Love

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“May you find serenity and tranquility
in a world you may not always understand. 
May the pain you have known and the conflict
you have experienced give you the strength
to walk through life facing each new situation
with courage and optimism.
Always know that there are those whose love and understanding will always be there,
even when you feel most alone. 
May you discover enough goodness in 
others to believe in a world of peace.
May a kind word, a reassuring touch,
and a warm smile be yours every day of your life,
and may you give these gifts as well as receive them. Remember the sunshine when the storm seems unending.”

 

Sensitivity

“Sensitivity is a sign of life. Better hurt than hardened. I bow to those who keep their hearts open when it is most difficult, those who refuse to keep their armor on any longer than they have to, those who recognize the courage at the heart of vulnerability. After all the misguided warriors destroy each other, the open-hearted will inherit the earth.” – Jeff Brown

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I’m Not Perfect; Sue Me!

How much time do you spend worrying that you’re not good enough?

I thought I was getting better at the whole confidence thing; I realized we all have our flaws, that I am not the only one, and that I shouldn’t worry about my perceived failures at all. I no longer care that I am only 164 cm, I don’t care (that much) that I am not a sporty/gym type person, I have forgiven myself for being who I am and now fully embrace it, happy as a clam in my imperfectness!

Or so I thought. Turns out there is still a part of myself that judges me. That worries about the future… Every. Single. Day. Why? Because I have spent years at school, at work, focusing on having a great career (for that will be the be-all-and-end-all of my happiness) and I am TERRIFIED that things will not work out as I dream and hope. I fear that I am only mediocre. That I will never be in charge. That I will never be able to portray to others the image of a successful career woman.

It turns out that I do still worry that I am not good enough, after all. For having a great career, neat as that is, is also one of those things we use to measure ourselves to see how we stack up against others. I don’t care if people will never view me as a great cook, or an admiring health freak. But for me, a successful career equals a successful person. If I won’t have that, I will be less than nothing.

There’s my Achilles heel ladies and gentlemen. Now I must learn to love myself, with or without a promising career.

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Free time = Stress?

Last weekend I ran into a guy who hasn’t been working for a year and a half. He worked for years in a well paid job and now he just does what he wants to do. I’ve been thinking about that a lot since then.

The thing is, I am a student right now. After being at a 9-5 job for a year and a half I feel like I have a lot of free time at my hands. My Christmas vacation was six (!) weeks. Fortunately I was editing a manuscript for four of those six weeks, otherwise I think I would have gone crazy. Like I feel now, after I finished my internship, which means that all I have to do is go to my classes 3 times a week, 2 hours each time. That’s nothing. That’s a lot of free time, even with the homework.

Free time sounds great, right? Well… I am having definite problems with it. I think we, of the western civilization, have been programmed to think that we must always be contributing to society… We have to work for a living, otherwise what are we doing? Long, leisurely vacations are for the rich. We the normal people have to work, hard, for what we want. You can’t just do nothing. What is that worth? What are you worth? It fits together with our assumptions that our jobs are who we are – that we are measured by our careers. That is not true, I know it’s not – yet still I struggle.

I don’t know if I could not work even if I had money for everything I could possibly need. What I need to admit to myself is that I feel guilty. Slightly guilty, everyday, for all of my free time, for the things I do not accomplish while I am here. Even though I am at school, which is a totally acceptable use of my time. I feel like I could do more. I feel like I could be more.

Which is ridiculous, I know. We should stop this madness, and just enjoy. Be happy, with whatever we are doing, wherever we are. Enjoy the free time which might not come again so soon. I am gonna try my very best to do just that – now that I’ve got this off my chest 🙂

To be thankful

I’m not in the mood to write, I never am this early in the day. But maybe you don’t always have to wait for inspiration to say what you want to say. Maybe, sometimes, you just know.

This is the last day of 2012 and that warrants a post. It’s been a very significant year for me. I have made many changes in my life, and I myself have changed irrevocably. Out of everything I’ve learned my most important lesson is this; in order to be happy you must be grateful.

I was one of those people who never understood the idea of being happy by loving what you already have. I’m simply too goal-oriented; I believe that we should always at least try to get what we want. But I misunderstood the concept. It’s about taking the time to appreciate all the different ways that I am blessed. I realized that it isn’t enough to get what you want, if you fail to take the time to appreciate it. That is how you find happiness, it is, by focusing on the riches that belong to you, not on the few things you might want to add to your life in the future.

So here goes. I am thankful for my family and friends, I am thankful for my home, I am thankful for all my travels, I am thankful for everything out there that I have yet to see with my own eyes. I am thankful for living in the beautiful city of Cambridge, I am thankful for all the opportunities I have been given, for all the exciting adventures ahead. I am thankful for this wonderful white Christmas, I am thankful for the New Year that is upon us, which I am going to make the greatest year yet. I am thankful for the people who helped me on my journey to self-discovery, who helped me love and respect myself. I am thankful for being able to express myself through writing, I am thankful for you who is reading these words.

