My 1,000,000

I remember the burning sensation in my eyes, the feeling of being so unsure and so terrified about what’s next. I wanted to cry but I was trying to stay strong like he taught me, like he always was. I swallowed my tears and tried to forget about the knot in my stomach, growing bigger with every hour that was going by. It was our last night together and the more I was thinking about it, the more of a reality it was becoming; but that wasn’t solely the fact that was killing me inside. What was killing me was that I didn’t know what was next.

I barely slept that night. I was sobbing quietly because I didn’t want to wake him up, and I didn’t want him to know how much leaving would affect me. When it was time to get up I took a look around my room, the room that was my home for four months, the room where me and him created some of the most amazing memories of my life, the room where me and him had some huge fights that ended up bringing us closer to each other. My things were still scattered around; a reflection of my denial to deal with reality. I only had a few hours to accept it and to say goodbye to what I thought would be my life for much longer.

“So much for our big plans”, he said, and I could barely hold it together.

I wanted to grab onto him and not let go, unless someone had to rip us apart. I got up and started packing while he was sitting on my bed looking motionless. I couldn’t tell how he was feeling. When I was done I laid next to him and I put my hands around him. My lips were touching his neck and as I was breathing heavily I could feel the warmth of his body, a warmth I didn’t know when I was going to feel again. I told him I loved him which was the only true thing for me at that moment, everything else was just a bad dream that I could not wake up from.

It was almost time for me to go; I walked him out the door, my heart trembling like I was about to commit a crime. I hugged him tight and breathed him in while he asked me not to cry, told me that he’d see me soon, that he loved me too. He walked down those stairs and I run in my room. He couldn’t see me anymore so I started crying, I couldn’t help it. It was pouring out and along with it all my feelings were blasting upon me. Everything that I tried to avoid the past week was hitting me hard now, everything I denied to look at was staring right at me, forcing me to look back, and while I was crying alone the knock at the door sounded like something I imagined, only it kept going.

I run to the door with those warm tears all over my face and when I opened the door he was crying too, he was looking at me and this look was like a stab in my heart, deep and painful in a bitter-sweet way.

“One more”, he said and he kissed me hard, as if it was the last thing he would ever do, and this kiss felt like forever, or I wanted it to last forever, I’m still not sure. He didn’t say anything, we just kept crying and kissing until he left again; for real this time.

Dealing with Stressful Parents

I have them, you have them, DWI

cause they still love us…

There are so many type of parenting styles they don’t even count on my two hands; there is this one pattern that often appears across all types. That is being extra (even before the word extra was a thing)! From basic parents who stress their kids out about being super-students, parents who stress their kids out since they’re 5 about not having sex before marriage, to parents who are just extra overprotective for no apparent reason, they all exist and some of us grew up putting up with it because “they’re worried and they want what’s best for us”.

But people, this was childhood. Endorse this bad habit or not, doesn’t matter, trust me, it’s gonna follow into adulthood. They are gonna snoop their nose into your business, force their opinion upon you even when you didn’t ask for it, and ruin a perfectly good day with THEIR worrying which they bring upon themselves. Bitch it’s not my fault you sit down and create scenarios in your head, which you then proceed into believing are some kind of intuition or prophecy that you magically achieved when you became a parent. Like yes, you do fall in when you guess stuff about your kid sometimes but that’s expected man! You know this person all his/her life, it’s normal that you’re gonna get it right sometimes, it doesn’t make you a psychic.

You know what I hate? They always tell us that we are not trying to understand them. To understand that they act the way they do cause they’re parents and they’re worried, but when we do something they don’t understand they don’t try to. Not only they don’t understand that we are adults in an adult world that is different than theirs, therefore our rules are different than theirs, but they also do not trust our judgement and our ability to make decisions for ourselves. Like, I’m 23, isn’t this what you’ve been prepping me for my whole life? You don’t have any faith in the work you’ve been doing as a parent that I can get out there and be good by myself? Without you?

Oh this a whole other chapter. The transition of us becoming independent is so hard for all of them. The thought of us taking steps towards our future without consulting with them is, oh my god, so outrageous. They will make themselves sick worrying about stuff with no basis and then they’ll be so miserable that they’ll try to pass this anxiety onto you  without stoping to think that this might ruin your happiness and make you stressed as well for absolutely no reason.

