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There is beauty, you know

There is beauty in the world. How come so many can not see that?

There is beauty in the way my depressed mother tries; how her shaky hands reach out to me and my sister and my dad to comfort us.
There is beauty in her tears as they show she has not given up; she still feels something,  even if every tear she sheds seems to fall directly on my aching heart.
There is beauty in my dad’ s softness with her, repeating “It’s gonna be fine, you know” all over without his voice breaking most of the time- and when it does break and he sobs, too, it is so raw and honest, there is beauty there, too.
There is also beauty in our gathered strength, to organise, to deal with the next step, to micromanage by filling out forms and formal requests and insurance stuff, to wait in the helpline, to get a hug while doing so.
There is beauty in the freedom given to us by employers, to be able to deal with what needs to be done instead of what would be my job.
There is beauty in the message of colleagues that missed me.
And there is beauty in a “thank you” of a student I helped out last week; I had totally forgotten about her but read her thank-you note today. Usually, she is one to deliver rage not roses, so it felt special.
There is beauty in the kindness of strangers on the phone, doctors, nurses, caregivers.
There is beauty in our shared tears over a fate that no one chose yet is accepted without casting blame.
There is beauty in the words of my friends letting me know they are there, one way or the other.
There  is beauty in knowing I can actually come back to that offer, with some of them.
There is beauty in the way my fiancée accepts my absence and deals with our cat that now needs an operation -in my absence, in this mess- and somehow it is no drama, just life, and we do what needs to be done affectionately and lovingly.
There is also beauty in the way he worries, about our cat, about me, about my family, and gives me strength at the same time.
Isn’t it also beautiful how much you can grow standing in the center of a storm, once you realize  that there is still hope, you know, you can feel it.

So there is beauty. Thanks for making me see.

Three months later #3

Last time I wrote about getting engaged; happy news and happy times, of visions in white and planning a wonderful wedding.

Unfortunately, a shadow lies over this time, too, as my mum is in the hospital. Her bipolar disorder has surfaced extremely around summer time, and it felt as if all I could do was watch helplessly.

In these past six months, even before her illness surfaced, I had and have worked hard on setting conscious boundaries with my parents – my aim was to not feel guilty for living my life in Austria, for enjoying my relationship, for not driving up there all the time.
Furthermore my aim was that they learn to accept help from people other than me and my sister regarding the house and garden, and that we are not responsible. Lastly, I felt it was high time they accepted what I have long accepted: that my mother’s illness won’t just disappear, yet that it is crucial to take some steps to prevent extreme phases of depression or mania in phases when the illness is dormant and she is fine. All my conversations regarding this topic had ended in fights, so I had felt it was time to let it go.

Well, what can I say? I have learned I can not change the way they feel or act, just the way I react. Since our engagement, the boundaries have become clearer to my parents, I suppose, and for a time this shift was hurtful to them. How does one set boundaries lovingly???

Additionally, I vowed only to “help” my parents in whatever way if they specifically ask for it – and otherwise listen and try not to judge. My my, how my solution-oriented soul has suffered.
And of course, it makes me sad that she is in the hospital, and that my dad is alone in that big house.

What I have learned in the past three months is that I am definitely not very good at not doing anything. Consequently I have tried to become a good listener, to be understanding and to see their side – while at the same time not acting, not helping, not offering solutions and still stay affectionate. A balance I find hard to achieve…

On the contrary, I have made plans and decisions for my life, I have become quite good at feeling happy instead of guilty and there are times when there is no conflict in my heart between me-here and me-daughter, when there is a balance and harmony and I do not feel torn.

Honestly, how does anyone ever do that? When I talked about this with my life coach, she gave me an image that has since given me peace:

And a friend of mine commented: it might take a lifetime to achieve. Guess she is right 🙂

Love ♡

When I started driving
away from home,
seeing my mother, father and sister in the rearview mirror,
getting smaller and smaller
yet still waving
and standing on the front steps,

I felt so much love.

And I could not shake the feeling
I had forgotten something, but what…?

Only after a few hours on the road
I realized that
I had left some love there,
which was and has always been there.

I have enough in me, after all.


In every relationship, no matter if between friends or family or partners, there are periods in which you do not see eye to eye about certain issues. In my family, unfortunately, there is no face-to-face communication possible and no solution-orientated approach. Instead, there usually is silence.

