35 Of The Best And Worst Things About Living Alone

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Ever since I can remember, as a kid I was obsessed with the idea of living alone. I guess it was a fantasy I had from playing house and taking it a little too seriously. This resulted in becoming a fiercely independent child that turned teen adolescent to now grown woman. It progressively got to be a little strange and concerning for some that I had no qualms with being alone and the mere slightest hint of unnecessary socialization would freak me out and feel ultimately, claustrophobic and smothering. I used to ask myself in a hopeful non-conceited way, ‘Ugh, why are these people so obsessed with me?’ of course they probably weren’t obsessed with me, they were just legitimately wanting to hang out like regular people do.

Now, cometh the day when I am suitably independent and (semi) socially acquired, living alone has proven to be a redefined…

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After Attending a Dance Class

Dance, what a wonderful sight! Not everybody knows how to appreciate it because not everybody knows how to do it. The grace of the movement, the effort put with every breath brings you to another dimension. You will never be able to compare the redness on a dancer’s face with anything else than a rose that blossomed. Breaks, stretching, muscle mass; bone power and balance are easily seen in any piece. However, the power of the mind is the most important of all. You can tell when one is annoyed, angry, tired, and happy or at peace, and no matter which is the feeling, they still continue without interruption. What not everyone can see, though, is the spirit that dances, not only the body. The stream of life runs along with the music. The heat, the energy, the waves, the current; add ribbons to the whole scene and the river will catch fire.

Ballet, one of the most difficult types of dance, which I personally cannot understand, needs a motivation that few have. It is true that some girls are forced by their parents to learn it due to its magnificent sight and the pride one feels when he or she sees her daughter being graceful as a swan. This is certainly wrong because the kids might do it eventually and go to the distance just because they see their parents happy and once their parents they might not be able to attend a show or a rehearsal, they lose the grace given by the ballet. This can be a real turn down. Even in dance controversies exist. With all this said, my point highlights the fact that one cannot force himself through an art such as this.

On the other hand, the beauty of ballet goes beyond compare. Ballerinas are not ordinary human beings. They make room for a new mentality, for a concept that cannot be explained except through the notes of a melody.  Ballet needs to be felt in order to be understood. When are you able to feel it? When you imagine yourself doing the same moves and you give them meaning. It’s a dance that cannot be performed without tons of self-confidence and hard work. Even if its sight for some seems silly, this art will be appreciated by anybody after they try it. Yes, first try and then judge.

The rhythm of any kind of dance must pass through the entire body. Your mind needs to dance when your body doesn’t move. Can you stay still while you listen to music that highlights the rhythm of your mood? If yes, you are either forcing it or your mind is already on foreign moors. Of course, there is a third option that puts more emphasis of the fact that you simply cannot feel it, which is sad, but possible. Feeling life through music is one of the best ways of experiencing it. It can be the music of the highway, the music of the sea or the sound of the wind. You don’t need Pharell Williams to tell you to be happy. In the end, music defines you, it outlines you and it gives you everything you need to go through any difficulty that you may encounter. Open your heart and let the music guide you. 😉

Living in Lebanon – part 2

One of the things that made me love Lebanon like no other country was its abundance of places to visit and spend time. You ca go to the beach, to the forest, to the mountains and of course to the cliff. Now, it is true that not everywhere is safe, but 3/4 of the best places here are. 

Let’s start with Beirut. This is for sure an amazing location especially around sunset. You can take a walk on the Corniche, go to Zeytouna Bay, Beirut by Bike, Downtown, Hamra and many other places. You want peace and quiet? A walk near the sea is perfect. You want to party wild? The pubs in Hamra and Gemayzhe will always be there for you. Downtown got pretty lonely though. Once upon a time, when the war in 2006 hadn’t started yet, “Place d’Etoile” was filled witImage

with locals and tourists. Now, you barely see a kid riding a bike or playing with a kite. Yes, after all the bad things, people started to forget how beautiful time there used to be. Restaurants are empty and if you see a group of tourists taking pictures then it’s a novelty. One thing that I recall very well is my husband’s reaction when he took me there 🙂 : “Wow! It’s empty!”.

