A little bit closer to feeling fine

I’ve been swimming in a sea of anarchy
I’ve been living on coffee and nicotine
I’ve been wondering if all the things I’ve seen
Were ever real, were ever really happening?

Apart from the nicotine, this pretty much sums up what has been going on in the past days. And is still going on. Which is somehow thrilling. And at the same time frightening.

It seems as if my life and me, somehow, have started moving again. And I am still not sure in which direction. But maybe, this is how it is supposed to be.

After Macklemore had saved me on that disastrous Lollapalooza Saturday I could literally watch things improve. On the following Sunday, everything was better organized, including me and my best friend, whom I had also failed to find the day before. We stuck together throughout the whole day and had a blast listening and jumping and dancing to the beat of our favourite bands. And I found it to be true that sometimes, all you need is that one friend. At the end of the day, I left the festival with my hope being restored – still without the slightest idea as to which step to take next, but curious about what life would bring me.

In this mood, I returned back to work and I managed to keep it up even though I did not seem to succeed in making any significant move. It was also during this time that one morning I listened to that familiar song on the radio and suddenly found something resonating inside of me.

Still feeling drawn between so many things that I wanted to do I felt unable to select and focus on just one of them. Which stopped me from making any move whatsoever. In this state of indecision I decided to for once decide on nothing at all and let fate, or life, or whatever you might want to call it, take over instead.

Ever since then I could not stop wondering about this one question: Is it true that, to achieve a meaningful life, you have to find out what makes you happy and then focus on this single thing with all your might until you finally succeed?  – An idea which I have encountered over and over again following all these motivational speakers and inspiring personalities I so admire.

Or is it better to let go and follow the voice of your intuition to wherever it may take you, without any predefined goal, and with both heart and mind wide open for whatever influences might hit you? And to thus take the alluring advice of that song?

Jump in, let’s go
Lay back, enjoy the show
Everybody gets high, everybody gets low
These are the days when anything goes

Without thinking much, and for the first time completely ignoring my inner critic going berserk time and again, I somehow ended up following the second approach and dived right into life without any obvious purpose whatsoever. I connected with friends, hosted people from all over the world, made even more friends, started reading books again, was at times addicted to all sorts of social media (there are so many of them!), experienced both loneliness and the happiest moments, found my passion in writing and found even more pleasure in singing … all that happening at the same time.

And all along, this song by Shery Crow accompanied me, seemingly supporting me in my choice, or rather, non-choice.

I still have not found the answer to my question. I have the feeling, though, that maybe, both alternatives are somehow right. Maybe there is a time for each of them. Recently, there have been first signs that my letting go and my openness might not have been the worst decision. And that I might be on the brink of new, promising developments.

So maybe, hopefully, I have chosen the right path, and I am curious to find out where it will lead me.

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Even if I wanted to

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 🙂 )

Benediction

Originally, this post was supposed to feature a song about New York, this great city, where I will be travelling to tomorrow. To me, this means a dream come true, since I have never felt as free and happy as I have in New York.

But then, I came across this beautiful, breathtaking song by Luke Sital-Singh and could not resist using this one instead.

Because it totally captures the mood I am in at the moment, and the energy present in my life that includes everything from my travelling plans, to the inspiring people I have been encountering, to new projects and ideas I have.

It all started this summer, when some of the most inspiring people I have ever met brought this air of freedom and a completely new feeling to my life. Or maybe, it had been present all along and all I needed was someone to ignite it. In any case, this energy found me like a long lost friend and I felt happy the instant it poured all over me.

Life keeps bringing more and more of these amazing people to me. And with them comes that energy and the awareness that there are so many things that I still want to experience.

And that all I ever have is this moment.

And that I want to make the most of it, since I never know how long I will be in the position to do so.
In fact, nobody does. We just tend to forget sometimes, or to block the thought, while being absorbed by all these everyday challenges that, after all, do not really matter.

And this is what this song and its beautiful lyrics reminded me of, when I accidentally found it, on my way to work.

I have come to believe that, if we take the time, and the courage, to face not just the possibility, but the certain fact of us being limited, we might find that this adds another quality to our life. I found experiences to become more intense. And I found that I want exactly this: to experience life and everything in it, to “keep listening”, as Luke Sital-Singh puts it, to everything this amazing life presents me with.

And so I went and booked that trip to New York. And started to pursue my dreams, the things I feel are worth living for. And decided to, just for a moment, let go of all the self-imposed doubts and fears and just live.

And is it not amazing that tomorrow, the day of my journey to the destination of my dreams, will be the fifth anniversary of that moment in my life where the option of dying was so close to me that I could barely handle it? And which reminded me, after all, of the preciousness of life?

So, are you listening?

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Supplementary note:
This is not the only inspiring and beautiful song by Luke Sital-Singh. In fact, I had a hard time deciding for a particular song, since I found them all so beautiful.
If you feel you want to find out more about him, check out his website here: Luke Sital-Singh – official website

So this is it…

… I am starting my own blog. How could this happen?

In the course of my studies to become a journalist we were required to install our own blog. I didn’t like it. Wrote about two or three entries, which was the required number to finish this task, and then stopped it immediately.

After one of my closest friends had brought up the subject recently, the idea struck me while sitting on a train and at that moment I knew exactly what I would be writing about. So here I am, getting started all over again. And writing a blog that finally feels like mine and something I want to do.

This is going to be a blog about music, or rather, the impact that music, in the form of certain songs, has on me, my life and thinking. I am a music person and my life is constantly accompanied by songs which seem to find me at just the right time. Each of them tells something about where I am standing at that moment and inspires thoughts and ideas that help me grow. In the past few weeks I have encountered so many people who seemed to have a similar passion for music that my idea of writing that blog was fueled. So this is what I want to share with you.

And yet, there are these doubts. What if nobody wants to read it? What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail?

So maybe this is the perfect opportunity to dive right into it and share my first song recommendation, because, after all, it might have contributed to me getting started eventually. And it offers the perfect answer to all these self-doubts most of us seem to entertain deep down inside.

I have encountered these well known doubts a lot recently. In fact, they keep haunting me most of the time these days. There are so many things I would like to achieve, so many ideas and desires, and naturally, not all of them work out as planned and I have to face setbacks time and again. And so, this voice keeps coming into my head, never getting tired of asking its “What if”s.

And then, yesterday, this song found me. And with listening to this song came the calmness, and the assurance that maybe I am good enough. And maybe I am capable of inspiring people by just being the person I am. And maybe it’s worth trying.
I really needed that song and I think we all could do with more songs like that: to remind us that we don’t have to do or achieve anything to be valuable and that, in fact, we can put trust in ourselves.

A story I just read by a very gifted person I know reminded me that you never know whose lives you touch by simply being you and dedicating yourself with passion to whatever matters to you.

And so, finally, I came up with some new “What if”s:
What if I actually do have something to say? And what if, just like these songs keep finding me, the right people will find me too? And what if what I am is beautiful?

And what if, sometimes, all it takes is to just be you and put yourself out there; and shine bright, like a diamond?

But that might be another blog post…