Failing Forward

with Daniel Cassadio

Chapter 17 - Shark Attack Survivor

Chapter EntriesDaniel Casadio3 Comments

In the community kitchen. I’ve spent so much time in this very spot, on this very couch in all the different seasons of the year, in all different kinds of moods and thoughts. So much has changed. And now it’s somehow similar to the first time I was here, just a naïve silly billy backpacker. In conclusion, not much has changed. 

I wrote this blog: 

After a day or two of eating plastic food, walking aimlessly in massive airports in the Middle East and attempting to sleep on the plane. I had arrived in Germany and exhausted more than ever. I crawled and stumbled my way with my big backpack to the countryside of Lower Saxony where I spent lots of my time in the last adventure; on an international organic community.

I was greeted so warmly by the locals here and some of my tight friends were still working in the community. It was great to see everyone again, even if my bloodshot eyes didn’t convey it. Just with my luck, I happened to arrive on the 1st of May which was a German holiday and the community had planned a huge day of dancing to celebrate. Dancing. Lucky jetlagged me. All the energy and passion behind the locals and travellers integrating and moving together; made me want to be apart. As I ‘contributed’ with my horrible dance moves I felt more energetic and awake. Alive at last!

After the dance, I ate some bread, had a shower, slept for 13 hours, woke up just before work the next day and goodbye jet lag.

I continued my role in the community and worked with Peronnik; an organisation within the community that gives refugee for vulnerable and special needs children.

I took a couple kids to the outdoor swimming pool in a nearby town and I was waiting in line with one of my cutie magooties. And a German boy in front of us turns around and looks at my chest. I have no idea what he literally said in German, but I know he was asking what was wrong with my concave chest.  

This was probably my biggest insecurity on my appearance, people have said it is; cool, weird or disgusting. Obviously the last one hurt the most, but that’s life, what can you do.

Nevertheless, this German boy was asking what was wrong with my chest, and I really don’t speak much German. I was speechless for a moment, because I didn’t know how to explain it with the present language barrier but also, I was simply insecure and would prefer not to talk about it.

But then I had an idea

“Ich komme aus Australien” I said in my very broke German. (I come from Australia).

All the other boys and girls looked over their shoulder at me. I had their attention. I continued being a silly billy; “I uhhhh… surf”. I pretended to surf, to show what I meant. The boys and girls looked at me in awe, like I’ve just come back from a World Surfing Tour in Hawaii.  

“Shark” I acted as a shark, then mimed that a shark had ripped out a bit of my chest. I could hear the boys and girls jaw’s drop.

The German boy who I started the conversation with, just looked at me. Not blinking. Then puts out his arm for a knuckles and says in a wanna-be-gangster-strong-German-accent; “respect”.

Yes, I lied. I shouldn’t have. But I also do think it was nice to laugh and find light in my insecurity. I don’t think I’ll say I’m a shark survivor again, but I do want to explore and find ways to put life and light on my insecurities.

They are only as insecure as you want them to be.

Many people carry much more deeper and more severe insecurities, I can’t say that I know exactly what that’s like or what you're going through. But I do know, we always have a choice.
You can light a tiny candle in the corner of a dark room, take out your camera, put on the right lenses and you get to choose how much light to let in your lenses.

On what’s really important to you.