Just blogging, Society

What does freedom even mean?

A few weeks ago, I went to an event for personal development. It was fun and got to know a few interesting people. Besides, some theories that have to do with personal development can be quite challenging. One that I’ve already mentioned here on the blog is the concept that a positive mindset can and will change everything. According to that idea, you are the creator of your reality because you can controll how your mind works. For example you can complain about a shitty party and regret having paid way too much to get in there and for the disgusting booze they serve, or you can choose to make the best out of it and decide to have an awesome time. Tbh, I have no clue how you can decide to have an awesome time if everything around you is awful, but I guess that’s just my underdevelopped personality speaking.
Now to sum up what I wrote in that other blogpost, I do think that a positive attitude is definitely helpful, but in my opinion that alone won’t help much.

Related to the the concept of being in control of your fate by choosing a positive mindset is the concept of freedom. The opposite of that are limiting beliefs – meaning stuff that’s based on personal assumptions. For example saying things like “I can’t just go talk to that person.”, “Bungee jumping is too dangerous.”, “Sharks are evil.”… would fall into the category of limiting beliefs. So in that logic, if you free yourself from your own limiting beliefs, then you’re free to do whatever you want. Which leads me to a conversation I had this afternoon.

As much as I appreciate and also encourage personal growth, some of the personal development theories slightly make me think of cults. When you hear stuff like “Our fates are just the products of our thinking” and “We are all god-like creatures”, or even “Everything the universe has created is perfect” I can’t help but roll my eyes. I also hate phrases like “I love all creatures”. The person I talked to today claimed he loves Trump, just because he’s human as we all are. Sorry, but this is the dullest, stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Nothing in life is just love and happiness. There has to be some rage, some drama, maybe even a few schemes and feuds. And if it’s just to keep things interesting. If things were supposed to always be brilliant, nothing but peace and happiness, why would anyone love soap operas? Or Gossip Girl. I for one am a big fan. (And let’s be honest, the outfits weren’t THAT great.) – And if there’s some higher power that created humans, I guess it loves soap operas as well. Think of all the drama, wars, sex, crime, whatever we have on earth. And then imagine being able to get a private closeup to every single scene, like a VIP access. Who needs VR if you can have omnipresence?

Equally weird as the phrases I mentioned above is the belief that we’re absolutely free when in comes to the decisions we make. If we’re honest, can anyone experience absolute freedom? In my opinion, the answer to that question is a clear and resounding no. And the main reason is that we’re human beings, which means that we actually need the contact to others to stay alive. More, being in a relationship, being in love is like a drug, we’re nothing but little junkies getting high on our daily interactions. So of course, all of our conventions, all of our values are pretty much based on how each inviduum is acting within a group. And honestly, I don’t believe people who say that they don’t care about what others think of them. Maybe they don’t care about a certain group. I for example couldn’t care less about what people in a karaoke bar think of me (my poor friends can confirm). But then there are numerous situations where I actually do care and where I’ll probably be more likely to “play by the rules”, meaning and stick to social conventions, even if it’s just a facade. Like a little white lie.

Besides, did you know that keeping up the social charade where you don’t always speak your mind is actually is proof of good taste? A few centuries ago, this was described as decorum, or in another word, etiquette. And it wasn’t just used to make living and interacting with other humans easier. One could also use it strategically by wisely choosing what to say to whom. When I think of decorum, I always think of Cersei. (Side note: Why do people hate her? I honestly don’t get it.)

But are you truly free if your entire behavior only shows certain aspects of you? I don’t think so. And before you’re pronouncing that outcry I’ve already heard so many times, before you say, “Oh no, I’m always authentic!” or “I would never manipulate people that way!”, go ask yourself: Have you ever omitted an information just because you were embarrassed? Have you ever complimented someone on a new haircut that, in fact, was butt ugly? Have you ever cancelled a date or a party under some dumb pretext just because you preferred staying home with your cat instead of being social? Or have you ever called in sick at work when the only issue you had was a slight hangover paired with a massive feeling of laziness? (Just for the record, I would count massive hangovers as sick, I mean they’re just a version food poisoning.) Or have ever you worried about the neighbors or roommates being able to hear the noise of you while being with your significant other? If at least one of these scenarios is familar to, I welcome you to the world of everyday manipulation. And for every lie we tell, we give up a little amount of freedom, even if it’s nothing but the brain space which is used to remember which lie we told whom. But we’re social beings. If we would have to choose between absolute freedom aka no social conventions, just brutal honesty on one hand, and a healthy social life on the other, I’m pretty sure we would always choose the latter. So instead of telling your friend to get a life because s.he’s been annoying you with boring stories about her.his non-existing love life, you sit patiently, thinking about all the other possibilities how you could have spent your afternoon instead of listening to that crap, mourning the fact that you decided to be a good friend who’s there for the other, but already plotting your revenge – the moment when you need a catsitter, well knowing that your cat’s an asshole – but of course, not mentioning any of this because after all, you really really want to be a good friend, even if it means being in pain for a few moments. And since you’re such a good friend, you of course brought some wine to cheer your friend up, completly ignoring the fact that you’re the one drinking all of it, because your suffering in this exact moment is muuuuuch bigger.

