Many years ago, we met in school. We still share our curiosity and enjoy our conversations today. Now, we’ve started a written dialogue. Where the journey takes us, we leave open. Anyone who wants to is welcome to accompany us.
C & U in Dialogue. Unfiltered.
C: We’ve known each other since our youth and then lost touch at some point. Social media reconnected us, and today it feels like we’ve been together without interruption our whole lives. It’s a pleasure to continue thoughts with you every time. What do you think is our common thread?
U: It’s almost absurd that we never crossed paths in all those intervening years, even though we both chose the same industry professionally, albeit in different roles.
The common thread… well, I immediately think of our insatiable appetite for discoveries and constantly venturing into uncharted territory. Your enthusiasm is always inspiring to me. I also find it fascinating that independently of each other, we’ve delved into very similar subjects and, after successful careers, completely repositioned and reoriented ourselves. So, for me, there are already two themes: thirst for knowledge and orientation.
How do you see it? What themes do you see for us?
C: Yes, almost absurd, how life plays out. We’ve shared our curiosity from the very beginning. Thirst for knowledge as well, although it took a while to fully develop in me. This probably has to do with the fact that I no longer have to learn but can learn what I want. Looking back, my enthusiasm always came into play when it had enough room to flourish. It’s beautiful that you see it in me, and it inspires you. Meanwhile, I’ve learned to take good care of it, nurture it, and make sure there’s enough space for it. Because that’s the fuel I need to set viable ideas in motion and promote people.
My mother tells me that as a child, when asked about my career aspirations, I supposedly said, “I want to do something you can see.” So, design has always been close to my heart. But even back then, I didn’t want to commit firmly 😉 Now, I’ve created a developmental playground around the topic of communication that brings me a lot of joy. My curiosity constantly wants to expand it, and if there’s purpose in it, it has free rein. I’m happy to leave the ‘where’ open. However, I’m more clear than ever about the ‘how.’
As our connecting thread, I see the pursuit of possibilities to express ourselves individually and continue to evolve. You were in high demand internationally in your job, yet you took a completely new direction. I find that quite courageous. What impulse guided you?
U: What definitely guided me was the impulse to avoid stagnation. I don’t like walking in well-trodden paths, especially not those I’ve tread myself. I had achieved a lot, and there was still plenty of room for growth, but my focus gradually shifted. So, it was time to let go of the old and focus my energy on the new. How has your focus changed over time?
C: After I became self-employed a few years ago, a friend sent me an article about the ‘second puberty.’ It described how biology has designed it so that at a certain stage in life, we humans start asking ourselves: “Was that really all, or is there more to come?”… According to this article, some people rebel gently, and others turn their entire lives upside down. I couldn’t do it any other way. Half measures have never been my thing.
U: Second puberty :-). For me, it wasn’t really a rebellion but rather a growing discomfort within a framework where I no longer felt belonging, where I couldn’t see my place anymore. My professional environment and I had drifted apart. Success had managed to cover up the doubts time and again, but ultimately, my dissatisfaction grew louder, and an affair became more and more tempting. When I then encountered my current profession and couldn’t keep my hands off it, it was clear that it would lead to a separation so that I could devote myself fully to my new flame. To ensure it wouldn’t be just a flash in the pan and to give it substance, I completed a degree and threw myself headlong into the adventure. It was worth it.
C: Wow! That sounds like an intense process you’ve wrapped in these wonderful words. I feel every one of them. As for my studies, I’m still a rookie. I’m curious to see what will grow from it.
… words in progress …