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Yes, life has still not turned out the way that I thought
The Muse Letter No. 124
I wonder if it ever will. If this timeline that I have inherited, that is surrounding me, the blueprint in my mind, if I’ll ever be able to hit it or if more likely I will keep on drawing over the lines like a toddler with crayons.
When I was 18 or 19, I thought of my life in these terms: I will graduate from high school, study in the appropriate time (3 years for a bachelor's degree, 2 years for a master's degree), and then I will work as something, in a somewhere, for a someone.
I would conform to the regular way of living, take on an internship, be an intern for a while, get a proper job, and then also have a boyfriend along those lines, which would eventually lead to marriage and children, being with someone in a somewhere, live some life.
Well, and this is of course not at all what happened.
I studied for 9 years, pro-longed my student life as much as I could, did odd jobs to sustain that, moved around every year in my early twenties, lived abroad twice in Austria and Hungary, then stayed put in Berlin, and then moved abroad again because nothing was quite right.
Because for some reason life just felt better doing it that way. I loved the student life of long summers, two months of traveling, couchsurfing, hitchhiking, and occasionally reading and writing some papers and waking up late, going to a seminar, or a lecture. Independent and self-sufficient. Thinking, thinking, thinking so much about the world and oneself in it.
I never wanted to trade that and in many ways I guess I haven’t.
I’m so far away from any determined timeline I ever thought of, any plan that I have ever made: why am I living in Scotland now?
My 20-year-old me would be surprised.
I am currently reading’s memoir Arrangements in Blue, where she writes about her own unconventional life and her connection with the musician and artist Joni Mitchell. Her music has been filling my days as of late.
I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all
(from Both Sides Now, Joni Mitchell)
Apparently, I don’t do things how people usually tend to do them. Apparently, I don’t make decisions how people usually tend to make them: thinking ahead, weighing options, with a deep need for security. Which I guess I could have known already when I decided to live in Thailand as a 16-year-old. But somehow, it never occurred to me, that because I am a certain way, my life would, in consequence, look quite similar to that.
For a long time, it was so hard for me to let go of the preconceived ideas about how life should work out for me. How I was told. How I would be able to know whether it was a success, or how I’d know that I’m sufficiently happy: that I had made it.
Key writes “this assigning of importance to one’s own journey through life, is a kind of love.”
Now that the crayons have drawn over the lines so many times, they seem to finally have disappeared completely. It feels like freedom. It feels like me.
Now, I like to think that life does not only happen to you while you’re busy making other plans, but also the life you’re actually meant to live will transpire. It will come through. You will make decisions that reflect who you really are. And that will likely not fit with the perceptions and ideas of other people. At its core, it is your uniqueness, that wants to be celebrated. Your very own marvelous interesting life.
Life is like that.
Like standing in front of a wall and you’re starting to draw.
If you follow the lines, you’ll end up with an image that will look pretty but perhaps isn’t really you.
You need to be brave to create something magnificent.
Something true to you.
"Things I Have Loved" the second book of the poetic memoir trilogy
If "Things I Have Noticed" was about growing up and finding yourself "Things I Have Loved" is about the things that were gained/missed/lost along the way.
Told through objects Hembeck has loved, she is weaving a narrative that examines the themes of love, longing and self-worth.
By diving deep into memories of her own life, pop-culture and (lost) objects she is getting to the core of how we love and why.
Fancy decorating your room for spring?
I just released six riso art prints in my shop. Have a look!
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