Programmed to live in 6th gear

This has been a constant feeling for me since I decided to quit my job and change my life completely 3 months ago. I (or we, in general) are programmed to live our lives fast, intensively, non-stop, and the fuller, the better. But what does this mean?

I have been job-free for 3 months now. The first month was all about holidays and moving countries (I moved from Madrid, Spain, to Nuremberg, Germany). The second month was about settling in, and starting a new routine here in Nuremberg, as I was to start an intensive German course that would become my main routine here, alongside with enjoying my life with my partner and doing stuff that I always wanted to do but I never had the time to. The third month has been basically studying, studying and studying. Settling in in a new country whose language is not familiar to you may seem like a daunting task, but learning the language always helps.

So the experience so far has been great and fulfilling, but there has always been a subjacent voice inside me that would scream: “yeah, this is all good, but you’ve got to work!”. And through these three months, this voice has kept on repeating itself. What do I make out of it? Why does my brain keep on repeating that I have to work above anything else? My brain should be shooting out ideas about the million other things I could/should be doing, but instead, it repeats this mantra over and over again.

My first instinct finds this insanely weird. During the last few months, my brain has done nothing but the opposite, constantly laying out the idea that I would be much better off once I had some time to myself and to think about what I wanted to do with my life. And now, this? Of course this is weird.

I feel super happy about having quit my old job and having jumped into this new adventure. I feel super relaxed, all my stress has disappeared, my life feels a better place to live in, I have nothing else to do but learning a language (something I love, by the way) and doing the things I never had time to do before, I have no more travelling to do (at least for now, or unless I want to, but not for work!), and I’ve got the opportunity to meditate about what my life is like, and what I want it to be.

But this other voice is relentless. What does it mean, then? Here’s what I can make of it:

    • Part of it may be a residual feeling because I am self-financing this adventure, so I’m basically living off my savings. This is something that many people would raise their hands to their heads about, but I believe that savings are to be enjoyed, and not to be accumulated. Of course, it’s good to have a security blanket, but there’s no need to restrain oneself to do things that will make you happy if they make sense.
    • Another meaning of this is a subterfuge from our brains because we really do not know how to be on our own,  how to do things on our own, how to enjoy things on our own, and we don’t like having time to think about “stuff”. Life seems easier when there is no time to reflect upon things. Life is easier when time simply swifts by.
    • Another part of it is related closely to the way I believe many of us have been brought up: how much we’re worth is in direct proportion to how much we work, or how much we produce. This is something the modern world does to us: our parents and our families want us to do the best we possibly can; society “rewards” the fittest ones, and “punishes” somehow the weakest links; we take on more and more activities to fill up gaps and spaces either because we don’t feel worthy enough, because society pushes us to do so, or because we simply want more (more of what?).

The real reason may lie behind a mixture of all three points above. Maybe I feel guilty because I’m spending my savings when I was raised up to save money in order to have “something” (like what, possessions? What about experiences?). Maybe my brain is bored because I’ve always had so much to do and now I have very little to do and I love it, but I don’t know what to make of it. But more importantly: how do I perceive myself? Am I as worthy as to how much I “produce”? I think not.

Life is not to be lived in 6th gear continuously. Life is to be savoured, every drop of it.

So, if any of you are feeling anything similar, just sit back and relax. Be who you like, think outside the box, do the things you’ve always wanted to do, and definitely change gears!

Tomándose un respiro…

He decidido escribir este post en mi lengua materna, para mis queridos hispanohablantes, ya que quiero que realmente me salga desde el corazón.

Después de años trabajando, viajando y dejándome la piel en las cosas que hago, hace dos meses tomé una decisión que cambiaría mi vida: dejé el trabajo (sin otro trabajo en vistas), dejé mi hogar (hasta el momento, Madrid), dejé a mis amigos y a mi familia en España, y decidí seguir a mi corazón y mudarme a Nürnberg, Alemania, para estar con mi pareja.

Estos cambios suelen ser una bomba de relojería, porque -por lo que yo entiendo de la vida- cambios tan grandes requieren que al menos una parte de nuestras vidas continúe estable y constante. Así que mi parte estable y constante está en mi relación con mi pareja, y poder re-unificarnos de nuevo y por fin.

