Story of an HR Career with quarter life crisis.

I’ve been struggling to find my place in this world!

I grew up to a family of Engineers. Seeing how my father was passionate about his work made me know that I should love what I do. My dad is an HVAC Mechanical Engineer, I used to go with him to work when I was 4 years old. I remember very well how free I could be in the office and how everyone was smiling and taking care of me. Of all the engineering stories I used to hear, one of the best made me realize how a person can find purpose in everything. One of his very old clients, had trouble sleeping as he was sensitive to the AC vibrations. Everyone thought he has insomnia. My dad helped isolate the bedroom, and hence the men was able to sleep again.

Lesson here: everyone’s job matters everywhere.

Second lesson: that is why my dad has always been my role model, he saw all the details, and even with such a technical job, he always kept the human perspective of it and still does

I wasnt good at Math, or Physics, and was not interested in anything but Arabic, English, History and Philosophy. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an Archeologist. I always felt I wanted to go back in time and see what was happening. I used to love cartoons, but my favorite part was the History Channel documentaries. I had public schooling, got all I needed to learn, but didn’t have much options to explore my talents and hobbies.

I had no clear understanding of what Im good at. My mom always said, you will be a leader. I did not know what field I should major in, so I went for Business Management, the most broad field in time of uncertainty. My Academic Advisor told me : Natalia I see you in HR. Knowing that my HR course grades were the lowest amongst all my other grades. I went for the Internship in HR, and that’s where I found myself. Year after year, job after job, I figured how much I love and care for what I do. And yes, I could find the purpose , I was taking part in someone’s career change, in someone’s decisions to go for something, or not, I got to make sure people were smiling at work, even if it’s just because they see me, I got to argue with the unfair people who always provoked me before , those bad characters you see in movies (and real life).I got to help few people, many times I couldn’t, because I was just a line employee. I got to see many things, front of the house, back of the house.

Lesson: The more I saw, the more I knew I had to be there , and I had a big responsibility.

The problem now is that I see HR people, who shouldnt be there. HR, Human resources, is just a fancy corporate word for the job of “Taking care of Employees”. Because this is not always clarified and defined, people view HR as so many things, and in case they see this message , it is the last one seen. I do not want to be an Advisor. I want to be called People Supporter, or any other term that defines what we should be doing.

Im 29, and I started questioning what Im doing. I struggle with getting my rights inside the work place, I do not negotiate for what I deserve, I negotiate for what I think is easiest for the company. It has cost me a lot of delay in my career path. And lots of my well being. I used to work non stop, but suddenly I realized the term ” Enough”.

I am an HR person, and I struggle with the job search and hunt, I do not want to waste my time or the recruiters’ time, so I have it all in my resume. However my care and value system, is with me, I cannot just write it on a piece of document. I do it everyday, I live it , I practice it. And I can’t begin to think of what non HR people go through during their job hunt and hiring when they don’t know what is happening in the back end.I was running after big names, big companies , part of which was not possible back in Lebanon easily, and much which is not even available there. But after only 7 years, I have learnt that good jobs are about balance and relativity.

Toxic can be a bad manager with good coworkers, it could be bad coworkers with a good manager. Could be a good manager with poor pay, could be a good pay with a poor job. The combinations are endless. However, I still cannot come to a clear understanding that the given postulates, are so clear, yet somehow nobody managed to get to them.

How difficult it is to be fair? How difficult is it to hire nice people, or people who simply care, how difficult is it to hire a person in the right place instead of just placing them because we cannot find someone else. How difficult is it to give feasible goals and workloads for employees, and how hard is it to remember that for the time being, we are still working with humans and not robots. Again the situations vary, but so far, these combinations of balance, I haven’t encountered them.

More to be said, to be shared, and highlighted on this topic, I will need to get my thoughts clear , but for now, I felt I needed to share this…

An irrelevant recent photo, because I simply love the sky.

ال٢٩ صفحة من كتابي.انا وحساسيتي.

