English Leben


I wrote so many texts about being different, but I never seem to get it right. Today, “be different” is a marketing slogan for all of those who don’t want to be different at all. Just stand out a tiny little bit, never really and never too much, because if you are too different you become just weird and nobody wants to be weird. Except me.

Weird is a word that describes everything too different for comfort.  Different means you wear the same type of shoes everyone else is, but instead of black or blue you buy them in red. Makes you look SO different. Weird is walking barefoot. I always felt like walking barefoot over pebble stones while everyone else has their running shoes on, jogging straight ahead. It’s different – pardon the pun – to be different. Because you are not a marketing slogan, no one is.


Society tries to tell you that there is only one way to success – and that is doing what everyone else does and being just like everyone else is. All you see are those damn ads that keep pushing you into walking down the same path everybody is already on. Yes, there are the exceptions – the celebrities that choose different paths and became more then us silly mortals. Those are the gods of our modern life, but never forget: There are only a few who make it to true fame and chances are high you are not one of them. It’s better to choose the life everyone else is living – the one in which you marry before 30, have the average 2 kids, pay for the mortgage on your house and have a steady, somewhat safe job.


I tried being like that for far too long. I always read the quotes from other artists – actors, writers and comedians alike – that basically all tell you to just be who you are no matter what. But it’s easy to say to someone else they should jump when you yourself alread learned how to fly. If you are the one standing on a cliff looking down into a great black abyss of uncertainty, it becomes a whole different story. At least that’s how I used to see it. I told myself it would be weird to even consider jumping and reminded myself of all the things that could go wrong. All the awful stuff that might happen. All the different ways I could fail. Staying felt like suffocating, but at least I was safe from falling down.


The thing about being different is that you will always be aware of the abyss while all the others just continue walking down the steady safe road everyone else is using. You will always feel like there are invisible chains around your feet keeping you on the ground. At least I did. I still do. I used to wish that I could be like all the others, but I finally accepted that I won’t ever be. My passion are words and stories, and every career that doesn’t involve writing stories feels suffocating to me. It’s scary as hell to seriously consider jumping, but it’s even scarier to imagine feeling the same way I do right now ten years from now.

That is what they don’t tell you: Being different means that there never really is a choice. You can only choose to fool yourself and suffer or try whatever makes your heart sing. Being an artist is not a choice, it’s a destiny – just like being different. So I choose to be weird and see where the pebbles will lead me. 🙂

“By definition, you have to live until you die. Better to make that life as complete and enjoyable an experience as possible, in case death is shite, which I suspect it will be.”   – Irvine Welsh “Trainspotting”

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