So many times I have heard the expression “life isn’t a dance on roses” back in Sweden. It used to make me really angry, because I was a dreamer and as dreamers know: anything is possible. Even to live your life like a dance on roses.
As any dreamer I was also possessed by my dreams: nothing would stop me from going in hot pursuit of them (not even my dad lecturing me on how many homeless people there are in LA…that was his pitch when I decided to become an Actress, I think I almost gave the poor man a heart attack when I switched from wanting to become a heart surgeon or alternative medicine MD into….Actress). And truly, nothing did stop me. I have traveled the world and I have fought to reach to where I want to be – i.e. in a place where I can execute all my crazy ideas on a whim. Of course, also a place of monetary freedom where I can travel and live as I please (I’m a gypsy in love with indulgent luxury…). Naturally this incorporates being the kind of woman that can do this and who is happy doing this (read: all fears abolished, great health, great confidence, great wisdom…) Basically I believed I could reach what I have labeled as freedom and happiness.
Because I’m very creative (read: obsessively so…when an idea gets hold of me…I’m possessed…) and a dreamer I’m your trouble shooter from heaven….there is no problem that cannot be solved. I have so many ideas – I usually find a solution to any given problem.
With this outlook of believing in the magic of life and that anyone who is prepared to do what it takes to become the kind of person who achieves his/her dreams, I set out to conquer the world.
This did not go as planned. Nothing went according to plan. Sorry, let me take that back: everything went according to plan – I got the education I needed, I learnt what I needed to know, I grew as a person, I went to where I wanted to be…London, LA, NYC, Paris…I did it. It just didn’t always make me that happy. I said I wanted to be a suffering artist for a while. I regretted ever saying that. I was going to prove I could make my own money. Then you try to live off a pound a day. And you wonder WTF you were thinking when you were seventeen? And you are in a constant state of panic because the success, the billions, the love…it might never come and then WHAT? What fucking what???
Other people have always praised my creativity, my passion, my ability to work till two am in the morning. To me work never was, nor never will be, boring. I love to work. This is what I love, that’s why I am doing it. I would have loved to be an MD too, because I love working with people, I just felt my path of working with people and health needed to be different from sterile rooms and hospital beds – I spent way too many nights in them as a kid anyway.
Through the years my ego got mixed up with my dream. I was always good at things, but I wasn’t always clued in with regards to life. I was shy and had terrible self-confidence. However, I grew confidence from doing what I love – leading my own projects. When working I am a natural leader. And I also fought to create the “perfect persona” in life in general. I was still shy, but now at least I was called “super woman.” I was the girl men were falling over for. So then comes the day you look at the model in the mirror, whom everyone is praising, whom everyone believes will rock the world and you stand there feeling desperately alone, miserable and with the self-confidence of…nothingl. That’s when you break down. You don’t have a penny to your name, no boyfriend, you have trouble with your health, you have traveled the world so your social circle is somewhere between every bloody city there ever was and within each city different groups. You are living your dream, but you aren’t feeling alive. In fact when you wake up at 2am, heart pounding, feeling the need to work just a little bit more so as to get somewhere because if you don’t…your whole pride will be gone. The dreamer who claimed she was going to conquer the world is an absolute fake. People call her super woman and she is sitting in bed crying her eyes out thinking it might be a good idea to throw herself out the window.
Some time this fall a light went on. In fact I was sitting in a hot tub looking at the stars feeling miserable (as one does in hot tubs when looking at the stars, right?). The thing was I had come to a point where I had no energy left – I had worked like a maniac for too long, living for a dream that wasn’t really happening and without any kind of stability. I mean I was living the dream in one way, but I was getting fuck all results, apart from many a harsh learnings. I realized this was partly my own fault – I’m the kinda chic that rather marry someone than never see them again, because after all – you can always get a divorce, right?!! lol Basically, nine times out of ten I throw myself in the water without having a fucking clue of how to swim. I learn, but it isn’t always pleasant. And I lead what people call an interesting life…
Point being, my so-called interesting life was about as painful as Claire Danes’ life in My So-Called Life, minus the added bonus of shagging Jared Leto (and we all know this is a huge bonus…especially when he sings and plays the guitar…). So sitting there in the hot tub I gave up. I told God (if he exists) that I give up, I leave my life in his hands. I will continue to do my best but I’ve had it. I have no clue of how life works. Psychology courses, personal development seminars, mentalism books, hard work, education…nothing was working. And that’s when the light went on.
