Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Dressing up? Fuck it.

Recently I watched a video on why someone should always look his/her best.

Dressing up and putting some effort into yours looks is a sign that you value yourself and of course you do your environment a favour by not showing yourself in your oldest pair of jeans and trainers. Everyone appreciates someone who knows how to make a good impression.
In addition in a lot of cases people who look like they take good care of themselves and their looks are often regarded in a better light or just treated in a friendlier way than the slob from next door.

Personally, I can not deny that on days, when I feel a bit sluggish or simply not my best, a bright lip colour and a pretty dress have the power to immediately lift my spirits. Hence I feel a lot better, which can also be seen by everyone else I see that day.
This is the reason why I tend to wear a red lip on presentation days: it boosts my confidence by giving me a more sincere but sophisticated look.

However I also believe that getting up early in the morning in order to style your hair, put on your make-up and have discussions with yourself in front of the wardrobe for half an hour, is really not necessary. One should always dress according to his mood, even if this means that you just feel like wearing a pair of jeans and a hoodie.

Of course you have to look presentable when it comes to work or special occasions, but one should always be allowed to be a bit more laid back without feeling guilty about it. You do not need to put on make-up and curl your hair when you only have to do some grocery shopping or pick something up at the post office.

As long as you wear a friendly smile on your face, anything goes.

Some of you (some singles maybe?) might argue that you should always be prepared for running into a new potential partner. First impressions are never to be underestimated, but let's face it: men do not care as much about female looks as we might want them to. They do not care if your hair is straight or curly and mascara or a fancy pair of high heels is no big business for them.
And anyway, if he really wants to be with you, he will sooner or later have to see you in your "leisure day attire". If he doesn't like it, he's not worth it. Point.

So, if in the near future you are having a serious debate with yourself in the morning, because you just want to wear that Marvel-T-Shirt, but it looks somehow too casual and like you put no effort into your looks, screw it. Wear it anyway, if this is your first impulse.
We are not always in the mood for our Sunday attire and nobody should expect us to be.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Running as a state of mind?

"Running is freedom."
"Running is to get your head off of toxic thoughts."
"Running helps me to balance out my life and get moving."
"Running makes me happy."
"Run, bitch! Run!" (Photo by Unsplash)
In some way or another many of us might have come across people who have chosen running as a sort of religion. To them running is not just a way of exercising or losing weight. It is a constant part of their life an mind - their personal state of mind so to say.

I am not one of these people. Already in school I hated those sports lessons, when our teacher said: "Let's go outside." To go outside meant to run. One round after another and to me it meant seeing all of my classmates pass and eventually lapping me.

Because in all honesty, I am actually a turtle. I am slow and I do not like to move.

So, when I started to work out again on a regular basis I avoided the treadmill like the plague. It is the equivalent of pain, boredom, sweat and exhaustion. Instead I went for the elliptical, which after a year, turned out to be even more boring.

Then, a friend of mine, who often joins me in the gym and who does like to run (at least more than I do) made me curious again. I can't exactly say how she did it, but after a while I thought: "It has been some time since you tried it. You should go for it again." after all there is nothing to lose. Except for excess fat and some calories maybe?

First off, I can not say that I completely converted to this running religion, but something has definitely changed. I do not dread running as much as I used to. I actually start to enjoy to move without holding on to these bars like on the elliptical. There is a certain freedom to it. Also, I would say that I am more willing to put more energy into my workout by trying out different speed levels, or trying to run a further distance or a longer period of time.

However after ten minutes I am still asking myself the same questions:

"When will it be over?"
"How much longer will I have to do this?"
"What will I eat afterwards and which film will I watch?"
"And why is everyone faster than me??"

But I keep going. Of course my body gets tired, but after a certain time it doesn't seem to matter if I run 25, 20 or 30 minutes, because it stays at a tolerable level.

Yes, for a lot of people running is their way to move forward - mentally and physically and while I am convinced that I will never see it as my personal state of mind I start to see why it is just that for them.
On my way to freedom? (Photo by Unsplash)
To me running is to blast out to good music, sweat my ass off and yes, have this feeling of achievement, when I get off and feel my T-Shirt clingig to my body. I will look a freaking idiot, but at least a happy one.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Breakfast, Books and a visit to the Cemetery

Recently, my mother came over to stay at my place. We had a wonderful evening with Indian food and Downton Abbey and The Seven Year Itch afterwards, but the next day, was even better.
After a short workout we made our way into the city for breakfast and I have to say, it was so delicious! (And I was SO full afterwards)
Plenty of delicious treats and a mint tea. Perfect start for the day!
Then we had some book shopping on our To-Do-List. Right next to my university is a booksop with a vast collection of books for a very good price and browsing around in there might be one of my mothers' favourite activities whenever she comes to see me. Well, I can't blame her.
This time I went for a few literary classics:
These are the German editions, but most of the time I try to get the original ones
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen - because Jane Austen is always a good idea and I was intrigued by the fact, that this is one of her earlier works. Furthermore I really enjoyed the film version with Felcity Jones.

