And then everything changed

Mittwoch, 27. Juli 2016

My life is dumber than my phone

I finally have a smart phone which deserves its name. My previous one couldn't have any apps because it's software was too old and everything took forever to load. But my new phone can have all the apps and I can access everything instantly. Finally I get it. I get why everyone under 50 has a smart phone and why everyone is staring at it as if the answer to all of world's problems lies within. It's because it makes everything seem so easy.

I'm totally amazed. I can get the news, the latest gossip and the updates of friends who live at the other side of the Atlantic ocean with one click. I can know the answer to every question with one Google search. I can get inspiration through Instagram permanently. I can text with my friends in another city. My new phone is so fast and I'm getting a bit dizzy from all the possibilities. Suddenly everything is accessible to me all the time. It's all so easy.

But at the same time it makes me realize how much my real life is not that way. In my real life I have to move to a new apartment and packing and cleaning is exhausting. It takes forever. It is all so, so slow. On my phone I can see pictures of the other side of the world, or hell, even of outer space in a second. In real life it takes me almost an hour to travel from home to work every day.

In real life everything is so uncertain. What will happen? Where will I be in three months? Will I find a job? Will I be with the one I love? Where will we live? I want to know the answer right now but real life is not as smart as my phone. In real life I have to wait for things. It's slow and hard and unfair. I have to fight for every little thing. But it is real. I wish my life would be as easy and satisfying as my new smart phone. But it will never be. So I will take the long road, walk the tough path, deal with the unjustice, wait for the answers and put up a fight for what I love. Because no matter how shiny and fascinating my smart phone is, in the end it's my real life that matters. It's the only thing I have.

Sonntag, 24. Juli 2016

Things I've learned after opening my eyes to what's going on in the world - Part 4

Here's my most current collection of interesting, eye-opening and mind-blowing things I learned about while reading the newspaper regularily. Check out part 1, 2 and 3, too.

*show me who your parents are and I tell you what you'll become - this is true in Germany, too, kids who's parents are workers or foreigners are disadvantaged, only a few of them finish High School, but the gap between those kids and the rest decreases

*the pharmaceutical industry in Germany give €575 million to doctors who then precribe the drugs the industry wants to make money from, but some of this money also goes towards research, now there's a new law which states that doctors can make it public who they get money from and for what but they don't have to, in the US they have to make it public which would be a lot better over here, too

Richard Branson

*rich people are now investing in space travel: Paypal and Tesla founder Musk funded Red Dragon a probe which is supposed to travel to Mars in 2018, Bigelow founded a modular unit which is sent to space and then inflated, other rich guys who invest in space travel are Amazon founder Bezos, Richard Branson and Steve Hawking

*the people who really have power are not the politicians but the political advisers, one of them is Gerald Knaus, he invented the Turkey deal of the EU (keeping refugees in Turkey and in return it will be easier for Turkish citizens to immigrate to the EU), but the plan created a new problem: in Greece there are now 8500 refugees and only 16 officials, Plan B is to imprison the refugees on a Greek island

Gerald Knaus

*some current developments in Germany: everywhere (not only here) economical growth is decreasing, 46% of Germans (and 71% of Afd voters) think that they could do politics better than the politicians, most times all of Germany's important media is backing Angela Merkel, the real problem about TTIP is that it is negotiated in secrecy

*apparently democacy is not the end of history after all

*today there is a global Apartheit which describes the gap between poor and rich countries

*a view inside North Korean prisons: many of the prisoners don't even know why they are held prisoner, North Korea also still has collective punishments which means that people are inprisoned because their husband, father, sister or even a distand uncle did something wrong, in prison if a woman is caught with a guard she is punished even if she was raped

*the universe should actually be entirely made up of light but there  is matter (us) which is pretty much impossible, matter is created when particles and anti-particles meet but the problem is that they actually should destroy each other immidiately (because if particles and anti-particles meet each other there's a destruction and what stays is pure energy which is what space ships in Science Fiction are fueled with or you could create a huge bomb with this energy), but despite all odds the anti-matter disappeared but why? and where did it go? there are two possible solutions: either there's a difference beween matter and anti-matter that we don't know of, yet, or somewhere in the Universe there are whole galaxies made up entirely of anti-matter