They are always justified, because they are parents and kids don’t come with a manual right? But parents don’t come with a manual either and taking into consideration that there is no such thing as a “perfect parent”, we reach the conclusion that they are not always right and we don’t ALWAYS have to listen to them, especially when we’re like… I don’t know, ADULTS?

All I’m saying is that they should stop expecting us to excuse their every mistake because they are not perfect and because everything they say is because they love us. We love them too, but we also love ourselves and we are entitled to being our own person, even if that includes not living to ease their anxieties and fears.

#nobodymattersmorethanyou xx

Mistakes & Consequences

“Everyone makes mistakes, but you can still understand them and try to fix them”

That’s the most important lesson I learnt today. As I might have mentioned in the past, I’m probably not the easiest person to deal with when it comes to relationships, but it’s not always consciously. I have very carefully selected the people that surround me which means that I love each and one of them and I always try to make them happy, make sacrifices for them, understand their wishes and try to be a part of making them true; but humans are subjects to their instincts after all, and sometimes my instincts keep me from being the person I want to be.

Today I hurt a person I really love because something in my unconscious was desperately trying to protect me from a threat that IT thought was there, but it was not. The way I acted was unfair and unreasonable and I take full responsibility for it, me and my insane unconscious really work against me sometimes, which often makes me scared that I will lose a lot of valuable people.

Now, sometimes you don’t realize a mistake until after you’ve made it; actually what am I saying? That’s how it goes most of the times. The damage will already have been done and then the guilt starts creeping on you, realizing that you fell for the temptation of being selfish…and that feeling sucks. I am not sure I can offer any advice on how to avoid a mistake in the first place, but what I can tell you with great confidence is that maybe trying to fix your mistake is not going to fix things, but it is definitely going to make them better. It shows that you are self-aware and able to understand your weaknesses of character and that you are willing to try hard not only to improve yourself but also your understanding of the needs’s of your loved ones and that it’s not just them needing to give up things for you, but also yourself.

Unfortunately, in my case when I realized the mistake I’ve made it was a bit too late. I felt this undying desire to do anything to undo it but I couldn’t. Because of me a person I love dearly  lost an opportunity that he/she can never get back and I will never forgive myself for it. It’s an ugly feeling to hate yourself but it is good sometimes when truth strikes you and you become aware of the dark aspects of you. It helps you never do similar mistakes in the future. But the sad part is that you can only hope for your efforts to fix those mistakes to be enough to soothe a situation. You can only hope not to lose people, and you can only hope they will understand your reasons.

That’s what I hope as well. I hope that this person will find it in his/her heart to forgive me and let me prove over time that I am never going to make a mistake like that again. This person should know that I love him/her unconditionally and I will make it my goal to make up for what I did; starting now.

Bullying Exists in College,

…and it can have a more serious impact


What is it all about

We all know that high school can be a time of excitement, happiness and pretty much discovering a lot of aspects of ones’ self, as it is a highly transitional period, but a lot of kids experience high school as traumatic because, unfortunately, bullying has grown to be a huge and very often occurring issue in modern times.

Although this is a very important topic, this article is not going to discuss that. The focus of this article is bullying in College.

People enter college in early adulthood, when most of them have pretty much formed an adequate self-image; some of them might have low self esteem or confidence and might be feeling uncomfortable with their image but most of them enter college with the assumption that since they are going to be surrounded by adults there is going to be a general climate of acceptance, regardless of how they look, or how they think they look. Honestly, I wish this was the case, but due to certain personal experience, sadly, I realized that it is not, and while bullying in high school is a terrible experience, bullying in college can have direct consequences on somebody’s future.

This could make a great research paper or dissertation, but since this is a blog I am going to try to pass my message through narrating how I experienced it and the impact it had on me, hoping it is going to help young people copy with it by viewing it through my perspective.

My Story


I am currently in my senior year in College, for those of you who haven’t read my bio or previous posts, I am majoring in Psychology, so the topic of stigmatizing, and generally psychologically attacking people, is a very important issue for me. As a senior I felt it was really important to engage in things that matter and that can make a difference, even on a small scale, because it seemed to me that studying and being a good student is not enough for me in order to develop into the person that I want to develop.
Subsequently, since last year I’ve been researching for ways through I could offer any skills or knowledge that I may have to people who would be interested in that.
In that context I decided to run for the student governing body of one of the societies of my college. After voting procedures I was assigned a position in that society, which I was extremely happy about since I really believed that me and the rest of the group could reach out to people and raise awareness of certain issues. What I didn’t know back then is that people, for whatever reason, find it very fascinating to talk behind peoples’ backs and saying things about you that have no basis, without even stopping for a second to consider what kind of psychological impact that might have on a person.