Mi país ha cambiado, mi ciudad ha cambiado, mi lengua está cambiando poco a poco, mi vida social es diferente, y mis interacciones con el mundo también lo son. Así que podéis imaginaros el torbellino de emociones que he sentido hasta el momento, durante este proceso de adaptación que aún durará bastante más tiempo…

Hay días en que me siento eufórico por poder tomar este tiempo para mí, por poder estudiar y no trabajar mientras lo hago, por poder dedicarme ese tiempo que tanto necesitaba desde hace tanto, y por poder ser libre para tomarme las cosas con calma y pensar en el futuro. Hay otros días, sin embargo, donde todo se me hace cuesta arriba: el país, la ciudad, la lengua (alemán, un idioma fácil, ¿eh?), las interacciones sociales, y todo en general. Esos días suelen convertirse en un atropello emocional que no me deja disfrutar de la realidad que estoy viviendo, y en esos días es cuando echo de menos a mi gente especialmente.

Hablando con mis amigos, les explico lo que siento en esos días “rarunos”. Mis sentimientos son comunes a los de cualquier otra persona que haya decidido tanto mudarse de ciudad, como emigrar de país. Es un poco la apatía que nos rodea cuando sentimos la falta de pertenencia mientras la estamos construyendo, la falta de habilidad cuando la estamos creando, o la falta de voluntad cuando todo lo que hacemos es tener voluntad de hacer las cosas. Son todas nuestras inseguridades, activadas en cadena, para intentar minar todo lo que estamos construyendo.

Así que lo que un amigo me ha dicho, y lo que yo mismo me aplico es lo siguiente: vive el momento, aprovecha la oportunidad de ser libre y de tener tiempo para ti mismo, sé feliz contigo y con tu pareja, y disfruta el momento de conocerse más mutuamente. De aquí a nada me tocará volver a trabajar y volver a la rutina anterior, así que he de tomar esta oportunidad y hacer lo máximo posible con ella.

Para todos aquellos que estéis en mi lugar, ánimo. Ánimos con las novedades y los cambios, ánimos con los nuevos planes y los viejos planes. Ánimo con vuestras vidas y vuestras personas. Y ánimos con vosotros mismos. Tomad las riendas de vuestras vidas y sed felices. ¡Yo lo estoy intentando, que para eso he venido!

Un abrazote a tod@s.

Jorge

 

Back in business…

After a really long time away from my website and my blog, I’ve decided to give it another go now that I’m on holidays and get back to it.

This thing (the website, the blog, my hosting) has been in my mind for quite a while now and I’ve decided that the holidays are the best period to get my hands dirty with this and tick it off my long list of to-do things.

So, I can’t promise anything marvelous or miraculous, but I will try to get back to writing, to entertaining and to giving an opinion every now and then.

Stay tuned! 🙂

This marvelous thing we call inspiration…

Today is a special day because I feel inspired.

Inspiration is such a great sensation, isn’t it? It makes us happy, it makes us want to do more, be more, live more… Inspiration talks the language of our hearts, and it communicates perfectly well with our brains. Maybe that’s the reason why we feel so gracious when we feel inspired, and feeling inspired is what I want to talk about today.

I can never say when I’m going to feel inspired. I never see it coming, I can never perceive it beforehand. I just feel the touch of it the very moment it happens, and it always leaves a mark once it’s passed. It is probably one of the best sensations I have blessed to feel in my life and, as it usually happens with such great powers, I always hunger for more.

Along the whole day today, I’ve interacted with different people, and I can really say that at least three of them have contributed to my inspiration today: a pregnant friend, who looks more a more gorgeous as the due day approaches, and who looks at me in wonder when I tell her the stories of my day; an old friend, who is a free-thinker, a visionary and who inspires me every single time we speak just about anything; and then, last but not least, a powerful soul who fills my life with music and lyrics, and a person who makes me resonate with every single of those songs.

These are all important people to me in one way or another, and even though they are all very different amongst one another, they all achieve the same result: they inspire me with their hearts, their minds, their warmth, their ideas, their passions and their sole presence in my life.

Once you’ve been touched by the hand of inspiration, there’s no way back: it burns inside you, you have to let it flow. And letting it flow is a magical thing. It pours through you, you feel its power intoxicating your body, your mind, your soul. It’s somewhat alcoholic. Just enough inspiration running through your veins and all of those past, long-gone desires crawl back inside. It’s a double-edged sword. It impulses us, or it stings us. Or simply both.

Sometimes I feel so inspired that I don’t know what do to with it. Sometimes I write, sometimes I play piano. Sometimes I talk to people and inspire them, turning my own inspiration into a contagious disease. Sometimes I look up at the sky, or I stare in wonder at people on the street. Inspiration makes me behave, and it makes me act out at the same time.

