Posted in Couch Talks, Daily Life, Deep Thoughts, Life Moments

A letter to my older-self: age well

They don’t have all the answers, but at least there are certain things that they know better”.

In my culture,  we are taught from childhood to respect our elders, for they are great sources of wisdom. As I grew older, I came to understand that even more. (I am a lovely woman who is between 20 to 30 years old, hehe).

Since I live alone abroad, I don’t have any family members I can interact directly with as much as I wished. Lately, I had the idea to search on Youtube for influencers who were 60 years old and above. I am usually brilliant (I don’t mean to boast) but that was one of the best ideas that ever came to my mind. I highly recommended it, especially if you’re a long-term planner like me. Who can give us better heads up about life than those who lived a little longer?

Of course, young people have fresher ideas that are more up to date with their times, and old people don’t always have it all figured out. Some of them might have even failed us or didn’t leave a good exemple. In any case, I like learning from whoever I can learn something good from, be they young or old. Kids are innocent, youngsters are passionate and  innovative, and older people have experience.

On the other hand, I made myself a little chart summarizing certain things I observed about life. They might not be completely accurate, but I found them interesting.

0- 25~30 years old: the time needed to learn about life as much as you can (theorical and practical knowledge) and prepare for adulthood . Trial and error are still allowed somehow and more easily forgivable.

30-60 years old : time to implement what you learnt and work to save money to prepare for your retirement. Try to avoid major life mistakes. If you mess up too big, you’re screwed cause you have less lifetime to turn things around (depending on what you got yourself entangled into).

60- 100 ~ deathday: time to start thinking about how you’ve lived so far, and to try to making up for some mistakes you’ve made. The body starts failing more around this age and it makes you more conscious that you won’t be on earth forever.

Yes, I am that atypical young lady who says we should listen to our parents. I still remember two good advices mine gave me,which saved me a lot of headaches.

First: do not fall for just any guy who tells you you’re beautiful and that he likes you.

Second: Never get tired of doing good to those around you. Your kindness will come back to you, one way or the other.

Mom, Dad, thanks for those heads-up. I haven’t been on Earth for so long, but I’ve lived long enough to experience how accurate those tips are…

By the way; a common mistake we make as young people is to think that we won’t grow old.

One of the worst days of my life was when I  woke up one morning, went to the bathroom and got the shock of my life when I looked into the mirror. “Who is this?

My reflection looked so mature that I thought I had seen a stranger. I wondered if that face was due to lack of sleep, or if my skin lacked hydration. The following days, I tried to sleep better, and I also got some face creams. But… it was in vain.

Then, when I got on the bus or walked on the streets, I started paying more attention to older people. Skin spots, cracks, wrinkles, I discreetly observed a lot. That’s when I understood what was happening to me. “I see… so, this is what it means to start growing old…”. I was shocked, and angry as well (not towards anybody in particular…) because I wasn’t prepared for this.

In regard to this week’s meditation, I felt inspired to write a letter directed to my older self. I should check it when I turn 60, haha.

Zaragoza, 19th March 2021.

Dear older me,  

If humans are said to live up to about 100 years, I am about a quarter far on the road of life. I am still young, yet my eyes have seen and understood more things than the peers of my age who are still innocently carefree, merry and jolly. I grew up being the youngest  in most of the social circles I belonged to. Thus, I have had the privilege to learn from their stories instead of having to go through certain experiences myself. I learn from older people as much as I can whenever I have a chance,  I hope it’ll help me avoid unnecessary  mistakes and pave a softer way to make my future life better. What better way is there than to listen to advice from someone who has walked on earth longer than I and seen more things than I will ever catch up to? Of course, they aren’t always right and don’t have all the answers, but what they have to say does make the life of us youngsters better. If only we cared to take heed. Sadly, On the other hand, the elderly’s health gets weaker and weaker, sometimes preventing them from teaching as much as they wished. Also,  youth is blinded by passion and vigor,  and they think they can take on and conquer the world based on that alone.

I have a young body, but the heart of an old lady. It sometimes makes me stand out among my peers, and my sermonings makes them uncomfortable at times. I either sound too known or too holier-than thou.Yet, I do not regret at all, and I cherish my way of life. It is not my aim to sound lofty. I simply desire to have answers, to know the way, and to gain wisdom. That is the best way to live comfortably here on this earth.

I don’t have great ambitions. I simply wish to live comfortably, and help those in needs, within my possibilities.

By the way; it seems that the romantic quest finding a life partner and the professional endeavour to secure a stable job to make a decent living is what keeps us young people busy and gives us purpose. Now that you’re 60, you’ve probably achieved those, or given up. In any case, what are you focusing on? What is driving you through the days? I hope you’ve not falling to the excuse that you’re old and can’t do much. I hope you’re still living to the fullest and staying active. I’m sure there are still things you can do.

So tell me, dear old me; With all the lessons I learnt through the years, are you living a better life? Have you achieved your goals? What stage of your life have you reached? And this one is to make fun of you: how is your frantic and ferocious battle against wrinkles going?

I’m sometimes scared about how I’ll look when I grow old and my body starts to decay. But, for the sake of my own peace- and yours, I have reached a certain level of acceptance; there’s nothing we can do about the passing of time. And also, I want to stop worrying about what hasn’t happened yet. Ever more, lately I’ve been seeing a lot of beautiful older women, and it reassured me that even though our body changes, one can look good at any age. I was greatly encouraged.

