Anna is 19 years old and from Germany. At the moment, she is on a gap year after high school and currently planning on traveling during the summer while working for a newspaper and doing marketing for a company. She aspires to become a journalist, telling stories of people that are not heard and covering important topics.

Turning a tomorrow into now

How often do you say: I will start tomorrow?

I will start tomorrow because my fear is bigger than my will. I will start tomorrow because I am tired and not motivated. I will start tomorrow because now seems far too real. I will start tomorrow.

And how often have you done things that made you feel anxious and felt great afterwards?

So great, feeling like you can change the world. So great, that you wished you could save the feeling, save the moment, to relive it again, some other day. So great, that you want to start again.

I am just asking because I said „I will start tomorrow“ numerous times. On the other side my „I am starting now“ moments are most likely countable with two hands. That`s probably why I am able to tell the following story so detailed:

With this I don’t want to establish a thought of always having to do something, having to create or having to be productive in any form. Much more I am a deep believer that everything is something: there’s no such thing as a „only one way fits“ – you are the creator of your life – if it is a walk, watching Netflix or starting a company – as long as it is good for you, it is the most productive thing you can do!

Going back to the beginning of 2020, I was about to do a thing I wanted to do for years: book a flight for my Work and Travel year in Australia. In that moment I truly felt the „I am starting now“ energy more than ever before. I was about to live my dream.

A couple months ahead, life changed for all of us in a way we probably all couldn’t have imagined. Now I was sitting there with a ticket for a flight that I couldn’t attend and a dream becoming nothing more than a far away fantasy. And if I tell you I wallowed myself in self pity – I actually mean it. We probably all did to a certain extend.

Now became tomorrow.

And I held on to tomorrow so tight, that now seemed as far away, as it can get.

It was not sooner than a couple of months later when it finally clicked: my dream didn’t become a fantasy – it was still my dream, postponed, maybe with little changes in it, just as I changed as well. But while I was waiting for this dream to become a now, I began to look for another now – a now that I can also feel in my small hometown, inside the house, in the middle of Germany. And I did. I started a journalism project – in the way I want to report in the future: telling peoples stories, and giving voices a platform, that normally wouldn’t be heard. I built up something I love, something that makes me happy – a now that I can hold on to.

This sounds more romantic as it was – the actual concept was a tomorrow way before it was about to become a now. But eventually it did. Also I know that this is such a trivial life lesson and story – something probably already written down thousands and thousands of times – and something that is way more easily said than done. It took me over and over to learn it: missing great opportunities because I didn’t got myself up, seeing a world change because of a pandemic, losing people way too soon. And it will probably be shoved in my face a couple more times in my life, in case I forget. But if I can set just one little spark, to turn a tomorrow into now, writing this down would already be worth it.

Anna, on May 5th, 2021

Anna has started a journalistic project! You can follow her on Instagram @sixquestionsto or check out her website.

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