on doubting decisions

April 6, 2017

We are making decisions every day. Life is an endless marathon making up your mind about things. Things of importance, things of daily needs, things concerning ourselves and others. Some of these we regret instantly, some only later. Honestly, I wish I could be someone with no regrets, but how many times I repeat in my head „it is done. you cannot change it. no takesies backsies“, it is hard to believe. Nothing is harder than lying to yourself and making yourself believe.

Sometimes it seems like a decision takes it all out of you. It occupies your mind and soul and time and everything seems to rotate around it making you wonder what the consequences will be and how it will affect you and others. Well, not really others most of the time, but relationships with you and others, I guess. Oh and how sweet the feeling when you then finally cast a choice and the deed is done. Like such a heavy weight taken off your shoulders. And then you get to live with your decision and you enjoy every single bit of it. There are these decisions that seem like you just had it right all along and it feels like it turned out perfectly. You bathe in the sunshine of that moment. Engraving those wonderful memories deep into your brain for later.

And then it all starts crumbling and falling and burrying you in the aftermath you had long stopped expecting. The illusion that you had it figured out shattered to tiny little pieces slowly digging into your heart. And you cannot help but marvel about your naïvety. How did you not see that coming? And as much as I do not want to miss having had the time of my life (figuratively) I wonder whether it has been a good way of making choices so far. I am one of those people that keeps turning a thought over and over, analyzing it from every possible angle. Angles most people cannot fathom exist. But most of the time I still go with my gut feeling in the end.

„Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you will be critizised anyway.“ -Eleanor Roosevelt-

I do love this quote cause it fits my way of life and making choices. I really try to live by it and not let myself be disheartened. But it keeps getting harder. Perseverance is not easy. But I am learning. I am encouraged by so many people around me and profoundly grateful for all the support. Therefore, I choose to fight. I choose to persevere. I choose to breathe. Again. And again. And again. Until I reach where I am going.

on things your own

März 19, 2017

Sharing is caring, also in a more thought-related sense. And no question, I love the look on people’s faces, their heartfelt embraces and words of honest happiness when you share good news and they are just so excited for you. Same goes for bad news that evoke empathy, words to cheer your up and hugs to envelope you in warmth and comfort to make your sorrow a little lighter. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

on pure bliss

Dezember 11, 2016

As I have said many times before, life can really wear you down. Some days you doubt how you messed up your karma so bad that you deserved what just happened. But then there are those moments that make you forget all of this. That make suffering worth it, that make you appreciate and be grateful for the tough hours because they taught you to savour those blissful encounters and keep them in your heart for when you need to remember them.

A customer wishing you a great day/weekend and seeing in their eyes they really mean it. A customer thanking you for the book recommendation, because it was so enjoyable to read and actually fit them perfectly. A call from a friend you just spoke to yesterday but since they trust in your opinion wanted to check in with you. Or just wanted to say hello again. A 6hour session of Christmas cookie baking with family that leaves you exhausted and with stomach ache. So many wonderful moments that remind you of how much people love you. And then there is this person that recommends you their favourite books because they really want to share the experience and are curious on your opinion. They value this so much they even let you borrow the copies and you sit in awe, two books in hand, clinging them close to your body and feel like Belle from Beauty and the Beast as if you had just been offered a whole library.

I know my life at the moment is a roller-coaster of ups and downs and unexpected turns. Nothing is like I had painted it out in my glittering diaries about 20 years ago. But that is fine. There is so much that wasn’t part of my life design back then that I would have missed! So much that made me grow. So many people I never thought I would meet or be proud of. Life can be tough and full of doubts. But those overwhelming moments of joy linger so much longer! Life is pure bliss (if you stop making stubborn plans and just go with it from time to time)! 🙂

on this deceitful darkness

Oktober 7, 2016

The process of life is a process of learning. We form ideas and opinions based on an immense variety of influential factors all around us. Family, friends, celebrities, movies, books, religion… – and the list may be filled to everyone’s individual needs and experiences. Some of them change over time, some just stick to you forever, like this pink chewing gum you step into or that tattoo that you had made when you were young and wild and free. Some of those we appreciate and honour and hold in our hearts to cheer us up or give us strength when in need. Others we try to forget, throw away or burn cause they drag us down every time. They sicker into our hearts and bodies like dark black pitch, swallowing every positive emotion, filling every inch with doubt and fear. Making us crumble on the floor.

Life has an abundance of opportunities in store for each of us, we just need to reach us and welcome them. But every one knows how hard that is. You don’t see it in the people on the streets that pass by you, turning their faces into the sun, smiling. You can’t see that this is probably the first moment of a peaceful mind in months. They have worries too. They know they have to savour this second because it has to get them through the whole week. They struggle. They doubt. They fear. They cry. But they cannot show it. Can never admit. Our society has created a very clear picture what humans are supposed to look like, act like, feel like. And no one likes to be singled out the odd one, to be branded a „loser“ in societal terms, to be shunned and shamed and laughed at. We are social beings. We need comfort and understanding and encouraging words! Not only now and then. Always.

