Posted in Deep Thoughts, Lifestyle, Nuna Blomevi's Meditations

Lady Justice and Lady Liberty: law, relativism and power struggles

Si, dans le nombre infini de choses qui sont dans ce livre, il y en avait quelqu’une qui, contre mon attente, pût offenser, il n’y en a pas du moins qui y ait été mise avec mauvaise intention. Je n’ai point naturellement l’esprit désapprobateur. ” Charles de Montesquieu, Préface “De L’Esprit des Lois”

If, among the infinite number of things that are in this book, there be any which, against my will, happens to offend, there is , however, none mentioned with a bad intention. It is not in my nature to be a disapproving person.” (NBPT: Nuna’s Personal Translation)

Today’s meditations brought me to the area of law and personal freedom. I enjoy reflecting on serious topics, but adding to it a pinch of humor.

My recent meditations brought me to cogitate over the concept of law. First, I wrote a previous article on storytelling and politics, then on power and influence , now I am drawn to talk about law and liberty. Mercy…nowadays,  I feel too rapidly compelled into adulthood …

Ultimately, I hear a lot on TV, the Internet and on the news a great mention of different topics related to freedom. Everybody is giving their opinion about what should be done or not, and sometimes there are so many different opinions about the same issue (my head hurts a lot because some say “do this”, others say “don’t”, it’s confusing).

It made me reflect on the notion of freedom in general, and on the role of the law in the regulation of society.  “Can Lady Justice and Lady Liberty be friends?“, I asked myself.

To understand better the concepts of law and liberty, let’s retrace them back  to the notion of good and evil and to the concept of authority.

1- The notion of “good and evil”

Human beings are social creatures bound to share time, space and resources within a community. There are things we want to do, and things we don’t want to do, and we wished we were free to live according to what we want. However, the acts posed by one person may affect another. In order to regulate society, the law was created, and actions were defined under the notions of “good” and “bad/ evil”.

The morality of an act and its level of  gravity can be measured based on various variables. For example; the circumstance in which it was committed, the level of the damage incurred and the intention behind it. For example, killing someone with premeditation isn’t dealt with in the same way as self-defense. Stealing food isn’t the same as robbing a bank.

Personally, I define “doing wrong to someone” as an act caused towards an individual that resulted in causing them a sort of damage. It may be physical, emotional, or related to material properties. Doing good, on the contrary, is posing an act that will bring the receiver some contentment or benefits.

Both “good” and “evil” can vary in levels; they can increase or decrease. Something or someone can be described as “very bad” or “very good”, or also “not so bad” or “not so good”.

A “punishment” can be applied to keep people in check by letting them know that something not very pleasant, or something painful will happen to them if they don’t follow the law. A “reward” is the opposite, it is a pleasurable return on an action committed.

On a macro level, the Law (a set of rules) is a summary of the most recurrents crimes (acts that cause a high level of damage) and the corresponding punishment that a certain society has agreed to apply to it. Those rules are based on morals, values and principles that govern a particular community. For example, some countries apply death penalty for certains crimes while other nations considered that no life should be terminated, so they rather applying a life sentence . In some past civilizations, they cut your hand if they caught you stealing. Nowadays, you will go to jail or pay a fine.

On a micro level, the term “law” can also be related to the set of rules that govern a household or an individual’s life.

2- The concept of authority

The concept of authority has always existed. It is the strength that enforces the law and can manifest in different forms. For example, parents have authority over their children, a boss over his employee at work, or a president over a country.

When two voices are raised against each other, the louder one silences the other. As the stronger voice leads, those who agree with it are happy and those who don’t… have no choice but to submit (or rebel, and wait in silence until the opportunity comes to overthrow the leading voice).

In the hand of humans, power takes turns.  (That’s why we humans are jealous of God and wished we were deities, because only He gets to do what he wants).

