Apr 17, 2017

Knowing the difference.

Sitting here, browsing Twitter, as you do, clicking my way through articles about film producers, actors, authors, activists, world-changers – it feels like everywhere I turn, there’s my generation. It feels like this is THE prime time. My age, my generation – it seems that almost everyone doing amazing things, everyone in the front row seats, launching stuff, creating, making a name for themselves, everyone ‘famous’  and ‘successful’ is somewhere between 26 and 36. It seems this is the age range of most people killing it right now. Has it always been like that? Is this prime time for most humans?

A little bit. Kind of. Maybe. No? I guess I just notice it more because I fall into that age spectrum right now.

That seems like a very short time window to do stuff. To do SOMETHING, anything, that will leave a mark, that will change the world, have an impact, that will establish yourself – and if this window is real, then I am already 5 years in and I feel like I have not much to show for. No pressure.

I’m in a place right now where I constantly feel behind. Like I should be more. I should be further along right now. I feel too slow. Not successful enough. Not to mention, I feel useless looking at the world events we are faced with. Every time I go online, I feel panicked. Under pressure. Because it seems like everyone is doing amazing things. Saving the world, having a great career, making babies, being awesome and whatnot. There is so much I would like to do. There is so much I still dream of. There is so much I would love to tick off my bucket list. And of course, I want to do it all yesterday.

But this is the truth right now: I feel slow and I feel scared. I am not quick enough. Not brave enough. I am 31 – and I feel like I could have done so much more at this point. I should be doing so much more. I know 5 people who are younger than me and have published books. Real freaking books. And while I have a file on my computer called ‘a book maybe’ – who knows if that maybe is going to turn into a ‘definitely’? (The reasons holding me back are worth three more blogposts alone) I don’t feel anywhere close to where I should be by now. But where ‘should’ I be?

There are people that have spoken in front of politicians at 21, launched charities at 18, have travelled the world, done such brave, incredible things, people that are millionaires before they are legally allowed to drink. It’s so easy to feel small and overwhelmed if you compare yourself to that. And I do. Honestly, I do.

Looking around it seems like everyone is faster, better, prettier, more successful, further along, smarter and everything more than me.
I know this is not real. I know this is what I see. And I know so many people reading this feel the same way about me. It’s so funny how we’re all the same that way.

If I tell myself that ‘Nadia, chill, there’s a time for everything’ – is that the truth in this very moment or is it just an excuse for not moving forward, for hiding behind fear, laziness and circumstances? How do I know which one is knocking on my door? How do I get over….this?

I celebrate my life. My people, my successes, my business. I shift my focus to what I have and who I am instead of what I don’t have and who I’m not.

But the most important thing? I ask myself, What do I want? What life do I really want? 

Do I want to write a book just because it sounds cool to say ‘I have written a book’ ? Do I want to start a community, an online business, a youtube channel, a family, buy a house, start a podcast, donate that money/insert whatever you want here …. because it is the cool/sensible/trendy/normal/smart thing to do? Because it will get me recognition? What’s my purpose? Am I motivated by applause? Or by love?

What’s my definition of success? I want my reality aligned with my values. This is when I feel successful. I start feeling uneasy when I long for things just because they look good on someone else – not because I REALLY want them.

It’s knowing the difference between what I think I want and what I can’t live without. The difference between what’s popular and what’s burning on my heart.

Snap back out of it girl, you have this life. Don’t waste it wishing for another. Use it to do what you’re here to do. I forget that if I had in fact, done all of it yesterday, that would mean my life would be over and there would be no more things to look forward to.


‘There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.’

Kazuo Ishiguro




Comment :


  1. Olivia

    April 18th, 2017 at 9:59 AM

    this resonates with me SO much. I’m 24, and feel so much pressure to “be something.” That pressure totally comes and goes though, and like you say, it’s about focusing on what we have done, and what we want to do for US not for anyone else, or for recognition :) I find taking a bit of time offline every once in a while is so helpful for that, and really brings my clarity back :)
    Thanks for writing this – it’s just what I needed before I dive back into work after the Easter break. xxxx

  2. Nadia Meli

    April 18th, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Thank you Olivia! I hope this week will be full of power and love for you! x

  3. Frank Berno Timm

    April 18th, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Ich glaube, dass diese Momente des Zweifelns und des Innehaltens notwendige Pausen sind. “Fragen ist Frömmigkeit des Denkens” hat irgendjemand gesagt. Deine Spur ist, unverwechselbar zu sein, und darin bist Du schon ziemlich gut. Luft nach oben ist immer.
    Sorry for speaking German here: it’s better for me. ;-)

  4. Nadia Meli

    April 18th, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Du brauchst dich nie entschuldigen dafuer dass du hier kommentierst lieber Frank! Danke dir!!!

