This time it’s personal…

This is the blabla I talked about, no recipe, just some blabla… I recently read a lot that people browse foodblogs only for the recipes and are not interested in the personal part. That makes me kind of sad, because I think that is exactly what sets apart a blog from a recipe database. I read blogs because I feel connected to the writer, a recipe feels like a personal recommendation and that’s what I try to live up to on my own blog, too. This has been particularly hard in the past year, which is why there was not much activity at all. I could say that I work on changing that, but I am not sure if I could live up to that promise.

On this day 2 years ago my life changed radically. There had been a few encounters and events that made me open my mind and see things a little differently. But in retrospective this one experience was fuel to a smouldering fire deep down inside of me. There was a lot of fuel involved on said day, because it was the day that I rode shotgun in a Rallye car, one of my childhood dreams coming true… It was only a couple of minutes but the biggest trust exercise you can imagine performed with a complete stranger…

My heart was pounding when we rolled from the parking lot in the Rallye Porsche 911 GT3, first over regular streets, towards the starting point of the track. My adrenaline was fired up by the smell of fuel and the roaring sound of the engine. When we came to the start I felt like passing out and the Driver telling me about himself getting sick from his driving wasn’t helpful either. I handed out the track-card, we got our stamp and the countdown was on. We hit the street with smoking tires and for as long as the track lasted a mix of excitement, adrenaline and horror rushed through my body. Taking a 90° turn with over 80 km/h while spectators are standing close to the street might have that effect on people… I was completely shaking when I handed out the track-card at the finish line as well as on the way back to the parking lot and when I got out of the car. I can’t really find the words to describe how I felt, but these 15 minutes felt so much better than a 2-week vacation. I felt a for me unfamiliar calm, this experience reset my mind to some degree. But just like words, change doesn’t come easy.

I have made some rather radical changes in my life in the past year and I am pretty sure I’m not done with change yet. It’s easy to change your behaviour for a bit, but not to fall into old patterns, to create persistent change, is hard work. Over the years I have grown to become a control freak. I guess that explains the rise of my love for baking to a certain degree. Baking is easy, if you follow the instructions and control the variables, the outcome is predictable. In contrast to that, life is not. Groundbreaking revealation, hu? Well, for so long I have tried to control every aspect of my life, be prepared for all possible obstacles and turns, so that I completely forgot to live. A 15 minute drive in a Rallye car, partly at competition speed, giving up controll and blindly trusting a stranger with my life reminded me of who I used to be: the crazy one with the whimsical ideas, daring with a reliable gut feeling and often not letting the possible consequences limit my decisions.

All the daily profanities, all the to do lists and all the grown up stuff made me forget that person I was. Instead of thinking what could go right, I only thought about what could go wrong. Digging deeper into negative consequences every time a little thing went wrong so that I lost myself in it, unable to see the good but focussed on the potential bad or unknown in every situation. Over time, it made me numb, the bad didn’t feel as bad any more because I expected it, but when good things happened I wasn’t able to feel as much joy either.

It is hard to break the mould. And it takes more than a shotgun ride in a Rallye car or trip to an unknown destination or a bucket list to do so. I did Konmari my wardrobe before it was cool, I started to make my bed every morning so I start my day with an accomplishment, but I have also grown to relax and be okay with not doing things. This sounds pretty easy and straightforward but it acutally is the hardest part. We are all so driven by constraints, necessities and to do lists that we hardly stop and question why we are doing things. I caught myself a lot doing things because that’s just what one does. I was driven a lot by what I thought other people, society or whoever expected me to do. I cleaned not because I liked it clean but because people could come over and see the chaos or the dust, I worked out harder because the doctor said I was fat, I did overhours at work because I felt perfect results were expected.

In the end all these expectations I thought I had to meet were not mine… Some weren’t even real, some were just what I thought others would think, some were patterns I have grown up with, some were projected, some rooted deep in myself. As soon as I started to question the why, I quickly discovered that a lot of the pressure I loaded on myself was completely needless. I started to care less what „people“ might think, I tried to be less judgy of others, I finally felt a bit lighter.

Holding on to that is harder than it looks. This is not about seizing the day and just doing what you love, it’s about finding the balance for yourself between what you really want to do, what needs to be done and being okay with who you are and what you do. For your own sake, please take a moment and try not to be so hard on yourself, try for once to be on your side and not bring yourself down. It’s okay to have flaws, it’s what makes you special! And always remember, weird is just a side effect of awesome!

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