Edita Wiederkehr Biography
If you had to choose between security and aliveness, which would you go for? There was once a time when I would not ask that. My life began in 1979. I was raised in the “Life is not a bed of roses” mind-set plus a healthy dose of patriotism (which I later learned to be a marriage of racism and nationalism). Until the age of 29, I lived in Lithuania, which was in constant motion. When I was born, Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union, and from 1987 to 1990, I witnessed the fight for so-called independence, characterized by complete chaos and the collapse of the economy. A few years later, a new beginning came for some, and we called it democracy. In this context, I graduated from school and university, and eventually, I earned my master’s degree in architecture. I worked to establish my own architectural firm in 2005, bought real estate, and played at being a responsible adult. What else could I do? Was there ever even a choice? Nearly every one I knew followed the same path: gain financial security and surround oneself with others for recognition, self-esteem, and the illusion of not being alone. So I went with the flow, and I must say, I was pretty good at it. By early 2007, I had achieved everything I had reached for. I was an architect with a growing company and was recognized in prestigious professional circles; I had a fresh romantic relationship, lots of friends, followers, and leeches. Strangely enough, none of this brought me the expected fulfilment or happiness. Instead, I felt like I was repeating myself day after day. Achievement through financial success and social recognition simply couldn’t quiet the urge for something I couldn’t quite name yet. I found myself contemplating the choices I had made in my life and doubting the ideas of happiness and the end goals that I was pursuing. I knew that the artificial life was over. I had to try it on to know that it wasn’t for me. As I see it now, I was hungry for something real—to feel alive, to be free.
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