Newsletter

Calls for volunteers, author's thoughts, the latest portraits.
Stay connected.
Calls for volunteers, author's thoughts, the latest portraits.
Stay connected.

January 2020, Aarau, Switzerland

“Manuela, what’s your conclusion after turning 40?”

»I am happy with my life right now. I do not look back and I didn’t either when I turned 30. I wonder how my parents managed to do it, but I was raised to be always positive and optimistic. I have been in this area for my entire life. I live in a big apartment building, some of my friends live right nearby. It’s a lovely community here, in the summer we sometimes have barbecue in the park. There was this time when I would always go to the supermarket in the morning to get my favourite bread roll for breakfast. At one day, there weren’t any because the oven was broken. I started to get frustrated despite other food being available. At this moment I held on and told myself to stop. Was I really getting angry about not having my usual breakfast? Just stop. We live in so much comfort that we do not appreciate that we even have a roof over our heads. In Africa there are children who flee to the streets of the cities because they would get caught in their villages and being recruited as child soldiers. And all this suffering in Syria and other parts of the world. When my children come to me and complain about school, I tell them that many children don’t have this privilege. I tell them that it is not so tragic if they have bad grades in a subject. At least they get education.«
»Have you ever had a longer period in your life when you felt not so happy?«, I asked.
»I think this was back when I was 20 years old. It lasted for about two months. Then, I went on a trip to Holland with my class, as we had just finished our apprenticeship. It was the moment I said to myself: ›Manuela, stop whining now. Just stop.‹ And from then on I was okay.«