Ending a leave of absence

So, I left the blog mostly unattended for a long while now. When my time with the United Nations ended and I arrived in Germany, many things took surprising, and to quite some extent, unwanted turns. I needed time to process. A lot of time. That’s how life is, isn’t it? I embraced my inward journey, embraced my fears, embraced my pain, embraced my mourning. It did not leave me much energy for more, and it was good that way, because that is normal. Everything in life is a source of learning, every development, every person is a teacher to me.

There always is a connection between my personal development and my professional path. So, for me my experience with how much time is needed to go through a healthy mourning process also serves a deepening understanding about how much time is needed to coping with similar processes on the level of a community, and a society. It runs counter the impatience of fast-paced political processes in an ever more fragile world. We always need a reminder that a quick fix here, and a quick fix there is merely having the same effect than a small firepatch has on a bushfire. And in a firestorm we are, for sure.

Back to my personal process, there is not much I am sharing at this moment in time. But at some point recently I finally knew which shape my book that I am going to write will take. It will include all personal aspects, and professional aspects, weaved together into the story it is: My story. From time to time, I will post parts of it here. I will give up the restraint talking about personal developments, and attempting to focus only on the lessons I learned in relation to my professional work. I am ready for this. Because, I believe, there is a lot of hope in it. Experience, strength, and hope will be the elements of this book.

I will retire from my work as an active police officer after 43 years and six months at the end of January 2020. Some freedom of expressing myself comes with it. Not that I will do the usual “memoir thing”: Settling scores, or telling secrets, or going sensational or boasting. Not at all. But as a highly visible individual at the interface between technical issues of helping, and the political side of it, I also decided to be a little more muted. No need for this any more.

Retirement will not mean I will sit at the fireside. I am looking forward to an exciting new opportunity to contribute to peace and security for the next many years, and I will spend a considerable time of it in my beloved Balkans. I will live in Belgrade, and will travel my second home town Sarajevo, will be in Pristina, Skopje, Tirana, and Podgorica. I will be in Berlin. And I will enjoy a new form of working and being with friends at the same time.

I will start my new phase of writing with posting a speech I gave on the topic of Protection of Civilians, on occasion of a workshop here in Berlin in the Ministry of Defense, just recently. It drew quite some attention, and some colleagues advised me to share it more widely. So, that I will do, herewith.

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