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And then everything changed

Dienstag, 7. November 2017

Life never follows your plan

When I was 15 or 16 I did an internship at a magazine which is why I was away from home for a whole month. I spent my nights talking to the girl I shared a room with and telling her about all my fabulous plans I had for my life. At some point she said: You know, sometimes plans don't work out like that. Obviously back then I was too ignorant to believe her because what did she know? She was a teen just like me. I thought that I had it all figured out. Turns out, she was absolutely right. Except you can replace the "sometimes" with "never": Plans never work out like that. Because life doesn't give a shit about your plans.



I don't even remember what my Master Plan as a teen exactly consisted of but I'm pretty sure it included studying journalism in Munich and coming home only for Christmas via an adventurous mini-road-trip with cool new friends, listening to Driving Home for Christmas. Well, that didn't work out. I didn't study in Munich and dindn't study journalism but European Studies, then Sociology and Politcs, then Creative Writing, then Literature. I'm trained to work in a publishing house, not a newspaper. I'm light years away from where I thought I'd be when I was 16.



And here's the secret: I'm kind of okay with that. So, my dreams didn't come true but instead I did and experienced and discovered so many other, exiting things I never even thought about before. I became a better version of myself. I tried out so many jobs and hobbies, I lost count. I fell in love. I got engaged. I traveled a lot. I work in a hairsalon at the moment and I love it.



I still like planing but ever since I graduated High School I've given up on pretending that I know where my life will lead me. Because I was wrong so many times, it would be crazy to still believe in it. Instead I follow the path that unfolds in front of me, even though I have no clue where it's leading. I don't think that I have it all figured out anymore because on most days I feel utterly lost. And that's absolutely acceptable. So when life doesn't follow your plan (again), put on a smile and your big girl boots and then put one foot in front of the other until you find something new to walk towards. It'll be fine. I promise.



Here's a beautiful song which really nails my philosophy:



And also, just because it's November and I mentioned it:



PS: I'll be on vacation till December, so I won't be posting for the next few weeks. Have a wonderful November!


Mittwoch, 1. November 2017

Carrie Bradshaw's Boyfriends from Best to Worst

I've been re-watching Sex and the City and was reminded of all the guys Carrie went out with, out of which she had serious relationships with very few (only four to be specific). Carrie definitely had some shitty partners but she also had some great ones. So here is my ranking of Carrie Bradshaw's Boyfriends from Best to Worst.

1. Aleksandr Petrovsky



Alexandr was the only one of Carrie's boyfriends and dates who I envied her for a bit. Let's be honest mostly the girls' guys weren't that impressive (many of them were garbage in fact) but Alexandr was one of the very few men on the show who I admired. He was just so sexy, romantic, creative. He was an artist without being too neurotic. He was fun to watch and so passionate. And he really gave Carrie everything. He gave her the world. The only thing he denied her were children (because of his age) but he made up for it by showering her in love and romantic gestures and offering her a glamorous life. To this day, I haven't watched the last two episodes of the show because I cannot bear watching Carrie leave Alexandr for Big.


2. Aidan Shaw



Aidan wasn't so shabby either, in fact he was pretty perfect. He was handsome and kind and sexy. He had a dog and he wasn't afraid of commitment. His only problem was that he fell in love with the wrong women because he was far too good for Carrie. She hurt him and really messed him up (twice!) and she proved again and again that she doesn't deserve him. I like that they show Aidan going on to fall in love with another women, marry and have a kid because he really deserved to be happy.


3. Jack Burger



Oh, Jack Burger was terrible. At first he was kind of intriguing, cute, funny and interesting but then he turned out to have so, so many problems. Burger was the worst version of a writer, the very cliché of a neurotic artist who will never find happyness because he sabotages himself. He just couldn't stand that Carrie was more successful than him. He felt like such a poor, tragic, misunderstood writer, that he forgot to notice that his self-pity was freaking everyone out (including himself). He really did Carrie a favor, when he dumped her.