*in Lybia after Gaddafi died in 2011, they put a lot of money into rebuilding the city Sirte, but because of this there was a lot of crime and with this chaos within the city, then a islamistic group called Ansar al-Scharia appeared in the city, soon after there was a preacher and mysterious female beggars who are thought to be ISIS spies, then ISIS themselves entered the city, the government dissolved and there is no police anymore, now there is war once again; Salafists are in their believes very similar to ISIS (except that they accept a worldly leader) but their preacher critized ISIS, was killed and publicly hung up, which is why now Salafists fight next to liberal students against ISIS, Sirte is occupied by ISIS members of foreign countries (Tunesia, Egypt, Sudan, Iraq), they recrute mostly poor people, in Sirte there's now a strict dress code, certain prayer times and regular amputations and excecutions, the people there are asking Why isn't the West helping us? and they thing that if we're not helping them, we must be helping ISIS, but in thruth the West has already forgotten about Lybia

*in Germany are 2750 mosques, 45000 churches and 130 synagoges, of the muslims still 75% are Turkish and mostly Sunnis

Montag, 11. Juli 2016

How to plan your life

I am turning 25 this weekend. Now, this doesn't mean that I am a pro at life and at being an adult. Not at all. To be honest, most times I feel utterly lost. I feel like all I do is to put one foot in front of the other without knowing where I'm going. This is why recently I made a 5-year-plan. It helps me to be able to see my goals written down and to have an idea of the direction I'm heading. To plan your life might seem a bit neurotic but believe me, it's extremely relieving. Here's how to do it.

1. Write down each and every little thing you ever want to achieve.

Take your time with this step. Take an afternoon, sit down somewhere quiet and really think about what kind of life you want to live. Not just today or in 5 years but forever. What do you want to achieve, what places do you want to see, what kind of person do you want to become? It might be hard at first to figure out what you want out of life, but it doesn't have to be so complicated. Think about what makes you happy. Now: what would have to change, so that you're even happier? Do you have ideals or are their certain jobs or lifestyles you admire?

Write it all down. Even if it's unrealistic or if you're not really sure if you really want it. Even if it'll take 40 years to achieve or if it's something you already do. This step is all about brainstorming. There might be huge goals like publishing a book or travelling around the world. But there can also be little goals like brushing your teeth every night or eating more vegetables. Also, don't get too distracted by the things you don't have. You should also think about the things you do have and which make your life richer. You will want to maintain these things, may it be a relationship, an attitude or a habit, to maintain something is a goal, too. Write it down. If you are in your 20s or 30s this may also be the time to think about the big questions, f.e. if you want to have children. If you're not sure yet, that's fine, too. Just write down: Decide if I want to have children.

Just collect everything that comes to mind.

2. Sort your goals into categories.

This is something, I personally find very helpful to not get confused and to bring a bit of structure into your plan. I sort all my goals (big and small, easy and hard) into categories: finances, career, family, love, health, travel, sport, hobbies, fun and special projects. Depending on your priorities and interests, you can choose other categories. F.e. spirituality is another possible category.

3. Color code.

The next step is to group your goals. First, go through them again. Think about each one and ask yourself: Do I really want this? And is it possible to achieve this goal in the next 5 years? If you answer one of these questions with No, then put this goal in breaks. You should also consider, that even if it is possible to achieve a certain goal within 5 years, you might want to go after another dream first because it's more important to you right now. Don't make your 5 years too full. Be realistic. You can do anything, but you cannot do everything.

Now, look at the remaining 5-year-goals. Probably there are goals wich belong together, where some smaller goals are steps on the journey towards achieving a bigger goal. F.e. your main goal may be to get into journalism. You might have also written down the goal to do an internship with a newspaper or to write and publish that article on the interesting life story your friend told you about. Those two smaller goals are steps on the journey towards being successul as a journalist. You can highlight all goals which belong together and complement each other in one color. By this you can group together blocks of dreams and ideas and soon you will see some big goals evolving from the mess.

I also highlight all the "maintain this thing" goals in one color and put them into a seperate list as a reminder of what I should take good care of.

4. Write down your big goals.

Again, don't chose too many goals. I have chosen one goal in each category, while some are a lot bigger than others. How many goals you want to achieve is your choice, just make sure that you write down things which are possible in 5 years and which you really want. Picture yourself having reached your goal. Will it fullfill you?

5. Create a timeline.

The next step is to decide for each goal when you want to achieve it. Some goals might already have a date of probable achievement. F.e. you might have already planned that backpacking trip though Asia with your friends for 2018, so put it down for 2018. Other goals might be small or you have already started on going after them, so you can write them down for this or next year. Other goals will seem like huge projects. If you're not sure how long it will take, write it down at the 5-year-mark, 2021. You can always achieve it earlier but this will give you some air.

