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New Ideas

Hi, everyone!

Sorry I haven’t really been writing lately.  I was busy with finals and tennis, we won our conference, yay, and played regionals at Georgia Tech! It was amazing.

I am getting ready to go home. Finally, after 10 months. I am flying tomorrow morning and I was alone the whole day today on campus so I decided to have some fun with pictures. I never did this kind of thing before, so they might look funny 😛

I just wanted to do something so I can kill some time  and I was being spontaneous so enjoy!

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Regrets

Now I am just sitting on the sofa one Monday morning thinking. What am I thinking about? I have no idea. I have some random passing thoughts. Nothing important I guess. I don’t know. I was just in the mood to take my laptop and write something.

It is a lovely day outside. The sun is shining, it is warm, there are no clouds, it is idyllic. My morning is going well, I don’t have much to do so I can just relax and do whatever I feel like doing. Isn’t that great?

However, there is one things that has occupied my mind for a while now. Few months, actually. Well, one person, to be correct. I really miss that person. We could talk about anything and everything. There was so much understanding and so much interest. I was really fascinated by him. His mind was amazing. We could talk for hours and hours and never get bored. Sadly, our time was short. Life forced us to only have a short and limited time together. I hate it. We hate it. But, you can’t win against life, right? It is too powerful. It has to many tricks it can use against all of us. Such is the power of life.

All we can do is comply and go with the flow. Go and see where it will take us. Surely there are some good news, rewards, and excitement waiting for us. If no, then what is the point of all of this?

 

Some people enjoy their lives. They have it better than others. They just do. That is the fact. Some parts of life will be easier for them. However, we shouldn’t be envious or jealous. They have it better. So what? Don’t keep thinking about it or be envious. Just get to work! You like something somebody else does? Good, now have that goal in mind and start working towards it. Just thinking about how lucky they are and how good they have it won’t make a difference for you. You have to work for it. No one will just hand you something. You have to work hard for it.

What is the point of all this gossip and envy? It is stupid. Nothing good can come out of envy. You will just end up hurt and probably more envious. Instead, take what you like and work hard to achieve it so you can have it, too.

Now, why did I suddenly go so far off topic? Well, I did it because of that person I miss. Maybe I should have tried harder. Maybe I shouldn’t have let him stop this so easily. He regrets it now, as well. I think we both should have tried harder to have something good, something positive. Anyway, we tried, it was good for a while, but I guess we should have tried harder. Maybe it was just a test to see if we will try hard enough. Maybe we deserved to fail. We didn’t want it hard enough and we failed.

That is a lesson we should all learn. Try hard. Try very hard. Then try harder. We didn’t try hard enough and we failed. Now we both regret it, but it is too late now. All that is left now is regret. What if…that is all we have. And that is the worst thing to have. When you think about what could have happened. No, go ahead and do it. Go and try to get it. Put your 100% into it and try. Only that way will you get what you want. That is the only way.

Regret is the worst. It leaves you with that bitter taste in your mouth. Don’t do that. Go for it and only then will you know if it was good or not.

The Shadowy Figure

I have been feeling weird lately. It’s been few days since I feel like this, not sure why. Ever since Friday I feel like something big will happen. Anyway, I need to focus now, I have a math exam and my mind is racing all over the place. I have always struggled with math and is my chance to improve my grade. I have 85% and I need to have at least 90% to get into good college. I have few colleges in mind but I have no idea what I want to study so that’s a problem. School ends in 2 months and I still have no idea what I want to study and where. Great.

Katarina, focus. You need to do well on this test. Don’t think about colleges now.

Ok, I really need to concentrate now. Let’s finish this exam so I can have a break from studying.

 

 

Finally, the week is over. I did all of my homework in advance so I have few days to just relax and do absolutely nothing. I love it. I also got 93% on my math exam. YES!! I totally deserve a break from school and studying.

 

….

