Do you have a job already?

This is the question I have heard the most the last weeks. Whenever I get it I take a deep breath and answer: no, not yet.

I have been searching for a job since the end of August making a total of 15 applications sent to this day. The lesson that I wasn’t expecting to realize is that finding a job in Germany is a job itself and that is the job I will have for a few months. In these months I have to keep being patient and persistent and so far, that has not been easy.  Some weeks I am and some weeks I am not.

When I am none of the above, I cry and I cry because I feel frustrated; anxious and impatient. This was something I was not prepared to, I mean, of course, I knew it was going to be a challenge but all the things that start crossing your mind start to become overwhelming.

When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to cry. When I cry, I feel all these feelings leaving my body through my tears and these tears actually give me power.

They give me power when I reach the bottom because they help me remember everything that I have already overcome. They help me remember all the things I want to do. All the things I want to experience. All the places I still have to visit. Things that this job, this job I am working on finding will help me accomplish and finding a job, a good, well-paid job will take time.

After I dry my tears, everything falls into place once again. This too shall pass and I am the only person that will take me out of it, so Izmir: suck it up and only then I also happen to realize that the question Do you have a job already? is the way in which my family and friends remind me of this and the only thing that is left is to keep on going.

IMG_7932.jpg
“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor”

Continue Reading

Te mudas a Alemania, ¿y tu mamá?

After living two years by myself, I recognize that it was difficult for me to return back home and live with my mom. I believe I changed a lot during my years abroad and I am certain that it  was difficult for her to accept this reality. Instead of arguing with my mom I decided that it was time for me to go to talk to someone neutral that could help me deal with this situation.

I went to therapy with my psychologist and in one of our meetings she explained to me what was happening, my mom was dealing with a pre-empty nest syndrome. This syndrome refers to “feelings of depression, sadness, and, or grief experienced by parents and caregivers after children come of age and leave their childhood homes”.

Even before I permanently left the nest, my mom was already grieving. Even though her daughter had left the nest already, her daughter, her only daughter was now going to leave the nest and make her own family on the other side of the world.

From this moment onwards, I realized that this was a time I had to cherish and these moments will forever be on my mind. I know that sometimes we don’t understand the reasoning behind our parents’ decisions and actions but we have to keep in mind that even though they are our parents they are also “figuring it out” and that wherever we are, we will forever be their babies on their minds.

Yes, I moved to Germany and I miss her very much but I also know that if I am happy she is happy as well and that is one of my greatest blessings.

Venus is my superhero and she should never forget that.

Venus is one of the strongest persons I know.

I wanted to dedicate this post to her because she needs to know that I am proud of her.

Venus has been through so much and despite of all that below that tough skin there is a person with a kind soul.

Venus is the person I miss the most and every time I read her good morning message it makes my day.

We have might have many kilometers between each other but the truth is we had never been this close.

¡Te amo mamá!

I&V-392
 

Continue Reading

Why am I learning german when it’s such an "ugly" language?

For as long as I can remember, I had this inexplicable fixation with the UK and Germany. This fixation was so strong that I told my mom that whenever I had the opportunity I was going to study in one of these two countries. In November 2012, I found myself sharing the news with my mom that I had been awarded a scholarship to pursue a master in Germany.

From this moment onwards, it was clear to me that I HAD to learn German so whenever I tell people that I am able to speak german, the response that I get is but why? it is such an “ugly” language.

I won’t argue with you because yes, this language does not sounds as romantic as Italian so this week I decided to share with your  what learning german has taught these last 4 years.

Patience: German is not easy so having patience is very important if you decide to learn this language. This language is COMPLEX and during the journey you will want to quit; feel frustrated and even question yourself on why are you going through this torture.

Flexibility: when you learn german, what you learn today might change tomorrow so you have to be open and not being afraid to change because even though there are rules there are more exceptions and things might change faster than you think.

Empathy: while learning this language I have met people from so many different countries and the thing that I admired the most from all of them is that even though their native languages might not be derived from the latin-script alphabet like german, they took on this challenge and they always gave their best every time we met in class. You start realizing how lucky you already are when your native language derives from a latin-script alphabet.

