life – a work in progress.
I can’t even remember the times I wasn’t writing. Writing has always been my way of expressing my feelings, of getting thoughts out of my head I was too scared to say out loud. I’ve come a long way since those days. Today you will never find me holding back or apologising for who I am. I will always speak my mind. But that didn’t just happen, it was a work in progress. A work in progress which I refer to as life.
Life is a pretty darn strange thing, don’t you think? Two people, usually referred to as mum and dad, decide to put you into the world. You get to grow up. You start kindergarten, then primary school and suddenly you find yourself in secondary school, ready to graduate. It feels like only months have passed since you met your best friend on your first day in kindergarten and now friends have come and gone. Maybe the best friend from you first day of kindergarten isn’t more than a casual acquaintance now. Suddenly you find yourself standing on that stage in front of your family, receiving your graduation certificate. You might think: “That’s it. I’ve finished school. Now let life begin.” How it works? You have no freaking clue and suddenly you feel the fear creeping in. Now you are supposed to leave the warm and kind surrounding of your family home and go of to university or start an apprenticeship. You are meant to start a life and everything that comes with it. I mean, I probably knew a lot of things. A lot of things I would never need again like knowing every German chancellor and their time in office by heart or calculating matrices, just random stuff. But what I certainly didn’t know was what I wanted in life. Now I know that’s perfectly alright. There is no need to rush things. You don’t have to have an answer all set. There were a lot of things in life I was afraid of, things I never, in a million years wanted to have to do — including talking to insurances on the phone. I mean, oh don’t even start — but one thing that intimidated me the most was growing up. Not because I was afraid of getting older but because I had the feeling I didn’t know how to. In hindsight, the freak-out wasn’t worth it but certainly needed and I’m sure I wasn’t or aren’t alone in feeling scared and helpless.
Do you remember being like 13 years old and admiring all those “grown-up” people in their twenties, having their sh*t together? Admiring them because you thought being a grown-up only consisted of living life to the fullest and being free from all the rules and obligations you had whilst your parents were your guardians. When you suddenly find yourself being 21 and counting, you slowly but surely start to realise that the obligations you had up until now, are nothing compared to everything that was ahead of you. And suddenly you learn to appreciate your parents and all those other people, even more for pretty much living your life for you until you have to call the doctors yourself to make a simple appointment for having your blood taken. Considering all of the above, I really miss the arguments I had with my mum, if I really should be having another slice of pizza. I can reassure you — you’ll be perfectly fine.
After I finished school back in 2014 I had absolutely no idea what to do with my life, how to go on. 13 years of having people figuring your life out for you, telling you when to be at school and when to leave again. Calling the dentist to make an appointment for your annual check-up. But suddenly you get thrown out there without a clue how to even make yourself a sandwich. (Disclaimer: I might be exaggerating here.)
I’ve never been good at procrastinating. If something had to be done, I would have done it within seconds. A “A stitch in time saves nine”-kind-of-person, you know. I just don’t get the point of procrastination. Well, anyways. When it came to deciding what to do after I graduated, I was the absolute worst. Looking back , I was just being stupid for being scared and being small-minded. I remember my dad had to pretty much force me to even think about my future. So I was at a point in life where I gathered a bit of experience. I did 5 years of english theatre at my school, was part of many musical productions since first grade and I’ve been part of youth choir for a few years. So to me it seemed like I had my future sorted. To me it was clear I would pursue a career in acting or performing arts. But considering my life only 5 years from that moment, I already knew I wouldn’t be happy. Sometimes you have the feeling, you are supposed to do something because that’s what you’ve been doing with your life for the passed couple of years or that’s what people been telling you all along — for me that was theatre. Don’t get me wrong. I freaking loved acting and everything that came with it, I still very much do but I knew theatre wouldn’t be the one for me in the long run. Now you might say, how could I have possibly known without even trying. Of course I could have done that. I could have tried everything that was out there. If you feel like doing so, go and for the love of god do it. There is no better time to discover yourself and try everything than now. But I’m just not that person. I wanted to start something, where I knew for a fact I would finish it and what would bring me the happiness I was looking for. I just didn’t know what that was yet. When I look back in 10 years time I want to be able to say that I chose my life and not just settle for what it was already.
It took me a trip to London and a whole lot of time to myself to realise, in which direction I wanted my future to go. And that’s where my journey began. I closed the chapter of my teenage years and opened the one of my life as an adult (well, not really but I’m getting there). Since that day back in 2014 when I stepped on that plane to London on my own, for the very first time in my life, I opened and closed a whole bunch of chapters. There have been sad one’s, good one’s, one’s that were disappointing, one’s that were filled with laughter and happiness. I never regret any second. Regret just doesn’t get you anywhere. They all taught me a valuable lesson — you can do anything if you are your greatest supporter.
Originally published at franzischapters.wordpress.com on September 1, 2016.