 

“Hello, I’m home!”- no answer. Great, it is just me again. This has become usual in my family. I come home from school around 3pm and my parents aren’t here until midnight, sometimes even later. I don’t know what happened, it used to be different. I would come home and my dad would be here with lunch already served. It wouldn’t be so lonely in this huge house. Imagine, it is a 2-story house, 2 bathrooms, living room, 4 bedrooms, and a guest room. Imagine how empty it is most of the day.

I think I will cook pasta for lunch/dinner. I could make some sauce to go with it and a salad. That should be enough for me. My parents don’t eat at home anyway. At least they haven’t lately.

I will put the water on and play some music while I cook.

 

 

I am so bored. I already watched 3 episodes of some TV show and now I don’t know what to do. It is only 6pm. Sun is still out and it is a nice day. Maybe I should go for a walk around my neighborhood. I put some comfortable clothes on, took my earphones and left the house. My parent won’t even know I left somewhere. This is a bit sad, actually. Before, they were very concerned and always wanted to know where I was and where I will go, but lately they don’t. not that they don’t care, they are just not home and cannot know if I go somewhere. It is not really their fault. It just happens, I guess. They have some issues now at work and have to deal with them so I understand. Still, I kind of miss them being a bit annoying. I just miss having my parents at home.

There are not many people outside. Maybe some left for the weekend somewhere. It will be warm and sunny. Some kids are playing in the park, but less than usual. I just keep walking and will see where the road will take me. It is very nice outside, so warm and beautiful. I just keep walking and after a while I came to the edge of the woods. Few block from my house a forest starts. I used to spend a lot of time here with my dad when I was younger. We had so much fun exploring these woods.

I decided to go there again and just re-explore it. I never saw any animals here, except for squirrels and an occasional dog that ran away. Now, I don’t see anything. It is just me and trees. I wonder if people ever just come to the woods and stare at the trees. Or if they hug them? I do, sometimes. I know it is weird and that’s why I don’t say that to others, but yes, I sometimes hug trees. This sounds very weird, but I enjoy it. I think it is fun.

Suddenly the weather changed. It became cloudy and windy. I am a bit cold, actually. It became a bit depressing in the woods. It suddenly got dark. Maybe I should head home, it might end up raining and I don’t want to get wet.

As I turned to head home, I heard leaves rustling. Probably the wind.

Hello, little one.

What the fuck!? Is this seriously happening again? He completely slipped my mind ever since I saw him for the first time. This can’t be happening, no way.

I start running as fast as I can. I need to leave this place as soon as possible. I run and I run, trying to leave the shadowy figure behind me.

You can’t escape from me. I can find you anytime I want to…

Oh, shit. Did I just hear the figure laugh? I am not sure. I just know I need to run away and not look back.

Finally, I escaped from the woods and am back in the neighborhood again. There is no wind and the sunlight is still out. I keep running. I must look like the biggest idiot to anyone who saw me. I entered my house and only then I realized how tired I am. I lock the doors, turn on the lights and firmly hold my phone in my hand. I am sure that thing won’t come here. It cannot get in, for sure. At least I hope it can’t.

I turn on the water and decide to take a shower. I am so exhausted that I will go straight to bed.

I close all the windows, turn off the lights and close my bedroom door. My heart is still racing, but I fell asleep quickly.

THE CEMETERY

It is late Friday afternoon and I have nothing to do. I am just sitting in my room, staring at the wall and thinking. I am thinking about nothing. Well, I am trying to think about something but I end up thinking about nothing. Amazing. I don’t know how I do it.

I am in that mood again. Depressing mood. Not very depressive, but just down for no particular reason. I just feel a bit down. I feel like a philosopher (haha, I am pretending to be one, but I am not one, of course). I just like to feel like one. When this happens, I get in this mood of contemplating about my life, this world, everything. And when I am like this, I need to be somewhere outside, somewhere quiet. Perfect place for this mood would be on a cemetery right after it had snowed so it would be all covered in white fresh snow with no one around to see me. Perfect.

Maybe I should go, take a bus and then walk 15 min and I would be in my favorite place in the world. I know it sounds creepy and a bit depressing, but it is so quiet and peaceful. It is perfect for mindful contemplation (wow, I am using such big words, I am proud of myself).

