When the past has nothing new to say

Life provides plenty of experiences good and bad, moments that turn into memories to lift our hearts or haunt us in our dreams. We marvel in the beauty of recalling those special moments and a smile graces our face. But wait was that all….wouldn’t that be great….In all honesty we have to admit that there are also the not so pleasant moments that we contemplate over and over? The regrets that creep into our mind and keep us up at night.

Luckily I never dwelled much on the past and it was what it was. I learned from it and I might even do some things differently if I had the chance to do them again, but I also learned to give myself credit. I was forgiving of what I might viewed as a mistake in later life and I knew that I had done the best to my ability. I decided on the best choice given the wisdom and resources I had at the time. And still from time to time I found myself wondering about that famous “What if”. A game to entertain or torture the mind that always has the same outcome and nothing ever changes. We reminisce about what could have been, how our lives could have turned out if we only had….????
After life jolted me awake and blessed me with what I called “My journey of transformation” it came to mind that something had changed. I realized that I was no longer interested in my past and it no longer had a hold over me. It was exactly what it needed to be “The past” and it became clear that it would never have anything new to say. I felt free as if a burden was lifted and I wondered what the purpose had been in contemplating the same outcome over and over? Was it a pick me up that I had been after to cheer myself up, or was it self torture I was looking for? I don’t know but I was ok with leaving it without any further thought of residing in that state. I was no longer interested in my past and while I held on to the special moments, I waived goodbye to the self destroying, unhealthy moments that had haunted me.

The detail of retail -Part 2- The sacrifice 

By now I had worked in retail for most of my life. Only a few years dated back to when I was a practicing beautician in Germany. Still it involved working with the public even though the setting was slightly different and on a much smaller scale vs. working for a big box retail corporation.After I had moved to America, retail became my only option (I thought) and my beauticians license from Germany was not honored. To continue my career abroad, I had to obtain my American license which called for money I didn’t have just starting out. After all I was a newly arrived foreigner and I still hide behind pleading the fifth and being a foreigner in a joking manner, when it comes to not knowing any better or making a mistake. Still I found it strange, given that the three year program in Germany was more extensive, detailed, and in depth compared to the much faster process over here. But in the end the fact remained that my license meant diddly squat. I had to be flexible and life was throwing one of its famous curveballs in my path. It came to pass that retail would be the obvious and perhaps the simplest choice for me. It didn’t require additional education and anybody could get their foot into the door of america’s working class.

There was no plan B and I needed an income like yesterday, like so many of us. My journey began and I took “a job” to survive, doing what I had to do to make ends meet. I was wondering how many of us were making this decision on a daily basis! It was clear that retail would have not been my obvious choice, but then what was? Did I have a dream job? Was being a beautician my dream job? Contemplating the question, the answer to it never came and I didn’t know. I had never so much entertained the subject and now I felt unsure of our capabilities to make this huge decision during our school term. Or was it just me struggling with it?

Many years had passed since then and I was recalling those early times as if I was having another out of body experience. Hovering over myself, the details of my life emerged on a faint silver screen in black and white, baring no sound. The blurred images of myself appeared in random order and flashed just long enough to allow a glimpse of highlights and past events.

Retail was a tough order to follow and I had committed to it for the past 25+ years. I had come to know people who really enjoyed this environment but I also knew people that experienced a different side. People that got a pretty good chewing, only to be spit out afterwards. I identified myself as being a little bit of both and I had seen the up’s and down’s of it. After all I was born on the day of up’s and down’s, so was my life to entail anything else but that? I was getting accustomed to the roller coaster ride, I just hadn’t figured out yet if I actually liked roller coasters.

Retail demands many personal sacrifices and never dwelled on it until now. All of a sudden I didn’t want to miss anymore holidays with family, friends and loved ones. Taking time off during the holidays was impossible and those times were usually blacked out, meaning that no vacation was granted. It was up to me to make everybody’s holiday season bright, special and filled with cheer even though it often felt as if the stressed in a rush public never appreciated the sacrifice I was making. I was merely a servant to a means and that was it. My elf inner spirit was left worn and the bright cheery sparkle was beginning to fade as the holidays progressed. Still I made the sacrifice and worked hard to become a valuable and dependable worker. I enjoyed helping others and I was going to be the best I could be at this not so chosen, not my dream kind of job that I was trusted with. I was to serve the public, but even more to be a mentor for those aspiring to move up in business. I was grateful to be given the opportunity to make a difference and to be a vital part of making a few dreams come true.

I had been successful no doubt, especially giving the consideration of this being not my native country and that I barely spoke the language. I worked through the ranks and landed in management. My goal was to perfect my craft and to prepare me for what was next and the running of my own store for a well known organization.

My foot was in the door and the sacrifice was forging the path of my life….

