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Chapter 3


dias
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I figured I need a new journal for this new chapter of my life. After the last life lesson I am pondering about my choices in the past and in the future. 

30 years old and 5 years later back to Athens without a job, back to square one. A bit more bitter, disappointed and sad but wiser and more confident. 

I don't really want to think about the future any more, up to this point in my life I did everything I could to control the outcome and based on the results  it led to nothing. This time I will go with the flow, I will let life decide for me. 

I am going wherever life takes me from this point onward. At least I won't put any effort to control the outcome and regret it later. 

 

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I really can't fathom how what happened is possible. That a group of people at a private company could terminate my career and practically exile me from the UK. It does not make any sense this power of decision making to be left in the hands of some mean people in the HR of a private company. 

I emailed the FCA, I want to know how this record could impact my career. Let's see. In the meantime I am looking for another job, remote or local. 

I will get over it but it deeply hurt me. I wasn't planning to leave the UK in the foreseeable future. Now they forced me. Believe me it's very tough to swallow, I invested a lot in the UK. If I don't return now I won't be able to apply for residency which means UK no more forever.  But if I return and I can't find a job there is no point. 

Sigh..........................................................................................................................................

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm so sorry you are hurting. It's not fair at all what is happening. When something unjust cuts so deep in our lives, it can feel surreal at first. You might feel all kinds of things and that's ok. Just want you to know I have been reading your writing for years now and I know the kind of determination and strength you have. You will get through this. You'll look back at my old age lol and reflect " wow, I did really amazing considering how f upped that was!". In short, these buggers don't define you and I know you will rise. 

You got this, dias. 

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There is nothing I can do anymore. I handled the whole thing very immaturely from the beginning. Yes there was a group of nasty people that wanted me out of the company for some unknown reason but I served them the opportunity on a silver platter. I got very angry and acted like a livid teenager instead of handling it with rationality and diplomacy.

There will always be mean people waiting for you to make mistakes, you have the responsibility to not give them this pleasure. And I did exactly the opposite.

It was a good life lesson for sure. I needed it. Lesson learned.

I need to move forward again.

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9 hours ago, dias said:

There is nothing I can do anymore. I handled the whole thing very immaturely from the beginning. Yes there was a group of nasty people that wanted me out of the company for some unknown reason but I served them the opportunity on a silver platter. I got very angry and acted like a livid teenager instead of handling it with rationality and diplomacy.

There will always be mean people waiting for you to make mistakes, you have the responsibility to not give them this pleasure. And I did exactly the opposite.

It was a good life lesson for sure. I needed it. Lesson learned.

I need to move forward again.

Dias,

 

Your objective way of looking at your situation is very admirable and humbling. I’m sorry it turned out this way. You really got someone’s back up by working somewhere else whilst the sun shone. A programmer scorned, huh. 
 

It’s corny - but you gave me some good advice and comforting words recently whilst I am going through my own silly turmoils. 
 

I‘m not religious at all, and I don’t really know what people fully mean when they describe themselves as being “spiritual” - but I will say this. Most mornings now, I can only steal about 15 minutes with the baby and a cup of tepid coffee before the chaos wakes, but I have got myself into a little ritual of, flicking on the tv, 6:30am, to the Christian channel. It’s run by this family who’s surname is Lamb. Yes, I know. It fits in nicely with the themes of flock and sheep and shepherd. Anyway, again, you know I don’t subscribe to any faith, but I tune in for a brief hit of a sermon. I find them insanely positive and captivating. This guy, Joel Osteen was on, maybe I have his surname wrong(?), but he was saying, are you going through hard times? Good! Get ready! Get ready for that good wine to come. It’s a sign something better is waiting. He used the word God, but I replaced it mentally with just another symbol for positive thinking and loving, positive actions towards others. God took on the meaning of simply - positivity, holding your head up, shunning resentment, bitterness, and working through. Love and positivity. Keeping the faith, basically. But my faith wasn’t in the supernatural, oh no Joel. His message got me. But it turned into something else, just for me. It turned into - be kind, stay positive. Hard times are here, but good times will come, as long as you don’t look to your neighbour to covert theirs, blame them, blame the world (blame God, give or take). That morning I was pulled in by his preaching, only a few days ago, D had broke the news to me that we had nothing. We were on a financial cliff edge. That 15 minutes caught me and made me still. I listened and heard what I needed to hear. I received a message and made it for myself.

