Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Reading Contest

Original Picture taken from StockSnap
 As a child I loved to read and I loved to read out loud.
It loved giving each character a different voice. It was my way of really diving into those fantastic stories and the worlds they created. Then, I was probably in 8. grade, there was a reading contest. I was declared the winner of my class and later, I was to represent our school in the next round, which consisted of the winners of other schools around town. 

On the day of the contest, I was so nervous. It was the first time that I really competed for something, and I wanted so desperately to be good at it. Not only because I was passionate about books and writing, but because I felt like people were counting on me. I didn't want to let them down. 
We were required to read a passage of our choice first. Then, we were given an unkown text we had to read out loud. I chose Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as the book I wanted to read from. Not that I was a big fan of Harry Potter, unlike most of the children back then and today, but I guess I thought my chances would be better if I picked something popular. 
I remember my heart pounding really hard against my chest, as I was sitting in the audience, listening to the other children. Though, I can not recall if they were really that good or not. When it was my turn, things went quite well. During the break, a journalist from the local newspaper even came up to me and asked me for an interview - which I was glad to give. It made me happy, that people seemed to appreciate what I do. I was so very proud

The second round was probably my weak spot, because I did not win the competition. It was a big disappointment. Not for my parents, but for me. As it was my first real competition, it was also the first time that I experienced the feeling of true disappointment. I had been disappointed because of school grades of course, but in my head, that was something completely different. I didn't cry because of my grades.
After the announcement of the winner two old ladies came up to me and told me that in their eyes, I was the true winner. At that moment, I was too crushed to really appreciate this, but looking back, it makes me happy to know, that there were people who appreciated what I had presented.

That following Monday, the newspaper article about the competition appeared. About 3/4 of it was about me. Only at the very end, the winner was mentioned. I cut it out and kept it in my bedside table for years, but I don't know where it went. 

Even though I cnn not recall every single detail of this event, it is something I think of quite often. Maybe because it shaped me so much in a way that I now regret. I regret the way handled this, but what was I supposed to do as a child? I was disappointed and this disappointment taught me to avoid contests (and challenges in general) in the future. I grew accustomed to the idea that I was not a winner - an attitude that has been compromising to this day and that is hard to overcome. 

The power of experiences and the memories they create is unbelievably strong. What we remember might not always be 100% accurate, but it influences us nontheless and it's not easy to let go. 
While I wouldn't call this a childhood trauma, I am, to this day, convinced of the fact that it impaired my ability to read out loud. 

Do you have a childhood event you often come back to?

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

In-between Lives

Original Picture taken from StockSnap
Today after work I went to the bookstore.
I know that I should not go there at the moment, for I have neither the money nor the time, but sometimes you just have the urge to look at some nice books to add to your shelf later on, right?
So, I went there and I happened to meet a friend from uni whom I hadn't seen in quite a while. We talked about this and that. About how she has to find a topic for her bachelor's thesis and how I have to start researching for my master's thesis.
We talked about how both of us don't know what will happen to us after university and while the prospect itself is not very comforting, it once again felt nice to know that I am not the only person in-between lives
The life I am leading right now as a senior in university and the life I am about to dive into as a working woman (if I will ever find a proper job). 

Of course, it is only natural to worry in this stage of life. And I think that everyone can in some way or another relate to it. After all, everyon is sometimes caught in-between. Whether it is about work, school or social life. Sometimes you find yourself in between relationships. Sometimes you find yourself between two or more conflicting opinions you have to balance. You never know for sure what the outcome will be. This can make you nervous, even anxious. 

While knowing that other people feel the same way won't remove the burden of making decisions yourself, it can in a way alleviate the amount of stress you are feeling. It might even help you in the process of decision making. Fortunately, my friend told me that her girlfriend had written her thesis about a similar topic, so she sent it to me, hoping that I might find some helpful information in there.

I don't know where I will be in a year from now. I don't even know where I will be in 6 months. Maybe, I will still be looking for a job. Maybe, I will be safe and sound with a traineeship. Right now, I'm feeling like I don't really belong anywhere. I don't feel like a student anymore, because I don't have any lectures anymore (at this point, it's only about writing this bloody thesis), but I am not yet in a real work relationship with just my part-time job. 

Being in-between lifes really sucks ass, but once again I have to accept this situation for what it is and try to acknowledge the fact, that things will change sooner or later. It is hard, but at the moment it seems to be the only possible way to deal with this without panicking.