Where does the time go? It seems like it was only yesterday Berlin was clattering with an inexplicable amount of fireworks to usher in the new decade. As we have it, this past month has been an interesting one - if not a little start stop.

So where have my efforts been focused this past month?

Well, as I've recently been given a re-entry into the uncertain life, I decided my first month "off" I would focus all my efforts into furthering my limited knowledge of the German language and throwing myself back on the mats post-Christmas. Throughout this month though, I've been observing my thinking patterns and I wanted to do a small reflection to see if I am where I am supposed to be?

Not sure if any of that makes sense, but we'll keep moving forward.

So, learning German? What's that been like? Well, having previously lived in Germany for around 4 years before, I had a very incoherent understanding of things. Coming from an English (native) and Turkish (native) background, it's been particularly hard to pick things up. Often it makes me question if I am in fact stupid that I cannot pick it up fast, but who am I racing?

That's exactly one of the thinking patterns I've observed with the re-introduction of German lessons to my routine. I often have the feeling of if I don't get or cannot do something straight away, well then I never really wanted to do it anyway. This trait lends itself from perfectionism and from a bizarre competitive complex I tend to have. I think as a child I was always last pick or came last in sports and games, so it's almost as if I'm trying to compensate by understanding a language as tough as German instantly.

While I've made some improvements and cleared up some flawed knowledge behind the use of certain words and certain tenses, I still find myself being incredibly hard with myself if I get things wrong in my 'hausaufgabe' (homework for the non-German speaking readers).

The same can be said of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Despite picking up a couple of injuries, I find myself falling into the thinking pattern of "I'm not trying hard enough". It takes some convincing internally to accept that I am 32 and picking up injuries easier than ever and to give myself rest.

The thought process there seems to be fuelled by this feeling of feeling like I'm doing nothing. Last Saturday I put myself on the mats for 2 hours outside of regular class hours to practice sparring and I think it's the first time I've found myself not getting frustrated at myself for not being able to do things straight away, but more humble and with the thought process of "oh I just got to keep doing this until I get it".

While the thought process on the mats seems to be improving, away from it I find myself trying to be competitive with myself? The same issue as practicing German. I am not sure what my rush is, but I think overall both these topics are showing me one thing.

Lack of patience.

Something I've been throughout my entire life from childhood to adulthood is impatient with progress. As I've grown older I've gradually got a little better at this, but as they say, old habits die super fucking hard. Often I worry I'll fall behind my peers or other people. Sometimes trying to embrace the inactive parts of life ends up in me trying to over-do or injuring myself in sparring.

I'm at a stage where I keep finding myself trapped in these thinking patterns of "oh I'll never be this so I won't..." or "well I didn't get the answer right so what's the point? I never wanted this anyway...". Breaking out of this thinking pattern has been perhaps one of the hardest mental battles I've had and am still having.

In the back burner this type of thinking keeps me awake at night about my future, hence the title of this blog. I'm not sure if this post is making much sense (like my German grammer), but I guess what I am getting at is, I seem to worry and feel always defeated at the earliest hurdle.

For now I will keep pushing until this intensive course finishes, until I am literally not able to walk on the mats and until I figure out the future. I still have no idea what my future career path and plan is after over a month from being let go, but I am learning to trust the process of life a little more.

I will continue to push myself and keep picking myself back up when I fall off and want to give up. After all, isn't that all life is? Get back up and keep on.

I will also focus on relieving that mental pressure from things out of my control for the time being.

Bit of a weird one this post, but it's something that's been bouncing around the corners of my mind for the past few weeks since 2020 began.

Until the next time, peace! ✌️