On a macro level: to save society from drowning into chaos, the world needs a strong figure that will superimpose its supremacy on other opinions. In the contrary case, it will be morselled and each part will constantly be clashing, one trying to overthrow the other. It doesn’t only refer to gunshots and bombing. It can also refer to“unrest”, the absence of peace. It’s a natural human need to seek for a leader, “someone who can show the way”. In our relativist era, I wonder who will be able to assume that position now… Our modern society teaches us that we’re all free to think and do what we want. However, it is impossible to accept every single opinion. The majority’s voice will always prevail…

so that kind of backfired on keeping order.

3- Lady Perspective: a friend or a foe?

If we follow the logic that it’s a free world, then why does the law exist? We should all be able to do what we want. Well, the law exists to establish limits to our actions and to ensure that we cohabitate peacefully with each other. However, it has the unique but great flaw that it can be modified at will: either, the principles behind it become obsolete, or when one has enough power to bend it. The Law is therefore directly linked to authority, and is one of the main causes of all power struggles and society uprisings, summarised in a nutshell: “You dn’t agreed with a verdict? Then get enough pwer to shift the tables and overrule it”.

The law can be altered at will according to the changes in opinions, perspectives and other variables that are relevant to each society (and personal gains of influential individuals). Even more, power dictates a lot in whether a law will be passed or not. The stronger opinion gets to have the law it wants approved, and if those against are weaker, they have no choice but to submit. The tables keep changing as power also changes hands.

The current society has taught us that we were free to do whatever we wanted to do (that’s what some higher ups said to compel our votes during the electoral campaigns). However, that grand promise has come to backbite them, because they didn’t tell the second part of the concept of freedom. I enjoy very much this particular quote in French that expresses it pretty well : “La liberté des uns s’arrête là où commence celle des autres”, meaning: “One’s freedom ends where others’ freedom begins” (NPT: Nuna’s Personal Translation).

Nowadays, when the people of law want to punish them, a common justification is: “It is my belief. We live in a free country, so I have the right to do what I want, and you must respect my choices”. I’m not sure why, but I’m hearing that excuse a lot nowadays… As long as the action done doesn’t harm anyone, probably. But if not, then there’s a problem.

For example, I saw on the news, that some folks organised a party to celebrate the New Year with about 500 people gathered in a closed place, with no mask, in the middle of this Covid pandemic . In the name of liberty, should their celebration be permitted? or in the name of law and the greater good, should they be sanctioned?

This is just one example out of many others.

Phew… Lady Justice and Lady Liberty must be having a hard fight up wherever they are. “The law was supposed to maintain order in society. Now we are told that every opinion is valid and we are all free to think and do what we want. Then, if the law is an impediment to liberty, why does the law still exist? ”

In conclusion… our world is a free world, but at the time, it’s not. It’s all about reaching the proper balance.

Oh, charismatic leader who will subdue chaos and at the same time ensure the freedom of all, the world is waiting for you…

I’m out for now… See you in my next post!

Forever meditating and forever overthinking,

Nuna Blomevi.

Sources consulted (click on the word to follow the link):

defintion of “law” and liberty

5 reason to abolish death penalty

New Year party

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 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 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 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.

Posted in Daily Life, Deep Thoughts, Life Moments, literature, New book, Original Stories, psychology, Raising Awareness

Circumstances, Background and Intentions: the fine line between good and evil


Reference Book: “Unescorted”, by Nuna Blomevi. 2020 © All Rights Reserved.

Warning: This post tackles delicate issues. May cause difficult memories to resurface or triggers in people sensitive to the topic or with traumas.

Mercy… Lately I’ve been choosing very sensitive topics. Less K-drama talks, more serious content. I’m getting more ideas for the blog as I edit my books. Currently under rewriting, my novel Unescorted principally spans over two stages: the heroine’s teenage years and her beginnings as a young adult. Centered on her life in school and her interactions with other people as she grows up, I address in the plot certain issues that plague our modern society: bullying, emotional abuse, peer pressure, sexual harassment and loneliness.
Being a great fan of psychology, I like researching the possible reasons behind people’s actions. “What kind of thoughts were they having? What logic did they process to end up doing what they did”? Of course, having a background reason or a rational explanation doesn’t excuse wrong actions (between good and evil, we all have a choice to make). However, analyzing thought patterns may help in understanding or correcting certain behaviours. I’m not an expert yet, so I will leave the rest to the specialists…  For now, I am applying the knowledge acquired to build the background of my characters. Still, the social problems I mentioned above occur so often in real life. It made me reflect quite a lot…
Here are some aspects I considered while writing Unescorted (read the excerpt here). They are based on some common contexts perceived from different perspectives:

