The Life of Ordinary Me

The Art of Letting Go

Life after you (2)Coping with loss of someone, who once was your everything -a child, a parent, a friend, you name it — is never easy, and one cannot be prepared for what comes, when the tragedy strikes. They don’t tell you at school, what to do, when your world ceases to exist; and there is no University offering a Degree in Grief.

 Many of us have heard about 5 stages of dealing with the loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. But let me say something: there are no such thing as getting out of that Black Sticky Nowhere in 5 easy steps, and sorrow has more, than five faces. Yes, those 5 stages are common milestones on the long way back to light, but, just as everyone of us is unique, so are our experiences. You might reach those stages at some point,or take a different road. There is no right or wrong way to deal with your loss,and no rules.Exept one:

Take your time! Don’t rush the process of recovery-it’s not a race!

After I closed the doors of my savaged by the Death old home behind me for the last time, I wanted to get back to normal as soon as possible. After just two weeks of wandering in the dark, I was back to work, pretending, that everything is ok. I thought, that forcing myself to smile, to talk, to function will help me to deal with the pain. So, for four long years, I’ve smiled, talked, functioned ignoring signs of despair waiting for the right moment to burn my soul down to ashes.

Last year I spectacularly felt in pieces in the middle of the street to the amusement of many hundreds people. Diagnosed with major depression, I’ve spent many months at home, fighting the dragons of self-hate accusing me for the crimes I didn’t commit. I hated myself for absurd things and felt guilty for letting the people I love down. It was all my fault ,and I thought, that world without me will be a better place. I played with the thoughts of trying to escape again, only with 100 % warranty this time. There was no light; and not able to see clearly, I’ve missed the point of no return by only millimetres…

May I give you one advice? Hold on tight! There must be something, what’ve made you happy before you lost yourself!  One small memory, one kind word, one smile…Let those be your light. It might be small and hardly visible somewhere far far away on the distant horizon, but just hold on tight! Don’t let it out of your sight and walk toward it. Slowly. Step by step.

It’s a long journey, but take your time. Remember, it’s not a race? Don’t make the mistake I did. You will fall, but look at the light and crawl, if that’s all you have strength for. Crawl to that happy memory, to that kind word…

I’m not quite there yet, and I’m still weak and fall down often, but bear with me. One day I’ll let the grief go, keeping memories about those I’ve lost in my heart. I will be able to think about them without wanting to tear the heart out of my chest. One day I will master the Art of Letting Go!



After one week into the AtoZ challenge I’m feeling somehow exhausted-revisiting some very personal memories was never going to be an easy ride. But I’ve promised to get close and personal, and I tend to keep my word.

I poured some dark agonising revelations on your head, and I guess, you and I just need to have a little break, before I go even deeper… I just need to clear my head for the next days, and I don’t want you to get bored of my disconnected memories.

I’ve said I want you to know me better, and hopefully you are starting to get the picture of what I’m all about.

I’m all about being alive and true to yourself; but, of course, it’s just one part of the puzzle. It’s more complicated, than the struggles of letting go of the past and finding the way through up and downs. You and I, we are complex Universes with distant planets, stars and even with Black Holes. It’s dangerous, but exiting place to explore, and I’m glad, that you and I have met! Alone it’s no fun, and I just love to learn all about you. It’s good to know, that there is life on the other planets!

Today I won’t hit you with another hammer of my own little tragedies-there is sunshine


on my planet too. I’ll show you, how my world looks through the lenses of my camera instead. So, get yourself a glass of wine or, whatever you want (hot milk is ok too) ,sit back and enjoy some of my frozen in time emotions …Tomorrow is a new day,and I will be digging into The Life of Ordinary Me once again…






I see the light through closed eyes. It burns. It scares me. Where am I? What happened to me?

I hear the voices but cannot understand, what they are saying. Questions… Did somebody ask me something? I don’t understand! Please! Talk slowly or just shut up. You are giving me a headache! What’s going on?!

