Thursday, October 13, 2011

Life defined by role and not by purpose: What do you do?

Since June 2011 I have dedicated my time to study Hungarian and learn more about the culture of my wife. During this time span I have met many people who in the country for the same reason: Love for a Hungarian. The issue is, we all know that we are just learning the language, and there is no job apart from going to school. We never ask each other what you do. We just ask about what we used to do or what we want to do in the future. Apparently, the fact that we don’t have a job means we are not doing anything at all. Still, there is a purpose in our current actions, which is more interesting than actually telling you that I work in finance doing reports that tend to be the same every month.

When you meet someone, just after they ask your name, you are commonly asked “what do you do?”, unless the person is not interested at all in you. Ask yourself, what do you do?

In my case, I used to answer at work at this company doing this job. What do I do? Is that all I have to say? Is that all we have to say? Suddenly, our life, what we do is not defined by the purpose of our actions, but only by them. I have met a lot of people in my life, from different countries, with different regions and backgrounds, and never I have heard an answer such as, I enjoy my life, I make my wife/girlfriend happy nor I live my dream.

We have family, children, friends and love among other things, still we always put the job title as the first thing we say. It’s a curious thing to do. The issue is that it comes automatically, somehow we have allowed the world to accept as a logical answer to what we do in life to be a profession.

The worst part, is that most of the times nobody really cares exactly what you do. Nobody wants to know if you are a financial analyst or a manager, a lawyer or a salesman, what they want to know is if you like it there. So there is indeed a desire to know the emotional side of what you do. Still I think it would lead to much better conversations if we simply answered with what we really are doing.

For example, im doing everything to make my wife happy, and while I’m learning a language, I’m doing it so one day my children can talk to me in the language of their mother’s family. Of course its not a job, nor a profession that would allow you to guess if I make money or not, but I think it shows much more of who I am. At the end that is what we want to know when we ask someone what they do, who are they? We want to fit in all the pieces in the puzzle until we have a picture of the person, so then we can decide that we like them or not, and then have them as a part of our life.

So next time we talk, why don’t we skip the professional side, which doesn’t really matter, and go directly to the moment in which we tell what is the real purpose of whatever we do right now, and of course if we are happy. Hopefully no one thinks I’m a crazy person the next time someone asks me what do you do, and I answer I make my wife happy and try to make the world a better place for my non existent children.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I don’t care about Amy Winehouse

In the past days all social media has been flooded with videos and comments about Amy Winehouse. Well, honestly I really do not care so much. Long time I have seen posts by most of the people, and not really lot of them used to be about this singer. Suddenly everyone is an Amy Winehoue fan. Some people might tend to say that I am a bit selfish, but honestly there are many reasons not to care. Here are some of them:

The club of 27, this one does not need a lot of explanation. To put her in the same space as Cobain, Joplin, Hendrix, is simply saying too much about her talent. So please do not even start that discussion.

Second, right now there is a humanitarian crisis in Somalia, in which a million people are in risk of death due to lack of food and water. A million people who have not chosen that destiny, but have to try to survive it. How much money did this singer spend in booze and drugs only to destroy her life? Just what she spent in her last night, was enough to give some hope to some of those innocent people. So please, we should put things into perspective and take a look at what is really going on out there in the world.

Third, I come from a country in which drug production has taken many lives and closed many doors on our fellow citizens. Consumers, which are idolized by the pop culture, who simply want to get more and more drugs are in a way the fuel to conflicts in countries like mine. They don’t care about how many innocent people have died in the conflict. Consumers just do that, consume, they don’t care what is in the product, and how it was done, and even more so, they don’t care if that product has some blood behind it.

Today when I see a death of a young woman, fueled by drugs, I simply can’t care. Caring for her would be an insult to the people of Somalia that struggle for their life. Caring for her would be an insult to the families that have been torn apart by drug driven conflict in my home country. So next time a pop singer does something like this, before making social media a hypocrisy landmark, please put things into perspective.

So it’s simple, I don’t care about Amy Winehouse. She didn’t go to rehab now she won’t have to.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Flirting with dementia

So I recently moved to Hungary, after living in Germany for almost four years. There are not so many differences in terms of the countries, even more so, there are some advantages since the culture and the food are more similar to my home country compared to what I experienced in Germany. The biggest weakness is my inability to communicate or understand people.

I recently started to learn Hungarian, but the progress is slow, basically I can’t get past the introduction conversation. Who cares who I am, or where I come from, and for that matter if I am learning Hungarian, if I have nothing else to say? Few people can speak in English, but most of them have little to say.

I constantly find myself in many tables where many people gather and talk. In Hungary, food and alcohol are always present. The advantage of not understanding is that basically you do not have to talk or to listen to the uncomfortable things many people say in any language. I can dedicate time to feel the flavor of great foods or to taste a good wine, and of course, the Hungarian drink, Palinka. Which on the label should say, don’t try this at home. Those are of course positive points. In this prolonged silence I have been able to be quieter and calmer.

The main issue, is that in order to go through gatherings, which are very common, I constantly find myself filling in the blanks, imagining what they say, or the jokes, or what they talk about. I guess is the feeling of missing the gift of understanding a conversation. It has been a while since I had a deep and profound conversation, not that I had them a lot before, but at least I had the chance, here I do not have it. I guess that is how dementia starts; there should be a study of the correlation between immigration and dementia. How many immigrants actually lose their sanity? Well I hope I do not get to be a part of the statistic. It is uncomfortable enough to know that there is a possibility that filling in the blanks is not totally sane, but who cares, if that is what gets me through a day and a night?

Silence is golden, but a word and a conversation it is also very valuable in, if not building your intellect, at least keeping your mind in shape.
I guess that while my previous entries in the blog were in order to let go of feelings that were hurting or keeping me at unease, these next entries may be a way of talking to me, or at least raising the issues concerning my past decisions and the ones that may come in the future.

So long and viszontlátásra…

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Changes in the blog

After writing about despair and hope, i have focused my search on hope and happiness. Therefore no need for desperation anymore. Based on hope and the feeling that only good things will happen, I start this new adventure with my soon to be wife in Hungarian lands! I will keep you posted in all my adventures and discoveries!

Después de escribir sobre desesperación y esperanza, he enfocado mi búsqueda en esperanza y felicidad. Por ende, no hay necesidad de desesperación de ahora en adelante. Basado en la esperanza y en el sentimiento que solo cosas buenas van a suceder, inicio esta nueva aventura de mi vida con mi futura esposa, en tierras Húngaras! Los mantendré informados sobre mis aventuras y descubrimientos!