Now one could argue that being free doesn’t mean not taking responsability for your actions, and I totally agree. But the thing is that the functioning on our socitey is mostly based on some sort of compromise, even if it’s a compromise we maybe wouldn’t make if our social standing wasn’t endangered if we didn’t play along. Besides, since we’re not even fully aware how conventions may or may not impact us, the idea of doing something just because you think it may be your personal preference is totally fake. Take shaving for example. Is it really a choice that you fully make on your own, or does shaving or not-shaving always include a message you want to send? Either way, it automatically includes other people. That in my opinion, has nothing to do with freedom.

And I won’t even get to the point where I explain that freedom, no matter if real or fake, is just momentarily. No one can ever claim it for forever. Other people can take way too much of control over your life, may it be by hiearchy, family status, or by holding you hostage. So saying that everyone is free in their actions is total BS. Maybe next time, I’ll ask one of the you-have-the-power-to-create-your-own-destiny-people what their opinion on prostitution is. Or if there’s an age threshold to pass in order to have the power of creating your destiny. I’m thinking of human trafficking and child abuse here. Are the victims free to choose their destiny? Or, referring to my previous blogpost here, did they have it coming because of their shitty mindset?
But also, just living in a normal household and having a curfew kinda limits your freedom.

But even if we don’t concentrate on the importance other people have on our freedom, we ourselves are not free. Our biological needs prevent that. If I want to go on a 60-days-hike, start just like that, not bring any water or food, well, I won’t be able to. I’ll die instead. If I have everything, even in abundance, just except human contact, I’ll die. Humans are not supernatural, god-like beings. We simply can’t do whatever pleases us just because. We would have to bring a suitcase for example. But that would be a compromise, since it would be hindering while moving around for example.
We’re not totally free.

So to answer to the question I raised in the hedline: Freedom is nothing but an idea. There’s no total freedom. For everything we do, every decision we make, there’s a price to pay. One could even go as far and say everything in life is a transaction. (Maybe I’ll get to that in another blogpost.) I know, it sounds depressing. But freedom is a concept created by humans, as is society. So it’s not really surprising that it’s flawed, is it?

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Just blogging

Do you attract what you deserve?

Around two months ago, I went to see a life coach. I know, that’s probably one of the most pretentious things one could say – and I have to admit that I took great pleasure in talking about it, just because it’s sounds so decadent. I went to see him more or less by accident, I was just looking for a therapist and he seemed to be the most popular one. Something I didn’t think about at the time is that since it’s not High School, it’s more important to find a therapist that’s competent rather than popular, but that’s a different story.

But no matter what I think of him, he made some points that were quite interesting. One for example, that there’s no such thing as coincidence. At first, I was like “Ok, whatever, who cares”, especially because he gave this tired example of a butterfly that creates a tsunami with a flap of its wings. Sure, why not, if you want to believe in this kind of stuff. I mean if it were true, wouldn’t it be an eternal loop of tsunamis? There’s always a butterfly somewhere and I highly doubt that they’re choosing to walk because they don’t want to hurt the poor human kind and because they’re aware of the disastrous power of their devilish wings. On the other hand, now that I’m writing this, the movie The Mothman Prophecies makes total sense in the way that moths/ butterflies are superior to us. It’s been a while that I’ve seen the movie, so this summary is probably far from accurate. Also, sorry for going off topic once again.

Anyway, where was I? Coincidences. Yeah, apparently, they don’t exist. So the idea here is that once you put your mind to something, everything will align. Meaning that if bad things keep happening to you, it’s because you don’t have the right, positive attitude.

My two-sessions-life-coach also said that the universe takes care of things and told me that he “outsources” certain tasks to the universe every morning. Like, I need a new apartment, take care of it.

The universe part definitely does sound ridiculous, but I guess the general idea is that you don’t have to shoulder a difficult task on your own. So it’s just a different form of religion. Plus, if you believe that everything will be fine eventually, you’ll probably work towards that outcome subconsciously.

The funny thing is, since I heard these statement, I started to notice more and more things happening that were in alignment with the stuff I was working on or hoping for. Though it was nothing major so far, just a few occasions. For example, I feel like I’m slowly meeting more like-minded people. But I guess that’s rather because I’m trying to make new connections, outside of my usual crowd where it’s always the same people and always the same things. Which would bring me back to (subcosciously) working towards your goal.

But something I find truly surprising is when I hear about other people’s experiences, especially when it’s about their interactions with others. Personally, I’ve only met very few assholes in my life. Of course, it would have been much nicer if I hadn’t met them, but in the end, it doesn’t matter who crosses your path, there’s always something you can learn from them. And again, I was lucky with the small number of dickheads I had in my life. In contrast to that, one of my coworkers seems to have had her share of unpleasant encounters. But at the same time, her attitude in general isn’t great either, at least in my opinion. And I can observe the same thing in my family: those with a negative mindset seem to attract more shit than those who think positive. Or is it just that they only talk about the annoying/exhausting/chaotic things in their lives instead of focussing on what’s good?