Case 1

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“X” is a quiet person and a homebody. He/she is not into parties and loud activities. He/she’d rather read a book instead of hitting the dance floor. “Y” perceives “X”’s behaviour as “not normal”, boring, too reserved or not cool, and constantly seeks to drag him / her along when he/she goes to have fun. What is the fine line between being nosy, invasive or being  genuinely caring? Should his/her intentions be interpreted as wanting to improve “X”’s social life, or is he/she being forceful?

      “X”’s response could be:

“I should go once, maybe I’ll like it”.
“‘Y” is getting on my nerves, I’ll just go so that he/she stops bothering me”.
“I don’t want to go, but I don’t have the courage to tell “Y”. I feel intimidated.”

Case 2

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As a guy, “W” seeks to show confidence when flirting. When making a move on a girl, he relies on the “signs” she seems to transmit to deduce if it’s a green light or a red light. (How she smiles, strokes her hair, or how she looks at him). “Should I get closer?”, “Will touching her make her feel attracted to me?”, “Is her ‘no’ a real ‘no’ or is she playing hard to get?”; “‘M’s girlfriend kept rejecting him at first but she ended up falling for him. Should I insist with this girl? Maybe she’s just being shy. I like her and I want to her to be mine.” He may get these four responses from his love interest depending on the case:

Possible reactions from Girl “Z”:

“I like this guy. How should I let him know? Maybe I should try to get closer”.
“I don’t like him… Or maybe I like him a little bit? I said no, but I actually meant yes. I don’t want him to think I’m easy.”
“Let me play with him a little and see how it goes.”
“I don’t like him at all. I’ll tell him to get lost.”

Now here come the questions. This is not about judging between right or wrong, between good and evil. Moreover, there is an infinity of variables to be taken into account. The mood, the venue, the context, the relationship between the protagonists…

Photo by The Humantra on Pexels.com

All of them probably have their own way of thinking which will determine their decision.  “X” may cede to “Y” and follow him/her to a party. Whether he continues to go or not is his/her choice. Does that make him/her a pushover? Or: he may also stand his/her grounds and not go at all. Does that make him/her antisocial, inflexible or stuck-up?

“Y” may choose to keep insisting, and become pushy or nosy. Or, he/she may choose to respect “X”’s decision and let him/her be.  

Based on his “interpretations” of those supposed “signs”, “W”’s choice to keep pursuing a girl may turn him into a pervert, a jerk or get him the girl he wants if she finally says yes. What is the limit between flirting and sexual harassment? Depending on her response, he may get slapped, leave the girl disgusted, or get himself a girlfriend. It is his responsibility to know when to stop and not impose himself if she said no.
From one scenario to another, we wonder: how will the story end? I’m sure there are various answers crossing our minds. Beyond the novel’s context, these are situations we’ve heard of or that we faced in real life. I didn’t mention more serious scenarios because they are too delicate. “Why did “XY” murder “YZ”?” or, “why did “XY” mistreat “YZ” ?” Maybe I’ll write about them in the future if I start a thriller…

Nowadays, literature, movies, art etc provide a lot of backstories to explain the reasons behind the characters’ actions. The new tendency is “why the villain became a villain”. It’s not bad. But it made me recall certain court rulings that used the same principle. You might have also thought of one that marked you… Based on how the circumstances of the crime were explained, the law was used to a certain advantage. Some assaillants were said to have had “a moment of weakness” or to suffer sequels from a troubled past. Their victims “happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time” or were said to have somewhat triggered the criminal. However, the culprits didn’t suffer from any serious pathology except that “they were not themselves” or “they lost it for a minute”. That lapse was enough to destroy someone’s life. The victim is already hurt, but also blames his/herself from not having been able to escape. The feeling is even worse if there is no sign of repentance or if justice was never made.

