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!

 

 

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 🙂 )

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…