Therefore, I’ve decided to not be afraid of aging and live in anxiety, worried about how I’ll look when I grow old. I’ve resolved to be confident about myself and look my best no matter what age I reach. I’ll grow to be a cute, delight-looking granny. So, I’ll take care of our body, keep fit and eat healthy.

I’m not in a hurry to meet you… But see you in some few decades.

Warm regards,

Your younger self.”

This marks the end of today’s post. What are some of the good pieces of advice that have marked you? Do you think the gap between generations is an obstacle or a blessing?

And if you’re facing the same worries as me, I hope this post brought you a little comfort.

Forever overthinking,

Nuna Blomevi.

Posted in Daily Life, Foreign cultures, Identity and Culture, Lifestyle, Spain, Tales of My Adventures, Trips

Spanish ravishing strolls: discovering the city of Zaragoza

Hola CTTBies!

I hope we are all doing well, and that we’re all safe!

In today’s post I will be sharing more about an important aspect of Spanish social life: the art of taking strolls. I’m also taking you on a visual tour of Zaragoza, the town were I live!

In a previous post, I mentioned that Spaniards spend a lot of time in social interactions, and therefore, it’s very common to come across “improvised hangouts”. It does not necessarily refer to parties or meetings over meals. Spaniards also spend a lot of time outside their flats, walking, chatting or just having fresh air. Their cities are designed for that purpose. For example, in my town Zaragoza, there are a lot of public spaces of various sizes: parks, squares, green spaces or playgrounds between buildings. There are always public benches on every street. You can see families with kids, lovey-dovey couples, young people chatting with their friends, eating snacks or listening to music, or old people getting fresh air. It was really funny for me to that even the University’s park is visited for the same purposes and even to walk their dogs. 

They also go for “tapeo” which is going from bar to bar eating “tapas” (snacks or hors d’œuvre) and having a drink.

On weekends, after church, I like walking home. I sometimes take a detour to enjoy the view. There are days when my  friends tag along. We walk, enjoy the view, sit or squat somewhere for a while, there continue wherever our feet lead us too. If we’re hungry, we go to any supermarket nearby and grab some snacks to keep us company. My town is small and very safe, so we stay out until our legs give out (before Covid-19 started, sometimes till 1 or 2 am ).

There’s always something new to discover, or things that capture our attention… We have a local saying here: “Zaragoza te enamora” (Zaragoza makes you fall in love). Indeed, I have been here for years, but it is constantly fascinating.

After the Filomena snowstorm left us covered in white, San Valero’s strong wind gushes nearly blew us away, and now… Valentine came with love in its wings. The weather is pretty more merciful these days. We’re transitioning to spring so the average max. temperature is 14°C.

As it’s getting warmer and warmer, talking strolls around the city becomes even more agreeable. It is pure goodness to see the trees bloom and to feel the sweet rays of the sun slowly warming up… I love Spanish Spring very much, I feel like I‘m reviving after the harsh winter.

I know it’s still far, but as the tropical bird that I am, I can’t wait for summer to come.

Warm regards,

Nuna Blomevi.

“Expo” Zone

Valdesparterra” and “Arcosur” residential areas

I recorded traces of the Filomena snowstorm on my Youtube channel
Posted in Couch Talks, Deep Thoughts, Life Moments

To love… or not to love: how much of myself do I invest in others?

Happy couple, happy family. Happy family, happy society. Happy society, happy world! 

Rewind… First of all, how do we get to the happy couple stage? 

Backstory: I was comparing today’s pre-marriage processes with how it was done in other eras. People of the past used to investigate and carefully select the family of the bride or the groom before choosing a spouse for their children. Education, heath, values, and morals, they checked every detail they deemed necessary. They knew well that every individual comes with their own background, and what they bring with them affects marriage life and even their future children.

Nowadays, people choose based on “tingles in the chest” or “heartthrobs”. Anecdotally, I’ve heard in a K-drama that it takes only 3 secs to fall in love. Well, it’s possible. However, for a relationship to last, it will take more than just butterflies in your stomach. 

 1- Love: From us to others

 At first, dating was a “preliminary process” where lovers met for different activities to know each other better. In modern times, falling in love seems to not be the only reason why couples are formed.

The original purpose seems to be disappearing. People look more focused on choosing a person they deem cool to hang out with, share meals, exchange gifts, have fun and entertain themselves. 

Peer pressure in schools sometimes pushes young people to date because it’s “ trendy” and they don’t want to be the odd one out. It’s “cool” to have a boyfriend/girlfriend, a.k.a “your special person that is special to you and that treats you specially as well. You don’t have one? Bummer”.

On the other hand, society teaches us how to impress others by looking good, kissing good and developing our attractiveness etc… But…  it hardly teaches how to genuinely care.

One time, I heard an interesting reflection that has left me quite impacted. It tells about how we make our list of requirements: how we want them to look like, what we expect them to do for us etc… It’s not a bad thing. Nonetheless; as we set the bar so high for others… What do we have to offer them?

That hit me… I immediately reexamined my standards. I resolved to improve daily as a person, in accordance with the qualities I would ideally like to receive.