اليوم متل كل اول ايلول من كل سنة.
طويت صفحة تانية. وفتحت “سطر” جديد.
الصفحة ، لما تكون موجودة، رح تعرف حدودها، ومقاييسها.
وانا بكل هالكتاب ،كل الي بملكو هو قلمي.. حتى صفحتي مش ملكي ولا قادرة شوف حدودها.
كل صفحة عم تكلفني سنة. وكل سنة عم تكلفني غير الي قبلها. وبالآخر ، المعادلة ضايعة.
اجمل شي، انو منعيش عم نكتب بالصفحات، وما حدا عارف اياها اخر صفحة رح تكون ، وكتابو كيف، وشو اخر سطر رح يكتبو.
باول سطور حياتي لقيت مكتوب اسمي. واسامي كم شخص تانيين. شخصيات عطيتني القلم حتى اكتب. طبعا الورقة كانت عم تطول كل ما اكتب فيها. وكأني عم حيك اوراق، بالواقع خيوطها مش معي. صرنا كاتبين  ٢٩ صفحة. وما زال القلم، حابب يكتب كتير. عم بوصل على سطور، لاقي فيها اسامي مكتوبة ، اسامي اماكن ، اسامي اشخاص،   وانا عليي اكتب حكاياتها. كان في قصص حتى ، ما قدرت اقراها، الا بعد ما تركت السطور فاضية هي تكشف حبرها.. انا وقلمي وال٢٩ صفحة. شفنا تفاصيل صغيرة كتير. شفنا محبة اهلنا. شفنا موتة جدود وجزء من عائلتنا. النا اصحاب ماتوا. النا ناس ، بكتنا، ناس كتبت بحبرها على سطورنا، كلمات سودة، ناس كتبت قصص،ما كانت قصص اطفال قبل النوم. لما كان القلم ينشف، كان يشرب دموع، ويكفي كتابة. انا وياه، في ناس بشعة لحقتنا ، ضربتنا، هددتنا، خوفتنا. انا وقلمي هربنا، وواجهنا. درسنا كتير، واشتغلنا، وكنا بكتير سطور مبسوطين. حبينا، وانحبينا، انخننا، وانتركنا. وتركنا…انا وقلمي اخدنا قرارات مصيرية. سوا. كوننا صحبة حلوة كتير. صحبة تتصل فينا  كل ما القلم يصير رح ينشف. انا وياه، كتبنا مشاوير كتير ، واغاني ورقصات. كتبنا احزان شفناها، ناس مشردة عالطريق، ناس اختارت، وناس سطورها اختارت عنها. ناس باهل وناس بلا اهل، ناس بتشوف، وناس انكتب الها ما تشوف شي. انا وقلمي، كنا عم نكتب كل تفصيل. كل احساس وكل لحظة. انكتب على سطوري: “انت كتير حساسة”. وبكل صفحة بكتير سطور، كانت تنكتب هالعبارة، كل مرة بخط حدا جديد. كنت اعرف من انا وصغيرة، انو هالمعلومة صحيحة. بس ما كنت اعرف شو بتعني. كنت افهم انو كتابتي غير، والتفاصيل الي عم بكتبها غير  ، كنت عارفة انو تسجيلي لكل اللحظات، كان غير. ثقلوا اوراقي من التفاصيل، طلع وزنها غير. اي ثقلتلي اوراقي، واعطت كتابي، شكل ولون وريحة تانيين. ثمن ال ٢٩  كان ثقل حساسيتي على سطوري، حتى انو كان في سطور مكسورة مش مكتملة. مقطوشة ومكفاية بغير مطرح. حساسيتي، الي خلت عيوني تشوف الكون بتفاصيل كتيرة، مش مهمة لكل الناس، حساسيتي، رسمتلي صور غير عن الواقع، وغير عن واقع غيري. “انت كتير حساسة” خلت ال٢٩ يكون الها طعم تاني. وخلتني افهم، انو حساسيتي، كانت من الكلمات، الي انكتبت على اول سطر من حياتي، حد اسمي. هي انا وانا هي. جزء متعب وحلو من كتابي. ثمن ال٢٩ صفحة ، كان دموع كتيرة، وافكار سودة ، ضباب بدماغي ، ليالي ما فيها نوم، وايام كان النوم يسرقني فيها. دفعت حق الصفحات، اوجاع وضحكات، وحدة، عزلة، اغتراب وغربة. دفعت ارادة، وصلابة، وصبر. دفعت محاولات كتيرة. اكتب فيها حرف واوقف. وعيد وجرب. لحد ما كتبت من جديد. صلاة وصوم واسئلة كتير. واجوبة ما الها سؤال. دفعت على صفحاتي ادوية مختلفة، دقات قلب وخوف، وشجاعة. قلمي معي ، عم بكتب في كلمات جديدة، حلوة وملونة ، اسماء جديدة وروايات جاية معها. الحان اغاني وكلمات، روحات ورجعات. على اول سطر بال ٢٩ رح اكتب. بحبك. بحبك يا انا لانك علمتيني القوة. بحبك لانك انت. حساسة، وشايفة التفاصيل، شايفة الصغيرة قبل الكبيرة.بحبك لانك بتشوفي، وبتضلك مصرة تشوفي حتى لو تعبوا عيونك. الى مزيد من الصفحات .

