Sitting at my desk, I observe the rain drops falling down on the roofs of the neighboring houses and the mountain slowly disappearing in the fog. I’m calm and at peace, happy and hopeful, reflecting on this exceptional year.
For me, it was a year of unlearning, learning, growing, unplugging and becoming myself – more than I’ve ever been myself. Grounded in my true nature with an unshakable new belief system. But all of this did not happen in a day, it was a journey. A journey I embarked on a few years ago, but only this year, everything made sense.
Let’s start with the beginning of this year…
January and the hope for a new future
I finally found a mentor who made me feel heard, seen and absolutely comfortable, and I booked her private mentoring for 3-months. It was the biggest and longest investment I ever made, and it was one of the most lifechanging decisions so far.
For the first time I dealt with who I was and how I wanted to show up in a way that feels aligned and good for me.
With this empowering feeling, I travelled to Germany, visited a seminar about the paradoxes of solitude in German literature for fun and spend an amazing weekend in cold, cold Hamburg. Seeing friends and clients, having delicious dinners and wondering why I felt so lost when I lived there in 2012. In my journal I wrote: Maybe it wasn’t the city or the people, maybe I wasn’t ready for the big city.
I felt amazing. Like anything is possible, so much hope for the future.
February: Home and back on the island
Visiting my family at home is always great. I get to be the personal chauffeur for my cousin’s daughter, play with our dog – the most lovable Golden Retriever/Labrador-mix you can imagine – see my best friends, the ones I wrote this piece for and who are by my side for almost two decades now. I think, this little excerpt of my journal describes our past and unshakeable friendship best:
Coming home from one of the most amazing nights. Cuddles on the sofa, laying around, drinking cheap wine, eating a Falafel from the little Döner place next door and my clothes smelling like I bathed in tobacco. I open the door, my mom coming out of the living room, wrinkling her nose saying: “You’ve been with Antje and Katja! Did they make you smoke again? I thought you stopped!”
It is this kind of timeless friendship. The kind that makes you forget age, space and time and the unhealthiness of cigarettes, the kind that even my mom forgets I am not 16 anymore, but 32.
Back then, I did not know that this visit would have such a huge impact on my growth and plans for my future.
I travelled back home to Mallorca, looking forward to warmer temperature, the almond blossom starting and seeing another friend I love to bits – Chloe, who I met in Mallorca!
End of February, she hosted a marketing workshop in the middle of the island, at a truly fantastic location! I learned a lot, and this weekend experience paved my way for moving out of the busy town of Palma a few months later.
March, an online course, a lockdown and a new me?
This month started off innocently, but then all of Spain entered lockdown – and that meant, I am not allowed to leave my flat, except for grocery shopping or going to the pharmacy. On my way to the grocery store I passed police men and even the military. It felt a bit surreal, like in an apocalypse movie and the movie addict inside of me was excited…
In the beginning they said, it would last for two weeks and I was fine. Like many, I started focusing on my creative passions, I played the violin a lot, painted and wrote poems.
My mentor Vienda Maria also encouraged me to create an online course. And so I did! It was my first one. I was nervous while recording the videos, but I pushed through and sold it several times. It was an amazing feeling and I was proud of myself for recording a course within a month – I wondered where this momentum and flow came from and I wrote: With the world standing still, with all the options of socializing being taken from me, I feel free and energized. I never knew I could accomplish so many things in such a short time – maybe I need to stop trying to fit into a world of extroverts and start being myself, the highly sensitive introvert that I am.
At this point, I felt like a failure. Being in business seemed to be for extroverts and people with high energy only. Workshops, group programs, networking – all things that make my anxiety level increase. Back then I thought, this insight would end my attempt of running my own coaching business – in fact, this insight should lead to something much better and bigger.
April, May, June – a blur
We were in lockdown for 98 days, until the 21st of June. I was lucky enough to not have lost my clients and I was very grateful for that.
My days were filled with the daily walk to the grocery store, observing the birds in the trees in front of my balcony, worrying about one neighbor, who had daily Gin Tonics starting a bit early for my taste, and working. Funny enough, refurbishing flats and houses was still allowed and even builders were able to work – and the owners of the flat above me thought it was the perfect time to renovate. Days, weeks of builders running through the house, taking down walls.
I decided to move out of Palma. The noise, but also the peaceful tranquility when the builders were gone, made me crave a place in a small village – also I wanted a bigger place, like a house.
