And then everything changed

Mittwoch, 27. Januar 2016

On letting go and forgiving (yourself)

One of the most important lessons I have learned in my 24 1/2 years on this earth is that being able to let go is abolutely crucial to survive. Because if you can't let go, you will be miserable for the rest of your life.

Bad things happen to good people. (They also happen to bad people, and they're not so glad about it either, by the way.) You might have had an unhappy childhood. Maybe your parents never loved you enough. Maybe you fell for a douche and got your heart broken. Yes, people can be assholes sometimes. Even worse, sometimes things happen by chance, unfortunate events and accidents, and you have noone to blame but some vague concept like fate.

Things like that can really slow down our life or even make it pause completely. Suddenly all you can think is about this one bad thing that happened to you. You're not able to trust anyone anmore, you're sad, you pity yourself and you're afraid to live your life. Well none of this is gonna help you in any way. Just because something unfair happened to you, doesn't mean that you have a right to waste your life. Because you will never get those years back.

The only thing which will save your life, is to let it go. I know, this is easier said than done. Sometimes I do little rituals like burning a letter or writing in my diary or telling myself, once I blow out this candle I'll let it go. This might seem fake, but whatever helps you smoothen the process works.

The thing to do is whenever you think about the thing which keeps you from moving forward, realize that you're thinking about it, then consiously think about something different, like what food you're going to eat later or who's your favorite Friends character. I know things like that might sound trivial compared to your life-shattering experience, but sometimes you have to stay shallow in order to not drown in deep water. In the beginning you will feel like cheating, because you distract yourself, but one day the distraction will not be so obvious anymore, and you will slowly let it go.

I do this every night. When I'm lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I often drift away to every single bad thing that ever happened to me and I get caught in a depressing spirale. But once I realize I'm stuck, I tell myself: enough about this, let's make up a story in my head about adventures and magic.

For me, even worse that things other people or life itself did to me, are the things I did. You might have been a major asshole when you were younger and drove away some great friends and lovers. You might have hurt people. Also, we all mess up constantly. Maybe we screwed up at work, maybe we cheated, maybe we typed in our code wrong at the ATM machine and now our card is blocked. No matter if it's something big or small, when we make mistakes it really brings us down.

If there's something you can do to make the situation better, do it. Apologize. It won't make it go away but not apologizing will make it even worse. But at some point you have to let it go. It happened. You can't take it back. So, you screwed up. Well, people aren't perfect. We all make mistakes. Just like you might have to forgive someone who did you wrong for the sake of your own happyness, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

Forgive yourself, let it go and move on with your life. Don't waste anymore time on the past. Put your energy into creating a better future instead.

Freitag, 22. Januar 2016

My Rock It 2016 Playlist

I have a habit of making seasonal playlists. The last one which I also shared here was my Fall 2015 Playlist. But now it's a new year, and one of the things which motivate me most to make the best out of it, is music. Honestly, life would be so dull without music.

So here's my Rock It 2016 Playlist! Do you like any of these songs? If you don't know them, go ahead and check them out. They're rocking my life at the moment.

Candy Hearts - All the ways you let me down
American Hi Fi - The Breakup Song
Every Avenue - What ever happened to you
Every Avenue - Fall Apart
Every Avenue - Only place I call home
Every Avenue - Someday Somehow
Plain White T's - Our time now
Plain White T's - Hate (I really don't like you)
Plain White T's - You and me
Plain White T's - Friends don't let friends dial drunk
Plain White T's - Hey there Delilah
Fall Out Boy - The take over, the break's over
Fall Out Boy - This ain't a scene, it's an arms rest
Fall Out Boy - I'm like a lawyer with the way I'm always getting you off
Fall Out Boy - Hum Halleluja
Fall Out Boy - Thnks fr th Mmrs
Fall Out Boy - The (after) life of the party
Panic! at the Disco - I write since no tragedies
Panic! at the Disco - There's a good reason these tables are numbered
All American Rejects - Dirty little secret
All American Rejects - Move along
Every Avenue - For always, forever
Every Avenue - Tell me I'm a wreck (love this song! <3)
Every Avenue - I forgive you
Taylor Swift - I knew you were trouble
Taylor Swift - We are never getting back together
Taylor Swift - Stay stay stay
Taylor Swift - Mean
Taylor Swift - Better than revenge
Sum 41 - Walking disaster
All American Rejects - Gives you hell

Samstag, 16. Januar 2016

Book recommendation: The magicians 1+2 by Lev Grossman

In November 2015 I felt really down and annoyed by my life. There was a huge tower of problems building up in front of me and - like every sane person - I chose to ignore it and read a sensationally good book instead. I've read The Magicians by Lev Grossman in 2014, but it was only one year later that I read the second book of the trilogy The Magicians King. And let me tell you it's equally fantastic.