My painting that speaks to the inprisonment of the all mighty dollar. The dark side and the things we have to do to survive, which often leaves us feeling incomplete and merely existing vs. being alive.

The detail of retail-Part 1-The loss of balance

Today was the beginning of a seven day work stretch and in all honesty, I was not looking forward to it. It was a lot of noise to imagine and I was already counting down the days before they had a chance to get started. But it was also the countdown towards salvation which included five days of freedom coming my way. “Freedom” was my reference to time off and it seemed as if it was all that I was working for as of lately. I’m not saying that I didn’t care about my job or that I gave it anything less then a 100%, in reality it was more of the opposite and my work ethic would have never allowed for such, but I longed to be under nobody’s watch and I wanted to do my own thing. For sure there was a lot to be done in doing that “own thing” and the last time I had checked, I had found no shortage of hobbies and interests. I would not be bored for a long, long time, that was for sure and I was ok with it.
The problem was never enough time to balance all, with days way too short and a forty hour workweek that simply took a big chunk of my time. It almost felt like a waste of time and work was getting in between my creative process. But just like everybody else, I had to work and it didn’t look as if I was going to win the lottery any time soon. Perhaps I should start to play if I was to entertain this avenue.
After everything was said and done, by the end of the day I was simply too exhausted and all I wanted to do was to sit and unwind from my busy day. I sat in silence, without the TV and began to wonder what the point was of having it and paying the $140 a month which included the typical TV, Phone and Internet bundle. The only thing I really used was the Wifi. The phone was more or less for my Mother and to allow her to reach me if there was ever a need. But there was never a need it seemed like, or I should say that it was very seldom that she called due to the time difference and not knowing when she was able to reach me with my ever changing schedule. Plus she hated to talk to the answering machine and would rather hang up instead of leaving a message. I know it sounds like an excuse but those were her reasons and even though I could have had the same, we differed as I would call back over and over until I get a hold of her.
The TV would only add more noise to an already hectic and loud retail day and so I sat in silence in search of my sanity. Life was passing me by and I’m not saying that you always have to be on the go and be doing something, but I was too tired for anything else. It was a routine, an unfulfilled reason that was simply unacceptable to me. My condition was not by choice but by exhaustion and being drained. I had come to a point where retail and it’s loss for balance sucked the life right out of me. It sounds horrible coming to think of, but I didn’t know different. “It was just what it was” and I knew something was missing. I’m sure it still remains a part of what needs to be altered and what needs to be changed along my path as I patiently await the solutions to present themselves when the conditions are right and in perfect time.
As I sat there my “Questions galore” post made a comeback by throwing one question after another my way to disturb the peace and quiet I was so desperately seeking.
Did I really wanted to spend the rest of my life like this? What was I working towards, what was my legacy, my fulfillment? And the biggest question mark of them all “What was next”?

 

Quotations and Wisdom

I wasn’t spending much time posting status updates these days, nor was I responding to other people’s posts and their fantastic life according to Facebook. It all seemed like a front, having to keep up, not the real deal and for myself, I had never been one to pretend. I preferred to keep it real, good or bad. If there was nothing good to say, I much rather kept silent and to myself. But I always enjoyed looking at pictures, as if they carried me away to trade my reality for a dream world. It was no surprise that Pinterest quickly became my best friend and my interest for various subjects demanded a need to quickly create a variety of new boards. It was an eclectic mix with anything that was pleasing to the eye or inspired me in some way to be pinned. Inspiration and pleasure was in high demand these days and I never knew which random images could strike a reaction. I was growing and so was the diversity within, my mind was expanding while I was discovering newfound likes.I took a big liking to quotes, personal mantras, life and Native American wisdom. I shouldn’t be surprised about the Native American passion and a connection dating back to my childhood became clear. My mind was drifting back to the lazy Sunday afternoons, watching a western on TV and always being so fascinated with the Indians in the old black and white film. Even the horror of scalping some Cowboys at times, I never gave it much thought as to why and that was just the way it was. Perhaps there was already a connection to the lifestyle in those films, not to say that I like to scalpel some people, but I was feeling a common love to Nature, living modestly in the wild, being strong, wild and free. To no surprise playing Cowboys and Indians with my Mom was a frequent occasion in our home. 

She would find herself more times than none restrained with me being the Indian who had to tie that “Pale face” to a kitchen chair which would serve as a totem pole.

“Fasching” in Germany was an extended version of Halloween and you know what the perfect costume for me was. I got into full character by grabbing my long haired black wig, my Indian dress and not to forget finishing the whole alter ego by painting my face with black war paint. My mind is entertained as I look back to those innocent times to see a connection of unknowingly getting ready for my life and fighting for my beliefs. Except then I was just fighting to tie people up it seems. 

