Spirits in my head and they won’t go

I’ve been lookin’ at the stars tonight
And I think “Oh, how I miss the bright sun!*

This song has a special meaning to me for two reasons:

The Strumbellas album was my travel companion on my trip through the States and as such is connected in my head to this adventurous feeling of heading off into uncharted waters and being free. Whenever I had taken my comfy seat on the ponderous Amtrak train I had become so fond of and the train started, I put on that album; and listening to it intensified my joy.

Now that I am back it keeps reminding me of that trip and the amazing time I experienced in America. And it also reminds me of what I am missing.

I got guns in my head and they won’t go
Spirits in my head and they won’t go*

It is true that also before my month-long trip I had been having these „spirits in my head“. And they basically never went away. They were there, lingering in the back, asking for more. And even though I knew there was a constant craving for something in my life that wasn’t there in my current situation; that I just was not living as would become my true self, I kind of settled for less. Because, well, ….
I thought I wasn’t ready yet. And that making a move might end up taking my security from me. Because I tended to listen to those voices telling me I had to content myself with what I had because, you know, who wouldn’t want to have security?

I’m just waiting for my day to come
And I think “Oh, cause I don’t wanna let you down.”
But something inside has changed,
and maybe we don’t wanna stay the same*

Now that I have been back from my trip for about a month, it has been dawning on me that, indeed, something inside has changed. Call it an attitude, or maybe just the increased craving for freedom. Whatever it is I feel different. I’ve been experiencing a shade of serenity that is new to me and that comes with a new tinge of audacity.
And with this feeling comes the urge to change something. And also the notion that, maybe, security isn’t all there is to life. Or might it even be possible that trusting in life provide us with a different type of security?

The decision has been taken in the past few days. Maybe it’s true what Lemony Snicket said: „If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.“

At least this quote appeals a lot to me at the moment and so I have decided to try my luck…:

And I don’t want a never-ending life
I just want to be alive
While I’m here*


 

Quotes taken from the song „Spirits“ by The Strumbellas
Image "Crossroads" by IcE MaN, CC BY 2.0

Good enough to fight for second place

Everyone I know, everyone I know's got plans
But they all just play the keys in shitty bands

Are you actually living your dream?

Or are you one of those many people whose answer to this question contains something like “I’d love to…, but…”?
Because, after all, it’s all just airy-fairy daydreams. Right?!

When talking to a friend last weekend he happened to bring up that familiar and somewhat corny quote everybody has probably heard at least a thousand times and yet so few seem to be acting out. Which goes:

“Don’t dream your life, but live your dream!”

And I asked him the same question I am asking you now and which, in fact I’ve been asking myself over and over again.

Are YOU living your dream?

In my life I have encountered so many people who seem to have settled for less than they would actually want. And who seem anything but happy, at least to me.

Everyone I know, everyone I know is great
Good enough to fight for second place
Everyone I know, everyone I know can talk
Until their lives get outlined in chalk

I’ve been wondering what keeps all these people from pursuing the goals they once had, and forget about the dreams they have been dreaming all along. And it has even made me angry, because I see so much potential wasted in this world by people’s rather playing it safe than stepping outside of the live outlined for them.

And of course I know what keeps them.

The city’s gonna kill me, throw me from a building,
shoot me in a drive by.
The city’s gonna stalk me, knock out all my front teeth,
drown me in the high tide

Replace “city” with whatever you like: my friends, my partner, my boss, society…
But how real is this threat, really? And which is our part in its being present at all?

Like many others, I want to live my dream, to live a life that means something. I really do.

For a couple of months now I have been taking steps in a direction as to move closer to that life. Which was fine as long as the goal was lingering somewhere far ahead, hardly assuming a definite form.
However, since everything seems to be working out better than I had ever imagined it has been dawning on me that, with every step I take towards my goal, I am moving closer to the point where I will have to take that next big step into uncharted waters and move way out of my comfort zone. While, at the same time leaving safe and familiar ground behind.
And to be honest: it scares the hell out of me. I am still not entirely sure if I will take that big step eventually. In fact, I have caught myself several times considering less adventurous options which would imply at least some of the safety I have now. And which, of course, are far less exciting.
For the time being I have solved this problem by pushing all fears aside and focusing on one step at a time. Hoping that I will know what to do when the time has come to make that decision.
Still, already now I have the dim feeling that, after all that has already happened, going back would mean paying a high price. Which doesn’t really help with the fear.

What about you?

Have you settled for living the life that has been laid out for you?

Or are you one of those who are already living the life of their dreams?

And what is really going to happen if we decide to step out of the well-trodden path?

Come around if you’re feeling frightened
I can see that the noose is tightening fast
Way too fast, way too fast…

…..

…..

…..this could have been it. Had not this one song come to my attention just today, right before I wanted to hit the publish button. You could almost think it was meant as an answer to what I had writen earlier…

…but the world keeps spinning around.

 


Credits:
Image Wings of the fallen by Garrette, CC BY 2.0
Songs: Everyone I know by K.Flay - High Hopes by Kodaline


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.