Understanding circumstances or intentions behind actions may be good, but too much explanation shouldn’t cloud common sense. The facts can’t be changed: someone wronged another person. The person who was wronged wants things to be corrected, not explained. No matter how many turns the story is given.

Real life isn’t a novel, so it’s important to think through. And read between the lines. “How should I react in this situation?”, “Why am I doing this?”, “Is what I am doing hurtful to me or to another person in any way?”. Tick, Tock, count to three (at least). Let the heart express loud enough the intentions behind the actions. It may be time to hold back, or time to flee. Depending on our position and circumstances, (whether we are in X, Y, W or Z’s shoes) these golden rules might be helpful while considering our next move: “Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t like to be done to you” or “I don’t feel comfortable with this person, and I think this is a good time to run away”.

My original topic for this post was “Peer Pressure / Sexual Harassment: When your ‘no’ is forced to become a ‘yes’.” As I was typing, I felt like I should go deeper and deeper, and I got us into this meditation on good, evil and choices. Maybe that’s how strong the influence of intentions is.

(Image taken from http://www.thejadedmage.com/ No copyright infringements intended)
Posted in Daily Life, Deep Thoughts, Life Moments

A Journey to Self-Discovery

a.k.a: A tale of Introspection

What happens when you don’t like being you?

(……)

The question may sound brutal, but it’s a good occasion for a reality check. Some of us don’t like who we are, and we turn to others to define us. Meanwhile, they don’t know themselves either, and what they let you see is a poor version they’ve put together from copying traits of other people.

Authenticity.

I never fully realized the importance of that term until now. 

During the Covid-19 quarantine I wrote a novel titled “Unescorted”. The story revolves around Tegan, a young adult who freshly graduated from high school and enrolled into university. The plot unfolds on how she adapts to her new life, and more importantly, how she tries to fit in and enlarge her social circle. Being an only child, her top goal is to find the ultimate best friend.

 It’s the first novel I’ve completed since I started writing. I had even uploaded the chapters here and on Wattpad. However, as I was editing, I wasn’t completely convinced so I took them down. It felt as if something was missing from the story, and a huge detail at that. What could it possibly be? I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Four months after I considered the story done, I went through a particular experience that made me realize what the novel was lacking: character. Maybe I should add that Tegan couldn’t blend in because, truthfully, she didn’t really like herself? 

Bam! I caught the revelation. I think this song expresses her feelings so well:

In my personal life, ever since I was little, I heard a lot that I was too different, too quirk. Personality-wise and creativity-wise, I couldn’t fit in the same box as other kids so I felt lonely. As I grew up, when I interacted with others, my thoughts were often way ahead of time. Some people were uncomfortable around me, some were intimidated. Some found me weird, and others, interesting; but afterwards, the “newish”, entertaining impression I gave them faded. My ideas were considered creative but too far-fetched or bizarre, and many at times they were tossed aside. I’ve been misrepresented and my words misinterpreted on various occasions. “That’s not who I am”, “That’s not what I meant”: I’ve felt the urge to explain myself many times. I began accepting that maybe, they were right and that there was something wrong with me. I didn’t know what to do with all that imagination I had inside me. I kept it to myself because I didn’t want to hear those distorted perceptions about me anymore. It caused me to create a façade, a patched-up personality made of “socially accepted traits” that would adhere to “other people’s standards”. I wouldn’t speak my mind even when I felt wronged, or I wouldn’t voice my opinion or ideas, because I’d seen too many times that people didn’t take them into consideration.This went on for years. 

However, one day I got to know a preacher and motivational speaker called Cindy Trimm. She often talks about how to live authentically and how to put the talents that God has given us to use. I can’t ever finish to describe the huge impact she had on me. I began to accept myself more and live more authentically without being “others-dependent”. I got a bit better, but recently went through a relapse due to certain interpersonal conflicts. They made me question myself again: “Why am I the way I am?”, “Why can’t I be more like others?”. 

