Tag: being me

Why is time passing by so fast and how can I deal with it better?

Why is time passing by so fast and how can I deal with it better?

I cannot feel, see, hear, or smell it, and yet I know I am somehow wrapped in it. It is a precious gift, which gives me so many opportunities. Yet, it is scary because the older I get, the more it seems to accelerate. I know, I only have a limited amount of it. However, I spent a lot of it procrastinating and waiting. Why?

Last month I turned 30, and as scary as that number sounded to me at first, I feel at ease with it now. Nothing really changed, besides the fact I am no longer a twenty-something. The first decade as an adult is over, and I could not feel freer somehow, if that is a thing. I was scared of so many things. Doing some things for the first time, well, needed lots of motivation and ambition to push myself forward. These days, I know what I am capable of doing. I focus more on what I can. Positive thinking was one of the things I seriously had to learn. Even if I cannot predict all possible outcomes, I know now everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Why do I put the stakes so high and expect of me being perfect?

View from World Trade Center
Picture I took inside the World Trade Center in New York City.
 There were many things I did not do, because I was scared of failing and because I thought I still have so much time left, so I can take the next opportunity. However, how do I know that I will get another chance? How do I know how much time I actually have left? At least, these feelings make me an optimist, and that is good, isn’t it? 

Only not trying is a real failure, because then I will never know the awesome lessons I could have learned. And learning is always good, no matter if it is something positive or negative. Every experience puts more faith in me. It is like testing, figuring out who I am. Can I do that? Let’s try it. I am still young, and I have so many more years ahead, yet I know it will be over one day. There are things I won’t be able doing when I am going to have kids someday, or when I will be in my seventies. So travelling a lot is one thing I enjoy the most these days.

Just recently, I stumbled upon an interesting article about positive thinking being healthy. Expecting good things to happen can help dealing easier with problems, or any kind of diseases. It makes me believe in myself more, fight harder, try more things, which is what makes life special. In my twenties, I was mostly like “I have never done this before, so I cannot do it”. These days I am like “hell yeah, let’s try it”. Maybe because I can evaluate my strengths and weaknesses more in a rational than simply an emotional way, which was often lead by simply insecurity and anxiety of the unknown.

As I learned from one of my co-workers: “There are no problems, only challenges.”

Time is way too precious to waste it on waiting. It is not easy leaving my comfort zone, but it is the only way to bring me further. Focus on how it can work, might be tricky but I know now, there is always a possibility to make something work. How can anything change, without me doing something? I cannot stay in bed, waiting for good things to happen, and I cannot protect myself from all possible dangers. Not moving at all, caused actually hating myself more for missing out so much. I remember six years ago, the first time I wanted to go to New York. I did not go. I was too scared travelling alone and I could not find anyone joining me. Lesson I learned? I missed something that I wanted to do so badly. I did not want to feel like this again. Three years later, I finally did it and it was the most riveting experience I ever had. This year I travelled again. I knew I could do it, which made everything even more intense.

Cup of coffee and magazine on a table
Do what makes you happy.
 Back to the main question: time is not accelerating. The more plans I have, the more things I want to do, the more I fill my time. Doing whatever I love and enjoy makes it pass by in an instant. I do not focus on it, I simply live it. It is like having money, but only save it for something. It’s good to have some extra cash, but it gives me opportunities to spend it on something I love. I can get back some money, but I can never get back any of my time. So I choose wisely what I do with it. 

It is nothing to touch, smell, taste, see or hear. There is no way for us to actually sense it. Somehow, it is all around us. It is happening and there is no way to outrun it. Time is the change between two events. The earth is turning, and I am moving with it. Change is everywhere, every day, constantly. I am getting older. That can be scary, because it is something new. I have never been in my 30s before. And I will never getting back there. I look forward to more great things to happen. Time is there to create memories, which no one can ever take away from me.
I am glad I do not know how much time I have left. This countdown would totally freak me out. I want to make the most of every day, appreciate it, spend it with those I love and do as much I love to do – at least most of the time, I have lots of duties, too. However, even my job is one I chose. So, it is a privilege to have it. It allows me doing other things I love. Knowing that I am the master of my life helps me being more positive. I choose how to spend it.

