New place to call it HOME

7 Feb

Yeah! today you witness the beginning of a beautiful relationship. it’s high time for me to admit that i have a steady relationship. with my blog :)) another milestone. so, i now give you my new and improved blog – http://simonaoprea.ro. (this blog will no longer be updated)

For some of you, i have a special request – please update the links on your sites with the new address of my blog.

Come and visit for now, i have cookies :D- http://simonaoprea.ro

MY best of it.

1 Feb

I made a decision to temporary put myself on the first place. And adventure. And long forgotten hobbies (like photography). Not family, not bf, not work, not friends, not sports, not money, etc. This was easy, but what came out of this wasn’t, or isn’t to be more exact. When I first started to think about solo traveling in Thailand nobody took me for real, maybe they knew I was too tightened to life here and I was speaking gibberish. But face it, I don’t really have (for now) REAL responsibilities, except for my own happiness and how I manage that, through me and through others around me. I’m not blind, people around me have great impact on me and I have great impact on them, but too many times I was thinking about the consequences of this fact and made decisions under this influence. All I want now is to take some time, spend it with myself. I was asked some time ago which was my superpower. I thought that I needed time to figure this out, but I already knew what was it: just being myself and being able to let myself go in the same time. Sometimes I look like sleepwalking through my life and sometimes i am more sober and capable that i ever thought i could be. This situation is no exception.

People around me acted as if “it will pass”, “it’s just a phase she is going, she won’t really see it through”. But I did. I (tried) to explain my decision to people important to me, I talked to my boss, I bought plane tickets. Then, people RE-ACTED. Some reacted good, much better than I expected them to (parents, colleagues, boss-btw, thx a bunch, guys!), some re-acted bad and made me (not to rethink my leaving, as they would have wanted), but made me sad that they weren’t there for me, that I couldn’t share the excitement, that they couldn’t be glad for me and that they couldn’t see my decision as a sign of a REAL step in sobering myself.

Maybe it’s just me, but when you are in a relationship you don’t “breathe” only that relationship. You need to be able to breathe by and for yourself, as an individual, as a part of a whole, in order to be able to breathe inside the relationship. Why can’t we just be relaxed and feel at ease with the other’s way of being even if it is different than ours? Why can we accept that THIS brings people together much more than trying to sculpture the other as you want him to be..

I let myself once be influenced and the result was that I didn’t do what I felt like doing. Back then, I was thinking too much with my heart, ignoring what my guts and mind were saying.. I don’t really regret it in the mean way, but now, a couple of years later, I still think about that moment like of a lost train or bad inspiration and I wished then for myself that I wouldn’t do this again, that I will listen to my guts, heart and mind. IN THE SAME TIME, hopefully. Life doesn’t give us any guarantees, I realized that. we only take leaps of faith or make decisions that we must assume for ourselves. What ever this means. I have to always think ahead and live my life as I know best.

Even if I don’t leave now, this feeling won’t stop, I won’t be able to take some time for me and my staying here, now, isn’t/won’t be a guarantee of a future whatsoever anyway. I’m certain that in one way or another, my leaving like this will definitely mean a change for me of some sort. And for others impacted. I’m no fool. As I can change perspective, everybody can do the same. It will enrich me and I’ll definitely find more goods than bads in the end, and if less fortunate things happen, I’ll make sure that I’ll find the courage and power to congratulate myself because I went through this by making the best of it. MY best of it.

Please note that ..”Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Neale Donald Walsch

Photo source

All the world’s a playground and all the men and women are merely players

15 Dec

Recipe for a live multi-player game – as seen in the exciting and flow-creating Game Design Lab 1.0

How much time it will take to prepare: 48 hours challenge

An ordered list of preparation steps

-listen and acknowledge the word “FLOW”. you won’t understand if somebody tries to explain it to you. You’ll feel it when it comes. It’s like when you ask somebody how is like to be in love :)))

– get to know the other designers on the playground

– find out what are their games

– enjoy the fact that you aren’t alone in this game design thingy and there are others ..out there

– chill at the fact that everybody is a little foggy on how things will further develop. You’ll create a live multi player game, in which every player brings and plays…himself.

– discover the hero sitting next to you and his superpowers

– find a way to jump start the design (we know that you have some inspiring people around you and discussions and ideas will overflow. that’s the idea – part of the FLOW)

– establish the basic scenario, what’s the theme of the game, the red-wire

– participate in game design councils!