I don’t really hang out with many people from College, not because I don’t like them, just because I was always very concentrated in attending my courses, doing my job, studying, and I also spend a lot of time at school with my boyfriend so I don’t really know many people. Thus, you can understand that it came as a surprise to me when I learned that people who I have no idea who they are have been talking about me, spreading rumors that could have serious impact on my future.I was blamed from members of this society about things that did not even make sense, and although they seemed to be very supportive when I came out and expressed my indignation about people making up things, and I told them about how this has made me feel horrible about myself and led me to hold myself accountable for things I didn’t do, they still went ahead and spread more rumors blaming me for even more things that I haven’t done.
I continued doing my job in this society, without being aware at that time about the things being said behind my back, until I was publicly humiliated at my workplace, in front of my co-workers and my boss because I said I couldn’t change my work hours (since we have a stable schedule). I never thought that, as an adult, I would have to spend 15 minutes crying in the bathroom but turns out THAT HAPPENED. FUN!

After this I realized that I had really lost myself. I was not in the mood to go to College anymore, I felt guilty for things that I haven’t done, I felt that people were looking at me and judging me, and honestly I just wanted to crawl under my blanket and cry all day. I came to the conclusion that this atmosphere was impacting my mental health much more than it should, and although I am not a quitter, I decided that I would never be able to make the difference that I want next to that kind of people. So I quit, and for the first time in months I felt like I am getting myself back. That was when I called the ONE friend that I had within this society, who experienced bullying as well from the same people and I did nothing about it  because I was too afraid of conflict. People said that I was after another persons position while actually the person who spread that rumor was the one who was pushing in order for me to get that position when I honestly did not care about it.
I don’t like things being said behind people’s backs so i let that person know that I know what he/she said about me and that I am not interested in giving any continuation to this issue, I just wanted out of the society in order to continue my life next to people that really care about me. The result was that person yelling to me in front of my professor, and another 15 minutes of crying in the bathroom.

I don’t care about what people say anymore, I have the texts to prove who said what, but I am not interested. I just consider unacceptable the fact that I got bullied in front of my professor and my boss. It made me very vulnerable, and I spent some very hard hours contemplating on what had happened but it led me to some very important realizations.

Conclusion


First of all, if people speak about you behind your back it doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you. In fact it is probably the opposite. Just think that it is college and you don’t have to be friends with everyone, all you need to do is to focus on your studies and how to help yourself do the best that you can do.

You matter the most, and don’t let anyone make you doubt that. You don’t need to listen to anything that people have to say about you unless they are people who care about you and all they want is to help you improve. Your mental health is what matters the most and you don’t need to sacrifice it for any shallow person who is willing to bring you down. Protecting yourself should be your number one priority, and do not show them weakness like I did.

My point is that unfortunately we are going to encounter that kind of people in our life and we must find ways to deal with them without becoming depressed. Just think that a person who acts against someone without thinking that he might be putting that person’s job or academic life at stake maybe needs more help than you can imagine.

Turn your back on people who want you to compromise yourself and be who they want you to be.

Follow the link bellow to read 5 facts about bullying in College: https://www.verywell.com/facts-about-college-bullying-460487

The Passing

I am generally against all this hypocrisy surrounding a death, where usually people who didn’t know the deceased, or barely knew him, appear to be so devastated, when in reality they would have taken it harder if their dog died. When a person dies that doesn’t make him/her a saint and nobody has to pretend as if he/she lived life as an angel, or try super hard to find a memory with that person to cry about.
I don’t like or support that mentality…IN GENERAL…but recently when a person passed, although I’ve never met her myself, but I know people who had, and have, a very dear space in their hearts about her. This girl was a little bit older than me and she had cancer. While she did her chemo-therapies, trying to battle cancer every way she could, she chose not to give up on life. She chose to not only battle cancer, but also the stigmatization that surrounds it, as most illnesses, especially fatal.

This girl, was a fellow blogger, and although she had days which were terrible she chose to write about it, share her experiences, and how being ill didn’t make her less of a person. She was a university student, a blogger, and a very loved person by many. She tried to show the way to anyone who needed help, trying to pass along the message that being ill doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life. She always tried to not leave a day pass without being able to say that she had at least one beautiful moment.

