But at least we’ll get hurt trying

The piano is not firewood yet
They try to remember but still they forget
That the heart beats in threes
Just like a waltz
And nothing can stop you from dancing

So I took that step and jumped.

All my ideas, so elaborately planned and scheduled, were turned into action much sooner than expected. And suddenly I am experiencing myself in a completely new and unfamiliar situation, wondering how this all could happen so fast.

All it took was an open door. Not really open even. In fact, a slight possibility being cast through the crack of this door like a faint ray of light was all that was there initially. And without really thinking much I found myself pushing that door wide open and boldly stepping through it. There was this inner urge that made me do it.

I have left my permanent position of eleven years behind to follow my passion and go all in for the job of my dreams. And here I am, starting from scratch again. In the realm where I was truly meant to be. At least that is what I had thought…

After eleven years of routine and security I get to experience once more what it feels like to be an absolute beginner. I cannot remember the last time I have made so many mistakes in a row. And, me still being a hopeless perfectionist, this feels rather devastating. After my first two weeks in the new situation I wasn’t sure anymore if I had made the right decision. I started to seriously question my capacities of doing this job; my capacities to adapt and learn and to finally do it right; my capacities as a human being even. Was this really the place to be for me?

Rise from your cold hospital bed
You’re not dying
Everyone knows you’re going to live
So you might as well start trying

This is where, luckily, Regina Spektor stepped in and reinforced me.

Her song reminded me to take a closer look at things as they actually are, while putting the negative-colored glasses away. And taking a moment to reflect on my current situation I realized this much: it HAD been the right decision. Looking back I found that the old job and everything tied to it had simply vanished from my consciousness completely. Leaving it was the only sensible choice. And I became aware that, mistakes or not, this new thing in fact IS everything I can think of doing at the moment. And which I absolutely want to do.

Everyone knows it’s going to hurt
But at least we’ll get hurt trying

Right now, it is not perfect, I know that much. But then I asked myself: Isn’t this something that is inherent in new beginnings? That you have to adjust and find your way? And is there a way of viewing making mistakes and falling from a different perspective?

I have decided there is. By making all these mistakes I get the chance to learn a lot first-hand. So, rather than thinking that life wants to bring me down, I acknowledge that it may want to show me the way; that life actually presents me with the opportunity to grow, even further than I have grown so far. And to, by making all these mistakes, learn everything I will need in the future, to be right there where I belong and do an amazing job. It might as well be true. And, for now, I will continue pursuing this route and see where it leads me to.

I recognize that these are hard times. I am falling a lot and it takes a lot of strength and courage to get up and try again. And still, this is what feels like the only sensible thing at the moment.

And isn’t this what I wanted after all? Experience life to the fullest and accept everything it offers me? And to live now and postpone nothing that is important to a later date, when I might not be able to do it anymore…?

At least I get hurt trying.

Because in the end, this is what I will be looking back at.

You’ll want to go back
You’ll wish you were small
Nothing can slow the crying
You’ll take the clock off of your wall
And you’ll wish it was lying

How about you?

 

Climbing uphill

I will not be the girl stuck at home in the ‘burbs
With the baby, the dog, and the garden of herbs
I will not be the girl in the sensible shoes
Pushing burgers and beer nuts and missing the clues
I will not be the girl who gets asked how it feels
To be trotting along at the genius’s heels
I will not be the girl who requires a man to get by
And I…

Before I went on my last trip to Tel Aviv a very sweet friend of mine told me that by traveling you always travel to yourself as well.
And she turned out to be right.

Heading off for Israel I had no idea how this trip would confront me with questions eventually touching on the very essence of my being.
Most notably, one idea popped up on several occasions, and that was the notion how we seem to be depending on the goodwill of others in everything we do – even – or especially – when we decide to follow our dreams.

And, quite fittingly, this is the song I brought from Tel Aviv.

But are we really?

My experience in Tel Aviv made me wonder: do I really depend on these people or do I rather make myself dependent by thinking that I am?
And I realized how this went even as far as to my adopting the idea these people had of me and of making the way I perceive myself subject to how they saw me. Which eventually put me in the situation the girl in the song experiences when she starts questioning everything she does and bashing herself.

And then something beautiful happend. When I was forced to let go of certain people I in a way had felt dependent on, and once the initial panic had subsided, a certain feeling of freedom gradually started to prevail. And I got to learn that I wasn’t dependent at all.
Granted, it took me a while and some cups of that amazing coffee they have in Israel, to remind myself that I am certainly not defined by the way others see me; and to tell myself, like that girl in the song, that

I am a good person.