I am thankful for having so much to be thankful for. I hope you will take the time to give thanks as well. It is the best way to see how your life is actually quite good, if not practically perfect, at this exact moment, right now.

I wish you a Happy New Year and a Wonderful 2013!

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To share or not to share?

If I write, and no-one reads it, is my writing pointless? If I share it, am I seeking approval, or do I merely want to offer what I have to give? Does it matter?

I routinely take steps to take myself out of the race. Any race, the race that says I have to have that kind of job, that apartment, that boyfriend, those children, that saving account which enables me my early holiday. I do that by stepping back and pondering. I don’t own stuff. I don’t own a couch. I don’t own a TV. I don’t even own a bed. All I want to own is what I can take with me. I don’t have much desire to buy stuff. Even if I did it would just be for show. Getting an iPhone would be for show. Buying more expensive clothes than I have need for would be for show.

Experiences however, I like those. Universities offer experiences, language school offers experiences, even an au-pair job offers experiences. Traveling offer oh-so-many experiences, memories, and they belong to me. That is not a race to me. That is living to me. Exhilaration, exploration, calmness. It’s being able to breath. It’s getting away from the race, the comparison. The people you meet have different experiences, too different to really compare them to mine and find myself lacking.

That’s what it is all about. To be happy with who you are. To live without comparison. To share without it being a way to make yourself a brand, without trying to sell anything, whether that is your wits, your company, your product. That’s where I fail to stand out in the digital world. Why I have nothing to say that will be retweeted, that will be shared on any platform. Because I haven’t formulated a message. Because I’m not making myself out to be someone indispensable to you. Because I’m not the next sensation. Because all I want – is to be.

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Somebody That I Used to Know.

I got quite a shock tonight. In my innocence I was going through my computer, reading some stuff I had written a long time ago, as I sometime do to sort of take stock and see what has changed. One of the things I found was this post, which I’ve translated from Icelandic; I wrote it on October 17th 2011, two months after I started therapy, a month before I went to see my healer for the first time (where I bawled my eyes out, coincidentally):

“Depression. Is this depression? I didn’t used to think so. I thought that was something I had gotten rid of since those years in high school. But feeling anxious about going to work, to be among people, to want to be home where I am safe, is that something other than depression?

I watched a TV show the other day where a guy killed himself by wrapping weights around his body and jumping into a pool. My reaction? I thought: “Clever.” Because when I was feeling suicidal, back then, I had decided against drowning as the thought of fishes devouring my body in the ocean had been off putting to me. Here, however, was a solution to that problem, and that is what I thought was so clever. To think “clever” about a suicide attempt is not a sign of a mind that is okay (let’s not even adress the fact that I was worrying about my dead body, but not about my living body, mind and soul). So, not good.

I don’t want to kill myself. I want to live. But I don’t see death as something horrible. I think it’s peaceful. The way I see it, death brings peace. Freedom. Freedom from this world which is not beautiful, but merciless.

I haven’t written about how my therapy is going recently, the way I intended, simply because I didn’t want to. The reason is simple; I did so well at first. I spoke, and I got answers: “You are full of sorrow, and anger and sadness”, great, “You are possessed of a deep rooted fear of rejection”, good to know, this is what I want to hear, that I don’t feel like this for nothing, that I’m not just being a loser, but that there is something actually wrong! There is a man who says to me: “Yes, you are right, there is something really wrong. And we are going to fix that.”

But when we were supposed to fix it things didn’t go so well anymore. “Tell me what you say to yourself. In which situation are you? How do you feel in that situation?” But I don’t know how I feel in that situation. “Tell me, tell me how you feel, otherwise we can’t change the cause-effect pattern.” BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW I FEEL! I went from looking forward to the sessions, from getting answers, to be anxious for the meetings and rehearsing how to not answer those questions. I don’t know the answer. Stop asking me. Leave me alone.

It’s October, and the weather sucks, and I’m always sick, I feel so bad, I just want to sleep, I don’t want to leave the house, I don’t want to talk to anyone. I’m just so ill. I have to stay home. It’s just this month. October is an awful month. Everybody thinks so. Everything will be better, as soon as this month is over, I know it, I just have to wait. I just have to take up as little space as possible, just have to breathe, the time will pass, that has been proven, with everyday we get closer to November and then everything will be fine. Everything will be fine.

Maybe it’s not October. Maybe it’s just me.”

Today I am at peace with myself. I feel free. I am happy, and so very thankful for all that I have and all that I am. And the weird thing is, I can’t remember ever feeling as bad as my writing clearly proves I did. I felt like that all the time, I know I did. But that has all fallen away now, thank God. Thank God. Now all I can feel is sad for that girl, that girl that is no longer me, and all that she went through and all the pain that she felt. I am glad I could help her. I am glad that I am no longer her. And for all those that might feel like I am sharing too much here – I have to, if it means that maybe, maybe someone will recognize themselves in that description, and feel that there is a chance for them, too.

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The Importance of Being Earnest

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” — Ernest Hemingway

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