Tuesday, 29 September 2015

After Work Serenity

Original Photo taken from StockSnap
 After a hard or even just tedious day at work, there is this wonderful moment, when I get to lock the door of the shop. After smiling and and exchanging pleasantries for hours it feels nice to know, that now, nobody will be able to disturb me while I tend to the final chores of my work day: cleaning, restocking, counting and ultimately winding down.
While I do not enjoy the late shift that much, this is the only time when I get this kind of gratification. Once the early shift is over I just switch places with my colleague, grab my things and I'm out. However, this whole locking the door and cleaning the shop feels like a ritual of easing myself into closing time.
The moment I have changed back into my own clothes and left the shop, I like to take a deep breath.
I am free again. I am anonymous.

No more silly questions.
No more being nice to other people, except if I want to. 

On my way home I like to think about what I am going to eat for dinner. I often decide what to watch on Netflix and generally prepare myself mentally for my precious pyjama-time.  

Once I arrive at my apartment, I am finally a private person again.
I am not available for trivial conversations. I am without duties and without a bra (one of the most important things, to be honest).  

Okay, this whole affair might be ridiculous for all the people out there who actually have a full-time job, while I am just doing this part-time thing where I get to spend no more than 6 hours on one shift. But at the same time it is still work and thinking about it, in one year, I am hopefully going to be employed full-time, too. 
So, I guess, I have to enjoy this while it lasts.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Growing into my Future

Original Picture acquired via Death to the Stock Photo
 Growing up has never been an easy thing for me. The thought alone makes me cringe. 
But the worst of it all was always the fact that one day, I would have to go and search for a job, eventually realizing that I am not fit for anything. 

As an undergrad student I majored in Asian studies with Japanese as my main language (albeit I was never as good as my peers). onve my last term started, I also started to worry about my future. What am I going to do with this degree? Is there even something I can do? It was clear to me, that I needed to do a graduate program as well, but which one? And where? 

In all honesty, when I decided to stay at my university for my graduate program, it was a decision born out of convenience, not passion for the subject. I did not want to leave my friends, my part-time job and I enjoyed the lifestyle I had had so far. I already knew, that the degree I would acquire after roughly two years would not necessarily prepare me for a management career or even the kind of work I intended to do. 
I simply wanted to postpone the death of this last fragment of light-heartedness.This faint shadow of being free and without obligations.

During my studies I realized that the program was not what I thought it would be. Too much of it was just a repetition of what I had already learned during my undergrad studies. Maybe, I should have quit to do something more "valuable" with my time. But now, right before writing my final thesis, I am quite glad that I didn't. 

Being a student of the arts, I am aware that I will most likely end up in a completely different branch, than I originally anticipated when I started going to university in 2010. When people asked me what I wanted to do after uni, I'd usually say: "I'll work for a company operating in the Asian market." Now, I know that this might not be happening. And while I am still nervous when I think about sending out job applications at the end of the year, it doesn't terrify me as much anymore. My studies do restrict me in a way, but they made me aware of all the other possibilities I still have, as well.

While they never taught me anything concrete, I have learned many other skills that will help me. They might be ridiculous in the eyes of someone else, but to me, they open different doors that might otherwise be shut.

I am slowly growing into a person finally able to accept what might be ahead of me, whatever that will be.
In the end, it's going to be fine. 

I am  going to be fine. 
And so are you.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Appreciation Sunday #16

Photo taken by yours truly
 For the past two weeks I had been on holiday with my parents and the dogs in Bavaria
We came back yesterday after a long car journey and today I packed my things to return to my flat. 
The feeling, when you come home after a long time is always so fulfilling. I love being back in my familiar surroundings, with a comfortable bed and all of my books at arm's length. 

But I am going to miss the nature
Mountains, forests and lakes will always be my favourites among the sceneries our planet has to offer.
The solitude and the silence give me enough space to recharge.

I also went to Munich for three days to see my dearest friend, whom I hadn't seen for quite a while.
Those three days inolved a lot of walking, delicious food and all of the usual silliness that I enjoy so much. We went to the castle of Nymphenburg, indulged in some beautiful and weird paintings and shared some wonderful meals she had cooked herself (sometimes I'm really envious of her effortlessness in the kitchen). 

After my return to my parents we spent our days walking, going to the sauna and I finally able to do the tandem flight my mother had given to me on my birthday. It was the most amazing experience! And also not as scary as I thought it would be. For almost half an hour I was up in the sky, placed in a comfortable seat, just to fall down on my knees when we touched the ground. 

At the end of our holiday we decided that we are ready for something new the next time, as we have already seen most of the sights, which is exciting. But I am not going to lie, I'll miss it. I'll miss being able to see Neuschwanstein from the window of my room.. I'll miss the Alpsee. I'll miss the now almost familiar paths and trees. 