It is hard for everyone to leave behind what happened. we either want to bathe ourselves in the comfort of what change took away from us or we keep experiences to remind us of the mistakes we made. To build up walls to protect us from experiences, the failure and the heartache. It involves an incredible amount of work to tear down those walls an let the untainted happiness light up this inscrutable darkness in your heart. It feels so indescribably heavy. Impossible.

But then again, look around. Don’t be fooled by how they are bragging about their lives, by how impressive their management of life goals seems to be coming forth, on how great their bank account looks. They still struggle. With expectations, relationships, health or life in general. They all have to cook with water. So turn your face towards the sun. Learn to savour the positive emotions and appreciate the darkness for reminding you not to lose the ground under your feet. But don’t let it hinder you on striving for more. Be patient. It is not easy to overcome. I know. I am not there yet. But I try. I cry. I fight. Life is beautiful and full of overwhelming decisions that can lead to so much more than what you planed it to be. Be brave. Be strong. Take your time. Sometimes one takes a little longer than the other, but it is not a competition. You have to be comfortable with your decisions. You are the one that will have to deal with the aftermaths, the possible regrets or awesome memories.

Keep fighting!

on being proud

August 5, 2016

Having siblings can be a challenge. Being the older sibling can be so much more than that! A trial! A blessing! A horrendous responsibility! but most importantly an opportunity. The opportunity to equip your younger family members with much needed skills, values and experience they will need for life. I can’t say I enjoy(ed) every single moment of being the older sister. I am not going to neglect that it has ups and downs. Things forbidden for the older are granted much earlier to the younger. Tasks appear shared unequally. And babysitting the younger sibling can mean great fun but also a great mess to clean up afterwards.

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on being brave

Juli 6, 2016

Let’s be honest. Life is tough. Life is scary. There are so many challenges to face every single day that we can hardly keep up with all of them. Or at least we tell ourselves we are not nearly prepared enough for this rollercoaster that life is. I am aware that I am culturally biased and not really in a position to lament my being, as I am living quite comfortably in a rather rich and secure country. Hence, being brave can have so many variations in its significance as we are humans on this planet.

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On receiving compliments

Mai 19, 2016

As of late I have noticed something odd about the way I stumble through my life. Finishing my studies and trying to enter the jobmarket put me under so much pressure on a professional and employment-related level that I feel every inch of me is expecting to be confronted on this topic in literally any social interaction. Not only is this energy draining but also probably already straining the nerves of everyone around me. Thus, I am flabbergasted  when something as simple, yet wonderfully off putting, as a compliment directed at me breaks this vicious circle of worrisome thoughts. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

on not knowing what you want

März 29, 2016

After finishing your studies you start applying to jobs to finally enter the real world. Leave the comfy zone that  academic life has provided for -in my case- quite a few years. But you have no experience and the job market and its opportunities feel overwhelming. How to choose what you are fit for?

Well, my strategy has been to apply to any opening that slightly fit my cultural/heritage background. And to be honest, for now I have not had the problem of choosing between all those marvelous challenges, as all I ever receive are Thanks-for-your-interest-but-we-have-opted-for-a-more-qualified-candidate-Emails. Over the past couple of months I have developed anxiety disorders. Every time my phone signals a message I am scared to check it as it could be my Email-account with yet a new message turning me down.

I have started applying to jobs that are less connected to my field of study, yet more close to the assistant positions I have held during that time. But neither I am qualified for those, I have not been fully trained in that field. Also, I am not sure if this is what I want to do full time. I loved it on the side and have appreciated it being something that I could close the door at night to and not keep working all night – like projects that had to be finished in a certain time. Easy tasks. Though tasks I loved. But if I get a job there, how easy will it be to return to the field of studies which I feel I love just equally… Also, that I put so much effort into learning! Everyone has put so much effort in supporting me to see it through. How will it be possible to not feel like an utter disappointment. The time of studies wasted?

How do I make a decision like this? One to determine so much of my life? Sure I will go to the interview and give it my best shot. Also, I am quite sure I would accept the job, too, if they actually offered it after that. Still, always knowing there are so many more applications pending, so many things I would like to do, but that are also intimidating.

on girl rising

März 4, 2016

https://i0.wp.com/malja.redbull.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/GirlRising.jpg

“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” – Brigham Young

I want everyone to watch that movie! It is an incredible documentary that introduces us to a number of girls that stood up for themselves, stood up for what they believe in, stood up for a generation of young women growing up. I was stunned by their stories and the marvelous story telling the team behind this project managed. Captivating, Fascinating, Heart wrenching.