So my question(s) usually is(are): what is it about inspiration that makes me feel like this. What does it give me, what does it take away from me? Why am I always -nearly desperately- looking for it? How can I retain it? What do I do when I have it? How do I let it flow and how do I control the madness of having it?

These are all questions which puzzle me. Inspiration is definitely one of my drugs. I always want more, but when I have it, I am never sure about what to do with it. I love it, I have it, I want it, but I also detest it. It aches in me, but I makes me happy at the same time.

Stay close, my friend, but stay away.

 

Y la vida se nos pasa así…

Hoy estaba pensando que ya llevo aquí en Roma casi un mes y medio. Aún parece que fue ayer cuando salí pitando de Madrid, cargado con sólo dos maletas, pero con una cantidad de bagaje emocional que podía conmigo. Un bagaje emocional que llevaba meses arrastrando, como cuando uno coge un resfriado y no es capaz de soltarlo de ninguna manera.

Septiembre ha sido un mes duro. De hecho, ha sido un mes muy duro. Sentía que todo era nuevo, aunque no lo era. El trabajo, el día a día en Roma y las cosas que me rodeaban eran las mismas de siempre… las mismas de los últimos meses… las mismas del último año… y aún así, no lograba encontrarme con la cotidianidad que tanto esperaba. Roma me envolvió de manera extraña. Ella no me quería a mí, y yo no la quería a ella… Y por otra parte estaba Madrid, el Madrid de mis amores, esa ciudad donde me he sentido en casa siempre desde que llegué, pero que últimamente me rechazaba… como en parte yo a ella… y que aún así, no nos habíamos dicho adiós del todo.

Romper con las cosas es un proceso complicado. Siempre parece sencillo al principio. Uno rompe, y ya. Pero todos los procesos que se desencadenan después son difíciles de entender, y aún más complicados de encajar, y pasa mucho tiempo hasta que uno vuelve a encontrarse bien y entero.

El caso es que en Septiembre me he dado cuenta de lo siguiente: parte de mi familia se ha roto (de nuevo), mi vida personal se ha roto (de nuevo), he roto con mi ciudad, he dejado atrás (que no he roto) con mis amigos y mi familia (de nuevo), y además intento reparar una relación con un sitio que no me ha querido del todo hasta el momento. Heme ahí de nuevo… roto.

Lo bueno es que más roto no se puede estar (¿o sí?). Y que, después de todas las rupturas, uno se remienda, se “parchea”, se pinta y se arregla… y a echar p’alante. Octubre, en cambio, está siendo bueno conmigo.

¿Qué nos traerá el resto de meses?

Happy Celtic New Year!!

samhain_1

 

I know it’s only 1st November, and we all really celebrate New Year’s day on 1st January, but since a number of years back I have celebrated the entrance to a new year at the beginning of every November, as the celtic tradition indicates. The reason for this is that I was/have been a wiccan for years, even though I don’t practise at all today, and I’m not even sure I believe anymore.

Every Samhain’s night (Halloween night), I usually dedicate myself to honour those of mine who have passed away (and, in my case, they’re most of them). I also meditate about my life and where it seems to be going and, every now and then, I do a little ritual to get rid of things I don’t want in my life anymore and, at the same time, I ask for new things to be brought into my life in the new year.

Every year, surprisingly, I get brilliant results out of this. “This” meaning either my meditating about life, or the actual mini ritual put in place. I envision my life “packed with all these new features” and, eventually, along the year, I get to them. I’ve always been grateful for this. I ask “the universe” to bring stuff into my life, and it does! Whether it’s the universe or it is simply me, conditioning my own mind for a new set of goals, it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is that I ask, and I receive. That’s the beauty of it, really.

Well, this year has been different. I obviously always think of my ancestors, and I wish they’re all well, wherever they are (if anywhere). But this year I haven’t really done any rituals. As of yesterday, or even last week, I was pretty certain of those things in my life which I want to keep, get rid of, or bring into my life. It has cost me months, efforts and even a period of sickness, but come Samhain this year, I was more than ready to start the new year with clear thoughts in my head. And it’s wonderful!

This morning, I woke up feeling 1) grateful, 2) quite confident and, 3) generally happy. One feels great knowing what really is happening in one’s life and where life can get to. I know mine will change across the course of the coming year, but I can’t wait for all these changes to happen. I am starting to see where I want my life to be going towards. And it just feels fine!

So, having said all this, and if I may give out a little piece of advice: stop for a moment, cast a thought towards those ones who are not amongst us anymore, and ask for all those things you want to have in your lives. Just ask! You’ll all see that you will receive, too!

