my sunday cup of coffee diary thinking and reflecting
Personal Essays & Opinions

Ten years in fifteen minutes

This post is a result of a challenge. Felix wanted to go for a really quick walk around our neighborhood and I wanted to write something for my blog. He said this might take quite some time and then we will end up doing nothing together today. Since we could not compromise – an action that I have mentioned to be quite important when living with someone – he challenged me to have a post ready in fifteen minutes. This is the exact time he claims that he will spend on his walk.

When working under such a time pressure, the main question that appears for a wanna-be writer is: what should I write about? I have fifteen minutes to write and edit and furthermore, I need to come up with something worthwhile writing and reading about.

So, I thought of the brunch talk that Felix and I had. I have not been feeling well for a few days now, so today I slept quite a lot in an attempt to send all of my sorrows and worries in the land of the forgotten dreams. Felix – being caring as he always is – wished me “good morning”  (more like, good afternoon) with apple and sour cherry strudel – food that I have been craving for a few days now. Do not ask me how or why – I am clueless myself. The last time when I craved this food was – never.

We ate and kept quiet for a while. There are these days when the silence tells so much more than words like “how was your day” or “what did you do at work”. Then, out of no where he said: “I have no idea what to do”. I asked him if he meant for today or in general. Both, he answered. I took a deep breath and I told him – neither do I, Felix.

The silence filled the air once again. We heard the washing machine in the background and the arrow on our new clock that counts the passing seconds. Felix disturbed this balance with his words once again. He said: “I need a plan and I need to write it down”.

I found this statement quite interesting, maybe even a little bit funny, since I cannot remember when was the last time any of my plans went as expected. I told him: “you know, I had that plan since I was 18. And I did not need to write it down. I wanted it so much to come true that I woke up and went to bed each day thinking of it. If that plan – or rather, dream – was not there – I would have left Germany years and years ago. And now, in some ways, it is gone. I let it go. And now, I no longer know what to do or where I will end.”

He knew exactly what I was talking about, although I am not quite sure I am ready to share it all publicly. I am just having now these fifteen minutes to reflect on our conversations and ask myself: where do I want to end? Where do you want to end? What do you want to do, where do you want to go? Did your life turn out the way you planned it when you were 18?

Naturally, life is taking a changing course as we grow and if this did not happen, can we really say we grew? It is quite rare for people to stay at the same place – physically, mentally and emotionally for seven or ten years; but, if we do – do we grow into experts in our field, or do we stagnate as human beings altogether?

I can barely remember how my mind was when I was 18. I know I had big dreams, I knew I wanted to become a Physicist and for this, I needed to leave Macedonia. In many ways, this has not changed. But, as the years passed by, I learned that maybe my idea of how research in Physics looks like is quite different than how it actually looks like.

I notice people my age all around me being perplexed: not only in the field of Physics, but everywhere. On the one hand, millennials bridged the gap of a world without technology to a world fully dependent on one. They left the World with closed borders and entered a globalized one that gives the promise you can go anywhere and do anything. Yet, all of these chances seem to paralyze many of us. Confronted by the infinite number of scenarios, we end up staring in the mirror and realizing we are just confused. We end up asking ourselves: why is everyone doing so well, but I cannot seem to figure out my life?

Social media makes it even worse. We try to portray a picture-perfect life, so that we quieten our demons by feeding the other people’s insecurities. However, others do the same, so it is now 8:00 in the morning and we are all in front of that mirror having that internal fight. It takes a lot of mental strength and lots of self-analyzing thoughts to realize rationally whether where you are is a good or a bad place.

I do not think I yet have the answer where I will be ten years from now. I thought that roughly ten years ago and look how that turned out. It is not that I am unsatisfied with where I am per se – quite the contrary – but I am in a different place than where I thought I would be. Sometimes, I have to repeat to myself that letting go of my idea how my life should have looked like and embracing the altered form of my current life, is maybe the best thing I can do for myself today. So, try that. Breath. Everything will be fine in the end.

Or, at least, this is the cliche sentence I have to come up with so that I wrap up this post. My fifteen minutes are… over.

One Comment

  • Michele

    Nice one Ivona. I also had a dream – do research in physics – now my dream is doing what I enjoy more. Of course “what I enjoy more” can change over time, so I can stick to my decision trying to achieve what I think is better for me 🙂

    Best wishes

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