I want to see in what trouble I’ve landed myself this time, but my eyelids made of iron and don’t belong me anymore. They rebel against my command, and I give up. Exhausted, I drift away…

 “I know you are back here “–  distant voice comes through thick cocoon of confusion I seems to be wrapped in. “Do you remember ,what happened?”

I don’t answer, giving up on coming out of, whatever this place is, alive. The eyes are still closed; I don’t want my torturer to see, that I have fear.

Something touches my lips.

” Drink”

Suddenly, I feel thousand needles of thirst inside my throat, and too weak to refuse, I accept the offer.

“There is somebody waiting for you”

I just stay still, listening to approaching steps.Somebody sobs.

“Oh, my boy… My boy…What have you done?”-the voice explodes in my head with the effect of a nuclear bomb.

“Mum?”-I look at her pale face, and the agony in her eyes breaks my heart. I die.


I remember ugly arguments with my father, bringing me on the edge of hating myself.

I remember realising , that I’m attracted to men; and at the time it was a crime. It could land you up to 5 years in prison. Gays were one of the most hated “minorities” in the USSR and the chances, that one survives in a prison were zero.

I remembered feeling like a cornered animal, not being worth breathing. Dirty. Ashamed of myself…

Not knowing better, I was looking for an escape…

 I didn’t plan anything.On some sunny day in march I’ve pretended, that I’m going to school, but waited around the corner for my parents to go to work instead. They’ve left: mum first; couple of minutes later my father.   I’ve entered our empty flat-the aroma of the morning coffee was still fresh in the air.

I’ve noticed an opened pack of cigarettes on the fridge. I took one. Smoked. Then another one.I knew, where my father was hiding a bottle of vodka. I’ve found it and poured me one glass. Feeling no effect, got another one down. Nothing still.

The eyes stopped on a small box, where mum kept all the pills for the times, when one of us falls ill. Plenty of pills. One after another they’ve landed in my stomach, drowning in vodka…I didn’t feel anything. Numb.

I’ve stood up going to get me another pack of cigarettes, as the first one was empty already. The room spun around me couple of times, and the light went off…

I was 15 when I tried to “escape “, and had 20 minutes to live, when my father found me on the kitchen floor and called an emergency…And it will take me the whole life to forget the pain  I’ve caused to those,who loved me…


I’m not in the position to give you any advice on how to live your life. I just beg you: don’t give up! Don’t even think about quitting-the life is worth living, even if sometimes it feels like falling down a pitch black space! Don’t be afraid, because you are not alone.

 I’m here to catch you…

The Darkness Falls


The world slows down. No cars, no people, not a weakest light in a single window…It’s quiet out there… The Night is claiming the streets to itself…

I cannot sleep. Once again the Darkness needs a company, and I stop breathing, too scared, that tonight I’m on the line. Once again…

I don’t move, trying to hide behind false hopes, that this night I’ll have the privilege to escape unnoticed in the land of nothing … I just need to close my eyes and drift away in the safety of not being here. All in vain… I cannot cheat that bastard. He’s already here, and I ‘m the host to the wicked games. Once again…

There is no tea and small talk between us: we passed this stage long ago. We both know, how it goes, but I’m still unprepared for what follows: in the blink of an eye the knife of memories is out, and I’m cut open for inspection. No comforting words, no painkillers…Just a clean cut.

The cold eyes examine the wounds left last night. Those are starting to heal already, but that’s cheating.I’m not allowed to flee and abandon my night visitor. Finding another partner for his twisted games is too much of a trouble. And  competent fingers take hold of the scabs and tear those away. One by one…Slow calculated movements… I scream inside, but there is nobody to hear me . The world  doesn’t exist no more…

The flashbacks of memories hit me like electroshock delivered right to the naked brain. Wrapped in pain I see the familiar faces of the people long gone. I want to reach out to them, but I’m paralysed with fresh injection of cruel words, said in the heat of a moment. I want to say ,that  I’m sorry . I really am. It’s too late-the faces are gone , and my «sorry» just hangs there in a deafening emptiness.

