The burn-out clichés

Truth is I didn’t just start writing because Christmas decoration was in the stores even before my birthday… although it gave me the final push 😉

For years I’d been looting my body… first without knowing, then knowing but not caring and finally knowing and caring, but not being able to snap out of it.

I might elaborate on the above sentence if my loyal fanbase expands beyond the single follower I currently have (ok ok… I am that single follower – what can I say? I wanted to try out if wordpress was broken, since I didn’t get an audience. Still now, it makes me happy for a second when I see my blog-statistics. The duration of the disappointment – realizing again it’s me myself and I following myself – also shortens, so the balance is tilting towards happiness). So leaving the elaboration on the how/why for a later time.

I reached the point where I was on holiday with my kids (co-parenting 3 lovely monsters) and I couldn’t move anymore. I could only lie down. I could exceptionally drag myself to the pool (which looked 10 times bigger on picture and was actually an ennobled bathtub that made my son cry at arrival) and wanted to sleep. I was actually so restless I couldn’t sleep properly: my body felt like it was under permanent attack and needed to be on guard 24/7. Cortisol. It f***s up all other hormones by the way – the only focus of your body becomes survival.

Upon return I thought I’d go for a run with my daughter – back then ~11 years old and to put it euphemistically: not the fastest runner around. We barely ran 1km, my sports-watch started making a sound I never heard before and I was about to crash. I had to ask her to stop and face the facts: even a half dead cheetah is able to catch up with a turtle – so I was beyond half-dead. The 1km run resulted in 2 additional recovery days for my heart-rate (not kidding) and despite the fact that all blood- and heart-tests were negative, I had never felt so close to being dead as I did back then. Yup, feelings have the power to conquer your body. Feelings caused by work, divorce, break-ups, kids, covid and kids, losing my sister years ago, some luggage from the past… and the feeling I would always be strong enough to bounce back. In the end, it’s me 🙂 I always did!

So all clichés were there: I never expected to feel like this… not me?! I ignored signals I didn’t know of. I kept on working full-time while my job and fight for the people in the organization were a constant drain for me. Till I didn’t bounce anymore and I sat on my knees in front of my three kids, telling them how sorry I was, I couldn’t be a good dad to them at that moment. It needed change!

For the first time in my life I invested in me. In all possible ways (also financially, because my beloved multinational employer of course didn’t insure mental issues – those are for the weak… and the weak are not the winners… and my company only hires the best :)). I felt guilty doing so at first, but grew out of that. I felt pressured to go back to work, but let go of that eventually (I know I made it sound Ninja-tough and strong, but it took me months to accept). I was going to take as long as was needed.

During the process (lasted a year, still not 100% there), I realized 1 thing: I needed to change my life. I needed freedom. I wanted to do things I like doing. Writing is one of them.

I actually realized more things. You need to be strong to make the decision I took in this over-populated world with its society-rules and -pressure. And you need a person next to you that believes in you, despite cortisol-mess, fears, tears, fatigue and all emotions that come on your path. Thanks love x

Photo by Tara Winstead on

Mahsa Amini

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on

I don’t have any intention to give this blog a political character – however given my huge fanbase ;), my incomparable quest for freedom and mostly because of the fact I have Iranian friends and family in law, I wanted to draw attention to the situation in Iran – all little bits help.

A 22-year old girl -Mahsa Amini- died after she got beaten up by the so called morality police of the Iranian regime, because her hijab wasn’t properly covering her hair. After years of suppression, this was the final drop for the people of Iran. People are in the streets, risking their lives for freedom.

As said, I don’t want to make this blog political at all, but I do want freedom for everyone on this planet and I support all people that try to achieve it.

We Are But Ants

For years, I’ve been thinking to write. Today is the day to stop just thinking about it. The day local stores replaced the outdoor furniture by Christmas decoration in the middle of one of the hottest summers we’ve had so far.

It’s exactly twenty years ago since I started working as an engineer in electronics. I studied to become an engineer, because I didn’t learn how to listen to my heart. I learned to listen to the world-record holders of risk aversion (my parents) and teachers who all just saw a straight-A-student and wanted a top-notch career for me. Up till that point in time, no one ever asked me what I would really like do to. No. One. Ever.  

From the day I started my masters, I slowly started to forge my own solid, golden handcuffs and my beautiful golden cage. For a moment I even thought I was doing well. The slightly uncomfortable slumbering feeling that I didn’t really like what I was doing was suppressed by a nice company car, bonuses, raises, my first apartment and later on an own house… allowing me to cover up my growing, always recurring feeling of unhappiness. Sneakily, day by day, I was trapped in a world I do not belong to. Queuing up every day to work for our queens and kings, queuing back home exhausted in the evening to enjoy the crumbs we got fed.

I think I haven’t felt free since I was twelve. What an age… playing football in the park all day long; jumpers for goalposts, trading marbles in the streets (or admittedly win them with slightly custom-bended rules from the less gifted neighbors across the street – genuine apologies). Feeling the heat of the soft, melted tar between the old concrete-plated roads and just sitting there, on that sidewalk, time seemed to stand still.

Soon I’ll be 43…

I want to feel free again, but I need the income (co-parenting three super-kids, mortgage to pay). I googled how to do so. I read books. Listened to podcasts. Everything I read or listened to was written by people that are free. People that generate a passive income sufficient to be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want it. People who are now following their hearts. And as much as I hoped these people would inspire me, they frustrated me. Reading (and thereby sponsoring) “I’m financially free and you can be so too”, at some point made me want to tear that book apart… Hearing “I lived in poverty and now I make 430k of which 90% with passive income” at the beginning of each podcast-episode, made me feel like I wanted to smash the central console of my car. That happened in a misanthropic mood. And only in thoughts. I’m not the guy ripping books apart or smashing car consoles. Although once I did… mildy, when the electronics of my second nice company car (Alfa) died on me for the third time in less than a year.

I don’t know who I’ll be writing for yet, but even if I only write for myself… it might be fun, who knows. But I do know I don’t want to frustrate people writing about something I achieved, telling them they can do so too. I want to write about life, dealing with its frustrations, my freedom-attempts, be transparent about failure and success, inspire and get inspired by people that read what I write and share. I still need to figure out how to share success if I would achieve it, but I’m sure I will find ways.

Time to stop feeling like an ant, time to give a different meaning to WABA.

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