 

Remember - those good times are coming. You have to keep getting up and doing what you do. Keep your faith, whatever that might be - especially in yourself. Christians say, trust in God. I guess I heard, trust in yourself and the good of other people. I stepped out that day refreshed for hearing something we all already know. 
 

You’ll find your way through Dias!

 

All the best my dear!

 

x

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8 hours ago, mylolita said:

Most people can be at their best when everything is going to plan, that is easy! It’s being good and noble and stable once the chips are down that shows your true character.

Having this recent awful experience in my life, I can definitely say it's not easy to stay calm and handle things rationally when difficult times come. Now, I want to say it's not about how difficult things are but it's mostly if it was something unexpected that you had never faced before and you didn't actually think you will ever face it. It's mostly the "caught me by surprise" factor that makes things a lot more difficult than they actually are. 

I still can't believe what happened to me, it was like I dreamt it and it never happened. Looking back though, I realize I handled this situation the worst possible way. Very very very frivolously from the outset. Ok, there were some nasty people in the company but there are always nasty people, it does not give me a free pass to act so frivolously. I got mad, I acted like a scared dog who gets very aggressive, combine that with my vanity and bluntness and you get the results I got. The worst possible outcome. I didn't act calmly or rationally or diplomatic or anything. Maybe their report to the FCA which says "deemed unfit for Senior Management positions" is to a large extend true, otherwise I wouldn't be in this situation. Very poor judgment from my side. 

It is very hard to swallow but it's the only way to learn and get better. I need to improve. I need to learn from them. One of my former colleagues told me the HR sent an email that I left the company and praised my contribution. Then they sent another email accentuating that employees can't work from another country remotely. They didn't mention the reason why I left or how I left which was so ludicrous. Is it hypocrisy and diplomacy simultaneously ? Yes it is. Did they handle the situation well from their side? Yes they did. Should I learn from them? Yes I need to learn from them. They taught me a lesson that's for sure. A lifetime lesson. 

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, dias said:

Having this recent awful experience in my life, I can definitely say it's not easy to stay calm and handle things rationally when difficult times come. Now, I want to say it's not about how difficult things are but it's mostly if it was something unexpected that you had never faced before and you didn't actually think you will ever face it. It's mostly the "caught me by surprise" factor that makes things a lot more difficult than they actually are. 

I still can't believe what happened to me, it was like I dreamt it and it never happened. Looking back though, I realize I handled this situation the worst possible way. Very very very frivolously from the outset. Ok, there were some nasty people in the company but there are always nasty people, it does not give me a free pass to act so frivolously. I got mad, I acted like a scared dog who gets very aggressive, combine that with my vanity and bluntness and you get the results I got. The worst possible outcome. I didn't act calmly or rationally or diplomatic or anything. Maybe their report to the FCA which says "deemed unfit for Senior Management positions" is to a large extend true, otherwise I wouldn't be in this situation. Very poor judgment from my side. 

It is very hard to swallow but it's the only way to learn and get better. I need to improve. I need to learn from them. One of my former colleagues told me the HR sent an email that I left the company and praised my contribution. Then they sent another email accentuating that employees can't work from another country remotely. They didn't mention the reason why I left or how I left which was so ludicrous. Is it hypocrisy and diplomacy simultaneously ? Yes it is. Did they handle the situation well from their side? Yes they did. Should I learn from them? Yes I need to learn from them. They taught me a lesson that's for sure. A lifetime lesson. 

 

 

 

Morning Dias!

 

I hate to say it, because everyone says it, but, what a year! 
 

We’re in our early 30s and still navigating ourselves. I don’t know about you, but when I was a little girl, I thought I would hit 20, let alone 30, and have it all sussed, world at my feet. It’s a b****y tough pill to swallow, and I know I am often in denial. 
 

Are you still in Athens? Is there anyway you can make this situation and change work for you? I am sure you can! 
 

There are so many moments in my life where my emotions and fly off the handle got the better of me. Mostly in the past it’s been to do with friends. I think I have about at least two people I need to formally apologise too. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t completely faultless but again, I should have been better, knew better, took a breath and said for Gods sake! Let it go! You’re not defending your honour here! Stupid arguments about covid regulations. Things like that - very embarrassing when looked back on. Was it worth it? 
 

I don’t mourn these women because we were never close, I think that’s why one outspoken disagreement would break the contact. But as you know, my husband isn’t another Mum friend who I bump into and have round for coffee now and then who irritates me or bores me half the time. 
 