Why are you attracted to the person you like? Is it a “heart tingle”, “butterflies”, “trend”? Or are you genuinely in love with them, and you want to be by their side to make them happy? Introspect in your heart and check your motives… 

2- Love: From others  to us

Humans beings are complex and constantly changing. There is no fixed formula to handle social relations, and there is no way to fully grasp who a person really is. Your loved one may try to “fix themselves” for you; however, their nature might be stronger and more unmoveable than you think. Old habits die hard. Make sure that at least the majority of what you perceive or know about them is not fake.

When you allow somebody in your life, you are investing your time, your body, your mind, your heart, YOURSELF. Be sure that the person receiving is worth it. Enquire about everything you WANT to know and NEED to know about them. Check what you’re getting yourself into, and ask yourself: “Can I bear with this for the rest of my life?”

Anytime you see something that you consider a red alert, don’t ignore the signs. It might come back to bite you later. Love with your eyes open! Don’t lose yourself to someone else. You’ve got only one life to live, so take care of yourself and choose what’s good for you. What is healthy for your body and your mind.

In a nutshell… Love yourself, and also love others. Loving oneself is different from being selfish, and loving others doesn’t mean they should prosper at the cost of you. It’s all about balance.

Also remember: Love is not a feeling, it is a decision.

Happy Valentine’s day!

Forever overthinking and forever meditating,

Nuna Blomevi.

Posted in Colloquial, Fiesta, Foreign cultures, Spain, Tales of My Adventures

Spanish Holidays: Celebrating San Valero

Hola CTTBies!

This weekend we celebrated Saint Valerius Day -Valero in Spanish- the patron of Zaragoza. More festivities! Long Live Spain! Hurray! Feliz día de San Valero, rosconero y ventolero ! (I’m flexing my linguistic skills). I said in my previous article that this post would be quirk… I’ll skip the conventional way of describing commemorations and just write it my own way (already grinning out of excitement). There I go!

Background story: Spain is an exclusively Catholic nation (official stats say 90% of the population, but truth is, many don’t really believe or they hardly go to church. Anyway… I’m just saying). The country is divided into different regions called “autonomous communities”. They are all independent, it kind of works like the federal states in the US. Each of them is also divided in provinces. So, I live in the autonomous community of Aragon, in the province of Zaragoza. Each province has a patron, which is a saint that is dedicated to them. So, Zaragoza’s patron is Valero, who was a bishop some centuries ago.

San Valero (picture retrieved from the Internet)

Personally, I have observed that religious events here don’t exactly hold a pious connotation among the population, especially the younger generations. They’re more perceived as an occasion to eat and be merry (99% party, 1% devotion). I was shocked that the biggest outdoor concerts are held at the city’s main square, right in front of the town’s biggest cathedral…

Why it is celebrated: Now, this funny. There are holidays where even the natives don’t know what the occasion is about. The feeling is just like: “Fiesta! Another day off! We get to stay home or hang out, hurray!”. As I mentioned in one of my previous articles, here every good excuse is an approved reason to relax and lounge around. As a foreigner, I have fully adapted to the local habits… 

So, I’ve been here for years, but I still don’t know why we celebrate San Valero. The only half-convincing answer I got was: “Oh, it’s because he’s our patron”. So I was like “yeah, what the heck did he do for that to happen, I mean, any great accomplishment?” I didn’t get any satisfying reply so I requested help from the greatest assistant of all times: the Internet. Thus; according to Wikipedia, he was a bishop, he got exiled, then he died somewhere else, then he got canonized (a.k.a, consecrated by the Church as a saint).

Long story short: I still didn’t get what he accomplished to receive that title… 

Plot twist: After an eternity of research, I finally got more info on one of our local malls’ website , Gran Casa. In summary, I discovered that it was because he was a martyr who got persecuted for his faith under the roman emperor Diocletian.

Fun Fact: the natives came up with this comic motto for him: “San Valero, rosconero y ventolero!”. It means, on his day he brings a strong wind and also a lot of “roscon” (a typical dessert). It’s true somehow; apart from the dessert specially sold in pastry shops for the occasion, yesterday was very windy!  By the way, Aragon is a mountainous region which is infamous for a strong and sudden wind gust called “Cierzo”. It blows unbelievably fast, all year long. A local joke says that in Zaragoza  it’s no use to do your hair nicely and it’s dangerous to wear a skirt.

I have personally experienced the cranky mood of this ill-tempered wind. I was walking on the street one day; the Cierzo was blowing so strong that I couldn’t move forward because it kept pushing me in the opposite direction. 

Special food: Spaniards make a special pastry or dessert for almost every holiday. Most of the time, it’s a “roscon”, a sort of big donut-looking bread filled with whipped cream and topped up with candied fruits. They made it for Reyes Magos (6th Jan.), for San Valero (29th Jan.), they’ll make some for Santa Agueda (5th Feb.) and then for Cincomarzada (5th March. It’s the same cake but they change the shape: the first two are donut-like, the third is shaped like a breast and the last one as a 5 (for now I’ll skip the story behind each of them).

(picture retrieved from the Internet)

How we spend the holidays:

For main holidays, concerts, parades or other cultural events are organized. If it’s a religious occasion, a huge procession is organized. For San Valero, they bake a huuuge, endless roscon and place it at Plaza del Pilar, Zaragoza’s main Square.