Thank you, Bavaria, for two amazing weeks!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

10 Things I can not stand

Original Picture acquired via Death to the Stock Photo
Life is full of little annoying things. Whether it is the couple from upstairs that has to let the whole building know what they are doing late at night, or you simply forgot your keys at home. Again. Personally, I am allowed by far too many things on a daily basis, but this my current top 10 list:
  1. The sound of nail clippers (only from other people)
  2. People who walk in front of you very slowly and suddenly stand still, so you almost bump into them
  3. When people chew with an open mouth... basically chewing in general (it's never a very aesthetic thing to do)
  4. The feeling of being watched by strangers
  5. Making phone calls
  6. People who keep retelling the same stories over and over again 
  7. The feeling when you wake up 5 minutes before your actual alarm (This is not a matter of "beating" time, but missing 5 minutes of precious sleep!)
  8. Bicycles
  9. White boots (They are not a fashion statement, they are a disease. Or at least look like one) 
  10. Leaving work just to realize that you forgot to do something once you step through the door of your apartment

What annoys you on a regular basis?

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Human Shapes

Original Picture taken from unsplash
The human body is not shaped perfectly.
There is no flat stomach, no perfectly defined calves, no muscular, round bicep.
Most times there is some excess flesh hanging over the sides of the hips and saggy breasts.

A body can look oval like an egg, with long, thing extremities attached to it.
Sometimes it looks rather plump or stubby.
Also, the shapes can change with every movement and every new perspective.
A body that looks slender from the front might reveal a round belly from the side.

There nothing like the perfect body, even with a rigorous diet and exercising.
Someone will always find a "flaw".
And while we can and should find the time and energy to improve ourselves,  one should refrain from over obsessing. It is impossible to fulfill the needs of everyone else, even though we so often thrive to accomplish that very thing. But sometimes it can be even harder to fulfill our own needs. To be satisfied with our own personal shape. To do justice to our perfect self image.
Achieving this kind of satisfaction is the hardest, as well als the most important accomplishment.

Human shapes are just as diverse as the characters that inhabit them and people should learn to accept that. Not only when it comes to others, but in particular in regard to themselves.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Living the Cosy Life

Picture taken from unsplash
 It is still early in the morning. A short look out of the window shows green meadows, with a veil of cold air still lingering. The leaves have recently started to show themselves in their most wonderful colours: rich reds, browns and golden yellow.  It is Autumn.
Due to the chilliness I put on my morning coat and make my way into the kitchen, where I make myself a cup of tea and indulge in a rich breakfast. Oatmeal with apples and cinnamon. 

I feel my cat brushing my legs. So, I bend down to caress her and give her something to eat, too. 
Together, we go to my little study room. It is filled with books all the way up to the ceiling. Some are old, some are new, but all of them are very well loved
With one last yawn I grab my blanket and a book to cuddle up in the nook by the window. I have never been a morning person, but this is the best way to gather up the energy needed for a long solitary walk.

Reading, dreaming and walking. 

This is what Autumn was made for.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Thoughts on "Seriously...I'm Kidding" [Book Review]

Picture found on Goodreads - check for more reviews :)

Recently, I've been a lot into reading books written by witty and successful women (as apparently every other young woman on this planet at the moment). I've read the books by Mindy Kaling, Sophia Amoruso, Tina Fey, etc. While I do not think, that those books are pieces of high art, they are often very entertaining and give me some good advice along the way.

So, when I went to the bookstore a while ago (again) and I came across Ellen DeGeneres' "Seriously... I'm Kidding", I could not leave without it. After all, I am a big admirer of Ellen and her bubbly, positive personality. So, I assumed that this book would be one heck of a good laugh.

To make a long story short: I was a tad bit disappointed.
This book does offer some very funny anecdotes and I had to chuckle quite a few times, but sadly it was not as funny as I had expected. She uses a lot of enumerations to make a point and tends to stray off course quite a lot. While for a lot of people, this might be charming and fun to read, I prefer it, when people get to the point of the story. That's why I was not a big fan of  "The Longest Chapter".
A lot of parts of this book were predictable as well as repetitive.

However, this does not mean, that I did not enjoy reading it.
First of all, the chapters were quite short, so it was a very easy and quick read; perfect for travels or if you want to do a bit of reading before going to sleep. 
As I already said, books like this are not very complex pieces of literature, but what I really enjoyed about this one, is  the fact that Ellen DeGeneres is just as laid-back and easy-breezy in her writing as on her show. It feels as if she was sitting right in front of you and telling you all of her little stories. 
Man, I'd love to listen to that audiobook! Also, it is very refreshing to have someone, who can make a joke without being insulting or offensive.

So far, I'd say, that Mindy Kaling's "Is everyone hanging out wthout me?" is my favourite of the bunch so far, with Tina Fey's "Bossypants" as a runner-up (still have to reas "Yes, please" by Amy Poehler). While Ellen DeGeneres' book is a bit weaker, I'd still recommend it to anyone, who enjoys some lightheartedness and is in need of a good laugh.