A Final Adjö

There are times in life that are simply unforgettable. Not only because certain smells, songs or situations remind you of them every now and then, but because they have utterly changed and still influence your view on life, people and events. Deep in your heart, every major decision in your life has been influenced by those times and the important experiences you’ve made back then. Everything you’ve said, done or refused to do can be justified by the things you learned there and then. No day seems to go by in which you don’t think back nostalgically, mad, frustrated, happy – but in any case deeply moved. In fact, thinking back has become a necessity, an indispensable part of your life. Of course, not everything was great then, in fact, life gave you a lot of opportunities to remember to always appreciate the good times when they’re there. But for sure was this time, all in all, the most vivid time of your life.

Everyone has their own unforgettable, big story of their life. At least I hope so. Mine is surely the time I can’t stop talking and thinking about and everyone who ever talked to me knows what I’m (once again) talking about.

From time to time it seems a bit unhealthy to me how I tend to worship my time in Sweden. But I can’t help it, it was THE time of my life. There were moments of pure happiness and pure appreciation of life. I was lucky enough to meet people with whom I really connected, who I still count to my closest friends. People I’d otherwise have never met. What a cruel thought!

In fact, there were so many incredible people who I now recall as the most open, tolerant and uncomplicated people I’ve ever met. If it wasn’t for them I would have never learned to think outside the box. I would have never been able to change so much, to finally open my mind and think different. This wildly underestimated ability is actually the one, I suppose, that was, is and will be the one lifechanging skill that I’ll hopefully always carry with me. I may forget how to speak Swedish, how to bake kanelbullar or how this disgusting ugly wine tasted, and that’s ok. But if I ever lose the ability to think outside the box, I don’t even know what life could possibly have in store for me.

But apart from the wonderful people I’ve met there, I will always remember with an indescribable mix of emotions the places I’ve seen and the craziness we’ve lived.

The first fika we got a bit wrong when we had Corona and donuts.

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The time it was raining so badly and I didn’t bring an umbrella or suitable shoes for that weather. That was when I borrowed a pair of socks from a friend who always brings a second pair of socks in her handback. I do that eversince, too. I never needed them.

Our first monthiversary.

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The welcome dinner: the first time I got to dance with my favourite argentinian friend. ;-)

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Poland.

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LeMans. The first kravall. Beer Pong.

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Having vodka and beers and creating a fantastic playlist with an appopriate name.

Winter.

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Moving closer to HG.

Failing to take selfies at the HG bathroom.

SEEING THE NORTHERN LIGHTS. And never being able to stop thinking about them in complete sadness. Having the impression, for the first time in life, to actually have seen it all and enough and that everything, from that time on, would feel like going backwards.

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Having simply a good time celebrating my birthday.

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Finding a note on my neighbour’s window.

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And really, so much more.

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I know you know all this already, or you don’t know me so this doesn’t make any sense, but it’s about time I write all this down. Sweden changed me and the only people who will ever get it are those who were there with me. They get how thinking back will always be a little bit painful but still the most important thing in life. The thing I was most afraid of before I left was to forget, not people or places or feelings, those I could never forget. But to forget what kind of person I could actually be. To forget everything I learned about myself. And sometimes the only way to remember that seems to talk about it, and to try to make it understandable to all my friends who haven’t been there with me. As so often in life though, words don’t seem to be enough. But I guess it’s worth a try.

At least writing down helps closing that chapter and taking every impression, lesson and important friendship with me to lots of new chapters of my life.

It is what it is

It’s a curious thing, this obsession with time that everyone seems to have. Not only have, but suffer from. I’m not excluding myself, no. I can’t deny the shivers that I get from the backwards ticking clock from Benjamin Button. I can’t deny how I’m living in the past and the future at the same time, or sometimes wishing to stop time for a while even though I never feel it going by.

How do we even perceive time? You feel it when it has passed, you fear it when it’s yet to come. But the moment it is your present, there’s not a single way to sense it. Not one.

And now, dear daily prompt, you are asking me to give you NOW. And how am I supposed to do it? By telling you that I’m sitting on a white couch right now, tiping those words, staring at my computer and blinking every once in a while? I’m sure that’s not what you want.

So I’d start by telling you what I’ve been up to since January first, which is quite a lot. I visited the most incredible places and made life-changing experiences. I cried, I laughed, I danced. I lived.

