day8 – 30×300 challenge

Let’s talk about career

If you’ve been reading the 30×300 challenge you already know that in the past years I went through a massive personal development. My opinion about career and work-life balance is entirely different than 3-5 years ago thanks to the eye opening experiences in my life. 

Before I had any idea about life, when I lived in my own  reality during high school/uni, I thought I wanted to have an old fashioned career. Climb the ladder at a multinational company, work my ass off and get a well paid manager position at 40. I wanted to be successful in a socially accepted manner. Earn a lot of money, have power over people, and have an influence on the company’s operation.

Again… how naive I was. Today I’m just laughing at my old self.

Since then I left the pampering school environment. Indeed I left my original cultural and social environment that determined my worldview for so long. The world opened up for me, and my perception about career and success has changed completely.

Today success means happiness. Career means doing what I love. I’m appreciated and I get decently paid for my work. Loads of money and power are not motivators any more. I would rather take a job that pays less, but gives me freedom to travel and live my ad-hoc life than one that pays shitload of money but ties me to a chair in front of a screen. I would rather be a part of the team and work together with people, than above them. I would rather have fun and amazing experiences than sell my soul and work fork in a box and feel miserable in my office suit.

Is it the socially accepted definition of ‘success’? Not today. But I believe we are going there. Millenials are changing the way people think about success. They are more open for untraditional career paths, and care less about social expectation regarding their life. I completely understand why (maybe because I’m a millennial myself). I don’t care if somebody thinks I have a poor life because I don’t own a car or I don’t have a 9-5 job. I’m happy without those things. I don’t want to fit in a box just because others expect me to. I only have one life and I want to spend it as it pleases me, not others.

Of course here I talk about myself. There are people who are happy with an office job, 30 mins of lunch break and summer holidays. I don’t judge them. As long as they are happy I support all of them. But having that lifestyle just because that is socially accepted? No thank you.

(371 words, 40 mins + editing)

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day7 – 30×300 challenge

In Hungary I got used to the old school professor-speaking-student-listening way of teaching. I had to sit in lectures all day long, learn theory from books, recite learned theories on tests and never get practical experience. (Well we had an internship semester, but I didn’t use any school knowledge during that period, that is for sure.) In Denmark it is exactly the opposite. Every class is a discussion, students are as much part of the conversation as teachers. There are theoretical readings that we are supposed to read before the class. During the class the focus is not on teachers presenting those theories, but more like discussing our interpretations, and how we can apply those theories in real life. We are encouraged, sometimes expected, to contribute with our opinion. And there is the practical part. Instead of tests, we have projects. In groups we have to solve a problem, most of the cases are real life cases, and present our solution to the teachers. Instead of grades, we get feedback.

At firsts I hated this system. I didn’t understand why they can’t just leave me alone with my books, and ask me anything after a month of sitting at home and memorising the content word by word. Why do I have to spend hours after school working together with people I don’t even like? Why don’t teachers give me a straight answer to my question? Then after 1 year or so the picture had started to clear up and I understood: this is how it works in real life. Because in real life, I’m by myself. Nobody cares if I know the 4Ps or Porter’s five by heart. I can easily Google it any time. Nobody cares how many books I read about marketing strategy. They care about get things done. Being resourceful, dynamic and adept has its advantages when it comes to results. (I’m talking about marketing-branding field here. I’m sure it is not the same with doctors and lawyers.)

I’m not saying that theory is not important. Of course it is. I have to have a basic knowledge at least to know what to Google. But spending all the time on learning theory and not put them in practice is useless. I’m not saying that the Danish education model is perfect. Far from that. But I’m lucky to experience the two ends of the spectrum that opened up new perspectives for me.

(It seems I can only write diary level posts after 14 hour of work. Which is kind of understandable considering that my brain is mashed potato. It is fine for now. I’m not going to give up the challenge because I’m exhausted, just lower the bar. But I also know that if I really would like to improve, I have to take my time, prepare and focus on writing.)

day6 – 30×300 challenge

Expat life has changed me

It is common sense that moving abroad turns your life upside down. Relocating to another country means new living environment, new people, new cultural norms and probably a new language. I’m not saying that these huge changes are not overwhelming in themselves but living in the everyday reality is even more challenging. Fight your way through the bureaucratic system to get registered or figure out how to go to the pediatrician or do your own tax assessment is hard.

