The printer refused to print so I had to improvise!
Hello steemit community! Hello fellow steemian, you who chose to read this post of mine.
This is my #introduceyourself post. Below you’ll read my story. But that story is not who I am. It is only my story. And for you, it’s a story. Not sure what I mean? Allow me then a small sidetrack and soon I’ll introduce myself to you.
You probably have seen this video of Jim Carrey «losing it» during an impromptu interview at a fashion show or something like that.
Well, although I do believe that he is, indeed, trolling the journalist, as some said, he isn’t kidding about what he says and he has definitely not «lost it». He is sharing a profound truth. Not that we don’t exist per se, materially speaking, but that what we perceive as ourselves is not who we are. It is a story that comprises of events distorted by memory and viewed through the prism of our conditional learning. So basically «our self» doesn’t exist. «Em... what?». It is the story that the ego has created, with which it identifies and through which it presents itself to you and to the world as... well... you! Got it? No?
«So, you mean to say, newbie, that I confuse myself with this ego? That this ego tricks me into believing that I’m it?». Exactly! «Well, if I’m not that ego... then who am I??». You are the consciousness, the being, the space behind it. «Wha...?»
Watch the following video. This guy, Prince Ea, talks about this, motivated by the interview of Jim Carrey. Watch it. It’s only a few minutes, it’s funny, he does a great job explaining things and who knows... it might change your life.
The line with «catma» cracks me up every time! It’s so funny! Anyhow... I didn’t know this guy before this video but he talks about very profound things in a very interesting way. You can follow him on the social media if you like. And it’s true, what he says. That’s not dogma. I’m not trying to introduce you to a cult here. Really. What he says, what I, so confusingly, tried to say, what Eckhart Tolle and other great spiritual leaders are saying, are only pointers, road signs, pointing to the truth. They are not the truth. So you don’t have to «believe» in anything. And actually trying to might lead you in the opposite direction. Substitute one belief system with another. No. All you have to do, all you can do, is follow the pointers and experience this detachment from the incessant, repetitive, uncreative thinking, and the peace that exists there. The peace that accompanies the release from the ego.
Time to actually introduce myself
But enough of that. You clicked on this post to know who I am. And you’ll get my story. Although from the previous paragraphs you might learn more about me than from the story that follows.
My name is Michalis, as you might have guessed, and I live in Athens, Greece. You know, the country of Parthenon, souvlaki, ouzo and syrtaki, the country of great history, of democracy and philosophy that gave birth to western civilization, the country of beaches, islands and sun almost all year round, the country that can’t escape the financial crisis still and has become the pariah of Europe. Come on, you know Greece!
So, I live in Athens but I was born and raised in the island of Crete. It should come as no surprise then, that one of my favorite writers is Nikos Kazantzakis. I came to Athens to study Physics and after acquiring my diploma I did my master’s on Nuclear Physics & Elementary Particles.
Somewhere between the first and second year of my master’s I started to realize that I don’t really like the prospect of academic career. I was beginning to feel trapped in what I was doing. Not that I didn’t like Physics. It has always fascinated me. But I had grown tired of crunching numbers, running simulations and wondering if and why this or that graph had moved a little. It felt that I hadn’t singed up for this. And sure, having a semi-crazy supervisor played its part, as well.
I wanted to find an activity to engage in, something completely different from what I was doing. And so it happened that I joined the theatrical group of the university. That was it. I was hooked. Going to the meetings and the rehearsals became the new thing to look for. And, even more so, putting the show on at the end of the year. “Camino Real” by Tennessee Williams. That was the first play I took part in.
As you have probably guessed, after I finished my master’s, instead of continuing my studies for a PhD, I said goodbye to the Physics department and went to a drama school, much to my supervisor’s dismay. But not so much to my parents’, much less than I would have expected. I wouldn’t go as far as to say they were enthusiastic about the idea but they were supportive nevertheless.
I’ll say it straight away. Going to drama school was the best decision of my life. Not because I became some successful actor. Perhaps not even a great actor (although I am pretty good). It was the best decision, because that study made me a better person. Three years after starting at the drama school, when I graduated, I was a different person. And, of course, I have learned and realized many things since I graduated, not only about acting, but also about the workings of the mind and the ego. Many, many things. However, the foundations of who “I am” today were set during those three years.