Like I mentioned above, I’ve never met her, but I was reading her blog and since I myself am battling certain health issues, maybe not fatal, but still challenging, it was a huge relief seeing someone so young and brave not giving a damn about whether someone would feel pity, she did not pity her self at all and by her stance, none did anyone else!!! Just going out her doing her thing and trying to help people view life the same way. And trust me it is not hypocritical at all when I say that since I’ve learned about her passing there hasn’t been a day that I didn’t thought about what a great loss the world just experienced.

I deeply hope that more people will choose to follow her example even without her there and learn to appreciate life, however that is given to us!

It’s not a coinsidence that humans cannot relate to the worst possible scenarios in life. We are simply unable to even consider something horrible happening to us. But horrible things happen everyday and it’s up to you to protect yourself, your children, your loved ones. It’s important for young people to know that this whole “YOLO” philosophy is the biggest stupidity ever invented and it’s one reason to be ashamed of the generation I belong to.
Yes, yes… I know it sounds tempting and brave and charming, but think about it; really think about it. This phrase “You only live once”, is absolutely true; we only get one chance and it’s stupid to risk our lives when all we have to do to protect ourselves sometimes is small things and little compromises.
I generally don’t like to talk nonsense without getting around to a point, so I am going to tell you a story which hopefully will make you realise why I am in the mood to write something so mellow and “conservative” as some would say…Here goes:

I am a quiet person. Of course I have a good sense of humour and a very loving heart but I am overall a quiet person. I am a family man and that’s the way I love my life. I have a 22 year old daughter from my previous marriage and two young boys from my current one and I have origins from Paros where I have a house and I go every year with my family (usually my wife and the boys because my daughter usually has courses when I can get time off for vacation). That was the plan for this year as well, and that is what happened, until I experienced a life changing event, both for me and my family.
It was afternoon and I was relaxing at my balcony with my family overlooking the street a little down bellow our garage door and far away the sea. The road outside our house is the one continuous and main road that goes all around Paros, therefore you have to cross it to go to many central and popular beaches or villages. While I was looking at my kids’ smiling faces and did not have a care in the world I heard this deafening sound and saw a huge truck abruptly stoping right outside our garage door accompanied with screams and a lot of noise. My first instinct was to run and see what happened, my second instinct when I saw it in front of me was to help.
Two Italian 18 year old girls on a motorcycle had lost control of it and crushed on the truck which run over one of them. The girl was covered in blood and not wanting to be more graphic I am going to spare you the details, but it was not pretty. I immediately called an ambulance and the police. The other girl wasn’t hurt besides some scratches but she was in sock, sitting on the steps of our houses’ entrance, not talking, not flinching, almost not breathing. I went next to the other girl which was still alive, breathing but not talking and obviously in a huge amount of pain. She looked like she wanted to say something but she couldn’t.
She died in my arms before the ambulance arrived. The truck hit the brakes as soon as he saw what was coming but the girl driving the bike could not return it to its normal course so she fell on it. I don’t want to imagine the life of the girl who didn’t die but lost her friend from now on. I do not want to imagine the life of the truck driver who without even doing anything wrong will have nightmares for the rest of his life and might even quit his job and never drive the truck again; and I don’t wanna imagine their lives from now on because I was the one who tried to save her, I had no responsibility in what happened but I still see her face and how much in pain she was everyday before I go to sleep. So yes, I don’t want to imagine how ugly it might be for the people who actually have responsibility for what happened.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It is illegal to rent motorcycles to 18 year olds, who probably did not have a licence for it anyway, but people do it anyway because COME ON, NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO THEM. That’s the same thing that the 18 year olds who rent them think.
It is illegal not to wear a helmet, but a lot of people don’t because they think COME ON, NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN TO ME.
The man in the story is actually my father and this happened to him during their vacation in Paros this summer and not only it stigmatised him but all of us; even me and I wasn’t even there.
I am taking this as a lesson to be extra careful when driving, and extra careful in life in general. Everyone wants to live wild and free but nobody actually wants to lose their life because of stupidity. It’s not a shame to take care of ourselves or the people we love. It’s not gonna make us any less interesting. It is just going to give us more chances to live longer and therefore have more experiences with our loved ones and grow old to tell our children about this stupid “YOLO” philosophy that their parents had when they were little.

Be cautious, you have nothing to lose.

