I don’t like many German songs but there are a few that I have come across in the past few years that really got to me. One of those songs is “Irgendwas Bleibt” by Silbermond:
The song is about a woman asking for a sense of security in today’s ever-changing world. She says that she needs this to have something to hold on to when she feels lost, to know that there is at least one thing she knows will not change.
I have been thinking a lot about the fact that things never seem to stay the same and also about this urge certain people have to always be on the move, God forbid they ever stand still for a second.
Even though I often feel restless, too, I have realized quite some time ago that I still need some things that I feel I can “come back” to no matter what happens, something like a safe haven, because otherwise I will feel terribly lost – especially if there are things around me that make me feel like I’m constantly spinning and unable to get hold of something to slow me down… and I don’t think I am the only one feeling that way.
What I have recently noticed though is that increasingly fewer people are able to give you this “something that stays the same” (in German: Irgendwas das bleibt”). In general this isn’t a problem when it comes to most people because you wouldn’t expect complete strangers or people you hardly know to give you this sense of security. However, when it comes to your friends, it’s different because friendship not only means having someone to have fun with when you feel good, it also means having someone who doesn’t tell you one way or another “that’s your problem, deal with it yourself instead of bothering me” when you don’t feel good. For not feeling good happens to everybody every once in a while and real friendship (vs. a make-believe friendship) means that you try to make your friend feel better and that you allow them to make you feel better vice versa.
What is particularly unsettling though is not so much the fact that today’s world never seems to stand still for a second but that there are people who make you feel like they’re your friend but they seem to have become so focused on moving (maybe because they feel restless and think that moving is the only thing that will make them feel better) that they don’t realize that a possible remedy for their restlessness might actually be having a safe haven themselves and that maybe their restlessness is not so much caused by their wish not to waste one second of their lives, not to deprive themselves of one more thing they think they need in order to be happy just to find themselves all restless again right after. So without saying that you should settle for this safe haven and recounce everything else that you think might make you feel good, maybe knowing it is there would actually enable you to live your life to the fullest instead of locking you away.
I think that as long as you know this safe haven is there, somewhere, without even being physically close to it most of the time, nothing can do you any harm. However, if you’re constantly made oscillate between someone’s attention and indifference, one second feeling like you matter and the next as if they couldn’t care less, it makes you terribly vulnerable, even more vulnerable than if you had never had this impression that there was this safe haven, the affection that you could rely on, that would convince you everything is going to be alright as long as it is there.
So I can’t help but wonder why there are people who convince you they care about you but are all over you for a while – drawing you close and giving you the feeling that you matter and that they increasingly enjoy being close to you – just to back off any minute, withdrawing completely and giving you the impression you’re not important enough for them to dedicate just a little bit of their time only to you, and then once more drawing you close to push you away again. In other words, these are the people who are the living proof that the people you love don’t always do you good (but sometimes, no matter how badly you wish you could get them out of your system, tear them out of your heart, you can’t because your heart picked them and won’t let them go … because it must have been fate you met).
Do they get scared off by this closeness because they equate closeness to being tied down, thus becoming unable to move? Haven’t they understood yet that restlessness doesn’t necessarily mean you need to keep moving to find the Holy Grail (= whatever makes you 100% happy) but that slowing down, having something that you know will be there for you to slow you down so you won’t get dizzy whenever you feel like the world is turning too quickly might be the prerequisite for finding the Holy Grail in the first place and that as long as you don’t allow yourself to accept that unique safe haven offered to you you will always be wandering the earth, looking for something that has been right under your eyes for like forever, something you need for your quest for happiness to be successful?
And finally, never forget that you needn’t always move alone, that there are other restless people out there who you might mean the world to, who want to give you a safe haven as much as they need you to give them one, and that maybe moving with them might be an option to consider because what could be more fulfilling than discovering the world on your own if not discovering it with someone?