Regardless the fact that it is quite an expensive place, it used to be stuffed with nosy people who liked to check out others. Funny enough, this doesn’t seem to be a problem. Everybody was aware of the fact that you couldn’t go anywhere without looking your best. Gossip is not uncommon in Beirut or anywhere in Lebanon, but most people will never admit it. Everybody says that people gossip and they really dislike it, but what they don’t realize, or do, is that they gossip sometimes even more. Well, you cannot blame them. It seems like the mentality promoted is ” be better than everybody else”. In a nutshell, make sure the hyenas do not catch you and watch out for crows. It is not easy to live in Lebanon. It’s not like Western Europe where nobody pays attention to you, but here it’s a matter of taste.

Nonetheless,Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, is not defined by its gossips. This place on Earth has a history that goes way back to the Hellenistic and Roman period. It goes back more than 5000 years ago. Downtown one can find a city within a city decorated with Phoenician, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman traces. The ruins speak to you, and one can notice how wonderful this amazing capital has risen around its ancestors. Apart from its cultural history, the religious aspect plays an important role. A variety of beliefs can be found one near the other. The majestic Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque and Church of Saint George Maronite are neighbors, and a few steps away there is Saint George Orthodox Cathedral. Impressive no? This mixture created many conflicts around the world, but here they seem to get along just fine. At least, that’s the overall impression. 

Beirut was seen as “the Paris of the Middle East”, and it’s a pity that things had to change. However, Lebanon is still among the most popular tourist attractions in the Middle East and a placed loved by many. 

 

Living in Lebanon – part 1

Welcome to BEYThis article is meant to provide a clearer image of the lifestyle in Lebanon. Take into consideration the fact that I do not work and I am not exposed to any restricted areas. For me it’s great.:) The first thing you need to know about this country is that you will never understand what is going on here, so don’t bother trying to figure it out. Why did a bomb explode today? Where there any targeted victims or it was just another suicide bomber? Hmm! Going into politics is not my business and it shouldn’t be yours either, except of course, you are working for an institution that deals with such aspects or you are studying the subject.

On the other hand, Lebanon, and especially Beirut and its surroundings are an amazing place to live. You can go skiing in the mountains and from there, in maximum 3 hours without too much traffic, you reach the beach. Yes, traffic is a big problem in Lebanon. Well, the public transportation is very poorly developed. What can we do? On the bright side, gas is not as expensive as Europe. Concerning the climate, you have all four seasons and all kinds of landscapes. You will be surprised how alive Lebanon is in summer and how fresh in spring and autumn. Winter is a bit annoying mainly because of heating, which by the way doesn’t truly exist. Why? Few buildings have systems that can provide proper heating and if so, it is not cheap at all, and the rest either have heaters in the house that work on electricity or stoves that work with wood. But for 2 months this isn’t such a big deal. The only problem in winter is incredibly powerful storms that can literally make the building shake. These are one of my favorites. Since I was a kid I used to watch with my dad the lightnings from our balcony. I’ve never seen in my life what I saw here.Here we are talking about sea storms. They are completely outstanding.

Electricity. The most debated aspect in the country. Every day Lebanon witnesses electricity cuts. Fortunately, there is a generator that provides you with enough power in order to be able to heat your house , your food, turn on your boiler, but not all at the same time. Generators have a limit: 6 amps, 10 amps, 20 amps. You choose the one you want. Of course, the pay grows with the numbers of amps. It it also quite annoying to turn on the switch every time it cuts because you plugged in to many things and the generator couldn’t support it. I might be a bit weird, but I love it when it cuts in the mall or in Byblos on the street, or in clubs. For me it’s kind of a fun thing. I enjoy it :). It might take you weeks to get used to this issue, depending where you are from, or days if you adapt very fast.

Restaurants.  Oh my! The cuisine here is unbelievable. It made me love food. I used to eat like any other person and not really care. Lebanese food made me picky. I do not know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I sure know that I’m eating more greens, fruits and vegetables than ever and I cannot even remember when I ate pork last time because I love sheep meat more. Let me clear things up. It’s not because of the religion. NOOOO! You can buy pork from anywhere, but the climate makes it a bit harder. It’s too hot for so much fat! Plus sheep and lamb are affordable and delicious. Why eat pork? 😛

What to do in Lebanon? Well..this is something that needs a lot of time for me to write almost everything down. I’ll see you guys next time. Hope you enjoyed few of the details I shared.

