Inspired by an unpublished song of Michael Malarkey
Summer was slowly calling and I was yet prepared. To be honest…I couldn’t wait until it was finally summer. 2015 and New Year’s Eve were, emotionally, challenging. Pulling through lots of conflicts, the new year even felt like the end of the world, but as I’m just writing this entry, obviously, it wasn’t. I went through so many things in my past. So, I knew I had to deal with it. Anyway, my level of frustration was high enough to make a plan.
Instead of conforming to others and ignoring my needs, I promised to myself to never miss a chance to do what I desire again, and in the course of the time I started a design course, created this blog, subscribed for CIID Summer School and bought tickets for the gig of my favorite artist Michael Malarkey. I booked all my flights to Copenhagen, planned a trip to Iceland and started to support my sister’s startup project in my leisure time.
However I have been blocked and really dealing with procrastination these days. I just didn’t feel like training, I didn’t feel like designing, and I definitely didn’t feel like writing. There was such a flood of ideas and feelings inside, but I wasn’t able to put it down on a paper. I even postponed this article again and again. And so I did with my runs, my design projects, making music and so forth. I knew I had to take action and I was basically aware of what I was doing at that moment. Nevertheless, I was not able to stop procrastination. I was somehow paralyzed, uninspired and had no energy at all. It was somehow like in those dreams in which you try to run, but you can’t because your feet feel like lead and you can’t move or run away. And just identifying the problem or knowing strategies to face it, often isn’t enough to take action…
A little runaway.
But life taught me with patience and rewarded me for making plans – with the gig of Malarkey things have changed. It has to be said that this guy is incredibly gifted. With his deep voice and unique humor he’s able to calm down or excite a crowd of gaggling chicks within seconds. I was so happy to hear lots of his new songs, which gave me new inspiration to write again on my own. But it wasn’t only because of the songs, but also because of making memories together with my former partner. Our trip to Berlin including Malarkey’s concert was a flood of happiness. This intimate kind of music is a cure and definitely makes you think about the meaning of life.
Even though we always say “don’t run away from your problems”, sometimes changing your usual environment and leaving things behind is just the right method to find new inspiration. It can bring back this little piece of motivation which is neccessary in order to go on with your old life, to get new ideas or a new point of view, and to know what is right for you as a next step. Funnily for most of the attendees the next step was clear: Run and get an autograph of the musician as fast as possible…
Of memories, surprises and a neglected promise.
Though I would have liked to connect or shortly chat, my body was somehow pushing this idea off. Somehow I never was the type of person who freaks out because of meeting celebrities or discussing the latest gossip about them. Maybe my former sport friends shaped this attitude. I think I’ve just seen too many celebrated Olympic & World Champions drunken, bleary-eyed, cheating, farting, lovelorn or procrastinating. And maybe it’s because I know the downsides of success too well from my own sports career. Although I was so thankful for all of my supporters in the past, it was often really exhausting, sometimes even frustrating because most of them didn’t see me as a normal person with normal flaws and needs. So, I never saw any value in being a groupie. And so, it felt wrong to wait in this sweaty crowd just to shake someones hand once and go home afterwards, just to show off or post a stupid picture on Instagram.
Well,…it seemed like my former partner knew me a bit better. He knew that I would really like to get in touch, but that I would never put myself in this huge group of screaming fans. He knew, I would rather prefer to die or run an ultramarathon without preparation (what is basically the same), so he came up with a devilish plan. When I went to the bathroom, he used these few minutes to look for Malarkey and convice him to come over for a chat and of course he agreed. I didnt know, and when I came back to make plans about where to go next, suddenly Malarkey appeared casually to say ‘Hi’. I can’t really remember what happened then or what was said – I was just so overwhelmed, excited and thankful. Although I promised to myself to never miss a chance of doing what I desire, it was my ex partner preventing me from missing this incredible moment.
The concert was one thing, but it happens again and again: We miss important moments like we change clothes. Mostly we don’t even notice them.
Friends move away to other places and we can’t wait to leave our own homes just to notice afterwards that we have missed to enjoy that last moment before leaving. Colleagues quit, we haven’t used the time with them and suddenly they are gone. Our children grow up and we miss to enjoy those last little moments like reading the good night fairytale for the last time.
We not only have to get familiar with it, we even get too familiar with it. Suddenly we recognize that we have missed to enjoy and emphasize certain moments or find answers to our questions when we still had time for it. We notice that we still have so many open questions and so many things to do, because we haven’t been aware of the situation or that the world keeps on turning around. Instead of taking action we procrastinate, because we take certain things for granted and repeatable, just to note afterwards that it was just this one simple moment and we missed it.
Selfies, selfies, selfies.
We had this weird experience on our spring holiday in France. We visited Monte Carlo and what we saw was so impressing. Of course we wanted to take pictures but we didn’t, because it was so impressive to see it through our own eyes. But what happend next to us? Everyone stood there – with the back toward the scenery – taking selfies. Taking selfies and discussing their appearance on the selfies for around 15 minutes. During these 15 minutes nobody turned around to see the scenery on their own, not even once.
In the end, everything they had was a stupid selfie in front of a scenery which they have never really seen. So, this day we decided not to take a single picture, but to sit down for around one hour, watching people taking selfies, laughing, enjoying the beautiful scenery of Monte Carlo and making memories. All these people were missing moments and failed at making memories. And I’m pretty sure that they don’t even know it.
The little silver can of pain.
But what’s the message? Simply to live in the moment and that’s it? Definitely not – at least not in my opinion. Missed moments are nothing we can avoid. Yes, we can follow current trends and learn to become more mindful, as we can drill us to pay more attention to our senses, our environment, our fellows. But if we do so, wouldn’t it take away our mindlessness? Instead of becoming more mindful, we loose our mind by adding one more factor to take care of on an already long list of other responsibilities and behaviours that are expected of us.
I think we can’t always avoid pain or negative feelings, though we try to. We can’t control how things develope. We can not predict the future and we will never know in advance what we could regret until we experience it. We need to accept these things and we moreover need to know that it is ok to live out of acceptance. That little can of pain is a part of being alive. Among a long list of negative experiences – regrets, sadness, anger or embarassement are part of the game. Don’t fight it. Accept it. It’s crucial for us to grow, to develope and to become creative. They put us out of our comfort zones and show us that things can be different than we want them to be.
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