Sometimes you have to leave to be able to come back

Sometimes you just know that you really HAVE TO do something. „I need to travel by myself, I cannot say for how long, I just know that I have to do this!“
Nothing could have stopped me.
I left my hometown Hamburg not knowing when I would come back. I gave up my job, my apartment and my relationship to travel to Australia. No strings attached. Ready for adventure and ready to find happiness.
After the first excitements of making new experiences and meet a lot of people I just felt miserable. What was I doing?
I had imagined to feel free as a bee but I had never felt … continue

The Most Important Lesson I Ever Learned

My Mother has the best moral compass of anyone I’ve ever met.
During my childhood I did a lot of foolish things which she was not too pleased about, however there’s sone occasion where she was more disappointed in me than she had ever been.
It was summer and friends stopped by to go out on a bike ride. Leaving the house my Mother said… “You can only go if you promise to wear your helmet” and not wanting to miss out on the fun, I duly agreed.
At that time, I naively and stupidly thought that wearing a helmet wasn’t the ‘cool thing to do’ and as we turned … continue

Go kiss your grandma on the cheek

I got a call Saturday morning that my grandmother only had a few hours to live. She was in Massachusetts. I was in California.
I didn’t make it back on time.

My wife, infant and I live an hour away from her assisted-living facility. Close enough where I could see her often-ish, but far enough away that, with a baby and a job and dogs and a house and yardwork and a million other trivial things that seem so inconsequential at the moment, it became too easy to make excuses to not make it down to see her as often I should’ve.
I can’t even recall the last time I … continue

Let’s bloom

The shape of the leaves was very similar to the smiling lips on an innocent face, the plant with pale green and ivory leaves arranged as if it were a human face; was my favorite on the window sill. But as life would have it, there are ups and downs, the only thing that works is to be consistent and positive. For a straight line on Electrocardiogram told me loud and clear, the person I loved the most is no longer my dearest dad but just a body.

The harsh winters took away all the leaves of my plant and all I could do was to look at it with … continue

Life is all about making choices

Sometimes a pat on the back is all I need, especially when I was about to leave the company after everything that I have given. People may focus on the terms: 6+ months. But in those months, I exerted outside of my comfort zone to deliver, even beyond what was expected of me. So I thought at least a short message before I left would do it, until I learnt that I wouldn’t get any. Not from the person I worked closest with: my direct report.
He even blew up the chance to say something in person the last time I met him.
Brokenhearted, I was. Not only this was … continue

Morning always comes

Nine years ago, my boyfriend and I decided to leave our crazy Parisian life for a great experience: sailing across the oceans at least for two years. The plan was clear: live slow and enjoy. In my mind it was obvious that if we could make it together twenty-four hours a day seven days a week on a ten feet monohull, we would spend our whole life together. The story will tell I was wrong.
Lesson 1: do not make plans.

I will not go through all the details of one of the greatest adventures of my life but in a few words: when we left Marseille (South of France) … continue

The Magic Journal

About 2 years ago, I received a gift from my brother who lives in Paris.
He never sends me anything, so that was a big deal.
It was an agenda. This one had dates on the left and on the right page it had a colouring section. You know, adult colouring was quite trendy back then.
To honour the precious gift, I started using the agenda to schedule my appointments and my crossfit classes. Pretty boring.
The colouring part frustrated me. I wanted to create, not to finish somebody else’s creation. But I didn’t want to give up the gift! I started covering the colouring page with collages and I … continue

Lessons from Santa

I retired from the Army, grew a beard, and became Santa.

Day three one of my elves whispered, “Santa, you’re about to see three orphans. Their foster parents have been approved to adopt them, and they want YOU to tell them!”
Stunned, I mumbled, “What would you like for Christmas?” I didn’t hear their requests, wondering, “What can I say? What CAN I say?”
Then it came to me. I said, “I’ll see, but I have something for you today.”
“What’s that Santa?” the oldest asked.
“A Family,” I said.
They looked puzzled, but when I explained they were staying together, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

In … continue

1998 – France

I had the great opportunity to be in France that year in the month that the world cup was playing. I remember driving long and beautiful landscape-filled-hours from Denmark all the way to the south of France to a small town called Bagnols-en-Foret. France qualified to the final game against Brazil. The once small and peaceful town I knew became a metropolis with large screen projectors and hundreds and hundreds of french people and maybe a dozen Brazilian supporters, which included my parents that had decided they were going to support the latin-american team over the european.
The thing is, I was born only 5 years before this world cup, … continue

The Power Of “Knowing Thyself”— a story of Self-discovery

At the end of Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Ivan lies dying after leading a colorless, mediocre life. He has only one thought: What if I lived my entire life wrong? I read this book in college almost twenty-five years ago, and in 2010, it came back full circle to kick-start my transformation.

I used to get angry and fret about the simplest of things. I was continually frustrated and disengaged. I never stopped to consider if what I was doing was what I really wanted to do. I just set out like I was in a short hurdle race, running at full tilt and overcoming whatever came my … continue

The Goddess Within Us

We were visiting a temple in South India during our family trip. A common sight at the entrance of any temple is a row of poor people expecting money or food from the devotees.
While standing in the queue awaiting Darshan, I saw a man in front of me sarcastically pointing out to a woman who was extraordinarily obese. All the people in the queue turned towards her. She was sitting on the pavement with tattered clothes and a broken bowl in her hands. Her head was bent down. I felt sad for her. I wondered why the goddess would let anyone live like that. That too, someone so near … continue

Children to Mother

Her body is still warm. Less than an hour has passed since she embraced her everlasting peace. The witching hour rain a drizzling rhythm. The only other sound sterile monitors chirping feeding the surrounding sleeplessness of those dearest belonging to our beloved departed. Her skin is clean smooth and soft to touch. A snapshot of youth in this final moment. The grey haired crown almost invisible. All we see is the child she once was long ago. Seconds slipped away at the speed of light. One last kiss. Lips to forehead. Children to mother.

My mom passed away suddenly not so long ago. A generations’ old family blood curse cast … continue