Who am I?
I’m Mark Oswald.
I am the change. I love reinventing myself. When a roll gets too tight, I’m not afraid to let go.
This is my story
Six years ago, I was in public service. The job was nice and well paid, but I already knew on Mondays what I would do on Fridays. I got very frustrated.
In my deep frustration I felt the call for change ever louder within me. But I was afraid of giving up my security, besides, what could my family say? And wouldn’t it be ungrateful to my employer to change my life like this? I was really scared, but I just had to do something!
I told my close friends about my problem back then. Against all odds one of them said: “Mark, if you want you can work in our company”.
There it was, my exit. Without asking for any details, I said yes, told my boss off, quit my job and took the new path.
It was really not easy inside. I was scared at every moment, but I knew I had no choice, I had to do this. So I did it.
On the first day in my new job I was full of enthusiasm! Hell Jeah, finally a new adventure. But the enthusiasm was not to last long – the new work was terrible. Most of the tasks were completely new to me and far beyond my previous skills, the climate was choleric and rough and I was not up to the challenge.
After a lot of pain in a short time, I closed myself off inwardly and withdrew into doubt and frustration and got my dismissal while still on probation.
There I was. The security was gone. My steady job and my fixed plans were gone. I was full of fear and self-doubt and inwardly at rock bottom. I felt like I was useless and as if my life was now completely without perspective. I knew nothing outside my old world and didn’t know where to put me.
This low point had only one advantage: Now I had nothing to lose. All my old plans had been blown, so now I had no other choice but to discover a new world. Through all the pain of the last time I knew exactly what I didn’t want anymore and that’s a beginning after all! So I got up, felt my need for freedom, self-determination, adventure and liveliness, and went into business for myself.
At that time I had not the slightest idea what to do, how to make money, how a market economy works or what a tax return is – but I wanted to. Nothing was stronger than the fear of returning to the old world, so any possible pain of the new world seemed trivial.
The next 5 years were unprecedented in my young life. I travelled through Germany and got to know people and places. I consumed new knowledge like an addict and immediately applied everything I learned. The people I was to meet were as inspiring as heroes and as brightly shining as beacons, the knowledge I was to collect was more exciting than any thriller, the ups and downs I was to experience were worthy of an adventure novel.
Today I have the most intensive time of my life behind me. I am infinitely grateful for the people, for the experiences, for the ups and downs and for the knowledge and skills I have been able to gather. I have a completely different view of life today.
Today I am a digital nomad, live in Spain with my girlfriend and her children for a quarter of a year, earn my money by putting stories into words for extraordinarily exciting people, and am connected to such wonderful human beacons to whom I am only grateful for their existence.
I put up with a lot of fear and pain for it, but it was worth it and I don’t want to miss it. I would do it again. I would solve many things smarter, but I would not want to miss the experiences and learning effects.
If there is one thing I stand for as a human being, it is that courage for change – combined with perseverance and willingness to learn – is rewarded. I am no longer prepared to live in unpleasant circumstances for a long time. Today I know that I form and create my world and that especially the people around me are crucial for my life.
I want to encourage everyone who is reading this When life calls you, be ready to follow that call. Quality of life and happiness are the consequence, not the prerequisite.