Dort wo die Ackerfeld nur ein Steinwurf entfernt sind, ging die feuerrote Sonne wie gewohnt unter. Sie verabschiedete den Alltag meines regen Stadtlebens und lies meine Gedanken wie immer zu Ruhe kommen. Auf dem Lande ist die Stille mein stiller Begleiter, sie kehrt in mir ein und kehrt mich nach Hause, wo ich nie erwachsen wurde. Auf den Ackerfelden nebenan pflegte ich täglich, in meinen naiven Teenagerjahren, Spaziergänge ein.
Sie begnen mir immer noch, meine Gedanken über ein erwachsenes Leben ohne Sorgen, das nur so von voller Erfolg erblühte. Mit nie endender Kraft trotze ich die Herausforderungen meines Lebens beinahe heldenhaft entgegen, keine Spur von Schwäche oder zuckendes Zögern in meinem Geist. Alles läuft geschmiert wie das tägliche Brot am Morgen auf dem heimischen Esstisch. Mit Elan starte ich in die Tage, während ich auf einem feinen Grad wandere und dabei alles mit links balanciere.
Ein Tagtraum, der endete als die Ubahn an meiner Station mit einem lauten Quietschen ruckartig anhielt. Es gleicht einem Wachrütteln, der mich in meine Gegenwart katapultiert. Hier bin ich nun und wandere in das erwachsene Leben das ich mir nicht erträumt habe, wackelig auf einem Bein und mit eigenen Entscheidungen, die mich herausfordernd umherschubsen. Mal hier, mal dort, aber am besten gleichzeitig da sein. Am besten hier sein, am besten ankommen und dabei losgehen. Mit einer ungewissen Zukunft blicke in den leuchtend blauen Himmel hinauf, im gleichen Moment bringt mich die Rolltreppe ihr näher. In der Hoffnung, dass zwischen den Wolken die Antwort auf die Frage aller Fragen zu finden. Der Alltag zieht täglich an an mir und meinem Schreibtisch vorbei. Nächster Halt: Ungewiss.
Mit der Sonne geht meine Vergangenheit unter, nie mehr aufwachend von dem ewigem Tagtraum einer vergangenen Version von mir. Die Welt dreht sich weiter bis zum nächsten Sonnenaufgang, mit unverfänglichen Möglichkeiten.
Between the little sips I take from my coffee and the frame of the window pane, I watched the rain fall on a summer’s day. The sky gathered the clouds, just enough to peek through the little holes between them.
It was that silent rain with no harsh wind and no lightnings followed by thunders growling all over the wet market place. It was like that silent cry I recently do, when no one is around, just me staring through the window pane reconsidering over and over again either to supress the gulps pushing up my throat or letting it flow like the rain on the other side of the window pane. I drowned my doubts with the bitterness of black coffee, hoping to wake up from the nightmare I created wide awake.
It was there in the café when I woke up, realizing that I already got this far enough, also not to back down like a coward. It was in the conversation with two open minded people, where I reflected my skills that I forgot I had after a long time.
When the future seems so near that it can almost kiss me on my cheek, doubt takes hold of me, unreasonable, cruel. Suddenly I am too blind to see how capable I am, how successful I am up to this point. Pinning me down on this spot of my life, like there was never an improvement at all and making me silenty rain on the ground with no lightnings followed by growling thunders.
All I need is a café, where I can sip my coffee while staring out of the window and holding the conversation with two open minded people that unknowingly made me see again. Encouraging me enough to get up from that rainy ground and to walk my walk just like to talk my talk.
A sip from the coffee of awakening conversations is all I need, that will stop the silent rain in me. So here I am sometimes raining at the same time constantly looking for a coffee to drown my selfmade doubts in.
The truth is most of the time I sit in silence. No one to talk to and nobody in sight. It is just me in my small apartment figuring things out. The silence provokes my mind and makes me think.
What I am thinking right now? Right now I am trying to find the joy in the things that I am doing, to be exact that are keeping me busy. But there is a difference between being busy and taking time.
Taking my time is a more passionate way of being busy, I take my time to enjoy my crafts like cooking and taking pictures. I take my time talking to my friends, who I neglected for quite a while because I was simply busy. I take my time to go on a walk or to ride my bike along the rhine. I take my time to calm myself down.
To be busy is to be efficient with my time. It is based on productivity, on strict time schedules and on a plan. Answering emails to keep up the progress in the student association, making phone calls because I was too busy to study for my failed exams. Being busy means assuring my team mates not to rush and to keep it cool. It is focusing on the work, while balancing on the fine line between the pressure of stress and the necessity of ease, inorder to make something out of the day while staying mentally stable.
But being too busy just like taking way too much time, will always overthrow me either and the other way around. I will always feel drained after a long productive day, with no conversation in my social life. I will always feel stressed when I continually postpone my studies because I feel more to go out and grab a coffee with friends.
Two extremes that I don’t necessarily have to do in that way, but still I’ll do from time to time. So here I am alone in my apartment contemplating weither I am too drained or too stressed. I am confused about myself, that I find myself standing in my way.
