The stories that will never be told

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When I first started blogging, I had two or three articles that I have already written and that helped me to feel less stressed about posting for about two weeks. When I finished posting all these articles, I felt like “ok, and now what?“. I felt like my resources were over and I wasn’t sure that starting a blog was the right thing to do.

However, I was thinking of ways to always have topics prepared, so I started doing what I do best: lists.
Every time an idea pops in my head, I try to write it down immediately on my list in my phone, and as I keep my phone by my side at all times, this is not that hard to do.

By now the list got longer. Truth to be told, there are many things to write about even if I don’t have that list. However, knowing that I have a back up plan for the “just in case situations” makes me feel less stressed and concentrate on what I really want to write about at a certain moment.

Having a big list with ideas to write about, doesn’t mean that I will write about all those topics. Why? Because there are ideas that pop up instantly, but when I think about them, I don’t feel the spark to write about them after a period of time. Actually, going through my list with topics from time to time, I got to eliminate many ideas that felt wow at the moment of popping up, but after I while I felt like I couldn’t or wouldn’t want to write about anymore. So I would eliminate them and concentrate on what inspires me at the moment, be it on the list or not.

Thinking about how I eliminated so many ideas on the list until know, made me realize that some stories will always stay untold. It made me sad somehow, but I still believe that this filtering must be done for various reasons, and the most important one remains that if I don’t feel like writing about it anymore, than why forcing things.

Sometimes, the ideas that I choose to eliminate give me new ideas that I usually write about immediately. I actually love this recycling thing because it usually gives me ideas that I feel like writing about even after a long period of time. Writing for me is an endless process of transformation and refining anyway, so this is not a bad thing. However today I thought for the first time that when I take out an idea from my list, I choose to not tell a story that could have been told.

I’ll let you think about this.
Until next time, let’s be happy.

My favorite Japanese YouTube channels

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Yes, I love YouTube and the countless sources of learning it offers me. This is how I see YouTube, other than a great source of entertainment, a greater source of learning.

Maybe it is because I learn better trough visual content, I always did so, but be it a skill, a recipe, a language or History, I can better understand and remember the info when the content is also visual.

What I like even better is when the content is not only educational but also fun. A great example for this is the channel Linfamy, where you can find a lot of information on how Japanese people lived in ancient times, on Japanese history and culture etc. The information is not only well documented, but also explained in such a fun way that you wished learning was your real profession. I found this channel when I was searching for more info on yokai (Japanese monsters and spirits) and Japanese mythology. If you are also interested in things like these, I really recommend this channel.

Another channel that I love and I use it for learning Japanese, or better said for fixating the few things I have learned until now, is Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com. They have videos for helping people like me to learn and understand the 3 writing systems: Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji, videos for vocabulary and grammar. They also have videos for listening, which I love because the teachers speak clearly and slowly. They have also conversation videos and writing tips, but those videos are for when you already have a pretty good basis in Japanese.

When it comes to warm videos about daily life and food, I love to watch Choki‘s videos. They are slow paced, warm and inspiring. This is one of the channels that I follow without a certain reason, I just love the warmth and the feeling I get from watching so much peace. Choki’s videos give me the feeling I had when I watched Little forest. I wrote a post on this movie, so go check it if you want to read more about the movie.

Btw, I have also wrote a post about my favorite Korean YouTube  channels, so if you are curious, go check it here.

The last channel I want to introduce you to is Anna film production, a channel with walking around videos. The videos are taken in some of the most beautiful regions of Japan. I think I first started watching the videos on this channel after canceling the plans for my travel in Japan (at the beginning of the pandemic). I was a bit sad and I felt the need to watch beautiful places so I feel less disappointed. Since then, every time I watch Anna’s videos I feel like traveling to Japan.

These are some of the Japanese YouTube channels that I like the most, but there are many others that I find enjoyable. I am curious if you knew about these channels and if you have other recommendations, feel free to share in the comments.

I clean so I won’t think

My heart feels heavy and my head is full of worries. I worry and worry until I feel like worrying is even worse. So I think I should do something in order to stop thinking. Or at least to fill my time with something practical, other than worries.

When your heart feels heavy, do something with your hands.