If I choose to be happy, I will find a way.

Me in downtown Manhattan, in front of World Trade Center
Me in New York City.

Fear no fear – my way to happiness 

Fear no fear – my way to happiness 

Every new year people make plans, think of how they can improve their lives and get rid of bad habits. I usually made resolutions like eating more healthy, doing more sports, and meeting my friends more often. Just the typical things. This year I want to make things differently. I don’t wanna do what everyone else is doing. I was thinking of what kind of change I really need in my life. Why do I need it now? A ‘normal’ resolution doesn’t work for me, it’s too unpersonal. I am not eager enough to make them work, because it’s what I generally should do more, and maybe almost everyone, but to me New Year’s resolutions have to be more personal. 

These days I feel like being back ten years ago, when I first started my first job. School had been such a safe and happy place for me – except the time when I was bullied. But I could just sit there, being barely noticed, and let the hours pass by. At work I could not hide myself anymore. I needed to do things, I could no longer just sit there and listen. I was scared that I could do something wrong. In school, my fellow students laughed at me when I said something wrong. So, I started feeling insecure. I was scared people at work would laugh at me, too, when I did something wrong. How was I able to handle working the entire day? I was so afraid of failing. 

I had some times when I wanted to stop. But I knew I needed to do this. How can something seem so easy for everyone but me? Why am I the only one struggling with this? I only wanted to hide myself, shut myself off from everyone and everything. I wasn’t prepared for that change. I felt like I had been in a bubble during school. The bubble that protected me was gone now and I had to face the brutal, dark and cold world. Reality became a stranger. Reality started to make me anxious. Every day after work I was too exhausted doing anything but think. My old life was gone. No time meeting friends, all moved away and started being in relationships anyway. I was too tired to write. I was too tired to go out. I was just way too tired.

Thinking of my childhood, I felt I spent it in a bubble somehow.

It felt that I was gone. I simply had to work. In both meanings. No one asked how I felt. It did not matter. Anyone feels that way, but no one bothers anyone with this. I never spoke to my parents, I did not want to be a burden. Not to them, not to my friends, not to anyone. So I started acting. I thought being a grown up is to be fake happy. Happiness is only for kids. Happiness is for those who believe in fairytales, who love fantasies. But that is not for grown ups. They watch horror stories. That is the closest to their lives. 

I don’t see things this bad anymore. Everything has two sides. Contradictions are everywhere. I could not appreciate the good times, without being through bad times. I could not stand up and walk, if there wasn’t the force that keeps me on the ground and the other one that allows me not being glued to it like a rock. Now I know how I am, but I still feel judged too often. It seems no matter what I do, others can do it better. I tend to see the best in others and the worst in me. I am still afraid of failing. It is hard for me to trust people. Finding friends and being in a relationship is so easy for everyone but not for me. I think they all leave me anyway sooner or later. They just use me until they find someone else. They don’t really care about me. Maybe I bother them. Maybe after a while of annoying them that I want to meet up, they are only willing too, that I stop annoying them.

I don’t wanna lie: being around people often scares me. I try to put myself in situations, just go out. But I cannot think enough to find the perfect answer, like I can online. I often don’t know what to say in most situations. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I think there might be some progress in the past ten years, but I still cannot talk about random things like the weather or any gossip. I enjoy more talking about what is going on in the world, talking about science or the origin of words, development of languages. I am different. And so I often feel misunderstood, like an alien in this strange world.

