Taking myself serious is when I started to take life serious (learned the painful way)

After I broke up with my partner around 2 years ago a different time had begun with a different color (orange). Nearly 3 years did we spend together and it was the close-to-perfect transition from finished studies (in summer 2013) to the non-educational world. In total, I had spent 29 years in education including the apprenticeship as a salesman, alternative military service and the typical three-step program from primary school to university.

I was my own role model

Formally, I was living the life of a „Musterknabe“ (model child) and I stood out in the inner and outer family circles by having studied and finished - though I took 7 years to finish my Master’s degree (Int’l Media & Computing). Studying didn’t mean anything to me. I only wanted to try how it is to be a student because working as retail merchant at MediaMarkt I didn’t see a future. Anyway.

During my studies and some years before I felt invincible. My ego was blown out of proportion. I don’t know why I was like that but I could really be an asshole to people, especially by being arrogant and ignorant. At least until 2009 (in the third year of my studies, when I was abroad in New Zealand for some months) I was still a prig with a fixed mindset (as opposed to a growth mindset). Except for feeling good about myself (not because of my education) I really had nothing to offer. A mouth full of things to say but nothing substantial in terms of achievements. I called myself the „Best Alex of all times“. Yep, I did.

The essential need to redefine myself

I think I always felt I was dragged out of the life that I really wanted to have. After my parents denied to let me enter a soccer club with 13 - after I had started playing soccer with 6 or 7 (I was two-footed) it left deep wounds in my heart and sports soul. I found it unfair - even more, when my 2 years younger brother was allowed to enter a soccer club. WTF?! My parents explained their decision by saying that I would have to focus on school because for them high school („Gymnasium“) was more demanding than the type of secondary school („Realschule“) where my brother went - which is true to a degree. I think they never thought that one needs both the education of of mind and body in parallel existence. So I played soccer in my spare time, at least. I still find it unfair and it’s still nagging on me - even after more than 20 years. It’s interesting what a more or less ignorant decision of parents can do a child’s life.

Also, they never fully acknowledged the (pretty obvious) sports talent I had, not only in soccer: At my small body height of 1,48 meters (in 6th grade) I was the best high-jumper in school and I was sportsmen of the year in 1996 in primary school. Entering high school, that changed. I lost interest in sports due to lack of encouragement and I became weird(er) person. But that’s another story.

The jelly years: red, yellow, orange

I was still playing soccer in my mid-20s though I had partially lost interest. University took a lot of my time and energy, and I had job on the side. So, soccer (and Borussia Dortmund) was not that important anymore and sports neither (which became a problem as you’ll see). Still, I played from time to time, even in a kind of real-life fantasy league for a team called „Holy Family 2“ (don’t ask me about the name).

Then it happened. One Sunday in 2012, I was 28 years, it was blue sky, mild temperatures and clean air. Perfect soccer weather. I felt good and I expressed it loudly, almost euphorically. We played and with no intervention, only by my stupid self I applied a cruciate ligament rupture to my right knee. It must have been March or so and in August I had my operation. You have to know that I promised to myself that never could anything happen to my knee - no way! Well, no it did and I was devastated and almost completely isolated myself from my friends. I became a different person and less happy. I felt crappy. I don’t want to be religious here but I’m not going to far when I saw what happened to knee is as serious as burning holy pages of a sacred book. Four years before breaking up with my girlfriend that was my most engraving incident in recent history.

Starting to become invincible again, but different

After my blue phase as a child and teen, my red phase as a student, the shift to the yellow phase still as a student and after my studies, I had enter my orange* phase having bought a scarf right before entering the Sahara desert of Morocco.

The scarf I used before entering Morocco's Sahara desert

(The idea of living life expressed through colors I had taken from painters like Picasso and adapted it. The color is a symbol not the color I’m necessarily wearing although in the blue and red phase that was the case).

Also, orange always makes me think of Michelangelo, my favorite Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle, and his orange headband.

It’s January 2018, I have 34 years on the clock and I’m in a mix of still-orange-but-already-blue-again. This time it’s not the blue of my childhood. It’s darker, it’s more serious. Mix blue and orange and you get a dark purple. So, I’m naive-blue as I was a child but I’ve learned some things (I call it „the mud“) that make my current life be the purple phase of my life - a phase of more seriousness - whereas I can be fully blue (naive) and fully orange (active) at times.

I’ve becoming* a grown-up child and this is I want to be(come) more of. Curious and wanting to learn but also serious and plain muddy-adulty as can be. *I know that English tense doesn’t exist in English grammar


I see myself talking more in front of people. I see myself having more serious conversations. Before, especially during my studies, I never wanted to be a anything. I saw people rushing through their studies to enter their „dream job“. I never understood the appeal of it. I never saw myself doing something different than I was doing at university: learning and applying independently without a big brother (boss) watching my fingers. I guess this lack of having a goal gave me the patience to study 1 year more in my Bachelor’s program and another year more in my Master’s program.

At the same time I felt studying made my dumber and number, almost like jelly.

So, it was time to leave the shaking ship and enter championship and competition again - just like I did in my childhood and early teenage years. Because now that I’ve found again what my interests are (ball sports/soccer, voice performance/singing, acting, writing), it’s time to pursue my art and craft and become „the best Alex of all times“ RELOADED and equipped with a shitload of life experience.

From my jelly years („Wackelpudding“) I’ve transformed into a rocket. I’m not moving lavishly left and right (back and forth) anymore but straight on my target while keeping my cool.

I’m starting to take things more serious. I still have huge inhibitions to do what I really want to do because I fear to be either emotionally hurt or physically harmed. Luckily, I’m on a way to resolve those inner barriers.

At 34, that’s my story so far. How’s yours? What severe incident shaped your life and attitude?

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