But when I finally got to the point of letting go of what those seemingly important people thought of me, it felt as if an open range of possibilities opened up in front of me, giving me room to do whatever I felt like doing; and to find my own definitions and set my own standards independently.

Which I did while exploring and enjoying this beautiful city of Tel Aviv; and while, funnily, feeling like I was always walking uphill.
Looking back, I smile at this and prefer to regard it as asymbol for actually climbing uphill.

And so, together with this amazing song, I brought this feeling back with me. And I am grateful that my trip reminded me that

I am a good person
I’m an attractive person
I am a talented person
Grant me Grace!

 

 

Smile!

How could I have missed out on Brian Wilson so long?

I’ve owned a CD by the Beach Boys for several years, listened to it occasionally, quite liked it and that was it.

But then, recently, searching for a good DVD to watch (yes, I do belong to those few old school people who still listen to CDs and rent DVDs from the video store) I came across this biopic about Brian Wilson, entitled “Love and Mercy“. And decided to give it a go, since it seemed to promise just about enough of drama for a solitary evening with myself. And, well, it had John Cusack in it.

And what I saw left me deeply impressed. And got me thinking.

I am aware that what I watched is actually a piece of fiction and that there is not just a slight chance of the story being sugar-coated. Still, after doing some research and after, for the first time, paying actual attention to the music Brian Wilson has created, I am still, if not even more, impressed by this amazing character and the story of his life.

One thing that struck me most was to witness how a guy with such an outstanding talent kept struggling and doubting himself for large parts of his life because of people telling him what he wasn’t supposed to do, that what he did wasn’t good and, what is even worse, what he supposedly could not do. It virtually hurt to see how he, as a result, kept himself back for such a long time and just did not dare let out what treasure was inside of him.

So there was his father who kept neglecting him and turned him down time and again, telling him his music simply was not good enough. And even when he had been successful with the Beach Boys for a while, he still lacked support from his fellow band members. Who, constantly pointing to what people would be used to and allegedly wanted to hear, tried to cling to the success of their beginnings and were reluctant to try something too innovative.

As the story unfolded, I watched these dynamics continue when, later in his life, a therapist made him a captive of a diagnosis that, as turned out later, was wrong. So Brian Wilson ended up being badly drugged, constantly monitored and bossed around like an unlucky child.
Not able to be creative at all. And seemingly believing in all these limits the alleged diagnosis was imposing on him.

Luckily, someone reminded Brian Wilson of his possibilities and his family took action. So that, eventually, he was freed from his manipulative therapist’s clutches.
A few years later he got married; and, finally, he got to publish this amazingly innovative and highly acclaimed album “Smile” which had been waiting for publication since the sixties.

Since I discovered it, this album has been my constant companion and keeps consoling me whenever I run the risk of loosing faith.

Apart from the fact that in Wilson’s case, he was misdiagnosed, I know from own experience how a diagnosis – even a correct one – can hold you back. In fact, I have lived large parts of my life believing in the things I could not do or was not able to achieve due to my unconventional heart. When it comes to a heart condtion – or any kind of “medical disorder” – the media are full with stories telling how badly off these patients are and what problems and limitations they face. While doctors try to help their patients by correcting or curing their disorders.
And while I know it to be true that, yes, such a condition does bring limitations and problems, I think that by exclusively focusing on what is wrong, and what is impossible for these people, we only add to the burden they carry anyway.

Speaking of limitations, I am pretty sure that it doesn’t even need a diagnosis for people to feel limited, if they only listen to all these omnipresent voices telling them what is impossible and how they could not succeed. How they were not good enough in what they did or how they were bound to fail with their ideas and dreams. And also this, I have experienced myself.

So I am thankful that I stumbled across this movie, Brian Wilson’s music and the tragic, yet inspiring story of his life. I was lucky enough to find this video of his live performance of “Smile” on youtube, and I guess I do not have to mention that by now I own the DVD.

Because this music has been a constant source of inspiration and comfort to me and it keeps reminding me of what is possible if you free your mind from the idea that you can’t make it.

So  why not focus on what IS possible for once? And why not ask yourself what COULD be possible, if you only tried?

And then see what happens?


Looking for another perspective on "disorders" and their symptoms? Read this amazing article by Eileen Laird: My body is not my enemy.

Image credits:
"Keep smiling" by Rachel Kramer
https://goo.gl/fb3IF1
is licensed under a Creatice Commons license:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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…