Confidence: if german is not your native language, it will never be perfect and you will have to accept that. Nevertheless, you have to be self-confident enough to use the language despite of this issue because that already says a lot about yourself. Besides learning a new language that with time I have managed to enjoy learning, this journey has left me valuable skills that are transferable to the many stages of life and that now more than ever have shown me all the things I am capable of.

I learn german because…

I like it (I am being honest);

because I want to be able to communicate with Viktor’s family;

because knowing another language will open doors for me in Hamburg

and most importantly because I want to fully integrate into this country.

To be fair with german, the language becomes less ugly as time goes by; there are even words that I am not able to literally translate to Spanish because German can be SO specific and that’s precisely where the beauty of the language lays…

auf wiedersehen =see you next time

Continue Reading

Changing perspective

DSC_1125.JPG

Two weeks ago, I found myself jumping in my bed celebrating the fact that after sending 14 job applications, an HR manager had finally found my profile interesting enough to invite me for a phone interview.

The phone interview was set for the Friday of that same week and I believe that even though it was my first phone interview, I had done a good job.The HR Manager told me she would contact me the week after to give me feedback and let me know if I had passed the first test.

The week after our phone interview arrived and I didn’t receive any news. I would have loved to receive feedback about the interview, either positive or negative but not receiving anything broke my heart, to say it in a way.

I decided I would let that feeling go away during the weekend. The Monday after, I decided that instead of being sad I would take control of this unemployed situation and took action.

Weeks before a headhunter had contacted me to talk about my job opportunities in Germany but I had not set a date to talk to him so I finally wrote him back and set up a call for last week’s Wednesday.

We had an interesting call that left me with mixed feelings: the negative side is that I would have to make a huge investment in a new master if I would like to pursue a career in Regulatory Affairs, which is unfortunately, at the moment not an option but the positive side of our call, is that it made me reflect on how  I I was approaching my job search in Germany and will adjust my CV and cover letter accordingly so that I can pursue a career in Logistics, one of the biggest industries here in Hamburg so wish me luck. I will keep you posted on how this goes.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”

-Wayne Dyer

 

Continue Reading

Elections in Germany, a self-reflection

One week ago, elections in Germany happened. I feel that this election made some people freak out (I would even say most of them) but, what’s the issue?

The AFD, Alternative For Germany, is a party that directed its campaign to address immigration by raising hostility against immigrants, refugees and Islam. Being an immigrant myself, their campaign made me sick. I felt just as sick as I felt during the US campaign with Trump. Were we going to experience this ALL OVER AGAIN, really?

Luckily, the AFD was a bit more diplomatisch (insert german accent here). Nevertheless, this made me think and the week before the elections I found myself discussing with Viktor about this issue. What’s wrong with people? Is it really possible that countries such as the US and Germany didn’t learn A THING about their past.

Our conclusion was that people fear what they don’t know when they have not been taken out of their comfort zone. From Viktor’s experience and because he also comes from East Germany, the issue here is that even though the wall was demolished 28 years ago, the wall is still in the mind of the some of the inhabitants of these cities.

When you don’t have the opportunity to travel and experience other cultures, you can’t relate to “foreigners” and realize that deep down, we are all the same. We might have different skin colors, types of hair, believe in a different God and speak other languages but, beneath all of that ,  we are all the same.

We don’t know when things might change and we might need to leave our countries just to survive. Regardless, us as immigrants, need to thrive to always give our best so that opportunities for the next generations keep coming up.

I tell you all of this because something happened this week. I received an order from Amazon and when signing the confirmation of receipt , the postman realized that his name was the same as my last name: Henry. He then asked if he could leave my neighbor’s packages with me, to what I said: “sure”.

The next day, Henry ringed on my doorbell again, with more packages, which I also kept because I know that postmen here are not well paid and they have ton of work. Day three, Henry knocked again and yes, he was planning to leave more packages with me. By then, a neighbor told me she was at home at the time  packages are delivered so I realized,Henry just didn’t stop by and then… I felt disappointed.

This guy, black, like me, and probably with immigrant parents, wants to take advantage of me, an immigrant as well to get me to do his work for him. Hell no Henry!!! You need to do better. We need to do better. Because if we don’t, the AFD will keep throwing their seeds in fertile soil, spreading fear, hate and hostility. The world is taking many turns and we should not forget that we all need each other to do our best.

IMG_7484

Continue Reading