The struggle is real.
Worries – what would you consider to be worries today compared to the hunger and war other people experience out there? It feels kind of wrong to talk about worries. Still, I have feelings for which I have no better word, and they are real. Small worries, to be fair, but worries nonetheless, and shared by my entire generation. Luxury problems they may be, but they give us headaches. Nothing compared to what others have to live through, and still they keep us awake at night from time to time.
‘Everything used to be better’, or so the saying goes. But that’s not true.
‘Everything used to be different’, that I would agree with.
Still, I would not want to swap who I am right now with my teenage self, and I would not want to miss any of my experiences, I imagine my grandparents and parents feel the same. By the same token I’m sure they would not want to swap places with me, to have to live through certain worries all over again, to deal with the stuff one has to deal with in the late twenties.
That’s today’s topic, cause hey, the struggle is real.
Here’s another truth about worries: if you share them, they feel less overwhelming.
In the end, I’m pretty sure of that, many people feel just like me: we all think deeply about some things, and experience fear and worries. We’re all dealing with stuff, and more often than not the issues are pretty much the same.
That’s why I decided to speak openly about my worries today, to share them with you, to spill my heart. One thing seems clear to me: it’s easier to find solutions together than all by ourselves!
1. The fear of an uncertain professional future
‘Do you know what you’ll do after your blogging career?’
My favorite question. Not.
I hear it all the time, it’s the second highest entry on my list of least-appreciated questions, right after ‘can you actually make a living as a blogger?’.
I have to honestly say that I have no idea. I’m not even sure if there will be a time ‘after blogging’. I’m completely out of my depth with this question.
Do I have a plan B. A rough one… maybe.
What does the future hold? I don’t know.
Maybe I’ll write a book at some point. Maybe I#ll work behind the camera.
But what’s up with this question anyways? Would you also ask that someone who works a more ‘regular’ job?
It’d be a lie if I told you I’m not afraid of the future at all. However, what I feel is an optimistic anticipation, carried by the certainty that I’m going to work it out somehow. I always did, and it always worked out – somehow. What other choice do I have than to take one step after the other?
My fear of the future is real, but I won’t let it stand beside my present and the future I want to live.
2. Career and a child – how is that going to work?
Having a child is no longer as distant an idea as it used to be for me, some of you may have noticed. I’m not there quite yet, but in principle I feel ready, and I’d like to have my first child before I turn 30. But I do think a lot about it. Will I be able to do both, to be a mother and to stay in business with what I do? We keep hearing success stories by super-moms, who seem to perfectly combine their careers with their motherhood, and with ease. The reality is probably a good deal different.
Child and career – easier said than done.
What makes this line of thought a bit easier for me is the fact that I live in Berlin, a city where it’s definitely easier to combine a career with motherhood than in most other big places. Still, I do have serious doubts.
Will I be able to give a child the attention it needs, or will the rhythm of my life be dictated by job too much?
What am I going to do with my child when I’m going on a trip for several weeks, something that happens frequently right now. Would that even be possible at all?
Am I a bad mother if I leave my kid with its grandmother for those periods?
Will it be bad for my career that so much of my attention will be focused on my child, especially in the beginning?
Can I even afford to take a break from my job?
So many questions, and I have no real answers.
My feeling is: if I never try it I’ll never know if I have the potential to be a super-mom whomanages to combine career and motherhood!
3. The fear of missing out
When you’re very young, all doors are still open to you. At least that’s what we hear from our parents. When we’re still very young we don’t fully understand what our parents mean by that. In my case, the feeling that I could do anything I wanted sort of overwhelmed me.
‘What are you going to do, later in life?’ How I hated that question.
Until suddenly you realize that some of the doors that used to be open are now closed to you. Some were literally slammed in your face. And you start to understand what your parents wanted to tell you. I am not going to become a musician in this life (granted, that was kind of obvious for a while now), and it’s way too late to start training as a ballerina. Some turns in life lead you nowhere.
A new question tops my ‘most-hated’ list now, and I torture myself with it way too often: ‘what would you like to experience at some point?’
As I am moving from my mid- towards my late twenties I see my bucket list grow longer and longer instead of getting shorter.
I never parachuted, I’ve never been to Tokyo.
I never ate insects (not sure if I’ll ever bring myself to do it, to be honest), and I never ran more than 10 km in one go. I never really dived, and I never lived outside of Germany. I’m not even sure if I’d like to live anywhere else, but the thought that one day it may be too late for that scares me.
The fear to miss out is a luxury problem of our generation.
Our parents and grandparents had far fewer possibilities in life than we do, but we are overwhelmed by all that’s on offer, complain because we are spoilt for choice, and forget to be thankful for our options. What we make of our gifts is up to us. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: the agony of choice. The lingering possibility of an unused opportunity that would change everything.
It’s exhausting to live with this fear, isn’t it?
Sometimes I catch myself going to the hottest parties in town even though I don’t feel like going. I’m compelled to go, ‘just to have been part of it’. At the end of those evenings I feel no different than before, I have not grown as a person. More often than not I try to sugarcoat the experience for myself, even if it was a complete disaster. I seized an opportunity, and that’s something, right?
On other evenings the most inconspicuous invitation can lead to the most beautiful time, without glamour but full of feeling. It’s unpredictable. Maybe that’s a good thing, too. Sometimes it makes at least as much sense to let an opportunity slip by than to seize it.
There is no right and wrong when we make our decisions.
Having said all that, I do know that there are some things I’d like to manage to do before I turn 30, if only to set myself a benchmark of sorts. The big 30. The number is looming on the horizon, reminds me of everything that I didn’t achieve yet. Why does it not remind me of all the things I did achieve? The entire point may be hidden somewhere in this question.
We miss out on the present if we have our eyes fixed on the future too much.
It’s wonderful to have goals and dreams, but they should unfold in the present, not the future. Maybe we should learn to be content with what we have from time to time, to be ok with who we are instead of always being worried we may miss out on something else.
I’m not sure, it doesn’t seem like a convincing solution either.
Do you remember I told you about the GDR shooting a couple of days ago? Here it is! Together with the incredible Fee-Gloria Groenemeyer and with support from Marina Hoermanseder we did this amazing shooting in an old-school GDR flat. The pics transport me into a different era. I simply LOVE Fee’s style, her pics look so wonderfully feminine, sensuous and as from a different world. Make sure to follow her on Instagram, I’m convinced she’s one of the next rising stars on the scene!
And tomorrow I’ll post the second part of today’s text, along with more photos from the shoot.