These are only few examples I had to deal with in the past years and there are so much more. Small, everyday things that are easy and obvious in your own country where you grow up in the system. Moving to another country means leaving the familiar system, the comfort zone and accept that there are going to be challenges on the way. You have to be aware that as an outsider to the new system you are going to be treated differently. You have to be strong and persistent to get your will through. You have to be resourceful and adaptable to manage daily life. You have to see the process as an opportunity for self-development otherwise it’s going to break you.

At least this is how I did it. I could have given up when I didn’t find a ‘real’ job for 2 years. I cleaned during the night to get enough money to pay my rent. I didn’t. I hardened my skin and cycled in the ice cold nights for 30 mins to hoover for a few hours and then go to school in the morning. Or worked 5 days straight from 9am until 1am (16 hours). It wasn’t easy or fun, but looking back it was the best thing that could have happened. Facing all these challenges made me a stronger person. I learned how to stand up for myself, how to push myself in difficult situations, how to keep a positive mindset when everything seems gloomy. I learned how to appreciate small things, I learned how to live on a supertight budget, I learned the value of money and the value of people around me.

Even though it was probably the 2 most difficult years of my life I’m so grateful for them. I’ve changed completely (for the better): I’ve become more humble, tenacious and  100% self-reliant.

I wish everybody could have an eye and mind opening experience like this.

(412 words, 70 mins)

day5 – 30×300 challenge

Fashion is my nemesis

I remember when I dreamed of becoming a world famous fashion blogger. I fantasized about walk in closets and shopping trips with so many bags I need a person to carry them for me. I envied all the fancy people at fancy fashion shows in their fancy designer clothes. I wanted to be the next Chiara Ferragni who doesn’t wear the same outfit twice and her biggest concern is which shoe matches her new Gucci skirt.

Oh how naive and careless I was. It feels like a completely different person. It is amazing how I changed 180°. Now I’m repelled by that lifestyle.

Today I see fashion simply as a business tool that is used to encourage people for overconsumption and mindless spending. Do you think we really need new clothes every two weeks? Because that is how often the fast fashion stores roll out new collections. By putting new styles on the shelves regularly their goal is to make the old styles obsolete. If you buy the hottest trend today, I guarantee it will be out of style in latest 6 months. No insta fashionista wants to be unfollowed because of his/her outdated sneakers. Keeping up with trends means weekly shopping trips, clothes worn 2-3 times and devastating card balance.

I know, I’ve been there myself. I used to shop to pass time or because I was in a bad mood. I lived in the false perception that lots of clothes equals good style. I couldn’t be more wrong. It is exactly the opposite. Buying too much means I’m looking for my style. Experimenting with colors, shapes and fabrics. It’s okay for a while, because we need to find what looks good on us, but most people stuck in this phase, and never settle. They keep buying, keep trying to follow all the trends even though it doesn’t fit them, and they might never realize that their sense of style is as phony as mine was.

I feel lucky, because I stopped caring about trends and being ‘in fashion’ when I learned about minimalism and mindful living. I realized that there are so much more I can do with time than trying to satisfy other’s expectations about my appearance. I’m not saying I’m ignoring how I look, but clothes are not a priority anymore. I still spend time to put together an acceptable outfit in the morning. The difference is that I only own a few items, I love all of them, I know they fit me and they mostly black so I don’t have to spend hours to match colors, decide about patterns or figure out what suits my mood. I’m not trendy or fashionable, and I’m absolutely fine with it. I feel confident in my clothes, I don’t spend my precious time&money on shopping. I’m completely against the concept of fashion and excessive consumption.

On the other hand I’m a big supporter of conscious consumption and personal style.

(Today was a bit hectic, so I couldn’t keep track of the time. Also I don’t really like this post, it doesn’t have a style. It’s more like a diary. But the point is that I kept my my promise, I wrote 500 words which shows that my self-discipline is improving. Also, I overcome my ‘perfectionist’ mindset and I posted something I was not proud of for the sake of personal-growth.)

day4 – 30×300 challenge

How to survive 14 hour workday for 2 weeks

Mindset.

I’m lucky enough that 14 hours workday is not an everyday reality for me. 8 hours of struggle seems just fine, sometimes even a bit too much. Life can be a bitch from time to time and roll challenges in your cozy life just to remind you: don’t get too comfy, good things comes to the ones who work for it.

Well… I definitely work for it. 14 hours a day.