This is my last half year in my twenties. In the past decade I got my first job, worked so I could afford going to college, then I went there, got my bachelor’s degree, then got a second job and a third. Now I finally have one that is permanent. The first that I actually like, because I can write, in German and in English. I can be creative, I can be me. I can handle the working world now, but I still need to learn to trust people. I used to focus on the bad things, so I could convince myself it is best staying at home, letting no one new into my life. Like in court when the lawyer focuses on the facts that supports his client. There are always two sides of everything. And everyone tends to one of them. May it be in politics, in music, in films, whatever. There are things you prefer, that is normal. Everyone has a good and a bad side. Everyone decides which one will take over most of the time. 

Bubbles seem so fragile, but they are strong and colorful. They are not just for kids. Adults can create their own bubbles, too, safe places of happiness that have no room for negativity.

My resolution for 2018 is to fear less. I always thought failing was a bad thing, but it isn’t. Only when I fail, I get closer to my goals. Only if I try and keep trying, believing in myself and never giving up I can make the change that I want. When I hadn’t tried keep mumbling my first words as a toddler, because I was afraid to said things wrong, I would still not be able to talk. And oh how often I fell when I did my first steps. I am thinking too often too much. I have learned that failing is the only thing that helps me to get forward in life. Why was I afraid of failing? Why was I afraid of being me? I love to learn. I love to grow. I love to improve my life. But it is not gonna happen if I keep myself from happiness only because I am afraid of failing. 

Happiness is also for adults. I want to be happy. I want to be me. I don’t wanna be afraid of myself, or of what I am capable of. I can do more than I admit. I don’t wanna hide anymore, and focus on what I cannot do. Not anymore. It is hard. I need to accept that it is okay to be me, that people like me for who I am. Happiness is no fake. Love is no fake. Only when I allow myself to love and be loved, I will be happy. When I learned one thing is that I always feared of being judged by others for who I am, when in fact I was the one judging myself the most. 

The lost feeling

The lost feeling

There was darkness all around me. It embraced me like a coat, but instead of giving me warmth, it got colder the tighter it was to my body. How did I get there? I had no idea. I was all alone. There was no sound, there was just nothing. It felt as if someone took my eyesight. I was wandering around, trying to find the exit. I could not. I was walking a circle. I sat down, trying to breathe, trying to focus. There were these memories from a past that felt like another lifetime. I thought of colors, brightness and something that I could not remember when I felt it the last time. The darkness made me see more clearly after a while. Something was taken away from me, something that was way more important than my eyesight, and I wanted it back. My greatest fear was that I forgot I ever had this feeling, that I forgot it really existed, and was no fairytale. I cannot remember the last time I had it, but I still remember that I liked it, and I did not want to forget how happiness felt like.

When I started working, it felt the whole world changed. Was it still the same I grew up in? Back in school I was listening to the teachers, learning what they taught me. But they did not prepare me for this. I wondered if I could work. I had never done this before. What if I was unable to do it right? My co-workers would probably laugh at me and talking behind my back just like my fellow students did evertime I said something wrong in class. I could not run to my parents anymore. It did not change a thing in school, and it would not at work. My Mom told me that she had doubts, too. It was normal. Everything new is scary at first, because it is unknown. No one can predict the future. We learn by trying. Only not trying will lead to failure. The more doubts I have about myself, the less I try and the more dissatisfied I will be. 

My parents were no longer holding my hand, I was no child anymore, but they still were by my side. I worked, and I started to like it. It was different than school, it was exhausting. I could not see my friends each day anymore. The weekends were the days I looked forward to. As a kid, every day was new, full of miracles and possibilities. A year seemed endless. A single day had so much to offer. I could easily get excited. A new magazine, a new CD, going to the mall, or the zoo, seeing the big world with kids’ eyes is wonderful. I saw all the beauty, all the good. And then I grew up. Facing reality is to deal with issues, like which insurance to take, how to pay bills, etc. There was no place for fun, for dreams, for creativity. I had to work. All day. Be a grown up.

As a kid I loved telling stories. I was listening to my friends, putting everything they liked in one story and telling them that was the greatest joy. Making them laugh, seeing their smiles made me happy. When I played with my dolls, I created a backstory for every one. Every doll had not only a name, but her own personality. As a teenager I wrote stories. I used characters of my favorite TV shows and gave them unique adventures. I even put characters from different shows together. I loved that. But when I started working I was too exhausted at the end of each day, I stopped writing. It took a while, until I realized how much I missed it.

