We’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the scars. – Oscar Wilde
So here I am, walking through the breathtaking streets of a city that makes me feel like architecture and sun have the power to refresh my mind. Barcelona is stunning, it smells like sea and my neighbourhood has an impressive number of squares. Why do Spanish people love squares so much? Because they love to spend their afternoons outside, drinking, eating, breathing the air of their hometown streets, sitting on the floor with a can of cheap beer and a guitar. I missed it a lot in Germany and I enjoy being part of it again.
Sometimes it is all right to slow down. I guess one of the biggest illnesses of my generation is the infinite busyness. We keep ourselves busy, productive, efficient, running, no matter what. So right now, I must admit, I am not as busy as I used to be. I have time to read all the books that I have always wanted to read, I walk tremendous distances from one end of this magical city to the other, I drink cafe con leche on my favourite balcony and I am grateful for living the days the way I live. I could have found two new jobs and tons of stuff to do but the essential question is WHY should I? I may also do the things that I love doing and allow myself to exist. I am back to acting, reading, writing, walking and eating well. I keep proceeding with my studies but I also take my time to play my guitar in the morning, lay in the sun in the afternoon and have serious, but mostly less-serious, conversations with inspiring humans and wine in the evening. Is there anything wrong with that? I have peace in my mind and the feeling that there is nothing worth more than time. And I decided to appreciate my time more than anything.
It’s all because we have been taught all of our lives that we have to work as much as we can. We have to have security. I think it was my parents’ generation, and even now, we have this model of working forever for somebody and then retiring and going off to play golf. And that’s what makes the good life. We aren’t taught to be independent and free, although we scream that we’re independent and free. We talk about personal responsibility, but personal responsibility is for our own happiness first. That happiness comes from finding that internal peace, and I think a lot of people don’t find that. That’s how you have those substitutions that are accepted by larger society, such as consumerism or the sports fanaticism. These sort of things. The people are trying to find a good substitute, but that freedom that we so long for is, basically, an ability to express ourselves and just be happy. I will never own a Mercedes-Benz, but that’s okay. I don’t need a Mercedes-Benz. I have something else. Because I think this crazy capitalistic system and the consumerism, a lot of consumerism, is like what they say about a heroin addict. You get that high. It goes away. You can function for a little bit, but then you have to go get that high again. But each high is just a little less high than the last one. I really think consumerism functions at that level in our society.
So for now I will continue existing, dancing salsa, making art and looking for inspiration behind every corner while experiencing the daily life in the heart of Barcelona. I wish you all a wonderful weekend and I hope you will enjoy every minute of it as much as possible, because there is no reason sufficiently important as for not to do it.
“We’re all in the gutter,” said Oscar Wilde, “but some of us are looking at the stars”.
Strategic withdrawal: look at the stars.