I want control, it’s true - I think you do too - of your emotions. But at the same time, I am more than happy to cave in and go along with the ride of my impulses. I need balance. 
 

Sometimes I look at other people - anyone! Glass eyed shoppers pushing carts, and I wonder, do they just live a peaceful, righteous, correct life? With no glitch or bump? Do they have it sorted? Is it just me and the other crazies or what? That have, a torrential passion, for better or for worse? 
 

This year I have come to a conclusion that I am not the cute saint I always imagined myself to be. That’s releasing, to acknowledge it, but awful, because I also know I don’t want to be a bad person. Some mornings I wake up defiant and whatever - I am what I am! Other days, I get the mental whip out and wish I could be placid and easy natured and always compassionate. It sounds like maybe you are wrestling with similar things but, your personality is obviously different than mine.

 

Well, what on earth Dias! Wednesday morning ay! 
 

x

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I am with my brother on a beach outside of Athens. The sea is amazing and it's full of fish, I have my goggles and it feels like I am in an aquarium. It's beautiful.

I swam far where there were no people nearby. I saw something truly magnificent and unique. A sea turtle about half a meter long. I stalked it for 15 minutes observing it swimming. I have seen small sea turtles before, there are plenty in Greece in some places, however, it's the first time I witness a big one swimming nonchalantly. What a spectacle. It made my day!

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7 minutes ago, dias said:

I saw something truly magnificent and unique. A sea turtle about half a meter long. I stalked it for 15 minutes observing it swimming. I have seen small sea turtles before, there are plenty in Greece in some places, however, it's the first time I witness a big one swimming nonchalantly. What a spectacle.

How awesome 🤩

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47 minutes ago, dias said:

I am with my brother on a beach outside of Athens. The sea is amazing and it's full of fish, I have my goggles and it feels like I am in an aquarium. It's beautiful.

I swam far where there were no people nearby. I saw something truly magnificent and unique. A sea turtle about half a meter long. I stalked it for 15 minutes observing it swimming. I have seen small sea turtles before, there are plenty in Greece in some places, however, it's the first time I witness a big one swimming nonchalantly. What a spectacle. It made my day!

If this is the outcome of getting booted from a job - then bring on the boot! Oh my GAWD! Jealous! Enjoy! 
 

x

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49 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

How awesome 🤩

It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It was truly beautiful. It is very very rare to witness such a spectacle, I was very lucky 🙂 🙂 🙂 it's an image I memorized for life 🙂

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18 minutes ago, mylolita said:

If this is the outcome of getting booted from a job - then bring on the boot! Oh my GAWD! Jealous! Enjoy! 
 

x

Lol. Thanks. I am trying to get my self together. The sea calms me. When I was a kid, aside from entrepreneur, I wanted to become a marine biologist. I read almost everything from Jacques Cousteau. The sea is a different world, it's something magical, especially when you are lucky enough to encounter a big sea turtle wandering slowly without any fear for humans. Until now I had only seen this on TV. I was so lucky today 🙂

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30 minutes ago, dias said:

Lol. Thanks. I am trying to get my self together. The sea calms me. When I was a kid, aside from entrepreneur, I wanted to become a marine biologist. I read almost everything from Jacques Cousteau. The sea is a different world, it's something magical, especially when you are lucky enough to encounter a big sea turtle wandering slowly without any fear for humans. Until now I had only seen this on TV. I was so lucky today 🙂

It’s amazing!

 

I don’t know you Dias, but if I were to hazard a guess, on what would make you fulfilled and content and happy (how much you mention the ocean, with love!) I would say, maybe your calling is marine biologist! Also, it potentially has the physicality aspect too it doesn’t it! Which you are also great at and live for! Swimming, research - the ocean; the sun, freedom and nature. Getting paid for it! Sounds like heaven.

 

You never know. This change could be the realisation of so much. I wonder - what would you like your 30s to feel like? Swimming, an interesting degree, working alongside nature - the sun beating down! A great tan! Beach babes! Or best yet, a babe marine biologist!? I can see her now with her wetsuit half pulled down round her hips, leaning over a computer on deck! 
 

I don’t know! Sounds pretty amazing to me!

 

x

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45 minutes ago, dias said:

It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It was truly beautiful. It is very very rare to witness such a spectacle, I was very lucky 🙂 🙂 🙂 it's an image I memorized for life 🙂

You wouldn’t of had this day cooped up looking at a screen in an office.