 

It is only 7:30 pm and it is not dark yet. I have at least one more hours of sunlight. Hmm… should I go? I am bored anyway. Maybe something interesting happens.

 

 

I really love this place. So calm. The sky is orange and there are some clouds that give the sky the aura of ending. Clouds are thin and scarce, but they are perfect for this time of the day. One can clearly see just by looking at the sky that it the day is ending.

I am walking on the “main” road of the cemetery. I just entered it and I will just go where the road takes me. As I walk by, I am reading the names on the gravestones. Right now I am in the part of the cemetery where famous people of my country are buried. Fighters for freedom. Fighters for our language. Fighters for our country. People who achieved something in their lives. People who had a goal. People with a cause. They left a mark on our society. Great people. Great leaders.

I keep walking. So many insignificant people lie here. They didn’t do anything special. They aren’t famous. They didn’t leave a big mark on the society. It is like they never existed. Some of these graves haven’t been visited in years, maybe even decades. Nobody cares about those people. someone did, for a little while, but maybe they died, moved away, or just accepted the fact that their loved ones are dead and nothing can change that. Then, over time, they stopped coming. But, the dead don’t care. They are dead anyway. Cemeteries are for the living. They offer comfort to the ones who suffer. The living find solace here. The living respect this place. The living respect the dead. That is why it is so quiet here. That is why I like it. I can feel the respect, comfort, sadness, and hope here. Many come here to make promises and then go on to try to live life differently. Then they try to change and make a difference.

 

…..

I keep on walking these lonely roads. Not many people are here tonight. I have only seen a handful so far. Now, I am walking on some less paved roads, probably the older part of this cemetery. Graves aren’t as common as they were in previous areas. These graves are very old; they date back to 1850s. Who knows if anyone has crossed into this area lately, besides the people who clean the cemetery.

Suddenly, I hear leaves rustle. The sound came from the right, but there is only trees, nothing else. that is weird. The sound made me realize it is getting late, it is already 9:30pm. I should head home. However, I heard the sound again. It feels like it is near me so maybe I should check it out (I shouldn’t but I will anyway). I take few small steps and remove the tree branches that were in my way. Hmm…there is nothing. Weird, I knew I heard something.

Now I hear something behind me. Footsteps. I turn around quickly, but there is nothing. This is starting to creep me out. I definitely should leave.

Hello, little one.

Wait, did I hear this correctly? Did I even hear something? No, this is wrong. I am leaving.

I start walking fast but I feel a cold breeze brush my left shoulder and chills run down my spine. Fuck, this doesn’t feel right.

Wait, don’t go. I will be lonely. Please, stay.

I am definitely scared now. I start running. I am running, but as I look back I hit something and fall on the ground. I look up and a shadowy figure all in black stands before me.

I told you, please stay. I will not hurt you.

The voice…it is coming from this. It is so weird, I cannot see its face or mouth. The voice sounds like it is coming from somewhere else, but I am sure it is this figure that is talking. But the voice is so distant. It is very quiet.

What is your name, little one?

” My name?”

The figure nods.

“Um, my name is Katarina”

Katarina, I have seen you here quite a few times. Are you not scared of this place? Are you not scared of being surrounded by the dead?

He saw me here before? What the hell? Who is this guy? And why did I tell him my name? What is wrong with me?

Katarina, please, answer my question. Are you not scared of this place?

“No, I am not scared”, although I feel very scared right now- “I enjoy being here sometimes. It makes me think about everything and it is very quiet and calm”.

Don’t be scared, Katarina. I am not a violent person. I will not harm you. I always come in peace.

Wait, what? I always come in peace? What does that mean? Who is this guy?