Then I’d tell you what I think life will be like in the future. How little I know about what will happen next and how much I hate this uncertainty. But that, also, is part of life.

By now you should realize that I can’t give now to you. Otherwise it would suddenly occur to me that this now is such a small window, a cage, from which we can’t escape. It’s nothing, in comparison to the amount of life I experienced in the past and will hopefully experience in the future, it’s there and with the next blink of an eye it has become the past – and yet it is everything we actually have. Funny that we seem to live to let the future become the past.

Realizing this will hopefully make me more aware of the present in the future.

Well, why not start now?

Why I wouldn’t like to survive the end of the world

I’m sure that I’m not the only person on earth thinking about the great death of the earth every once in a while. Probably not even in this exact moment. More than likely, every one of you, whoever is actually reading those lines, has a certain scenario in their heads about how exactly this party is going to end. I’m guessing  you’re picturing it all painted red and black with a lot of smoke and stuff. At least that’s what is in my head right now.

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Anyway, as we all think about ourselves as this significant human being that’s going to change the world at some point for sure, most of us like to think about ourselves as the survivors of the apocalypse, the Adams and Eves of the new world, the preservers of the human heritage. Well, at least I hope that most of the people do actually think like this. Otherwise by now you know a lot more about my psychological issues than I would like you to.

Let’s say I’m right and have a look at time and the significance of the life of one human being within it. Let’s even compare it with the significance of the dump a rat took somewhere in a field in France in 1756 to my life right now. And now let’s assume that it’s even 3975330984 x 10^234 times less significant. That is not much. (If you’d like a more graphic description (yes? oh really? more graphic than that?) or you’re so afraid of and/or disgusted by rats that you’re standing on a table screaming right now, just have a look at this website: http://hereistoday.com/)

Honestly, I still hope that you’re taking me seriously, but I’m starting to doubt it.

But why did I bring up the significance of one human being for the turning of the world? Or time in general? And even a rat?

As I was sitting in the sun today, changing from solid to fluid, I had not much more to do than thinking about my very own significance in this very world and time, about this moment that they call life, and about the time it will end. I also thought about history and how blessed I am to live now and to know how everything with the world and humanity and stuff turned out so far. It’s actually a great story! But every great story deserves a great end, doesn’t it? And then it occurred to me: damn it. I’m not going to find out how this story ends. And why. And when. Only if the world will come to an end with me. And this is why it would be incredibly annoying to survive the apocalypse.

You know, by then I will have made it so far: I will have given everything to survive right till the very, very end of the world. To the last moment. The last breath of the earth, blink of the sun, dump of a rat, kiss of the rain, whistle of the wind. I’d know how the book ends. I have the perfect story from beginning to end. I can die with a satisfaction that not many people will share. And THEN I’ll find a rescue, chicken out from death and wake-f*cking-up the next morning. I missed it. I missed the chance to die happy. I had the perfect finale of life and i screwed. it. up. What do I get from that? I wonder how everything’s going to change after I died, how humanity will manage their chance this time. And I’ll never know. What a sucky end. No one would read this book.

So please, life, if you’re reading this: be a dear and let the apocalypse come when I’m eighty and done. And then take me with you. I’ll write a book about it in the afterlife and it’s gonna be a hit. Promise.

How would you describe light for someone who is blind?

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Those small moments

If we are perfectly honest to ourselves for a second, we have to admit that we are all looking for them: those big changes in our lives, the billion dollar jackpot, the once-in-a-lifetime-chance, the accidental running into our future dream-husband, the discovery of your hidden talent by this hollywood-star who coincidentally asks for directions in your coffee shop or the business idea of your life. We’re all dreaming about looking back on our lives when we’re old and grumpy and saying: “kids, I wasn’t expecting much from my life as a waitress, until on a rainy day George Clooney, who is your father as you know, showed up in front of my Nespresso shop.”

Or something like that. But as much as we’re dreaming about it we are hopefully realising at the same time that it is only just a dream and are able to focus on other things in our lives. We figure out what’s really important and couldn’t care less about money. We secretly know that we would have the potential to become a Hollywood-legend but we learned to appreciate our satisfied suburban lifestyles. And that’s wonderful. No matter what kind of life we lead, we should at any time still be able to experience and fully appreciate those moments that change our lives maybe not on the surface but in our perception and in our hearts.

