February began on top of a nice, sunny hill, from where everything began rolling down. Here’s the quick TLDR: Olena’s birthday, Jekabs and Elina testing positive for Covid leading to 2 weeks of daily self-testing for me, cutting out an unhealthy friendship, receiving some bad news, the Russian-Ukrainian war breaking out and Olena’s departure, all accompanied by exhausting spiritual interactions. Now we’re looking for my new fellow volunteer, read more here if interested. Let’s dive into the details.
First week (01 – 06.02.2022)
On the first, the sun showed up in all its glory after hiding for so long – Olena and I went on a walk to the snow-covered beach, where I found a nice bench to sit on, and she joined Dagnija in search of amber.
On the second of February, we recorded and uploaded a Latvian kindergarten dance – Ieva from the Youth House taught us the steps 😀
This week we had some bad luck with the events – Olena was supposed to lead a vision board event but only 2 people signed up, and the Youth House’s Body modification and mental health event got pushed back a month because the lecturer caught a cold. When we have less than 3 sign-ups, we don’t hold the events, which makes me sad and demotivated, especially when it’s an event I’m excited about.
On Friday, the 4th was Olena’s birthday. Our celebration plan was to go to Aizpute, but the very cold weather made us give up. Instead, we tried fitting 23 cake candles on a tiny 4-piece cake – we started a fire, which left a souvenir on our wall. I got mad at the fire alarm because when I’m frying things, it goes off but not when there’s an actual fire!
In the evening we went to play board games with Jekabs at a board game ‘club’ thing – we played Game of Thrones, where I ended up upset with him because he said we’re not going to be friends anymore IRL when I wouldn’t do what he wanted me to do in the game. He apologized after we left, and we talked in person about it the next day. It’s important for me to be able to say no in my relationships without repercussions. I also follow through when someone tells me they don’t want to be friends with me or get close to me, even if it hurts – I have learned not to force myself on others. Because of this incident, I noticed how I turn into the Ice Queen when I’m hurt or see that a relationship is unhealthy, but talking has not worked. I am proud of myself for stating and enforcing my boundaries.
Second week (07 – 13.02.2022)
On Tuesday, I met Elina, and we had a fun activity – she gave me visual cards, and asked me to take 5, with which I can answer What, How and Why I decided to come here and what I want to get out of my career as a whole. I had to pitch my reasoning like a business idea in 60 seconds. I love doing stuff like that! We had 3 rounds, and now I have a pitch video, focused on freedom and joy. In the evening, she texted that she has a fever, which set off the first week of daily self-tests for me.
On Wednesday, Olena and I went live on the YH’s Instagram to cook a recipe in Latvian – we only had 2 viewers for more than 5 minutes, one of which was Jekabs. I chatted away, not having anyone respond to me, so now I know if I’m going live to have something to talk about prepared. We were making mushroom soup and right before the live, I spilled some water across the table and floor 😀 Cleaned it up, but during the live, I had a few more similar mishaps. Our only viewers didn’t like mushrooms, though, so we decided to finish cooking off camera.
On Friday, we wanted to have a Galentine’s evening – a girls’ evening to watch a romantic movie, do our nails, read some oracle cards. It didn’t happen because nobody signed up. I think it could have been because on Saturday there was a Broken Hearts party and most schools were in quarantine. I was disappointed.
On Saturday, I went back to my bartending days by chopping veggies and fruits as snacks for the Broken Hearts party. The party was fun, I helped where I was needed and mostly hunged out with Jekabs. I was texting with a friend, who said something that deeply hurt me, but throughout the next week opened my eyes to how different and unhealthy our relationship has become. We’ve both changed: before he used to try to focus on the positive and on growth, while now he has mostly given up and leaned into his darkness – I went the opposite way, trying to help him stay in a hopeful mindset without him wanting to. It didn’t work and our relationship boiled down to a pit, where we both spit out our negativity, thus holding each other back. We barely talked about anything nice. The following week was intense emotionally for me because I wanted to ignore this inner turmoil and pain so I can keep him in my life.
On Sunday and Monday, the 14th, I did card readings and got some unpleasant, sad news. Jekabs also tested positive for Covid, soo I had to self-test for 7 more days daily instead of twice a week – right when the 7-days self-testing thanks to Elina passed.
Third week (14 – 20.02.2022)
This week began in a very jittery, anxious, and sad way because of the friend situation and the news I got on Monday.
I posted the January in Latvia article on the 15th, which got shared by some people on FB – that makes me happy! I also began posting chapters of Confessions of a woman in love and decided to translate it into Bulgarian once I get enough energy for it.
On Wednesday, we had what felt like a low-key explosive meeting with the YH staff because we were late with our reel video for the first time so far (I personally, ended up not uploading my first one in December because it sucked and Diana had some notes that I never implemented nor did I re-shot the video. I’m taking responsibility for that one.), so we got a talking to. We were also taking our time with creating a framework for a presentation, Ance told us we have to do it 3 weeks in advance – I think a week is enough time for this. We made the outline and activities for that presentation this week, began painting the small bathroom’s walls from Wednesday on – neither I nor Olena wanted to, but we shot a reel of us painting the wall. I complained a lot about this, not because it was truly that annoying, but because it was much easier than letting myself feel all the shitty emotions running through me. At some point, I felt it all, let it go, and began enjoying myself.
This week Putin’s announcement for his bloody intentions towards Ukraine reached Olena and me.