I’m treated to a plate of loneliness and fear, and when I’m stuffed to the point of exploding in millions tears, I’m locked in a cage of self-doubt and left there to bleed my heart out… The Darkness watches over me. Hour after hour……Disappointed, that I’m still breathing, it leaves.

 I curl up on a couch and close the eyes.

A new day is waking up. I know, it will comfort me with the sound of life going on and put a thick layer of hope on my fresh wounds. Hiding the pain behind the smile, I clean up the mess of the last night and go out. I need to catch some rays of light before the Darkness returns. It will. Maybe not tonight, but it will. And then I will have the Light to hold on tight.

Eventually, I’ll win this game. Wish me luck…

Counting Seconds

75814-broken-clockI’m too late, and only an old Clock on a small table greets me.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

The sound is deafening in empty walls of my ol’ home

Wondering aimlessly from room to room, I’m trying to find the signs of a mistake: there is an opened book on a bed… Page 156…Waiting to tell the story till the end.

A recipe on a kitchen table, longing to impress the guests coming later …

Calendar is full with notices, names, appointment dates….

An empty shampoo bottle and a dressing gown in the bathroom …


I wait in a corridor for the sound of a key turning in the lock. Tick Tock. Any second now …. Anytime… I count to three and then again. And again… One… Two… Three… Tick. Tock.

Seconds turn into minutes, minutes into eternity…

I slip down the wall and sit on the floor. Waiting. Counting.

I don’t know how many hours have passed by — I’ve must have been asleep. The air is rich with the smell of freshly cooked food, and for a moment I’m feeling hunger. I wonder, why nobody woke me up, but it doesn’t matter really: after so many years I’m home and that’s all what counts. I’m back.

 I smile, thinking about all the stories I’m going to tell tonight. The stories about the places I’ve seen, the adventures I’ve had…  I’ll keep the dark secrets of being away from home to myself: don’t want my family to worry about me. They will see, that I’m finally a grown up. I’ve turned out ok…. I’ll tell them, how much I’ve missed them all….

 “Hay! I’m home!” – I walk into the big room,with the smile warming up  my lips.

“You. Late. You. Late” -greats me the old clock.There is no mistake, I’m all alone.


The book is still opened on the page 156. I apologize to the heroes living on its pages and close it. This is not my story to finish.

Notices in the calendar ended up long before I came back home, and no new appointments were made for the rest of this year.

There still that food smell in the air, but it should’ve came from one of the neighbourly flats. I hear muted excitement of the cheering audience-somebody gets a bit of an evening TV after long day at work…

 I freeze, unable to grasp the scale of devastation in me,and just  now notice, that it’s evening already, and I need to switch the light on. But I lit a candle instead and sit down in a chair by the table with the old clock…


Tick. Tock. You. Late. The seconds turning into minutes,minutes disappearing in the eternity…You.Late.Tick.Tock.

“Do you want me to come and stay with you?”- asks my cousin on the telephone.

“No. It’s ok. I need some time”- I hear myself saying.

“Are you ok? “

“No. But I will be. Need time. Sorry.”

“I understand”


It’s good, that somebody understands. I will need that understanding , when the reality hits me with a bang the next day.

For now, I just stay here and listen to the old Clock counting seconds.


Tick. Tock. You. Late.




















Even aliens have grandmothers, and I ‘m not an exception from the rules. With my ticket to Earth I’ve got two of them. And before you ask: no, there is no “B” in the word “grandmother “. But I didn’t call them so either.

BABUSHKA…I said Babushka to them.


Babushka Ljuba …My mum’s mum.

She lived quite a way from where I lived, but we visited her often: 2-3 times a month.I loved being there: big flat, where I could play “hide and seek” with my two cousins; my aunt, who shared my passion for music. When I was tired of running around the flat, we sat down, put a needle on a vinyl and listened, listened, listened…Jazz, Rock, Pop, Gipsy music…Everything was thrown in. We listened, we singed, we danced…

Babushka Ljuba cooked some tasty meal, we ate, watched a bit of TV …A hug, a kiss on the cheek and “till the next time. I love you, Babushka Ljuba” ….

