„It’s a beautiful glass“

Vor 6 Jahren war ich kurz vor Ende meiner Arbeitslosigkeit – aka ALG I lief aus – und mitten in einer Weiterbildung (Social Media Management), die für mich durchaus hilfreich war, aber nicht dabei, eine Festanstellung zu finden. Gerade hatte ein Video auf Facebook mich sehr berührt und mich dazu bewegt, mich mit meinen Depressionstriggern zu befassen: Wieviel von meinem Selbsthass daran lag, dass ich mich an Vorstellungen maß, wie mein Leben ‚hätte aussehen sollen‘, nach meinem privilegierten Hintergrund, meiner Bildung und meiner Arbeitserfahrung zu schließen. Im Vergleich zu dem, was ich gedacht hatte, wie mein Leben mit Ende 30 aussehen würde, war mein Glas beständig halb leer.

In einem der Module der Weiterbildung sollten wir eine Tondatei erstellen, und mir waren entweder genau an dem Tag oder nur sehr kurz davor die folgenden Dinge passiert. Den Text habe ich noch (dank FB Erinnerungen), die Tondatei wohl nicht mehr. Mir gefällt der Text immer noch und die Erinnerung ist an die Situation sehr lebendig.

It’s a beautiful glass

Last weekend my glass was half empty. I managed to ruin my washing machine – on my 10th wedding anniversary, nonetheless – by washing a nursing pillow. The pillow was torn and spilled its polystyrene contents in my washing machine. Now there’s a body of blueish water with polystyrene pearls swimming in it and the pump makes angry working noises but can’t reach the water because the tube is clogged. I spent 90 minutes on Sunday washing out a heap of smelly, polystyrene covered laundry in the tub.

My glass is half empty a lot of the time right now. I’m an unemployed academic with two children which makes me unhireable, basically. We’re not poor but there’s no room for extravaganza. I go to school 40 hours a week and have the kids, a relationship and my own mental health to care for the rest of the time. This is for context because a broken washing machine kind of feels like the devil taking a shit on the biggest heap right now. I don’t have money to spare for a new washing machine and I have heaps and heaps of laundry that are going nowhere.

This morning my glass was half empty. On my way to the doctor’s to pick up a certificate, I called the repair service for the washing machine to get someone to fix it. First they always point out how guarantee only covers damage that wasn’t caused by misuse – which makes me angry even though I know it’s just policy. Second, the first appointment offered to me was on the day of a test I have to take at school. The next appointment I could get was 8 days from today – 8 days of washing my laundry at my mother-in-law’s.

My glass was half empty until I was on my way back to school. Suddenly, the way was blocked by two fire trucks, police and paramedics. I see smoke coming from the sidestreet. I’m not one for spectatorship so I just wanted to move around the firetruck, not be in the professional’s way and get back to school. Then I see her standing there: a woman, covered with a blanket, holding her toddler and sobbing uncontrollably. All alone. My reflex sets in and I approach her with the stupidest question: „Is there anything I can do?“ She just sobs so I hug her.

I hug her while the firemen keep asking her whether there’s any other people in the flat, or the flat above, are there any other children. I hug her while a guy shows up with a cat, scorched black but alive, and she cries that she thinks it’s her cat but she can’t recognise it. I hug her while she starts worrying that she will be blamed, but she was asleep and woke up to her living room in flames. I hug her and her toddler when she asks the toddler if he did it and the poor child says „Yes.“ I hug her when she can’t remember her mother’s mobile phone number, and cries that her phone is up in flames, and she has no insurance. I hug her until the paramedics start taking care of her. I carry her child along while she is being taken to the paramedic truck on a stretcher.

I don’t know how often I repeat these words: „It will be okay. You are alive. Your child is alive. Even your cat is alive.“ Before I step out of the truck, she looks at me and maybe she actually heard those words.

I don’t know whether my glass is half empty or half full. But suddenly I know that, yes, it’s a beautiful glass.

Ich schaue heute immer noch, wenn ich an dem Haus vorbeikomme, danach und frage mich, was aus der Frau und ihrem Kind geworden ist. Und ob sie sich vielleicht an mich erinnert.

Der Clip, aus dem der Titel und der Gedanke stammt: