How do you fix a broken robot?

“I told you. Good day, I am okay, bad day I am okay. Stop bugging me on my feelings, they are irrelevant.”

This is a quote from the Wall Street sequel which features Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf in the main roles. It has been stuck inside my head for a while and I re-watched the movie several times to gather more lessons from it.

Quite obviously, money plays a pivotal role in the movie but it’s not the main motivation but a means to accomplish things for the two main characters. The same core principle in a much less stylish setting kind of applies to me because I am neither rich nor poor. I worked hard to earn the money I have and there is no magic pot of gold that keeps providing more goods without doing anything for it.

Money is important because it pays the bills and gives the chance to buy things one likes. It also provides some freedom to purchase absolutely random things that catch your attention for a reason unknown. But money may never be able to buy 100% saturated happiness, at least in my case.

For the past 15 years, I have been happy to only really worry about myself and to make sure the work I deliver is top-notch. Nothing else mattered and a lot of things have gone amiss, most notably the overall balance and goals beyond the niche market I have chosen. But if there is one thing I have learned while being stuck at home for more than a year, it’s the fact I don’t want to be alone anymore.

All my attempts to change this very fact have failed miserably and probably ended in utter embarrassment. I exposed my weaknesses and became vulnerable due to the mere fact that I wear my feelings on my sleeves. This can be daunting most of the time and it seems so much easier to just crawl back into the cave, especially when you don’t really know what you want.

Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t really have a problem with being a nomad but it would be nice if there was more. What exactly that might be is one of the great secrets of life, because we are all different in our needs, temptations, wishful thinkings, and desires.

Some of my female friends suggested the obvious solution — “Why don’t you try Tinder?” I don’t know if some short-term fun would be a suitable quick fix that can lead to more. Sex has never been a way for me to gain a distraction and push other issues into the background for a while.

It would be nice to be there for someone else, to provide a shoulder to lean on, to share experiences with, and to show off my mediocre massage skills at the end of an exhausting day. Those are only small parts of a large puzzle and the grand picture hasn’t revealed itself to me just yet. In a nutshell, it has become incredibly frustrating during a period where many people have too much time to think.

Not knowing what exactly you want might be the biggest culprit, closely followed by being unable to find a solution and having hopes. There is also no guarantee that’ll happen when you least expect it.

The ultimate “bad solution” might be just around the corner, as after a hiatus of more than one and a half years, my regular job duties seem to be required again. Stress levels will rise, saying no won’t be an option because the challenge to showcase the own skills after such a long break is one to be taken mandatorily. Work also helps to push all other problems and strange thoughts into a tiny little corner that bears no importance.

As restless as the mind can be, as odd it has been to live out of the suitcase for the better part of the last few years. And it seemed incredibly unfair to start something serious with someone you really care about if you are away so frequently.

Hence, it was an easier solution to just attempt making others happy temporarily as that required mastering fewer obstacles. You never know how shitty a day it has been for people that you cross paths with and little things can matter a lot. There is no excuse not to try and brighten the day of others, especially if you care about them — regardless of what degree the connection may be.

It might be very silly to write down these thoughts openly for everybody to see, to expose how much of a fool I really am. But maybe it is needed to see all that black on white in front of my eyes that something gotta change.

I don’t believe in magical miracles out of the blue, spirituality, or any religion … Buddhism is the only one I really consider as a valid option. At the same time, I do embrace homeopathy and the power of gemstones. This contradicts itself quite a lot and probably qualifies me as a hypocrite.

It’s such a pity that they didn’t provide a manual on how to operate this introverted workaholic robot. Let’s hope they implemented a reboot button to reset everything to factory settings. Because otherwise I might be severely screwed.


Foreign language correspondent, freelance journalist and written content creator in poker, photographer

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Christian Zetzsche

Foreign language correspondent, freelance journalist and written content creator in poker, photographer