When I was about 10 years old, she hanged herself in the room, where once the music played…Nobody was there to stop her, and we never got to understand, why she left us…I just hope, that she found the peace, whatever was it, that ate her from inside.


Babushka Anja. My dad’s mum. She lived only a few minutes away , and , when my parents were at work, and the nursery was closed for some reason, she looked after me.

“Don’t call me babushka. I’m not that old”- she laughed at me.

“How should I call you then? “

“Anja?”- suggested she

“Nee, you are not Anja. You are BABA Anja! Are you going to bake me a cake today? “

She baked, cooked and, in between , knitted wool pullovers and socks for the whole family and for the neighbours. She told me stories: how she was fleeing the Nazis during WW2, just the seconds away from being caught and sent to a Work Camp somewhere in Germany… She told me the stories about her family lost somewhere in the deep forests of Russia during that war (later we found her sister living in Leningrad) …

Babushka Anja was there looking after me every day. She cared about all and everything. Running chores for the people she hardly knew. Cooking, baking, knitting….

Last time I saw her when I was revisiting my memories in Latvia couple of years ago. Small, thin, tired…Fragile.  Wonderfully clear mind for an 80something old woman. The life was not too kind to her, but she never gave up.

When it was time to catch my plane back to Munich, we said our farewells, knowing, that it might be the last time we ever met……….



   naruto___alone_in_the_rain_by_lrakuenl My father was an alien. It’s not a Joke-I saw his passport! Probably, somebody tipped the Latvian passport people, that something is not quite right in our family. Maybe they’ve sensed it themselves. For me it is just the stupidity of the time, when my small country left the USSR, and nobody knew what to do with the freedom.

 Suddenly, long time neighbours didn’t speak your language and advised you to go back to Russia. But my father WAS born in this country. So was my mum, and so was I. It didn’t really matter, and some weeks after applying for Latvian citizenship, I and my mum got Latvian passports, my father became officially an alien.

But you know what? The Authorities have got it wrong! It was me, who was from another planet. I (!) was the monster!

 So far I can remember, I never felt as if I belong. I was just too sensitive and “arty”.

 Instead of playing football with other boys, I was reading books. When I was not reading, I was talking non-stop, and everybody begged me to shut up at least until the second hand make the whole circle on a clock.It was quite a challenge for a little boy I was then. And when I could not talk, I sang. I gave the shows of my life in the playground for those, who watched. I’ve singed my heart out; I’ve danced as if there is no tomorrow …  I just wanted to belong, to be accepted.  Instead, I was laughed at by girls, beaten up by boys, and screamed at by my father at “after show party “. I was an embarrassment, and I confirmed it every time with my tears. Mum tried to protect me, but heavy fist flying righ in her face would put an end to any discussion.Well, it was so untill  I was able to protect myself.

But back then, there were only an 8 years old alien and his mum. I looked into her sad loving eyes and learned, that it’s ok to be different. No matter what everybody says and thinks. It is ok to be true to yourself and follow your heart… Those eyes taught me not to judge…

 I don’t sing no more –the voice is gone with the smoke of many thousands cigarettes; and my dancing shoes are covered with centuries’ dust; and I’m not chasing that acceptance I craved for an eternity ago… I choose to accept instead.

I’m just an ALIEN wondering the streets of Life!

I’m not religious…


I‘m not religious. How can I be, if we had no God in the USSR? Religion was not officially outlawed: you could go to church, if you were ready to risk your “good name“, and if you could find one open church at all.

Most of the Russian people were religious believers prior the 1917 revolution, and the Orthodox Church was  involved not only in ordinary peoples lifes, but was deeply integrated in the monarchy.


It didn’t go down well with the Bolsheviks (The Communist Party of Soviet Union), who came to Power after the 1917 revolution. The Church was not only the face of the old order, but a dangerous competitor in fight for people’s loyalty. There could be no other authority in the young soviet Russia, but The Party. The Witch-hunt began…

Religious buildings were destroyed or turned into warehouses, housing, workshops, worker’s clubs and even public toilets. The believers were sent to prisons, labour camps and mental hospitals. By the 1941, there were only 500 out of 54 000 churches open , and thousands of people paid dearly for believing in God.

Atheism was taught in schools; rich in tradition religious ceremonies, such as weddings and funerals, were replaced by the “right” soviet alternatives and practises …

During WW2 the Orthodox Church was “restored”: The Red Army suffered major defeats,warsovpost_00001 and Stalin needed every man and women, every soul for, what he called,”Sacred War“. He reopened thousands of churches and allowed religious publications and services in order to boost patriotism in people.

After the War, religion was tolerated to a certain degree: people were free to worship in private and in remained churches. But any public display of believing in God was a no-go. The churches were still being closed on a daily basis, and people were still sent in exile and prisons for their believes. The God was once again enemy of the state.

I’m not religious. I just couldn’t be .By the time I was born, religion was invisible, nearly non-existent under the control of the Communist Party. One could hear one word here, a whisper there…Just few faint words behind the closed doors.

When my grandma had insisted, that I must be baptised, I was 7 or 8 years old. I had no idea, what baptising means (maybe something like a birthday party?), and could not understand, why my mum cries at nights after intense arguments with my grandma.My mum was a member in The Communist Party, just like the majority of the USSR people. You had to be, or you were against the Regime and had no place in the socialistic paradise. She was just scared.

Eventually, I WAS baptised, my grandma was happy and my mum got off with a visit to local authorities and a lecture on being the right kind of communist. Sweet 80s.

141960_originalIn the school, there were no lessons on religion either. Instead, we had to learn how to march. Once in a week we had to gather us outside , or, if the weather was bad, in our school gym and march in an organised order.

“Left.Left.One Two Three. Left.Left.One Two Three”

Hour after hour, after hour we were marching and singing patriotic songs.

“Left.Left.One Two Three.We wiiiiiiiil destrooooooy the o-old world …»   There was no God in our lifes.

 I’m not religious, but I believe .

I believe in being kind to others  and not judging people. It doesn’t matter what language you speak ,your skin colour ,which God you are praying to…Just have your heart in the right place and we are ok.

There was no God in our life back then,but I finaly found one. His name is Love…



















An Enemy Within



Well, it did not go as planned, and, to be honest, I had no plan at all.

I was just a kid, maybe a bit strange one, but still just a kid. I had all the time in the world to figure out, who I want to be and what the Life is all about.

The future was bright, and I had nothing to worry about.

At 42, I am stuck with a job, a hate with the whole of my heart. My entertainment consists of quarterly health check-ups, complimented with a daily dose of pills needed to keep my system up and running.

My family-my man, who a few years back was just a holiday romance, and a small ball of wool with big eyes, who thinks, that she is the Alpha Dog in the family — is on the verge of financial catastrophe.

Suddenly I’m an adult, but I don’t know the person on the other side of the mirror.And I have no idea,where did it all go wrong.

I am scared. Simple like that.


Can anybody tell me, where the ‘RESET’ button is,please ?

I would, without thinking a second, reinstall the whole operating system, keeping some memories and experiences. I would start all over again.


But there is no such thing, like ‘RESET YOUR LIFE’ button, right? I should better  talk to that man in the mirror then . He is the only one, who knows me well. He knows all my fears and hopes, all my quirks and secrets, all my ups and downs.                                              

I have questions, he has answers…I hope, that he does. One answer, one word can trigger that ‘reset’ function.

It is a dangerous journey to the depths of myself. And I am absolutely terrified not knowing, which discoveries I will make on the road. What will I find once I have reached the bottom?

I am terrified, but there is no other option. It is that or game over. And I’m not ready to give up yet. I will fight, so much can I promise. I just need to learn all about my biggest enemy-MYSELF.

 There is a great quote by Sun Tzu ( 544 BC-496 BC), a Chinese general , military strategist and philosopher :

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

There is just one thing I want to ask before I leave the comfort of not knowing:

Will you join me on this journey?

Maybe you have your own battle to win, and we can share tactics.Maybe you have won already, and your story will give me strength to carry on, when the things get tough.

This way or another, let me know that you are out there…………  








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