As soon as we were allowed to go outside again, I started looking for places and found a beautiful house in Pollença – and that’s how I came to live in the north of Mallorca, far away from friends, but closer to myself.
July and its summer nights with kids
The island is open again. I celebrate my 33rd birthday with Mimosas and dinner. A few days later, two of my cousin’s daughters come to visit. It feels like a normal Mediterranean summer. We go to the beach, go out for dinner, explore the island and my heart is full. Life is good.
August – a month to grow
After the kids left the island again, a certain tristesse comes over me and a question crosses my mind, I write it down: Do I want to have kids? No, the answer is still no. But I love the kids in my family, the ones of my friends, I love the role of the “cool auntie” who is always up to irresponsible fun things. As quickly as the thought came, as certain I am about my decision.
But the tristesse is not gone. I reflect on my year so far and realize, that I put my idea of turning my coaching business approach into a more fitting model of becoming an educator and writer – not niching down, not making myself and my talents smaller just to fit into a blueprint.
So, I decide to focus on “my baby” again and join a program to become certified in a few modalities. I love learning and growing and these modalities are so valuable for my own life and for my future clients – so I jump again and invest.
September, October, November: Many ideas, no travels and a restless mind
My mom turns 66, we celebrate on Mallorca. I have plans to visit my friends in Germany, but I don’t go in the end. I feel a bit overwhelmed with everything. The flow, clarity and alignment seem to have gone and I wonder why. I write:
Is this my very own curse? Finding myself, losing myself and reinventing myself all the time? I can’t do this much longer all I want to do is sleep and hide. This is not good – maybe I need to see a therapist again. Why is it so hard for me to know who I am and then follow that path?
A few days later, after reflecting on my current situation and sleeping in a lot, I see things much clearer and write:
For some reason I believed I had to pursue all of my creative passions all at once. I have a weird fear of missing out when it comes to not having tried everything I can. Whenever I focus on coaching, I feel guilty for neglecting my writing. Whenever I focus on my writing and decide to accept writing projects, I feel guilty for not fully focusing on my coaching approach. And whenever I spend a few days playing my violin, I feel like I will never reach excellence in any of my creative areas. I put so much pressure on myself, but it is all rooted in the feeling of not being good enough. I am just a girl who has big dreams, but not what it takes to reach them. I have to work on that.
I spend most of October and November taking hot baths, reading fiction to distract and ease my mind, studying for my certification and taking every day as it comes – no pressure, just flow.
I feel good. And I start missing my friends again.
December, the month alone
The weather is so nice for December, a reason why I really love living on Mallorca. I look out of my open window, a warm breeze and the sun on my skin. Spring seems to be around the corner – a moment of happiness. The feeling of being incomplete is still strong, I miss my friends at home. At the same time, I feel very tense and kind of overwhelmed – I want to feel like in March, completely at peace while in lockdown and so I make a very unusual decision – I take a month off. Not from work, but from any social event – I decide to not even see my closest friends on the island.
After the first week of my little isolation experiment, I wrote: My body feels rested for the first time in a long time. I found my motivation again, clarity. I am so grateful for the people I get to meet from all over the world, especially the group of highly sensitive people I joined – I need to send a huge thank you letter to Krystel. So much support and love from people I never met in person, people living across the ocean, but still feel so close to me.
Now, that December is almost over, I know that decision was the best I could’ve made for myself this month. I learned a lot about my personality as an introvert and hsp and it was a true eye-opener to many things. My knowledge about introverts and hsp was not as extensive as I thought – I mostly thought I needed a lot of alone time to rest.
This month showed me, how capable I truly am, if I just allow myself to take all the time I need. I think I’ve never been so certain about my ideas, my self-esteem is back and I let go of needing permission, niching down or playing small. All thanks to giving myself the space and time I need.
The most beautiful thing is, I have a clear vision for 2021 – educating for introverts & hsp, writing poetry & more, making music and launching two new things based on arts & literature. All of which I will do living between my home in Germany and my (soon-to-be) new island home.
This year taught me many lessons about myself and my needs, about trust and gratitude, but it also showed me, I am limitless, if I listen to my intuition. A home on Mallorca and a place in Germany is possible. Being an educator and writer and even more is possible.
Everything is possible, nothing has to be, but all will be at the right time.