Once you have figured out when you want to achieve your big goals, break them down into years. If you want to travel in 2018, you should start saving money this year, plan your trip next year and make further preparations at the beginning of 2018, a couple of months before your trip. Do this with every goal you have. Create a timeline and also include the smaller goals which belong to the journey towards the main goal.

6. Plan your next year.

Congratiolations, you now have a 5-year-plan and it feels kind of awesome, right? But it can also feel really overwhelming, if you don't focus on the near future first. Take a look at your time line. Which steps are on your plan for 2016. Make them into your (belated) New Years Resolutions or how I like to call them Manifestations. Of course you can also include other smaller goals which are important to you right now.

I plan my Manifestations of a year in monthly steps. So for each Manifestation I write down what I have to do each month of the year in order to get where I want at the end of the year. From now on you can do this every year.

7. Check your plan regularily.

The great thing about having a life plan is that you don't have to constantly think about what your next step is and what you want to do with your future. You can live your life and enjoy the now and every now and then check up with your plan to see if you're at the right track. I check my Manifestations at least once a month to see what I have to do this month and then I plan when exactly I will take care of the nessecary things.

8. Don't be a planning nazi.

To have a plan feels great. But: Don't follow it stupidly. Your plan is not set in stone. You can always, always change it. Yes, you have dreams you will never give up on. But things might look different in a year or two. You might find that what you thought you wanted, isn't really what makes you happy anymore. Things which were important to you might now be less important and other things have taken their place. Life is full of suprises and oppurtunities which can lead your life into a totally different direction than where you thought it was going but this doesn't mean that it will be any less magical. So check up with your plan every now and then and ask yourself if the goals you've written down are still what you want. If not, feel free to change them. If they are still what you want, go after them.

Do you have a life plan? What do you think is important when planning your future?

Montag, 4. Juli 2016

Game of Thrones 6.10. Recap

Originally I planned a post about planning your life (which will follow soon) but I'm postpoining it for a post on the Game of Thrones season finale - because let's be honest, for the last week nothing really mattered except Game of Thrones. I did a post on the finale of season 5 before (which was glorious, still better than this finale, I think) but the end of season 6 was also spectacular, so let's have a closer look at the major storylines.

Obviously, SPOILERS.

Cercei Lannister

For me, this was definitely the most fascinating plot line of the episode, though it wasn't that surprising, It's Cercei's trial but not only doesn't she attend but she also hinders her son and king, Tommen, to attend it which already shows that she has a devious plan which she wants her child to be save from. We see Maester Pycelle being stabbed (possibly the only other person, excpet her, Tyrion and her new Maester, who knows that there are still tremendous amounts of extremely explosive and deadly wildfire in Kingslanding).

Margeary is already wary and wants to bring herself and her brother Loras to safety but the Militant Faith doesn't let them go. It's the first time we see Margaery really being afraid and she was so right. The next moment the whole sept and a huge part of Kingslanding blows up. Margaery is dead. Loras is dead. So is their father. And Lancell Lannister, Cerceis cousin and former lover. And her uncle. And of course the High Sparrow with all his followers and more noble people of Kingslanding. It's brutal but amazing. In one second, Cercei managed to erase all of her enemies. I can't help but be impressed with her. It proves once more that noone messes with Cercei and gets out of it alive. She's incredible.

It gets even more extreme when Tommen throws himself from the tower. Surprisingly, Tommen's suicide shocked me more than all those people being blown up. Maybe he couldn't stand knowing that his beloved wife Margaery is dead. Or he couldn't stand the thought that his mother killed his wife, her family and many more. Probably both. Which proves both that Tommen was actually a pretty decent guy and at the same time that he was too nice, meaning too weak, for Kingslanding.

Now that Tommen is dead, this fits perfectly into the prophecy Cercei was given as a girl. According to the prophecy she will have three children and they will all die, which now became true. The prophecy goes on that in the end Cercei will be killed by her younger brother. There is a theory which states that Cercei will become the Mad Queen, like the Mad King, and attempt to burn down her whole empire. She might be stopped before this happens by said younger brother which could be Tyrion but also Jaime, who is a couple of minutes younger than Cercei. Sure, Jaime killing Cercei would be a really dramatic ending but it would also break my heart.

