June 19th, 2014. I woke up to a sunset in the clouds over Asia. I was on my way to Bangkok and onward to Phuket to become a Scuba Dive Instructor.
Just 4 days ago was my last work day in my agency I have been working with for more than 3 years. It was a bittersweet goodbye. I knew that I found great friends and I would terribly miss them. But I also knew it was time for me to break free.
It was 7 months earlier that I took a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam. It was life-changing even though there was not a special event that I can make out which would have made me aware of what I need to change. Besides of being incredibly sick in Siem Reap, getting robbed in Ho Chi Minh City and some other minor troubles on the road, this was a trip like many others. But it was the spirit to be free and roaming that made me ponder about my life.
The Bird in The Cage
I returned to Berlin, knowing that I have done everything but I just don’t quite ‘fit in’. I lived a nice life in Berlin. I liked my job, even though it was very demanding, I worked a lot of hours and the clients often got onto my nerves. I still liked it. My colleagues and bosses were cool until a new supervisor was hired for the project management team. She decided to bully me for more than 2 years. Fantastic. Over the years I slowly felt like one of the yellow birds in a cage, trying to fly high but hitting walls with every beat of my wings.
The cage grew tighter and smaller day by day and I felt more trapped the longer I lived a solid and secure life with a proper 9-5 (or 7-6) job, friends around me, a social care system – and no way for personal growth. This wasn’t my life.
I knew it, but somehow I tried to prove myself wrong. Why? For my peace of mind? For society’s peace of mind? For my parents’ peace of mind? Because it seemed easier that way? Only the universe knows.
To be honest, for a long time I have been told how one has to live life. We grow up in a society that tells you what not to wear, what to think, how to behave, to fit in and to walk with the crowds. But I just didn’t like the crowds. I didn’t like ‘fitting in’, didn’t like the way I was supposed to think and behave. I much rather just liked to be… me.
Outsider Gone Loud
I was always an outsider considering that I grew up with 2 chronic diseases that were invisible but highly impacting. I would act weird for people who didn’t know me or my story. Taking care of my diseases or trying to prevent them would make me look like a weirdo more than once. But I had to do what I needed to do to take care of me and my body.
I grew a solid “I don’t give a fuck about other people’s opinions” attitude that surely saved me from getting depressed, overthinking or too much people-pleasing.
Instead, I stood up for myself, even though I knew it meant trouble. I used my voice for others if they weren’t loud enough. I kept being weird, in my way and continued to not be shut down by louder voices.
Was it easy? No. Was it necessary? For damn sure.
What I learnt over all those years is, that really brave are those who dare to use their voices. Often people will try to talk you over, shut you down or tell you, no one would listen to you. It’s all bullshit. There will be always someone listening. Your voice is always worth to be heard and you should never shut up because you feel you are the only one to speak up.
We have the right to speak freely – we shall as well use it.
Now, what do I mean with Fuck society? Why am I saying such radical thing? It’s simple – you wouldn’t read this if I’d say “some of the society’s expectations and rules are bullshit” – so I tell you to not give a single Fuck instead.
There is no need to be told who you are and how you should be behaving. Want to wear socks with your sandals? Go for it! Want to dance like no one is watching when waiting for the bus? Hell Yes, Girl! Don’t want to have a family later but travel around instead? You do, what’s good for YOU!
Life is all about what you make out of it. It’s YOUR life after all. Why should we allow anyone else to judge us, tell us off or rule our minds and decisions?
MY INDEPENDENCE DAY
Today 3 years ago, I gave the last fuck I had left over on what society think I should do, left my home country for good, moved to Thailand and became a Scuba Dive Instructor. Since that day, I also worked and lived in Australia and travelled all over Latin America. I moved to Hanoi and worked and lived there. Did I have people telling me not to do so and what to do instead? Plenty! But without any fucks leftover to give on what anyone else thinks I should be doing, I only listened to my inner weirdo that told me what I really want to do. And I totally went all in for it!
And the best about it? I am happier than ever before.
One thing that I can highly recommend to anyone out there: Stop giving a fuck about society’s expectations and live by your own rules!
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