About Sophie's World

The Race

Copyright Andreas Winter

Imagine you are in a car race. Hitting the gas pedal, to be the fastest. Not looking to the left or right, only focusing on the finishing line. 250 km/h. The farer you get, less and less people can keep it up with you. 320 km/h. Until finally your car passes the line and the feeling of delight, proudness and satisfaction takes over you. You made it!

But there is not much time to celebrate; after all, every minute has to be spent to improve the car so it will stay the fastest. And then you find yourself sitting in it again. Waiting for the starter’s gun to shoot. And when it does so, you are hitting the gas pedal like you have always been doing it. 100 km/h. But suddenly your view is blurred, your mind is spinning. 250 km/h. This time you cannot see the finishing line. You know you must slow down, but your right foot keeps hitting the gas pedal. 300 km/h. You are still racing. On a street that is not familiar to you. In a direction you aren’t sure of. You are still racing without orientation, without a goal.

A look on the fuel indicator: Not much left. Your car needs to be fuelled and you are tempting for a rest. You take a deep breath and slow down. 250 km/h. The voice through your headphones is telling you to keep on going, there is just enough fuel left to reach the goal. But you are thinking of sitting in a nice café with your friends, who you did not see for a long time. 150 km/h. The voice is getting louder, so you begin to hum your favorite song. 70 km/h. It feels good. Suddenly all the pressure is gone.  50 km/h. You are taking off the headphones, so the voices talking to you diminish. 30 km/h. Now you are slow enough to take a glance to your left and right. You see trees and the beauty of nature, which you have never seen before.

Hi, I am Sophie, 21 and currently living in Hamburg, Germany. As you may have noticed, I do not look German, but Asian. That’s because my parents are Vietnamese. Apart from the black hair, my almond eyes and my small height, I am pretty ambitious. I used to race. Metaphorically.

When I was in high school I had a clear goal: graduate with good grades, to be free in choosing what to study later. It was not easy to reach the goal, but finally, I made it! After high school I went to university to study business psychology. And to be honest, I chose that course of studies because it sounded cool and not because I knew I wanted to do that, I did not even knew what its content is. Nevertheless I again struggled hard for good grades, to be free in choosing where to work for later. Now I am shortly before graduating from university. Free to choose where to work. And here comes the point: I do not know where to go. My view is blurred, my mind is spinning. This time I cannot see the finishing line.

I have always been racing and never asked myself if I liked the racing despite from if I wanted to reach the finishing line, only being focused on reaching it. (My parents never forced me to learn, and no, they did not deny me as their daughter if I had something other than an A+, in opposite, they wanted me to slow down).  I have always been a part of the race and I was good. But at some point “being good” is no longer good enough to keep on going. At some point you got to stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself where you are heading to. And if racing is not the answer, you need to leave the race track to find your true passion.

I have reached this point. And this is the story of hitting the break to enjoy life.

ahoisophie
This is my favorite picture of me, because this is how I’d like to see me every day. Wearing my favorite dress, a cap and a smile and knowing that the ocean can be reached within only ten steps.

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