First of all I was an ego-tripped maniac. I do what I do because I love it, but it had turned into a mad witch hunt for money and success. All I kept saying at seventeen was that I wanted to “show the world the magic.” All I could think of now was if I didn’t succeed (because of lack of skill or lack of opportunity, whichever) I was a failure. My whole ego was involved in this process of “showing the world the magic.” So it was now about ego.
Secondly, whereas I always said there is magic in every moment, I was awaiting the big pay check to create the magic in my life. I was not making the most of my everyday life. I was married to my macbook. It is not a satisfying relationship…
I decided then that I was going to have to live the dream not in the future, but in the moment. I was going to have to create things I could get instant results from. Like this blog. It is what I love. No it does not pay my bills (someone get me a publisher…), but I can do it. I can complete something every single day of my life.
As for ego, well, if I can add magic to the moment, I’m just as good as if I could add magic to the whole world. If I start thinking about doing things for others, suddenly there is huge liberation. Not only do I feel better about myself because I’m not toally focused on me all the time, but suddenly I’m no longer ashamed of myself. Because it doesn’t matter what other people think. It isn’t about me anyway. Also, I had to stop being ashamed of myself. I always felt ashamed. I always needed to be the best at everything, but I hadn’t quite figured out what the best personality was…I just couldn’t phantom how to be it all… I just decided I am me. Whatever that is. That is all I have. And I am thankful for that. I love my body, I love my mind, I love my life.
And as for my marriage to my macbook…well I guess we are still having a fling…but I make sure I do not get so obsessed with things that I don’t take a break. Because whatever venture I am working on…it might go tits up…and then what? I cannot put my faith on anyone or anything else. I cannot even trust that I will be here tomorrow. All I can do is live in the moment and make the most of it. That includes going dancing till dawn ever so often. Taking the afternoon off to go hang out with my friends. And most of all – my ego isn’t in my work. It isn’t in how many friends I have. It isn’t in how fucking marvelously awesome I am (I am), it’s in being alive. It’s in doing my fucking best every day.
Life will throw you incredible things. Challenges you just don’t understand at first. You just have to laugh at it and live with it. It doesn’t make you good or bad or whatever. You just have to learn to play.
Sure I still have dreams. I’m still taking on Branson (but I’d rather work with him….connections anyone??? 😉 ). I still wanna revamp the world, one city at a time. Add some indulgence. Zest. Spice things up just a little. But more than anything I want to liberate people from the fears they live with. I know what it is like to constantly hate yourself. To think everything is your fault. To take EVERYTHING personal. And to live for dreams that might never come true even thought you are fighting a war every day. That’s just the thing though. It isn’t supposed to be a war. Society is a place we created. If we measure ourselves based on it, then what does that mean? It’s all just a game. Play. Have fun. Survive.
Goals give you purpose. Enjoy that journey. Make every day meaningful. EVERY DAY.
The day I set up shop in NYC I will cry from joy (and I never cry…ahem), but today, today has been a bloody good day so far.
Life is a dance on roses. Sometimes the thorns will prick you. You have to know that. You cannot safeguard yourself no matter how wise you become. What you should know though, is that there are still rosebuds right there, next to the thorns. Appreciate the moment, live within it, because whatever it is, it is life. Even the thorns. And life is a constant dance of change. Nothing is permanent. Bless whatever comes your way. Dance with it. And then let it twirl away, knowing that with every dawn comes a new beginning…
The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed. – Buddha
“It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.” – Oriah Mountain Dreamer
“When you know that you’re capable of dealing with whatever comes, you have the only security the world has to offer.” – Harry Browne
My FB update the other day: good morning… “Right now I’m just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath.” – Richard Branson …it’s the small things….like yoga in paradise coming up…but first more snoozing…I love my life 🙂