  5. Katha

    April 18th, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Thank you for sharing, Nadia! I can relate, this is how I’ve been feeling for a few months now. I’m angry at the ‘world out there’ for making me feel so behind and at myself for falling into the trap of believing it again and again. Sometimes you just have to take a step back to snap out of it. I just spent a few weeks offline, far away from the comparison circle and it was restorative!
    May you have many moments when you feel just in time, just in place, just right, just like yourself.

  6. Jens

    April 18th, 2017 at 11:37 AM

    Danke nadia für deine Worte. Genauso geht’s mir auch öfters. Dein Gedanke dass wenn man das jetzt schon alles gemacht hätte, das Leben ja eigentlich schon vorbei wäre, finde ich klasse. Merci!

  7. Kelly Green

    April 18th, 2017 at 12:39 PM

    Beautiful words Nadia,I feel the exact same way, so I try to tell myself “Stop & look around at what you do have” and then I feel pretty proud of all I have accomplished. But its a shifting tide and the waves come and knock you back down again and doubt creeps in, each time I just try to remind myself that I am me, I am enough & thats okay :)

  8. Esther

    April 18th, 2017 at 12:44 PM

    Oh .. how does it feel? Do we all know what it´s like to feel this? Will it change, eventually, later then.. ?

    Guess not.
    I´m 42 and still think i should be an adult by now!
    I mean, I´m a mother. A wife. I wish I´d be an artist. Then again, I think I am.. already.

  9. Nauna

    April 18th, 2017 at 1:01 PM

    Thank you for thinking out loud Nadia. I’m sure we have all experienced these thoughts and fears. They fill our minds and can slowly choke us. They make us feel small and insignificant. What gives me comfort is being reminded by God’s truths about who I am in Him, why I’m here and the true purpose of this life. His Word is truly a lamp to my feet. It’s in Him where I can truly live my reality.

    Have a blessed day! Here’s comforting verse:

    Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

  10. Erika

    April 18th, 2017 at 1:21 PM

    Hi Nadia! Danke für das Teilen deiner Gedanken. Obwohl ich nichts mit Fotografie zu tun habe, folge ich dir schon eine ganze Weile, einfach weil du mich inspirierst. Auch ich kenne dieses Gefühl des Vergleichens. Und du hast recht. Es ist unsere Generation, die gerade so viel Gutes tut! Und das ist großartig – obwohl es mich auch immer wieder zu diesem Gedanken drängt: Was tue ich? Ich möchte so viel mehr, nicht nur für mich… Und dann lese ich zum Beispiel deine Beiträge… Und ganz ehrlich, indem du dein Leben so lebst wie du es tust, mit so viel Liebe und Freude und den Gedanken, die du mit uns allen teilst, hilfst du! Du hilfst zu reflektieren und stößt Gedankengänge an. Und manchmal reicht auch nur eines deiner wunderschönen Bilder mit deinen Worten dazu. Und dann denke ich mir: So schwer das Leben auch oft ist, so ungerecht uns die Welt erscheint, die kleinen Dinge machen es besonders! Und davon haben wir doch eigentlich so viel! Und wenn wir unser Leben so leben, dass wir glücklich sind, können wir auch andere glücklich und mit jedem Lächeln die Welt ein bisschen besser machen. Danke dir dafür!

  11. Anna

    April 18th, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    Nadia, you spoke out of our heart! Sooo true!! You send tears to my eyes. <3

  12. Nadia Meli

    April 18th, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    I am sorry you cried. I hope they were cleansing tears. Thank you so much for your support! x

  13. Kitty

    April 18th, 2017 at 2:43 PM

    Lovely Girl, I wish I could embrace you, look you deep in the eyes, give you an understanding smile and tell you, that the leveling board is not ‘out there’. For 99% of mankind there will always be someone who’s richer, more successful, more powerful wiser… OR poorer, sicker, more introvert.
    So yes, we will always compare. And I think this is important and good because no one is living in a bubble. But be always careful with whom you compare yourself.
    And it’s the responsibility you take. That you are a voice for your values and your opinions. And in the end it doesn’t matter if you get big or small applause. If you are looking into the mirror, still loving yourself, being convinced that you do the right things!
    I know, noise out there is crazy loud… and let me tell you – if you’re getting nervous at 31, it sometimes feels insane for me being older then 36 ;)
    Life goes on! And there will be so much good that you will do and will experience. Listen to your heart and be aware of the doors that will open!!
    Does that make sense..!?
    Yours truly, Kitty

  14. Nadia Meli

    April 18th, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    I’ll hug you very soon! Excited for it! Thanks for your support love. I am happy and I am really good! This is not the constant state I am in, thank God :) it’s something that comes in waves. Especially on Social Media heavy days ;)

  15. Mady

    April 18th, 2017 at 6:12 PM

    Nadia! You have no idea how much I needed this. Thank you so much!