Many people are afraid of me. Many people try to avoid me, but no one succeeded. Many mention my name in a negative context, but I am just a part of the cycle. I am just a normal part of life. People come and go. People fulfill their roles and when the time has come, they leave this planet. What happens then, no one knows. Not even me. Whether they come back as humans, dogs or leave this planer and go onto another, we will never know. But, that is the beauty of not knowing. One can always wonder. It Is better not to know some things because then human imagination comes up with a plausible explanation that makes it easier for humans to deal with the unknow. After all, aren’t we all afraid of the unknown?

I say nothing. The figure says nothing. It feels like hours have passed since I heard the first sound somewhere in the woods. I need to escape. I feel very scared right now and I just want to run away. I will need to wait for a good moment.

I have seen many things in my existence. Positive and negative, it is all the same to me. The cycle is the only constant in this world. Do you know what cycle I am talking about?

Oh, shit. I don’t feel my lips; how will I answer?

“Umm, th-the cycle of life an-and death?”

You are correct. There is no need to feel afraid, dear Katarina. I didn’t come here to hurt you. You interest me. Not many people like places like this. Most of them are afraid and try to avoid them, they feel uncomfortable. You, however, you fascinate me.

Well, it is getting quite late and you still need to get back home. I will let you go now. But I have a feeling we will talk soon. Goodbye, little one. Sleep well. And remember; don’t be afraid.

As he said this, he just vanished. This is fucking insane! Am I dreaming or hallucinating? I really hope so. I look at my watch and it is 11:45pm. How is this possible? It was 9:30 few minutes ago, what happened? I feel really weird. This guy really scared me. I better leave, before he comes back. I start running towards the exit. Luckily, I have been here so many times so I know where I need to go to find the nearest exit. I don’t think I will come back here in a while.

I run and run to the bus station. I feel really tired and exhausted. The bus arrived. I enter and sit next to the window. I hope I won’t fall asleep.

It is after midnight when I finally entered the house. My parents are still at work. That’s good. I won’t have to explain what happened. If only I knew what happened. It was surreal.

I go upstairs to my room. I take a quick shower and go to bed. I am even too tired to think about all of this. I fall asleep quickly. My sleep was filled with dreams of death and life, fear and tranquility. It was a weird dream, but I don’t remember it in the morning. I just felt weird when I woke up and I knew my dream was weird. But I didn’t know why.

Also, last night almost disappeared completely from my mind. It’s like it never happened. It’s like I never saw the guy or went to the cemetery. But something changed, I can feel it. I just don’t know what.

Should I Transfer?

I am sitting in my dorm room on a lovely March afternoon. Classical music (Devil’s Trill Sonata, to be precise) is playing in my laptop and my roommate is half-asleep. She is also on the tennis team (I am too) but she will transfer next year. I am both happy and sad. I really liked her. It was good to have her around, she is a good and funny person. I will miss her. I hope she will like her new school.

However, this made me think about transferring as well. Specifically, I am thinking about the years right after I graduate. What will I do? I have two options: I can either stay in the US and find a job or go to grad school, but in Europe. I need good grades for master’s in Europe, but I am afraid if I will be lagging school wise. University I attend right now is not too good, academic wise. Therefore, I am afraid if I will miss too much of schoolwork if I stay here. Also, I don’t really like the place here. It isn’t bad, but some things I just can’t adapt to. That is another reason why I think I should transfer. Third, if I try to get a job after graduation, I need to have (or, at least, I think so) good school on my transcripts. School that has a good reputation.

However, if I transfer, which will be either at the end of my sophomore year or never, I am afraid I might end up in a worse place. I am afraid tennis might be bad, not quality wise, but that coaches and/or teammates will be awful. Also, I don’t know if I will find a full scholarship, which I have here. I have to pay for master’s anyway and I don’t want to use up that money to pay for two years at some other school. Tennis prospect of the school here is good. I like the coaches and my teammates, so I cannot complain regarding this. I am just scared about my academics.

However, I can’t really have full college experience here. The culture is just way to different for me to get used to it. The way people act, behave, dress, eat is just too different when compared to home. I really don’t mean this in an offensive way, it is just different. I come from the other side of the world and it is just hard to get used to some things.

