When East meets West, the eyes speak volumes.

In many ways, living in Eastern Europe isn’t that different from the other places I’ve lived. I’m surrounded by the sounds of Romanian, but often I forget live in a city just 400 km from Ukraine. Familiarity can breed a lack of mindfulness.

The architecture here is vastly different from New York or London. The streets are full of blocks of utilitarian apartments built up by the communist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu from ‘65-’89. They are mostly colorless, bland, and square. …


We are. We were. But, will we continue to be?

I am writing this from that cafe we discovered together where you had the avocado quiche, my darling. You began smiling before the fork left your lips. It was new. It was different.

Except, as you read this, I am no longer at that cafe. I’m somewhere else. The words on this page have traveled through time.

Maybe as you’re reading this things between us have changed. Maybe we’ve ended. Maybe we’ve gotten back together. Or maybe, my darling, we are and we were and we will be all at once. Time isn’t an illusion; our perception of it is…


Why I keep wearing board shorts when there’s no seaside in sight.

A good friend of mine told me a story about when she was a child and her family moved from Florida to Wisconsin. I don’t remember which cities. I only remember her saying the first year in Wisconsin was cold, even by Wisconsin standards.

She said her mother packed the family’s summer things into a closet in the hallway. My friend, missing the heat and sun of Florida, would walk into the closet and take the top off the bottle of sunscreen to sniff it. She wanted a reminder of what summer smelled like.

I feel the same way about…


Here is how they changed me

Several months ago, a friend recommended eating Vegans as a sixty-day challenge. I accepted the challenge and it has changed how I’ll eat for the rest of my life.

I’ve practiced a sapien-based diet for the past four years. People often incorrectly refer to it as cannibalism. While I understand why the term remains common, it is outdated. We describe our lifestyle as sapien-based, or sapitarian. Both are correct. We’re attempting to move beyond the misconceptions and negative connotations of the past.

Sapitarianism is not an easy practice to maintain but, once you accept the inconveniences, it is life-affirming. I’m…


You can be profane without seeming vulgar

Dirty, taboo, vulgar, lewd — all describe the sweary language a gentleman supposedly avoids. Only an uncouth brute uses profanity, or does he? It turns out cursing is a lot more fucking complex than we thought.

We have a fondness for dirty words. They show up everywhere from graffiti on the streets to the halls of academia. There are scholarly works about their importance from philosophers such as Harvard’s Steven Pinker and entertaining books about their origins such as Melissa Mohr’s Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing. Vulgar words are found throughout cultures, dating back centuries. Recently, a set…


You can learn valuable persuasion tactics from kids.

Originally appeared on Ell Business

My ten-year-old nephew is a master negotiator. The last time I was home, he asked me to play catch with him outside with his new football. I was having a cup of coffee with my sister at the time and told him I would do it later.

“You always say later but you never do. Right, mom?” he spoke quite plainly and without a hint of a whine.

When he turned to my sister, she laughed and stammered her reply.

“Ha! Uh, hey there, buddy, don’t get me involved in this!”

I stepped in to…


Plan, Prioritize, and Partition your way to success.

Originally appeared on Ell Business

Productivity is currently one of the workplace’s hottest topics, especially on the heels (or toes?) of a global pandemic. Since we all began wearing masks, this brave, new, remote world has seen a 12x increase in the time employees spend working from home.

If you’re not brainstorming ways to make yourself more personally productive, you’re likely creating apps to help others do so. Yet in our productivity-obsessed culture, some people continue to accomplish more in a day than others do. What are they doing that you don’t and how can you become more personally productive?

Time Will Never Be on Your Side


People are political animals, but your office doesn't have to be a zoo.

Originally appeared on Ell Business

Marx once said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

That was Groucho, not Karl, but the political insight is just as sharp. So, what do you do when politics infiltrates your workplace, and as a manager, how do you ensure you apply the right remedies?

You Can’t Avoid Office Politics

People are political and companies are comprised of people. Your office colleagues often have conflicting interests and jockey for recognition and success. Office politics is the natural state of business. According to the Harvard Business Review:

“Our…


How to become a Big Picture business leader.

Originally appeared on Ell Business

Technological innovation, unforeseen events, and the natural evolution of business create a dynamic environment in which decision-makers must view their organization as a whole. Understanding how all the components of a business affect one another is a lynchpin for long-term success in a changing world.

Here are some fundamental considerations for shifting focus from single aspects of a business to the Big Picture.

Big Thinking on Day One

Many of today’s most successful companies began with long-term visions tying business objectives to financial and growth milestones, including market cultivation and employee development. While it’s easy to get caught up in…


The afterlife of marriage can be spirited.

Never before that October 31st getaway in Wales in that cozy cottage near the river had I reason to question my sanity, but there I was, slack-jawed and blinking at a chair in the corner, wondering whether the stress and tension of the last few months had burst something inside my brain and untethered me from reality. Suspicious of my faculties, I looked to my wife, a person who, despite her many flaws, was pragmatic and sane. …

Brian Abbey

expat, ex-philosopher, ex-entrepreneur writing on society, relationships, & AI singularities. VICE, Salon, & misc humor sites @brianabbey brianabbeywriter.com

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