When you meet Marina, you´ll see a person full of life and joy. Her aura is so strong and positive, you´re drawn to talk to her and laugh with her for hours. The 24 year old photographer hat already experienced more than a lot her age. Very good and very devastating things have happened to her. And since our current topic of the week is blood cancer, this interview couldn’t fit any better:
Interview: Karin Teigl & Marina Scholze
Text: Caro Eisl
Images: Marina Scholze
Marina, to start off, here’s a very broad question: Who or what made you to the person you are today? Well, my general positive attitude towards life is coming from my family for sure. Especially since my mom passed away. Since that moment I want to achieve everything I was always dreaming of. Never do I want to look back at the end of my life and regret thing I didn´t do because I was too afraid. This is why I keep saying: Let´s try more and dare to do something you´ve never done before! Get out of your comfort zone and live to the fullest!! I wanna get out there and LIVE!
Wow. This is definitely the attitude that makes you almost irresistible. But now, I have to get back on something you mentioned… Your mom died, can I ask how old you were and what exactly happened? My mom was having blood cancer. She died when she was just 43 years old. I was 20 and my brother 18. She´s been having troubles with her blood for a long time before that – so called chronic leukemia. So already when I was at a young age, I kinda knew that something was wrong my my mom! With 40 years old, she got the final diagnosis: blood cancer. We knew, we had to fight! However, my mom was an alternative practitioner and never really fond of western medicine. But for us she took the chemo and we had 2 more years with her. At the very end though, I felt she didn´t want and wasn´t able to fight now more. She came back home. She was so weak at the very end, she wasn’t even my mom any more. It was more kind of a shell of my mom. This was when I knew I had to let her go! The last weeks I was sincerely praying for her to be able to go!
Incredible! Where did you find that strength? I mean especially as a child to be able to understand that the best for her is to be able to die? We´ve had a lot of time to say goodbye. We were fairly prepared. My mom always told us in a very positive way, that this would be happening and we would have to understand! In the very end, she really just wanted to go and I wanted her to be able to do whatever she wanted and felt was right!
Marina, what were your mom´s last words? “My kids are the best thing that ever happened to me. I am just so proud of them!”. And that was one of the most important sentences she could´ve said. ‘Cause now, no matter what I do, I know that I can’t make anything wrong because mom will always be proud of us!
Your mom’s always been troubled with health issues. How did she raise you guys or what did she teach you? Since she´s been dealing with chronic leukemia since her 30s, she´s been raising us fairly independently. In a way she prepared us for everything that happened later. She gave me one of the most important gifts anyone can give you, she gave me a very profound trust in life. This trust is so important for me now being without a mom.
How was she able to pass this trust in life on to you? Our family in general is very faithful. We trust, that everything happens for a reason! I now know that it had to happen that way and I know and feel that my mom somehow is still here. There is still such a strong bond between us!
That is something I believe in too and it is great you have that deep sense of her being there no matter what! How exactly would you describe that bond? My mom used to say when we were little, a white feather or a white butterfly are good signs. So now, when I sit somewhere and think about something and suddenly one of those two signs pop up, I know it´s a sign from her and it´s a good one!
One more example, I was once troubled with some health problems myself and didn’t know what to do. That night, she appeared in my dreams and told me what she was thinking. So the morning after I exactly knew what would be the right decision for me!
In general, you just gotta be open to those more spiritual things!
When someone´s experiencing a similar stroke of fate – What would you recommend them doing? No matter if you´re experiencing something like that or not, better make sure to confront yourself with the topic death. Read books, listen to podcasts – it´s important and helps a lot! Also surround yourself with positively thinking people if possible. Get their opinions and thoughts and also don´t be shy to talk! Talk, talk, talk! About your experience, your thoughts, fears – everything. That helps the most!
So this means, you were able to process everything! But did you also experience negative moments after your loss? Of course! I guess that´s natural! Especially when I´m photographing weddings for example, sometimes a thought pops up in my head: My mom will (physically) never be able to be with me when one day I´ll say I DO! But then I take a step back and just know that she´ll be there regardless!
That´s why your attitude is – Live to the fullest!? Yes, definitely! And especially at today day and age it seems to become more and more difficult. Everyone´s caught up in their material world, in their busy careers they are trying to achieve and so forth. But to be honest with you, at the very end, when you´re about to die, you can´t take your work with you, your career, your house, your money or any other status symbol… All you have at the end are the experiences you´ve been going through in your life! Unfortunately a lot of people nowadays have forgotten about that!
You´re right! Especially today´s world based on social media… with your podcast series you´re also talking about this right? Exaclty! And I´m not saying I´m totally not involved within the social media world! I´m just not that person who needs the newest bag cause some fashionista has been wearing it on Instagram the day before! For me this is not the meaning of life. The meaning of life is to love yourself and be happy with what you do and who you are! Self-love is the key!
‘Cause you´re mentioning self-love! It sounds so easy but a lot of people – also and especially me – have problems executing this so called self-love. What can you recommend me and our readers concerning that issue? One simple trick: Stand in front of the mirrow – every day – and tell yourself ‘I am beautiful. I am happy. I love myself!’. By simply doing this you´ll already update your brain!
Surround yourself with positively thinking people. Read books and listen to podcasts about self-love!!
Thank you so much for those incredible words and your story! One last request. What can you tell out readers? One of my favorite quotes: “Just Do It”!!! Get yourself out of the comfort zone and dare to do new things! Trust in life – it´s great and everything happens for a reason! When you feel stuck, simply change your perspective on something and you´ll see that it is a wonderful learning process!
What a wonderful young woman, full of joy and wisdom! Thanks Marina – you rock! If you wanna work together with her, listen to her potcast or simply say hello, don´t hesitate and visit her website: marinascholze.com .