During the week, I brought up the issue from the Broken Hearts party with the friend, which didn’t help clear the air. On Saturday, I decided to one-sidedly end my friendship with him instead of having more conversations because I know that he would have tried to keep me around. I appreciate it, but I know these actions were out of habit, his need for me, and a shared fear of being alone. I spent the day mourning my decision to end the friendship, knowing it’s for the best for both of us, and did it on Sunday. I was equally to blame for the decline of this relationship, as I couldn’t keep my boundaries strong enough nor express my needs appropriately. However, this is the second time we’ve reached a tipping point – things went downhill after the first decision to stay in contact. I see his growth and I understand it’s in a different direction and tempo than mine, for which I do not have the capacity at this time. The next weeks he tried multiple times to have a discussion with me, offering to change, then guilting me into talking, which I completely understand, but I didn’t budge. Our relationship requires too much work that I am not willing to put in anymore. I’m sorry and sad about it, but sometimes it happens. I’m grateful for the friends that I could talk to about the situation and their support.
Fourth week (21 – 27.02.2022)
Most of this week was spent bathroom painting – Olena and I finished the small bathroom and began the big one.
On Wednesday, I saw that our washer was blinking like crazy, told the girls at the YH, and Dagnija responded by immediately finding a plumber that came to fix the machine: she is really quick to handle these things!
On the 24th, the Russian-Ukrainian war broke out. In the next few days, Olena went from terror, panic through exhaustion to steady decisiveness to fight for her country. I heard her talking and arguing with her close ones the first day or two, then she went to the protests in Liepaja, which lifted her spirits. I didn’t know how to be of help – I tried giving her as much space as I could, kept trying to ground myself, so I don’t fry my own emotions by picking up on hers. I felt selfish, but I didn’t let any imaginary feeling of guilt or of misguided ‘compassion’ dictate my actions.
On the 25th of Feb, with some help from Jekabs and Elina, I made martenichki, which I’ve dubbed ‘spring bracelets’. They’re bracelets Bulgarians tie on each other’s arms on the 1st of March for health. I couldn’t find red yarn, so I substituted it for folded red thread. It worked! We were supposed to have an intercultural night then, which didn’t happen as it didn’t feel appropriate because of the tense political situation.
The next day, Olena announced that she was leaving and is planning her bus trip back home. Her friends were joking about the situation, her family was against her going back, but she was dead-set on it. This is my perspective – I am in awe of her brave decision to go back home when home has turned into a war zone. She said she can’t just stand by and not know what is really happening. In the evening, Jekabs came over to give her a small going-away gift. I offered to help her pack, which she refused – instead, I just kept her company. She left on the 27th, and I couldn’t handle seeing her off, so I spent most of the day listening to Jekabs’ musical creations and watching a k-drama. You could say it’s selfish, but this life is for me. I did what I could without compromising my own wellbeing, which brought up some intense feelings of guilt that I’m not throwing myself in ‘savior’ mode. And yet, what could I have done? I have not been through a similar situation, I can not imagine what is she going through, even though I picked up on the intense energy and feelings she had, she did not ask for my help, I just tried to be there for her in the way I noticed she’d feel comfortable with. That’s all. We live for ourselves and even when we want to give, it should only be in a way that you can provide and is wanted by the other person.
I’m sad she left. She said she’s glad she did and is feeling purposeful and helpful in helping people, who need to move to other countries, at the bus station and the border.
Emotionally, mentally, and spiritually throughout the month
Tiring month, honestly. I was getting an almost constant stream of messages from my guides, energetic updates, along with the unpleasant experiences and energetic visits from a guy about whose identity I’m not entirely sure.
In the second and third weeks, I was worried about Elina and Jekabs, a bit about myself as well because I didn’t want to be quarantined. My parents were also sick, and I’m glad they got better quickly.
The last week of February, I spent worrying about my roommate, trying to take care of myself first, going out on walks – I have adapted perfectly to the weather by now. I was grounding myself by sitting on the ground and the sand dunes at 4 degrees C. 😀
This whole month I prioritized myself, which is something new for me, and was uncomfortable in the beginning. It felt like I’m ignoring the world, yet… I am part of it. How can I ignore it when I pour my energy into myself, my feelings, my reality? I am creating my life, which is impacting others, thus impacting the world bit by bit. Sometimes events are just bigger than us, and we can only do ‘small’ things like being there for someone else.
I learned that even in tough times, you can keep a positive and joyful outlook – it takes practice, sure, and it gets easier with time. The only issue is that it separates you from the mass, which focuses on the bad and judges you for enjoying your life when faced with hardship. Oh well, move on, and the people that vibe similarly will show up. Acceptance of who I am, my limitations, my environment, and what I (can/’t) do is growing, which makes me excited and very relaxed.
I am so, so grateful for the circle of people that has formed around me – some people I haven’t heard from in months texted me, excited for me, reading my stuff, or asking for relationship coaching (something I did a while back, you can read about it here). It brings me so much joy and happiness to see how shifting my energy and allowing myself to free up space provides me with new opportunities almost instantly. I grappled with guilt about this, but I know I am not a savior anymore. I’ve been getting into that role or the one of a victim for too long, I’ve changed that. The only thing left was to remove the old triggers that didn’t let me solidify my new habits and patterns, let’s keep this change.
that’s it for the shortest month of the year. Come back here around the 15th of April to read about March in Latvia – Olena and I were planning a trip to Kyiv buuut that isn’t happening. Let’s see where else I’ll go.