Hey, by the way, if you want to see me in action you can check this showreel of commercials I have done over the years. It has subtitles!
So, I am an actor/nuclear physicist. To whomever I say that to, they look at me with disbelief written all over their faces, as if I’m pulling their leg. And then I’m all “no seriously”. That also works with colleagues, when they find out that I have a master’s degree in nuclear physics. “Really? Wow!” is their reaction. Now, part of that disbelief, a huge part in fact, is because it’s hard for most people, actors included, to grasp how someone jumps from nuclear physics to acting. Mathematical, scientific, rational thinking on one side, artistic, free thinking and emotional drive on the other. But I believe that this is where the balance lies. The other part of disbelief, is because of how difficult and exotic nuclear physics sound. Which is enhanced by the language. You see in Greek it’s the equivalent of “rocket science”. “Oh, come on! I can’t believe you don’t understand that! It’s not like it’s nuclear physics!”
Now, if you checked my profile, you probably saw “aspiring iOS developer” as well, in my short description. Well, for the past few months I have taken a break from actively pursuing new jobs in acting. After a couple of disappointments early this year I thought it might be best if I took a small step back. During this “sabbatical” I thought: “What would I like to do? What would I like to learn? Well, how about I learn how to make iPhone apps?”. And that’s why this is up there. It’s an ongoing project though. I pick it up and drop it from time to time, depending on my free time.
When I write something, if at some point I get stuck, a little or a lot it doesn’t matter, I go back and read what I have written. And doing that now, I realized I have probably written a lot for an introducing post. So I’m going to try and wrap it up. I bet you’ll get to know me better as time goes by, as I plan to stay engaged. And through time more info, likes and dislikes, hobbies, everyday situations and the like, will come to light. Although my writings I believe will introduce me better than anything else. And that I left for last.
Next to last, is how I got to be here, though. Accidentally actually. I have taken a course on Udemy for iOS development. And they sent me an ad about cryptocurrency investment, though why is still unclear to me. Fate maybe? I knew of Bitcoin but that was it. And I thought, what the heck. Let’s find out what that is and if we can make a buck. Of course, after that came more ads and one of them was for a course by @jerrybanfield. In this course he talked, all so enthusiastically, about this great new cryptocurrency, that was also a social medium, with a bunch of witnesses watching and these witnesses, they pay you for posting and commenting and witnessing too if you like! Ha! I’m only kidding. He did a hell of a lot better job at explaining what STEEM and steemit is. And here I am! Thanks, Jerry!
What I believe I have to offer to this community
And finally the writing thing I mentioned before. Well, I write a little. That’s it. But I never considered myself a writer and perhaps that’s why “writer” is not included in my profile. I have written for theater mostly and other little things, that never saw the light of day. I’ve never written for blogs (well, except a couple of times, years ago) or magazines or newpapers. On Facebook I have posted some small pieces, nothing much. And now that I said Facebook, allow me another small sidetrack. One at the beginning, another at the end. See? 😉
I never really liked the social media. I basically have a Facebook account but I don’t usually post. I use it to read an interesting article here and there, watch for any auditions, a couple of groups about things I do and stuff like that. I have Instagram and Linkedin and Twitter but I don’t use them. I have like 10 pictures on Instagram and I follow like 5 people on twitter. I just don’t like social media very much. No, don’t like them is a strong statement. They just never piqued my interest.
But this here gives me another vibe. I have a different feeling about this, what do you call it?... steemit, right! 😛 A social medium that pays you to post and comment and like?? Well, I won’t lie, that’s what reeled me in. But after looking into it I got the feeling that this is something more. The community decides who will get paid and how much. The collective wisdom of the members reward the best content. The content that offers the most to the community. And although you are encouraged to post without thinking about the rewards, a wise approach, the fact that you may make some money out of each post makes you wanting to provide meaningful content to the community. And that there is, I believe, the breakthrough of this idea. The encouragement for meaningful, helpful content! Of course, meaningful and helpful mean something different to each one, but I believe that the average quality of the material posted in here will surpass any other social medium.
For me, meaningful means that which makes you think, provides you with a different way of looking at things, contains some philosophical aspect and, if it can, help you bring peace in your life, all the while entertaining you (and the sidetrack is officially over). And that’s what I want to offer to this community. Writings. Stories.
