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How to feel safe in a world that is moving so quickly..?

Lately, some of my friends and me have talked about a sense of safety that some things give us that, however, if the worst comes to the worst, is not real. When the walls are crumbling, in this quickly moving world, and we just feel like the ground below our feet has opened, it seems that they are nothing but fake. An imagination of our head, a pretence.

1. Sticking to your routine
I love my routine. I eat cereal and fruit in the morning. I go to the train station, I walk to work, I work. Normally, I have a salad for lunch, or a soup. I usually sit in the cafeteria, sometimes on the same chair. Silly me. Mostly I buy the same groceries on Mondays or Thursdays, and my meals vary only little. In the evening I read or watch a movie. Occasionally I meet friends for drinks. Repeat.
I really love my routine. Yet in the last years I have sometimes found myself wondering: is that all there is to life? Can`t I do better? When did I get so stuck? The routine that gave me security once has felt like it was suffocating me.

2. Planning everything
I am a control freak, in some ways. In class, strangely, I don`t have to control everything that`s going on. There, I love the creative energy that comes with chaos. Why that is so hard for me to accept or even welcome in my private life is a puzzle to me.
It used to scare me to have a weekend ahead of me that did not have one single plan. 48 hours seem incredibly long and awfully hard to control unless you plan them – or that`s what it felt like. In my top phases I had made plans with friends for breakfast in the morning, an afternoon coffee, dinner. Making appointments, putting them on my calendar, made me feel like I was in control, when in fact, my urge to control everything was kind of controlling me.

3. Meeting the people I know all the time
There is a comfort in belonging to a group of friends, and I love that. At times I could sit and watch them for hours – having sparkling wine in my kitchen, chatting, laughing, making silly jokes, finishing each other`s sentences. When I did not want to be alone or just felt like talking, I would call one of them and ask if we could just hang out. Yet this did not always make me happy, either. I was wrong to expect them to do that for me. It was only when I casually opened up to the friend of a friend, or later on to the colleague of another friend, that I discovered what I really enjoy every once in a while: meeting new people. Hearing their stories. Having conversations that are not predictable, that challenge me, change my view. Of course, those things are possible with friends, too. Still, what about mixing it up and welcoming all kinds of people in my life?

4. Dating safe guys
Oh, I am an expert in this area: dating guys that are solid, good men, men I would befriend in a heartbeat. It is impossible to count how many men I dated exactly because they seemed safe to me in the sense that I could never fall for them. I spent months dating guys that did not get under my skin. Or, the other extreme, guys that I kind of felt attracted to, but that I knew would disappoint me, 100%. Because they were too young, because we did not want the same things or were not in the same phase of our lives. Not their fault. Not exactly mine, but more. It just was meant to end. It made me feel safe. None of them would break my heart. None of them would even get close to it. Mission accomplished: I could not get hurt. There was no reason to feel so sad about it, right?

5. Going home to our parents
There is something about sleeping in your childhood bedroom, being surrounded by your silly but beloved teenage memorabilia, being smothered a bit by your parents, that feels so damn comforting. It happens to me at Christmas time, always. End of the year, I am nostalgic, thinking about New Years` Resolutions (fat chance) and I wish I could stay home for longer. Of course, after some days my Mum starts treating me like a child again, falling into her routine as a Mum – and who can blame her? – and I fall into my teenage pattern of pouting or rolling my eyes at her, but still. As a child, I was safe. My world was easy, predictable, limited. So whenever things get bad, my first urge is to drive the 400 km to my parents` place, wear my favourite old hoodie, watch SOKO with them on the sofa and listen to them bicker about what film to watch at 20.15 (her: Traumschiff, him: some crime film or thriller). Luckily, I am always more than welcome there, so thanks Mum and Dad.

6. Labelling things and relationships
Watching myself, I noticed I put labels on things and relationships when they made me unsure or that I did not understand. I moved to Austria, and it was a quick, short-term solution. Not a permanent one. (Just for the record, it`s been five years I am here now.) By putting a label on it, I defined it. There, see, problem solved.
Maybe you were not sure what label to put on, let`s say, a relationship; yet by putting any label on it, its status is determined and clear and there is no need to wonder anymore. That door is closed.
Sometimes it feels as if unconsciously, I label a lot more than I think I do. Makes me wonder what label I would put on something if I just waited and saw what`s coming next…

I guess, next I will have to figure out what safety is and why it matters to feel safe.

Author: carasmelody

daydreamer, hopelessly hopeful, I love the power of words, I love poems, words are soulfood

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