Childhood Dreams

Losing my father put many things into perspective. I started to question my life. Suddenly things I considered true and meaningful are neither true or meaningful any longer. Why did I make certain choices? Why did I come to New York City? Wy did I decide to be a photographer? Why am I the person I am? How do I see my future? These are only a few of the questions I was faced with.

I realize that I went through a major shift. Today I am a very different person then I was when my father was still alive. The question remains am I more myself now then I was myself before? I believe so.

A good friend of mine recently posted  a story about the biggest regrets people have when they die on her Facebook Wall. The number one regret is that they wish they’d had the courage to live a life true to themselves, not the life others expected of them.

How much do our parents play a role in what we want to be? Can we be sure that the life that we are living today is really based on our dreams or is it in reality someone else’s dream? And if we realize that it is not our own dream, are we strong enough to stop what we have been doing and are we able to change?

I have been thinking a lot about what I wanted as a child, at a time when I was in big parts untainted by the ideas of my parents and society.

As a child I loved animals. I knew anything and almost everything about any animal there is. You put a photograph of any African wildlife, fish, spiders, whales or frogs in front of me and I instantly knew its name. And that at the tender age of 6. I was a big fan of  Konrad Lorenz, Jaques Cousteau, Hans Hass and Heinz Sielmann. At that point in my life it was clear to me that my profession would have something to do with animals. My dream was to become another Jaques Cousteau.

At age eight I moved to the alps in Germany and was instantly in love with the mountains. There was nothing I loved more then climbing trees, be outside or go climbing.

The two things I hated most in life were cities and to go shopping for cloths.

How is it possible that I just celebrated my 16 year New York City anniversary having spent most of that time in the fashion industry?

What happened to my childhood dreams? What happened to my love for nature, my passion for African wildlife, what about becoming the new Jaques Cousteau?

Don’t misunderstand me, I was always passionate about photography and always will be but why did I not take pictures of coral reefs or the mountains in the Himalayas? And why do I live in New York City if I love nature?

To me spending all these years in New York City had a lot to do with attempting to impress my father and to get his approval. And what place is better then this city that is considered the toughest city in the world. Did I get it? In the 16 years I’ve been living here he did not even visit me once and now he is dead and I will never get his approval. That is what I call time well spent. 🙂

Focusing on the positive, his death just set me free. It is better to find this out late then never and now I can make changes to pursue my childhood dreams. I did not have it too bad either. I’ve been living in an amazing city, made wonderful friends and have a profession that I love.

But I wish somebody else would have written this blog post 10 years ago and I would have stumbled upon it and realized that I’m not 100% true to myself. So if you read this and can relate to it remember your childhood dreams and don’t lose any time.
 
 
 
 
 
 

“Childhood Dreams” When I took this picture close to Sorano in Italy I had to think of my dad/ October 2012

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Please check out my website at carstenfleck.com

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