A Year in 7 Big Words

After reviewing my connected self on Facebook, mails, calendars and so on, I have no idea where to begin. So I decided to do it in themes and pictures. See where that leads:

2015 has been a year of major turning points, feelings of being in the right place, at the right time, surfing the impostor syndrome or living with profound loss.

1. Discovery

When old and new collide, one realizes that sometimes there are spaces and places within (and outside) that one tends to forget. Like a crazy passion for Egyptology rediscovered in London and Berlin. New cities to visit in 2015, by the way.

2. Childlike curiosity

Literally. As collaborating with PACT, an awesome NGO that deals with community development in the South of Romania, I found myself playing  with kids on green hills, running like I was 5 again, singing and giggling. And trying to understand their view on life as they poured question after question, leaving me wondering: Why is your hair green? You don’t have a garden and animals? Do you take showers inside your house? My mom said that we have to wash with soap. Do you?

I had a bruise too…Me too, right here!

3. Creativity

It was a year of firsts as well. Lots actually. With the help of my mentor, I managed to get to Cardiff at a Studio Ghibli conference where I had my first “official” talk in the shape of a “speed-geeking” session. It’s been my first time staying at a hostel, presenting some of my PhD ideas in front of a full-fledged foreign academic crowd, meeting Susan Napier (!). Talk about challenging cultures and comfort zones…Fast forward a few months, first talk on the fans’ side at Otaku Fest (Romanian manga&anime convention), on Japanese monsters, spirits and the modern popular culture. So many emotions, so much joy!

                                                             Always take notes, always!

4. Pain

2015 came with a grim reminder that our time is limited. And sometimes it happens so close to you that you don’t know what to think anymore. And you can’t imagine your friends all in black, mourning, after what was supposed to be a fun night out #colectiv #neverforget

5. Protest

For more than 25 years, the Romanian society has been struggling to change. But we have so much to learn still. About building communities. About healthy activism. About fighting corruption and standing our ground as our fundamental right. And standing there, or walking on the streets, in the cold, I had hope…hope that the so-called millennials are making that tiny, but shattering crack in one sick system.

#colectiv protests in Bucharest (c) Valentin Boboc Photography

6. Slowing down

Soul searching in the middle of things? Happens every time. Whether I like it or not, it’s like reflex, always there. So sometimes I decide to actively pursue it, whether in the middle of my job(s) or while being with my loved ones. 2015 was all about roadtrips, seaside and short, but meaningful escapes.

                 The only permanence is impermanence, they say.

7. Purpose

I always tackled with self-confidence, creativity and finding a direction. After almost 3 years as a freelancer, I realized that the multipotentialite in me strikes harder than ever, and that should be a direction per se. Also, working with an NGO brought back bits of my once bolstering confidence, while painting the humanitarian canvas with events, personal values, life-changing mindsets and more. I had the chance to coordinate a big event, to get in touch with my trust while enjoying one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with, to challenge my impostor syndrome, to develop really awesome creative concepts, and campaigns, and strategies.

Must admit that I have around people who know what buttons to push to make me challenge my purpose, almost every day, for I am a work in progress 🙂

(c) George Popescu
(c) Valentin Boboc

(first published on Medium.com, here)

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