Παντα και Ποτε

Ήμουν καθισμένη αναπαυτικά στην καρέκλα του γραφείου μου, δίπλα στο παραθυρό μου, μύριζε βροχή, κοιτούσα την οθόνη του υπολογιστή μου και άκουγα τις φωνές των γειτονικών σπιτιών. Αναρωτιόμουν αν έχουν παρόμοια προβλήματα με εμένα, γιατί οκ, όλοι έχουν προβλήματα, ειδικά τη σήμερων ημέρα. Ήθελα κάτι να γράψω, κάτι που να διαφέρει, κάτι που να έχει σημασία. Είναι πολύ ωραίο να έχεις τη δική σου ιστοσελίδα, και να ανεβάζεις όμορφα βίντεο, άρθρα με άποψη, τη φωτογραφική σου δουλειά, για την οποία είσαι πολύ περήφανη γιατί στο κάτω κάτω δεν είναι παρα ένα χόμπι, αλλά ένα χόμπι στο οποίο είσαι καλή, δεν παύουν όμως όλα αυτά τα πράγματα να είναι μια προσεγμένη εικόνα, φιλτραρισμένη και λεπτομερώς καθαρισμένη απο οποιοδήποτε ίχνος προσωπικότητας που ίσως να μην ήθελες να μοιραστείς. Και όσο καλό και αν είναι όλο αυτό το impression management, όπως πολύ σωστά το έθεσε ο Erving Goffman, υπάρχουν στιγμές που θέλεις λίγο να γυμνώσεις την ψυχή σου, κατα κάποιο τρόπο. Αφού είσαι που είσαι ένα σπασμένο βάζο, θες να σταματήσεις για λίγο να κρύβεις τις ρωγμές, και να αφήσεις να δουν μέσα σου, αφού το βάζο ειναι έτσι κ’ αλλιώς σε κοινή θέα.

Δεν θα μιλήσω για τον εαυτό μου και τις ιδιαιτερότητες μου, όλοι τις έχουμε σε μικρό ή σε μεγάλο βαθμό, και ούτε θέλω να παινευτώ αλλά είμαι σίγουρα ένας άνθρωπος με προβλήματα εμπιστοσύνης που έχουν συσσωρευτεί με τα χρόνια, όπως η μούχλα στους τοίχους ενός πολύ παλιού σπιτιού, όταν όμως αγαπάω κάποιον δεν υπάρχει κάτι που δεν θα έκανα για εκείνον/εκείνη.

Πολύς κόσμος θέλει να πιστεύει ότι όταν κάποιος φύγει όλα είναι ίδια αλλά δεν είναι, και ξέρετε τι σιχαίνομαι περισσότερο; Τις υποσχέσεις, γιατί όταν είσαι τόσο καλός στο να κρατάς τις δικές σου μοιάζει πράγμα απίστευτο, εξωφρενικό όταν ο κόσμος που αγαπάς, που προσεκτικά έχεις επιλέξει να είναι δίπλα σου, δεν κάνει το ίδιο. Όταν ο άλλος είναι μακριά αλλάζει και δεν μπορείς να κάνεις τίποτα για να το σταματήσεις. Ούτε καν για να το επιβραδύνεις. Αν γκρινιάξεις, αν επιμένεις, θα τον σπρώξεις να αλλάξει, να φύγει πιο μακριά ακόμα. Αν υπομένεις σιωπηλά τότε το δικό σου φθάρσιμο θα είναι τοσο βαθύ που θα φύγεις εσύ στο τέλος. Το πρόβλημα είναι αγεφύρωτο.

Το φανταστικό είναι πόσο γρήγορα μπορεί να γίνουν όλα. Όταν ο άλλος δε βλέπει το προσωπό σου συχνά πια είναι τόσο εύκολο να ξεχάσει, λόγια, αναμνήσεις, υποσχέσεις, σχέδια, και όταν ξέρει οτι είσαι πάντα εκεί δεν θα χάσει καμία ευκαρία να σε δοκιμάσει, γιατί όλοι θέλουν να τα έχουν όλα…Δεν έχει σημασία πόσο αγάπη υπάρχει, ωχ σορυ, υπήρχε, ένα αεροπλάνο, και κυρίως μια καινούργια ζωή, μπορεί να διαγράψει πολλά πράγματα. Δεν ξέρω τελικά αν υπάρχει αυτό που βλέπουμε στις ταινίες που ο έρωτας είναι τόσο μεγάλος που τα υπερνικά όλα και ο τύπος (ή τύπισα για να μην αδικώ κανέναν) τα παρατάει όλα και βάζει πάνω απο όλα τον έρωτα του, εμένα μου φαίνονται σαχλαμάρες, και μου τη σπάει που αυτή η ζωή πρέπει όλα να τα γειώνει, την αγάπη τη χαρά, όλα. Σου δίνει μια καλή γεμάτη γεύση απο κάτι δυνατό και μετά σταδιακά στο παίρνει πίσω και σου πετάει και ένα ποτήρι νερό στη μούρη, έτσι για να ξυπνήσεις λίγο.

