Real talk

My double life

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On one hand I am living my dream, travelling the world, making money through my blog and getting amazing opportunities.  On the other hand, however, my life is not so perfect and glamorous.  This last week, trips to the hospital have been a daily occurrence in order for me to visit my dad. My dad is suffering from Parkinson’s disease dementia and unfortunately his health has dramatically deteriorated over the last months. His medical condition has completely thrown our family life upside down.

Why am I sharing this with thousands of people on the internet? No, I am not here to get more people to read my blog or to have others feel sorry for me. I am writing this, because I am so sick of the fake, posed photos on Instagram, the meaningless captions and the lack of reality. I feel like I am lying to you if I am not sharing the whole picture. Moreover, I recently read somewhere on the internet: “you must always write about what makes you feel the most uncomfortable”. Oh boy, writing this does make me feel uncomfortable, because it’s the truth about my life right now. No filter to make it pretty or superficial caption to hide my real feelings.

I always want to understand everything in life. Since I am small I have been questioning everything: How does this work? Why is is this way? Not understanding makes me feel uncomfortable. The hardest part for me right now is not being able to comprehend why my dad’s life had to turn out the way it did.

Up until his sickness his life was pretty much perfect. He worked hard and lived his dream: flying was his biggest passion so he became a pilot. Thanks to his job he got to travel the world on daily basis (now you know where I got my travel bug from). Ironically it was his job that he loved so much that eventually cost him his health, since the suffered from an aerotoxic syndrome that eventually lead to this Parkinson’s disease dementia. He was passionate about the environment, giving back and being kind. He had a beautiful wife and two healthy kids: Julia and me. One of the things that he kept telling me when I was little was: “I will always love you, no matter what, just because I am your dad.”

I think it is only now that I am fully grasping those words. When someone you have known your whole life, someone you have always looked up to, forgets your name and is no longer who they once were, you understand that true love is when you get to see beyond that, and you decide to always carry who they once were in your heart.

Anger. Oh, how I had to deal with this emotion in the beginning when my dad got worse and worse. My dad was such a good person- why did he have to get sick? Why did this have to happen to my family? Why did my mom (who already grew up with her mother in a wheelchair) have to take care of yet another person, whilst there were other wives out there who spent their entire time shopping, slurping champagne and paying a maid to do the dishes? Why did I have to worry about this, when I haven’t even figured my own life out?

Now I have learnt that no matter how difficult or devastating something in your life might appear to be, you always learn from it or at least you get to grow from the obstacles.

No, my life is not just staying at 5-star resort and getting sent lots of clothes for free. I am learning and growing from this difficult situation, whilst trying to not loose myself in the midst of it all. This is not an article about the latest beauty trends, the coats that you must own this spring or where you can shop my Instagram looks. This is about my life. Raw and unfiltered.

Sometimes it feels as if I am living a double life: getting to experience so many amazing things whilst travelling, yet struggling with such a difficult situation at home. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize: this isn’t a double life- it is just life. Life always consist of good and bad and without bad there would be no good.

In the end, life is not what happens to you, it is how you deal with it.

 

28 comments

Tatum 1. April 2018 Reply

Thank you for sharing this ❤️❤️ I can and many can relate ❤️

    Janine Jahnke 1. April 2018 Reply

    Thanks for the support! xx

Eva 1. April 2018 Reply

I am so happy that there are still some raw and honest people out there. I can imagine that it takes a lot to share this with your community. But exactly those things show people like me that not everyone is fake out there.

I wish you and your family a happy easter weekend, stay strong & your dad will be proud no matter what. That’s just the way dad’s are – loving! ❤

    Janine Jahnke 1. April 2018 Reply

    Thank you so much Eva! I was so uncertain whether I should share this, but I want to be honest and not only show the good sides of my life. Happy easter to you too! <3

Ophelie 1. April 2018 Reply

Thanks for this article Janine ! Sometimes it’s good to share everything you carry in your shoulder. You are so strong and I admire it ! Really! I’m sure you make it proud !

    Janine Jahnke 1. April 2018 Reply

    Thank you so much Ophelie x

Iris 1. April 2018 Reply

Thank you for sharing this Janine! I got tears in my eyes reading your beautiful words. You are such a beautiful and honest person and I am sure that your dad is proud of you and he Always will be. Sending you and your family so much love, stay strong!

Valentina 1. April 2018 Reply

♥️

Iris 1. April 2018 Reply

Thank you so much for sharing this Janine! I got tears in my eyes reading your beautiful words. You are such a beautiful and honest person and I am sure that your dad is really proud of you and he will Always be. Sending you and your family so much love, stay strong!