Before these 2 weeks even started it seemed impossible. I was so stressed about what will come: I will be exhausted, I will have no energy & time to go to the gym, cook or wash my hair. I was so frustrated it drained all my energy and made me miserable.

Then the day had come, the first 14 hours were gone, and I survived. It happened next day, and on the third day I had to realize that it is half as bad as I expected. I felt worse in the previous few days stressing about the possible negative outcomes than actually being in the situation.

This made me understand that attitude is a game changer. Why should I make this already difficult situation even worse by focusing on all the negatives when I could relive frustration by focusing on the positives? Since then I’m training my brain to find the silver lining. Every time when I feel down, I get myself to think about the stuff I’m grateful for.

“After all it is ONLY two weeks. I’ll have time to get some rest when I’m going on vacation. I’m LUCKY because both of my works are flexible so I can take 2 weeks off. I already planned everything and it is going to be awesome. I have extra work now, which means I have a bit of EXTRA MONEY to spend on the vacation. And I don’t have to worry about the cooking either, because I have FREE FOOD at both my workplaces.” (Free food, best thing that can happen to a foodie)

Did you get the feel of it? Yes, I could complain because this situation is not ideal. But life never will be. And if I keep focusing on the negatives I never will be happy or satisfied.

Happiness is a mindset. I’m grateful for all I have, and in hard times I have to keep in mind: I’m extremely lucky and I appreciate every small gifts that life offers. I’m trying to make the best out of every situation even if it means waking up 5 in the morning to be able to go to the gym before my long workdays.

Wherever you are in life I wish you can apply this mindset. It changes your life, believe me.

(464 words, 95 mins. After 30 mins I had to start over, because I wasn’t satisfied at all.

day3 – 30×300 challenge

Let’s discuss why the hell do I have 14 hours work days.

Do you remember the moment standing with  your crispy new university degree in one hand, probably a beer in the other hand, laughing around with friends about the good old schooldays? Do you also remember the day after, waking up still buzzed and as you are trying to retrieve some memories from last night a tiny question slowly creeping up on you? What am I going to do with my life? The moment when you realize that the good old schooldays are over and you have to get your shit together, start earning money and be a constructive part of the society is scary as shit.  

I had this moment more than once in my life. Finished school, degree in one hand, beer in the other and the question hanging over my head: What the hell am I going to do with my life. I haven’t find the answer yet, so long story short, I’m still in school. I’m still trying to figure life out and in the meanwhile collect as many education as possible to increase chance of my future employment.

To finish this current one I have to complete 10 weeks of internship. During the summer obviously, because every student’s dream is to spend their probably last ‘free summer’ closed up in an office and work for 0 money. Yeps, this is how we roll in Denmark. I got paid for all of my previous internships in Hungary, but not in Denmark. Indeed the school puts in the contract that the internship MUST be unpaid. Like life isn’t hard enough already, you have to have 2 jobs. One that pays you and one where you start building your future career. (If you look at it like that, working for free is a good investment, but not everybody is lucky enough to get a dream internship.) I have one at a restaurant where I earn money, and one in an office where….well I go because I have to.

In the first 3 weeks with 2 jobs I worked in the restaurant 4 days a week. It was okay, I had some afternoons and Sunday off, I could do grocery shopping and even practice guitar. Then my boss realized he needs me more in the restaurant, so he asked me to come every day. I said yes, because as a student with a part time job, extra money is always nice. So I ended up with a 8-16 office job and a 16-22 restaurant job for two weeks. (Only two because I’m going on vacation soon.) No grocery shopping, no guitar, not even washing time. Lucky me I have socks and panties enough for 2 weeks.

Other than lack of energy I’m alive and well. Halfway through, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Tomorrow I’m going to write about how I survive this workload and even make room for workout and outings.

(500 words almost 2 hours. I didn’t have the flow in the beginning so the start was pretty slow.)

day2 – 30×300 challenge

There is no such thing as perfect timing. 

As you know, I’m a compulsive procrastinator. I tend to postpone my project plans because I convince myself the time is not right.

“I can’t start my sugarfast when my bf is here, we enjoy eating sweets together”

“I’m gonna be plant-based when I will have the money to buy almond milk for my morning smoothies”

“I can’t start practice writing because my schedule for the next month is C.R.A.Z.Y. In the next 2 weeks I have 14 hours work days every day (no kidding, this is happening right now) and after that I’m going home, so I’m going to be super busy with meeting friends, hugging my  family, getting tanned and hiking. How could I pull of writing 300 words every day? Let’s start when I get back from vacation!”