Happy Celtic New Year, everyone! May you have a merry one! 🙂

 

Jorge

The need to lie to ourselves

I had an idea… but I had an idea more than a year ago. This idea, which was conceived by my partner and I, consisted of a series of changes that -allegedly- would bring more happiness and satisfaction to our lives. We would move to Denmark… or we would move to another country… but we would leave Spain and go somewhere where we could be something, or at least something “more” than we were/are here in Spain.

At some point between the decision and the actual realization, both my partner and I got new job offers and had to consider what to do next. It’s funny because I remember my own mind trying to convince itself: let’s stay here, let’s try this new opportunity, let’s see what happens, this is so good for you and for your career… C’mon! Forget about Denmark and try this out! And yet again, I have gone with my brains and not my guts. And yet again, I have been so, so wrong.

The need to lie to ourselves is born when a conflict of interests appears. Something doesn’t quite work, and your body is literally screaming out loud (in its own way, of course). Your mind thinks it’s a face, or an idea likely to be discarded, and doesn’t accept the challenge that your body is presenting you with. Your body aches for change, whereas your mind finds excuses not to move. And here starts the eternal dance between what we really want or need, and what we eventually do. We constantly lie to ourselves to justify an inner fear that serves for nothing. We fear new, we fear change, we fear unknown. We fear everything beyond our understanding, and so, our minds respond gentlemanly. They shut fear behind the aspect of a lie, and then they tell us those lies and try to convince us of their existence.

As many people have said to me before, we shouldn’t always listen to what our minds have to say. They’re an instrument, and a very powerful one, but they don’t always serve us well. Sometimes our minds don’t let us move forward. Sometimes our minds create the actual barriers against with we crash once and again. And that’s what’s my mind is doing at this moment of life. My body is definitely saying one thing. It is desperately trying to get the right attention and warn me that the way I’m currently leading my life is not the way that’s going to make me happy. This will lead me nowhere. In the meantime, my mind is creating excuses not to set a course of action. It is only eluding me. It is making my decision-making process even more difficult than it should really be.

Lying to ourselves may save us pain or fear, but lying to ourselves will get us nowhere in life. If only we’re brave enough, we’ll hear what our bodies have to say and only then will we realize that -maybe- what we want is literally in front of our eyes and we only need to give a couple of steps forward to get there.

My advice? Go with your gut… Yep… go with your gut…

La vuelta a la normalidad… o no…

Después de una semana de baja, aquí estoy, escribiendo en mi blog después de meses sin hacerlo. ¡Lo que hace tener tiempo para hacer las cosas que nos gustan!

Hace algo más de una semana estaba en Roma, trabajando. Llevaba allí unos diez días seguidos, y empezaba a notarme al borde de mis fuerzas (y mi paciencia). Fue entonces cuando mi cuerpo decidió tomarse unas vacaciones y advertirme -ya no por las buenas- que cerraba por vacaciones.

Volé de vuelta a España como pude, en pleno apogeo de un virus que me ha tenido en casa, de baja, durante una semana. Y es ahí donde empieza lo divertido.

Primera baja por enfermedad de mi vida… ¿qué hago encerrado en casa durante una semana? Pues lo que mejor se me da: darle vueltas al coco. Comienzo a pensar en mi vida, en el lugar donde estoy después de aquella época de finales del año pasado, donde me cuestionaba todo. ¿La diferencia? Ninguna. Un año más tarde y no sólo me doy cuenta de que sigo en el mismo sitio, sino que en muchísimos aspectos estoy peor, y sólo en uno o dos estoy algo mejor.

Vamos a hacer recuento:

PROs:

1) Mejor sueldo

2) Trabajo internacional y viajes

CONs:

1) Cero tiempo para mí, para mi familia o amigos

2) Nunca estoy en casa

3) Cuando estoy en casa, siempre estoy cansado

4) No he aprendido nada y no parece que esto vaya a llevarme a ningún sitio interesante

5) No se me han quitado las ganas de volar y buscarme las castañas en otro sitio, como habíamos decidido Rafa y yo hace tiempo.

¿El balance? Pues claro está. No estoy donde quiero estar o como quiero estar, y ante esta claridad de percepción, no puedo hacer otra cosa que ser sincero conmigo mismo y considerar cómo proceder. El problema es la serie de incógnitas que me rodean en este instante de mi vida, y cómo ir disipándolas poco a poco.

Tendré que culpar a Saturno y su retorno… porque si no, no me lo explico…

El derecho a amar

Últimamente no hago más que leer o enterarme de noticias o comentarios de odio.

