Celebrate your Wins

Why do so many people take so much time to worry about the future, yet spend a minimal amount of time to take a breath, look back and see how far they’ve come? Asking for a friend…

Continue reading Celebrate your Wins

Twists and Turns

This post won’t further increase any panic you might be experiencing, promise.

No doubt, 2020 so far has not exactly been what we had hoped for. This virus is another setback. It’s weird how life can change in such a short period of time, how suddenly you no longer feel in control. Many people are suffering and many are fighting- it’s easy to lose sight of anything positive in these times. But not all is bad, not all is lost.

Many of us have been looking forward to a break. Because life can be exhausting. It’s demanding. Sometimes it’s annoying. For many, the everyday life has become so stressful that all they can do is look forward to quitting time, to the weekend, to the holidays. And it can feel like you don’t have time to breathe, as though your air supply was limited.

This is a situation in which our lives are restrained. We’re forced to cut back in some aspects. But in the right light, this is also a chance. This is your chance to take a breath. Take one, take another.  Take as many as you need. Then take some more. You don’t know when you’ll have the chance to take in as much air again. It is also a chance to find back to something many have given up due to everyday business. A chance to resume old hobbies you gave up because time was lacking. To begin new hobbies you’ve been thinking about forever. To read books you’ve been piling up. To watch movies and series that have been on your list forever. To learn how to cook. To reestablish relationships with people you lost contact with, but never stopped loving (of course, via messaging platforms for now). To realize that being part of a community means more than benefitting from rights. A chance to find back to yourself. Take it.

BUT if you’re going to spend the next two weeks(+) scrolling down social media, just lying in bed or on your couch, panic will kick in at some point. Of course media is going to fuel this topic as much as they can. Media wants panic. Because panic means reactions. Reactions mean interaction. Interaction means clicks and clicks mean money. Even in times of global concerns and insecurity, money owns people, that’s reality. It’s your job to avoid being pulled in.

If you’re like me, this is the first time in your life where you don’t exert control about what to do with your time. It’s challenging but I think there’s a lot to learn from this situation. The first lesson I learnt? There are many more unteachable and obstinate people than expected. The second thing is that you’re allowed to change your opinion. A week ago I was laughing about this virus- now I don’t. Many people have said it before: don’t panic, but don’t underestimate the situation. We all are part of this society. As a member of this community you have rights, which you are free to exert. You do however have obligations as well. If you think that this problem does not concern you, because you’re young and probably won’t be affected by this virus, you’re no better than all the boomers who do not care about climate change and who you have been (rightly) bashing in the last months and years. Just because it does not directly have an impact on your life, does not mean you get to ignore the problem. This is a time in which all of us have to assume responsibility.

Even if you do not care so much about the risk groups- think about all the people who in these times are the pillars on whom life as we know it depends. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, scientists etc. etc. They need our help and it’s not too much to ask.

Let’s build a world in which we can count on one another. This is not an easy situation for many of us. Still, I sincerely hope you see the silver lining in all of this.

Invent yourself (now more than ever!!!)

CK

Die Corona Lehre

Quarantänehäuser spriessen,
Ärzte, Betten überall
Forscher forschen, Gelder fliessen-
Politik mit Überschall.
Also hat sie klargestellt:
Wenn sie will, dann kann die Welt.

Also will sie nicht beenden
Das Krepieren in den Kriegen,
Das Verrecken vor den Stränden
Und dass Kinder schreiend liegen
In den Zelten, zitternd, nass.
Also will sie. Alles das.

-Thomas Gsella

audentes fortuna iuvat

The reasons that keep me from writing, from creating anything that might or might not be of artistic worth are numerous, or so I keep telling myself. Keeping up with university work, Sports, Netflix, meeting friends to have 27 drinks too many, the thereof resulting hangovers, the endless and mindless scrolling through the same 3 apps a 100 times a day. All these things, I tell myself, are the reasons that delay my writing. But honestly, I know that they are not the true reasons, I know that I could easily find time to do what I really like to do. Here’s why I really keep myself from sitting in front of my desk, open WordPress and my notes on my phone (consisting of random small ideas and single words that no longer make any sense to me at all, but at the time of writing them down seemed to be brilliant ideas for new posts) and why I prefer to lie in bed to rewatch Friends over and over again.