(picture retrieved from the Internet)

On apersonal level, Spaniards are highly social individuals. They usually gather among relatives for family lunches or meet up with friends. Thanks to their awesome culture, I have become an expert at improvised get-togethers. It’s easy: get some snacks, some drinks, a TV and call as many people as you can. Everyone brings something and we all share. The key to success: be in good company with fun people. (Important detail: here, it’s good manners to bring something with you to give to your host when you get invited somewhere! It can be food or drinks, or a dessert).

Not in the mood for socializing? No problem. My personal recipe: Stay home, eat your favourite food, binge-watch TV and sleep as much as you want. Repeat.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the holiday was pretty lowkey, but I was able to meet up with a friend. We wanted to go to the mall but got there too late so it was closed. We rather went for a stroll by the Ebro River (pictures below). The view was absolutely amazing and the weather so agreeable (aprox. 19°). We also enjoyed an small outdoor gallery designed by local artists to retrace the history of comics in Spain .

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this article.

Stay safe, and see you in my next post!

Nuna Blomevi.

Posted in Anecdot, Couch Talks, Daily Life, Deep Thoughts, Foreign cultures, Life Moments, Lifestyle, Story time, Tales of My Adventures, Trips, Work/Studies

The Joys and Pains of a Foreigner

Have you ever gotten frustrated by an obstacle which seemed small at first, but you can’t figure how to go about it?

That is exactly how I feel right now.

When one is a foreigner living abroad, it appears that the immigration service finds every excuse to not let us thrive and advance professionally. It’s so annoying… 

Background story: As many of you know, I am a foreign student schooling in Spain. Up till now, I didn’t have any necessity to find a job (financially speaking).  But as I’m growing older, I want to acquire some professional experience and, why not, make some extra bucks.

Look. I am fluent in 3 foreign languages. Also, my CV is overloaded with qualifications, trainings and extracurricular certifications… I have the required skills wanted for the jobs in my field and I’ve received offers from institutions who really wanted to work with me. But… 

My only hindrance is a freaking piece of paper: let’s call it the “Immigration’s green light”, a.k.a a work permit. The funny thing is, to get the work permit from them, I need a contract from a company. And to get the contract from a company, I need a work permit. In summary: They’re freaking toying with us, right?

There are small part-time jobs like tutoring or cleaning, etc which don’t need papers, but they don’t pay enough to make a decent living. So, except you’re from the European Union, the rest of us have to go through “the Overseas Aliens’ Transit Regulation”. (Excuse my language, I probably lost it out of annoyance, haha). Based on the absence of that sheet of paper, (even as a highly educated noncitizen) you are either forced to leave, or to stay in the country and not amount to much, or to sweat it (and buckets) before you can become anything substantial.

Because of that “system”, today was another failed interview for me. You know, that feeling when you’re in love with someone but the family is against you… Something like that. Worst thing, I woke up with a back pain today so I’ve been walking half-bent like a crab. Great… Awesome day…(sarcasm). I’ve chosen the title “Joys and Pains of a foreigner” because I didn’t want to scare you guys… And also because I decided to take all this positively.

By the way, when I’m feeling nostalgic or downcast, I like to play on Youtube some old songs from my childhood, or my favourite K-drama OSTs. Skillet also does the deal… When I got back home after the interview, I felt so deflated. I listened to “Saint Seya’s” opening theme and “Cat’s Eyes”, “Jayce et les Conquérants de la Lumière”, “Nicky Larson”, “Ken le Survivant”, “Sankukai”, amongst others (links below). Not only the lyrics are so corny, but the melody and the bad visual quality make me laugh so hard. And the reactions in the comment section are hilarious… Especially, the video for “Sankukai” is an antic…

Those songs from old mangas are full of warm memories. They remind me of when I was carefree and living comfortably in my family nest. Now I’m an adult living alone abroad and paying bills… Hehe (sarcastic laughter).

Anyway. My New Year resolution was to not be pessimistic. Where there is a will, there is a way. I must keep fighting for my future and to accomplish my goals. May God help us all.

Any expat friend here who can relate? You can comment below, I’d be more than glad to hear from you! 

Aside from that; maybe you’re reading this and you’re going through another type of difficulty. I’d like to share these encouraging words with you too. Whatever it is, let’s not give up! Let’s keep it up, let’s keep trying! We will knock until we get the right doors to open. Just like the lyrics say in “Jayce et les Conquérants de la Lumière”, “Si tu ne perds pas la foi, tu trouveras la voie.” (If you do not lose faith, you will find the way).

By the away, tomorrow in Zaragoza we celebrate San Valero, the holiday that I previously mentioned in the post on my New Year’s wishes. I’m thinking about writing a short article about it (with my personal quirk touch, without fault). Stay tuned!

Warms regards,

Nuna Blomevi.

Posted in Deep Thoughts, literature

The enchantment of Storytelling: A magic charm to move hearts

The links to the resources mentioned in this post are available at the end of the page.

Some stories are born when someone sincerely pours his/her heart out, and some others are craftfully edited to manipulate.

Some months ago, as I was on the job hunt, I made some peculiar findings. I was looking for vacancies related to translation, content writing and copywriting. Then I came across an interesting term called “storytelling”. Let’s look at it from these two aspects: its use and its purpose as well as its functions.

1- Use

In a certain way, it is a writing technique used to make a story sound sensational and more stirring than it originally is (or should be). With a great dose  of embellishment and a touch of exaggeration, the purpose is that the said narrative should be able to shake the most unmovable rocky heart.