When you do not talk to me
and I do not talk to you –
All we have is silence.

In this silence, the voices inside me grow louder
and give me time:
to consider our relationship neutrally
to evaluate our past rationally
and curiously think about our future

In this silence, I feel room inside of me
to be self-centered and focus on me
to explore and express my needs
to step back from my feelings
to find my center

In this silence, I remember
that I may be your daughter
and I am a grown woman;
that you may be my parents
and you are human with flaws;
that we may be related and thus automatically in a relationship
and this relationship develops like all relationships do;
that I may be open to change
and this changing relationship is not easy.

The ones that matter never are.


Photo by on

Silly little thank-you note

So, today my adventure ends. A silly little trip, travelling solo, to another continent, it might seem. I don’t know how often I panicked bf coming here, and in hindsight I wonder why I ever did. I am grateful for the step out of my comfort zone and can’t wait to see what’s next. Feeling melancholic, I wrote this. Thanks 🙂 

I would like to thank… (in no order of importance)

Mathias for his camera and adapter – I adore the pics I `ve taken!

Julia for her old-fashioned and thus much appreciated mp3player. It kept me company on the roads.

Susie for encouraging me always. My sister, for the same.

My dad for texting me they loved me in exactly the right moment.

M for moving to SF and indirectly inspiring this trip. Thanks for teaching me it is ok to want what I want.

Dr for always believing in me and loving me, no matter how  I feel or what is going on. Much love from deep West (?).

Claudia & René, Julia and Pedro for feeding my cats and cuddling them.

Pedro for sharing my flat so I can leave without worrying.

Nici &G for picking me up at the airport. With a heart balloon.

Alex, for a thousand reasons.

All my friends who rejoice with me in my adventures. I do love you and know I don’t always say it 😉 Working on it.

The Backstreet Boys for still being on tour 😉

My home. I love coming back to you ❤


“Every song ends. Is that any reason not to enjoy the music?“ Quote fits.

Manche Dinge schätzt man erst, wenn sie weg sind

… und wenn man viel Glück hat, tauchen sie wieder auf.

Seit Wochen kam kein Whatsapp von dir, sonst hören wir uns täglich.
Dein ‘Ist der Vogel ausgeflogen?’ – wenn du anrufst oder schreibst u nicht innerhalb einer Stunde eine Antwort kommt- bringt mich immer zum Lachen. Ich bin alt genug, sag ich in der Regel (über Alter spricht man nicht, 30 sei das neue 20, soviel soll gesagt sein..) Zwinkersmiley, damit du es als Humor verstehst. Tust du.
Egal wie alt du bist, du bist mein Kind, sagst du fast immer. Ich alte Mutter muss doch wissen, was sich tut. Und fragst zur Sicherheit nochmal nach, ob ich ein Date hatte, als ich ausgeflogen war. 😉

Seit Wochen magst du auch nicht ans Telefon, und wenn, dann nur aus Höflichkeit. Die ist fast noch schlimmer als Schweigen, so kühl. Fragst nix, nichts interessierte dich. Bitte u Danke u Ja u Nein. Angeborene Reflexantworten, wo nichts von deiner Persönlichkeit durchsickert.

Doch heute war ein Teil von dir da, irgendwie.

Deine Stimme klang heut nicht leer, es war wieder Wärme da. Für mich. Du hast mich geneckt, nur ein bisschen, nit zittriger Stimme. Du hast von den Katzen erzählt, und von der Sonne. Du hast leise gelacht. Du hast gesagt, dass du mich lieb hast.

Wochenlang hab ich nicht geweint. Heut hab ich aufgelegt und konnte nicht anders.

Schön, dass du wieder da bist, Mama.


You think it is hard
watching friends make bad choices,
dating the wrong guys,

You have never seen your mother choosing to do nothing,
watching her fade away,
choosing to not get up at all,
not saying ‘good morning’ if she does.

You have never seen your dad being there for her
without her seeing it nor caring.
Living in the same house with her
without her actually living her life.

You have never talked to the empty shell of her,
politely listening to you
without engaging into a conversation,
thanking you for your call,
without warmth in her voice for her daughters.

You have never, hopefully.
I hope you never will.