  16. Nadia Meli

    April 18th, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    Thank YOU for reading along! x

  17. Marianne

    April 18th, 2017 at 7:08 PM

    Liebe Nadia – noch nicht oft habe ich einen Text gelesen, der mir so sehr mich selbst hat verstehen lassen. Ich verfolge deinen Blog schon eine Weile und bewundere deine Arbeit und dich sehr, sehr, sehr! Von dir, zu der ich so aufschaue, solch nahen Worte zu lesen – das geht direkt ins Herz. Danke.

  18. Lisa

    April 18th, 2017 at 7:51 PM

    Liebe Nadia, es ist wirklich schön zu wissen, dass man nicht alleine ist. Ich kann mich gerade soooo gut in dich hineinfühlen. Ich bin 28, habe ein Kind, das ich über alles liebe, einen guten Job, sehr gute Freunde und eine tolle Familie und dennoch komme ich nicht zur Ruhe. Dieses ständige MEHR wollen, mehr sein, mehr können, mehr tun. Es macht einen wahnsinnig! Auch ich hab mir schon sooo viele Gedanken darüber gemacht… ist das einfach unsere Generation? Dieser Druck speziell eben durch Social Media? Manchmal denke ich, wäre es am besten dem ganzen Irrsinn den Rücken zu kehren und sich wirklich wieder mehr auf sich selbst zu besinnen und wie du so schön und treffend schreibst, auf das, was wir wirklich wollen und nicht glauben sein / haben / tun zu müssen! DANKE für deinen Text!! Alles Liebe Lisa

  19. Maxime

    April 18th, 2017 at 11:10 PM

    The grass is always greener on the other side… a quote that could be considered vintage and however, still applies, applies in today’s connected world. And if we do not control our ego or thoughts, we quicky fall into that trap.
    It has been a pleasure to read this post (which made me read many others over here) as the few lines are pure, honest, real and as a result greifbar and beautiful.

    The thoughts, the fears, de ideas, all of them sounded familiar. Maybe it’s the age of 31 that I share with you, maybe just an issue of our generation. But then I wondered, “how can it be that someone so talented doubts so much after having created already so many beautiful things (photography, text, etc)?” To me you are on my list of the people that at 31 already have achieved success, funny isn’t it ?

    I believe for two reason.
    – Because since ever, talented creative artists always doubted themselves. It was the price for being a creative person and also kind of helping their creativity.
    – You compare yourself only to a few idols you look up to that look up to their few idols, just like I look up to you

    For sure is, success is something totally personal and competely overrated in today’s world. And many (probably the less secure ones) follow society’s definition and path and love to explain that they have achieved it. Not on purpose, not to harm anyone, just to calm down their own heavy heart. Be it the 30 year old friend who is having the picture perfect family, the guy with a start-up, the blogger with 100 K followers on Instagram,…

    When it comes to being too slow, first of all, someone who pays so much attention to details in order to achieve beauty (cf in your description of your purpose) cannot be quick, that simply doesn’t go together. Your work wouldn’t be that amazing if you would be quick. That’s probably not who you are. No quick without slow, duality always.

    And some are late bloomers http://www.catherinetaret.com/late-bloomer/ and there is nothing bad about that either.

    It comes in waves you mentionned. And after each low there will be another high.
    Enjoy the ride. I believe in you.

  20. Lotty

    April 18th, 2017 at 11:27 PM

    This is all very true. But what if you don’t really, really know what it is that you are here for to do? What you really want? How can you see the difference between what you truly think you want or need and what you actually want or need? That’s such a difficult thing!

