You are your passions

  • Tea time on a Wednesday, today! Who knew?

Every one of us is different, that’s what’s so brilliant about relationships, that’s what keeps them interesting. A lot of factors play a part in who we become: genetics, the place we grow up in, our friends, teachers and families, crucial life events, society and so much more. In my point of view, there is a way to understand a lot about a person from one particular preference: their interests.

Our interests define us in some way. They also shape us. Interests are what makes the basis of a friendship very often or what brings people together to take something to the next step. Usually, our interests play a big role in the outcomes of our lives, the people we chose to be in it, the career we want to pursue and also qualities of our personalities. When we make the right choices, interests balance the practical part of life and the fun one.

People who are passionate about their interests are usually considered more charming, especially if they have a way to communicate what fascinates them and make other people feel how they feel about a particular subject.

In our age more than any other one before, someone can enjoy what they are passionate about easily. The internet provides us with information, courses and chances to engage in conversations around pretty much anything. So, whether you are an Astronomy enthusiast who goes crazy over the study of the universe and its galaxies or you are a 50’s music fanatic and you like to research the story behind every album released at the time… you can do so from the comfort of your own sofa.

The downside of it all is that at the same time, since there is so much free information waiting for us to explore, sometimes, even our  own interests can seem a little bit chaotic, so instead of actually taking the time to get more into what we love, we chose to numb our minds from the pressures of everyday life while doing something that requires the least possible amount of energy – such as watching a show that even us ourselves consider stupid. That’s great… if it doesn’t take over someone’s life and make them forget what they were truly passionate about from the beginning.

People who have the opportunity to turn their interests into a job are lucky but they are also the people who usually succeed. That is because they are passionate about what they do and they also care enough to engage and try to take what they love a step further. For example, if you are very passionate about physics, you will probably try to contribute to what already exists. You want to experiment with new theories and test your instincts.

Even if you cannot turn your passion into an everyday job, you can always have it as a hobby, which sometimes can be even better because a job sometimes becomes an obligation but a hobby rarely does. It doesn’t mean that you cannot be as great at anything if you are not a pro.

Either way, make sure to have interests. They define you, they give your personality elements, they bring you closer to other people and they make your life more productive and fun. Try not to seat in front of a screen watching passively 100% of your free time. Do it – we all do! – but also… don’t forget your interests. Get up and devote some time to them, it will pay off, I promise.

 

have a magical day,

glance-at-the-sky

by Elena Ktenopoulou

A little something you forgot to consider

When you look at the world you see a combination of brilliance and dirt altogether. It makes you want to get out and explore every single part of it, every possible human emotion and at the same time, it makes you want to run to bed and stay there forever. It’s like being in a huge library with a billion books. You wish you’ll choose the most fascinating ones, those that will teach you a lot and make you a wiser person but still… you cannot know the ending in advance. There’s always a risk.  It’s scary – terrifying actually – but I suppose life can give you a few things that are worth the “pain and the aches of the outcoming fortune” in the words of the Danish Prince.

It is incredible that you have all these choices concerning who you want to become and how you want to use your life in order to contribute to society. But what most people forget to mention when they talk about the endless possibilities is risk and fear. The smallest choice you make has outcomes. There’s never a win-win situation. You always have to face consequences, responsibilities and stand up for the path you took and for the person you are today.

We chose friends, behaviors, careers, lovers, places to live in and even ways to approach situations. Every little thing is crucial but there are some choices bigger than others. These are the choices that will change your life. When you stand in front of a choice this big, I tell you, it’s scary. Nobody mentions that. Everyone goes on and on about doing the right thing but… when you’re actually standing a step away from opening one door or another, you can’t see “right” or “wrong”. You can only see the regret at the end of each way and you’re afraid of it. There are paths that guarantee security and others that involve greater risk.

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Making the step is hard. But no matter what you have been thinking so far, no matter what all the voices around you have been going on and on about, you have to take a step back and put yourself in the microscope. I don’t mean endless hours of worrying and re-thinking – which is something I am guilty of, to be honest – but to really stand across your deepest desire and ask yourself “Where do you want to go?”.

This process is usually so hard because we forget to keep in mind the fear that goes with it. It’s what we forget to consider when we make plans. Fear is usually a huge part of our choices but it shouldn’t be. Go with your gut. There is an instinct inside every one of us, we’ve just learned to ignore it over the years while trying to rationalize everything.

