Irene & Astrid: Nothing stays the same


It took us a while to realize that life ebbs and flows like the tide. It’s a bit like when spring first arrives: You put away your winter coat, drink coffee on your porch and have dinner outside again. Yes, this is how life’s meant to be, you think, with summer on the way. But then it rains again, a new cold wave sets in, you wistfully turn on the heating, and think: What happened? I thought summer was around the corner… We fall for it again and again, every year.

Well that’s how life works, too. You feel happy and think you’ll feel that way forever, until something happens to ruin the mood, or a strangely melancholic feeling settles on you out of nowhere. But it also works the other way around: You might be slipping into a negative spiral, worrying about the people around you, starting the day already tired, not knowing how to get through it. Then, too, it’s hard to remember that it’s not going to stay that way forever. It’s hard sometimes to see it will get better again, more enjoyable again, easier.

Learning that you can’t predict anything except that things won’t stay the same forever isn’t easy and it takes time. But hey, wisdom comes with age, and it has made us calmer than we were before, in a way – although you might think it would have the opposite effect. And as a result, the branch now bends with the storm instead of breaking. This is the message we try to weave into Flow.

We often hear from people who tell us they find comfort in our stories. Like the email we received all the way from New Zealand: A backpacker who was feeling homesick came across our English-language issue in a cafĂ© and it cheered her up. We’re so happy when that happens. In this issue, we were the ones to be cheered up, by the feature about why we should welcome failure. When we fail at something we shouldn’t be ashamed, but be proud instead that at least we tried.

  • You can read these features in Issue 21.

Illustrations Amy Blackwell