Fine! That’s great stuff. I should apply it to my novels to make them more exciting”, I said to myself. I did some further research to know more about the methods applied. In the course of that, I discovered that not everyone has candid goals as I do. I somewhat knew that storytelling is utilized a lot in marketing and advertising (if you noticed, some ads just don’t make any sense); however, I was horrified to learn that it is widely used in politics to create effective electoral campaigns. My excitement immediately melted away like butter. Funny enough, the opposite word for “story” is “truth”…

This is dangerous”, I thought. “If we fall for a well-written scenario and we vote for its candidate, we might actually put that person into power based on a convincing show.” No wonder the world is at it is. If the candidate is a good person, what a relief. If not, the country is doomed…

People are not people… It’s recommended to not believe everything that we hear or that we think we see. We don’t know what happens inside their homes, in their private lives. We only see what TV and the Internet grace us with. And if they are corrupt but powerful enough to cover things up, we might only get to find out about their evil deeds a hundred years later when journalists record a documentary about it (or reveal the innocent ones who had been framed.) . Some writers and movie producers also try to warn us through books, series and TV shows when they cannot warn us directly. One of my favorite quotes is from Virginia Woolf: “Fiction here is likely to contain more truth than fact”. It represents so well the main characteristic of our modern era, where it’s hard to distinguish genuineness from manipulation. Our world’s characteristic has always been “a bit of truth, a bit of fiction”. It’s hard to tell what’s what.

The laws that rule our countries and daily lives are passed by a small group of people in a small room, and they come out to tell us what was decided. The only power that we have is to choose who goes inside that small room (for those who don’t live under a dictatorship, of course). We elect them after meticulously scanning their words, lives and portfolios through their campaigns and speeches. We put faith in their promises, hoping they’ll improve our countries and therefore make our lives better. Electoral campaigns have now become like courtship between lovers: “If you marry me, I promise I’ll make you happy. I will never make you cry.”(Well, experienced people know that nothing is more unsure).

Frankly speaking, we can’t really choose wisely even if we’d like to. It would be convenient if there could exist an instrument to measure sincerity… A sincerometer? (Goodness… I said that word randomly, but I googled and it does exist, though that machine hasn’t been invented yet).

2- Purpose and functions

The main intent for storytelling is to exert an influence on and / or to suscite a certain reaction in the reader (interestingly, the word “influence” etymologically means a power or a flow that can change someone’s behaviour or destiny). Of course, there are other goals as well. Let’s look at each one.

  • On this earth, human beings are not eternal. Be it through literature, music or graphic art, we pass down the legacy of our lives from generation to generation. Coming to think of it, we are able to create a certain sense or eternity by remaining in history.

Remembrance. It might be faint in comparison, but it is the ultimate form of immortality that we humans have reached. When we pass away, we will not be present to witness how well-remembered we are or if we are not forgotten. Nonetheless, we don’t want to leave this earth without at least having the comforting feeling that someone we left behind will think about. As many people as possible, the better. It’s one of the reasons why we perpetuate stories. And the best of all the stories we leave behind is the story of how we lived.

  • Another reason is that we tell stories to leave traces of things we cannot or do not want to say openly.
  • Lastly, elaborate brainpowers use stories to subtly change people’s minds. While some have good intentions, some of them can be dangerous…  I was reminded of Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf”. We all know the disastrous consequences that it provoked. Just the thought of it made me shiver… And wonder: did he change people’s minds, or did his writings make stronger the secret convictions they already had in their hearts unconsciously? Both he and his followers had the firm conviction that they were in the right, even though their beliefs brought a bloodshed. Ironically, when I searched the book on Google just this week, 80% of those who read it like it… which implies that after all that happened, there are still people who agree with him today. 80%… By the way, why is his book still being sold freely up till now?

That is how powerful someone’s influence can be. On how many occasions did we change opinions because TV or social media said so? Or buy something we didn’t plan to? Or come to like / dislike something we didn’t before?

Even more, we are thinking creatures and talking creatures, so it is impossible to live in society without exchanging points of view with others. Our convictions are made or broken everyday. Emotions and intentions are invisible forces imprinted in all that we see, hear, or what we say or do. And they hold a tremendous power of influence.  Our bodies are static, but thoughts and ideas are dynamic and constantly shifting, causing societies to mutate. And the more powerful someone is, the more their opinion prevails over the rest and leads them to dominate other people.

In previous centuries, we used to complain that we were subject to obscurantism and we fought hard to break free. Nowadays, artificial intelligence, advertisements and algorithms dominate our lives and dictate our behaviour. Probably, it’s just the methods that are different…

Leaving the socio-political scene and coming back to literature , I am personally not fond of works that contain a lot of gore, violence or nudity, both as a reader and now as an author myself. The amusing detail is that they are usually classified as “adult content” (seems to imply human nature gets worse as we grow old).  I’m not criticizing preferences here, but only expressing opinions.

Whether it is from sincerity or manipulation, no text is effectless. Like little magic spells, they will suscitate either hate or admiration (just to name a few emotions). Be careful of what you set your eyes on, and what you expose your heart to. And if you write, may your works bring good influence unto humanity. As an aspiring writer myself, I feel the weight of that responsibility. I hope my writings bring out good.

Forever overthinking, forever meditating,

Nuna Blomevi.