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë- Some people might not believe it and think that it is a crime, but I've never read a book by one of the Brontë-sisters before. However I did not want to start with one of the popular classics like Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. Instead I decided to go with Anne's novel, because I have never heard much about her work (and I just fell in love with the cover of this book) and it is supposed to contain autobiographic elements.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - When I watched Baz Luhrman's hopelessly opulent and exaggerated film, I was in love. My eyes were glued to the scene while my breathing just stopped: too much beautifulness to put it in words. So, when I saw this book in the shop I figured, that it is time to read Fitzgerald's "true"  Gatsby.

Casanova's Memoirs by well, Giacomo Casanova - I got into this topic when I watched the film with Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller in the cinema years back and it is one of my favourites. I have already indulged in several documentaries and read a book about Casanova's love interests. but I have never heard himself talk about his adventures in Venice (the city is the reaon why I love Assassin's Creed II so much), which is why I am looking forward to reading this book a lot.

Now that I look at my list, it almost embarassing how many films I have watched until now without even looking at thecorresponding books (and I have nothing to say to defend myself. Shame on me!).

So, after splurging a generous amount at the bookshop my mother and I made our way to the city's old cemetery which is in fact very close to my apartment as I can see it from my bedroom-window. It was my first time going there, because I wanted to share this first experience with her and let me say:
We were not disappointed.

When we made our way to the cemetery it was a bit cloudy and dark, resulting in the perfect atmosphere to visit a historic sight like that. This one was founded in 1715 and contained graves from the 19th century up to quite recent ones. The atmosphere there is perfect to sit down and read a book, because it is so quiet and almost mysterious. There is so much to see and many of the tombstones and memorials are wonderfully embellished.

Perhaps the most famous grave might be the one of Beethoven's mother which is always kept in perfect condition while others slowly but surely start to fall apart.
The grave of Beethoven's mother Maria Magdalena
Another famous grave is the one for the German composer Robert Schumann, which is beyond beautiful. It portrays Schumann's profile at the top and his wife at his feet looking up at him in devotion.
The grave of Robert Schumann and his wife Clara
 We spend about an hour on this cemetery, but still have not seen everything.It is one of those places you can come back to and discover new things every time. We even saw a few English and Russian graves. So, if you ever get the chance to come to Bonn, you should definitely visit this enchanted piece of earth.

I can already imagine a hand creeping out of this shattered tomb
My favourite piece on this cemetery so far is the memorial for the Prussian soldiers who died in the Franco-Prussian War 1870/71. The two figures on top are so beautiful, that I could barely stop looking at them.
A memorial for the Prussian soldiers
In the afternoon my stepfather, my grandparents and the pugs came over and I got to spend some precious family time with all of them. But in all honesty I enjoyed the time alone with my mother the most, because we were able to do all the things we love together:
Old films, books, food, cemeteries.... (yes, we like old things)

Saturday, 3 May 2014

On being "cute" and why it is not a compliment

As a matter of fact people tend to categorize other people and what is the first thing they judge? Obviously their looks. Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly were considered as beautiful. Other women have this aura of sexiness around them. The way she walks and the way she looks around the room as she enters immediately convey the image of a confident and sexy woman.

However there is also a different kind of woman. You might not immediately notice her, but when you see her you think: "Well, she is kind of cute." I am one of these cute women, or at least this is what I make out of other peoples' reactions when they see me.
And I know what they mean.

With a height of 156cm and a small bust I do not really have the measurements of a supermodel. My face is round with soft lines which makes me appear a lot younger than I actually am. I am 23 now, but often get mistaken for maybe 17 or 18. To sum up I am not one of these dashing, confident women who always attract the attention of other people.

Yesterday was another girl's night out and just as usual the male sex did not notice me. Before my friend had told me that in the past few days two complete strangers actually made the effort to talk to her and ask her out. She declined, but was very flattered. Well, I can not blame these guys. She is pretty and she has a unique fashion sense which imediately catches your eye. But my second thought was, that this is something that is never goint to happen to me. Why? Because I am cute, that's why.

However yesterday night, we had already been at this club for over 3 hours, a guy came up to me, grabbed me by the shoulders and said: "Gosh, you're SO cute!" he laughed and just went away. I laughed too and answered: "Thanks, you too!" obviousl I tried to be sassy, but actually I was irritated.

About five minutes later another guy came up to me, telling me I was "cute" and like his forerunner he left immediately.

Are you guys shitting me??

I know they meant no harm. Maybe they honestly thought I was cute enough to actually talk to me, but rather than making me feel flattered, they left me with a feeling of utmost insecurity. No guy ever talks to me, because he is interested and if they appear to be interested all they can say is that I am "so cute". Why not pretty or beautiful or lovely?

Cuteness is not a negative trait. We use it on things we like - like puppies and kittens or that little dress we saw at a shop recently, but used on an actual person that is not a child anymore it feels strange. At least after several years of being referred to solely as cute. The thought which always arises in such moments is: "They don't take me seriously. I am not equal to them."

I understand that a lot of these sexy women I referred to ealier are tired of being called that as well. The problem is, that people always have to get to know you better before they see your other traits and realize that you are not just cute or sexy. To get to this point you have to get in contact with a person in the first place - with someone who will shout an adjective at you and leave. And I don't see that happening for me in the near future.

While pure cuteness without a hint of a different more interesting feature is not an insult, it has never opened any doors for me. Life has so much more to offer than running after Mr. Right or stumbling from one romantic adventure to another, but having the feeling of being valued or at least something else than cute sure must be nice.