I start by preparing my coffee and the breakfast: a simple omelet with green onion. I watch funny videos on Youtube so I can start my day in a good mood. Then I decide to start moving. I feed my dog, I walk here and there. I go to the greenhouse and I realize I could start planting spinach and lettuce.

While my hands are busy, my head concentrates on what I am doing. Sloppily preparing the place to plant some goodies. I am not the farmer type, but I love to grow things and to surround myself with nature. It’s healing and I feel I at least can do something.

Then I start cleaning. It’s Saturday. It rains with tiny droplets and I like to stay inside on a day like this. Prepare the house for a nice and cozy Sunday.

I like how cleaning clears my mind. While I vaccum the carpets I imagine I vacuum all the bad things and energies. I wipe the dust and I imagine how all the worries are removed. My heart feels a little lighter as my hands keep moving.

Today I clean with no music on. I just concentrate on cleaning. Every spot that I clean makes me feel calmer and lighter. It must be true that when you keep moving your body, your head doesn’t have the time to worry, to imagine disastrous scenarios, to consume you from within. It feels great to do something, to be part of something.

Today I want to keep moving. I clean so I won’t think. I need a break from thinking. The world is busy and I am too. Today busy doesn’t sound bad at all.

Our dog is just great

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There is so much talk on small happiness and gratitude that I feel I don’t need to add more on the topic. However, when it comes to practicing these two, there is more to it than just reading and talking about it.

This article is inspired by our dog, Sasha, food addict, just like me. What I love the most about Sasha is the happiness he shows me when I bring him his favorite dog food. He is all over the place, wiggling his tail and running from one corner to another. He makes me feel better in an instant with his silly acting and the way he shows he is grateful for bringing him his favorite food. At least, this is how I see it.

Today, after bringing him his food and playing with him for a while, I have realized that he is teaching me daily about small happiness and gratitude. I should be grateful for the good food I eat every single day, but humans are not as great as animals are, and we often forget how blessed we are.

Sasha is my daily reminder that I should be grateful for the food I eat every single day and, by being grateful I am happy.

The time to find my true self

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I was studying Korean with Youtube the other days and I discovered a nice quote in a video from the Knowledge talk channel that I found very inspirational and it resonates with what I’ve been trying to do myself for a while now, and that is to find my true self.

가짜 행복의 뒤를 쫓지 말고 진짜 나를 찾는 시간을 쫓아라.“(Erich Fromm), which means that one should chase the time to find his/her real self instead of chasing false happiness.

I found this quote very interesting because we often talk about happiness, but not that much about fake happiness. It’s like there is one recipe for happiness and we should all follow that recipe in order to get the result of becoming happy. But there are as many recipes for happiness as many people there are in the world.

This is why becoming happy is difficult. Nobody can tell you the way you can become happy. Only listening to yourself, knowing what you want and what you like can help you attain happiness. Also, happiness is not a final product. There is no complete happiness. Happiness is the sum of our efforts, it depends on how we see things, it also depends on the circumstances. Happiness is different for every single person and this is what makes it so special.

Knowing who we are, what we want and what we like can lead us closer to our own recipe for happiness. It’s not easy to find what you really like or want to do, and you might get lost in the process of finding who you really are. When I felt lost, I just tried to do more of the things I like, and soon I found my way again. I know I will get lost many times in the future, but it’s ok as long as I find more about myself and the things that I love.

Do you know what makes happy? Do you often do what makes you happy? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Unconventional and fun learning practices

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I am a procrastinator.
I have always been one and I think I will continue being like this all my life.

When I was little, I postponed homework until late at night and I was so sick of studying. I wasn’t a night owl, just a procrastinator. At some point in my school life, something changed and I started to work additionally. I was still a procrastinator, but studying wasn’t so bad. In high-school, I started studying languages as a hobby even if our school system already required too much. I don’t know if this is what overzealous means, but not knowing on what to focus, not being taught what matters and being scared of the future made me do all of these additional things that became one of the causes of my later-to-appear burnout.

Step by step, studying and learning became a routine, better said a lifestyle. Actually, we all do it, we all learn everyday, but we don’t realize. In a way, I am still that overzealous student, or better said a jack of all trades and master of none. Not necessarily a bad thing, but adult life is sometimes an obstacle in the way of my love for learning.