Then, the recent experience I mentioned earlier made me realize this: “No matter how hard you try to fix yourself, you can’t get everybody to like you. Stop sabotaging yourself as if you’re the worst human being out there, when you’re not even a criminal. The others you consider so highly at your own expense also have flaws. Moreover, people have the right to like or dislike you; in the same way, you also have the right to like or dislike them”.

Of course, it’s wrong to be too self-centered or pompous. Besides, nobody is perfect, and it’s also important to be open to receive correction or learn from others. However, when you depend so much on external points of views that you’re not yourself anymore, then there’s a problem. There is a fine line between being open-minded and being too conscious of other people’s opinions, or between being a considerate person or a pushover.

It took me years to learn to know myself, my good points, my weak points, what I have to let go or what I have to improve. Nonetheless, I’ve decided to stop wasting time on that never-ending cycle of fixing and refixing myself to blend in. I’m going to put my talents to use and make a positive impact on this world. Keeping that in mind, in the years to come, I hope the future me will look back and tell me that I did a good job.

This makes me recall a great analogy I heard (though I can’t remember where exactly):  as far as social relations are concerned, we are like numbers on a dice. To some people, we are number one. To others, we are number six. Those numbers are different facets seen from different perspectives and circumstances. What I learnt from that metaphor: people’s opinions are extremely versatile, they change their minds as easily as sea waves crash on a shore.The important thing is not the numbers, but the dice. 

I hope that, just like in this last song, we find the answer we need and we make peace with ourselves.

What about you? Have you ever experienced a similar situation? How did you overcome it? Let me know in the comments below!💖

Now to end on a warmer note:😊

Posted in Daily Life, Deep Thoughts, Life Moments

Fight Fear With Hope

Google Translate💡⬇

With a strong grip, it staked through my heart and wouldn’t let go. At that moment, I wished time would stop, and I wished it was my last breath. But no; as I opened my eyes, I realized that the nightmare was still there.

This week, all day long, I’ve kept on thinking about a powerful demon that has been loosed and is causing a rampage across the globe: fear. Spreading with poisonous news, invisible yet loud, it has left many sick and defenseless. Its roar is raging across the planet and an unquenchable fire is consuming the earth.

Tonight, I woke up as a another victim of this plague that is toying with our feelings and is enjoying seeing us helpless, drowning in uncertainties. We all have different reasons why fear is being fueled in our lives. Fear of the pandemic, fear of tomorrow, fear of the dark, fear of the bills, fear that your loved one will leave you… Be it secretly or openly, we’re all afraid of something, aren’t we? And just like everyone around me, I am looking for a solution.

What do you do when fear grips you? How do you keep your cool and keep going forward?

I don’t have an extraordinary solution that would work like magic. Nonetheless, I believe it is high time for us to embrace each other and rekindle our solidary bounds. Fortify those who are sinking and have lost confidence, those who have surrendered and think that they won’t be able to make it.

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You might have what somebody needs. We need to lend each other a comforting shoulder, a warm meal or an encouraging word. They don’t cost much, yet they are extremely powerful weapons. Life would be so much bearable if we all had someone to rely on, so let’s start a domino effect by being ready to help in whatever way we can. Are we going to selfishly hide in our houses, waiting for the plague to go away and for the world to end, or are we going to initiate the change we want to see in our communities? Don’t wait for others to start, just begin and the rest will join. Change doesn’t necessarily spark with a large scale project; small gestures towards our neighbours may have a bigger effect than we think. Your smile and positive attitude might change someone’s life.

Without a doubt, this truth is crucial:

HOPE MUST NEVER DIE.

It is the most important conclusion I have come to, and it is what is keeping me going. As the emergency alarm has been ringing loud for so many months now, let’s stand strong and not lose ourselves. There will be a better tomorrow, the sun will shine again, and the dark clouds will dissipate.

With love,

A letter from a human to another human.

 #CornerTheTalkingBrain #NunaBlomevi #FightFearWithHope