Recently, I’ve published an article about 10 facts about my life, you probably did not know. If you read it, you know, the struggle is real. Being able to live the life I’ve always wanted to live is a long way with a lot of ups and downs. So in this post, I will guide you through the 6 stages I’ve been through, while building up a life I don’t need a vacation from.
Long story short:
- When I was a kid I wanted to become an actress
- I did a little bit of acting as a teenager then (Movies, TV-ads, Cameos, nothing special.)
- Through that I discovered my interest for cameras, TV and Story-telling
- Internships in such followed and finally I started to study sports-journalism
- Soccer is really big in Europe so my University career was dominated by soccer as a sport and other mainstream sports like Ice Hockey and Basketball…
Here we go, how I built up a life, I don’t need a vacation from:
1. THE AWAKENING
While I was doing my degree in Sports-journalism I was working hard to become a good Journalist. I did several internships, never made any coffees but did a lot of extra shifts, I volunteered, no coffees still, but I did even more extra shifts until I eventually got recognized and hired. Sounds easy af, so far doesn’t it? But it wasn’t. The sports business is not an easy one. Especially not being a woman. It’s pretty male-dominated. But I never really cared much about the fact that there weren’t many other females. Actually, I quite enjoyed the male-dominated environment because it was less drama then elsewhere I had worked before.
What did get me thinking though was, that I wasn’t always being taken serious. And thinking about this more and more, actually made a lot of sense to me. I mean, I was reporting about soccer. A sport, I had never even actually tried out playing myself. I only knew the rules, because I was studying them in books. I was clearly missing some experience on the grass.
Plus, in my very little free time I was watching surf events, reading articles about surf-trips and interviews with surfers. In every semester break I would go surfing. Having a go at playing soccer wasn’t even something I thought about doing because I simply didn’t like the sport. I didn’t understand, how running after a leather ball, following strict rules with the only goal, to score a goal, made sense. And I couldn’t actually be bothered to find out.
And Booom, there it was. The awakening!
My life actually sucked!
The only thing I did like about soccer was the social aspect. Many people in Europe and the world followed it. So I liked watching it with friends and having conversations about it, but really, that was it.
While I was still a student I already had pretty good job opportunities and actual jobs that a lot of my fellow students would have died for. I was pretty satisfied and also –to be honest– a little proud of myself that I had already achieved what others were still working for. But that was it there.
I figured, it did not actually make me happy reporting about the sport itself, I guess it made me happy, that other people recognized me for doing a good job and also thought it was pretty cool that I was a girl whose interest was soccer. Even though it actually wasn’t. I mean, I had a little experience in acting 😉
But believe me, to really profoundly recognize this and most of all acknowledge and admit it to myself took me a year or two. But when I finally graduated from Uni, I knew this was not the job I would be doing for life.
2. THE DECISION
Realizing, I had worked my ass off for years, to do a job I actually didn’t want to do was terrible and pretty scary too. Luckily at the same time, I had also realized that surfing was, what I really wanted to put more effort into. And I knew I had a lot of work to do again If I wanted to do good which wasn’t a question. Of course I wanted to do good.
My new life plan was…
No plan. I just decided to first of all take a year off everything and go surf as much as possible to gain experience, get a little bit better at it and then see how I go, how much I still liked it and what I could come up with.
Before I was going to start though, I had a whole lot of awkward conversations to do. I had to talk to my bosses and somehow let them know that I didn’t want to do the job I was asking for for so long. I had to talk to my parents to let them know about my decision to walk away from some apparently „great“ job opportunities to find a job in the not at all well paid surfing industry to do what I love. Also I had to tell my colleagues and friends, who would probably think I’m out of my mind.
Do what you got to do!
First of all I talked to my parents. To avoid total disappointment I gift-wrapped my idea up and sold it as a „gap year“. It ended up in a big discussion but I was determined and my parents knew I had already made my decision. So all they could do was give me their good advice, let me go and support me on my way. And that is exactly what they did. I am so grateful to have such amazing and supportive parents. I am one very lucky child.
