Entering new unknown worlds and exploring them was always interesting for me. I was curious and willing to challenge myself. This drive took me to some amazing places but also to some ridiculous situations and bizarre environments.
For a long time, I have thought that this is my strong suit. I thought that I was becoming a better person, stronger professional, more tolerant and ready to accept diversity in a working environment but also in my personal life.
But unfortunately, sometimes in life we all oversee those thin lines where something that might be good to a certain extent starts damaging you at some point. I guess it’s comparable with wine, tasty food or being vegan.
My own world is a strange one. I admit. Some people like it or see it as interesting but very few of them fit in. I’m not forcing anyone to come in but very often I’m forcing myself to come out and to accept all the differences in the worlds around me.
The trouble with this approach might be that you are not aware that those encounters can damage you as well. Both body and mind are amazing in adjusting themselves to survive. But to survive a certain situation that is not going to last for too long. I will repeat as many times as necessary in years to come – everything is about timing! Judging well when it’s the best timing to leave – someone or something – is one of the most important skills everyone should develop.
When you enter a party or a new fitness program – pretty quickly you figure out if that’s the place for you. I have forced myself to stay on many parties that I didn’t like from the very beginning (especially weddings), just to present socially acceptable behavior. Today I think that’s totally wrong. The only rules I have kept are the ones about not leaving the movie or theater play before the end – even if it’s a total crap. That’s because of the respect I have for my colleagues, artists, who invested their best efforts to make something for the audience. And that’s a maximum of 2 hours. OK, in case of Lars von Trier it might be even 4 painful hours, but I can survive even that. But that’s my little thing. Nothing that I advise to others.
When you enter new working environment you immediately get a feeling of how your world will react when it collides with the new world. Is it a smooth encounter with pleasant vibes or dangerous collision?
I have entered many different worlds during my career. And during that time I have learned to read small signals and to figure out pretty fast if it’s going to be a glide or collide. And if it’s going to collide than you have two options: try to be stronger and to change the world you are entering and adjust it according to your needs or to try to adjust yourself. A couple of times, I was very good in adjusting myself. Sometimes even so good that I started being delusional and forgetting which world I’m coming from.
I know that this is going to sound quite snobbish, but I don’t care. People with less education and less exposure to a variety of life experiences have, of course, less troubles to fit in to the worlds they enter. I have seen that many times.
I was sometimes quite proud about what I do. I was even more proud about people that I worked with. But I was also ashamed so many times of people I worked with. Simply put, their world was millions of miles away from mine, so far away, in fact, that I could only stand there with the question on my lips: What the hell am I doing here? Because, if you ask ‘what the hell is he/she doing here’, you become, , in the eyes of the environment, intolerant and short-sighted. I always loved those guys who didn’t care about that at all. I was never one of them.
So, when worlds collide some damage must happen. Even if you survive the collision, the scars will remain.
Cheers to scars! Maybe you can learn how to love your scars. Or at least how to respect them. I’m still learning.