If your a fantasy book fan in your twenties and you're looking for a book full of magic and wonders but you also want to find yourself in it with all your hopes and dreams and quarterlife crisis, then The Magicians series is for you. Those books are hands down the best adult fantasy books I've ever read. They're basically Harry Potter, just with a LOT more sex, depression, betrayal, irony and swear words.

Book 1: The Magicians

In book 1 The Magicians we meet Quentin, a pretty mediocre High School graduate, grumpy, arrogant and a bit of an idiot, who attends a college for magic. During his studies there he learns that magic is pretty much limitless (for his exam project he attempts to fly to the moon - like he was Superman - but fails. but still it would have been possible, if he wasn't such a half-ass person) and therefore extremely dangorous.
After graduating Quentin and his friends live in New York and because they could literally do EVERYTHING because they're magicians and can make things happen or make them appear out of thin air, they decide to do nothing. They hang around aimlessly in their apartment, drink a lot (seriously they're all alcoholics), party, have sex and waste their time, like every twentysomething does sometimes.
That is until their nerd classmate Penny announces that he has found a way to another dimension. And not any dimension, but the dimension Fillory which happens to be the world in which Quentin's favorite childhood books were set in (which of course turn out to be true). So they go their and fight the absolutely terrifying Beast.

Book 2: The Magicians King

Book 2 The Magicians King is a bit different. The book starts in Fillory where Quentin and his friends are now kings and queens. Quentin and his friend Julia are accidently transported back to Earth and they try to find their way back. Then they go on a quest to save magic.
But the special thing about book 2 is that half of the book is dedicated to Julia's story. Julia was Quentin's High School crush who was far too cool for him. But then he was accepted to magic university and she wasn't. We meet her once again in book 1 when she started dressing like a gothic bride and is thin and sick and begs Quentin to teach her magic but he refuses. That's the last we heard from her in book 1.
In book 2 (when we've already forgotten about her) she is brought back into the plot and every second chapter tells her story. Turns out after Quentin refused to teach her magic, she had to learn it through the underground magic scene which is a world full of drugs and prostitution. Her story is abolutely disturbing and brutal. But it feels real. Julia's story was my favourite thing about book 2, except maybe the end, which was also brilliant.

When you start reading Lev Grossman, you have to be warned. His books are like no other books, espeacially not like other fantasy books. This is because of the three aspects which I admire most about his work.

1. The characters are extremely messed up. 

None of the main characters are in any way likable. Quentin is mostly an asshole. Eliot is an arrogant, broken alcoholic. Janet is what you call an attention whore. Alice is a narrow-minded control freak. Julia is simply an absolute wreck. And it goes on like this. But this is what makes The Magicians, despite its sometimes fairytale-like stories, close to real life.
Real people aren't heroes. They're insecure and condescending and scared and stupid and that's excactly how Lev Grossman created his characters. They have real life problems. They fall in love, they get heartbroken, they break hearts. They make mistakes. The have existential crises. They are hot-tempered and make awful decisions. They're inperfect in any way. But that's what makes them beautiful. Interesting characters aren't heroes. They're people with edges which the readers identify with. And the characters in The Magicians are just that.

2. The Magicians goes further than other fantasy books.

 Though all fantasy books play with the impossible, with magic, the supernatural, the godly, Lev Grossman goes further. He explores other dimensions. He kills off people because of a stupid mistake. He lets his charaters fly to the moon or hike to the North Pole or sail to the end of the world. For him magic is truely  limitless. He lets them mess with gods. The plot of The Magicians is never predictable because there are so many fucked up twists and turns and there are concepts and plotlines you couldn't even imagine.

3. Lev Grossman's writing style is really rough. 

Honestly, he sounds more like a blogger than a book author. When I read The Magicians I feel like my drunk friend with bad manners is telling me a story. He swears A LOT. And he talks like only a generation which grew up with the internet know how to. He talks like us. Millenials. And it doesn't come across as cheap but it actually fits the characters extremely well. Also it gives the reader the feeling that here someone is talking to us, who is just like us. With this Lev Grossman manages to capture the essence of things, the essence of life, of humanity, so accurately, that it's abolutely brutal. And brilliant.

