Scattered thoughts

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Dear little sister,

two letters, and so much wisdom in both. Thank you for both, and particularly thank you for all the lovely compliments. I think there are many things you are great at too. You already mentioned many of the things I admire about you, but to add to the list: you are great at making a plan and just doing it, you have great taste in clothes and interior design, and you have a positivity, ability to dream and way of understanding people that I admire.  

Reading over your letter on passion, I think you hit upon a truth there: to be satisfying, the process has to be at least as important as the result. Not only does that help when the inevitable stumbling blocks turn up, but it also maximises the chance for joy and fulfilment. After all, the process takes up most of the time, whereas the moment of completion is very short. I think this is why we so often come up with ideas that we never see through: because we focus so much on the final result, we forget to ask ourselves if we really want to invest the time and energy to get there. When it comes to it, we find out we don’t. Of course, the process doesn’t have to be fun all the time, and I think it’s dangerous to assume it will be or should be. Instead, it has to be meaningful in some way, a balance between enjoying what you do, and knowing why you do it. I feel like there are more things to be said about this but I am struggling to put them on paper at the moment, so I will come back to it. 

I love the idea of taking yourself on a date. I’m so glad you did! I’m always surprised how often the todo lists can, indeed, wait another day. And I think you are right: looking after yourself sometimes means giving yourself permission to stay firmly in the comfort zone. I am all for adventuring and reaching and growing, but here is a truth: It is exhausting. It takes energy, and nobody has endless energy. There is a time to challenge ourselves and there is a time to enjoy what we have already discovered. Like so many things in life, it is a balance. Too much comfort, and we can become stuck. Too much reaching and we end up toppling over. We are so often encouraged to reach higher and try harder, and forget that to do so, we need a solid foundation that can support us. You can’t build a tall building on shaky foundations. Taking yourself on a cinema date sounds like a great way to regroup! There is something about a dark room, a film playing and a cardboard box of popcorn that locks out the world, and all its demands and questions. My favourite treat for myself, for a very similar feeling, is a really fancy cup of coffee in a nice coffee shop. I love the quiet comfort of a busy coffee shop, the feeling of luxury that someone made me a warm cup of milky coffee, and the space it gives me to read or write or just sip and think. The world stays outside for a while. It can wait.

All the best,

Ricarda 

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