4. Mr. Big



But not even Burger was as aweful as Big. I know, he's supposed to be Carries one true love, but come on! Those two were never meant for each other because all they did was destroy each other, while in this case Carrie was truly the victim. But she kept running back to him again and again. Big was Carrie's drug which will one day kill her. He was arrogant and condescending and at many, many times a downright asshole. More importantly, he was not willing to commit to the smallest things. He was obsessed with his freedom though he was already in his 40s. He was like a small kid, never willing to grow up and it annoyed me so much. Plus, he wasn't even that good looking.

It really upsets me that women watch this show dreaming of meeting someone like him, when this is actually the worst that could happen to them. If they want stability they should look for Aidan-types and if the want adventure they should look for Alexandr-types and if they want a whiny writer they can give Burger a try. But if they see a Big-type they should run the other way as fast as they can. I realize that this is an unpopular opinion but for me Big was really the worst. Carrie ended up with him because she's addicted to misery, not because he's her Happy End.

Dienstag, 24. Oktober 2017

Six Songs By Female Musicians To Feel Like A Badass

Usually I'm no fan of female musicians. I prefer hard guitars and sexy male voices. However this wasn't always the case. When I was 14 I was a huge fan of Britney Spears and (to a lesser dregree) Christina Aguilera. My Dad used to ask me why there was always a woman crying in my room, but it was just Xtina. Then something happened: pop was replaced by monotonous electronic beats and a sweet and weak female voice which always sounded the same. But I am happy to say that pop is back, real pop, ballads, happy melodies, great feelings, all the good stuff. Luckily musicians like Beyoncé, Demi Lovato and Kesha are leaving the boring stuff of the past decade behind and are releasing beautiful pop songs again. Here are my Top Six Songs By Strong Women which you should listen to when you want to feel like a badass and celebrate that you're a women.

1. Kesha - Rainbow



Apparantly this was the song that got Kesha through all the shit she had to go through. She wrote it in rehab and played and sang it every day. It gave her strength and it has the same effect on me. Just listen to it, it's gorgeous!

2. Demi Lovato - Sorry Not Sorry



Okay, well this is not the most sophisticated song out there but it's so much fun! Women shouldn't be ashamed of having fun and living their best lives. I listen to this often in the morning to pump me up and put me in a good mood for the day.

3. Beyonce - Run The World (Girls)



I know that this song is rather old, but I just discovered it for me some days ago. Before I always thought it to be a bit too hectic and I wasn't a big Beyonce fan anyway but the latter has changed since Lemonade (the visual album is still the best thing out there!). Now I've watched two documentaries about Beyonce's Four and I'm impressed by how much work and dedication went into this song and video. Also, obviously it's really time for girls to rule. She's seriously the queen of R'n'B.


4. Kesha - Bastards



Another song from Kesha's new album which I love. The message is simple but true: Don't let the bastards bring you down.

5. Kesha - Praying



I promise, this is going to be the last Kesha song! I just think her new album is such an incredible piece of art and I love how she left her fake persona behind her and finds back to her spirituality in this song. I didn't care for it the first time I listened to it, but now it has grown on me.


6. Demi Lovato - Confident



This is probably also a bit older but still perfect. It's ridicolous that there's still this expectation of women to be timid and humble. We've been humble for centuries, now it's time to shine! As a pretty confident person (most of the time) I know that confidence is often mistaken for arrogance. Demi sings about how there's abolutely nothing wrong with being confident.

Dienstag, 17. Oktober 2017

My Bookfair Adventures (Frankfurter Buchmesse 2017)

Last week I spent four days at Germany's biggest bookfair and it was such an amazing experience! In the past I have either only visited for one totally stressful day or have worked at the fair as a representative of the publishing house I worked for. This year I was lucky enough to have four free days and a blogger pass to enter the fair for free.