Remember back when you were a kid? You took one look at a person and you knew if you liked them or not. You went to ballet lessons for a week to find out you want to quit and then you tried piano and Italian and none of those were right for you. You knew and you were not afraid to admit you changed your mind. Nobody would call you a loser. Then, you finally tried tennis or playing the tuba and it was fun. You couldn’t see the time to go to practice. That’s what we suppress over the years, our pure instincts. We learn to like what we should like but, how will we ever be happy if we don’t risk walking the road our heart tells us it leads to happiness?

Charles Bukowski said “Go all the way” and he was right. If you don’t go all the way, you’ll never know. It takes a huge amount of courage to stop thinking of every little thing that can go wrong and focus on your pure desire. Don’t be afraid of it. Take a step on the path your heart points at. There must be some reason. Show it some trust and you’ll eventually find out why it took you there.

Have a magical day,

glance at the sky

by Elena Ktenopoulou

Moody evening: survival Guide

Let me guess! It’s around 8:00 pm and something is wrong. There’s no good enough reason to be sad, you’re just a little moody. The sun has set, the day has passed and something is missing. But what? You walk a little around your apartment looking for some brilliant idea of what’s going to pull you out of your misery. You open the refrigerator once, twice… three times! No, there’s no answer in there.

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You start thinking about your life, your choices, people who you don’t see anymore. What happened to them? Were you the one who drove them away? That’s it!  Now, you’re sad and you can find o billion reasons to be.

Stop! Don’t sink any deeper. I know how to pull you out.

Firstly, think about how it happens to everyone. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have evenings like this. Even the people you admire the most, sometimes fall into this trap. So, don’t blame yourself for feeling sad for no reason. The greater artists of all time made masterpieces out of evenings like this.

That’s my first advice! Get creative! Grab your stationary and start making a collage of your favorite images, or draw – even if you’re bad at it. If you play a musical instrument, turn to that for comfort and if you are more into performing arts, like myself, start a wild karaoke night with famous musical songs across the mirror. When you set your mind on making something, you usually end up feeling better because you prevent yourself from negative thoughts since you’re too busy with your hands. That’s why baking is an other great alternative.

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In case you’re not the artsy type, do not worry! Books are a great way to cheer yourself up. I am sure that if you look up the shelf of your bookcase, you’ll find books you haven’t yet given a chance to. This is the time to do it. Personally, I prefer poetry for moody evenings. It instantly makes me feel better even if it is on a sad topic but you should stick to what you like.

If you’ve read everything on your bookshelf (good for you!), why not have your personal movie marathon. Have you watched every single Woody Allen film yet? No? Then you must! Make your favorite dinner or order a delicious pizza and grab any film you like – I suggest anything by Allen because they always make me laugh – sit comfortably and enjoy your evening.

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If you don’t want to stay home, there is always the option of a long walk near your favorite area of the place you live. For me, that’s  near the sea. Don’t forget your headphones. If you try classical music while you walk, you will instantly feel better. I always thought that classical music sounds better outside.

Whatever you decide to do, have a magical day. Let me know what you do to cheer yourself up in case of a moody evening.

 

.glance at the sky

by Elena Ktenopoulou

When good Americans die, they go to Paris

Oscar Wild believed Paris to be an earthly heaven. Well… can you doubt him? I visited Paris a few months ago and I was stunned. I am a person who loves the arts so, Paris was the place to get me ecstatic over the museums, the galleries, the theaters and even the street artists.

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Paris is absolutely magical. That’s why I must point out the creme de la creme of the things I saw! If you have the chance to visit it, don’t hesitate. Get on a plane or a train and go experience one of the most magical places on earth.

I was lucky enough to visit Shakespeare and Company, the famous bookstore, which I now call “my very favorite place on earth”. I adore bookstores in general… but the atmosphere in that one had me amazed. The smell of paper, the old flat of stairs, the piano and my personal ultimate dream: a desk in front of a window with a typewriter on it. If I could stay there forever, I surely would but I promised to revisit as soon as I can.

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On my second night in the City of Light, being a Jazz lover, I went for a drink at the Sunset Jazz Bar. If you are also a jazz fun, you will never forget a night there. Such brilliant vintage atmosphere and a group of brilliant musicians playing the classic hits that we adore.

What can I say about Centre Pompidou? It is a must see but if you love modern art, you will be fascinated by more classic-modern pieces – such as Picasso and Miro – but also you’ll be given the chance to discover new artists. It is a sensational journey that takes you from artist to artist and from era to era. The architecture of the museum is also something to admire!

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Walking the streets of Paris was magnificent. I advise you to walk as much as you can even if it’s cold. The atmosphere and the colors are the most beautiful part of the trip. Rainy or sunny, Paris is as beautiful as no piece of art. No wonder it inspired so many great minds…

have a magical day

 

glance at the sky

by Elena Ktenopoulou