Archive for the ‘random reflections’ Category

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. (more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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. (more…)

On strong women

Dezember 18, 2015

After watching the new Star Wars Movie (No spoilers, don’t worry) my roommate confessed he didn’t like it I suspected the reason for that would have been the female lead character Rey. We have had countless debates over what women are capable off since he moved in and although I know most of the time he is mocking me, I can’t brush any of this off jokingly. Why? I have seen too many women struggle!

When in Ecuador and Indonesia I met numerous women committing their time, love and passion into both work and family without ever really being acknowledged to do twice the tasks as men. Without having as much decision-making power as men, although they contribute so much more to society. Brigham Young was quoted:

“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”

Because women care for and raise our children and they are our future. Often I get the argument: „But that is what you saw in the less developed countries!“ Well, yes. And no. I also observe it here, in Germany. The gap in payment for men and women is still not bridged and women in decision making positions are extremely rare. I know the women’s quota is a much debated thing and I can see the disadvantages, but I am still in favour!
There is a phenomenon I observed during sport. Particularly Floorball and Football. When I started playing Floorball I sure wasn’t what you would call a natural talent but I learned fast. Still, after one and a half years of playing I had to confront my fellow teammates (high percentage male) on why I wasn’t involved in the match as much. „But you are a girl, we ALWAYS pass the ball to you!“ But they didn’t. Passing it one time in their head equals always since they didn’t trust me with it. After that incident they paid more attention and actually realized that also we girls had some good moves and we were more involved. But even there we had to fight for it.

This is only a small example for the daily fights we face. Women tend to be categorized as the weaker sex but really there is no such thing. We all have different things we are passionate about and skilled in. There is as many women who can fix a car as men. As many who can program a software. There are as many men as women who can cook a delicious meal and take care of their children. With our world changing so rapidly there should not be one reason to work against each other but to unite our strength and knowledge to improve it.

So even mockingly trying to direct me to „my place“ in the kitchen will always get you a scolding look and furious answer! Maybe you can’t see the struggles here in the Western world, but if we can’t manage to straighten out the imbalance, how are we ever gonna tackle that issue in other places around the world? I dont want to overthrow religious believes and tribal traditions, I just want people to reconsider and start appreciating the individual contribution of men and women equally!

And this is why we need strong female leads in movies and books to act as role models! We need more women like Rey who show men (and women) that it is acceptable to cry from time to time. That also a girl can grow up to be a pilot and technical skilled engineer or whatever the hell she chooses to be.

Silver Lining

Juli 31, 2015

There are days like this when life seems hard,
unfairly cruel and without sun.
There are days like this when you feel weak,
incompetent, incapable to carry on.

There are days like this that feel like endless nights
without the sight of star filled skies.
There are days like this that make you question
all your decisions with a simple why?

There are days like this that catapult you
to the verge of crying.
There are days like this that make it impossible
to find a silver lining.

My heart is longing for a place far away
It won’t stop screaming, I hear it every day.
I wish I could just take it and leave this place
Forget what life is right now: this insolvable maze.

On not being in Bonn

Juli 1, 2015

The world of heritage is circling around Bonn at the moment, with the World Heritage Committee (WHC) honoring the city by meeting there this year. The World Heritage Committee is the main decision making body to UNESCOs 1972 Convention on Preserving and Safeguarding Natural and Cultural Heritage. Hence, whoever considers themselves to be a heritage professional or professional in spe is trying to either physically be in Bonn this week or at least watch the livestream provided by the WHC. For us it is THE event of the year and I would be lying if I would say I did not envy anyone who is either participating, volunteering or just observing. It is the perfect opportunity to get first hand insights on how the WHC works and functions, how they take their decisions and of course to network. Following the live stream you can see all these people “famous” in the world of heritage. And the inspiring opening speeches by the Director General and even Mutti Merkel’s video message (although the latter was more or less the disappointing rephrasal of the 1972 Convention’s objectives in German).

However, although I do never want to see ever again hate envy everyone making this amazing experience at the moment, it does have its upsides for those being left behind. We decided to make it the most memorable week of the year, so we could counter every professional and awesome memory they share, with one of our own, which so far works out perfectly.

A huge part of the meeting is highly political and can be very frustrating. Endless discussions on amendments that sometimes circle around one tiny phrase or even word until everyone can agree. (Not to mention that after it is agreed upon the whole discussions starts over for the french version…) Also, I must admit I am not very good at networking anyway, so why not leave it to some of the most amazing and committed people I know who really deserve this opportunity and worked so hard for it. It is hard for everyone to admit that other people excel at something you would also wish to shine, but to accept your flaws is the first step to improvement. I know this sounds cheesy. However, you need to reflect on your actions and realise wrong doings to observe the qualities you admire in others and try to pick up on some of those.

So all in all I guess it is a good thing that with the current heat wave I am not sitting in a climatised conference center, but on the sunny balcony, eating ice cream (those of you who know me well will realise this is an euphemism for working at the store and finishing papers, while juggling with Master Thesis literature) and watching the life stream for only the parts I can endure and actually want to follow. Starting on Friday the new nominations will be discussed so if you are interested to get an insight on the proceedings take your laptop to the lake and watch the session their 😉