Stuff

A lot of stuff. Tons of it. Everywhere. Overflowing shelves. Jam-packed drawers. A cram-full wardrobe. Boxes stacked on top of each other on the floor. Countless old CDs towering up next to where my computer used to be. My old bedroom at my parents is a mess. A myriad of memories overwhelmed me as I entered the room. At the end of a truly joyful year, it felt like an enormous setback. Back to square one. For decades I have hoarded every single memento believing that it would somehow help me in the future. It took me years to realize that it is much better to travel light. That I need to get rid of all that stuff. All we need is inside ourselves.

Need a cable for a technology that died ten years ago?

Curious about the newest games 20 years ago?

Ready to study for that lecture that does not even exist anymore?

Slim and portable: the revolutionary 1.6 Mb floppy disk!

Eternal Sunset

A beautiful sunset on a warm evening with clear skies. For me, that somehow only happens when I am on holidays. And I feel like I should really enjoy it, because the holidays will be over at some point and then that beautiful view will be gone. However, the sunset is there every evening. And any time of the year there is a place on earth where it is warm. Also, the skies are always clear above the clouds. Rather than a shortage of holidays, maybe the problem is that we almost never pause our daily routine to admire the beauty and richness that surrounds us every single day. We just need to stop and look at it. It could not be simpler.

Sunset seen from Kritinia Castle on Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece

Drop the Badge

I still have to fully realize it. This morning I returned my laptop, my docking station, the chargers, everything. At reception, I handed over my badge. It felt strange as I walked across the Campeon Campus one last time towards the train stop. It has been an adventure, a great one. I have learned a lot in this one and a half years. The next adventure is just a few train stops down the line, again in industry. Apart from the beautiful campus, what I already miss are the people that have defined my time at Campeon. In the train every morning, at lunch every noon, in the office every day. More than the job itself, I guess what matters are the people one shares it with.

The stairs at the train stop leading to Campeon Campus on a gloomy autumn morning

Glassless

I wear glasses all the time, morning to evening. Without them, I would be lost. I almost forgot how it is not to see sharp. Not to see all the small little details. But the more one perceives, the more one has to worry about. One of the few places I have to take the glasses off is when swimming at the beach. Waiting for the bright sun to dry me, the other day the bay at San Sebastian looked like a blurry impressionist painting to my glassless eyes. I could not do much but admire the indistinct shapes and appreciate the sound of the waves, wandering along the beach. All the details were gone, and along with them, all the worries.

Perfectly arranged beach on a windy day in San Sebastian

Liberation

I still do not know what has changed. But something has changed. I did not find the love of my life. I did not become rich in terms of money. I did not become a boss at work. I did not buy a house. I did not buy a car. I did not buy an expensive phone. I did not go to luxory hotels and restaurants. I did not buy expensive equipment. And still, I am orders of magnitude happier than I ever was before. Not everything is perfect, of course, but it does not annoy me that much anymore. Most likely, it was a beneficial combination of factors. I moved to a nice city. I am surrounded by nice people. And I started to appreciate how beautiful everything around us is.

Lake Seeben near Ehrwald in Austria on an amazing summer day

Call it whatever you want. Some people call it minimalism. Other people talk about cognitive psychology. Yet another group says that they pray to a god. Others become buddhists. But it is all just flavors of the very same thing. Different ways that all lead to the same sort of liberation based on focusing on what really matters.