Cali Campbell 1. April 2018 Reply

Great post- thank you for sharing!!! xo

India 1. April 2018 Reply

My grandmother has been suffering with Parkinson’s and dementia for the past 9 years and I have had to watch not only her but my family suffer from this terrible disease, so I can completely empathise with you. Life is unfair and bad things always happen to the best people. Sending my love 💕

Ashleigh 1. April 2018 Reply

Janine you are so incredibly brave for sharing this and it honestly makes me want to see you succeed even more because you truly deserve it. I’m so sorry you are going through such a hard time and I am sending your family love and strength. Keep being the amazing, authentic person that you are.

Anna Katinka Fehr 1. April 2018 Reply

I send all my love to you, and crossing my fingers for you father but also for you. Life gives you ups and downs, and sadly we can’t choose what we get and not in life. I hope you can find happiness somewhere in the sadness.
❤️

Annika 1. April 2018 Reply

Danke, dass du so ehrlich zu uns bist, dass du uns zeigst, dass dein Leben nicht so perfekt ist, wie es scheint (auch wenn ich es dir wünschen würde!). Aber auch danke dafür, dass du uns daran erinnerst, dass hinter einem schönen Instagram Feed eine echte Person steckt, mit einem echten Leben und leider auch echten Problemen.
Ich habe mich auch so oft gefragt, warum die Dinge so laufen, wie sie laufen. Warum mein Vater aufgrund seiner Arbeit psychisch krank werden musste. Warum er dann, als es endlich besser wurde, auch noch Krebs bekommen musste. Warum er kurz darauf sterben musste. Und vor allem, warum musste es ausgerechnet meiner Familie passieren? Ich habe bis heute keine Antwort darauf gefunden und werde sie wohl auch nie bekommen.
Aber das sind die Situationen, in denen wir wachsen, die uns stark machen, in denen wir merken, was wirklich wichtig ist im Leben. In denen wir verstehen, was Leben eigentlich bedeutet.
Ich wünsche dir und deiner Familie ganz viel Kraft, liebe Janine <3

    Janine Jahnke 14. April 2018 Reply

    Liebe Annika, Beim Lesen deiner Nachricht habe ich Gänsehaut bekommen, weil ich dich einfach so gut verstehen kann. Ich wünsche dir ganz ganz viel Kraft. Vielleicht werden wir das Ganze eines Tages verstehen.
    Liebe Grüße, Janine

Theresa Marie 1. April 2018 Reply

Hey Janine 🙂

Danke, dass du das mit uns teilst. Mein Großvater war dement und ich weiß noch genau, wie sehr es meiner Großmutter wehgetan hat, wenn er nicht mehr wusste wie ihr Name war. Aber eins hat er immer gespürt: Dass er sie kannte, sich wohl und geborgen gefühlt hat und sie trotz seiner Unwissenheit sehr gemocht hatte. Ich glaube daran, dass die Menschen nie vergessen, wie sie sich bei bestimmten Personen gefühlt haben. Und dieses Gefühl, was man Menschen bereitet hat, diese Freude und das Glück, daran werden sie sich immer erinnern, selbst wenn der Name nicht mehr greifbar ist. Du hast recht, das gehört zum Leben dazu. Auch dass man akzeptiert, dass es unfair ist. Ich wünsche deine Familie viel Kraft und deinem Vater alles Gute. 🍀 Fühl dich gedrückt und versuche das was du erlebst, so gut es geht zu genießen solange es geht. Diese Momente sind so wertvoll.
Liebe Grüße,

Theresa

Elodie 1. April 2018 Reply

Thanks for this amazing post. I relate to you so much: i realized my dream by movig to Australia but while i was there my mum got sick and 2 years later she is in a wheelchair. I moved back to France because it was a struggle being so far away. Life can be quite a challenge for some people

Jennifer Hamman 2. April 2018 Reply

I’m so sorry for what you are going through. Thank you for your raw posting, I could feel reading it, it wasn’t easy for you. My heart goes out to your family.

Xoxo

Michael 2. April 2018 Reply

I just came across your blog but somehow I felt the need to answer this article. In my opinion it is quite impressive how you are able to write and reflect about your complicated situation. I had some very similar situations in the last year. There are always two sides of life and so it was for me, too. Fun, partys, fun, travel, fun, good university exams, fun, drinking, friends, fun… to nearly everybody my life looked like a perfect carousel that never stopped turning. Only one person knew how I really felt most of the time. Me.

Amongst other problems, In my family basically everybody is ill or turned ill and when it my dad couldn’t work anymore it hit me pretty bad. Moreover I hated every minute of university so much I couldn’t even enjoy all the good things in life anymore. That’s when I started “excessive” traveling…I was running away. And of course it worked for me but now it’s one of the things I regret the most. When my whole family needed me the most I wasn’t here. Of course everybody in my family told me I should travel as long as I am young and take all the opportunities but they still needed me. 1,5 years later, a lot is better now. I don’t think anybody but me ever blamed me for all that but I still feel extremly bad about running away and not being here. Of course that is just my personal experience. I just wanted to share and give you another point of view to think about. I really hope you will never feel that way and have to look back with regret. Maybe my thoughts can help you just a little dealing with your situation.

