So here I am, back from New York.
The ten days I spent there were so amazingly rich that, looking back, it feels like I have been away a month.
So here I am, in Berlin again. And yet, still in New York. And so I have spent my first week back in my old life trying to find my way back into it. After experiencing this feeling of ultimate freedom, happiness and anything being possible so intensely for those ten days I suddenly found it hard to confine myself again, to all the tasks and to dos and duties, which were still here, pending in the air and impatiently waiting for me to tackle them. Without me having the slightest idea where to start and what to do next to achieve…well…everything. To at least start moving again and resuming my life. And to find pleasure in the things I so loved again.
And so, panic took over. That reassuring part of me that always knows that life will go on and phases such as the one I am in right now will pass eventually suddenly seemed to be lost in the depths of my fears and doubts. And everyone around me, all my friends and my role models, seemed to be successful with such ease, while I could not even figure out my next step. Let alone follow suit. And while I stood there being paralyzed, my mind went havoc in its search for possible solutions. Which all did not seem to fit. So, in the end, this only added to this grim feeling of helplessnes.
Not being able to make sense of my life I felt that, maybe, I did not make sense. And that maybe I, with all my talents and gifts, my ideas and dreams, just did not fit in with this world.
Needless to say, no matching song found me. This seemed to hold true even for the Lollapalooza Festival, which took place in Berlin for the first time and which I attended with my friends. In fact, the first day turned out to be a series of mishaps leading to my friends and me missing most of the first part and then losing each other without any hope of finding each other again in the crowd.
And when things clearly could not feel any more disastrous – after spending half of the day on my own, frantically writing text messages which did no get out, after actually being peed on by a drunk guy who missed the bottle in which he tried to relieve himself, and while being harrassed by another drunk guy with the worst cockney English I have ever heard – the final act saved my day.
I remembered loving this song a couple of years ago. And tuned in with the chorus and started singing along just like that. My world went a little brighter. The drunk guy was gone. And at that moment I just knew that life, however, would go on and the wheel would start turning again eventually.
I am aware that this is actually a song on gay love. But I am sure that Macklemore would not mind me borrowing it. After all, the central message, as I understand it, is this: that you are who you are and that you are perfect the way you are. No changing required.
So on that very evening, that song reminded me that I and my way of being do make sense. And that I would not be here like I am if I was not meant to be. Even if sometimes I feel like I do not fit in with this society. And even if I do not feel able to follow my friends’ suit. Since they all have their way and I have my own. Which, I am sure, will open up eventually and show me the next step to take.
As that quote by Shams Tabrizi, that close friend of Rumi says, which, fittingly, I found on Facebook today:
“Whatever happens to you, don’t fall in despair. Even if all the doors are closed, a secret path will be there for you that no one knows. You can’t see it yet but so many paradises are at the end of this path. Be grateful! It is easy to thank after obtaining what you want, thank before having what you want.”
So this has been my hymn for the past few days. Which keeps assuring me that, in the end, things will start moving again. And for the moment, this is enough to keep me going.
Because I can’t change, even if I tried. Or even if I wanted to.
(And I don’t want to anyway 🙂 )