Theme: The End.
For hours now I have been sitting in front of my computer and trying to figure out a good story about this month’s theme: The End. And I have to admit nothing comes to my mind, or at least nothing I am ready yet to share. Subconsciously, I might have known all along that this theme, for me, is all about one experience.
Alright, maybe some other things do come to mind about how at some point in my life things ended. For example, I just quit my job last week and it was bittersweet to leave the German Bundestag to start working at a startup company. I will miss people I have worked with for years. My time in politics has had its ups and downs, but in the end I do love what I was doing. Some of the people I worked with became friends, or at least interesting but temporary companions of mine whose influence I cherish. My working environment has shaped the way I think and taught me lots of new things. But I do not feel like it is really an ending because the new job will be challenging and I am really looking forward to it. There is a German saying: “Wenn eine Tür zu fällt, öffnet sich eine andere”. Literally translated, it means: “When one door shuts, another opens”. And that is how I feel most of the times in my life. Though, maybe not always right at that moment.
Interestingly, the quote goes on: “The tragic thing is, we always tend to concentrate on the door shut instead of focusing on the one that opened”. I have fallen in love and I fell out of love, and then again I fell in love. I had to leave my childhood behind me, but luckily (or sometimes not) the moment I see my parents and siblings I feel like I am 16 again. I have moved into new homes several times, but almost always the next home felt like a better fitting place. I have changed jobs before, and those new experiences have shaped my personality and helped me grow. I have lost contact with people whom I have considered close friends, but I sometimes did not even realize it because I was already traveling along with new best friends. I am really lucky because sometimes people come back into my life unexpectedly.
The one thing, though, that really came to my mind this month is a quite personal experience that happened to me at the beginning of this year. The time is not ripe yet to admit this ending publicly. Then again, while thinking about it, I realized that even that specific experience has not meant the end of something so much as a new beginning. Or to put it differently: It is like saying goodbye to an alternate future I had imagined and hoped for. Back then, I wrote a personal piece to deal with the bad news I received that I haven’t shared with anyone. I just read it again and it made me cry. Like really cry. Maybe it will make me cry all my life, but I’ve realized that it is not an end but a part of me and my personality now.
While working through that experience I got the job offer I am now taking. I would not have taken it if I had not been in that specific situation. While I will not write about that experience publicly yet, somehow it made me braver and stronger. I started to imagine a new future. There is another German quote, mostly used by children to make a joke: “Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei”. Everything has one end but sausages have two.
Someday I will publish that piece, but today is not that moment. While re-reading it made me feel sad, the main message is that there is really no end, just a circle of experiences and life. I hope it is OK that I took your time today. And that it takes me just a little bit more of it to talk about it.