After that I talked to my boss who said he would have loved having me presenting the soccer news on screen… but when he saw me doing a report about surfing the other day, he knew my passion lay elsewhere. He said, he appreciated my honesty and if I ever wanted to come back, I was welcome.
Most of my colleagues didn’t actually bother about me leaving. Instead they took their chance to apply for my position.
My friends, well they kinda knew this would happen. Good friends, they just know I guess.
3. THE FIRST ATTEMPT
I had traveled and lived in different countries before. But somehow I knew, this one would be a life changing journey. I sold everything I had (pretty cliché huh?!, but I didn’t have many savings and my parents couldn’t financially support me) so this was the only way for me to get myself going.
I graduated at the age of 24 years and took off with a one way ticket to costa rica (where I had started surfing). I surf-traveled trough whole central America and Mexico, all the way up to California, flew over to the Maldives, travelled further to Indonesia and ended up in Australia for the last 3 months of my so-called „gap year“.
Gap year over, fun life over
At the end of it, I returned home. Oh well, I tried. I spent the winter months (3) with my family and friends, went snowboarding and finally decided to go back to Australia, find a good job and start a life there. After so much surfing and fun, I just didn’t really manage to reintegrate back home in Germany. Or maybe I just didn’t want to. I flew back to Western Australia, determined to find a job in the journalism field. I tried, but english is not my first language and therefore I had a hard time finding something. When I couldn’t find anything and ran out of money, I started doing random jobs. I worked at bars, farms, I cleaned houses and finally ended up working full time as a laborer for a carpentry services company.
Yes, I did construction work. I helped tiling, jack hammering, I helped building roofs, shoveling sand, painting, building in windows…I was working with heavy machines around a lot of guys. And I loved it. My boss was amazing and let me go surfing before work and when the waves were good I could take a day off. Amazing! But at the end of one year of traveling and one year of doing random jobs, I started missing my real job. The problem was, I could not find anything related to journalism in Australia, plus I ran out of visa. So at the end of the year, I had to return home again and this time it was for good.
4. THE RETURN
There I was. Back home for good. I was broke, lost and unhappy again because I felt like I hadn’t succeeded. I surely did improve my surfing, my english and made some sick experiences traveling and working etc. But job-wise I did not quite reach my goals.
I was back home, far away from any surf and had absolutely no idea what to do. Back with all my friends, who had proper jobs, boyfriends and some of them even kids, built houses and what not, with 26 I felt like I hadn’t reached anything in my life. It was a pretty ridiculous thing to think and obviously in reality I had just made the best experiences of my life and currently they were all just settling in. So was I. Back at that time I had no Idea, that the actual process of being successful started right there. At 0. At being lost. Because when you’re lost, is when you are the most productive digging for new opportunities (plus, I didn´t have much to loose, remember, I sold everything). I was just so clueless. But, necessity is the mother of invention.
The landlocked Life
At home, for a few weeks everybody admires you for being adventurous, everybody listens to the stories you have to tell and feels inspired by your braveness. But after that, people start asking questions about what you want to do with your future. They start telling you, that you can’t be traveling all your life and that you have to start saving money for when you get older, that you have to start a family and have kids at some point… So basically you turn from being the most respected and admired person to being an absolute bum that has nothing figured out about life, in around about 4 weeks. And that hurts!
As a result you then want nothing more than to immediately take off again. You feel lost, misunderstood and suddenly much less at home in your hometown, than anywhere else in the world. You want to go back to where people speak your language. Not Spanish, German, English or Indonesian, but the language in which others know what it means to experience, to discover, to sit in the water until the last ray of sunshine has given way to darkness, to do what your passionate about.
Continue reading “How I built up a life I don‘t need a vacation from” – 5. The Brainstorm
Pages: 1 2