When I think about the beginning of 2020, I have to admit: I was naive. I thought all my dreams and goals will come true and that this year will be MY year. I bet, most of us felt the same way. I was desperately waiting for this year to come! If someone had told me just then that my life will be turned upside down and that life would be so different than expected–I wouldn’t have believed them. I really thought I had it all figured out –my graduation was to happen, then my career, my future goals were laid out for the next years, my friends, my family and my relationship. I had it all planned out and everything was going the way I wanted. And I have always been such a person since I was a small child. I felt the more I had things planned, the more control had over my life and the things to happen. Then this pandemic happened and now we are living in the most uncertain, unpredictable times ever. Even making a plan for a small vacation or trip seems too far-reaching. But this made me think –when did we ever live in „certain“ and „safe“ times anyway? It only took a pandemic for us to realize and rethink our lives. How fragile and delicate each and everything in our lives actually is. The so called secured government job that you are dreaming about? Well, it can be lost in a blink of an eye. That car you own or are saving up for? Well, if you are not allowed to go anywhere, how will it benefit you? Some months ago, those possessions would have meant the world for me. But truly it does not anymore. Because those illusions and institution scan not guarantee or promise security or safety, happiness or freedom. What I realized throughout this phase is that freedom and independence is the only worth-while thing living for. All other goods can be taken away from us easily. I am not saying, let us forget to plan or have a certain idea what to for our futures. But let us not depend our happiness and end goals for a future which is unknown to all of us. Let us slowly learn to value and cherish what we have right now, with us and inside of us. I dearly hope that once this phase of or lives is over, we can stop our little friend „control“ monitor our lives and take out what truly matters. I hope we can find more magic in other goods which we have long forgotten, that are our gifts and guides to us –the freedom to express ourselves, to be ourselves, to travel and be carefree, to be independent, to not let our lives be ruled by just „hoping“ and „wishing“ for good things to come in the future, but to really value what we have right now, the PRESENT moment. Because we might want to imagine we have more than that, but we only have this moment right now. And we have to learn to let go of the need and urge to control everything that is happening around us and to us. And having that freedom and not depending on a future to be happy is the only real security for our fulfilled, happy lives.
Text by Leyla Dastan