Looking at pictures on Pinterest, I felt confirmation that there were other people like me and that I wasn’t going crazy just yet. I saved picture after picture and my collection of inspiration grew at an astonishing rate. The other interesting fact was that I was soaking up one quote after another like a sponge I was learning to sustain my quest of guidance for my journey. There were old favorites but also many new found likes that grabbed my attention and shorten my nights of sleep. I just couldn’t tear myself away.

I was thinking about how those quotes came to be, what life experiences triggered these sayings and what battles must have been fought to receive such ultimate wisdom. I knew that wisdom does not come easy and in many cases it was nothing more than healed pain. I could relate with the beautiful strangers that had poured their hearts into ink and paper and I felt strangely connected. As if I could feel the pain coming through the words, it was a combination of compassion and sadness, but also motivation to push on and to learn more.

My day ended reflecting on my own wisdom, what I had learned, what I had come to love, but most of all I was focused on the “Now” and what needed to change in the pursuit of my own journey.

A series of non-coincidental events

It was a series of new found likes and non-coincidental events that formed the birth of Rhapsody Bohème. I discovered the name itself through two independent words that found their way into my mind. How it came to be and why, remains a mystery to me but perhaps some things are just meant to happen and are not to be questioned. 

Rhapsody – An effusively enthusiastic or ecstatic expression of feelings was the definition from the dictionary. I found it to be fitting and it was hitting the nail right on the head since a variety of emotions and feelings were ruling my days as of lately.
Bohemian – Gypsy, wanderer. A person, musician, artist or writer who lives a free spirited life and believes in truth, freedom and love. A definition I immediately found myself drawn to for various reasons even I didn’t understand them in all their glorious detail yet. From de-cluttering my life to a less is more lifestyle, to the quotes, the fashion and the careless, often responsibility lightened existence of life. I was hunger driven to implement the steps necessary for my future Bohemian life and making it a reality to become a free spirit. I think I might have always been carefree, but I needed a catalyst, something to jolt me awake and enable me to witness what was happening. 
I had reached a point where Life had become quite questionable. I didn’t realized it at the time, but it was a life changing transformation that I was seeking. Trying to figure out what exactly it was that had to change, would prove to be a challenge, but I was full of hope and inspiration to find out. I believed and with my high hopes my experiences started to change. For the first time I observed the “signs”, the gentle nudges that guided my path and the life shattering events that forced me to my knees. 
I’m not sure how it all began and at which part of this transformation I currently reside, but I’m on my way and I feel content as the ending is still being written. Living in the now, one thing is for certain and that is that I am in the midst of the biggest journey of my life. A journey of coming home, finding my purpose and finding

Birth of a Warrior 

As my inner “Warrior” lies dormant no-more, my mind becomes fully awake. I break free from the chains only to grow closer to my conscious self and the person I was meant to be. A powerful spirit runs through my veins that is wild, free and not meant to be tamed. As I challenge the status quo and the lessons I once found to be true, I realize that they no longer serve my purpose. Healed pain has turned into wisdom, while being the very catalyst granting me release me from my deep sleep to jolt me awake. 
My soul lies with the “Gypsy’s” the seekers of freedom and a lifestyle slowed down to appreciate what truly matters. To be and let be – to smell the roses. 

I dance with the “Fairy’s” that make our world a magical place and teach us to believe in all miracles big and small. 

I walk besides the “Wanderer’s” and share in the spirit that admires all beauty and majesty of Mother Earth. 

The “Traveler’s” that seek adventure and are not afraid of the unknown but who allow the “What could be” to unfold right before their eyes. 

My passion belongs to the “Artist’s” who experience life on a deeper level than most by sharing a common need to create and show compassion for each other. 

The “Lovers” of music who move with the rhythm of life while expressing themselves through a song when words are hard to find. 

The “Writers” and “Poets” who paint their story in ink and make us fall in love by reading between the lines. 

I admire the “Dreamers” who dream big and believe in hope and everything possible. Who are spontaneous and live in the moment and the “Now”.

My cheer goes to the “Underdog” who is fighting to be accepted without comprising themselves or losing sight of their unique individuality. The “Misfits” and “Outsiders” that seek their place amongst society and struggle to fit in.

The “Optimists” who choose to see the silver lining in the most difficult of situations. 

The “Unselfish” that are always willing to help by lending a hand to others while braving their own storms.

My heart beats for the “Collectors” of moments and memories, who leave the materialistic burden behind to enjoy a life far less complex and even irresponsible at times. 

I admire the “Angel’s” amongst us that walk the earth in human form to make our life a better place. 

 And finally all “Mankind” who does not see an animal, but a living soul and something so much more profound than the title of being an animal.

As my inner “Warrior” rises within me, I am strong and I am proud. 

My authentic self is my soul made visible – I am home – I am myself. 

Rhapsody Bohème – Birth of a Warrior