.While She strolled Down the Path looking for Flowers.

“Does this all make sense,” I asked myself the other day. Why are certain things in life so complicated and take so much time? Is it a “patience-test”? I cannot say I have always done the most sensible thing, made the safest choices or kept quiet until I was sure of what I had to say. However, usually, I am very German when it comes to those things. I prefer Pro and Con lists and to write things down, mentally or on paper, before I speak them out loud. I am the unwitting architect of my life and these days I build it like a swaddle, some sort of blanket wound firmly around the decisions I have made. A perfect mold for the person I thought I would always be. For myself and my son. I build this protection to hold me still, to keep my feet planted exactly where I am. I build it to weather change, to withstand all the external uncertainties that might seep through and drown my sense of stability and certainty.

I am strong. I got this. That is why I never expected a leak to come from the inside. It caught me by surprise. Suddenly, the other day, I found myself underwater. Thrown in a new situation where things seem more complicated than I anticipated and expected. Everything that seemed nice and colorful now looks blurry, like if I am missing something even though I haven’t lost anything. Like I need something even though I have everything I need like no one “gets” me even though I am surrounded by people who know me. A lot has changed recently and I have to adjust and so does my son. Things go smoothly but the next day they don’t. I feel I am different and new pieces of the puzzle have started to crystallize. I am also reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Not an easy read I have to admit but mindblowing.

I have also experienced this frustration that certain people do not listen to what I have to say, do not want to understand and make things very complicated. They don’t ask the questions necessary and won’t help me in a seemingly never-ending process. It occurred to me that I was the one who had fanned out the clues to a new self, only to hold them against my chest again like a cryptic deck of cards. I have this urgency to put words to it all here but it is all stuck like a lozenge in my throat even though I desperately need air to breathe.

I guess we repeat stories about ourselves to make sense of our wolds. The stories I have told myself so far is, that I am a good person. I do the right things for my son and I. I do take risks (a pretty high risk moving to Vienna), I am a good daughter, an uncomplicated girlfriend, I am overall a happy person but these days the shape of my future is not obvious and not in my hand. And I hate this. I sound strangely discordant now, as if out of tune with my current self. I want to feel understood. I want decisions to be made. I want security and safety in my life but I have built this new situation (or fort) to hold me still. And my son. To face what will happen next. And to give him security; the security he needs.

My mind clamours to dismiss the suspicion. We most likely won’t have health insurance by the end of the month which is a scary thought or is it nothing more than a passing whiff of the classic late-thirty identity crisis trope? However, it is not just about me alone anymore. There is this little guy who keeps following me around for the past six years. There are days when I duck my head and cover my ears and wait for it to blow over so I can wrap myself back inside the life that used to fit me so comfortably. That would certainly be easier, but my body slowly knows the truth, pricking tears into the corner of my eyes whenever another curveball hits me. Some days I spike with adrenaline every time I probe a little further while vibrating with an unbearable hunger to have someone hold my deck of cards in their hands and nod, gently, in recognition. Someone who takes this ship safely to the next harbor.

I always keep things together while asking myself how sometimes. I built this new life for us to keep my feet planted exactly where I am. My new fort is solid, holds me still and makes this new life seem strong even though there are tiny cracks in the wall. And yet, as uncertain and confusing as it all seems, as disorienting as it feels, a curious thrill pulses in my chest. With a thud, it tells me I cannot unknow what I know now. I cannot change people and how they act. But I can give myself permission to chase growth and stability. “Everything will be fine”, I told my son while we strolled down the path looking for flowers.

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