Working a full time job already requires a lot of time and concentration. Adding studying to this routine is in itself something that really makes me proud and motivates me when I am down. I am not very consistent when it comes to routines or habits, but in regards to studying I am pretty consistent. This was the key for me actually. Even if it takes me a lot of time to become good or better at something, consistency always shows the results.

When I started working, I realized that the adult life is so different and that there are more things that you must do than the ones that you want to do. However studying and learning must be there. You can’t do the things that you must do without doing a few of the things that you want to do. Balance is the key here. But how to do them both? Learning is not only something that I want to do and that I love, but also something necessary for progress. The easiest method for me is to learn while having fun. This is not always possible, but I try to use this method everyday.

Soooo, at the middle of this post, I am letting you know that I will talk about some fun and unconventional learning practices I use everyday and that actually worked for me.

Let me share with you some of the techniques I use (as a procrastinator and a lazy person) to learn while having fun. This is mostly related to languages, but I use it for other topics as well.

  • Learning vocabulary with series, books and webtoons.
    This technique is what helped me even with Korean grammar, so I use it a lot to learn expressions and words in context. When I decide to use entertainment for learning purposes, I take a notebook and a pen and I write down words, expressions that I want to use later with my tutor, or I look up new words in the dictionary and write them down. Sometimes, I rewatch series or movies without subtitles to test my understanding in other languages (mostly in Korean). When reading books or webtoons, I look up the new words, write synonyms or write the translation in English or French ( this is when I decide to do a mixed study which I use as a challenge).
  • Reviewing historical events and figures with Korean dramas.
    I am sure you know by now how much I love Korean language, culture and history. Historical movies and series became some sort of a motivation and this is how I started to read again research papers and books on Korean history, something that I neglected since finishing my academic studies. So if I watch a new drama portraying some king and the reforms he adopted, I will do some research and go deeper into the subject. Having a fun visual content as reference, the information stays with me for a longer period of time.
  • Improving writing using journaling or movie/series reviews.
    This is a technique I’ve started using since last year. What I usually do is to write a journal page in the desired language or a review about a movie or a drama that impressed me. Writing about something you like makes you stay consistent and you won’t feel like studying at all.
  • Improving speaking with monologues.
    It might sound strange, but I do this a lot. I was always shy and I found it difficult to talk to natives, so I started using the monologue in other languages as a technique to improve my speaking abilities. While this is not as efficient as talking to natives and it is also different from talking to real people whose reactions, vocabulary usage and way of thinking you can’t anticipate (as in the case of a monologue, where you are the one who prepares and thinks the whole situation), talking to myself helped me so much to improve my speaking and become more confident in real situations like interviews, presentations or conversations with natives.

These are some of the unconventional learning techniques I use almost everyday, if not everyday. They are actually practices that used frequently can help you achieve what you want. I hope my tips will inspire you to find you own practices or that you will practice in my way no matter what subject you are interested in.

Happy learning.

Inspiration from anime

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I have always been interested in visual content in all its forms. Movies, animations, books, photography, they are all fascinating to me. For me visual content is not only a way of entertaining myself, but also the best learning method. I remember even now the Philosophy exam I passed with maximum score after watching a few videos on YouTube explaining the meaning of a few famous paintings that had to be put in a complex essay. Maybe it is also highly related to my learning style, but writing an essay on concepts that were explained using visual content helped me to better understand and apply them in various contexts. Since then, I have mostly used this method to learn or research different topics.

Since I have decided to start learning Japanese, my study plan relied mostly on using visual content to learn in a fun and fast way. Traditional methods are to be avoided in my case. Thus, mnemonics, charts, pictures, illustrated books, YouTube videos and even anime are the resources that I use the most when studying Japanese.

However watching anime is not solely used for studying, but also for nurturing my fascination. With all these holidays and more free time, it would have been impossible not to spare more time for watching animes and dramas.

Today I want to introduce to you an anime that I have re-watched recently and that I have found some inspiration in for this article. It is about Ancient magus bride (Mahoutsukai no Yome). It is an anime that uses supernatural elements, beautiful art and nature scenery, and it is also great to watch for people who love content about supernatural beings, fantastic worlds, life lessons and so on.