But wait…I’m practicing writing right now, exactly in the middle of my 14 hour workday weeks. So what happened?

We can call it miracle, or simply I understood the lessons from my past experiences, but I finally accepted that there is no such thing as perfect timing or perfect conditions. I can always find excuses to procrastinate. I can always blame the circumstances for failing to get started with a project. I did so far and  already missed too many opportunities. Now I see that the circumstances are not the problem, but my attitude.

What is the right attitude?

Yes, I can, if I want to and I will.  

The ‘want to’ part is the trickiest one.To commit yourself to something (for real) you have to be sure you truly want to do that something. My something at the moment is writing. I want to get better at writing. So good indeed I can make a living of it. There is no better timing to start achieving my dreams than…right now.

(318 words in 80 mins with editing. I can do better!)

day1 – 30×300 challenge

I’m definitely a thinker-planner rather than a doer-executer. I tend to overanalyze ideas, spend too much time on details and what ifs. After a few months, the excitement of planning turns into burdens and I get stuck with piles of brainstorming papers, name ideas and half ready visual identity elements. I tend to link the kickoff of a new project to special dates.

“I’m gonna start my sugar fasting next Monday.”
“From first of next month I stop using single-use plastics.”

We’ve all been there. Maybe it works for some people, but at 27 I had to realise: I’m not one of them. I’m a procrastinator.

“Oh, I had pastry for breakfast, so I’m gonna start next Monday.”

I’ve been planning to have a sugar fast for months, but I always managed to convince myself I can start next Monday. And I kept eating bowls of ice cream (don’t judge me it’s cookie dough), drink soda after every lunch and I was surprised that despite of 3-4 days of training a week my body doesn’t seem to show signs of muscle development. It was on a Sunday morning when standing in front of the mirror I told myself: this has to stop. At that moment I clicked into the right mindset to go through the seemingly impossible process of sugar fasting, because I was DISAPPOINTED with myself. Then and there I decided it is happening for real.

I still needed a week to prepare myself mentally. More precisely I wanted to wait until my bf leaves for vacation. I tend to sugarbing when we are together. He has some miracle metabolism and basically can eat anything and still have the sixpack. Lucky bastard.

So the day had come, he left next Friday and I was alone with my insane sugar craving and my determination to beat my addiction. And I started. On a Saturday, nothing special, no next Monday, no accidental pastry breakfast. I had the mindset, I had the determination, I had the right circumstances. It’s been a week since and I’m still holding up. I even skipped free cake yesterday. Is it possible to be my own superhero?

The reason why I shared this story, beside I wanted to brag about my bf amazing body, is because this is an excellent example of me trying to push responsibilities and never get things done. On the other hand it is an excellent example for what happens if I really set my mind to something and I go through with my plans. I feel amazing because I beat my own weakness (being a planner rather than a doer) and now I’m harvesting the benefits.

This experience encouraged me to start one of my other always postponed project: get better at writing. I had a class on writing in February and since then I’ve always wanted to improve my skills. Now I know I have the determination and self discipline needed to accomplish seemingly impossible projects. So here I am starting my writing practice on a Friday morning. Nothing special, no planning, no what if,  just me and my determination working together to kick the ass of my procrastinator self and make the first steps toward a more flexible, maybe even location independent lifestyle.

I read the post on Location Rebel on how to become a better writer. One of the advice is ‘Write every day’. So that is what I’m going to start with. I set myself a 30×300 challenge, meaning I’m going to write 300 words for 30 consecutive days. I’m also going to post them here, because it is a huge motivation to keep all my fans updated. Just kidding, I believe my only loyal reader is my Mom, who uses google translate to be able to read my posts. She is the best tho.  

But if you happen to be someone who doesn’t know me, and read this whole story because it was interesting I’m so glad you are here. If you leave a comment or a like it would really boost my motivation. Thank you, and come back tomorrow!

( These 683 word took 1,5 hour. Hey, I have to start somewhere)

THE PURGE – PART 2 – CLOSET

Based on Marie Condo’s recommendation I started The Purge with my clothes. I did not follow her method entirely tho because talking to my clothes, thanking them their service and saying goodbye is a bit too much to my rational brain. But I did my best to get rid of all the unnecessary, useless items, I just did it in my own list-charts-table obsessed analytical way.