Finally, we see that Cercei, with her children and rivals being dead, is crowned and becomes the first Queen of Westeros. In this moment Jaime arrives back from his travels. He sees the burned down sept and then his sister and lover being crowned and he realizes two things: 1. Tommen, their last remaining child, is dead. 2. Cercei has blown everyone up and taken the Iron Thrown and is on her way to madness. Which might support the theory that Jaime will be the one to kill Cercei in the end, especially as he looks not very pleased. But we shouldn't underestimate how much he loves Cercei. The thing about Jaime, I realized, is that all he wants is to be with her. He has stated again and again and again that him and her are the only two people who matter to him. He doesn't care about power but now Cercei has power, she has the throne and it will probably come between the two. Still, I can't believe that he'll actually betray her, he just loves her too much. On the other hand, he already betrayed her once to free Tyrion. I can't wait to see this storyline unfold furter.

Arya Stark

Apparently, Arya finally learned to change her face and she is already back in Westeros, namely at Blackwater Bay where she kills Walder Frey and gets her revenge for the Red Wedding.

Samwell Tully

Sam arrives in Oldtown to be trained as a maester and the library looks amazing.


Davos tells Jon that Mellisandre burned Shereen alive. She tries to defend herself, explaining that she thought it was the only way to save Stannis and his men, but that she was mistaken. Davos asks Jon to execute her but instead Jon decides to banish her from the North. In my opinion, this is a phenomenally stupid thing to do. He should either execute her or keep her by her side nevertheless - she is extremely helpful after all, bringing him back from the dead and all. But now that he banished her, she can team up with someone else. I don't like Mellisandre at all but she is an extremely powerful woman and it's good to have her on your side.

Sansa Stark

We see a beautiful scene where Jon and Sansa look over their retaken Winterfell and Jon tells Sansa that they have to trust each other. They hug and all seems well between the siblings, except that I don't think that Sansa actually trusts Jon.

In another scene Littlefinger reveals that he wants to be on the Iron Throne with Sansa by his side. She pushes him away but not after saying that this would be a pretty picture. I don't think this alliance/romance ends here. Littlefinger obviously planned it all. He gave Sansa to Ramsay in order for her to be mistreated by him so badly that she will be determined enough to declare war against him and retake Winterfell. This is cruel of course, but in his weird way Littlefinger did it all for her. Now he wants to marry her, become Lord of Winterfell and eventually king of Westeros. Well, I don't know if this will happen but it would be an interesting picture. Also, we have to remember that Sansa spent a lot of time in Kingslanding and went to hell and back, and I don't think after all that, she'll be satisfied by being Jon Snows sister. With Littlefinger on her side, she could be queen. Another storyline which makes me excited about where it'll go.

Finally we see the houses of the North pledging themselves to Jon Snow and declaring him King in the North, despite him being a bastard. That's beautiful,yes, but also a bit macabre, because it reminded so much of when they pronounced Robb Stark King in the North.

Danaerys Targaryan

In a couple of episodes Daenarys has gained many influential supporters, among them Tyrion, who I still think will make a much better leader than her - when will he finally step up instead of following others?, Olenna Tyrell and Theon and Yara Greyjoy. She also has an army of Unsullied, of Dothraki and of the Second Sons. Her army is huge and she finally, after 6 seasons, sets sail to Westeros. We will definitely see a big showdown between Danaerys and Cercei, where Daenerys lets loose her dragons and Cercei makes use of her wildfire. I wouldn't be suprised if the two women would burn each other to the ground.

Jon Snow

The last great reveal of the episode, which everyone was waiting for, happens when we see Brans vision in which the young Ned Stark finds his sister in her death bed and she hands him a baby and asks him to take care of it. This baby is without doubt Jon Snow which finally prooves the theory R + L = J, making Jon the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen which makes him both a Stark and a Targaryan but as his father is Rhaeger, he is actually foremost a Targaryen. This of course changes everything. Will the North still follow him, when they find out that he is not Eddard Stark's son? And how will Jon himself react when he finds out? Also, is he still a bastard? I guess so, because I don't think that Rhaegar and Lyanna where married. What do the Targaryens call their bastards?

Well, it truely was a spectacular episode of a fantastic show! I'm already so excited about what season 7 will bring. But as we will have to wait a whole year for it, I plan to re-watch the entire show in the meantime.

Last but not least, it's official: Winter is here.