I have so many free options, I cannot overview what I should actually do. That’s may be one of the harsh reality of adulthood, to be free enough to chose and still long for someone to tell you what the next step is, to tell you if you’re too laid back or too stressed out. You could also say it is like a constant argument between brain and heart.
The only thing I do, to get out of this dilemma is to be open enough about my thoughts and worries. It doesn’t matter where I vent it out, either way it just have to be said or better to be written down, because the words in my head are cluttering my mind so much, that they made me mentally freeze. They made me question myself way too often, eventhough I have no reasons to. They made me sit in silence.
So what am I now? Laid back? Stressed out? Both? Where is the silver lining?
If I don’t know today, tomorrow is still another day.
Do you know the feeling of being pushed underwater by a big wave that straight up splashed into your face? The whole situation is overwhelming, right? The moment you are underwater the world is suddenly upside down and you only want to swim back up to the surface. Instinctively you push yourself up with all your strength until you finally can breathe fresh air again. Now you are prepared for the next wave to come, your mind is set to do better by the next wave.
I realized that making the next step in life is just like that overwhelming situation. The big waves out of the uncertainty of the future push me down into the depths of life, forcing me to hold my breath for a moment in time before I push myself back to the surface, realizing that the wave has pushed me to a different spot in the sea of life. Knowing that the next wave will come, I prepare myself mentally to tackle it better than the one before.
And there it is, the next wave is hurling towards me and on the right moment I dive into the deep water. The silence underwater surrounds me as I look around, the struggling moment on the first hand became peaceful on the second. Before swimming up towards the surface, I center myself as I prepare to swim. I am in control now. The depth of life has taught me to remain calm for a moment before resurfacing to finally breathe fresh air. Suddenly the world that seemed to be upside down becomes clear as I swim up to the surface.
By the next wave I know now, to always take my time to prepare to dive in, to stay calm and to resurface over and over again. I know now how to take control of each and every move I will make and to be responsible for myself in the best way that I can. Because that is how I will always be able to breathe the fresh air of independence without drowing in the depths of life, no matter how big and scary the next waves will be.
I never expected how often I have to remind myself to not keep my head hanging, when life hit me with one of it’s uppercut straight into my face.
Born in Manila and raised up for 6 years by my loving mother and her family, I always felt this vibe to not back down if life becomes hard from time to time. I felt the love and support of my family for each and every family member, who struggled from time to time, each of them in a different way.
After moving to Germany in the young age of 6 years old, I experienced the harsh reality of life the first time. I still remember how I arrived in a new home with my childlike vision of the world, that everything was just one jump away from each other. The first phone call I wanted to make and naively dialling the phone number of my family in the Philippines, but being bitterly disappointed that there was no familiar voice on the other line. It was then when I knew, I was far away from my previous home.
It was since that moment, that I knew that I have to make this new unknown place my home. It wasn’t that hard after all to grow into the “new life” as a kid, who was open to learn and to know everything that is happening around me. My elementary teacher was it, who got me on track and also taught me to keep my head up. It was my mother, who motivated me to be eagerly curious about our new life far away from home and always reminded me to keep my head up, because that’s what we both learned from our family on the other side of the world.
As I grew up in Germany, I learned to be conform into the society, I learned to include myself and others into my everyday life but I also learned that looking different than the others can be fascinating as it can be painful on the same time. As a kid I got used to be teased about my “chinky eyes” and to be excluded because of them. But the lesson was to keep my head up and still be conform and try to fit inorder to be finally accepted by most of the people. It was a competition for me to prove that I am actually worthy to be friends with and it worked out.
I paid the price of forgetting my heritage and adapting everything I needed to be part of the society. I embraced the “new old traditions” that I joined association and clubs to be part of the society. I worked hard and proved again that I am a “force” that everyone can rely on if they got to know me better. I kept on remembering to keep my head up and I always did.
With time I had similar struggles that I already saw in the past and I had the support of my peers and family who kept on telling me to keep my head up. Friends came in and went out of my life, some broke me into pieces that I picked up all by myself just like some family related issues that shook my soul.
I lost myself in the society I felt comfortable in. Which leaded me to stay alone for a while just to figure out what part I am playing in my own life. It sounds silly now, but way back then I concluded for me that I wasn’t the main character in my own life, in fact being conform made me the understudy. With this conclusion I was able to keep my head up in my teenage years and I grew out of the safe space I put myself in until I tasted the sweet nectar of independence.
As I became more independent, it seemed to me that it became harder to constantly remind myself to keep my head up. It was on the verge into my 20s, when life became a bittersweet emotional mess. It slammed me into the ground consecutively as I tried and tried and tried until I still could keep my head up. Being independent is like holding yourself a mirror that reflects the reality of life, that already surfaced in my life in the age of 6.
So now in my mid 20s, I know that the reality of life will never back down no matter what. That if my family and friends won’t tell me to, I simply have to remind me by myself. After all backing down was never an option, but instead to change the angle on the situations inorder to enlighten myself.
That’s why keep your head up, because then you will see what may be lying ahead of you. Look into the sky, breathe and keep your head up. See that you are part of it all. You are the main character of your life! Remember to keep your head up and listen to the distant cheering sounds of your love ones. Feel your heartbeat.