Anyway, I still have to think about this. If you have any ideas or suggestions, feel free to comment. I could use some help.

My cousin and I

“So, tell me, what’s new with you? Has anything exciting happened?”-Joanne, my cousin, asks me.

“Well, to be honest, nothing really. I’ve been working, jogging, meditating, reading… same as always, nothing special.”- I say.

“Oh, come on! Something new must have happened, I just know it!”

At this point, I am debating whether I should tell her about the pull I feel for travelling. She already knows that, but lately, it has only gotten stronger. “Well, I just feel like I need to leave. Pack one suitcase and leave. It would be very childish, of course. I just graduated and I landed this nice job. It’s not particularly interesting, but it helps pay for the bills.”

“I know, I want to leave as well. Just go to some place, far away and just stay there. I think then I would feel so happy, I would finally quiet down that need I feel constantly. I would finally be happy. Or, at least, I think that. I don’t really know, but I am pretty sure I would”.

“Maybe we can go somewhere together. Hopefully sooner rather than later. But just the two of us. We could just leave and go wherever we feel like going. We could be spontaneous”.

I just sit there and listen. Yea, it would be nice.

I am staring out the metro train window as I am going home. Tomorrow is Sunday and I have nothing planned. What should I do? Hmm…

I could wake up early and go to the park and just relax there a bit, read or maybe write. That sounds good.

Also, what will I eat next week? I need to go shopping and I need to start cooking, as well. I can do that around noon tomorrow. First, I will just relax and enjoy the day. It should be sunny and warm. Perfect weather.

 

Break-time

I am at my sanctuary again. The best coffee shop in the world. Well, probably not, but you get my point. Anyway, I am writing again. This time I am doing an itinerary. I shouldn’t, but I am doing it anyway.  I am pretending that I am doing the Trans-Siberian Railway trip. This is the first thing I’d like to do when the time is right (and I have money, of course). It is a 10-day trip (I am doing the entire railway, of course) and I will end up all the way in Vladivostok. Then, I’d like to go to China for some time (2 or 3 months maybe). Then visit Mongolia for a month. It would cost quite a bit, but I would just have to be very careful about my budget and I think I could manage. I would love to try and test myself. It would be fun and exciting. Maybe one day.

Now, I need to pack my things and head for the office. Thankfully, it is Friday. I need a break from all of this. I am meeting with my cousin tomorrow for coffee. We haven’t seen each other in a long time and we have a lot of catching up to do. She is quite like me, adventurous, willing to travel and see the world, spontaneous, sometimes crazy, but I love her anyway.

The rest of the day went by as usual. I had to do lots of paperwork and reviews. Lunch break was the same as always with the same people. everything was as usual. It was all regular. Regular life. Boring life. No excitement. Nothing interesting to talk about.

I want something different. Something exciting. But, there are other more important (and boring) things I need to focus on right now.

I turn on the TV and the news talked about same things as always. They are full of negativity, nothing good or positive. I turn it off and eat some of the leftovers from yesterday.

I pick up a book and start reading. It is about a man who isn’t religious, but decided to go on a pilgrimage. He just wanted to do something new and different. He went to Medjugorje in Bosnia. I don’t know if I would do a pilgrimage. It seems as something very religious and serious. I think it would be too religious for me. I don’t mind visiting churches and other holy places, learning about religions, but I think pilgrimage is for people who are devoutly religious. I think my type of pilgrimage would be a trip to any place in the world. The entire trip would feel as a place and an opportunity to learn, experience, see, and enjoy.

Phone rings and I answer.

“Hello, my name is Stella and I am calling to give you some information on our travel gift cards.”- great, exactly what I don’t need. “I am sorry, but I am not really interested” I say and hang up the phone. I put the radio on and they play the 80s music while I am doing the dishes.

Tomorrow I am meeting with my cousin so I have some time in the morning to clean my apartment and maybe do some writing. I will also call my brother and mother and see how are they doing. Now, I need to get ready for my jog and then take a shower, meditate, and go to sleep. Sounds good.