Kind regards

Michael

Caro 2. April 2018 Reply

Liebe Janine,

ich finde es wirklich klasse, dass du auch einmal solch ein Thema ansprichst. Ein Tabuthema! Krankheiten wie Parkinson oder Krebs begegnen uns jetzt wohl mittlerweile in nahezu jeder Familie! Traurig aber wahr. Aber so wirklich sprechen möchte keiner über solch eine Themen. Nur leider gehören sie leider zu unserem Leben einfach dazu. Das Instaleben kann da manchmal noch so perfekt aussehen. Es ist erschreckend wie schnell so etwas einem aus der Bahn werfen kann. Gerade deshalb sollten wir jeden Moment so unheimlich genießen! Und das tust du ja auf jeden Fall 😉
Ich wünsche dir trotz dessen eine wunderschöne Osterzeit bei deiner Family und deinem Dad alles Gute!

Ganz liebe Grüße aus Hamburg
Caro

https://carolionk.com

Kofi Nsiah 2. April 2018 Reply

This is so heartfelt and emotional. A good behind the scenes view of an otherwise seemingly perfect existence. I wish your dad good health.

Fer 2. April 2018 Reply

Thank you so much for sharing and I hope everything gets better for you and your family 🖤

I’m not used to responding or writing on ig or blogs but I had to. This post just came on the right time. Since last year I’ve been thinking how much social networks consumes my time, my self esteem and my thoughts. I started to worry more and more about how my ig story would look like instead of enjoying the moment. I started going places, dressing some way or managing my time differently just to get some good pictures to post. And I’m still managing to get out of all that. I think it’s amazing that bloggers with so many followers like you share the whole picture so that people can see that not everything is perfect and that you shouldn’t have ‘this perfect life’ just to show to others. That you shouldn’t pretend.

So thank you again xx

Caitlyn 2. April 2018 Reply

I just wanted to say I’m a big fan of your instagram account and your blog and I think your photos are really really amazing!! but I think it was also really brave and admirable of you to share your own personal life and the hardships that you’re going through, I think it really inspires others and helps them remember that someone with a beautiful instagram feed and many followers is human too and experiences problems just like everyone else. It really encourages people to be more open and real and not hide behind a facade, hopefully more people will also spare a thought for each other and know that others may also be facing problems so we should all be kind to one another!

I also saw your instagram story and the not-so-nice message that someone sent to you, I hope you won’t be too affected by this and just ignore the haters because there are loads of others who think you’re a big inspiration 🙂

I am sorry to hear about your dad, stay strong and God bless you! Thank you for all the amazing content you post, a lot of it is really very helpful!! I look forward to seeing more great content from you, thank you for this inspiring blog post <3

Tim 2. April 2018 Reply

Hey,

thanks for these open and honest words! It’s good that you point out difficult situations like these and you’re totally right when you’re saying that such situations are life too! Despite this must be a hard time for your whole family, I’m convinced that you will grow by walking through this time. As you say, even your life isn’t perfect but you’re strong enough to overcome even such difficult situations like these!

I wish you, your father and your family all the best in this difficult situation!

Pauline 2. April 2018 Reply

Oh Janine…
Ich wünsche dir ganz viel Kraft für dich und deine Familie. Ich kann mir nicht vorstellen, wie schrecklich es ist einen geliebten Menschen leiden zu sehen bzw. zu sehen, wie er nicht mehr er selbst ist… das muss schrecklich sein.
Ich hoffe, dass du diese Hürde in deinem Leben annimmst, das Beste daraus machst und nur stärker wirst davon.

Alles Gute!
Pauline <3

http://www.mind-wanderer.com

Mia 6. April 2018 Reply

Schwere Worte. Wish you and your family just the best and enough strength. Keep your mind positive and stay humbled.

M.V. 7. April 2018 Reply

It takes a strong personality to share this. We all know that everybody in social media only sells the visual outcome, but the battles they are fighting are unseen. We love you for who you are.

Krissi 8. April 2018 Reply

Soo ein wunderschöner und ehrlicher Text! Ich finde es unglaublich toll und mutig von dir, dass du den Schicksalsschlag deiner Familie so offen und ehrlich mit uns teilst. Das mit deinem Papa tut mir wirklich total leid! Es klingt, als sei er so ein wundervoller Mensch gewesen und das ist er in seinem Herzen und eurer Erinnerung immernoch, auch wenn er jetzt “anders” ist als früher.

Mein Opa hatte auch Demenz und es tat unglaublich weh, zu sehen, wie er sich veränderte und absolut nicht mehr der Alte war. Aber wie du schreibst: Wir tragen die Erinnerung an die Person, wie sie vor der Krankheit war, immer in unserem Herzen und hören niemals auf, sie zu lieben!

Ich wünsche dir und deiner Familie ganz ganz viel Kraft in dieser schweren Zeit… <3

Ganz liebe Grüße,
Krissi von the marquise diamond
http://www.themarquisediamond.de/

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