When I was eighteen years old, I had a friend with whom I shared everything. My thoughts, my dreams, and my longing. We were never lovers, but as familiar as brother and sister.
One day she called me and told me that she got a book from her mother. “About a stupid bird. With the dedication: Learn how to fly! Say, is she crazy?”
She came from a rich family and had expected a car or a cruise for her birthday. And just some printed paper.
I forgot the story until a few months later when I found a small book stuck behind her desk. Since I was reading everything I got my hands on back then, I began to skim through it.
And I was spellbound from the very first lines. That was exactly what I was looking for. Finally there was someone describing my innermost dreams, my longing for a real life, for freedom and passion.
A way not to spend the rest of my days under the bondage of fighting for my daily bread. But instead to find something worth living for, something that was more important than a car, a home or the recognition of my family.
And this little seagull showed the way to go!
My friend usually knew how I have been. But for the first time in our time together, she did not understand me. Where I saw a teacher for my life, she could only see a dirty bird.
I think that was the beginning of the end. We have been friends for a few more years after this, but we went different ways. She attended an elite university and started at her parents’ business enterprise.
I chose a path that I believed would lead me to myself. And yet itthrewmy life into turmoil.
Years of suffering followed. Years of grief and pain, always keeping the hope up to eventually find new paths.
The only thing that carried me through this time was the memory of these books.
The memory of the seagull Jonathan Livingston.
And for that I am grateful to my friend from that time.
Her name was Eva.
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