Take care! Cheers!

Mino

Coming back to my sanctuary

First of all, I would like to say to myself:”Welcome back!”. There are these moments in a person’s life when he or she stops writing. That applies, of course, only if they even started. In any case, these days can turn into months and for a writer it is not good at all. Why? Well, the first thing that keeps us alive is writing. We love it and we could do it night and day.Now, of course, if we are busy, like I was, then sometimes you really do not have time for it. The story goes like this: Me and my husband bought a dog, a wolf-dog, which is a bit more complicated and stubborn.  His name is Shadow. We got him when he was 8 weeks old, which was a huge mistake. Here we go…our routine became an every two-hour alarm because the pup needed to pee and it wasn’t easy at all to housebreak him. Sure, all the information on “how-to” is on the web, but are you capable of doing it without getting damaged psychologically? That was the problem: it was driving us nuts. He was peeing anywhere, he was biting anything, he was whining like crazy if we left him alone. None of those things are completely solved after 2 months, but they improved. This is why I actually didn’t feel like writing for a while. Sad, but true. Puppies are like babies from all points of view. You guessed, I also started writing poetry again. 🙂

All of that said, I would like to share with you some thing I discovered these months. First of all I didn’t know that vitamins are water-soluble and fat soluble. That was pretty weird because I have a thorough knowledge of nutrition and health. However, I discovered that there were people around me who knew about this and they are not familiar with a quart of the things I know. So, finding out that some vitamins get eliminated when I pee and some are stored by my body fat was something that made me realize that no matter how much one cares about the details, there is always a risk of missing out on the main idea. I know what is the role of each vitamin, but I didn’t know the most important thing about them: how do they work.

Number 2: puppies are worst than babies. Puppies don’t stay puppies for long, therefore they have the characteristics of a baby, of a child and of a teenager at the same time. They can literally drive you nuts. They are whining, they are afraid of many things, they are moody, they act spoiled, they are selfish, they show off and last but not least they do not listen. The best way I can put it is by saying that a child will give you some time to adapt from one transition to the other. Their character changes slowly. Puppies are stress generating machines. Why? Mainly because all your anger will be kept inside and God knows when and on what you will release it :D. On the bright side, this headache ends faster because they mature much faster. Well, it’s also true that they die sooner, so it’s kind of a knife with two deadly ends.

Number 3: winter has a funny way of telling you that life isn’t only sunny. What do I mean by that? First of all, this is my first winter in a country that has a Mediterranean climate, thus winter here is like autumn in Central Europe. Second of all, I realized how much weather can influence your state of being. I am not talking about rheumatism at all. You can get easily depressed, anemic, annoyed, anxious, happy, excited, you name it. All of these are highly influenced by the weather. Now, of course, this depends from person to person because some of you might actually be very happy when it’s cloudy. I hope Belgians are like that :D. In any case, some wind, some sun, some rain, some storm can give you a completely different overview upon the world. And, my friends, the way you see the world is kind of the way you see life. On the other hand, let’s take the reasonable attitude into account an say: ” It’s normal if it’s raining, the forecast was clear. We adapt according to it.” Yes, for many works, until they lose balance. If you are a normal person (definition: you are affected by everything around you, the world, the ambiance changes your mood), then even if you are good are hiding how nasty you felt that day, a bad weather will definitely help you unleash “the beast” that slumbers. In conclusion, out of a sudden you might wake up saying: “OMG! This is such an AWFUL weather!” or “Ah! At least it’s sunny today and warm.” if you are in a bad mood …or…”Hm! The weather sucks. Of course, this day couldn’t have been perfect!” or “Yeyyy! It’s sunny and warm! Let’s go to the beach!”. You can make up your own line, but I’m sure that the weather has a very strong , but delicate impact upon each and every one of us.

Now, all the things I wrote above might be meaningless to you. Guess what? For me they aren’t! You know why? Because a writer mustn’t stop writing, even if it’s about what he ate for lunch. You get rusty. This was actually my number one conclusion after two months of inactivity. I love writing, so why not continue? Why not share your thoughts with the rest of the world? Words are life, words bring feelings and reading makes you feel alive. You do not have to read literature, but reading something, anything from time to time is amazing food for the brain. Enjoy your future readings!!:) See you soon!