Category Archives: Change

New Beginnings

macau seen from ferry

Even though I have done it so often and relish the excitement of new beginnings, relocating is always difficult for me. This time around it’s more difficult than ever before. Over the last months, I’ve been maniacally busy tackling the bureaucracy on my side of the world for my wife and I. There was no time to think.

Now, with everything done, there is way too much time to think. I’ve arrived at my new home with ample time to rest and relax. Instead of being able to enjoy the moment, I rather feel lost and like tumbling down a pitch-black, miles-long rabbit hole. 

I know, I just got here. I need to trust the process and things will fall into place… but, my mind on worrier-speed is wondering, “What now?”

Over the last 3 years, I’ve built up a career as motivational speaker in Switzerland and parts of Europe. It was a role I grew into with all my heart. It felt good being there at the front, building bridges, promoting understanding, and sharing inspiring stories. Maybe my relocation will temporarily or permanently end this part of my author journey… Does it matter? Or will one door close while other doors and windows will open?

Life is an unpredictable adventure. I know and love that aspect of our existence. Yet, at the same time, I long for guarantees I know will never be forthcoming. So I find myself over-thinking and over-worrying here on my couch in the steaminess of Southeast Asia… with an exhausted head full of hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

Then, there is coming home to my beloved partner after 8 months of being apart. Getting to know each other anew. Trying hard to give her space while at the same time almost bursting with neediness. Finding growth and change, admiring who she has become, who she is still becoming… and aiming to realign our paths so there will continue to be room for our independence and personal development as well as for holding each others’ hands while ambling along life’s paths together. I am thinking of skipping ropes, dancing in the rain, running through puddles, and finding butterflies along wildly overgrown roads. Then, there is gazing into the distance together, knowing no matter how apocalyptic that sky might look at times, we can brave anything as long as we have each other.

I am taking deep breaths. Confused, scared, hoping, dreaming, and mostly feeling like a little boy in need of that loving hand reaching out… to envelop me in a warm embrace and tell me that – no matter what – things will be ok, because home is right here where my heart is. Home is here, where I belong.

Thin Mattress With a View

IMG_3152

Time has been racing like a bullet train this month. Dissolving the rest of our household… cancelling all kinds of things like cable, phone, etc. etc. etc. … and multiple breakfasts, brunches, lunches, and dinners with friends and colleagues to catch up one more time before the big move.
Now, I am sitting in front of our large windows, enjoying the view over Zurich, the lake, and the Alps just one more time.
This also marks the end of three weeks sleeping on this rather thin and uncomfortable foam mattress. My bones and joints are looking forward to spending the next four nights on a friend’s couch. Just one more week of organization and goodbyes… then I’ll be off to join my family in Macao (and I’ll probably collapse on the bed and sleep for a month).

Home Is Where The Heart Is

5B93845F-1010-410E-AE6C-6FEDF85B3728

Last weekend, I visited the town I grew up in. It’s an idyllic place as you can see. Well, the old part of town is. The surrounding suburbs, on the other hand, are rather drab and depressing. Over the years, I am amazed to find I am never homesick. I miss nothing about this place, this community. Even though I made good memories here as well, they do not connect me with the geographical location, but rather with the people. And the two people who were most important to me – my grandma and my dad – are no longer there.

It’s amazing how this little town of 40’000 souls hasn’t changed at all during the last 25 years. All buildings and shops are still where they always were. The atmosphere is the same, the scents, the air, and the gossiping ladies who populate the benches and give all outsiders a thorough once-over. Even the plants in the park seem to be at precisely the same spot, in exactly the same size, sporting the same array of colors.

I only stayed one day, yet, like being caught in a vise, with every passing hour invisible walls seemed to steadily close in around me. When I was able to drive away in the evening, I breathed a deep sigh of relief, heading onwards, singing along with John Denver playing on the radio while passing through meandering valleys, wine yards, and forests, dreaming of wide open spaces, change, and new horizons.

