To Bitter-Sweet 2014

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A good friend of mine told me recently: „I don’t want it anymore. I don’t want people to disappear from my life and not being part of what will come in the future. I don’t want it anymore.”

And what should I have said? It is all part of the big game – losing people, making new friends? To some extent this is true. We lose people when we have a big argument and afterwards not returning the calls, when we simply develop different interests and have nothing left to say to each other or in its most finite way: when they die.

Instead of trying to quickly look at the bright sides of life, I think it is more adequate and responsible to pause for a while and simply admit: yes, this is how it works. And it is sad, frustrating and it sucks.

We meet many new people every year (or if you are me, you don’t), but only a handful of all the people you ever meet will make it to the status friends. I have read that a person can only have 5-8 friends (it varies according to the individual capacity to deal with relationships) at a time. Friends here means, people who are really, really close, you would call at 1am in the morning if something happened and who would forgive you if you missed their birthday (but I suppose, if you forget their birthday, they might not be on your friends list). Of course, we have a bigger circle of broader friends who we also like, but maybe we don’t talk once a week or we don’t have that much in common. But close friends (I am not talking about best friend – I don’t like that concept) are rare and they change over time – necessarily. Because we change over time. And maybe what I loved during high school time, I hate today. (Okay, that is not true. I still love Lord of the Rings and Winnie the Pooh.) But the good news is, we may lose a close friend, but we get another one. So it is rather a trade. Still, this feeling of “how it used to be” is always present. As well as the feeling of “god dammit, I hate changes!”.

And sometimes you just wish to stop time and to try to understand what actually has happened. How did I end up where I am at the moment? Where am I at all? And who is still with me?

There are so many encounters and people shaping our life, we are not even aware of it all the time! And sometimes I have the feeling I should contact that person just to tell her what I connect with her and how she influenced my decision. But then it could be awkward when I get super excited and she looks like: I don’t know what you want from me. I haven’t talked to you in 6 years.

It is okay to be sad (and also a bit angry) at life and how it constantly changes the dynamics of our relationships and friendships. Because after all, most of the time we spend time with people we actually like and then when they are gone, it is sad. However, it is not the total desperate-sadness, but more this bitter-sweet feeling of a gesture, a smile, a shared love for a movie/book, comfort and being understood that we connect with that person and miss.

This is to bitter-sweet sadness, because it reminds us that we had some amazing experiences and people in our life and based on how they shaped us, we shape our friends around us now.

Thinking of 2014 there are quite a few people who have shaped this year. An unexpected friendship, a revived friendship and friends that have already been part of my life, but whose friendship has become even stronger. And I have to say: wohooo, I am a lucky girl. Okay, to state this beforehand: even though I have great people around me, no one actually told me what to do, where to apply to, where to live, where to work..! Not helpful! Just because I got lost in my master-plan of “here is how my life looks like in the next 10 years” does not mean that no one else has a back-up plan for me… However, despite this slight disappointment I can proudly say I don’t have that much capacity to deal with relationships – thus, I probably rather have 5 than 8 close friends. Apart from that, I am now comfortable to state that I know who to call at 1am if something happens and who would forgive me if I forget the birthday (or if I am 2 days too early…).

Apart from this ground-breaking insight this year has been…different. In a good and a bad way. It felt bad while I was trying to figure out what I want to do and where I want to go with life. And even more when trying to understand who I am at the moment and who I want to be. I know it sounds so cliché, but my mind and body pushed me this year to really, really question myself. Not that I actually chose this – it can be really distracting when trying to write a Master thesis. I guess it is good that it came to this stage..at the age of 26. But better later than never. And to be honest, I have the feeling that there are so many people running around their whole lives never getting to this point!
It feels better now that I have made some decisions for the next year. And even though I still don’t know what I will be doing or where I will be going with life, I know how my life should not look like. Trial and error – that is how I will live by.

Summary of 2014: Starting off in Fiji, travelling in the U.S., travelling to London (twice), some more travelling to Amsterdam. (I know this gets one-sided) Going nearly crazy over my Master thesis – the good news: I think I will finish it – somehow, some day. Growing strawberries on my balcony. Founding our little zoo with a bunny, a guinea pig, four hedgehogs and a dog (My parents definitely show their love for animals). Ed Sheeran concert!! Going more crazy about “I don’t know what to do next!” Deciding to do Work&Travel next. Crying over the song “Last Goodbye” from the last Hobbit movie. December.

So what comes next: I won’t even try to set up a list of resolutions for the new year, because it won’t work anyway. I will still drink alcohol and eat chocolate. And even if I write “lose weight” on this list, it never works – trust me!

Rather, I put on a list, a wish list of things I have always wanted to do, some “firsts” for me. So let’s start on a lower level concerning how realistic they might be.

Turning 27. (Oh god I am turning 27!) This is easy. I just have to sleep, eat and tatata..I am old.

Going back to New Zealand and doing a tour around the world.

Working for peaceful relationships in schools, families and the community

Getting a meet&greet with Peter Jackson. My plan involves a chocolate cake, those pointed ears of elves and me performing “Into the West” by Enya. (Yes, I think this is a very realistic goal!)

Going to Disneyland.

Getting a tattoo.

Cuddling a koala.

Watching Lord of the Rings 1-3 extended edition without falling asleep. It is not as easy as it sounds!

Singing either “Let it go” or “Defying Gravity” in a karaoke bar.

Sky diving (it is the closet to flying).

All in all, I have to say that I lived pretty close to what I felt like at the beginning of 2014. And I want to keep it that way. With all the laughter, happiness and adventures and all the loss and pain.

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Hope when you take that jump, you don’t feel the fall
Hope when the water rises, you build a wall
Hope when the crowd screams out they are screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs, you chose to stay

Hope that you fall in love and it hurts so bad
The only way you can know is give it all you have
And I hope that you don’t suffer, but take the pain
Hope when the moment comes, you’ll say

I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
And with every broken bone I swear I lived

Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up
And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup
I wish that I could witness all your joy and all your pain
But until my moment comes, I’ll say

I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
And with every broken bone I swear I lived

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