"I was at a party some time ago. I was talking to a girl in her late 20s, and she said she was at the right age to get married, have kids, settle down, arrive. I'm about ten years older, 40. I'm exactly at the age I thought was the 'real shit' ten years ago," took Henriette Frädrich took the audience on a journey at the Volksbühne am Rudolfplatz. "Everything is thrown overboard, rebuilt, torn down. And if they don't dare to do that, then they put on thick masks. Welcome to the real 10-year-challenge. Because it's all a facade. Because isn't the worst thing we can do to ourselves not to change anything?" she asks the group. Her message: put your money on your heart card and show yourself as you are!"
"Ten years - that's a quantum fart in the overall universal context, but in my life and yours, it's a whole eternity. We've all had to carry a backpack with our own issues, with ups and downs, with happiness and sadness, with joy and frustration over the past ten years," the speaker says candidly of her thoughts before drawing the heart card. For example, death. All of a sudden, dear people around you die, and it's not your 90-year-old grandma, but dear friends your age. "And you wonder: 'What the fuck...?' Doors opening and closing. Marriage, marriage, Separation. All of a sudden, you're sitting on the couch with your laptop, Googling 'divorce.' You feel so incredibly weird about it."
Fear, despair, turmoil. That eternal battle between the head and the heart. The mind telling you, "Hey, it's all good!" And your heart says, "No!" Putting your money on the heart map, going in to the dark woods, and bringing down the house you built with someone else: Tears, pain, despair, enduring. All the while, the question keeps popping up, "Why are lives that eventually part for whatever reason still such an uproar? Can't the promised eternity have a beginning and an end without losing its value or meaning. Then taking the ring off again and the huge fear of telling your child that their world is going to change. But what are you going to model for your kid? Pretend? Or do you show your kid that things change? That things are allowed to change and that it's all about how we deal with it.
And that is exactly what personality development is. The hungry ravages of time that nibble at us all. Jogging past uni, seeing all the student crowds and still feeling like one of them - yet it's been 20 years since you graduated... Wearing masks, hiding for far too long, pretending - and then at some point having the courage to take off your mask and show yourself. Go "all in" and show yourself to the world as you really are. Trust your heart map. You'll find that the other people around you suddenly start acting like it, too. When you show up as you are, the others take off their armor too. No matter what show we all put on here: At the end of the day, we all want the same thing here: to feel connected to each other. The only way to do that without masks or armor is to show ourselves in our vulnerability.
Being pregnant, your body going through the most blatant change of its life, cursing it, marveling at it, admiring it - and somehow never quite being able to grasp that a child is growing inside you right now. This is my little person who looks like me. Having a baby is so normal and so rad at the same time. I'm Superwoman! Suddenly you're mommy. For a little boy, being the fixed star of his life. To hear him say: "Mommy, if you die, I die." Being everything to someone is indescribably beautiful and at the same time totally crushing, terrifying. Doctors explain it as hormonal changes. The word she uses to avoid saying the unspeakable: 'Darling, welcome to the club of women who read Brigitte Woman.' With such cover topics as 'When the partner becomes a pensioner', 'Lust & Sex in old age'. It's really weird. You're still young at 30 and suddenly old at 40. And this unwritten law that we now have to get everything together in the next ten years with pressure: House, marriage, property, children, career, retirement...
If I assume that I will live to be 100 years old, and then consider that with this world view I will be 30% of my life young and 70% old - phew. If I'm to believe this worldview, it would like to put me in the following pigeonhole in ten years: www.forumfuersenioren.de - this is where the 50+ age group meets. Not to be outdone: www.feierabend.de - this is where over-50s chat about their problems in old age. In ten years I will be a senior citizen? Party band? Shift in the shaft? Aging parents and their worries, fears and hardships. That no more suppressing, but also look there, even if it hurts unbelievably, because it is your rock in the surf, which crumbles there. Then you can realize for yourself: Maybe I'm my rock, too. A heart that suddenly wants different things and maybe you're ready to give your heart away again one day. Tear down one old house, build up a new one. Close one book, start a new one. Maybe you'll trust yourself to build a new house without a blueprint and with non-negotiable inventory. That's why Henriette Frädrich bet on a new heart map.
No longer having to do anything, but wanting so much... Hildegard Knef sings "For me it should rain red roses. I should encounter all miracles (...)" - crossing boundaries, setting new limits, breaking taboos, shifting world views, trying things out, experimenting, taking risks. Again and again. If not now, when? Social media, Facebook, Instagram, noise, noise, fakenews, algorithms - "let's get digital". "Be the best version of yourself and live your potential" - for real? Does everything that can really have to? There's a 1 in 400 quadrillion chance we'll be born: We're all a fucking miracle and we should be fucking grateful. And yet we are world-weary. We don't know up from down, why am I here, what difference do I make? Doesn't anything really matter? And yet then pause, stop, marvel, admire, not needing answers, reasons, or a purpose. Just being there and having the best summer of your life, looking at the stars, holding hands, eating croissants, drinking rosè, being happy. This is the happiness you will be gifted with when you choose your heart card.
"For example, I started a company and also buried it again. You go through all the phases. From Enthusiasm, faith, courage, euphoria and hope. Then when it doesn't work out that way: Frustration, DisappointmentYou're angry, you're angry, you just keep going," Henriette says openly and honestly. At some point you accept this state, but then you are also allowed to let go. It's part of life to bet on the wrong horses sometimes, she says. "You don't always have to know which way is up. You're allowed to veer around sometimes. Don't rattle off for a little bit of money and heartless projects that petrify you. Pull the ripcord in time and cut down everything that isn't you, that doesn't belong to you. Decide for freedom, truth, turning over a new leaf. And suddenly they come, the beautiful things. All by themselves! Trust your heart map, your path."
Less having, more being. Less outside, more inside. Get out of old shows, don't play a lot of party games. Need to arrive? Nope! Just be on your way to somewhere, nowhere. Keep the faith! And then see, ten years from now, where your longing took you and if you really followed it. That's the real "10-Year-Challenge"!