My uncle´s wisdom

This year I went to my hometown not exactly knowing if I actually wanted to.

I had invested a lot of time in my new home Berlin, and built a new life there. There were too many exciting things happening throughout the year of 2014 and I did not really feel like leaving. But christmas time is family time. So I booked my train ticket and packed my things for a week-long trip into my past.

And by the time christmas day came everything went just like expected. I ate too much, spoke too much and had a headeach from my relatives talking very passionately with each other. It seems like we have an unwritten rule in our family that forbids conversation between two people who are seated next to each other. It is much more accepted to shout across the table. The further your conversational partner away, the more points you gain.

I brought my analogue camera to capture parts of the spectacle. And I was also planning to hide behind it and look like I have something to do – just in case it gets boring or I have to escape to fantasy land because my voice is too exhausted.

However, it was not long after I unpacked my camera that my uncle started asking me questions about my analogue-toy. And it turned out he had a really nice, basically unused analogue camera in his house. He invited me to pick it up and give it a second life. An offer I could not deny.

Not the christmas break I expected

Two days later, I was sitting on my uncle´s couch with a glas of wine in my hand. And for the first time we actually had a normal conversation. I don´t know if you know what I mean.. But I tend to see my family members in the roles of how they relate to me. It is my mom, my aunt, grandparents, cousins and so on. Sometimes it is easy to forget that the “aunt” is also a real person with a character, real interests and hobbies. And most of all, that these people have amazing stories to tell and knowledge to share.

And on that evening I realized what I had missed out on all these years. The closest source of wisdom – my family. And when I realized how much I had neglected real connection to my family members a tear rolled down my cheek.

Some wisdom for sharing

Many things my uncle said to me that evening stuck with me and on my way home I started my voice recorder. The wine seemed to have enhanced my memory (or something like that) and listening to the recording now I seem like a drunk philosopher – or rapper. Regardless of my state of recording. I love some of the quotes from my uncle and I created images of them that I would like to share with you.

Clocks

Zoo_happiness

Big Game Life

Maybe your little dream is not as stupid as it seemed.

Saturday afternoon. It was a long day. The four-days seminar I am currently taking requires my full attention – 12 hours per day. This will be a rather philosophical post.

Today, we did a role-playing excercise that really brought me to my limits. The task was to literally move a person out of a room by the power of your voice. Meaning: screaming and shouting from the bottom of your soul to create such rage and anger that the person has no other choice than to leave.

Ehm… right.

Well, I nearly pooped my pants just by the trainer explaining what we should do. After all, I consider myself a pretty balanced and peaceful person. I could not imagine myself screaming at someone like a berserk for no valid reason. And by the time we got started with the excercise and I heard other people scream and felt their anger, tears were running down my face.

Eventually it was my turn and I gave it all I had. I screamed louder and louder and at some point I did not recognize my own voice anymore. It was not pretty. My face turned purple, my eyes nearly popped out, BUT I survived. Not sure if I can say the same thing about my vocal chords, though.

What´s more important – it felt good. Not because there was so much anger stuck inside of me. But just because I did something I would, under normal circumstances, never do. I went out of my comfort zone and tapped into what could become possible if I just decide to do it and stick with my decision.

After the screaming part was over, we all sat down in a circle and closed our eyes. The instructor told us to now picture our greatest passion and take a couple of deep breaths.

That was when it really hit me and I had one of these “AHA”-moments. The first thing, the very first image that came to my mind when closing my eyes and thinking of my biggest passion was: *drumroll* … TRAVELLING!

What? How can that be? After clearing up all the clutter from my mind, all the unnecessary thoughts and the “noise” in my head – what´s left is travelling? Up until today I thought my urge to travel was some kind of instinct to get away from “reality”, or not having to deal with finding out what I truly want to do. I thought it was something my mind made up for me not having to see the “truth”. But what IF actually this is my truth?

What if my little dream is not at all as stupid as it seemed?

This is why I said no to that 70k job offer

A couple of days ago I received a job offer. A headhunter from the UK thought I would be a good fit for a position paying 70k plus benefits and a brand new car. The vacancy was a perfectly logical consequence to my previous work experience.

It would connect the experience I had in the corporate world with the responsibility and flexibility I had in my latest job. But there was one thing the headhunter did not know.

I am not my CV.

My CV is based on acquired certificates and based on so called “facts” about my life. It does not reflect my hopes, dreams nor talents.

It does not show that every time I went to the library to write my Bachelor Thesis about “Change Management in IT Consulting”, I would allow myself to borrow one book for myself and that the books I chose were without exeption art history books and autobiographies of my favorite painters.

It also does not show that I chose a minimalist-oriented lifestyle that allows me to save as much money as possible just to spend it on my passions camera equipment and travels.

And finally, it does not show that feeling in my chest every time I see corporate people in suits. Or that I have fallen into depression several times during my “career” because I did not find any satisfaction, meaning, or joy in my work.

I am not blaming the headhunter. He was just doing his job. And after a bit back and forth he still wanted me for the job and I wrote him this message:

Dear XXX,

I appreciate your persistence. However, I am not the right girl for the position this time. When my heart is just not in it there is no need to put me on the shortlist of candidates.

It´s a privilege to have the freedom to say no to such a position.
All the best to your client and your search.
I hope you love what you do.
 
Have a great weekend!
Valeska