When I watched this anime for the second time, I could see more details and go beyond the story. This anime enriched me by making me think about what is important to me, about self-love, growth and interconnections. Of course, every person could see something different when watching a movie or reading a book. Our observations and analysis are also highly influenced by our experiences and the knowledge we have in the present. This is why, being able to relate and to understand more made me think about the little changes that might happen but pass unnoticed.

While watching the anime, I took the time to write down some quotes I loved and that I thought you too might find useful or inspirational.

  • One today is worth two tomorrows.
    I really loved this quote as it emphasizes the importance of the present and living in the now. My efforts of becoming more present and living in the now might be the reason behind my fascination for this quote, but I like it anyway.
  • We live and learn.
    As a lifelong learner I couldn’t agree more to this quote. Life gives us teachers and lessons but how we use what we learn it is totally up to us.
  • Better to ask the way than go astray.
    I like this is one because somehow it has to do with how we think about ourselves and the relationships with others. I used to be extremely uncomfortable and lack confidence when I had to ask someone something I didn’t know. I was afraid I would be laughed at or scolded. Well, one of the reasons I hate traditional teaching is exactly this one: the lack of dialogue and the emphasis on taking what you are given without asking the WHYs.
  • You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs
    The message is simple: you learn from mistakes. And more mistakes mean more lessons. The problem is that many people still see mistakes as failures and not as lessons. But changing our mindset requires time too. Next time when you break an egg, think about what you can learn from it.

So what do you think? Are you inspired by these quotes? By now, you might have realized that there are so many ways we can learn new things. Inspiration and motivation comes in different forms and from different sources. Use every thing that you do to learn something new and correlate it to others things. Everything is interconnected and this is how you can learn the best.

2021: One year of challenges and growth

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It comes natural for me to make lists, to observe the process and the progress. Therefore, making analysis of what I achieved, of the steps I took to get where I am now, of the challenges I encountered and the lessons I learnt is always an opportunity to learn more and to understand myself better, and also to think of better ways to fly even higher.

By making lists and observing the activities and the results, I am also trying to win over laziness and procrastination. Living in the countryside was the perfect chance to slow down in many areas, but I was afraid that I would become inactive or lazy. Thus I need to see results and to motivate myself to grow.

Looking back, 2021 was full of challenges and difficult times, but it was also a great year full of gratitude, nice projects, achievements, great people to work and to connect with, lessons, creativity and happy moments. What more could I wish for?

At the beginning of the year, I chose 4 random mantras that would guide me and help me become better in certain areas: Self-care, Change, Lessons and Power. All the things that I did were more or less related to these areas that I wanted to improve. I learnt a lot of things and I allowed myself to fall, to feel embarrassed, to not be right all the time, to make mistakes, and this is how I have learnt so many things about myself and other people. I accepted new challenges and got involved into new projects that made me more confident and more aware of my super-powers.

I stepped outside my comfort zone as much as possible and I did some things that made me fearful and insecure about myself. I learnt that I can do better than I thought and it made me feel proud and stronger. I became more determined to be the one who decides what it is best for me and listen less of the things people say to me. I decided to take better care of myself and see myself for who I am, not for what I should be or for what I could be.

Maybe what happened less this year is change. I was afraid many times and took my time to do so many things. I could not say that I made dramatic changes or that I did some wow-things. However, I tried to improve myself and my life as much as possible in the actual context. It is enough and I did even better than I had expected.

At the beginning of this year I made a list with the things I wanted to try doing or improving, but what I loved most about it is that I took the freedom to adapt and to do what I felt at that moment. I improvised and I did even more because I learnt that life doesn’t happen according to our plans. However, we can leave our mark and our will in every thing that we do. While not everything depends on us and our will, there are some things that we can control, especially how we look at things and how we think about all the changes. Even when I think of how I thought this article would be, I can see that I couldn’t predict even this small thing. I write exactly what comes to my mind and what I feel, without respecting the list I made or the ideas I prepared in advance.

I don’t know how next year will be and I am not even trying to find out. If you think too much about the future, you lose the beauty of now and the now becomes the past that you can’t live or change anymore. Thus staying present and living the best way you can everyday and every moment is the secret to have a great year. This is what I have learnt after so many fails and mistakes. This is how it works for me and this is where my focus goes: live everyday the way you promised or wished to live.

