Making a crumbling life into an adventure

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If you ask me how I am I will usually answer that I’m ok, even if I’m not.
Why? I don’t believe in complaining. I think complaining is a negative waste of time and rarely solves anything. Since I  don’t  complain or post ugly photos on facebook, from an outside point of view, It looks like I’m living a dream-life. And don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to live any other way. But even dream-lives crumble. I am not a super human.

Sure I can be mentally strong during deep freedives. I can handle big mountains and steep rock climbing, fear of heights, really hard training, tough weather and public speaking in front of thousands of people. But I couldn’t handle a crumbling life any better.

I remember the day when life quietly started to fall apart. On the outside it looked like a normal, great day – apart from a burning knowledge of something being wrong, and it being mostly my fault. Then it happened quickly. An important part broke, and as if all other parts depended on it, the rest crumbled.

As often happens, it’s not just one thing to handle at a time, but all at once. And of course with bad timing. It started a few weeks before the world record-competition in freediving. I had put all my effort into it for almost ten months in order to not make the same mistake again (not having enough time, pushing for a record anyway and injuring myself). Suddenly I was short of time.

So in short time, and in a fast succession, the was food poisoning, the sadness, inability to train, the comeback of my knee injury, the shattering of future dreams and plans, worried family, migraines, guilt of leaving my climbing partner to climb our next adventure by himself, sleeplessness, tooth ache, loss of an income, perceived outside pressure and expectations, a black-out from the first deep dive attempt and hospital with a bad lung squeeze injury, and then the death of a young man and friend of friends in Dahab. I still pushed into another failed record attempt. Emptiness. Pointlessness. Crumbles.

At first I tried to be strong
To be the calm in the storm
It didn’t work
I was a mess

I remembered all the poor countries I’ve visited in the world. People I’ve met who are far worse off than me. With that perspective I shouldn’t complain. It could be worse, but this time it didn’t make me feel any better.

There is no manual in how to handle a life falling apart.

I tried to go back to basics. What was most important? Love. Family. Friends. I tried to sleep and eat. Let my lungs recover. If my body functioned well the rest might function better. I cleaned the house. Put e-mails, social media and plans on hold. I tried listening to music and watch movies, surprised myself by being able to write sometimes. I did yoga, tried to accept what was and let go. I tried to be patient and not be too hard on myself. Tried to smile. I reminded myself that I like challenges and difficulties, that I used to think that life was fun and interesting when it was difficult. It comes back to the mind, how what goes on in the thoughts affects everything. But also how the emotions affects the mind.

My friend and guru asked me once: do you know why it’s difficult?
I know the answer: because I have decided that this is difficult.

Life is a series of decisions. Bad ones, good ones, small ones, some we aren’t even aware of making. The decision to pick yourself up, face what needs to be faced and then go on is what really defines you. I could make the decision that this is just another adventure. The inner one. The real one? Maybe harder than climbing mt. Everest. It doesn’t change the situation – but it can change your attitude, which can make all the difference.

11 Comments on “Making a crumbling life into an adventure

  1. Once in a while, I visit your blog to get some inspiration and without any exception, I always find it. I truly believe you are a super woman.

  2. Något som hjälper mig att tänka klarare och hitta en bra väg framåt är att skriva ner tankarna. Genom att använda papper och penna blir det en kort väg från tanke till anteckning. Då fungerar pappret som en bra utökning av arbetsminnet, även när man inte är på topp.
    Att sedan ta hjälp av en lugn miljö, som att lyssna på musik eller att sitta vid strandkanten förbättrar kreativiteten och förmågan att hitta bra lösningar.

  3. Thank you for sharing. You’re one of my biggest inspirations and updates like this remind me of why that is. You’re awesome, inspiring and human. And that combination is unbeatable.

  4. Well, atleast you´re doing decissions in your life. Most of us are afraid of doing anything out of the ”norm”. We are stuck, trying to find a way forward..

    Life is about figuring it out. Looks to me you further than the most of us.

    Really like your writings!

    Hug from PG

  5. Beautiful words from a truly beautiful woman. I can recall during filming your interview how intense the emotions had become. Your words still play on my senses. ”If you can harness the power of you’re mind, you can achieve anything” x you are and continue to be an inspiration to me and so many others. I hope you have found you’re calm. With deepest and fondest wishes. Kate (formerly of BEFX)

  6. Hello There !
    Sometimes it seems that we just try to Hard.
    Picked a Book on random in my shelf.turné to a page of
    Course on random , this is it:
    Länge satt han och reflekterade över sin förvandling
    Och lyssnade på fågeln som sjöng högt av glädje.
    Hade inte denna fågel inom honom dött.Nej det varr
    Något annat som dött, var det inte hans eget jag
    Som alltid hade besegrat honom, som nu hade funnit sin
    Död vid denna älskvärda flod.var det nu inte denna död
    Som nu hade förvandlat honom till ett ett oförfärat
    Och glatt barn ?
    May the Force be With you :-)
    Ta det lugnt, så brukar det ordna sig .

  7. Wow! You just grew THAT much in my eyes – Annelie 2.0. I feel like your courageousness knows no limits. Thanks you for sharing this.
    You say you’re not a super human, but I don’t believe they exist. However I do believe that the majority of people would say that you are as close as one can get. Super Annelie.
    Everytime I see the word INSPIRATION it always leads my thoughts directly to you. Like reading the definition in a glossary you really defined that word for me and I’m glad to say that it will stick with me forever – like popcorn between the teeth. By the way, Finland have changed their word for inspiration in the Finnish dictionary to Annelii Pompii. True story.
    Most people need a little ”me time”, but if you ever feel the need to pick yourself up again I hope you know that you’re not alone. I believe everyone who follows you, and then some, supports and wishes you all the best. For you pick us up and inspire us everyday to be stronger, better and happier ourselves.
    Take care.

  8. Thank you Annelie for sharing your thoughts of life also when your not on top of things or a mountain top. Maybe this is your finest and most insight story ever!

    Take care and good luck with ”the reboot” of Annelie.

    //Johan

  9. I totally understand you, last year going through a similar state of mind, I’m struggling with my own thoughts, questioning the decisions that I made, questioning my life….
    The good thing is that in the bad moments you realize what your life priorities are, who are the people who love you, and what is important and what is not…
    It will make you a stronger and better person….

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