This is going to be a very personal blog post.
I love to write, so let´s share some thoughts going through my head as I turned 41 today.
41! 41? Really 41?
That´s quite a bunch of years, which formed me to who I am today, in where so many beautiful and weird, good and bad things happened, in which I made so many experiences, met so many people and where I sometimes took the wrong way but most of the times, the right.
I always laugh when people don´t believe that I am already 40, or as from today 41 (I do see that I am this old 😉 ). It has just been 3 or 4 weeks when a friend of mine grabbed me to have sushi with some people, I didn´t know before, being in their early thirties. They wanted me to show my ID 😀 . It was one of these unplanned evenings, which turned out to be fantastic. We were a great bunch of people and had so much fun together, so in the end, age doesn´t matter at all, when you are with people who have the same sence of humor, right? Like Mark Twain already said „Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don´t mind, it doesn´t matter.“
Sometimes people tell me, that I don´t act like 40. Well, how are you supposed to act, once you reached the magic 40? Is there a definition for acting or behavior when you reached that age?
I dont´t really care how old I am as long as I can be who I am. I always have a lot of fun, like being silly and funny and I laugh a lot. I have to admit, sometimes I do it to loud, but I can not control it. It was, is and will be always me and I can not change it. Teachers in school tried it, some of my bosses tried it, well, they gave up on me 😉 . I don´t care about people anymore, who don´t like it, or who are embarrassed about it. Not everybody has to like me, the right ones do. Only a few people really understand who I am and what I love. And of course, I am not just funny…
Turning 40 was an issue for me, but today, turning 41 feels different. It feels really good. I am a very happy person even though my life is really filled to the end and there is always a lack of time. Years are just flying but I really do think, that life is getting better with every single year. I never allow someone´s negative opinion affect how I live my life. I still make mistakes, I still learn about myself but with every year I get more mature, wiser, learning from the experiences I made, I am getting calmer even though I am still far away from calm 😉 . It´s beautiful to have stories to tell, memories to share and to have scars….
My last years, especially the last one changed my views on life. Being a very positive person doesn´t mean that there is nothing negative in my life. There are ups and downs like in everybody else´s life, but all the downs in my life make me stronger. I am very sure, that everything what happens, happens for a reason. And from all the negative stuff, I always take something positive out of it.
While I started the new year in Colombia, where I had a wonderful time and met some amazing people, my world changed on the day I came back home. Something really sad happened within my family. My uncle, who was single and lived by himself, had a stroke while being at home. After his friends tried to get in contact with him for several days, they were sure, that something must had happened and called the police. They found him in his bed, almost dead. He struggled with life for two weeks and woke up in the end, 100% handicapped. The only thing he is able to do is moving his left arm and the only thing he can say is „No“. Isn´t that horrible? So he had to be moved into a nursing home and since he doesn´t have a family of his own, I took care of things which had to be done. Lots of paperwork and dissolving his apartment. Being a single myself, living by myself a lot of scary thoughts went through my mind, while I cleared his place. It´s also a very strange feeling to clear a place which is not your home, it´s not like your parents home, it was my uncle´s home. I really did´t want to do it, but there was no option. While clearing I found some of his paintings; he was a very good draftsman. One picture was really cute, showing himself with a small girl next to him (the granddaughter of one of his friends). I framed it and gave it to him as a birthday gift. The moment he unwrapped it really broke my heart. He recognized the painting and cried out so loud, it was so full of pain, coming right from his heart. You can not imagine how heartbreaking it was; I felt so useless, so powerless, so helpless. He is still alive, but is it a livable life? Not being able to do anything by himself, not being able to communicate. It´s more than sad.
Being involved in things like that, and for me it wasn´t the first time, because my dad also had a stroke, are life changing experiences. There are some quotes which are always on my mind now:
„The best things in life aren´t things“ – „Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.“
„Do what you love and do it often.“
It is important for me to enjoy life, live dreams, be silly, laugh, smile, cry, love, be happy, be honest, be myself; nobody knows how long life will last.
I still had a very nice year. I finally finished my website which was on my mind for over three years. I made a dream come true, traveled to Cambodia and finally saw the temples of Angkor Wat, which were amazing. Cambodia also changed my views, my thoughts. People in Cambodia suffered a lot but they are happy. It is something about buddhism and about forgiveness. It gave me a lot of food for thoughts. Good things happened unexpectedly. After I had been renting my beautiful apartment for 4 years I can now call it my real home, my beautiful own home. It makes me so happy because I really, really love it and it feels different at home now, it gives me satisfaction.
I met amazing people, I made new friends, I had wonderful brides and grooms. We had a fantastic summer and when I will think of summer 2015 there will be always wine and a lot of laughter together with friends on my mind 😀 . Lying in the grass and counting falling stars was one of these magic nights. There was one huge star, which was so close, that we thought it would fall right on us, one of these moments I will never forget. I, of course, also made a lot of mistakes. I do regret few things I did and chances I have not taken, I am sorry for some things I said and things I have never said, when I should. I am very emotional and impulsive, very outright and direct, that´s what I have to work at. I want to become less impulsive, less emotional. Think more, say less, since my mouth is sometimes faster than my mind. I want to listen to my heart even more. Decisions I have made coming from my mind sometimes feel wrong. I am learning not to rush things that need time to grow. I am very impatient, but I am learning, I´m getting better..I hope . What I definitely learned this year is, that you can not take people who shared all of your life together for granted 🙁 .
I also had a lot of funny moments (like every year 😉 ). The funniest thing happened at a wedding in Bavaria. I saw a flock of sheep on a pasture and I wanted to take photos with my bride and groom and the sheep. To make a long story short, at the end all the sheep escaped, they jumped over the fence, which wasn´t under power anymore because I turned it off, with their little bells ringing, showing us their buts. I almost died of laughing 😀 . Fortunately the shepherd could catch the escaped sheep. With lots and lots of food he could attract them the other day. 😀
A lot more happened but it would just be a never-ending writing 😉 .
I don´t know if it´s a photographer thing, but I love to watch people on the street. Have you realized, that almost nobody smiles when walking down the street? Just a couple of weeks ago I started to smile at people coming towards me on my way to the underground. When we meet, I look and smile at that person and really, almost everybody smiles back. I always look back and that´s the most fun thing because the people also turn around and look at me, probably wondering, why I smiled at them, smiling again. Try it, it´s so much fun, I love it.
I am really looking forward to the future, to meet new people, to new magic moments, to make new experiences, to new adventures which are waiting, to many countries I want to discover, to all the new surprises but for now, let´s see what my upcoming new year being 41 will bring up 😉 .
Life is full of beauty, life is challenging, life is sad sometimes, life is full of special moments, life can be unfair, life is full of chances, life is a big adventure, life is so beautiful and in the end, life is, what you make of it.