But there is an original (I believe) idea here. I want to write a story in series. A collective story. I will start with a chapter and then anyone who reads it can write in the comments how they want the story to continue. The idea that has the most upvotes after a period of time will be the basis for the next chapter of the story. And so on and so on, until we collectively decide that the story should come to an end.
I’m actually pretty excited about this little experiment. Will people get involved? Will it work? Will I be able to incorporate all these ideas into the story? Will it make any sense in the end? Well, who knows. But it’s really something that I want to get started with.
And before I close, I want to share with you a little something I wrote a couple of months ago and that I posted on Facebook (one of those few times), to give you an idea of my writing style. Besides when I’m telling my story. The post was written in Greek, of course, but I’ve tried to do my best to adapt it in English. And on a final note there, I don’t know to what extent I’ll be able to write as good in English as in Greek, since it’s not my mother tongue. But I’ll do my best.
The story of the wasp…
I’m sitting on my balcony and I’m watching a big, black wasp (boumpoures we call them in Crete) examining the flowers of a tree, right there in front of me. He goes to one, goes to another, he doesn’t seem to be finding one to his liking. I’m watching him as he flies slowly around the plant and I’m starting to feel a fondness for this little guy. I catch myself thinking that this little guy, who does this every day during the short time of his life, must be happy… Especially now that he found the flower he was looking for. He grabs it with both his black legs and shoves his face in, drinking the tasty nectar. No! The flower proves itself a treacherous one! It leaves the tree just when my little friend must have been enjoying the fruits of his labor and I see him, in a tight embrace with the fateful flower, disappearing into the green foliage of the plant! I’m worried, but still, I can’t hold back a little chuckle. I know it’s not right to laugh at the misfortune of your friends but how could I hold back when faced with a mishap so, how do you say it… cute! The fact that 2 seconds later our friend was flying full speed away from the sneaky plant, helped me in not feeling guilty.
And here is the original story in Greek, just in case you are a fellow countryman, dear reader.
Κάθομαι εδώ στο μπαλκόνι και βλέπω ένα μπούμπουρα (έτσι τους λέμε εδώ στην Κρήτη, μη με ρωτάτε) να περιεργάζεται τα άνθη ενός φυτού εδώ μπροστά μου. Πάει στο ένα, πάει στο άλλο, δε φαίνεται να βρίσκει κάποιο που να του αρέσει. Τον παρακολουθώ πως πετάει αργά γύρω από το φυτό και νιώθω μια συμπάθεια για τον τυπάκο αυτό. Πιάνω τον εαυτό μου να σκέφτεται πως αυτός ο τυπάκος, που αυτό κάνει κάθε μέρα για όσο διαρκεί η σύντομη ζωή του, πρέπει να είναι ευτυχισμένος... Ειδικά τώρα που βρήκε το λουλούδι που έψαχνε. Το αρπάζει με τα μαύρα πόδια του και χώνει τη μούρη του μέσα να πιει το νόστιμο νέκταρ. Όι! Το άνθος αποδεικνύεται προδοτικό! Αφήνει το δέντρο τη στιγμή που ο φίλος μου πρέπει να απολάμβανε τους καρπούς των κόπων του και τον βλέπω να χάνεται, σφιχταγκαλιασμένος με το μοιραίο λουλούδι, μέσα στις πράσινες φυλλωσιές του φυτού! Ανησυχώ, αλλά δεν μπορώ και να κρατήσω ένα γελάκι που βγήκε αυθόρμητα. Ξέρω δεν είναι σωστό να γελάς με τις ατυχίες των φίλων σου αλλά πώς να κρατηθείς μπροστά σε ένα πάθημα τόσο, πώς το λένε... cute! Το γεγονός ότι 2 δευτερόλεπτα μετά ο φίλος μας πετούσε με όλη του την ταχύτητα μακριά από το ύπουλο φυτό με βοήθησε να μη νιώσω τύψεις.
So, if you liked this small (ha!) introduction of this guy here, called Michalis, if you liked my story, if you liked that little story about the wasp and my idea of a story in series created collectively, then please upvote this post and follow me. Also, keep an eye out for the tag #thestoryinseries. Under that I’m going to be posting the story.
So… Glad to have found you and happy steeming!