So please, give The Magicians trilogy a try. Adult fantasy literature won't get any better than this.

Dienstag, 12. Januar 2016

Writing Is Hard - 2 Lessons I Learned from Writing a Novel

I am writing a novel. This might sound like life-changing news but in truth this was quite a common thing for me to announce in the past. I have several half-finished novels on my computer. But this time it's different. This time it's real. I'm writing a youth novel and I will complete it and someday I'll publish it.

What's different this time? How do I know that this one novel idea is the one that's going to make it? Well, it's like with relationships. I just know. People ask me how do I know if my boyfriend is the one? When we've been together for almost a year, we got into a huge fight. It was awful and I expected it to end because that's how it went in the past. But despite everything we got through it. We went on and our love grew only stronger. That's when I knew.

I had a couple of other ideas for a novel which I wanted to work on. But then, one day, I found an old exposé I wrote some years before. I read it, a High School story full of intrigues and false friends and manipulation and a glimmer of hope. It was still very different from the book I'm working on now. But when I read it, I knew that this was it. This is the story I will make into a book. And since then I have been writing, editing, taking a course, learning, plotting, and so on.

The difference between this idea and all the others I had, is that I believe in it. Therefore I am willing to put an enormous amount of work into it in order to make it work. You know, how you dream of writing a novel but then you don't find the motivation to sit down and actually write it? Well, that's because your idea sucks. If even you, the creator of the story, don't want to write it, then why would anyone want to read it? This is the first lesson I learned so far through my experience of writing a novel.

You have to believe in your idea.

Once you found a story worth telling, that's when the real work begins.

Yes, writing is hard. You will pour your heart out on the page, just to re-read it and find that it's absolutely awful. There will be some ugly days when you want to give up. But you have to keep writing. Because one day your work is going to suck a little less.

That's the state I am in now. My draft is not ridicolously bad anymore but it's also not magnificent. And that's what I'm aiming for. Magnificent. I want to write the best book I can possibly write. And I'm still a far away from that. On some days I read my work and I want to instantly delete it all (sometimes I do). Then on other days I read it, and suddenly it's not that bad anymore. As writers we write and re-write and edit and read our own words so often, that at some point everything starts sounding like shit. When this happens, for me the best thing to do is to share my work.

I'm taking a writing class at my university and it really challenges me. I'm so nervous when I have to present my work. And sometimes I get eaten alive by the crticism. But still, it helps me more than anything. Not only does my work get better through sharing it and improving it according to the advice of my professor and classmates, but it also motivates me immensely. After all, my novel is meant to be read. And here people read it and they don't think that it's a piece of shit. Sharing my work gives me confidence by shattering my novel (and with it me) into pieces and then slowly building it up again. So, that's the second lesson I learned while writing my first novel:

Share your work.

Happy writing!

Samstag, 2. Januar 2016


I found this questionnaire some weeks ago and immidiately filled it out. This week I thought it might be nice to post it here, so that you can get to know me better. Feel free to fill it out yourself! Have fun!

How old are you?

How old do you feel?
Also 24 I guess. At the moment. Sometimes I feel like 15.

Where do you live?
In Germany.

What have you done today?
I took the bus to work, made some phone calls, wrote some emails, continued editing a novel, took the bus to the bus office, showed my student card, took the bus home, had dinner, played a board game with my bf (and won!), looked at photos by Robert Frank, read a text on photography, sent some pages and the exposé of my novel to my friend, read blogs, wrote and drew in my diary...

Summer, fall, winter or spring? What do you prefer and why?
Fall and winter, Love the colours, the leaves and the wind in fall, but I also enjoy the cold, the calm and the snow of winter.

Are you addicted to something/do you depend on anything?
I guess I emotionally depend on my boyfriend.

Mention 3 things people might not know about you:
1. My father is Indian,
2. I hate passing train rails per car or foot, I hold my breath till I'm on the other side.
3. I have an imaginary world which I visit every evening before falling asleep.

Where on the earth would you like to be right now?
Moving! No matter if on train, bus, plane, boat or car. I miss the feeling of being on the move, no matter where to.

What's your favorite candy?

What are your favorite stores?
Cheap boutiques,

Have you ever had stitches?

Are you a moring or evening person?

Who lately did something extra special for you?
My bf held me when I fell apart.

Are you shy?
A bit, sometimes.

Do you have any middlenames? What names?
Yes, Anya is my middle name.

Would you like to get married?
I would very much marry my darling <3

Do you have any nicknames?
Some, but lately noone uses them anymore.