And then everything changed

Dienstag, 27. September 2016

End of Summer Moodboard

It has been a fantastic summer and fall is already beginning to be really intense. So here's my End of Summer Moodboard to demonstrate the brutal beauty of life.

Dienstag, 20. September 2016

Book Recommendation: Paper Towns by John Green

For a long time I couldn't stand John Green books. John Green books were actually one of my 10 things I hate that everyone else loves. And I tried to like them, believe me, I did. Several times I started reading John Green books in bookstores but I always put them down again. Which was a shame because I love Hank and John Green. I am obsessed with their Youtube Channels and podcasts and with their awesomeness in general. I never before picked up Paper Towns though.

As I am currently working on a youth novel myself, I am always trying to learn from the best. John Green might not be the best, but he is the world's most famoust youth novelist of our time, so I just can't ignore his books if I want to make my own book successful too. Because Paper Towns is the book which had the most potential plot-wise I decided to give it a try.

And I get it now. I do. It's not that Paper Towns changed my life and that I want to quote every line of the book. In fact, I still think that the narrator's voice is a bit too cheesy at times. But I have to admit that it's a damn good book and that John Green really, really knows what he's doing.

The book starts with a countdown of crazy things to do in one night. Margo Roth Spiegelman convices the protagonist Quentin to come along to a wild night of revenge and randomness. In the beginning she announces that they will do 11 things in this night which instantly hooks the reader because obviously we can't wait to find out every one of these 11 crazy ideas. That's a perfect way to start a book. Also the first chapter manages to give the reader in a very short part a thorough idea of who Margo is. We really only meet her for an instance but nevertheless we feel like we know her.

The story continues with Quentin finding out the next morning that Margo disappeared. Slowly he begins to realize that the version of Margo he knew as well as the Margo who was popular and legandary at their High School is far away from the real Margo and he starts his quest to find the real Margo, as well as to find her actual body, dead or alive.

Of course it's pretty clear from the beginning to the end that Margo Roth Spiegelmann is a very eccentric, neurotic, and borderline person. But nevertheless she teaches us that we never know a person. Not really. Her character is perfectly developped. She has many layers but at the same time she's a simple plot device.

Because Paper Towns is actually the story of Quentin who also is on the quest to find himself, though he might not know it yet. He has two best friends, Ben and Radar, who are both funny and smart and kind and in their own way adorable. And as Paper Towns tells their last weeks of High School it is also a growing up story asking the question of what to do with one's life.

John Green takes an old theme of youth novels (High School graduation) and twists it. One of the things I liked best was that typical High School milestones like the prom or the actual graduation play almost no role in the book because Quentin attents neither of them. Life's more than that. Which is another excellent message John Green gets through: You don't have to follow the expected path of college, job, marriage, house, kids. You should find your own path, whatever that means. Maybe you want to do something else entirely, travel, rebel, be on the other side of society, - or maybe the conservative path is excactly what you want, and that's fine too.

Another thing I liked about the book is that it is at times very dark (f.e. when John Green leaves it open for Quentin and the reader wether Margo ran away or killed herself) but at the same time has wonderful light and hilarious chapters, like the roadtrip towards the end of the book, which is pure joy.

Paper Towns is funny and a pleasure read but it also brings across valuable lessons, which is exactly what a youth novel should do.

Montag, 12. September 2016

A Weekend in my Life

I've seen this post idea on another blog and thought it would be a fun thing to do on my own blog as well. Unfortunately I only decided to make this post today, so I just have a couple of pictures of my weekend which I took for Instagram (my Instagram name is anyasunita just like in my URL, I'd love to connect!). Maybe I will make an all-picture post on a Weekend in my Life in the future but for now I will mostly give you an insight into my life with words. Enjoy!