  21. Julia Axer

    April 19th, 2017 at 10:57 AM

    Hallo Nadia,
    auch ich befinde mich gerade in einer Phase, in der ich mich und den Weg Gottes für mich finden will. Ich stehe kurz vor der Abgabe meiner Masterarbeit und soll plötzlich auf eigenen Füßen stehen und meine Wege gehen. Doch welche sind das?
    Ich mag das Zitat, mit dem du endest: ‘There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.’(Kazuo Ishiguro) Wir müssen und entscheiden und Wege gehen und nicht immer darüber nachdenken “was wäre wenn?”. Das Leben, das wir uns gestalten, wird nicht immer rosig sein, doch wir sind die einzigen, die es aktiv angehen können, also lass uns mit Gottes Hilfe das Beste daraus machen und es dankbar aus Gottes Hand annehmen.
    Ich wünsche dir die Kraft Gottes für gray-days like these.
    Julia Axer

  22. Peter Castillo

    April 19th, 2017 at 6:46 PM

    Hello, Ma’am Nadia. I feel the same way, too. I cam relate so much to how you are feeling right now. One time I came across the term “quarter life crisis”. Maybe this somehow explains to what we feel. You are right, in our generation it’s like we are constantly craving…wanting more. In my case, maybe it’s a little different because I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and my moods are really not stable…good thing my meds are here. “The easiest way to discover the purpose of an invention is to ask the creator of it.” (taken from the Purpose Driven Life by Pastor Rick Warren). We have a lot of questions in life and I guess, it’s only through a good relationship with God that we can really find our life’s purpose. He is our Creator. But I know we’ll get through this. God is in control. ????

    – Pete

  23. Delesa

    April 20th, 2017 at 6:47 AM

    Thanks Nadja for this incredible post (yet another one of yours ????). It’s not only the age range you’ve described who seems to be successful. I believe there are lots of people out there in the range of 45+ who are successful and creative and supporting others, but the age range described in your post has found a way to publish it more than ever to the world. Next month I’ll be 50 (writing it down is more scary as I thought it would be), so there is not only the pressure of “what have I done so far?” but “how much time have I left until weakness or sickness will struggle all my intentions?” I, too, have so many things in my had what I want to do… thanks for your inspirational post, I’ll start now doing the most important and supporting ones!

  24. Caroline Wilhite

    April 23rd, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    I get like that at times as well. I have to push the focus off myself and onto God and just pleasing Him. Then I’m content again.

  25. Katja Knetschke

    April 26th, 2017 at 6:47 PM

    Es ist sehr schön zu lesen das es viele andere gibt denen es genauso geht! Ich glaube wir haben einfach zu viel Einblick in alles, in jeden, von jedem, tausend Arten wie man etwas machen kann, auf der gesamten Welt. Hätten wir nur unseren Raum den wir mit eigenen Augen sehen könnten, wöllten wir auch nicht so viel und würden uns nicht so viel Druck machen! Ich, Frau, Geliebte, Mutter, Designerin, Fotografin, Mensch, Erdenbürger, ein Teil vom Ganzen, Kind von Eltern habe auch ständig das Gefühl nicht genug zu leisten, noch viel mehr schaffen zu können, härter zu arbeiten, mehr von allem zu machen, … aber das ist genau die Fragen warum will ich das? Weil ich mich schlecht fühle, weil ich mich im Wettbewerb als Verlierer fühle, weil ich Angst habe zu versagen? … Wenn ich Pause von allem mache, spüre ich mich langsam wieder und weiß ich muss nur das tun was aus mir kommt und kann damit zu frieden zu sein, aber das ist ziemlich schwer.

    Nimm was kommt, nimm jeden an. Sei einfach, ohne Hoffnung, ohne Furcht. Ruhe entspannt in Dir, ohne Erwartung, ohne Angst Und die große Freude, dein wahres Wesen strahlt aus sich selbst. Buddha

  26. Joice

    July 13th, 2017 at 2:33 AM

    I can relate to this. I feel I’m moving slow sometimes, I’d like to do more, and I know I’m capable. of it. Just have to focus and move forward! Not getting distracted by what others are doing, that’s difficult. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Nicole

    September 23rd, 2017 at 12:20 PM

    Dear Nadia,

    I can relate to this so so much. But I think almost everyone can. We live in a world where perfection is an illusion but sold as a necessity. There is no limit to how famous or successful one can be. You have achieved so much and just by looking at your work I myself start this comparison process and feel I’ve got so much to learn to even come close to your level. I suppose it’s natural as we’re all our own worst critic and most of the time there is nothing to criticise. We grow and learn every day and we need to remember that this is a good thing. We always chase what we don’t have and rarely look at the things we have achieved because as soon as we have them, they no longer seem interesting. “The grass is always greener on the other side” probably fits best here. Please know that happiness comes from within and as hard as it is this whole we are constantly trying to fill has usually been filled already. You are not alone you are loved and you are perfect just the way you are.

    Nicole xx

  28. Nadia Meli

    October 5th, 2017 at 8:53 AM

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read and leave so much love here! xxx

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