Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Another Photo Therapy

I actually like driving to work in the mornings; it is like going on rails and I start thinking about life - past, present, future.

45 years gap
And this morning I wondered about two of my pictures which I had put into albums yesterday night. I chose them as cover for two individual albums and they accidentally got displayed next to each other in the overview. I was rather blown and instantly posted them in the next day's diary, yet kept thinking about them ever since. So, I guess I will have to post them again as I am reflecting the past 45 years which lie between them.

During the majority of that time I was floating along with the stream, only getting upset when I didn’t feel that I was fitting in. I was a little moaner, finding all sorts of excuses about why things didn't work out the way they were planned. My mum used to sometimes shout at me 'to just DO and to try harder, to practice, and to stop bickering' as all too often the excuses were brought on quite aggressively - a sign of helplessness and inadequacy, as I now know. Hence all measures were taken during that period, aiming to avoid those incidents. One was to mock myself before others could do it, the other was ‘doing things before even being asked', ‘making other people happy’ and 'having a plan A, B, C and D' for everything. My motto of 40 years: Be prepared for every occasion, don't trust other people's commitment, plan D always has to be: 'Do everything yourself'.

That means living other people's lives and opinions quite a lot. In order to anticipate and to take pre-emptive action one has to commit to others and ones own life will come last quite often as a result. The praise one gets, though, usually creates enough happiness to go further down that route. This way one becomes a master of compromise.

Unless one goes a bit too far, that is. I reached a point when my voluntary 'putting myself last' became taken for granted. All those activities that were meant to make me accepted, to belong, and to blend me into the group of people I had chosen wanting to belong to, backfired. Project Rika and initially Incredible Ladies started off to remedy that. Get the right clothes, get a little bit in shape: They would admire me for that, and as I would blend in nicely, they would accept me as peers, eventually.

Well, what can I say - As I moved on I lost interest in blending in. I found a new motto: If something is not working, one might want to try differently rather than harder. So the last five of those 45 years have become a quest for being different. For me 'belonging' is not an option anymore. That shows in my projects and that shows in how I organise things. I still plan well, but I allow space for things to go wrong once in a while. It needs trust in other people, trust in my skill to improvise, and trust in coincidence. Sometimes improvising brings great results and makes the outcome much more vibrant than a pre-planned route. Additionally I can achieve so much more with my time, now that I am not waisting it in creating plans which then get binned because everything went smoothly anyway.

Interestingly enough I get confirmation for my new lifestyle from all sorts of sources. One is Brene Brown who promotes imperfection as source of creativity, authenticity and joy. Now that I am not striving for 'belonging' anymore I seem to be getting it for free. On one last note I would like to quote a friend who is a good quarter of a century younger than me and received this wonderful headstart of thought from a friend of hers. She calls it a eureka moment:

You have to give luck a chance!

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