At some point one starts reading one’s life backwards, after the greatest part of it is lived. The golden afternoon sheds a more forgiving light and everything makes more sense.
The main motive as in any memoir or autobiography is to weave a continuum out of the random occurrences, the happy turns, the accidents that strike like a thunderstorm, the blows over which one has little or no control over or so it feels – there are also crossroads upon which one may rest contemplating for ever.
I believe and want to see that we are all in a position of exercising some power, some free will over the act of living and loving, and therefore may take some personal responsibility for the outcome.
Through the cracks of the unexpected one is faced with dilemmas, a main one is whether to safeguard or compromise one’s sense of integrity, to forget or keep pursuing some ‘infantile
dreams’. The answer to these and other questions in the course of life determine where we stand, how we view things.
Otherwise, becoming the narrator or the writer of one’s life is an attempt to draw a continuum, to interpret before others get a chance to do it post mortem, to improvise a vision -if it did not exist from the start-, or with hindsight see a calling for these action and life path. For others to write about themselves is to revisit and stay in tune with the different versions of the self as expressed through time, some of which back in time might have been misunderstood, or unloved.
My story in short:
For many years I have been very active in the dental business, which involved Managerial and mainly Marketing activities to promote and sell imported products through the organisation of events, direct mailing, participating in exhibitions and all the pre-digital stuff.
My career in this dental niche in international trade started when I was still in high-school, in the mid ’70s because my father was in that business. I started with writing letters for him on the typewriter, translating from English into Greek brochures, and working as a part-time interpreter in exhibitions – Athens FDI in 1975 was my debut!
Sometimes I feel like I have lived the history of Greece and of few other places I travelled at odd times through my experience in the dental business, intermingled with the story or evolution of some companies.
Anyway, at the dawn of the 21st century I was sharing the responsibility and the management of the business. It had entailed sacrifices and more challenges I could have ever imagined when I joined this predominantly male world as a young feminist.
My artistic pursuits, writing of fiction in particular, which were appreciated since elementary school and won me two times prizes for best composition, had sought part-time expression in a long list of seminars and evening workshops I attended throughout the years – among them were acting classes, scriptwriting, literature, photography. Most of my free time I kept working on the subjects I loved, anxious not to lose touch with the arts, because that’s where I have always felt at home. It was in week-ends and holidays that I have translated the novels and the short stories that feature in my CV, and I wrote my own novellas published in Greek “The City with The Bachelors” in 2005.
For more details please look up in the Blog under ‘Pages’, title: Projects and Translations
As part of my Marketing activities I went into writing, editing and publishing the commercial periodical Dental Fm for the duration of 10 years, 1994 to 2003; it reached every dentist, lab and the two Dental Schools (Universities). Dental Fm has taught me a lot about the printing business, the aesthetics, how to make the content more appealing on the page for the reader.
Looking back I realise that what has kept me motivated for the tedious work involved in producing Dental Fm was seen it as an educational rather than a commercial/selling tool; in it most space was devoted to inform professionals on new products, techniques and high-tech innovations. It is difficult to imagine its function at present, when communication is done through the email, websites, podcasts, blogs, Youtube and the social.
Back then, the paper newspaper was the habit, as had been the post, the mail, the telephone, the personal invitations to symposiums, hands-on demonstrations and the like.
At the peak of my career all I could see in the future was my ‘development’ to a pensioner. However, the never-ending responsibilities at work and the ever-changing laws regulating pensions in the private sector in Greece, were pushing the day of my release further back into old age. That is if I were lucky to survive until the start of my pension, if I had not died in the meantime from lack of motivation and boredom. Such a prospect seemed unfair, since I have started working at a very young age, as many others who help in their parents’ businesses in Greece.
It was time to ‘reinvent myself’ – I am not sure I used that expression. The trend of quitting a job, working part time, or working from home were not invented yet, at least not in Greece few years after 9/11.
Looking back I see that the September 11th 2001 attack that marked this century had a horrific impact everywhere and the ripples of such a calamity affected us all at an unconscious level.
What I remember from my younger self of the time is the urgency to live in full capacity, to pursue my youthful-closer-to-my-heart-dreams; the repressed longing to start moving again, to owe my time, to rejuvenate my curiosity and my prospects, to open the door to new challenges, even to anxieties of a different sort. It was obvious that one long ‘secure’ ‘predictable’ phase of my life was over.
There were more roads to be travelled and lessons to be learned. To this day I have never regretted my decision. I only wish I had taken it at an earlier date.
I would have never made the voyages or stayed in other countries for longer periods had I remained in a corporate career.
I am grateful to the divine that protect me all along,
and to the people that have my back to this day. Special mention to the unexpected encounters who with their gentleness have put a smile in some gloomy days and had led a helping hand,
and the boat sails on… Lisa
The posts in this blog are well-researched authentic posts, featured in En & Gr thoroughly edited and illustrated by my photos.
*** 3 times awarded blog, often used as a source of reference for its content and photos by other websites.
updated 4 September 2022 – all content in this blog is protected by copyright
Take wings! my photo taken 2 September 2022, Athens