I don’t think I make a turtle face. 1x06 — Thanksgiving

The art of communication

As insecure and nerdy Ganslinger might be, there’s something about him that gets the worst out of Nick. No matter how beautiful und innocent you gift-wrap judgement, it can still hurt you in the end.

People like Ganslinger sometimes still annoy me to this present day. It started back in kindergarden and primary school with kids that were always smiling and cheerful. They annoyed the heck out of me. Oh, and never ask a kiddo why he or she isn’t smiling and laughing all the time. That small human will treat you, from that moment on, with passionate disdain. Trust me, I heard that sentence quite often, and I hated it. Some people just don’t need to compete with the sun over who’s showering people with more joy and fluffy vibes. To hell with that.

What you just read was a paragraph filled with presumptions, expectations, judgements and automatic reactions. Simply put, all our lifes. It’s simply impossible to always hit the right words and tone for what we actually want to say, and the same goes for our two men. But as Paul tells Nick that it’s okay to still figure it out in your twenties, Nick only reveals to be thirty and changes to his turtle face. That was a tough one, Ganslinger.


Although Paul seems to be insecure and nerdy, he has definitely found his calling being a teacher. He is fully exploring his talents and interests, standing with both feet in his life although he knows how awkward he might be for Jesse’s room mates. But nevertheless, Paul stands by himself as that’s the only thing we all can do anyway, right? That’s quite inspiriational, by the way.

Quite the contrary can be said about Nick. Currently coasting through life without a clear path makes him definitely as insecure about himself, but the way he’s embodying his insecurity is definitely not as fluffy and sweet as Paul’s showcasing. Maybe it’s not too far-fetched to say that they’re not so different after all. Paul can definitely express himself, whereas Nick is only having his turtle face — this point definitely goes to Paul. Nick isn’t there yet, and it’s just so easy to be annoyed by Paul.

Trigger points

Just to top it all, Ganslinger hits the last punch.

At this part of your life, I know you are never going to dislike me as much as you are disliking yourself.

Although Paul delivered that message with a lot of care, I’m glad Nick answered in his most mature and genuine way possible.

Really, that’s what you are going with, violin?

Nick, we have a long way to go, but I feel you. We all find ourselves in situations like these as we’re living with room mates, talking to friends or coming back home to meet our families and relatives. Sometimes, wholehearted intentions hit ourselves in the worst moments possible and trigger thoughts or feelings that we can’t really understand as they arrive.

And yeah, we all heard the same message over and over again, and it can really hit you from the beginning. Just a few weeks ago in a job interview I was asked why I ended up in the company I was working for at that time. I knew I had changed my career path and it wasn’t easy to understand for outsiders, but the feelings they gave me sounded actually like this:

What the heck are you doing with your life? What has happened to you since your graduation that you kind of throw away your life like that? The situation in the room was awkward from that moment on, and I only felt worse in the course of the evening. I still don’t know what exactly hit me so hard, but I think it has definitely something to do with my deepest insecurities of maybe not taking full advantage of my capabilities.

So I know how hard it can be to see people who figured it out a bit more than I do, and I feel the insecurity flaring up my chest when these people, as friendly as they can be, ask me about my current state of life. It can be though. A turtle face might be all you have.

Writer. Editor. Thinker. Fighting with the alligator within.