– create a great story line, one that you are looking forward to experience live

– consider level design, play mechanics

– bear in mind that even if the game design gives you an intense experience, ideas and next steps will be best discovered by accident and by actually…playing the game

– it’s ok that when playing to feel a healthy and inspiring sense of competition – also part of the FLOW

– afford enough play time

The required ingredients:

– open minded and inspiring players

– a creative environment – try another planet (our case HOME Matache)

– quests and challenges to undertake

– a play-face and colored mind

– smart phones – haha :)))

– superpowers, heroes

– desires and ideas on how to make the world a better place and to save the world from cavities :))

– breakfast, beer and cocktails

– gaming instructions and game design councils :))

– adrenaline, vibe and energy to go

The number of servings: 30 + players

The texture and flavour: chewy design, crispy fun, flow flavour, cocktail colors

When you are finished you’ll have a nice taste of game design, an exquisite feeling of accomplishment of being part of the game. A rewarding experience and the start of …a beautiful friendship :))

Our game levels:

– The future good-doing society – inside games: discover your superhero by asking questions (yes/no answers) ; imagine the future society: sexy city, green buildings, next leaders by making one phrase per team, including some funny words

– Create your city map – get outhere! several checkpoints with QR codes, catch as many as you can. Photographs on your way: social issue, touristic attraction and local business.

– Urban trolling and quest endeavours – put you mind and social capital at work! make people smile, find a stranger’s story, find hot spots which can be turned into urban art. bring videos and photographs as evidence.

– Cocktail lab – create THE Cocktail. first make the teams’ inventories and negociate with other teams for exchanges. What’s the catch? Only by asking questions!

Thanks to playmakers industries, you guys rocked! And thanks to all the players who made this awesome game happen!

See ya soon on the playground!

Photo source

think bigGer, think superpowers, PLAY!

8 Dec

I always was more of a think bigGer fan than of think big, a cliche nowadays..think bigger is related for me to always find new ideas, new ways to interact and to stay focused, by staying “deviated” all the time:) I cannot explain, but i think that i find balance when i get myself in all sorts of scenarios and situations. Then I force myself to come up with a solution, a plan to see it through. I don’t run from happenings in my life, i create them, encourage and embrace the need for fresh and intense interactions, that evolve one step at a time, revealing new possibilities every step.

This is why i registered to take part in an exciting activity this weekend, first of its kind in Bucharest.  GAME DESIGN LAB. not a workshop, not a training, but a funshop, a 48hours challenge to put together a live multi-player game. You learn to embrace the power of collaboration and play to overcome the challenges in your projects.

Everybody has its own superpowers and everybody is a hero of some kind. When you play, everything falls under a new perspective, any quality or skill can become superpowers when used right, under any personality can hide a hero, every little thing you have in hand can be used as a new resource that gives you a push to play further. And by the playmakers’ superpowers combined, we design a GAME.

From the registration form, these guys set their mind to determine me to focus more and be conscious of the way i am, of how i want to play, of what i can put and bring out there, for others to create upon and construct further on.

I had to ask myself what’s my superpower. Everybody should do that. We are who we are, but it’s hard to see our qualities, abilities, not to mention…pick out from ‘the bunch’ what can be named and considered a superpower. It can be like in marketing -the concept of  market positioning. Define a superpower you have, that others didn’t name it yet and it’s yours to keep, master and PLAY with it. and SHARE it, of couse, for the greater good of the GAME.

What superpower are you going to share with us during the game lab?

 – being myself and being able to let myself go in the same time. Sometimes i look like sleepwalking through my life and sometimes i am more sober and capable that i ever thought i could be.

– finding always more goods than bads. when less fortunate things happen, i find the courage and power to congratulate myself because I went through this by making the best of it. 

Not sure my superpowers sound for all of us like superpowers, but for me they are because being myself like this have sorted out some crisis only a superpower could have. I undertake this lab with the desire to develop myself by experiencing life and undertaking its quests, trying to follow freshly designed paths. by PLAYING in a word.

I always play around. my entire life is about playing, about games and crazy sports, about all sort of activities that fulfill and give me energy, that keep me focused at work, be keeping me focused on BEING ME the rest of the time. All this time i kept and thought of the two plans as two separate things: playing as the engine for my personal life and …well jobbing. Maybe it’s time to reorganize and rethink this as two plans that can benefit from one to another. What if playing, gaming can improve my professional life? how do i do this? what are my tools, who are my team players? what new territories can i discover?

GAME ON!

From the 8 principles of fun – it’s not necessary for people to have fun when doing everything, but life is better and maybe great when you have fun doing anything.

WORD!

