This question is asked not only by young people, but also by people between 30 and 50 years old. First you ask yourself what you should have done and then, at some point, what else you shouldn’t have done. Psychotherapist Antonia Speerforck wrote a book about it.
Sorry, you probably have a catchy tune right now, but Bono is ringing in my head: “But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” Since 1987. Terrible! The song, but also the statement. I always thought it was stupid, I still think it’s stupid, but why? Because he puts his finger in my open, gaping wound. Am I where I should be? Am I where I always wanted to be? Has everything worked since 1987? I keep wondering, and now that there’s almost no room on the cake for all the candles, I should have finally arrived, right? So: “Where is my place in life?” It’s a really good question that not only young people ask themselves, but also those between 30 and 50 years old. At first you don’t know what to do, then at a certain point you wonder what else you shouldn’t have done. Psychotherapist Antonia Speerforck did not eat wisdom with a spoon (Citation), another universal tip. But he wrote a book. A good.
I arrived? It seems that way from the outside, I think to myself: work, kids, husband, warm place, vacation, dog, friends, family… Enough. Yes, most of it is true, but it’s not all gold. It doesn’t work at all. But at this point I don’t want to delve into what might have gone wrong for me or what wasn’t as it should have been. I chose such a personal introduction only because Antonia Speerforck does it that way in her book. Use the reader’s name and I feel immediately addressed.
Speerforck garnishes his chapters with excerpts of song lyrics – wonderful, I can really relate to that. He writes: “I’m about 35 and on the right track.” Ok, that’s what I thought too at the time. Then not for a while, and then again and again. The desire to arrive – she also writes – is immense. To find a place to have peace and quiet. But then I get restless again, haha. Calm. Who always wants peace and quiet? Well, I always try to explain to you when you have enough excitement.
Speerforck asks herself, for example, and in doing so proves that, as I said, she is not omniscient, but she is quite good at the subject – no wonder, she is a psychologist, lawyer, mother, daughter, wife, friend and a few other things more. She therefore wonders, among other things, whether she hasn’t really gotten on her mother’s nerves with all the doubts and fears that tormented her as a young but already adult. And not only Antonia, but also the psychotherapist Speerforck would like to hear this “mother’s voice” that offers her a solution or at least gives her comfort. But in the end she is like this: she has finally written the book that she would have liked to read years ago. And this makes her an extremely reliable accomplice when it comes to “finding space”. Even for yourself.
A good example: people compared themselves to their classmates. Today you deal with the whole world, even as a student. Thanks to TikTok and Instagram. Yes, great, so you know what the exchange course people in California or England are doing now, that it’s daytime for them or the weather is better, that they’re throwing a nicer party, but you’re not there. This means you feel the pain of not being in that place instead of enjoying it or at least accepting that it’s good enough where you are. That the party HERE is beautiful too. And it doesn’t just happen to young people. Since everyone posts that they are on vacation, those staying at home in all countries just feel bad. It’s raining outside the window and your tennis friend is in the Seychelles in shorts? Shit! Why am I here and she is there? I almost forget that sometimes I like it when it rains outside the window and I can finally do inside myself everything I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Due to global warming, it was so hot until the end of October that I ALWAYS wanted to just be outside. Unfortunately I perceive others better than myself and therefore I have to tell myself like a mantra: “It’s fine as it is”.
My personal pessimist
Speerforck writes as a friend, for example: “Don’t let my work blind you. You don’t need any more pressure!” He takes us by the hand and at the same time points out that we are made up of many parts, of many people, and there is nothing wrong with that. He even encourages us to accept, even love, the less beautiful parts of ourselves, to bring them out of the shadows. I’ll do it right away. Moment. Ah, there he is, the pessimist. Nobody thinks that I have a pessimist in me because, after all, my glass is always half full. But this pessimist (he’s male, for whatever reason) sometimes it warns me against stupidity or arrogance, against frivolity and yes, even against excessive, almost stupid, optimism. Speerforck knows: people are more complex than the boxes we put ourselves and others into.
After reading it, I finally know that I don’t have to make a decision: I can be a city girl and a country girl at the same time. I can discover the bourgeois in me and let the hippie exist, I can be a family man and still say, “Oh no, guys, this is getting too much for me now.” Antonia Speerforck recommends working on yourself, yes, but not with too much pressure, because it would mean fighting against yourself again. “This is the opposite of love, trust and flow,” she says. And that’s why she wrote this book, about arriving and staying moving.
Dilemma solved thanks to Tetralemma
“Where is my place in life” also talks about shame, a very unpleasant feeling that the author deals with (of the book) you know, it’s about what holds us back and it’s about pseudo-giant fear. It provides guidance on how we might make good decisions. Some of these things might sound familiar to you, but you’ve forgotten them by now: something like the good old piece of paper. Simply take four sheets of paper and write down four possible answers to the current question on a topic: “A” or “B”? Maybe also: “A and B”, or better: “Neither, C”. Speerforck calls this the “Tetralemma” and encourages you to go through various options by actually standing on the respective pieces of paper. Yes, with shoes or bare feet. Any more information would be excessive. Read page 182, highly recommended. You may feel tingling.