 

Amazing! I can feel the warmth and thrill from here! Right on!

 

x

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On 9/1/2022 at 3:29 PM, mylolita said:

Swimming, an interesting degree, working alongside nature - the sun beating down! A great tan! Beach babes! Or best yet, a babe marine biologist!? I can see her now with her wetsuit half pulled down round her hips, leaning over a computer on deck! 

This is a nice picture!

It's true when I swim in the ocean I do feel serenity, I momentarily forget all the worries and problems. 

It is not that simple though lol. Most people who study biology (especially marine biology) are either unemployed or live hand to mouth. It's very difficult to make a living, academia is usually the only path which means bachelor's degree + master's degree + PhD + post-doc until you become a professor at a university. 8-9 years minimum. Of course it can be done if really wanted it. 

I feel lost. I got disoriented after the last ordeal. I am recharging and searching for a new job. I don't have any long term plans right now, I guess I will go with the flow and see what happens. 

 

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1 hour ago, dias said:

This is a nice picture!

It's true when I swim in the ocean I do feel serenity, I momentarily forget all the worries and problems. 

It is not that simple though lol. Most people who study biology (especially marine biology) are either unemployed or live hand to mouth. It's very difficult to make a living, academia is usually the only path which means bachelor's degree + master's degree + PhD + post-doc until you become a professor at a university. 8-9 years minimum. Of course it can be done if really wanted it. 

I feel lost. I got disoriented after the last ordeal. I am recharging and searching for a new job. I don't have any long term plans right now, I guess I will go with the flow and see what happens. 

 

The best part about still being young, unattached and with no babies needing security!

 

You’re right Dias - as you said before, the time is right for you to search and wander and take risks if you want too.


x

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Oh and PS! My little dream flash vision there didn’t include loads of money! That was the simplicity and the freshness of it… that money was forgotten for a second. I almost lost myself in it as well! 
 

Our egos often won’t let us entertain a simple life, but this includes myself big time, would probably be most at ease, least anxious and most happy, living one. My two months in a caravan dipped amongst a valley gave me a glimpse of what could have been, or what could be. Too late because we moved into our house five days ago and now the treadmill to fill it with furniture all over again begins.

 

I miss hearing the sound the wind made through the trees.

 

x

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There is a beach near my place, about 15 minutes drive, which is quite awesome for a city beach. Actually it's amazing, I will try and take some photos later. Yesterday I went for a swim during the sunset. You could see the sunset from one side, turn your head the opposite way and see the full moon. Quite unique and beautiful. 

It was a bit wavy yesterday evening and most people stop swimming in September so I was almost alone. I love it like this. I also love my new goggles, I bought them before I left the UK when I started going to the swimming pool of the University of Liverpool. I can see everything so clearly and vividly. I could see the sunbeam coming through the surface of the water and illuminate the seabed. 

There was a school of small fish, newborns probably, thousands and thousands of them, I swam through them, they diverted out of their way and then got back together and continued as a group again. Beautiful sight. 

I am there, under water, observing nature, feeling happy, and I am thinking who the f*ck cares about work and money when you can have something like this that is totally free (at least in Greece). Maybe the lazy bums who spend all year round on the beach and claiming there is no point on working when you enjoy the same beach and sea with the guy in the yacht 50 meters away have a valid point. Maybe slaving away is stupid in the end. 

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7 hours ago, dias said:

 

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15 hours ago, dias said:

There is a beach near my place, about 15 minutes drive, which is quite awesome for a city beach. Actually it's amazing, I will try and take some photos later. Yesterday I went for a swim during the sunset. You could see the sunset from one side, turn your head the opposite way and see the full moon. Quite unique and beautiful. 

It was a bit wavy yesterday evening and most people stop swimming in September so I was almost alone. I love it like this. I also love my new goggles, I bought them before I left the UK when I started going to the swimming pool of the University of Liverpool. I can see everything so clearly and vividly. I could see the sunbeam coming through the surface of the water and illuminate the seabed. 

There was a school of small fish, newborns probably, thousands and thousands of them, I swam through them, they diverted out of their way and then got back together and continued as a group again. Beautiful sight. 