Storytelling

1- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storytelling  some of its purposes: Using narrative to manage conflicts/ Using narrative to interpret the past and shape the future/ Using narrative in the reasoning process

2- https://vilmanunez.com/que-es-storytelling/

3- 4 P’s of Storytelling: People, Place, Plot and Purpose. https://vimeo.com/blog/post/storytelling-the-stillmotion-way-part-1/

4-https://www.harvardbusiness.org/insight/telling-stories-how-leaders-can-influence-teach-and-inspire/

Commentary on Virginia Woolf, “A Room of One’s Own”.

1-  https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/roomofonesown/themes/

2-https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/811265-at-any-rate-when-a-subject-is-highly-controversial

Age of enlightenment vs obscurantism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

Etymology and origins of the word ‘influence”

1- https://www.universalis.fr/encyclopedie/influence/

2- https://dicocitations.lemonde.fr/definition_littre/14523/Influence.php

3- https://www.etymonline.com/word/influence

Posted in Anecdot, Colloquial, Couch Talks, Daily Life, Fiesta, Foreign cultures, Life Moments, Lifestyle, Photos, Tales of My Adventures, Trips, Vlog, YouTube Channel

Spanish Wishes for the New Year

Finally!

The end-of- year celebrations are over. I get to have my first real day off since the holidays started. As an expat living alone abroad, I originally planned to spend the festivities by myself, but I got so many invitations that I went here and there, celebrating from house to house. Instead of spanning as “The Grinch” or “Home Alone”, my holiday season became “All I want for Christmas is you”. I tell you, it’s important to extend one’s social circle.

Until yesterday, I socialized, laughed my lungs out, slept, tv-binged and food-binged. (Now I am praying for discipline to go on an “effective” diet). I am not a difficult individual to satisfy. Including clothes and expensive perfumes (hehe), I find joy in these little pleasures in life. And personally, after going through certain bitter experiences, I have learnt to laugh and enjoy good moments while I can. 

In Spain, Christmas is not over until the 6th of January. From Nochebuena (24th Dec.), Navidad (25th Dec.), Nochevieja (31stDec.), Año Nuevo (1st Jan.), to Reyes Magos (6th Jan.)…  Spaniards commemorate “Los Reyes Magos”, the visit of the Three Wise Men to Jesus. Here, it’s also the day children receive their gifts. (Yesterday, I was at a get-together with some friends and we exchanged presents. I received a new bag, yay!).

Every excuse is a good reason to celebrate in this country. I heard that 29th January is also a holiday, “San Valero”. It even falls on Friday, bless God. Then we have 5th March, Easter, 1st May and many more all year long…. What a nice country to live in! They are the best at balancing work and rest. I’ve lost track of what we celebrate and why, I’m just happy to stay home or hang out. By the way, I  share videos about life in Spain on my Youtube channel. Please pay a visit, like and subscribe. Gracias! (I also created a special page on this website where I publish pictures of all the countries I’ve visited. (Click here to view Travel Gallery).

Oops… My bad. I got excited and forgot the main reason for this post…

Happy New Year, dear CTTBies! Health, Success, Happiness, Peace, etc. Amen, amen…

Ok, I will skip the usual protocol wishes, I’m sure you’ve already heard them a lot . Pardon my crudeness, you know I’m brutally honest and pessim… uh, uh, realistic. 

2021… We’re not sure what you will bring, but we are ready to take you on (since we’re already exist in this harsh world, we don’t have a choice but to keep going anyway, hehe). We are strong, we will bend but not break. There will be annoying days, but there will also be bright days. You might pick on us, but we won’t mind you. We will go through it and carry on with our lives. We will be firm until our very last breath, as we see you and other years pass by. That’s life. And we are humans, the strongest, ever-adapting creatures on planet earth. We always find a way out of the maze once we set our minds to it. And as long as there is food, housing and our loved ones with us, we can bear through anything. (My personal form of self-encouragment).

New year, bring it on! Maybe I should take that out, let’s not challenge the Universe.

On behalf of Corner and I; we want to thank every one of you who take their time to visit our blog and read our posts. We also want to express our gratitude to all of our followers. Thank you for accompanying us on this journey! We are grateful for your time, attention and affection. Thank you!

Happy New Year! Feliz Año Nuevo! 

 Besos,

Nuna and Corner Blomevi. 

Posted in Anecdote, Couch Talks, Daily Life, Life Moments, Story time, Tales of My Adventures

Change that one thing you don’t like about yourself: New Year’s resolutions

29th Dec. Recap. 

2021, 2021, we’re eager to see you. Like escaping a sinister maze, we’re running away from 2020 with the hope that you’ll be a better year…

I have always been amazed by that thing called hope. Even in the worst situations, we unconsciously believe that one day the bad season will end and that things will change. As one of our basic instincts for survival, hope is a powerful defense mechanism that keeps us going in life in spite of the daily difficulties we may face.

Funny enough, I suck at “hoping”. I have an extremely pessimistic personality that constantly imagines the worst case scenarios. Contrary to those super positive people who have a smile on their faces all the time, I have to make a HUGE, conscious, monstrous effort to avoid drowning into negativity.

As I paid attention to my life, I realized this. Every single bad event that I imagined would happen came to pass. Just like Job said in the Bible, “the things that I feared the most came unto me” (NPV: Nuna’s Personal Version, hehe). That’s when I began to be afraid of myself…. And of my pessimistic mind with gloomy imaginations that seemed to attract unfortunate events. 