Δεν υπάρχουν παραμύθια και τα μεγάλα λόγια ξεθωριάζουν γρήγορα. Έτσι έγινε και με μένα, και τώρα κάθομαι ακόμα στην καρέκλα του γραφείου μου, ακόμα μυρίζει βροχή, και κάποιος ακούει το Caruso, του Lucio Dalla (Te voglio bene assai) πολύ δυνατά και αντιχεί σε όλη την άδεια γειτονιά και σκέφτομαι και εγώ πόσο άδεια είμαι και ταιριάζω με τη γειτονιά και τα δέντρα που κουνιούνται ελάχιστα απο τον καλοκαιρινό αέρα. Έτσι και εγώ, ελάχιστα κουνιέμαι, δεν θέλω, όσο πιο πολύ κουνιέμαι τόσο πιο πολύ κόσμο βλέπω και τόσο πιο πολύ καταλαβαίνω πως ο καθένας είναι για τον εαυτό του και δεν θέλει να επηρεάζεται απο αλλονών προβλήματα, ακόμα και αν έχει πει οτι θα είναι πάντα εκεί.

Δεν υπάρχει το ΠΑΝΤΑ. Ούτε το ΠΟΤΕ.

Another Success Story

New York, I’m on my way!!!

How it all started:

Those of you who have came across my blog in the past must know of my wonderful boyfriend, Chris! Those of you who haven’t are about to get incredibly emotional as I explain how I owe him the greatest opportunity that was given to me in my twenty-one years of life.
See Chris is a person who I deeply admire; he never fails to inspire me into becoming a great person myself, setting goals and doing my best to achieve them. He has a long history of making good decisions in regards to his academic life and future career. Even the bad decisions he has made led to amazing life lessons he used in order to turn them into good results. I on the other hand, not so much…
It’s not that I ever made bad decisions, that I didn’t study in College, that I didn’t have goals. It’s mostly that I wouldn’t dare to do anything out of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t apply for a study-work job in my college because I was afraid they were going to reject me, I didn’t apply for a study abroad program because I was afraid my parents were gonna say no, and when I finally decided I wanted to go I had too many credits and it was too hard to find any courses, in unis that my college has an affiliation with, that they would be able to transfer back to me. In a nutshell, I was afraid of any possible rejection, and even though I’ve always had good grades I didn’t have a resume that would get me where I wanted to go in life.
Now, my college offers the opportunity to spend a summer taking courses in Stanford University, to exceptional students. A few months after me and Chris had been dating he told me that he was going to apply. I got sad thinking that we would have to spend two months separately but that’s when he got me thinking. What am I really doing besides studying? In the course of 4 months Chris helped me get the learning facilitator job which I currently hold, and convinced me to apply for an internship with Libra. I didn’t want to be all lovey-dovey, so I skipped the part of how much he encouraged me and how I couldn’t have done it without him because that’s something me and him already know.

What is the Libra Group:

The Libra group is a company expanding into a variety of different areas through subsidiaries or funding different organisations, which provides paid internships to promising undergraduate students all over the world. There is a lot of diversity regarding the internships they offer; therefore you can apply no matter what you’re majoring in. There are four stages into the process which include 1) the application, 2) a pre-recorded interview, 3) a Skype interview and 4) a face to face interview. It is a long and stressful process which at the same time taught me professionalism and all kinds of different skills, such as how to prepare and do well at interviews, which is probably something that I’m going to go through a lot in the future.

The Process:

The application was easy for the most part, besides a series of tricky small essay questions about why I should be selected, plus other questions screening for my innovative thinking, leadership skills and originality. It needed a lot of thought, and I had to attend many seminars. I still remember an informative seminar where we would Skype with a current libra intern and a staff member to address all of our questions. There must have been 200 people in that auditorium and I was thinking to myself,

“ Oh my god, there are so many people in here, they select very few, why would they take me? What are my chances?