Que si los gays somos esto, que si los gays somos lo otro, que si tendríamos que arder todos en el infierno, que si las mujeres no tienen voz ni voto para decidir qué quieren hacer con sus propios úteros, y así, una montaña de estupideces con un nivel de sensibilidad que roza lo innombrable.

Un cura leonés comenta, sobre un representante del partido socialista que ha afirmado tener cáncer -cáncer, señoras y señores, ni más ni menos- que esto es un castigo divino por ser quien es, de forma natural, e ir contra las directrices de la iglesia. ¡Que la pena capital debería estar impuesta! Sí… yo también me echo las manos a la cabeza…

La cuestión aquí es que todo el mundo tiene derecho a opinar, cosa que yo respeto. Pero hay opiniones que jamás tendrían que salir a la luz. Hay opiniones que pertenecen al siglo pasado, que no hacen ningún bien siendo aireadas en este momento de la historia. Esos individuos que alardean de ellas deberían considerar varias veces las cosas que sueltan por sus poquitos antes de soltarlas.

Resulta que no sólo tenemos que aguantar los abucheos, los malos tratos, el bullying, la discriminación negativa y una serie de casos más, sino que ahora también tenemos que aguantar que gente con una deficiencia de sensibilidad e inteligencia nos diga lo que tengamos que hacer, o que lo que nos ocurre a todos los niveles es porque no respetamos las leyes de la Iglesia o de instituciones afines, ¿no?

Si enfermo, ¿es porque soy maricón?. Si tengo una depresión, ¿es porque soy maricón también? Si algún día me pegan una paliza, ¿será porque soy maricón? Si contraigo HIV, definitivamente es porque soy maricón. Y si muero de forma desgraciada, como empieza a pasar ahora en Rusia, eso sí que es porque soy maricón.

Gente así, con una falta considerable de inteligencia y raciocinio, junto con actos como los de Rusia y su gobierno, nos degradan, nos quitan importancia, nos relativizan a la nada. Decisiones como las de nuestro estúpido gobierno, sobre las leyes del aborto de la mujer y qué pueden decidir ellas o no, son decisiones tomadas con una falta considerable de entendimiento y aprecio por las personas que formamos este país.

Hemos perdido tantos derechos ya… hemos vuelto a una época cercana al franquismo (a lo que seguramente volveremos dentro de no mucho, por lo visto). Como sigamos con esta ola de odio, no va a quedar títere con cabeza para alzarnos de nuevo, y menos aún como un pueblo unido. Aunque esta última parte dista mucho de convertirse en realidad. Nunca hemos sido un pueblo unido, y por lo visto nunca lo seremos.

Dejad de decirnos a quién tenemos que amar. Dejad de decirnos lo que tenemos que hacer para ser personas. Dejadnos tomar nuestras propias decisiones. Nosotros no hacemos daño a nadie, nosotros no sentimos un odio natural hacia todo lo que no entendemos. Dejadnos en paz. Mirad vuestras propias vidas e intentad juzgarlas vosotros mismo, a ver si veis algo que os guste. Nosotros, definitivamente, no.

Tengo derecho a amar a quien quiera, y así voy a seguir haciéndolo. Soy dueño de mi cuerpo y de mi vida, y si vienes a intentar quitarme eso, no atiendo a razones.

Yo soy yo, y tú no tienes voz ni voto.

Destiny’s role

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about decisions to be made… Decisions that seemed to be mine and only mine… But I’m starting to see everything with a different clarity.

Destiny can be tricky. When I was most concerned about deciding something that could change the course of my life, then destiny comes along and slaps me around the face (not with a fish this time, LOL!).

It feels nice when every piece of the puzzle falls perfectly into its own place by itself. Very regularly do we fight against the course of our own lives, when it seems pretty much “talked about and decided”. Sometimes we even think that we have some kind of say. And when we have a say and we “say it”, life manages to bend and –sometimes- break us.

So, this time I’m deciding not to take a stand. This time, I’ve seen clearly what destiny has in store for me. And when put in front of me, I’ve not even judged or questioned what or how I should do. I’ve simply jumped in and let myself be dragged with the whole flow of things.

Do you know how it feels? It feels peaceful. It feels like no matter what I do, I’m being where I am supposed to be. And that feeling… oh, boy, that feeling is utterly satisfying!

So I’m up for the challenge now. Life’s about to change and I’m about to change with it. My world spins once again and my only hope is that I don’t get dizzy with it!