شمعة هيدي السنة لونها اصفر 💛

Us & Familiarity

A little bit of sadness is how i feel, with a little bit of anger, a bit more on the disappointment, and a bit of “take me back home”.

The struggle of trying to find myself the right place, the struggle of realizing, that what used to be, is no longer being, it has only been, and shall remain to have been there once.

I miss the feeling of familiarity. The roads I used to know by heart, the faces I used to see , the sounds that I used to hear, the places I went, the sky I knew, the trees that surrounded, and the land that knew me. I miss the familiarity, of my daily simple life, and the consistency of my morning rituals.

I miss the person who knew these things and knew nothing else. The person familiar to me, and the eyes that looked in the mirror and knew what they saw.

Familiarity is such a strong concept, and a word we use in such positive connotation.

How the word familiar, brings a sense of security, of safety, and warmth. How we use “You look familiar” to compliment and bring closer to heart, people we have just seen, and how “knowledge” to us is an important pillar in our human interactions, and human survival.

The eyes I see in the mirror, I’ve seen them before, but they aren’t the same. These new roads resemble the roads I knew, but they do not lead to the same places, those sounds I hear do not resonate , the trees are trees, but they smell different, the land in here, it does not know me, and I keep glaring at the sky, somewhere in there, I will keep seeing, what I used to see, and it will take me back to what I know.

Somewhere between those stars that never changed, I keep finding familiarity, and somehow the irony of how something so free and detached, can keep on staying the same for so long.

Have you detached recently? Or are you like the land, stays in place and becomes strangely unfamiliar.

And somehow this unfamiliar causes a survival crisis, we knew our fields , we knew our area, we knew how to survive, once we lose that knowledge, we lose our survival.

Leaving with a picture of a familiar blue…

Short Sunset Story

A wise man told me a funny story about sunsets. “The sun is the sun, it setting is it setting” “everywhere on Earth, it is the same sun”
His eyes saw a different truth than mine.
its the mercy given to us  to go wandering about the Earth, and have the same warmth around us and the same colors painting our skies.
Wherever you will go, the landscape infront of the sunset will differ, but the sun will remain the one and only sun,bringing to us the same warmth and the same life.
To more sunsets…

Creating Change with Simple Actions..Prague behind new eyes.

Here I am again, starting to write one day, and then not being able to express. And that’s okay. Sometimes emotions and thoughts cannot be translated. But here I am today, trying to write again.

I was reading recently, on how to create change and motivation in your life. Some things included, taking new road to work, trying a new coffee shop, and meeting new people.

Yesterday, I did all three.

I met a new person, two new people actually. The first person, a content creator and film maker, and the other person was myself who was interacting as a completely new individual.

I was always used to taking vacations as bulk, to travel, or relax. This time, I took a day off on a Wednesday, because well, why not? I had walked the entire day, and for the first time, have seen the city in different pair of eyes. I saw the museum, for the first time in four years, which by the way had the most amazing set of precious stones.

As we were spontaneously walking, I saw how happy he was, how full of life, how open and ready. Coming from a very busy middle eastern city to a calm somehow planned city life, what I saw as boring, to him was “detoxifying” and I could feel the influence it had on his senses. He was trying to soak in every possible feeling of “Prague”.

And for the first time ever, I had the most brain feeding, soul nurturing, and thought reflecting conversation of all times. The amount of knowledge this person had, all the intersecting information, lets call wisdom, and the theories he had constructed out of that, was beautiful to listen to and was much enlightening.

To this I would add one of the many things I learned from him, knowledge is like having dots, and experience is what connects these dots together. And I could see how he managed to connect the dots he had , and create patterns of his own, that would later inflence my own thinking, and which caused me to reflect more on myself. You see, trying to gain wisdom of your own, eventually ends up in sharing it with others, and the truth you seek, will help someone have their own truth.

Why its important to meet new people, not just new people, special people, those who have suffered, and sculpted themselves, its all the learning you get from just a cup of coffee and a walk. At the end it felt, he had been here for years, and we picked up an old conversation.

During one day, during a nonstop walk, site seeing, and a brunch, I learned more things than I learned in few months. And I learned more of myself, that when placed with the right people, I had the right energy, positivity, and a great amount of openness.

And from this nice memory which I really wanted to write about, as it marked a lot of beautiful thoughts and talks, I ask you to reflect now on these things:

1-When was the last time you met a new interesting person, who knew not way more but way different from you? As different, is always more…

2-What “new thing” did you learn ?

3-Do you watch yourself how you shine around certain people?

4-When was last time you stopped working in the middle of the week with deadlines and high workload, and just took a trip to enjoy?

5-When was the last time you tried a new coffee shop, and a new path to your office.