I am there, under water, observing nature, feeling happy, and I am thinking who the f*ck cares about work and money when you can have something like this that is totally free (at least in Greece). Maybe the lazy bums who spend all year round on the beach and claiming there is no point on working when you enjoy the same beach and sea with the guy in the yacht 50 meters away have a valid point. Maybe slaving away is stupid in the end. 

Wow! Beach is AMAZING!

 

Wild and beautiful!

 

And of course! Pennies are dropping, hopefully yours before mine!

 

I always remember visiting Menorca. There was a beautiful secluded cove - we had to walk along a cliff to reach it. Spanish people would come every year at the same time and set up camp there, even with their kids, a bit away from the beach, amongst palm trees and shrubs. They were nudists, everyone, totally naked and enjoying life! Camping and dozing in hammocks amongst the smell of fish on a BBQ.
 

Each year we went back, we would see the same sun darkened Spaniards, and their kids would be that much older. They would stay there for the whole summer, and would remember us too! (Even though we spoke no Spanish! Shameful!)

 

What struck us about that beach was someone who we came to call ‘Mojito Man!’ He would come down on his little canoe, ingredients there and straws, and he would set up and walk that tiny cove for hours, happily, exuberantly! shouting, “Mojotooo! Fresh Mojottoooos!” I have never seen anyone look more happy and healthy in my whole life! He would always remember us too! And we asked him once, how long he had been making beach cocktails for - and he exclaimed, in broken English, FIFTEEN YEARS! On the very same cove! Now, it was an absolutely GORGEOUS paradise of a cove. 
 

Our friend went back to that same cove only a few months ago. It has been at least a decade since we saw Mojito Man and my friend told me he was STILL THERE! 

 

I will always remember getting to that very cove early - 5am, the sun rising - to see a Spanish woman, throw off her bikini, as if she had done it a million times before, and elegantly dive, in an effortless way, into the sea.

 

The people there were free, healthy, and happy. Not much work involved.

 

There was a lesson to be learnt there, but I was too stupid to absorb it. I was 22 and too much in love and wanting the world and everything in it. Sometimes everything you need it already right there. Or shall we say, in between your toes, to be found in a million, million grains of sand!

 

x

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Okkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk, it's been a nice chilled week relaxing on the beach, enjoying the sunset and watching foxes eating with cats lol I used the phone not the camera hence the poor image quality. 

I think I could live like this forever sometimes. 

Unfortunately we need to get back to reality at some point. I had many many interviews the past 1 and a half month, more than 50 interviews. I had plenty of interviews in the UK with pretty good salaries 65K+, I didn't get an offer but if I continued it's more than likely I would get one. However, all the companies were huge companies and would check with the FCA so I thought it's pointless to continue and I was still ambivalent if I wanted to go back. 

Then I started looking for remote jobs that I could work from Greece and also in the local market here in Athens. I secured plenty of interviews (remote and not) in Greece and other countries, I accepted an offer in the Greek branch of a Belgian software house. It's only 35K euros, it's half of what I was making in the UK but I hadn't secured a better offer at the time and I don't want to stay unemployed for long. At least now I won't have any gap in the CV. I noticed a lot of eagerness from American start-ups (I passed three interviews of a Silicon valley start-up but failed in the fourth god dammit) and Belgian companies, I don't know why these two in particular.....something to keep in mind for the future. 

I pondered about it before I signed the contract, I didn't do it on a whim, I am fully aware it's half of what I was making and less than half of what I could be making in the UK and other countries. However, the most important thing is to keep practicing my skills and improving my knowledge because this is how I make a living. I don't have any connections, I completely depend on my skills and attitude. I can always find a better job with more money when I am already employed, it's extremely important though to practice my skills and constantly get better. Besides, I stopped placing so much importance to money as I witnessed the hard way how easy it is to lose everything. 

Another reason I accepted the job is I would like to stay in Athens for a couple of years and see how it goes. I was in the final round of interviews with a huge financial conglomerate for a position in Malta with a lot more money but I declined since I didn't want to go to another country right now. They don't hire foreigners because they like their face, it's because they believe you are better than the locals which you have to subsequently prove it and work harder than the locals. And I am not in the mood to do this right now. I want to re-organize my life. 

I don't have any specific plans for the future, I only have thoughts. If I see things don't go the way I want here I am thinking either about a PhD in the US or a job in Australia/NZ or in Dubai. However, these are just thoughts, I don't know how things will unfold, I need to go with the flow and see. 

Monday is the first day. Back to work!!!!!

 

 

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