I was twelve years old when I first realised my calling was to be a pirate. That’s a really confusing realisation — at least it was in my case. I was a blonde girl with blue eyes and always happy — girls like me were not supposed to become pirates. My family made it quite clear to me that a modern pirate in modern culture is one of the worst things I could possibly become. They told me how bad pirates were, how brutal. They asked me if I really wanted to be one of these creatures. Of course, my answer had to be “no” — the little good girl inside me surrendered. At least that was what I was pretending in order to fit into my place in my family’s world. Inside, I knew that the meaning of being a pirate was so much bigger than my family could understand. So even though I started to believe them — that being a pirate is something bad — I kept escaping into the world of Captain Jack Sparrow and tried to figure out how I could create a “good” pirate’s life. My crush on Jack Sparrow was enormous.
When I think of my childhood, I realise that Captain Jack Sparrow wasn’t the first character who tried to tell me something. Even before that, I felt connected to Astrid Lindgren’s character Pippi Longstocking. Pippi is the Queen of her own world (and a pirate). I wanted to follow her lifestyle. At least until my mother intervened. One of those typical situations: I told my mother that I want to live like Pippi Longstocking. She asked me if I understood that being like Pippi Longstocking would mean that I wished my mother to be dead. That’s only logical, since in the story Pippi’s mother had passed away. I still remember how bad I felt, I never meant to harm or hurt my mother! So I shot this dream down. On the other hand, a part of me was certain that there had to be a way of living like Pippi Longstocking without having to hurt my mother or appearing to my family as too different.
Even though I tried to not be a pirate it didn’t work out as well as I wished. I always got in trouble with the systems of modern culture. I fought against my schoolteachers and against all the things that had to be a certain way, that I had to do because “that’s how things are”. I knew that there was something horribly wrong with all these concepts. Sometimes I was just about ready to give up. On those occasions it was my mother who told me: swimming upstream might be harder than going with the flow but if you keep doing it you will be able to truly be yourself. Those words had a huge impact on me. They gave me confidence. Probably more than my mother thought. I felt like nobody around me was really interested in the things I wanted, the things I loved or what I had to share with the world. What is more, I didn’t really understand the world. I felt so lonely, and I was seriously concerned about my mental health. I could do and see things other people couldn’t. Whenever I tried to ask someone about those things, I was told to forget about the fairy tales and focus on reality. There was so much confusion in my daily life. I didn’t understand why I had to do so many things I didn’t want to do. Or why such a large number of people around me just kept doing all the things they didn’t really want to do. What mattered was my education and how it could ensure my future would be safe. A plan of a linear life with a good job and hopefully almost no risks. Most of us live in this game.
When I realised that the reasons I felt so “wrong” all my life were all those expectations from others and my efforts to fit in with modern culture and that changing school university would not make a difference I got really sad. I cried for a few days, and after that sadness came joy about every new possibility. I don’t have to play a game I don’t want to play. Life doesn’t have to be the way my parents and grandparents showed me. The possibility of living as a pirate and a witch and a lover and so much more in just one life exists. Free of all the expectations other people and I put on myself. Free of all the self-condemnation.
I guess there are a hundred ways to exit this game. I personally found that I need to trust myself and accept that there is nobody who will live my life and make my choices for me. So here I am. Step by step I am waking up. And the most beautiful change is that I am not lonely anymore. There are witches and pirates around me, and they are all trying to figure out their ways. I have always been quite well-connected to myself and when I started to actually listen to this very deep and lovely part of myself, I started to grow and free myself. That is a wonderful first step. Listen to yourself and stop lying to yourself about the thousands of things you are supposedly “fine” with! That is where the fun part begins! It is to not live other people’s life — to instead live my own honest life with all the things I want to do. Only by doing that I will be able to serve this planet well. Radical honesty with yourself is a huge step in finding your true self. It might sometimes be hard but it’s worth it! I have learned things about myself I could have hardly even imagined before.
If you want to learn more about yourself and your motivations, I invite you to try the radical honesty self-experiment. It means to be absolutely honest with yourself in every situation. Enjoy!