The longer I stare at the blank page in front of me, the more difficult it seems to put my thoughts into words. Even though, that’s what I need so badly. Writing is my way of communicating with my monsters, giving them a voice. For as much as I detest them, they are and always have been a part of me. A part that I cannot ignore, that I do not want to ignore, and above all, a part I should not ignore. For the longer I try to suppress them, the louder they become.

When I flew to New Zealand in late January, I was already aware of the fact that I wouldn’t go back to Germany in April. I just didn’t want to admit it. Instead, I tried to ignore all the thoughts, and instead, went on hikes, had conversations with fellow travelers, and drank a glass or two of wine. I put myself under the impression that I deserved a holiday where I could just relax and do nothing. But I should have known better, and with every day I traveled through the Land of the Hobbits, a feeling I know only too well became stronger and stronger: the guilty conscience.

It’s not even a real guilty conscience – why should I even have one? – it’s more about the voices in my head that I grew up with.
Voices telling me that I’m not good enough.
Voices telling me that all I’ve achieved so far is worth nothing, that I didn’t deserve it at all because I haven’t worked hard enough for it.
Voices telling me that I always have to step back because my life is less important than others.

And as much as I know that all these thoughts don’t make sense at all, it’s them feeding the monsters in my head. That’s the reason why it is so hard for me to make a decision that puts me and my needs first.

But last week, when my plane was about to land in Brisbane at eight in the morning, I finally was strong enough to push the monsters aside and listen to my heart. While the machine made its way through the clouds, and the sun started to shine, I knew: I wasn’t ready to go yet. I wasn’t ready to leave the people I got to know and appreciate behind. But above all, I wasn’t ready to face all the people I’ve once shared my life with…

Maybe for self-protection – I fought too hard in the last two years to get where I am today. Who can guarantee that I won’t fall back into old patterns again as soon as I am in my old environment? Would I be strong enough to apply everything I’ve learned to my old life?

Maybe out of selfishness – this is the first time I actually value myself, that I put myself first. The first time that I do what I really want, regardless of whether or not it causes inconveniences. Would I give that up once I’m back?

I don’t know. I really don’t know. I just know, I’m not ready yet. Just as little as I am prepared to think about what will happen in September. Will I come back? Maybe. Will I continue to travel? Maybe.

As hard as it is and as much as it hurts, I have to try to put my monsters on a chain. Therefore, for the time being, there won’t be an answer to all these questions, because it is not the right time. It would just be a series of (self-)doubts, fears and wrong reasons…

And as much as I personally hate not knowing what to do after these six months, I cannot change it … the only thing that I’m already more than aware of is, no matter what decision I’m going to make, it won’t be an easy one, and it will probably even tear my heart apart, but that’s life …

“That’s life. If nothing else, it’s life.
It’s real, and sometimes it fuckin’ hurts, but it’s sort of all we have.“ (Garden State, 2004)