Finishing and polishing my application required about a month and after that was over, before I knew it, it was time for interview #1, the prerecorded one. It was so weird and stressful looking at a camera and having to reply to a question while recording my answer instead of having a real person to talk to. I actually froze for 10 seconds in one of my answers, and the more I was thinking about it the more difficult it was becoming to start speaking again. But then I remembered all those years of ballet and my teacher yelling “If you make a mistake while you’re performing just keep dancing and pretend it never happened”.
I was pretty sure that would be the end for me, it took about a month to hear back from them but when I saw the email was starting with “Dear Tess, we would like to congratulate you…” that was all I needed to hear. I did all my research, I put on a power suite and nailed my interview #2, although, I must say, it did not come without complications. You see, they were using a site made specifically for interviews to conduct all the online ones and it required a super strong connection. It was fine with the prerecorded one but in the second one there was live streaming involved from both sides, and we really couldn’t hear each other that well, so the interviewer suggested that she calls me on my cell and we mute the screen so that we hear each other on the phone but still be able to look at each other.
That sounded all fine and nicely planned but the problem was that the reception was so bad and she was speaking fast, I mean she was speaking as a native, and my english are really really good, but you can’t look away at the fact that I’m Greek and under pressure my ability to understand perfect American while on the phone with a bad reception and looking at the camera towards my interviewer was not a piece of cake. My cheek was sweating and my arm was hurting from holding the phone for too long…
I have to say, totally worth it, I got a reply after two weeks informing me that I passed onto interview #3; the last one. What could possibly go wrong right? Besides me freezing in my first interview and the connection problems at the second one. WELL IT DID!!! It was supposed to be a face to face interview since the team that manages the internships was going to come to my college all the way from New York. Are you wondering when? It was the week I had scheduled my trip to Rome! I was so scared of losing the internship that I even offered to cancel my trip but they were kind enough to schedule interview #3 online, so I did it from the airbnb apartment that I was renting in Rome. It was insane !!!
Of course I waited for a month to hear back from them but then on the craziest night, that me and Chris decided to visit my dad and I had two screaming children (my lovely brothers) and a barking dog, I received a phone call from New York telling me that I have been selected for an internship, and for the position that I wanted, IN NEW YORK!

My Feelings:

I simply cannot described them. I haven’t even been in America, let along New York. That is the city I have been dreaming of studying, working and living in, since I was 15. I have always told my mom “You know mommy that’s where I’m going to end up” and she was always like “yeah yeah one day”, and now that day is only 6 months away. I made it, after all this long and stressful process they chose me and I’m going to live in New York for 4 entire months. It’s literally a dream come true for me and I have learned a very important lesson. That I shouldn’t be scared of rejection. If it wasn’t for Chris convincing me to apply and try my best I would never have achieved that.
I’m literally ecstatic. I know that, as mentioned before, it’s just another success story, but its MY success story and I’m so proud of it. It’s where dreams are made of and I’m gonna go make mine!

My Bullying Experience

How it Started:

When you’re a kid your parents always have that other couple that they are best friends with, which somehow always has at least one kid your age. You always used to go on vacation with that couple and their kid(s), either at yours or their summer house, or maybe booked vacation packages at those big cool resort hotels. Well, not trying to squeeze myself in amongst all the other clichés but that was also the case in my family.

See my mom is a teacher which equals to her being extremely friendly and social, she has countless friends, but for a big period of our lives she had THE BEST FRIEND. You know the one who wins the title, the one you go shopping with and grab a coffee almost everyday, the one you giggle with and complain about your husbands together (at least in my wild imagination). The woman had a daughter my age and an older son and as I grew up as an only child my mom thought it as a blessing from God for her best friend to have a daughter my age, believing that we were destined to inherit their bffness. But things don’t always go as planned…

Meet & Greet:

I think I must have been about 9 when they first introduced us; it was in the park near my house, and their house as well. Of course we were also neighbours, our mothers met because they worked in the same school. I was riding my bicycle, and not to brag but I was a cute little kid, I was excited to meet another girl my age and I could see that it would please my mom so I had my wide smile on and said hello to the little girl, which was also sitting on a bike, with the difference that she had a blank face. Actually she was facing the ground and she barely said hello to me. I obviously wondered whether I did something wrong; of course I didn’t but what else would a kid think?