Of course, it’s not just because you imagine something that it will happen. In the same way, it’s not because you’ve not thought about it that it won’t happen.  Our world doesn’t operate on fixed rules, and there are thousands of variables that influence every second of our existence. What’s bound to happen will happen anyway.  However, let’s not add fuel to the fire and make it worse with negative perspectives. If bad things can happen on their own, don’t make your life more obscure by worrying about what could occur to make your life miserable. At least, in your mind, try to dream about nice things. It might not make you control the Universe as you wish; but believe me, it will make your existence a whole lot sweeter. 

Life is difficult? Yes. But depending on your attitude, you’re one step away from making it better or bitter. Let’s call it “the improvement mindset”.

Challenge for the new year 2021: “Change one thing about yourself”. This year, it’s not only about going to the gym or learning a new skill. It’s about a change in attitude. Yelling, cursing, complaining, gossiping, backbiting, overworrying, we all have that little thing which we know could make a difference if we could just get rid of it. Are you ready?

As for me, this is my resolution: I’m going to change my life by changing my perspective. 

Warm regards from a fellow life warrior!

Forever overthinking, forever meditating,

Nuna Blomevi.

Posted in Couch Talks, Daily Life, Deep Thoughts, Fiesta, Life Moments, Lifestyle, Tales of My Adventures

A Grinchy Christmas: overcoming loss and celebrating life again

A sweet and sour post, specially dedicated to lonely souls.

18/12/2020, a life recap.

As I was walking on the street today, I stopped at a traffic light to cross the road. I raised my head and looked around. Crowded shops, busy people, our town was bubbling. The queues waiting to enter stores or restaurants were endless. Pandemic or not, life must go on, it seems. I thought people might find it difficult to celebrate 2020’s festivities. Due to the Covid-19, we’re all a bit grinchy this year, but I guess human beings are good at adapting.

This year I really thought hard about how to celebrate Christmas. It’s not the first time I’ll be alone, but this year the feeling is different. I am ready for it.

When I looked at the happy people on the street, I thought: “Christmas is supposed to be a happy occasion, but it’s not always the case for everyone. There are some people somewhere who aren’t going through their best moment right now”.

Christmas celebrations made me reflect on the stages of life; it took me some years back.

When I was a kid, I really enjoyed the end-of-year celebrations. The gifts, the food, the cozy home atmosphere… Just like any child, I totally loved it. That’s the magic Christmas has, that special time of the year that we spend with the ones we love the most. A sacred period. It’s our society’s designated time to cut our hectic world some slack.

Well, it’s not exactly true every year. I remember, after that peaceful period of my childhood years, my family faced a stormy period due to one of our members’ serious illness. Then, the following end-of years, we faced death, the parting of a loved one. I was just a teen back then…

That’s when my feelings towards Christmas changed. “Arrrgh… It’s this time of the year, again. I hate Christmas so much! And all the new year festivities or what not. I wished the year would end quickly.” Hearing carols got on my nerves and decorations made my eyes itch. The allergy was severe…. I put extra effort in hiding in my room until the Christmas season was over and people stopped bothering me with their celebrations.

Many years have gone by, and our mourning has passed. We will never forget the hard memories, nor forget those who left us to a better world. Nonetheless, our hearts have healed since and we are stronger to continue the journey of life. After the tears, the living must go on living, they say.

Because of those past wounds, I always have on my mind people who have time during the Christmas season and New year. Whether it’s sickness, death, or any other difficult circumstance, my heart goes to them. Like a magic spark that flies in the wind, I hope my thoughts and sympathy can reach them. Like in cartoons, let us all gather some warmth and transmit it to them in these days, so that they receive the strength to make it through and come out victorious and stronger. Yes, the nightmare will end. Let’s say a prayer and light a candle for them. I’m sure people did it for my family too.

Back then, I cried so much that it felt like I was shedding tears of blood. I cried till my lacrimal glands emptied; my eyes got so stiff from the dryness. In those days, when people used to tell me that tomorrow would be a better day and that my tears would dry up one day, I was too torn to believe it. “Yeah, right. They’re just saying whatever to comfort me.” I hurt so much that I thought I would die too. When the pain pierces your heart through and through, it’s hard to believe.

Now I believe it. And I am more mature to smile at the future, no matter what happens.

I have survived my painful past, and I have grown into a beautiful adult. And now, I like Christmas again. Today, I was jumping on the streets like a deer, going from shop to shop and my eyes enlarged, all frenzy looking at the items. Gosh, everything was so nice and the stores smelled so good (I went to buy cosmetics). Oh, the divine fragrances! My lungs were so blessed today. Every woman has a shopping weakness; mine is expensive perfumes or similar scented products, aka exotic shower gels, shampoos, detergents or hand washes. (I bought three different hand washes today…)

Truthfully, as an expat living alone abroad, away from all family, I dread this year’s celebration a bit. (Last year I was sick with a bad flu so I wasn’t really in the state to worry about parties…). In past years it was harder, but I’m getting used to it now and I think I can pull it off. I used to get invited by friends to join their family celebrations, or  I “located” other friends who live alone like me and organize joint celebrations. This year I’ll skip. I’m in a “Home Alone” mood. I just feel like staying home. I’m going to break that everlasting law that says that we have to be agglutinated for Christmas. I just want good food this year…

Plot twist: I got invited by some friends last minute, and I couldn’t resist, Haha… I’ll be home alone only on the 24th on Christmas eve…

I’m planning to pamper me and spend lavishly on getting myself good food and nice gifts. I didn’t feel like decorating this year, so my house is as bare as it’s been all year long. I wanted to buy a little Christmas tree but I got lazy. I’m a foodie, so I’m going to invest in that instead. (There’s a particular Japanese menu that I’ve been targeting for these past weeks). There’s no issue in life that good food doesn’t solve.