I started off by collecting all my clothes on the bed. First I was shocked how much it seemed everything in one pile. I felt overwhelmed and I was sure I’m going to get rid of at least half of it.

sdr

Then I counted and it turned out that I own 139 items. This number still seemed HUGE but when I started to break it down to seasons\function I realized it is not extremely lot.

Képkivágás

After this I touched them one by one and thought about the function, how often I use them, if I feel comfortable in them, if I want to wear them more often, if they fit the other items, if they bring me joy. I got rid of all the items that did not pass the bar. It was surprisingly few items but I’m quite satisfied with the result. Now my closet contains only items that:

  1. I really like and use every day
  2. I really like and use less often, but when I wear them I feel excited\confident\happy
  3. Are suuper comfortable
  4. Are easy to mix and match
  5. Seasonal items that I might not use the whole year but I need them in a specific season (snowboard gear, winter coat, boots, etc.)

What I got rid of is:

  • Rarely or unused items, that just sit in my closet for no reason
  • Damaged items that I love but unable to wear any more (like the green pants on the pictre. It used to be my fav pants for 3 summers, but it also used to be closed)
  • Items that I would love to wear but I know they are not my style. so most probably I would wear them once a year and even then I would feel uncomfortable. (like the white dress. I mean seriously…it is literally ante-me.)

cof

Even though I didn’t get rid of half of my clothes as I expected I feel confident about my closet now. I have plenty of comfy and simple outfit possibilities and also some items that can give an edge to the look on rainy days. Also, all the excess items that took up space and made me frustrated are gone.

I honestly recommend a thorough purge for you too guys. I can tell you I feel much lighter, less stressed and more organized. The order around me makes me calm and relaxed and knowing that I don’t own more stuff than I need makes my conscience\mind peaceful.

summary

And because I like structure and order I made some etxtra charts.

The final result:

summary2

At first I was surprised how much underwear I have. Then I realized that I can easliy go 1,5 – 2 weeks without washing, so this is amazing. Not only beaceause I tend to be lazy with washing but also saves a lot of water.

 

 

My sustainability index:

summary3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doesn’t look that good at the first sight. But let’s see what happens if I take out all my underwear (becaue those are all new).

summar4

Looks much better right?

 

THE PURGE – PART1 – MY APPROACH

In my previous post I promised you a follow up on my minimizing process. However, while I was writing about my big closet Purge I realized that I have my own interpretation about minimalism and conscious consumption. I decided to dedicate this post to define (or at least outline) my approach because I don’t only want to show you how I do The Purge, but I also want you to understand the whys behind this whole cleaning process.

I found out that I have 10 pairs of shoes. 4 sneakers that I can wear any time from early spring until late autumn, 1 winter boots, 1 summer sandal, 1 flipflop, 1 hiking boots, and 2 high heels for my ‘pretty’ days. 10 might seem fairly huge number, but if I think about it, all of them has their function. Even though I don’t use each of them every day, I use them often enough not to throw them away and get a new one when it is needed. For some minimalist this is too much. Why do I need 4 sneakers when I could survive with only one?

My answer is simple: because I’m not going for survival, I’m going for balance. I want to find the point where I own just as much stuff that makes me comfortable. Comfortable in my own skin, comfortable in my environment and comfortable with my conscience.

Comfortable in my own skin. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m vain. I care about what I wear, how I look, how I feel when I look in the mirror and what others think about me. Having options in my closet makes me comfortable. I can mix and match, find an outfit that matches my mood and\or the activity of the day. I don’t need 40 shoes, but I like to have different alternatives and the freedom to choose. As long as I use them every other day I don’t feel a moral remorse to keep them.

Comfortable in my environment. I don’t want my staff to own me. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed or anxious in my own space. What I want to achieve is to have a clean and organized space around me where the things support my inner peace not disrupt it.

Comfortable with my conscience. As you know sustainability and environmental concerns are the main reasons why I chose to reduce my consumption and amount of stuff in my life. It is extremely important for me to keep the amount of stuff I own under control for the sake of environmental protection.

There are many different interpretation for minimalism. After I tried to define my approach, I’m not sure I should call myself a minimalist. Yes, I strive to live with less and not to own excess, but I don’t pursue austerity. I want to live a SIMPLE life where I CONSCIOUSLY invite things that has PURPOSE or EMOTIONAL value and instead of material possessions I focus on EXPERIENCES and the PEOPLE around me. I don’t want things to define me but to support me to live my life to the fullest.