Not bad, eh?

There’s still some wine left, which is perfect, so I don’t have to spend so much tomorrow on New Year’s Eve. A little of the old to begin the New Year? Sounds right to me.

Hail Hermês! Hail Dionysos! For friends and family and feasting, I will for ever thank you. With you, my cup has never been and will never go empty. Much of my love from my heart to yours, dearest ones.