My former co-worker Katrin was unlike others. She was colorful. She loved cartoons, video games, and her Cookie Monster tattoo. She dyed her hair differently, in all colors of the rainbow. And she once started talking about Sheldon. I had no idea who that guy was, but she was so excited about this TV show and that character, that everyday she was talking about it. Sheldon said this, Sheldon did that. I had never seen anyone talking so passionately about a specific character. I got curious. I needed to know what was so special about him. Truth is, when I watched my very first episode of The Big Bang Theory, I did not like it much. But the more I thought about it, there could not have been a better first one for me to see, because it was exactly how I felt back then. I just could not see it, did not want to see it, because it confronted me with my life, with what made me unhappy.

The Barbarian Sublimation – The Big Bang Theory S2 E3 (Warner Bros./CBS)

I was like Penny. I felt as a failure. Nothing in my life seemed to work the way I wanted, planned, hoped. Anyway, I was not ready to give up my dreams. She got distracted by this video game, I got distracted by this show. I have never read why it was named like that, as the guys never talked about the actual theory. But I figured out that the show came like out of nowhere, expanding in my life, and somehow it feels it has always been there. Penny just moved in next door in the pilot episode. She came like out of nowhere, expanding in the guys’ lives and now they cannot imagine their lives without each other anymore. What I learned from the show, after all these years, is that we are who we are because of the people we are with. No one is perfect. Everyone struggles now and then, everyone has issues, insecurities, but only a few are strong enough to admit them, or even talk about them. 

People tend to be jealous. They see only the good in others, and the bad in themselves. Everyone wants to pretend to be perfect. But no one is. Like my Mom said, life is a constant change. And everything new is scary at first. Yes, I did feel lost. It was a huge change, and I felt less prepared than I actually was. As a kid I felt protected by my parents, so I was not sure if I could do anything on my own. But I could. And choosing that workplace made me meet Katrin. And she did not give up talking about Big Bang, and one day, she gave me her first season DVD, saying: watch it and like it. And I did. It took a while to realize what I liked about the show. It brought something back that I lost somehow: happiness. I was able to smile again, there was some relief that other people struggle, too. 

Finding my colors again.

I wanted to know all about the production and the writing. I remembered how much fun writing once was for me. I loved to bring joy to people, made them laugh. I started to watch interviews with the cast and writers on YouTube. Well, at least the first few videos, the rest was just Jim. I did not notice it at first, but listening to him made me realize who I was when I was about to forget it. The more I listened to him, the more I could relate, and it has not changed, even six and half years later. What I most love about him is his excitement. When he speaks about acting, about Todd, about the Houston Rockets, about the news people, there is always this sparkle in his eyes. He made me realize that even as an adult I can be excited. I can be passionate. I can have dreams. I can still see the beauty, the good, just like a child. Maybe not everyone understands me, maybe they judge me, but maybe they only wish to allow themselves being excited when often enough the world seems like a dark, cold place. 

I have been there. And I do not want to go back. I do not want to live in entire blackness, sadness. I might be grown up because of my age, but deep inside my heart, I never want to actually grow up. Not when it means to give up who I am. I do not want to adapt. I do not want to be how others want me to be. I want to be me and being accepted for who I am. I want to show my colors, focus not only on the bad. I know it is okay to love, I know it is okay to show it. I can still write, I can still be creative. No more hiding, pretending, lying to myself. I do not want to lose my happiness, my excitement, me ever again. I do not only have to work, or try to be perfect. I do not want to pretend to be someone I am not. I might be more like Sheldon that I was aware of. Now I can see it. I am me, and forever will be, a grown up child. 