Several years passed and my dad also met the other dad and they became dadfriends. They went to watch soccer together, and had a lot of beers. Therefore the amount of time we spent together as families tripled. The big brother of the girl was even worse than her, he was extremely antisocial, rude to me, to my parents, but his parents as well. I remember going to their house and ordering pizza; he would come out of his house, get a whole pizza and close himself back in to his room. Note that he wasn’t a teenager back then, he was 13 years old. I tried very hard for them to like me at first, but of course there was something about me that was different which they couldn’t accept.

Why I Deserved to be Bullied:

Around the age of 10 I started becoming quite a chubby kid, I loved food, and as I’ve explained in a previous post I stopped ballet when I was still young after 9 years of dancing because of an injury, so it was only natural to gain weight. Those kids were honestly skinny by nature, nothing wrong with that, it’s not like they didn’t eat, it was just how their body was made.

Me being chubby is something they found disgusting. They used to call me names such as barrel, saying I was big and round as a barrel and made fun of my full first name which is Theodora (gift of god), calling me GIFT.

I had to go on family vacations with these kids! You can imagine how insecure I felt about my body when we had to go to the beach, and I was honestly not even fat; I was just chubby. They used to add things I never said to all of our conversations and go tell their mom that I “said a bad word”. I remember this one time we were supposed to go to their summer house all together; apparently their mom had realised how mean they were to me so she told them they wouldn’t go anywhere if they didn’t treat me properly. It was two amazing months, I actually thought we were getting close, but once we stepped foot in their summer house I was the barrel gift again.

The After:

I told my parents many times about how I felt but they thought I was exaggerating. I realised I could’t do anything rather than to be patient. Years passed, our mothers made us do private english lessons together for at least 5 years. Things got smoother with time but I obviously never felt comfortable. There were attempts to become friends with the girl when we were older, but it was not just that we had nothing in common, it was also that she and her brother were responsible for some of my worse childhood memories, along with their parents and my parents for not doing anything about it even though I complained repeatedly.

I felt bad about my body for many years, but when I decided to lose weight it was for me and not for them. It was because I realised that people who bully miss something from their life as well. I grown up to have many friends, be very social, beautiful (not to be a poser 😉  and successful and as a responsible adult neither do I wish anything bad to them nor do I want to comment on their current life status, besides that karma is a bitch.

Advice:

I had a hard time because I had no support from my parents, so, my dear parents, if you are reading this please take your children seriously. I know your best friends must be really fun but you might have to discuss seriously with them, maybe your kids are not so compatible as you are, listen to them and take action if needed. A friendship is not worth as much as your kid’s well-being.

If any of you, my dear readers, is going through that, or has gone through that, remember that it’s your decision to let them bother you. Complain again and again until you are heard and don’t look forward to their attention, they want you to want their attention. Show them that you’re better off without their friendship, show them how strong you are.

It took me years but that’s what I eventually did. I don’t need people who don’t appreciate me and neither do you.

Meditation: Yes or No?

Focusing on my Body

Although I find myself pretty busy these past few weeks with the upcoming final exams and applying for an internship in New York, I managed to go out with my friends on Saturday night which was pretty refreshing, cause now that I’m all grown up and mature (haha) going to night clubs has been significantly limited.

The only downside to the story is that I once again sprained my ankle, not too badly but it still hurts and I still sleep with a bandage in order to keep my leg steady. I sprain my ankle pretty often because when I was younger and still a dancer I had an injury which left it a bit sensitive.

I didn’t pay much attention to it because I am used to the pain but last night something pretty impressive happened. Have you ever cut yourself by mistake, or hit your little toe on a furniture? I’m sure you have noticed that right away the injured spot starts warming up and you can feel your heartbeat there; you can feel the blood pulsing underneath your skin. Well last night, right before I fell asleep I started concentrating on the pain of my ankle and suddenly I started having that exact sensation,

“the more I concentrated the more I could feel my blood, my heartbeat, my whole organism.

Soon enough it was just me and my body, I imagined the route of the blood down to my fingertips and right back up, I felt my respiratory system relaxing and my body’s effort to heal the pain. This whole process helped me sleep smoother than ever, which was amazing considering that I sometimes experience difficulties with sleeping, unless I’m incredibly tired. It reminded me certain mindfulness exercises that we use in Psychology, specifically with the Behavioural approach and made me wonder whether Meditation would be beneficial for me.

If you have any suggestions, tips and advice in regards to whether I should start meditating and whether it has helped you with any sleeping disturbances let me know.

 

xx