Two days ago my lovely friend Fitri and I agreed to set ourselves a writing challenge. Since we’re both in a very similar situation right now (trying to bridge that awful time between graduating and finding a job), we decided on that as a topic. Both of us are going to write about not loosing our dreams, about how to stay sane in the middle of this uncertainty and confusion. We’re both posting at the same time – it’s going to be interesting to see what we both made of it! So please also head over to her blog, Fitri Adi Anugrah, and read her take on our situation. Any comments for both or either of us are extremely welcome!
Drinking tea. And waiting.
Tidying the desk. Checking e-mails every ten minutes. And waiting.
Writing a cover letter, attaching the brushed-up CV, sending it off. And waiting.
Going to bed in the evening feeling anxious and worried and defeated.
Waking up in the morning feeling hopeful and motivated, opening the laptop. And waiting.
Finding inspiration, finding new ideas, itching to try them out. Starting on trying them out. Loosing motivation halfway through. Because of the anxiety that wells up every time the thought of how to pay next month’s rent occurs.
Dreaming of what would be possible. Of what could be achieved. If someone gave you a chance. If someone gave you an opportunity. If someone trusted you.
Trying to force your brain to come up with alternatives. Getting headaches from thinking furiously about how to work outside the box. Trying to create your own job. Trying to identify what you are really good at. Trying to figure out how to survive from that. Trying not to think about how you’re going to pay the rent next month.
Clawing your fingers into the steep cliff which you are climbing. Peeking down into the chasm of despair and depression. Averting your eyes. Calming your breath. Looking up at the sky with its endless opportunities. Holding fast to the rock wall. Climbing a little. Sliding down again. Climbing again.
Crying. Laughing. Hoping. Giving up. Refusing to back down. Doing your best. Trying to do better. Falling. Getting back up again.
Trying. Again. And again. And again.
Keeping going because there is a dream out there. Seeing only emptiness and fire. Challenging the emptiness. Going through the fire. Trusting that the dream is on the other side. Trusting yourself. Not giving up.
[added later: both posts are up and running – check out Fitri’s: “I as in Identity”]
I decided, when coming home to my parents for my post-dissertation break, to treat this like a holiday – at least photo-wise. 🙂
It’s remarkable that I have tons of beautiful, amazing photos from almost any place that I have visited, yet when I’m home I only take family snapshots and pictures of the garden. This time, I’m pretending to be a tourist and trying to look at my surroundings with fresh eyes. It’s quite astonishing what I’m finding in the neighbourhood I grew up in and thought I knew like the back of my hand.
This afternoon, with a cold, high sky and the sun making the autumn trees blaze in gold and red, we (some of my siblings and me) kidnapped our grandma and drove to a neighbouring town, going for a walk in the park of the palace of the count whose family used to govern the town and surrounding area for hundreds of years. Below are some of the best pictures and I hope they will inspire you as they have inspired me (new story idea! plus a non-fiction idea!). Or maybe it was the fresh air. In that case – look at the pictures, then go for a walk. Try to keep your mind as open as your eyes – who knows what wonders you will come across?
a writer’s dream: Vigelandsparken, Oslo
On Monday I visited Vigelandsparken (Vigeland Sculpture Park) in Oslo. I was there before, years ago, with my family. I can vaguely remember it. I remember we had a lot of fun climbing around the statues and posing with them. I remember I liked it. What I didn’t remember was that it is absolutely awesome and what I couldn’t remember, because at the age of thirteen or so, I wouldn’t have noticed, was that it is a writer’s dream.
The whole park is the design of the sculptor Gustav Vigeland and all the 200+ statues in there are his work. They are all concerned with one topic, and one topic only: humanity. Every expression of every emotion from childhood to old age is represented – from birth to death to birth with everything in between. All the statues are naked, making them timeless and focusing the attention on the feelings and motions. Yes, motions, because hardly any of them is in repose – they are all caught in movement and expression. I dare anyone with the tiniest amount of fantasy to look at those statues and not immediately be caught up in their individual stories! Just watch the slideshow and see…