..Romania doesn’t even have such a high rate of criminality. but has a high rate of negativism

21 Oct

I’ve always told myself that i wouldn’t talk about Romanians, i should refrain from this discussion. About Romania yes, but about Romanians – no, words written don’t explore the whole idea of being a Romanian and i think that foreigners don’t understand us completely and they only pick up some cliches. Even me, when i’m asked about my people i don’t know exactly if i should give the official statement (hospitality, simple people..) or try to explain and maybe even justify some facts. when i’m asked to talk about Romanians i surprise myself with using very strong words, very decisive and explicit, like an attorney in court, who says his final pleading.

I think that (from the countries that I’ve visited and many people of different nationalities that I’ve talked to) Romanians are among the most difficult nationality to discover, to understand and explain.  And i’m not referring to culture or education facts, i’m talking about character, fears, strengths, mentality and communist inheritance and the experiences lived for more than 20 years now that changed us and influenced our future selves.

So, i guess that before stupid logos, tv commercials, cheap outdoors, ordinary slogans, expensive and controversial campaigns for Romania, a national brand should be created and promoted by its people, citizens and we first have to decide how we think about us, take a moment and reflect on how we would describe ourselves.

Is it hospitality that defines us? Yeah ..right. where is this hospitality, cause it’s a concept so old and rooted that it has almost lost it’s value and significance somewhere along the way!? I guess we don’t mean couchsurfing or other ways to accommodate tourists or when we have opportunities to accept guests. Maybe we see this hospitality in the countryside, at simple and humble people. But in urban areas, i don’t see this as a trademark, even if my team an I conducted an entire campaign strategy based on Romanian hospitality (funny one though, much exaggerated) at Communication Olympics  to stimulate tourists in Scandinavia to come to Romania . Maybe i will later edit here. but it was under the laws of advertising..a sort of poetical license.:)

friendly – yeah right here also. cause we always shake hands or what? i read a study somewhere that says Americans are shocked when they come to Romania and see that we shake hands for almost any reason. We are friendly only when we want. we first are judgemental and then friendly, only if the other person suits our expectations. We are not used to take a person as he is and learn something from every experience, not all of us at least. I see this only happening among the young generation, that has encountered many types of characters while traveling abroad. But most Romanians still think in stereotypes and are under the influence of communist inheritance.

beautiful girls, cheap booze, great clubbing – got that right. :)) or maybe is the cheap booze that influences the other two ?:))) sarcasm noted here

hard working – hard working or hardly working?! hard working is a concept related and used together with the hospitality issue in general. maybe we are hard workers, putting in more sweat than inspiration in finding and cultivating favorable contexts. I also think that Romanians are very flexible and adaptable to every situation.

communist inheritance and the experience of 20 years consumer society – from many bad heritages (from behavior point of view) inherited i want to talk about fear and distrust. We fund ourselves raised (as a nation) to always look around us, always second guess  others, always having a kind of inferior attitude or building an overprotective shield. I always surprise myself looking at people getting in the public transport in order to catch their distrustful and query eyes looking for any sign of territorial interruption from behalf of others around them. they keep their purses close and tight in front of themselves. Take the daily example of me: i’m always looking around when i step off the car, open the trunk or smth, always with the fear that somebody might see what’s inside and smash my car afterwords. This ..situation really happened to a close friend a couple of weeks ago in the overrated – Historical Center of Bucharest. That’s sick! i kept in mind that this could happen, but i didn’t take it for serious consideration actually..until really happened.

What is normal for us (to be careful that something bad could happen) is very abnormal to foreigners that don’t even take into consideration this probability. Two years ago in Switzerland there was a store with all kinds of holiday decorations for outdoors. The store was closed, but boxes with decorations sticking out were kept outside, during the night. for many nights.

And nobody was stressed out cause of that, nothing was stolen and i was wow-ed by “their normality”. cause in “my normality” the boxes outside (even locked) weren’t to be left outside from the very beginning… and that’s only an example. there are many like this. i am completely mystified by the gap in attitude, the difference positive thinking and lack of negative experience are doing!!

not to mention that Romania doesn’t even have such a high rate of criminality. but has a high rate of negativism, misdirected protection and baggage of experiences that spoke for themselves and speak even now.

Photo credits

life in beta version

8 Jun

These days I set myself a new goal: to simplify my life. From the beginning of this year everything was going crazy and stuff just piled up and i found myself surrounded by all sorts of “clutter”. The pressure was high and still is. Every decision i have to take is consuming me as i try to take things seriously, especially those affecting my future, trying to come up with solutions to please all or at least many.

Sometimes i take a decision and try to stick on it, sometimes i second guess me.I think 2011 was (so far anyway) the year of choices for me. from little things that “just happened” to big decisions involving also people around me, people who care deeply about me and who i don’t wish to hurt whatsoever. but are hurt as the situations flow ahead, without my control.