Bookfairs are seriously one of my favorite things on Earth. They are like the world's largest book shop but with authors walking around, millions of like-minded booklovers waiting to meet you and fun and educational events. It's every reader's and writer's magic place. And as I am both (plus having worked and planning to work again in the publishing industry) I enjoyed it a lot.



Because I experienced so much during these four amazing days, I'm going to divide my adventures into themes to not overwhelm you too much (though I still feel utterly overwhelmed in a good way).



Networking


I only have one semester left before I get my Master's degree and will finish my studies once and for all. Then what? So many people ask me that and I have no clue. What I do have are several vague ideas and as many of them revolve around books, I set out to check out the industry and what's in it for me. And let me tell you, there are so many possibilities!



I went to two networking events, getting to know many people from the industry (both people just starting out like me as well as top notch employees, CEOs and other important people). I collected their contact info and will definitely connect with them. It wasn't all rainbows and butterflies though. The book industry is a tough business, especially if you want to be an editor (in that case good luck - you're gonna need it!). Luckily I'm more interested in marketing and that's an easier career to get in. It's still tough but I'll find my way, wherever it may lead me.


Writing


As you may know, I'm not only a passionate reader but also a writer, working on a youth novel at the moment. I'm unpublished so far (well except a short story I won a contest with), so I'm one of the millions of writers who are looking to be published. I went to lectures on writing (which were amazing!) and also on marketing yourself or your book through social media.



The problem is that everyone is a writer nowadays. Classical publishing houses take almost no new authors at all. The chances to be published the traditional way are really, really bad, which I was told again and again at the bookfair. However there are other ways. Many say that traditional publishing is a dying breed anyway and the way to go is to self-publish. Obviously there are many disadventages to taking this route: having to market entirely on your own and being overlooked in the massive amount of self-published books out there are the most important ones. Which is why I will still try to find a publishing house to take on my novel. In the end, I believe that the best thing you can do to get published is to write the very best book you could possibly write. That's what I'm focusing on right now. Improving my writing, making my novel better, finishing it. We'll see how it'll progress after that.


Blogging


I also attended a blogger event which was really interesting because they discussed many exciting topics and trends in the blogging world and also I met like-minded bloggers and You Tubers. I think it's amazing that everyone can start a blog or a You Tube channel. My goal is to start and establish a German blog solely about writing and reading and after the bookfair I am so motivated!



Fun Stuff


Of course it wasn't all networking and attending lectures at the bookfair, I also did some things purely because they're fun (but the other stuff was fun, too). Most notably I met my favorite YA author Teri Terry! Her trilogy "Slated" is the best thing out there. Seriously, forget about "The Hunger Games", "Slated" is the best YA distopia I have ever read. I bought another book by her ("Mind Games") and so far it's also amazing. She really knows how to write YA literature.



Also I attended a reading of my favourite German adult Sci Fi author, Andreas Brandhorst. I've only read one book by him so far but it's one of the best books I've ever read, particularily in the Sci Fi genre. His other books were too hard Sci Fi for me, but his new one is right up my alley, so I'm definitely gonna give it a try. He was reading and being interviewed together with Germany's most succesful fantasy author, Wolfgang Hohlbein, who I haven't read anything by yet but my Mum likes his work and she doesn't even like fantasy, so it sounds like it might be up my sleeve. His new book sounds great, too.



Also I met some old and new friends, as well as a famous German You Tuber and of course I spent numerous hours browsing books and being amazed by literature. It's truly magical what a good book can do to you and I'm so grateful for books, reading them as well as writing them. I brought home from the bookfair new contacts, wisdom, lots of inspiration and motivation and so much reading material in form of magazines, extracts and more.


Dienstag, 10. Oktober 2017

Love is Easy - Relationships are Hard

You know those people who give up when there's the slightest difficulty in their relationship with the argument that love is supposed to be easy? Well, they're mixing two different things. Yes, love is easy. Falling and staying in love pretty much happens all by itself. Love is still one of the greatest mysteries out there but we do know that being in love requires zero effort on our part. In fact, your consious mind might not even have a say in who you love.