For me, staying healthy, in peace with myself and the others, eating good food, looking at nice things and writing about them, learning and being creative is the best way of having great days and great years, After all, life is also formed of these trivial little moments of peace and happiness, not only of massive changes and great opportunities.

Thank you for being with me and for reading my stories this year as well. I wish you peace, health and enjoy the little moments.

I filled a jar with words

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They say that words carry power. Compliments are words, promises are words, criticism is mainly done through words. Words get the fastest to our heart and brain and we tend to believe what other people tell us.


Some days we might not find the right words to say how we feel, and other days we might use the wrong words and say things by impulse without meaning it. We rely on words more than on actions to tell them how we feel, and then we feel disappointed they don’t see our actions anymore, but they only pay attention to our words.

When using the right words, you can inspire, encourage and even change someone’s direction in life. If you tell them they will become successful, good people, they will believe you, and their actions will lead them there.

The same thing can be done towards ourselves. Why say mean things to ourselves, why criticize or look down on us, when we can give power to words to take us where we dream to arrive. Similar to visualization, this technique of convincing ourselves that we are wonderful and that we can achieve anything works wonders.

A few weeks ago I started to write words on pieces of paper and put them all together into a jar. I remembered how my university roommate received as a present a big jar filled with beautifully colored notes from her friends. The notes had written on them beautiful words or phrases that would inspire my roommate and put a smile on her face. And it worked. I saw her face brighten whenever she took out one of those colored notes. I thought it was unique and inspiring. After many years, it inspired me to fill my own jar with words that would help me grow and feel good.

The rules are simple. You take a jar and you fill it with pieces of paper on which you write whatever may inspire you to grow in the areas that interest you (health, self-development, self-care, new hobby etc), or nice words or quotes that can make you feel better or more positive. Then you take out one note everyday and try to follow that specific advice.

As I had a hard time lately seeing the little nice things that happen everyday, this technique became my top priority. I chose words and phrases like: smile, slow down, hope, take a walk, meditation, self-care, patience etc. By doing this I started to act more consciously, to be more grateful for what I have, to make more efforts for what I want to achieve, to be more positive, to feel better with myself and even to exercise more.

If I think about it more carefully, I actually wrote values and the things I want to learn and to practice more. I want to be more patient, to never lose hope, to love myself, and yes, I need to remind myself these things everyday. I need to practice everyday in order to make them a habit. And while it might look too technical for some, remember that words carry magical powers. Feed yourself with positive and nice words and you will become what you consume.

Thank you for listening my story today as well and I will see you around.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

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I think I should tell myself more often that achievements, self-development and positive changes might need more time than I can appreciate in order to see that dream finalized. Dreams are not easy to follow and that’s why not many people get to achieve their dreams.

I think that the most important thing I learnt these two last years is patience. My heart was distressed so many times, and my mind rushed for more than a thousand times, making plans and trying to adapt to the repeatedly changing situation. Rationally speaking, I knew there were so many things out of my control, but my heart longed for peace, certainty and freedom. But do we ever have certainty? Are we a hundred percent at peace or truly free? Even before I couldn’t feel like I really have all of them. However, after two chaotic years I am more aware of who I am, of my fears and my power. I accept changes more easily, not because I gave up, but because I know I can’t control everything, and I shouldn’t even try to. I have more patience and I trust that there is a time for everything.

The thing is that lost my way so many times, not knowing if what I was doing was the right thing, but I still chose something because there is no other way to keep going, grow and learn. I lost my way so many times and I still feel lost sometimes. But maybe not having all the answers is the right answer. In times of uncertainty and fear, maybe the best way to find our way again is to simply let go and keep walking forward anyway.

Do you remember the scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone where Hermione, Ron and Harry are caught by the Devil’s Snare and they start struggling to get out of the deadly embrace? Then Hermione says they should relax and only then they would live. So put your mind at ease, be patient and soon you will be freed from fear, uncertainty and any change that might ruin your plans. With patience and perseverence, you will build your own Rome.

Stay safe everyone and happy days.