I’m afraid to fail. Always have. I’ve always had the stupid idea in my head that failing at anything would put me in a dangerous place in terms of mental health. As in, I thought of myself as being unable to deal with failing. As in, I forbid myself to fail to preserve my strength. As in, me failing at anything would make a failure out of me. I grew up in an extremely fortunate environment: teachers that really cared about my grades and well-being, parents who would drop everything to help with anything school-related. I am thankful everyday and I know that the people around me tried to protect me from everything to spare me any trouble.

But every coin has two sides. While, up to now, I never had any major trouble in terms of my academic path, it prevented me from ever having to deal with failure. I never had to endure the pain of knowing that I would probably fail my year or even just a class and therefore never developed the consciousness of my own strength, of the possibility to get myself out of difficult situations. I know I have it in me, I know I’m much more resistent than I tend to think of myself and I know every single person on this planet has it in them. Some people, like me, just never have dared to look for it, because they’re afraid that they would be looking for something only to find out that it doesn’t exist.

That is why I refrain from starting new projects, because I know I will not immediately be good at it (crazy concept…) and why I refrain from starting to write. I’m aware of the possibility of failure at any time and I’m worried that I wouldn’t be able to deal with not succeeding in my endeavors, that it would hinder my development as a writer. A thought process, which from this new perspective I recently adopted, is non-sense. The only thing that can really keep me from progressing in my projects is if I do not engage with them at all. The only real obstacle any of us have to face is fear.

Life has a plan for everyone. Even when we think that we’re going in circles, that we’re going backwards or that we’ve have lost sight of the path we once took, it’s still there. What I’ve been trying to teach myself is that mistakes, wrong decisions and failures do not blur our vision of the path we’re walking. Every situation in which we accept the possibility of defeat, of failure, of hurting ourselves, is like a lens that improves our sight of the track that’s under our feet. With every risky decision that might come back at us, that might hunt us for a while, that keeps us awake at night, we start to see clearer until one day our perception of the path will be so crystal clear that we’ll wonder how we could ever doubt its existence.

Failure does not make us weak. We should always see it as a result of courage, of daring to take blind steps into the unknown. If we dare to fail, we set up success. audentes fortuna iuvat. Fortune favours the bold. Be bold enough to fail.

Invent yourself, CK

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default. -J.K. Rowling

Neglected Qualities

 

Many people give up on goals, on diets, on careers, on ideas and ideals. Why? They don’t allow for instant results.

A big problem we have today is that many people do no longer feel the need to learn the trait of patience. Things have to be accessible at once. If they aren’t, they are forgotten about. Sadly, most things that are instantly accessible, are not worth it. Patience and consistency however are crucial for anyone to reach something of worth. But in today’s world, we’re no longer taught to fight for what we want. We want to be rewarded for everything we do, we don’t like to wait and would rather not have something at all than having it later. We seek instant gratification. We’re growing up with the feeling that we do not have enough time and anything that doesn’t show results right away, never will. Yet the many things that are worth achieving; those goals you would be proud to have reached demand steadiness and discipline. But these are qualities you have to master on your own, no one can and no one will do it for you.

Another problem is that we seem to have adapted a mentality that prevents us from being appreciative of what we have. Rather, we’re always looking out for more, for bigger, for better. We don’t allow ourselves to just be happy with what we have. It always has to be more. No doubt, this way of living can be a way of reaching more. A way of finding out how far you can go.

But it also rules out self-appreciation, gratitude and recognition. It rules out the possibility of having a good life. Because as I see it, there is no definition of a good life that suits everyone. It is whatever you want it to be. Yet there are people who think of themselves as worthy of defining what a good life is, thereby presenting a certain image of what it is supposed to be. People, who have yet to figure out what a good life is to them, who have yet to realize that they are the only ones who are worthy of assessing their lives, will follow this path, striving for a life they do not want. And eventually, they’ll realize just how much time they wasted going through life with their eyes closed to the things that genuinely matter to them.

You can obviously live your life trying to have more and be more. Or you stop and take a breath. Think about how much you have reached, how many bad days you’ve gone through, how many true friends you’ve found, how much love you’ve felt.

Being grateful is hard for many people, but as I see it, you either learn this trait or you go through life blinded by the sparkling world of the more, the bigger, the better  and never see how much you already have. And one day you will die and you’ll not look back to all the good you have had but wish for just one more day on earth.

 

CK

Something Special About Us

I’m not sure if that’s what every generation says about themselves but I have a feeling that we’re doing much better than is expected from us.

When I look around I see young women not tolerating any bullshit from any man anymore. I see activists, people who want to be part of the country’s politics to be able to change something. To fix what others messed up. I see artists. Singers. Songwriters. DJs. Producers. Dancers.