My weekend started on Friday at 5pm, which is when I get out of work. My boyfriend called me a couple of hours earlier and we decided to celebrate the start of the weekend with a bonfire, so I couldn't wait to get home and then get going. We bought some meat and drinks at the grocery store and then headed out to the forest to get the fire going. We were a gourp of four. There were already two older ladies who had started the fire and were really nice.

While collecting wood, a friend dropped a tree on me - I mean, technically it was just the trunk, but it was the complete lenght. We were carrying it and he dropped his end, so that mine slipped too and now I have two big scratches on my arm and a gigantic bruise on my thigh. Oh well, bonfires demand their sacrifices.

But once we got the fire going, it was mesmerizung. I love bonfires. I can just stare into them endlessly and it calms me down and gives me the feeling, that despite of everything, everything's alright anyway. It's so peaceful, yet so powerful and majestic. Staring into the fire is my kind of meditation.

We grilled some meat and zucchini and drank some mead and it was perfect. We talked and laughed and danced and watched the stars. We do bonfires on a regular basis but still every time I'm fascinated by the magic of the moment.

Between 2 and 3am we came back and I fell right into bed because I had been up since 7 in the morning.


I started the Saturday slow as always, reading the newspaper and eating a sandwich. Then I did some work, and edited some articles for the online magazine Lifehack which I work for. I copy-edited one of my own stories and took care of some bureaucratical things I had to do. It felt good to finally do some of the points on my to-do list.

In the afternoon I played a round of "Settlers of Catan", the boardgame, with my boyfriend. Yes, we play boardgames, a lot, and it's fun. Then we had dinner (I made rice and vegetables and sausages) and watched X-Men Apocalypse.


On Sunday I woke up at 9am, which is early for me on the weekends, but I enjoyed the extra time. I read lots of inspiring blogs on Bloglovin and had some sandwiches for breakfast. I also finished "Paper Towns" by John Green (a review is coming up soon).

In the afternoon we went to the lake. It was a beautiful end of summer day, with the sun still nice but not as burning as it was some weeks ago. We swam and ate and played cards and had a ridicolously bad match of badminton and it was a wonderful, worry-free Sunday. I love Sundays like this. When you spent time with friends and just enjoy the now, ignoring that the next day you have to face the more serious matters of life. I felt young and alive.

When we came home my boyfriend and I celebrated by engaging in some amorous excercise, if you know what I mean, then had a wonderful hot bath together. It was the perfect ending to a glorious weekend in my life.

How was your weekend?

Montag, 5. September 2016

How I deal with negative spirals in my head

You know those moments or hours or days when you suddenly remember something you forgot to do and then you think of that one time you let down you best friend in 8th grade and then you think of you stupid jerk ex-boyfiend who treated you like shit and then you think about how you will probably never get married because you're so unlovable and a failure at work, so you think about all the life goals you will never achieve and about that awful discussion with your boss which is coming up and which you fantasize about every day and then... Well, you get my point. Sometimes (often at night when you're trying to fall asleep) one negative thought leads to the next which leads to you doubting every decision you ever made and suddenly you want to turn off your alarm for the next day because what's the point of getting up anyway?

I know those nights all too well. Especially when I'm facing big life changes or insecurities the negative spirale in my head can drive me crazy. But with years of experience I have developped a couple of methods to deal with it.

1. Repression/distraction

In German there's a perfect word for it, which is "Verdrängung". According to the English dictonary "repression" is the correct translation but I'm not completely sure of it. Anyway, let's just say I'm great at repression. You know when people say everyone's really good at one thing they do, I often can't think of anything expect: I'm really good at repression. I can shove my problems and fears in the darkest corner of my brain and keep them stored there for weeks or even months. Of course ignoring your problems is not healthy but a bit of distraction might actually help you. Distract yourself now and then deal with the issue once you feel ready for it (which admittedly often happens to be never).