When I was gone

When I was gone

As a kid I was free, unknowing of what lies ahead, and unaware of all the possible consequences. As a kid my mind was free. I just did what I wanted to do. But things changed as I grew up. I learned to listen to others, to think carefully which words to use and only to speak when I was asked. I knew that it wasn’t only about me all the time. So I started to please everyone by listening to them and only contributing to a discussion when no one else was talking and it felt okay to me that maybe the others in the group would be interested in hearing my thoughts.

Often enough it was quite hard being completely sure whether someone wanted to know more about me or if she was just acting politely. I knew other kids were told the same: be nice to everyone, don’t say anything they might get wrong. Of course kids simply tell their opinions, no matter what. Kids are honest. Adults are not.

Sometimes the feel ashamed for not knowing something
Lying is a bad thing

My parents told me truth is important. But the older I got, the more I learned that it is okay to lie now and then. It is even necessary when the truth would hurt the other person. But if I get a gift which I don’t like, will I be supposed to tell that I like it? Wouldn’t that lead me to get more such kind of presents because the gift giver wants to make me happy and thinks I like it? I don’t get that. It’s not logical to me. And logic has always been my most honest friend I could rely on.

I am way more comfortable when it comes to facts, rational things simply make sense. Emotions often confuse me. They don’t follow any logic scheme. The same situation with different people leads to totally contradictory directions. When a train leaves the same station, it goes steadily to the next. It is always the same. But with people it’s the opposite. A simple smile can have so many meanings depending on the person’s mood and the situation. Is she smiling because I make her laugh, because she spends time with me, or just because she wants to be nice?

Emotions puzzle me

Every person has feelings, but everything I don’t fully understand frightens me in some way. I am curious; I love to learn about physics, chemistry, medicine, all the planets, etc. I’m maybe unable to keep all information straightly in my head, but I am fascinated about figuring out why I have the ability to walk, or how gravity works on me. I really don’t care about who’s dating who, or who moved in next door. I actually feel weak when I have to cry, and even more when it doesn’t make sense to me like when I’m watching a movie, or when I feel the world is crashing all over me.

Other people seem to have no issues, not with life, not with taking decisions or dealing with emotions. But I do. After just turning 29 and being in my last year of my twenties that is often referred to as the ‘best decade’ I focus even more on my inner child. I want to be honest. I do think of others and don’t want to hurt them, but now I think I matter too. And so does my opinion. I don’t want to hear what others think only to be able to join their opinion instead of hurting anyone in case of disagreement. I don’t want to justify my thoughts, my love, and my life. I think it’s positive that we are all so different, but only when these variations are allowed to evolve.

Seeking acceptance

I want to live fully and enjoy being meI spent most of my twenties being insecure. Back when I had my first job, I felt I had no idea of what I was doing. After school it felt like a whole new world started; taxes, bills, various forms and applications kind of stressed me out. Life was less complicated as a kid, and I didn’t feel ready for this new chapter. Why do I have to grow up? As a kid even the age of 15 felt super old and I was sure I won’t ever get there. And here I am, almost doubled that amount of years. Days, weeks, years passed by so quickly when time as a kid felt like infinity. 

I’m still young and I don’t want to waste much more time on being insecure. I want to free my mind, think less about time, focus more on the good things, and believe in open-minded and honest people. I want to inhale every moment, do what I want to do when I want to do it and be simply me. All the time I was seeking acceptance by others, because I felt so different, because I thought only I had issues and struggled with everything. I was able to see only the bad sides of me, I thought no one would actually care about me, that they’re all fooling and hurting and leaving me sooner or later anyway.

I love to spend time with my friends but it’s hard for me to open up. Like I mentioned, feelings puzzle me. Talking about this doesn’t make sense to me, but it feels good. There might be no one to read this, but writing helps me sorting my mind and don’t feel to bother anyone by forcing her to listen to me only because she was taught to be nice. I am now accepting who I am. I like what I like and I say that, and I am honest when I don’t like it without being impolite, I respect others but want to be respected by them too. Life isn’t only the icing of the cupcake, but it’s beautiful, precious and unique as long as I allow myself to live freely me.