I see young people having startups before they’ve finished high school. People who refuse nine-to-five jobs. People finding ways to make money with what they love. People learning from their mistakes and those of others. I see people no longer caring about what others think about them. People daring to be who they are. I see more uniqueness. More openness towards individuality.

But most importantly, I see a generation in which people have become aware of how important it is to take care of themselves and the people around them. We have started to reach out for one another. Started to accept mistakes. Started to accept that perfection isn’t an option. We have made ourselves a priority.

Now, how does that make us any better than any generation before us? I believe that the support and love I see around me is real. I see honest and critical minds. Less followers and more pioneers. I see refusal. Refusal to accept bad things. Refusal to accept that bad things must remain because “that’s the way it has always been”.

I see people who are no longer afraid of change. People who seek change. People who understand the necessity of change. And the necessity of faith and courage. The necessity to stand up for their rights. To stand up for those who can’t.

One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.

-Chinua Achebe

Be proud of who you are!! Please let us not be compromised when we can be so much more…

Invent yourself, CK

When it Rains it Pours

Update: the most important thing I’ve learned from living on my own is that I do not want to live alone again. Ever.

I do not intend this to become a blog about myself, as in me writing about the random stuff that happens in my life that no one cares about anyway, I just want you to know why I’m writing what I’m writing.

I dropped out of university 2 weeks ago for multiple reasons, the main one being that I felt like my mind was going crazy. Now I’m back in Luxembourg, constantly wondering if I overreacted and if I should have given it more thought, maybe after some time I would have liked it. I’ll never know.

But here’s what I want to say and what I believe.

There is literally nothing on this earth that matters more than your mental health. Nothing. No money, no friends. No school or workplace.

If you suffer, and think that you won’t ever be able to sleep again because your mind won’t stop producing the weirdest stuff, you’ve got to do something.

When I came back last week, I was lucky enough to talk to a friend who had dropped out a few weeks before me. When I found out that he was having the same thoughts, the same feeling of panic, the same uncertainty, I felt much better because it showed me that I wasn’t alone.

My point is that first of all, you are allowed to feel bad and depressed and worry about your future. You are allowed (and encouraged) to annoy your people with any worries you have. It sounds like some lame Tumblr post but talking is the most effective medicine. If you feel like you need help, get help. You were born alone and you’ll die alone, but in between, you don’t have to be lonely.

Second of all, do not forget that we are still young. And when you’re young you underestimate your own strength and overestimate every mishap in your life. Every bad thing always seems like it’s the end of the world.  It often seems like life will never be good again, and everything and everyone is going against you. You feel betrayed by life, because your mind no longer takes into consideration how lucky you are to be alive.

But you are, and life will pay you back for all the suffering you had to go through. It won’t rain forever. Try to remind yourself of all the good things in your life, they are there. Try to remind yourself everyday of all the things you are grateful for. And the bad things will eventually fade. Promise.

The average age of death in Luxembourg is 81. We have spent less than 1 quarter of our lives. Do not expect yourself to have it all figured out. Hang in there.

Invent yourself, CK

Structure

12th February. My last post. It’s been 6 months since I last published, and I swear this has by far been the messiest time I’ve ever been through. I meant to take a small break from writing, to be able to focus on studying for my finals. Yet when exams were over, I somehow missed out on getting back to what I know best. There have been more ups and downs during these last months than ever before, and I feel like I should have never stopped writing to. And yet.. maybe it was necessary for me to find out that I need it. After all, we all need something to let off steam, some outlet that brings back balance to our life.

Anyway, I’m back now. And I mean to stay this time.

One thing I’ve learnt recently is that we all need some sort of structure in our lives. We need organization, something to rely on, because at times, when nothing seems to go our way, we still have something that makes us feel like we have at least some control over our lives. Structure is basically a precondition for one’s sanity. A mind that has no reference points whatsoever, eventually goes mad. These holidays, especially after finishing high school, being a main event in most people’s life, are wicked. For a lot of you, as for me, this is a time of major change and I can tell you that I am afraid of what is to come. I worry a lot, and at times feel unable to accept any kind of change in my life.

And yet, we can’t stop time, nor can we know what the future holds for us. All that’s left for us to do, is to stay positive, keeping both eyes on our goals and follow the flow of our life.

We have to be prepared for change, accept it, embrace it.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.- Maya Angelou

Invent yourself,CK