Halfway Around The World

IMG_2688

Everything has come to a halt here during the last two months as I have prepared to send our cats halfway around the planet. All vaccinations and paperwork have been taken care of, three cargo boxes are at the ready, stuffed with an old blanket I’ve slept on for a month so I can travel with them in scent at least. The little pet house Fellini is peeking out of has become a favorite sleeping spot over the last few weeks. Now we’ll put one of these houses in each cat’s box and hopefully this will make them all feel a bit more safe. Last but not least, just now, I’ve administered some oily drops called “Well-Being Spot-On” which are supposed to give them a fuzzy feeling of “all’s well in the world”.
Now the time has come and, in two hours, Fellini, Nacho, and Pushka will be picked up and brought to Zurich airport. They’ll travel the first leg of their journey with Swiss (very fancy). Then, once they’ve arrived in Hong Kong, they’ll have to wait a day until the next morning to board a ferry to Macau.
Currently, they are all sleeping on their favorite cat tree, unawares of what will happen today. My whole heart will go with them. I’ll miss those little guys like crazy. Hopefully, they’ll recover fast from their long journey. It’ll surely help that Hanna’s loving and open arms will be waiting for them on the other side.

More Fragile Than We Ever Imagined

IMG_1025

So often in life things turn out far different from how we imagine them to be. Often, what we count on and believe in with all our heart turns out to be far more fragile and unsure than we ever imagined. Sometimes, it only takes a few days or weeks of intense pressure, or a break in familiar routine, for the walls of the temple of our hopes to crack and crumble, debris raining down all around us… leaving us to wonder why the beautiful structure we had built had looked so formidable and strong… yet turned out to have walls as thin and treacherous as an early-winter layer of ice on the pond of our desires. Reality always comes with a twist. Plans we make go up in a puff of dust, because life – more often than not – has other plans. Maybe our path is supposed to be far more challenging. For us to grow and learn from past mistakes we were only vaguely aware we were making. Maybe reality checks need to hit us with the force of a raging tsunami, tearing us up and away by the roots, so we can reawaken to what’s truly important, move forward, and build a better foundation, forever being more aware and appreciative of what we have been blessed with.

One Fish At A Time

DIGITAL IMAGE

So much is happening, so many things to think about and organize, focussing on writing my second book has been hard. It’s tough enough as it is, finding time during regular day job days, but even on my days off I have been distracted lately. Every morning, I get up with the best intentions, but then stuff needs to be done, I think, overthink, and get angry at myself for not being able to do it all, not being stronger. I lie awake at night, dreaming and plotting. When I wake up my thoughts are already racing, months ahead of the present…
I miss my wife who is working on a cruise ship on the other side of the world. When she is with me, I am truly home. It seems writing and creating is something I do best when the words flow from a source of deep happiness and belonging.
I miss you so much my love.
I tell myself to get a grip, take things one fish at a time, be disciplined, concentrate, and keep on writing no matter what. Only to put so much pressure on myself that it again becomes almost impossible to focus on the task at hand. I need to find a balance between letting go and being dedicated to my dream. I need to relax and trust myself. Trust that I will finish this book, even if not within the time frame I have set for myself… because art is not an emergency… and life happens.
Better to write well and take all the time I need, instead of writing obsessively fast, ending up with something I know I could have done better. Still, today, after pouring my heart out to you all, I will take a shot at chapter nine of seventeen…

A Global Existence

1991 hanford high school pass

Stepping way out of my comfort zone (geographically as well as mentally) for the first time when I was 18 years old was one of the best things I ever did… It was the beginning of a nomadic life, a global existence, an openness towards things and people unknown, that I wouldn’t trade in for anything.

“During the first six months, my year abroad had seemed like a life sentence. During the last six months, I got progressively into the swing of things. Time started to fly by. The closer the end date came, the more I realized how much good had come from this year in another world and how amazingly lucky I was to have had this opportunity. Living with my Mormon host family, whose life was so contrary to my own, gave me a first glimpse into the extreme diversity of ideologies on our planet. I fell in love with our world. And I fell in love with its people.” (Excerpt from Paralian, more info here)