If you haven’t tried these yet, then please start, because once you decide to do, believe me, you will have taken your brain and soul to a fun park like I did with mine.

I didn’t take much pictures, as I was busy talking ,listening, and being present. So Im leaving you with half a picture of what represents the beautiful patterns of Prague.

More to come when the topics align..

Realizing milestones and Self Appreciation.

You know what is really hard to do? Realize your self worth. Love yourself. Care and protect yourself. These are some tough things.

The more I learn, the more I realize I know nothing, the more I am eager to learn new things and the more scared I get that I wont have enough time to gain some life worthy wisdom.

I cannot say, that I fully know how I feel, it is still a bit confusing. But what I can say is that each day, is giving me more strength than the day before. It scares me a little bit. I have experienced inner strength before, and back then, it made me realize that I dont need anyone to enjoy life. It is rather a scary thought to realize that you are strong on your own. It is difficult to accept that we dont need anyone to live and that we dont require reassurance except from ourself.

One year ago , like today, everything was the exact opposite of what it is now. The people who were in my life were different. Who I thought was my friend vs who I thought was not, was different. My energy level was different, and my feelings towards myself and the world, were the exact opposite.

One year, everything changed. Was painful, was intense, was up and down, but I put much effort.

I put much effort into everything. Into seeking help, into medication , into part time jobs that support my mental well being, into tiny daily rituals, into gratitude, into therapy, into travel and into change.Into changing jobs, homes and thoughts. I put 120% energy and focus on becoming better. I am proud and grateful. 2 very strong words that did not exist last August.

I invite you now, to look back 1 year , and mark all the milestones you have done, over and over again. Not minding the result, just appreciating all the effort placed into something. The effort you put in your daily life, to overcome certain things, certain feelings, relationships, or even habits.

I was talking today with my friend, how really self talk, changes everything. How saying thank you to myself, and celebrating success in daily small routines or actions, giving credit and praise to myself on every action I do, has helped me love myself more, care for it, understand it and be able to support it when needed. Things which 1 year ago, I was unable to do.

Empathy to oneself, praise, and gratitude, are things you should practice more. It is not a myth, not a lie, it is a simple mental exercise, that one day makes your self love muscle a bit stronger.

And I wonder 1 more year from now, with all the possible pains and gains that might come, how much more things will change.

Leaving you with a picture of yesterday’s Prague busy life under the beautiful sunset.

Self Healing Memos-Accepting Change

I was reading recently how breakups and separation can cause physical pain equivalent to a broken arm.

It is no lie that when we grieve, or separate from someone, or a place we love, we feel a heavy burden, and the symptoms that we experience are much similar to withdrawal symptoms. Pain, mood swings, headaches,anxiety, lack of energy, the need to go back.

When you move yourself away from a certain place, or a relationship , or any similar “daily habit” , it wont be as easy. It wont be just change. You will experience certain events in some chronological order, and it will take time to accustom to the new way of living.

Bare in mind, when you decide to change something, this change wont happen overnight, to put a decision into action, it might occur overnight, like deciding to move, to leave behind a relationship that is toxic, deciding to quit smoking or go on a diet.

The thought however for sure has been there for a longer time, long enough to develop into action, the action might come out as a shocking one, but that is not all. What happens after you take a certain decision, is what matters most. How you deal with it, will shape you for the future.

Change happens daily, in slow small things, tiny decisions that we take, so that the pain of change doesnt cause a shock and then an adverse event pushing us back even more.

Keep in mind, that going back to an old habit, doesn’t mean you did not decide to change or adjust, it just means you need to slow down and go a bit easier on yourself, in a pace that suits you more. A pace that will reduce the pain of these symptoms.

When you move outside your country, you will still miss it, still visit, when you breakup with someone, you will still miss and still text from time to time, when you diet you will still eat that burger, and when you decide to quit smoking, you will still smoke while stressed maybe 1 cigarette a day, maybe even 5 maybe 20, a bit less than the pack you used to. All that matters here, is for you to know one thing, you are making progress, even if it is a tiny microscopic change.

You are half way there, the moment you intend to do something, but after the intention, you will experience a series of back and forth waves and that is okay. It is okay because time after the other, this pain of change will start getting smaller and smaller, until it no longer triggers these overwhelming emotions and symptoms within you.

Whatever it is, that made you alter a path somewhere in some area of your life, if you feel it is too much, if you feel its painful, go a bit slower, acknowledge the effort you are putting, acknowledge the pain, the sadness, the tiredness, and have mercy on yourself, you are not failing, you are gradually undergoing a withdrawal process, which like any “substance”, will take months and months to completely “detox” from your body, mind and soul.

Leaving you with a picture of the gothic vibe of Prague that doesn’t change.