I have to learn to see what is important to me and what makes me better and discover the “forward path”, without taking or considering even the sideway exits.

It’s a kind of  “voluntary simplicity” or a “focused simplicity” morelike. Life will always be crazy and hard, but i need to keep my mind set and unslipperish, need my concentration to be at the highest level in order to obtain more from a “focused” me.

Maybe i don’t even have the concept of “keep it simple” and i am made for this insane rhythm, this is what boosts my energy. But i am tired and i wish that things could be simpler, no more cloudless or haze. I enjoy my life to the fullest, taking what’s best from it, but i realize that all this maze of decisions isn’t good for anybody and i end up more surprised of me than others, not enjoying so much the whole life thing as i thought, cause my life is a constant drama which i enjoy like a masochist (figure of speech, doh!:) )

It’s high time to reconsider and to keep an open and clearer mind set and try to leave behind the constant stress and chaos of decision-making. It’s hard and i’ll definitely miss “my complications” in a life that is now so packed to the hilt .

What i’m saying is that i want to get rid of this general feeling of uneasiness, ME supporting my decisions and use this new-released energy to tackle one provocation at a time, be aware of what solid is, by letting aside the critical situations which i needed so much..try to stop shuffling.

BETA TESTING NOW:)

LETTER TO … MYSELF

28 Mar

DEAR ME,

I’m sending this letter because i’m just worried about you.I know that from the beginning of this year you’ve been in a limbo phase and wanted to check up on you. These couple of months have been rather rough and edgy, you’ve been living life as you always wanted, intense, with many ups (and also downs), but with difficult choices, with experimental situations, but hey, that’s WHO YOU ARE. You keep saying this, but this doesn’t absolve you for every mess and complicated situation that you get yourself into or even find yourself in (when it already escaped from your control). It doesn’t free you from guilt or blame or their consequences.. someday you will just have to face the facts, face WHAT YOU WANT and stop being afraid of taking ONE MORE HARD&DIFFICULT CHOICE.

You attract many complicated situations and then you find yourself tangled, having no plan whatsoever, getting a hand of all these as you roll. Yes, that is who you are, but everyone should check up on himself once in a while and draw a between-phases conclusion.

Since i know you, you’ve always been between one or more complicated situations: either the choice was simple/dramatic maybe, or far/near, or permanent/temporary, etc you’ve been struggling for something and didn’t quite feel at ease with all your choices in the long run.

You are appearing and acting egoistic, doing everything that comes to your head, without considering all the facts and implications. you just do, act, live your life no matter what the costs “of living” like this are. I see through you. you aren’t THAT egoistic as you would like to be or would like to appear. If you were like that, you wouldn’t have struggled after taking the tougher choices, always questioning yourself on the side, seeing if you really can reward yourself with a “thumbs up” smiley..

You are egoistic and independent to an extend that you act on intuition and emotion rather on logic and don’t consider anyone or anything on the side, like a bull aiming for the red color. IN THEORY, you would like things to be more simple, but you are almost certain that this won’t turn you on or won’t keep you interested in the long run. You LOOK for complicated things, need that adrenaline rush from these on-the-edge-situations almost as you need snowboarding, paragliding, kitesurfing and motorcycling stuff!

I know you can take up and cope with any situation, because you find ANY EXPERIENCE WORTH TAKING AND RISKING in order to learn something new about yourself and about the others involved. what went wrong, what was good and, like any optimistic, you find always more goods than bads. in some almost twisted way you find the courage and power (!!) to congratulate yourself because you went through this.

You put yourself out there and learn on the move about you and about what you want. this may be a good thing. I always considered yourself to be more of a person who better regrets doing something at a certain moment (when THIS choice appeared to be the BEST ONE) than regretting NOT doing something, sometime. But this also may mean a bad thing. without mentioning that you can hurt exactly the people that you don’t want to hurt. You learn about what you want on the move, as you seek to keep up with every change in your life, learn about yourself … only being yourself and by letting yourself go at the same time.. sometimes you look like sleepwalking through your life and sometimes you are more sober and able that you ever thought you could be…

You are now scared of the many things that can go wrong AND of the many things that can go OK, but seem to be wrong also..Curiosity, emotion and this need of yours to discover new experiences and new limits got you here in the first place..

Clear out your head, lighted up and you should discover what you want and really need. Take the Paris trip as an opportunity both to forget and to consider yourself and yr impact on others. Do not overthink it or hesitate and be superficial. Let go and then maybe everything looks more simple. You are at a difficult crossroad and it’s high time you acknowledge that and act for damage control or just …be in control.

Keep me posted, hope to hear good news! whatever good news may mean at this time😉

Sincerely,

ME

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