I’m already planning the menu. I got inspired by Korean Mukbang videos on Youtube, so I’m thinking of organizing a virtual dinner with my family back in my country. (We did it for my birthday and it was great).

I guess I’m giving alternatives/  ideas to people who’ll be spending Christmas alone like me. I hope they are helpful. Hang in there. All depression,shoo! Be gone! Haha. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.

Will I hate Christmas again in the future? I don’t know. If you love Christmas, I can relate with you. If you don’t love Christmas, I also relate with you. I have come to learn that it is not a celebration with a fixed pattern based on the sparkly, merry, ideal image that society has drawn for us. Christmas is different every year. Christmas is what you make of it personally. Your Christmas is you.

Others may be unaware of what you are going through, or they may be pushing you to celebrate as a way to forget your loss. Your Christmas doesn’t have to be happy because theirs is. Ride the tides, mourn, until you feel confident to smile again without having to fake it.

Bend, but do not break. Survive your loss, and let’s meet on the other side.

A grinchy Christmas to you!

Warm regards from a fellow life warrior. Forever overthinking, forever meditating,

Nuna Blomevi.

P.S.: I prepared a special song for you. Enjoy!💋

Posted in Couch Talks, Daily Life, Deep Thoughts, Life Moments, Lifestyle, Tales of My Adventures, Work/Studies

Fighting against the odds: compete with yourself and win

Today’s meditations led me to this topic: fighting against circumstances.

We all have something that holds us back or stops us from getting to where we want to be or achieving certain desired results.

Personally, I mentally listed all the characteristics that, in my environment and my context, might not be in my favor. The perspective looks sinister. “I am a foreigner living in another country. My skin color demarcates me from others on the spot. No matter what I do, I remain an alien. Even more, though I have learnt the local language and fully adapted to the local cultures, the absence of the corresponding legal documents makes me unrecognised as part of the natives. I will always be ‘the one who came from another place’.

I am from a very small nation that many here do not even know exist. I went to a great school in the land where I come from, but since my nation is not known, my Cum Laude degree does not count. My physical features, my foreign name, my age, they all stand against me on my CV. Where the natives have it hard to get a job, I have to make a triple effort with no guarantee of success. In spite of my academic achievements and professional experiences, I never get chosen. I rather get discriminated against and at occasions people look down on me. When I am wronged because of my origins, many at times I cannot say anything, again because I am not from here and do not have any power in this foreign land.”

It’s easy to drown in discouragement and accept failure. “That’s how things are. That’s how the world works”. Yes, I could say that. It’s true that certain things don’t change no matter how hard we try and bump our heads against the wall.

Still, I want to give life my best shot. When I die, I will close my eyes without regrets and know that I have done my best. In case I don’t make it, I will still be remembered as the one who did all she could. Or maybe, things will work out for me. Why not?

This year, I did all sorts of crazy stuff I never imagined I would do as the risk-free and  highly “will-it-work”,“take-your-time”, “are-you-sure”, “did-you-think-through” person that I am. I started a blog, started a business, created a YouTube channel. At the last minute, I went back on my decision to return to my country where I planned to live a comfortable life with my family. Instead, I recently submitted my candidacy as a student representative in my university.  Part of me is saying: “You must be out of your mind! What have you gotten yourself into?” while the other part says: “Well done! It will take time and effort, but it will work. You won’t regret it!”. Truthfully, there are days where I just want to silence both voices and quietly go on with my life. I don’t know how things will turn out, but I’m glad I did something noteworthy with my existence. It will remain a special memory.

I don’t know what your limitations are. I don’t know what wall you are facing. Tonight, I want to give someone a bit of courage as we all strive and work hard to walk through this life with our heads lifted. Little by little, with wisdom and of course, integrity, let’s break free from what holds us down, step by step, and walk towards achieving our dreams. Yes, you failed before and might fail again. Keep trying. Yes, nobody cheers for you. Encourage yourself.  (And let me tell you a secret: I also got some encouragement from above). God has his ways of bringing us support, as well as the positive words we need to hear. He shows us the right path to follow and roots for us everyday.

Think about that great person you admire or that celebrity you’re jealous of. Do you think they had nothing holding them back? I’m pretty sure they were in the same situation as you and me: the roundabout of “all or nothing”, the turning point of “make or break”. I wonder what fear they left behind and what small steps they took in the past that converted them into legends today.

Is something keeping you from moving forward? There are different ways of dealing with an obstacle: either you remove it, or if you can’t, you go around it. Or if it’s very big, you keep on knocking and scratching it until it crumbles down. Think outside of the box, or create your own. What can you do to make the best out of what you have, and use your circumstances to your advantage?

December is, for me, a key month that represents both a start and an end. At some few days to the closing of the year, what big decision will you take that will propel you to the next level? The access to your success is within your reach. Will you let life pass you by?

I hope you take your leap of faith.

Farewell and see you in my next post!

Nuna Blomevi.