Tag: decisions

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.

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. 

Pursue what matters

What if everything changes in one brief moment? Dreams and hopes, like having a child, vanish, becoming impossible. When there are only a few days left, and the day of letting go comes closer. After only this one moment, nothing is what it used to be.

Brittany Maynard, 1985 - 2014
Brittany Maynard, 1985 – 2014

Brittany Maynard was only 29 years old. Her story went viral on the internet very quickly. She gave interviews, talked about something no one wants to talk about. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in January 2014. The doctors only gave her a few more months to live. Brittany decided to enjoy her last days with her loving family, her husband and her best friend.

She was given a terminal diagnosis. There was no cure, no life saving measures available. She got seizures more and more often which caused that she was unable to speak. She felt that she was getting sicker and that there was no way to stop the tumor. So she moved with her family from her home state California to Oregon. One of five states within the US that authorize death with dignity. Last weekend Brittany Maynard passed away.

Not only that Brittany had to suffer. How hard must it be for her parents, husband and friends to go through this? It’s hard to let go, but this is not like a kid leaving the parents’ house for college. It can’t be compared to that. After New Years Eve she got the diagnosis and sure everyone hoped it was the wrong X-ray. Where did all the years go she was supposed to have?

Brittany received a Masters in Education, she traveled a lot, and was a regular volunteer at a local animal rescue organization. Her videos were watched by millions of people. Brittany wanted that all terminally ill Americans have the option to die with dignity. That was the reason she made the videos and talked about her cancer.

BrittanyMaynardFundShe didn’t want to suffer, she wanted to die peacefully. Some might say that only the Lord can decide when we go, others might think that everyone should live as long as possible. But is it still a real life when someone is in so much pain all the time? This is definitely something no one wants to talk about, but Brittany Maynard also showed that it can happen to everyone, at any time and age.

Her story reminds me of how limited our time on earth is. I thank her for having this incredible strength to talk about her cancer. That she told us how she felt. We all know that we will die one day, but how must it be like when you know when it’s gonna happen and that you only have a few days left to live? How hard must it be to take such a decision? I think it is worth to spread her word.

This can not be compared to a patient like on Grey’s Anatomy. This is not a TV show, this is the real life. And there might be a movie one day inspired by Brittany’s story to reach even more people and let them think about life more intensively. A life lived to its fullest. A smart and brave young woman taking the hardest decision of her life. A story of letting go. A story about life.

“It is people who pause to appreciate life and give thanks who are happiest. If we change our thoughts, we change our world! Love and peace to you all.” – Brittany Maynard

Please also have a look at The Brittany Maynard Fund for more information and her videos to watch.

The choice to choose

Every day I have to make decisions: what do I wear? What will I have for breakfast? By having so many decisions all day, it’s really hard to choose. I remember when I was a kid and my Mom asked me to buy milk, I bought milk. Nowadays you can’t ask your kid doing that. If you have a daughter she will probably buy a bottle when there is a cute animal on it or something pinky. A little boy would probably grab the first he finds. But okay that might be stereotyping.

Anyway, the point is: not only kids are unable to cope these situations sometimes. It’s like you see 20 different bottles or milk packets. You once started to drink one and then you just stick with it. Some make their decisions depending on their taste, some on the product’s price, or when a friend or family member suggests it. But everyone has to take decisions, not only which milk to choose.

Sure we are lucky to even have this ‘problem’. Too much of everything can cause some stress too. But do we want that? Do we need that? And has anybody ever asked us if we wanna have the choice? Do we have the choice to choose or are we all simply forced to have a choice?


Are you happy you have to take so many decisions? pic by Lali Masriera
Are you happy you have to make so many decisions?
pic by Lali Masriera