Daring to be different

In the last couple of days, I had the opportunity to meet with some of my close friends. It was very interesting to see how they were feeling about life and what was going on in their minds.

What bothers me was the fact, that a lot of them seem to struggle. There is, for example, the mother who has to decide on the future of her kid, whether she wants to continue staying at home and taking care of the little boy or if she wants to return to work and be part of the corporate world again, with so-called adult problems and a so-called normal life.

Then there is the student, who is insecure about whether to continue her studies or just jump ship and focus on something else. And then there is the artist, who is successful in a way but feels overwhelmed and burned out, leading into a depression and a wish to just do something else.

The overall theme of all these problems of my friends seems to be the fear of being different.

Our society today is so well informed, always online, commercialized and streamlined, that there is no room for individuals. People play roles on Instagram, read the news on twitter and follow a mass. It seems overwhelming for a lot of us to be different, to act differently and to have a very own opinion.

I called my blog Inselstaat, exactly because of this. I always felt like a guy sitting on my own 'Insel (island)', doing things differently and just acting the way I wanted. I think, today, more than ever, people need to start acting more like that. It is ok to be an individual, it is ok to have fear. It is ok to decide to stay at home and take care of your children for as long as you want and not getting back to work. Money is not everything after all. It is ok to jump ship and begin a different career when the studies bore you, but it is also ok to not follow the herd and just create projects on your own. It is ok to feel frustrated, anxious and lonely after a time of high performance. This all is very natural and there is a good reason why so many people just feel that way. It is ok to fail.

I would love to help them all, but I am certain that everyone has to learn that lesson on her own. The key takeaway here is, that even if you feel alienated, remote on your own Insel, you can be assured that you are not alone. People listen, even if they don't react immediately. People see you struggle. And most importantly remember one thing: those who are different are those who will be remembered. So keep going friends - be different - love is what will always be there for you guys.