Being in a relationship on the other hand is an entirely different story. Just because you love someone and that person loves you back, it doesn't mean that you're going to live happily ever after. Because you're still two different people, each one bringing their own problems, traumas, opinions and ways of living into the relationship and they are going to clash. You're going to spend a lot of time with each other and there will be problems. To date I don't know of a single relationship without any problems. That's just a myth.



So if your're running into some difficulties in your relationship, it doesn't nessecarily mean that you're not loving each other or that he's not the one. That's no reason to thrown in the towel. I see and hear of so many people who give up a relationship because of minor stuff and it's so sad because they're giving up their chance at a great partnership for their idea of what a relationship is supposed to look like. I say, screw what it's supposed to look like. If you're in love with each other (and if you're not consistently treating each other like shit), you have a good chance of making it. It won't be easy but it will be worth it. It may still not work out in the end but it just as well could be the very thing that makes your life magical.


Dienstag, 3. Oktober 2017

The Pros and Cons of Social Media

On Monday I watched The Circle in the movie theater. I went with my Mum who obviously belongs to a totally different generation than me. While I didn't grow up with the Internet, it (as well as Social Media) defined my teenage days and to an even greater extend my adult days so far. My Mum on the other hand works with technology and apps but privately she doesn't even have a Facebook account. So, while she is quick to spot the dangers of Social Media, I can relate more to The Circle's protagonist Mae.



In short the movie is about a Social Media firm called The Circle which starts to take over all aspects of life until you can't participate in the society anymore if you're not on Social Media (your life may actually be in danger if you choose to stay of it - and your basic civil rights might be paused). Of course the book was a million times better (especially since the ending felt a lot more real and shocking) but the movie is still pretty good. I think The Circle by Dave Eggers should be mandatory reading for all middle schoolers. But if you won't bother to read it, at least watch the movie.

The whole discussion about the pros and cons of Social Media is more important than ever. I can think of so many examples of people being (at least mentally) harmed because of something that was posted on Social Media. A You Tuber who got death threats for posting a video about her abortion. Everyone freaking out because of a single emoji a musician posted beneath another musician's Instagram pic. My friend reporting faschist propaganda on Facebook to the athourities several times always without any results. In general, the whole hypocracy of Facebook's rules where posting a single tit will get you blocked immidiately but hate and racism and threats will stay online.

Still I think that it's not all bad. In contrary, Social Media is amazing in so many ways. It helps you to connect with friends as well as to further your business and career. It gives you inspiration and it enables you to spread your thoughts. Many important topics have gained awereness solely through the power of Social Media. Transparency, which is the main issue in The Circle, in itself is not bad at all. I think we could all use some more transperency, especially when it comes to politics. So much is so fake nowadays that people crave transparency which is why bloggers, You Tubers and Social Media celebrities who are vulnerable and authentic go viral.

I think the thing we have to realize is that the Internet is no Wild West, it's no No Man's Land. Whatever laws your country has, they also have to be applied to the Internet. Human Rights have to be accepted also in the virtual worlds. Because behind most user names are real people (well except sometimes there are just Social Media bots) and they have rights and duties, no matter if they act in the real world or in the Internet. It's not that hard to persecute Internet criminals. Everyone can be tracked down. The problem is not with Social Media it's with the way we treat each other. Hate is never okay - neither offline nor online.

So yes, I think The Circle resonates very much with our time and it's essential to be aware of the dangers of Social Media and to stop it from taking over lives. But I still believe that Social Media can be a wonderful tool to better the world if we do it right.

Dienstag, 26. September 2017

Stop being a grumpy asshole and have a good laugh #5

Life is tough and times are hard ... I know the drill. So here are some pictures and memes which make me laugh - I hope they'll put a smile on your face, too.