Reading this you might be lead to the well-known thought: “yeah sure, but… why?” I began to think about this as I was reminded by myself of my all-time favourite story regarding the discovery of my now favorite musical artist. I mentioned him in my last blogpost about the discovery of another musical project in which he participates. I started again thinking about this moment when I first heard him and was as thankful and touched just as I was back then all over again. But before I’m sharing this moment with you I want to make clear that I know that only few people can understand how the discovery of a certain musician can be so important. You must be crazy about music and hold a huge place for it in your heart and in your life. Music for me is a passion that others find in sports, books, horses, lego, food or… whatever. I’m sure you have that too.

It’s not the amazing story that you’re expecting for sure. But why else would I write such a big introduction? Well, I love writing, that’s it. Anyway. It was in eleventh grade, so I was about 15 or 16 years old when I was in France as an exchange student for only ten days. We were given an afternoon in Lyon to stroll through the city, go shopping, have a coffee and socialise. Back then I wasn’t as much into cloth shopping as my friends so I disappeared to go in a shopping center called FNAC for a while. This was the place to go for me because what they have is above all books, DVDs and CDs. So walking through paradise I finally came to the big music section. I heard some CDs and of course I only chose them by their covers. One of them caught my attention right away:

The strange atmosphere that this picture suggests fascinated me in a way. So I grabbed the CD and wanted to listen to it but sadly the first song couldn’t be played. The second song started playing and began with a rather strange men choir kind of thing but I thought: ok, sounds interesting, let’s wait if there will be some instruments… and then the guitar started playing rhythmically, other instruments were added and the song started… wow. I went on. Skinny love, the third song, didn’t convince me. But the The Wolves started playing and gave me this feeling that I’ll never forget. Somehow I’ve seldomly been this sad before but still I was grateful, happy and deeply moved. I didn’t listen to the whole CD – I put the headphones back and ran to the counter like a fool to make this CD mine and only mine.

In my host family I didn’t have a CD player and was too shy to listen to it loud with the computer anyway. So every night when I went to my room I listened to the music very low and was incredibly nervous. But still, as soon as the music started I couldn’t help but be as moved as I was never before and would never be again by any other music. This moment changed something in my life. I can’t say how or what. But the thought of never having discovered it under different circumstances  gives me the shivers.

This is a very personal story for me but still I’ve been carrying it around for years now and was always looking for a chance to share it. Telling it makes me happy. This moment that I will never forget showed me how in the end I only need few things in my life to be completely happy and satisfied no matter how hard life can be. Especially in those sad, difficult and hard times that everyone knows those are the moments to remember, not the raise you got at work five years ago. Do you have those moments too or are they yet to be created?

Home.

The home has always been an interesting and fascinating topic for me to analyse. It appears everywhere you look: thousands of songs have been written about it, every holiday reminds us of our home, one of the most important aims in life is to create (a new) one… And the question that always comes up for me when I hear someone singing “I’m driving home for Christmas” or saying “Welcome home!” is: what is a home? What defines it? Why is it such an important expression that it delivers 21.820.000.000 results in google, whereas love for example ‘only’ delivers 7.670.000.000?

I can never describe or define what home actually means. It means something completely different for every single one of us. Still, home is a word that contains wonderful memories, nice associations, positive connotations, inspiration and last but not least simply a whole bunch of great thoughts. Of course there are also negative sides of home, especially when you lose it or never had it. Home for me though is inseparably connected with life. Somewhere, somehow, sometime you will find your home in something. That’s what I strongly believe in.

Two weeks ago on my way back home to my family in Germany, I had a lot of time while I was waiting at Stockholm’s airport for several hours. There, I was longing to be home like never before. That was also the time when I made up my mind about this expression and I tried something out that I’ve been wanting to check for months. Being completely convinced by the greatness of this word, I had the theory that most of the songs containing or being about home are incredibly touching and beautiful. So I typed in the word in Spotify and looked for all those magnificent songs…

…and was proved wrong. Nevertheless, I created a playlist entitled “home” and gathered all the songs containing the word or the idea of a home there. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

In the meantime you can try to make up your mind about what home means to you. You are very welcome to share this information with me.