Crazy Cat Lady or What Am I Doing With My Life?

Everyone has a picture of how they see themselves at a certain stage of their lives. Sometimes of course those pictures change – although I don‘t see how anyone ever stops wanting to be a Disney Princess! – and some pictures stay with us. For a really long time I wanted to be a teacher. Then I fell in love with Orlando Bloom when I started being a teenager, and I wanted to become an actress. When I finished Secondary School I settled for writing. When we think ahead we always see ourselves somewhere ideal. Maybe with a family in a big house or living somewhere abroad hunting kangaroohs or doing surgery on people‘s hearts. But getting there can be quite a scary process. Once you finish school there‘s always the big question of What Now? Becoming a teacher really seems quite straight forward, but do you really want to go to uni straight away? Wouldn‘t it be good to go on the safari you‘ve always dreamed of? Shouldn‘t you go on a couple of dates before you start working for good? Isn‘t there a way of figuring out who you really are? Days of lying around on your bedroom floor, just trying to figure out what you want out of life right this moment, listening to one song over and over again while flipping through the pages of a travel magazine…
But really, we stress ourselves way too much over these things. Dreams don‘t go up in flames if you put them on hold – whoever said that you had to be a human rights lawyer before you‘re twenty-seven? The world holds an infinite number of possibilities and we are able to do whatever we want to.

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To me the only thing that really matters is me being happy. I love writing and maybe some day I‘ll do it for a living. And maybe the plays I write are the only things that will ever be published. But what‘s important is that we don‘t define our happiness over the pictures in our heads. Pictures can change and sometimes they do for the better.
When I think way ahead I always imagine myself as a crazy old cat lady. It‘s not very ambitious but it seems peaceful and kittens are cuddly. I‘d drink tea all day long and I‘d knit funny socks for my grand children and I‘d rewatch Doctor Who.
I know life probably isn‘t going to be like that in seventy years (being optimistic here), but we need this picture inside us to get by. Maybe you‘re lying around moping right now, but as long as you have some idea of where you want to get you‘re not going to be stuck forever.

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I'm just gonnahave a bunch of 'em
I’m just gonna have a bunch of ’em

You may not have the potential to change the entire world, to bring world peace or to find cancer treatment – but you have the potential to live your life and to go where you want to. You may not get there tomorrow, but you‘ll get there eventually and life will make a little more sense!

Day 178 — Thoughts About Leaving

A hundert and seventy-eight days ago I was sitting in a similar spot at the airport in LA, thinking to myself, „What on earth am I doing here?!“ Honduras was such a foreign concept, and now that it was getting real and close and scary I doubted I would ever get to like it. My mind was set on the stereo type I had of the Latinos, greasy womanizers that valued their nails more than character, unfaithful bastards, never on time, liars… not all of them, obviously, but, like, generally speaking. Why didn‘t I just go to the UK where everyone looked like Harry Potter or David Tennant and spoke with a pretty british accent?
Needless to say that stereo types are rarely what you encounter upon visiting a new country.

Last group picture
Last group picture

I was so sure those six months would trickle by in painful slow motion, and now I am sitting here, a hundert and seventy-eight days later, wondering where all these days have gone! Has it really been so long? I don‘t even know what to feel. It‘s a little bit like breaking up with somebody while you still love them. I think my heart is a little bit broken by it. But I‘m on my way to New Zealand and I know that this is a good thing, because five years ago I felt the same way about leaving from there. Six months ago I would have preferred travelling there rather than to Honduras. And now it‘s just all very confusing because I‘m not so sure where I belong any more. They say that home lies where the heart is. I left my heart in Switzerland, that‘s why in the end I had my doubts about leaving. Then I started working in Chiminike and my heart was sold. All I ever want is to belong and as soon as I do I don‘t want to leave any more, but I belong in so many places, where will I ever stay?

Working in Chiminike has truly been a blessing
Working in Chiminike has truly been a blessing

Physically speaking my heart is always in my chest. So, maybe, the trick is to see things not too metaphorically and much more the way they actually are. My heart is where I am, it is keeping me alive and therefore, I will always be able to feel at home. Maybe that‘s the real problem about leaving. I always feel comfortable very fast and I‘m worried the last place might lose the meaning it once had to me. There is a quote that says:

„You get a strange feeling when you‘re about to leave a place. Like you‘ll not only miss the people you love but you‘ll miss the person you are now at this time and place because you‘ll never be this way again.“

Saying good-bye to Roberto & Vicky
Saying good-bye to Roberto & Vicky
With Lesby at Pulhapanzak
With Lesby at Pulhapanzak

So many feelings. I feel sad because I‘m losing a life, I feel blessed to have met those people, I feel a little excited about seeing old friends again, I feel scared and lonely and okay and very much not okay… I want to frame those memories, Roberto in his jammies at the airport at six in the morning, the children that came to the museum, the day we went to Pulhapanzak and the others drew stuff on my face because I was hungover and fast asleep, the parties at Jorge‘s house, all the dancing or, as I like to call it, the sex on the dance floor (!)… Did I hug everybody as much and as often as I could? Soon I‘ll be sitting in front of a camara and wishing I‘d have one last hug left… and another one after that. But that‘s the wonderful thing about having a heart that beats. We can always find love. It doesn‘t mean that what we once loved doesn‘t matter any more or that we don‘t love it any longer; it‘s just that our lives are always and constantly in motion. Life always goes onwards whether we allow it to or not. Clinging on to the past doesn‘t mean we stay there. It simply means we don‘t enjoy the adventures life has to offer.DSC06244

Well, this blog entry has turned out to be different from what I expected it to be, but that‘s alright. I‘m going to be fine in a day or two, but just for now I think it‘s okay not to be. I‘ve just watched an inspiring video-blog by Carrie Hope Fletcher on that matter that completely supports my point (watch the video here).

Here is what I know: I will always return. No matter how much time passes and where I end up being, I will always go back to the places I love. As long as there‘s people worth returning to, I will always do so.