The Trip to India was an impulse towards change. For years I’ve been wanting to live in other countries, but there was always something like an invisible force that kept holding me back. I did not have the courage to leave everything that I had built during the years working as a reporter. I had fears but still my imagination continued to create the scenario in which I was in a multicultural space. India pulled a tremendous courage out of me, bringing it to surface, but it was too silent for me to hear it. At my return home, I knew it was a matter of time, but I was sure I was going to move to another country for a while.
During college years, I wanted so badly to go abroad with an Erasmus scholarship and live my student years surrounded by colleagues speaking many different languages, however, I refused all opportunities because at that time I was already living my childhood dream of working in the television industry and I was concerned with my professional development.
From 18 to 28 years old I trained as a reporter, first in Cluj-Napoca and then in Bucharest, at Pro TV. The 5 years spent being part of the team of the most appreciated Romanian TV channel were the most complex years in my life so far. I worked enormously, I travelled to the same extent, I loved, I suffered and I grew. I’ve come to love Bucharest and the fact that it made me become independent.Being part of the production team of internationally renowned TV shows like Romanians Have Talent, The Voice of Romania and Master Chef is a remarkable life experience. I say life experience and not professional experience because the team is not made up of work colleagues with whom I shared an office for 8 hours per day, but of people with whom I sometimes travelled for months, shared accommodation, the small amount of free time and even tied up lifetime friendships.Working in the casting department, I used to travel from one city to another looking for the right contestants for the shows. The contact with artists from all areas of creation had really widened my horizons. Moreover, the satisfaction one gets after seeing a contestant – with whom one has been in contact with for months – receiving the Golden Buzz or getting into the semi-final/final – is a feeling of pure joy.
The first time I visited another continent was thanks to my job, too. I spent one month in South Africa to shoot for the show I Am Famous, Get Me Out of Here and one year after that I left for Cyprus for 3 months, as Field Producer in the Star Farm Project. Working directly with journalists in those countries just increased my appetite for an international environment.
I think one needs sincere love to work in the television industry – and I’ve got plenty of that! I’m saying this because the TV mirage comes at package with a super busy schedule. Although I loved my job, the time had come to make a complete change.
So, in March, after a knee surgery, I quit Pro TV and moved to London. I always wanted to travel from one country to another without having anything planned. This feeling of uncertainty seemed like a movie scenario. I packed up all the memories made while living in Bucharest and I booked a one way ticket to London. This move was the gift for my 28th birthday.I chose London because I liked it a lot when I first visited it one year before and I promised myself then that I would come back and live here for a while. The fact that it is a global city and that I hear all the world’s languages around me fills me up culturally every day. I started saving money some time before, knowing I was planning to move out of the country, so the first two months I gave myself a well-deserved holiday after 10 years of television.I did some shooting as a freelancer but I realised I needed the courage to do something else at the same time, something I’ve been passionate about in Romania. So, I got employed in the education field. I am working in a school for teenagers with autism. At home, I used to get involved in volunteer projects, including projects for children with physical disabilities and as a news reporter, I’ve worked in the education department for a long time. I am in a period that allows the humanitarian part of me manifest. Moreover, I am learning legislation, I participate in trainings and all the new stuff makes me feel like I am accumulating enormously.
Each morning I go to school with the feeling I’m useful. The restart I gave myself is good for me. From the hustle and bustle of the journalist work I stepped to the opposite pole for a while, to the tranquillity that is often needed when working with young people with autism. Patience became the key word of a working day. I am learning how to get close to the students, what to do so the activities are pleasant to them, whether we are at the math class, playing football or at the dance course.
Ever since I can remember I’ve been talking a lot. I often judged myself for talking too much. Now, in turn, I learn daily how to listen to the students’ needs more and how to communicate through non-verbal language.
Time is perceived differently amongst young people with autism, because there can be hours of silence and concentration, either on colouring or other activities stimulating their creativity. I returned to games and playfulness.
My current job is a lesson of daily gratitude. When I see that activities which are habitual for us – like serving meals – can be a performance for others, I realise that I have no excuse in refusing to work as much as needed to fulfil a dream, regardless of its nature. Each student teaches me to smile more. I think I’ve never smiled so much as in my interaction with them and it is priceless to see how a smile can calm them down.
In addition to the major changes in my life, one of the things I’ve been dreaming about was fulfilled, too. I am working in an international team with young people coming from Australia, India, Africa, Italy, Spain, Poland. Many of them are musicians in different bands or composers of classical music. I am happy that my passion for art and creation follows me in this new experience I am living.
In the Utopian world created by my imagination, I would advise each person to volunteer at least one month of his/her life, because giving from our time and energy to young people with special needs gives us a more grateful perspective upon life.