I don’t just want to tell my story. I want to give people the space to tell their own stories. Stories in which people followed their own inner voice. Went in new directions. Broke rules. Grew. Because there are so many unbelievable stories that need to be told!
The story of Charlotte Sahm
Who are you?
My name is Charlotte, and soon I’ll be 20. I would describe myself as a friendly, open and curious person. I like to travel and photograph my life. My biggest weakness has always been my single-mindedness, my ambition and having a mind of my own. I’ve always known what I wanted to do, and have always been focused on one path. Sometimes, however, you have to take detours or you encounter obstacles. That’s often a problem I face.
What do you see as your calling?
I’m still quite young, so I wouldn’t say I have a particular calling in life yet. At the moment, I would say that my calling is to make my existence worthwhile. Since I was a child, I’ve asked myself what I lost in this world and why I’m me. I always used to think that I needed to make my existence worthwhile to others, that I had to serve a purpose and achieve something in my life. Now, however, I think it’s about my own existence and making it worthwhile for myself. When I leave this world, I would like to leave knowing that my time here was worthwhile and that I used it both for myself and for others.
When did you start to follow your own inner voice?
Even as a child, I knew what I wanted to do. That changed frequently, of course. For a while, I wanted to be a vet, and so I decided to study Latin in sixth grade; and for a while I wanted to be an interior designer. In my head, that path was always set. Since ninth grade, I’ve known that I want to work in the media industry because it gives me the opportunity to meet inspiring people and experience exciting stories and in a way, I’m also leaving something in the world. I particularly like the theater; I get a lot from the daily exchange with the artists. And in doing so, I make my existence worthwhile. I might not earn a fortune working in this area, but I enjoy going to work and return home happy. That’s the most important thing to me and it should be the most important thing for everyone. I decided that I wanted to make my existence worthwhile after my uncle’s death. At that time, I realized that I shouldn’t postpone anything and that I should try to live out each of my dreams to the best of my ability.
What stumbling blocks did you encounter on your journey?
My greatest obstacles have been my ambition and my single-mindedness. Unfortunately, this is accompanied by a mind that never switches off. Regardless of what I’m doing, there’s always an alarm going in my head, blocking me. There are always questions that crop up. One that always comes up is what others think. I try to alter this every day. I hope that some day I will be able to switch off these alarms and be free. You do sometimes have to worry about some things of course, but these often block me on my way to giving my life the value I would like it to have.
Are there parallels between your path and the Stranger’s project?
Essentially, we are both finding ourselves, just in different ways. Connection to nature also plays a significant role for me, because I feel a strong connection to the Scandinavian countries, which are full of nature. Put me on a fjord or a lake with red wooden houses and I’ll be happy and won’t be able to stop smiling. Maybe I should get a cube myself and put it in Norway.
How would you encourage other people to follow their inner voice?
You should always ask yourself how much life you have. 80 years sounds like a lot, but every day we’re all aware of how quickly time passes. We should all use our time: not in doing a job we can’t stand just so we can go on holiday for 4 weeks a year. I don’t see myself as a role model in this regard because I’m not yet completely free and do not always follow my inner voice. But for everyone who wants to begin: Don’t silence your inner voice, turn it up. In the beginning, you don’t have to do everything it tells you. You’re one step closer to a happier life if you do just a few things your heart desires. Go where you want to go, meet who you want to meet, enjoy a few more moments of life and maybe that will help you to determine how valuable life and your time is.
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