Writing Is My Therapy
“You are kind of old to study!” “When can I expect more grandchildren?” “You are not the youngest anymore; it won’t be easy to find a job.” “Wait, you are relaxing and not writing applications?” “You won’t find a job with all your tattoos, and now you want more?” “You are working out too much; I don’t want you to get too skinny.” These are just a few examples of what I get to hear from friends and family who think they know how I should live my life. Don’t get me wrong, I am open to constructive criticism and well-meant advice, but I also do believe that I know best how I want to live MY life.
Yes, I do have tattoos, and I am not ashamed of every single one. I understand that some jobs require you to cover them up, and I was pretty successful doing so during my previous internships with renowned companies. I know that I can’t be too picky at the beginning of my career. But further down my path, I want to work somewhere where I am accepted for what I bring to the table, not if I have ink on my skin or not.
Speaking of jobs, my dream profession definitely includes traveling. Lots of it, to be exact. Something my family is not too thrilled about. But let me explain something: I am not into the cookie-cutter life. I do not desire to own a house one day, I’d rather be moving around the world. I do not intend to have children; I want to be flexible to go wherever the wind takes me without worrying if this lifestyle is appropriate for my kids.
I do not want to be stuck in an office 12 hours a day and not be able to enjoy life. I do believe that it takes a lot of someone’s shoulder when you earn a $100+K a year, but if you never get to enjoy it because you are continuously working, than that is not worth it. Of course, we all know that the California lifestyle is pretty expensive, and I am not saying that I wouldn’t want to earn a substantial amount of money to be able to afford my life here.
But to me, it is all about balance. I truly do believe that we all need days off to recover, or that we all deserve a relaxing vacation for all the hard work we are providing to pay the bills. I do work hard: I nanny for two families while writing this column. I also am a social media volunteer for an animal sanctuary, and I also draft countless applications. So if I decide to relax one day instead of writing an application, than I do so.
I apologize that this post has such a negative undertone this week. But writing is therapy for me, and maybe one or more of you have experienced the same issue and can relate. We all should be able to live our life how it works best for us. I do not tell you to not have kids, so please don’t tell me that I am missing out on life if I don’t plan on having any.
I do not tell you to go to the gym more often, so please don’t tell me I overdo it with exercise. And first and foremost, do not ever tell anyone they are too old to change their life by going back to school or planning a new career. We only have this one life to live, and it is never too late to change something for the better if you are willing to do so.
Anne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.
If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.