Those girls portrayed come from marginalized realms of society. Yet, they all face their life with inspiring motivation and ambition to learn, develop their ideas and conquer the world. They face hardships in a variety of form, yet, the most crucial one is finances of their families and traditional cultural mindsets. In some of the stories, the parents go without luxury in benefit of their girls and always have their back. In some, particularly fathers follow traditions and do undermine the girl’s potentials. Even suppress any personal drive and interest the girl has.

-my body is a resource that could be spend for men’s pleasure or profit-

No girl should ever have to face such a revelation! Educating girls is a long-term investment that is bound to improve society.

  • Two-thirds of the774 million illiterate people in the world are female
  • If all mothers completed primary education, maternal deaths would be reduced by two-thirds, saving 98,000 lives
  • If all girls had a secondary education, there would be two-thirds fewer child marriages
  • There are also 34million female adolescents out of school, missing out on the chance to learn vital skills for work (UNESCO 2013)

Education is the stepping stone to a career of ones own, to an independent life, to the ability to support your family, to change. All of the girls featured are on the verge of taking their life in their own hands. They will be role models for generations to come. I am tired of seeing girls struggle. Seeing women struggle for their rights. Even in Europe, North America, the so called developed world, women still face many obstacles in living a self-determined life. Women not getting into leading job positions, not receiving equal pay. This issue is not as far from us as we would like to push it. So let’s keep working towards changing the world.

-this life is mine to make – I am change –

On writing a Master Thesis

Januar 27, 2016

The purpose of academic life is to absorb and generate knowledge. Not absorb in the learn-by-heart kind of way, but by questioning it critically and acquiring the skills and mindset to do so. If you make it to the last semester of your study program, you get to the icing of the cake: the THESIS! A scary looking word lingering over your head since the first semester. There are so many aspects to consider: a topic interesting enough to motivate you over the course of six months, a topic future-oriented enough to recommend you for a job afterwards, supervisors interested in your topic and willing to take the time to guide you through this, a topic with enough literature to draw from, but not too much so your topic lacks innovation and last but not least, the money you need to drink away your sorrows every night! psychological stamina to get through this process.

At first I was drawn to a topic that sounded interesting and looked promising to convince family and friends I was actually researching something useful: Uncomfortable Heritage and Communities. Well, turns out most of the Uncomfortable Heritage that I was considering to expand on in Germany is connected to WWII and those in other countries are not as well document, not to say the sources are completely unreliable as the government wrote their history in a way it suits them. Quickly, I was utterly bored by all this war stuff and history, with a quiet and sweet voice constantly whispering into my ear.

Turns out, this voice that I had been trying to silence and ignore was my heart asking me to follow it as I should have from the beginning. With almost four month of research into the now even more uncomfortable topic, I decided to abandon it and switch to something I had been talking about since starting this Master Program: the Balinese Rice Terraces and their sustainable development. I have been writing every single assignment in this program (except for one) on heritage sites in Indonesia, which probably drove everyone crazy, but helped me to switch to that topic more or less last minute.

Although I was encouraged by very good friends of mine, who talked me through the process, going through pros and cons of this rather daunting step and assured me if this is what I wanted I should pursue it, I was afraid to tell my family. In fact, I didn’t. I felt pressured through their constant support and them believing in me as if they had never been let down by me ever before. I am not saying that this is a bad thing, alas, I would not have made it this far without them. I just put so much pressure on myself not to fail them and also not to fail me. Now that I am done, my Thesis being currently printed, I fear of what is to come next. I managed to push that thought away while writing, although I did simultaneously send out applications, but now it has become so more imminent.

It is frightening to step out of the cozy academic world where you know you belong because of your love for learning, research and writing. You know you have the experience in that field only and forget that you also have more practical skills acquired in internships and small jobs, but you do not feel qualified for anything else in the real word… However, I am not the first one to step out of this world and try something new. I made it through the Thesis, so how hard can the next thing be? 😉 Kidding, it’s gonna be extremely hard, I know.
But I am ready. I am ready to take on a new challenge, open a new chapter of my life. My thesis is probably not what everyone expects, what I expected when I started, but it is my contribution and I hope to take those theoretical assumptions of mine and actually test their feasibility some day. Some day, when I am back to Bali, what I have been dreaming of for the past six months… Aku kembali ke bali nanti!

Everyone currently in the process of writing: hang in there! It will be over at some point and you will be proud! Proud of what you managed, proud enough to tell your families, proud enough to thank them and everyone else for their constant support, although sometimes you really didn’t want people compassionately asking how you were doing. They mean well!
Thank you! Termina kasih banyak! Danke!