At night when I realize that the negative spirale starts spiraling, I consciously force myself to stop thinking about this topic. Instead I invent stories of travels and adventures and drama in my head which most times works well. But sometimes my worries slip into my stories. In this case I get up and read a fictional book (mostly fantasy, because that's as far away from my life as it can get) or I watch a feel-good tv show like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or Friends or (my go-to mood booster) Futurama. Yes, you could say that I'm lying to myself and am ignoring my problems, but it makes me feel better.

2. Letting go

Sometimes things that happened to me (people who did me wrong or even worse, people I treated badly, stupid mistakes I made, embaressments) haunt me at night. This is just stupid. Because it happened. It's done. I can't change it anymore. Also, if I fought with someone, even if we made up by then, I can't help but go through our argument and be hurt by it over and over and over. In this case repression will only buy me some time. Sooner or later I have to let it go.

The way I do it is, I formulate a summary of what happened: This is what happened, this really hurt me, this was what I did wrong, this is how we resolved it (if we did resolve it) - there's nothing more to say about it. Then I tell myself: This is it. There's nothing you can do about it now. Let it go. Just let it go. And then I take a deep breath and I let it go.

Of course it's not always that easy. What also helps me is to write it down in my diary. While I'm writing it down I allow myself to use as many curse words and melodramatic metaphors as I want and I cry so much that at the end I can't read my words anymore. But it's extremely liberating. Once it's down on paper, it's not stuck somewhere between my heart and my solar plexus anymore. It isn't a part of me anymore.

In general, crying my eyes out and letting it all out helps me a lot. Afterwards I always feel better. And I'm so exhausted from crying that I fall asleep instantly.

3. Making an appointment with yourself to actually deal with your problems

Sometimes repression is not working anymore. And to let it go it's too soon. Because sometimes we have actual problems which deserve our attention. They might seem unsolvable and make you feel abolutely hopeless but there is always a way, even if the way is to suck it up and live through it.

But it never once happened to me that I solved a life problem at night before I fall asleep. It always ends in me thinking endlessly about how fucked up my situation is and not sleeping at all. Which is why I don't even attempt to solve my problem then and there. I tell myself, next Thursday at 5pm, you're going to take a walk and you will sit in your favorite park and calmly think about possible solutions. You will write them down and then you will decide for a path to take, may it be a shitty path but you will decide and you will stick to it.

In that night I stop thinking about it, knowing that I will take care of it in a couple days (I even create reminders in my phone so that I don't forget to deal with it on the chosen day). Now I can think about something else or fall asleep and then some days later when I'm more awake and hopefully less desperate I will sit down (or walk around in my case) and calmly think about my problem.

I know my ways are far from perfect. Actually they are on a scale from absolutely-awful-for-my-repressed-subconciousness to alright-but-still-pretty-bad. But it's my way. This is how I deal with stuff. Because believe me, I know what it feels like when you get stuck in a negative spirale and I never want to feel that way again.

Do you have methods of dealing with negative spirals in your head?

Donnerstag, 1. September 2016

Travel Photography: My trip to Amsterdam (including: Amsterdam Comic Con)

On Monday I came back from a fabolous trip to Amsterdam for three days with a couple of friends. Here are some impressions:

Because oviously usual hotels are too boring for us, we decided to stay on a ship. The rooms were tiny but hanging out on the deck in the evening was perfection.

Breakfast was included and was served in this atmospheric common room.

Amsterdam is a city with a lot of water. Little canals run through the inner city and it's seriously stunning.

This was the train station which looked like a castle.

I fell in love with Amsterdam's little streets.

And its cute houses.

On the first day of the Amsterdam Comic Con my friend was dressed in a steampunk outfit.

And I did my best to imitate Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones.

Some of the cosplays at the Comic Con were totally on point.

We watched a fun cosplay contest.

This was a photo shooting oppurtunity by a The Walking Dead promotion crew. Just look at how scared we seem to be. Everyone who watched the season 6 finale will understand which scene we are caught in and why being scared is the only option.

On day 2 of the Comic Con my friend did a Harry Potter cosplay while I went as Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.