My story two life changing occurrences made me who I am today and made me overcame my fear of the unknown and the change. It was autumn 2018, I was still working in an advertising agency when our teamleader called us all together, it was in the morning when we already had a project meeting 30 minutes ago but this time with this strange face expression where you didnt knew what was going on...started to get a little nervous...
He stared at the table for a while before he started talking with his hands pressed together... I called you all in again cause of a very dramatic and sad reason, our boss who went to the doctor on the weekend to check his back, because he had pain and wanted a pain killer. Well...he came out with the most shocking message you could ever imagine to hear.. the diagnose: cancer, a very aggressive one and the doctors gave him a year. WTF? Well and he will not come to many times and now some organisational things need to change... Ufff...what a message, it wasn't like I had a very personal connection with him, or even liked him too much. He was what I would call 'a big workaholic' and cared more about numbers than anything else BUT that day everything was gone... I mean what the hell goes through your mind when you hear you have cancer and its not healable?? How are you telling this to your family and WHY is this happening? This was a Bomb and exploded my empathy for this family. I believe it wasn't 2 weeks later we got the Mail that he died... This day was unbelievable for me.
First of all how come one year can be 2 weeks? And a month ago he didnt't even know about anything,
just had a little back problem like most of the people.
All those years of hard working, building up a company, a house coming home more than late every day with a slightly overweight and 5 years more till retirement. My head was turning, or like nickelback once sang: 'If today was your last day, tomorrow was too late...' What would be If I had this diagnose? Could I die happy? Could I say; I did everything I wanted and especially I am happy with my current life?
The answer was clear... No Well out of the eyes of other people I had a decent job, a had a career I could climb, but was this really life filling? To work everyday, trying to make things sellable of which you are yourself not even convinced of? Shouldn't I do what I truely love and convince people to see what I see? Shouldn't I do what I want to do and where I want to live? What the hek.. Another colleague from a different location came to us for some days to get me on track for the new project and client. He was planning to leave the company cause of a different opportunity and I was telling him about my side work as an artist and how hard it was to combine a full-time work with a freelance job.
Which actually looked like this: Come home after work, some times after sports, make dinner, turn on the TV and go to bed, oh yeah and once every month I was making something creative - more pressured than willing and most sad even cause of this feeling. It took like months to finish one project not even talking about my website.
He smiled at me and said..you know what? I really recommend you to read a book he just finished..he said it would fit to me and would change my life. At the end of the day I was getting curious, why could a book change my life? And especially me, who I wouldn't call a hobby reader. At that time more a netflix enthusiast. Well anyway I was on my sofa that day and looked on amazon...'The Why Cafe` aha what a title, sounded like a pretty boring roman which should be life changing really? Ok let's see if it's readable 70 something pages .. ok not bad... even for me doable.. So what the heck, lets just get it with the other 4 things I ordered...
3 days later it was there and without thinking much more about it I started to read, my curiosity was too big. Well and what should I say, I was inhaling it and indeed it was life changing - actually eye opening..
So to summarize: It's about ordinary people who live in their own hamster wheel and maybe don't know or are to afraid to follow their reason for existing. And a part story is about a turtle who was smart enough to see the power of - let's say go with the flow'. (This turtle is also now part of my portfolio).
But I knew my reason for existing.. I wanted to be an artist and live in the country I travelled 2018 first time and immediately fell in love with. You know this feeling when you just know it's for you, your way or feels like home? Like you belong there? Well this is how I felt. I didn't want to let time fly by and my ideas get covered in dust and habitude. So a month later I decided to get a job in lisbon fist as a designer to make a living part time and start slowly with my art.
I quited my job, my flat, sold my furniture and just tried everything to make this work. Always in mind that I have only something to win in any case..personal growth and courage.
After i quit my job I had three months to find a job in lisbon, sell all my stuff and f**** change my life...And you don't imagine how many boxes and stuff somebody can have in a single room appartement, which even looked pretty tidy... First throwback... I had to realize it's much harder to find a job as a foreign person without knowing the native language.
After a lot of interviews and declines time passed by. I needed a plan B....which I had.. To work in a cafe from an old friend and live near the mountains where my family had a single apartment for vacation.
OK perfect... just something to get a little more time ... Searching for jobs unstoppable at the beginning of 2019 it was already april and I started thinking outside the box..
What about a job where I have a place to live and food and get a small salary, I know a lot of foreign people doing this and it will be a great start and opportunity – its called workandtravel.
I just wanted to go and not be stuck with my plan B. And I thought things will always change and bring you somewhere else when you open the first door.
I applied for a job in Portugal and immediately got it, well it was a little somewhere else than portugal mainland, it was in the azorean island, it looked like paradise it made a great impression and why not go there first and than back to the mainland where I had already my second stay arranged.
Well It wasn't exaclty how I planned it, but I was on this plane to another country with no job waiting for me in two weeks and excitement and proudness in my backpack. I was working in a hostel in the kitchen, made amazing dishes. learned a lot at this most beautiful place I have ever seen, and long story short – I met the love of my life and out of a big further travel transferred a living on the mainland together – since now.
And now I am here, where I want to be, what I want to do and with whom.. I couldn't even imagine all of this a year ago.
And all my artwork was inspired by this journey...The time where I was still in germany, where I got inspired about the book, till the time in the mountains and than my beautiful inspiration of the island and the mainland...
The story of my life is in my art!
Thank you for listening,