Since the beginning of this month, I’m doing a gratefulness challenge. Everyday, I have to write down a couple of things I’m grateful for. I’ve already had some time to think about what it means to be grateful because earlier this year, I tried a meditation app where one of the topics was being grateful. Back then, my first reaction was a rather cynical one. It’s kinda hard to feel grateful when you rather adhere to a life-is-pain-philosphy. Thinking of stuff I could be grateful for didn’t lift me up, it actually made me spiral even more. I then decided that meditation isn’t for me, especially because I find people who are always zen kinda dull. I prefer outbursts of emotion, even if that’s not always the smartest or most constructive way to go. But at least it’s honest. Anyway, writing down the things I usually don’t really think about, like having two legs that work pretty well, having all of my limbs and organs for that matter; having a place to live, some money etc. has definitely helped me to realize how much we take for granted. Weirdly, I also feel more confident.

Nevertheless, I don’t believe that the mind controls all and that a positive attitude will get you anywhere. That would be like saying that if you’ve been struck by lightning, it’s probably because your mind wasn’t in the right place. The whole approach of letting positive thinking guide you and everything will work out is downright arrogant. But it’s a great way to sell books and seminars and whatnot. Because who wouldn’t want to believe that they already have the tools for a fulfilled and happy life, they just need to be uncovered!

Anyway, I do think life is easier with a positive approach. Besides, it’s more likely that people will help you out in difficult situations if you don’t act like Ebenezer Scrooge.

On that note, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

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Mental Health

When it comes to my body…

Today, I posted quite the revealing pic of me on insta. 
Though revealing is quite an exaggeration. All you can see are my abs, basically. But I’m not on a beach and I’m not wearing a swimsuit, so I guess the character of the photo is a little different from candid snapshots taken on vacation. Except, I’m not even sure. 

As I said, one could probably say that my photo seems like something very private, just judging by the fact that it was taken at home and not in a public place. But in contrast to that, it’s actually quite innocent. I mean even the lingerie I’m wearing consists of much more fabric than any random bikini. And still, I really hesitated and wasn’t sure whether I should post it or not. Tbh, I still don’t know if it was a good idea. 

But the more I thought about my doubts, the more I thought that I would have to post it. Just because I’m so tired of the double standard regarding male and female bodies. There are tons of accounts on insta that are dedicated to hot, bare-chested dudes. There are no less accounts that show women and their best ass-ets (couldn’t resist). But the difference is in the comments. As I mentioned in my last post, I looooove reading comment sections. And I can’t remember the last time I read any negative comment about some Abercrombie model flexing his abs. However, when I look at the comment section of a post showing a women displaying more or less the same amount of nudity, I can often find at least one that’s at least somewhat deregatory. Even, or maybe especially when it’s just emojis, you know eggplants and stuff.

Obviously, that’s neither the type of comments, nor the kind of audience I want to attract. And if I was queen of the world, I would ban those creeps to some far away planet where their skin would melt the minute they sat foot on it. But since I’m not in that position, I’m constantly second-guessing what I should and shouldn’t post on social media. Even if the content is actually harmless like my abs. 

It’s not the first time that I have these thoughts. A while back, I did a bunch of boudoir photoshoots (they’re the easiest to get if you’re looking for TFP or even paid photoshoots). I was very happy with the pictures. They were very tasteful and I actually loved how I looked in them. And I’m my own worst critic, so this means a lot. However, I never dared showing them to anyone but very few people. After all, these were pictures of me in lingerie, what kind of image would that create?

In an ideal world, people would recognize these pictures as what they are: A capture of someone who feels comfortable in their body. But in our world, we have eggplant emojis. And that’s why I never really showed these photos to anyone. 

But I’m sick of this BS. There are enough moments where I hate the way I look. So if there are days where I’m proud of body, I want and should be able to share that. Especially in 2018. Besides, I want women to finally feel comfortable expressing themselves in any way possible. That may or may not include corporeality. And even if I’m a big fan of aesthetics, I also know that it may not always be pretty – #tweetyourperiod – but it’s controversy and not consensus that helps you evolve. Why else would it be that in history, new forms of art were at first dismissed as dilettantism? 

Btw, I’ve noticed that it’s only the people with a very low self-esteem that who will attack others, verbally or even physically. But I guess that’s a different topic which I will maybe discuss to some extent in an upcoming blogpost.

But to sum up this article, I definitely agree with Emily Ratajkowski. If someone wants to get naked, let them, Don’t be a dick about it, don’t body shame them. And don’t make assumptions about their moral standards. 

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Just blogging, Lifestyle

Moving and commuting

Lost time is never found again.

Benjamin Franklin

This week has been exhausting. Since I moved to Cologne, I roughly spend 3 hours of my day commuting. One reason is that my university and my friends are in Bonn, a town which is quite nearby, but if you don’t have a car (or a license) not exactly around the corner. Another is that my current workplaces are in Bonn as well. Since you probably don’t know the story: This summer, I started looking for a new place in Bonn, for personal reasons. I was rather optimistic and thought that one or two months should largely suffice to find a place, but it turned out to be more complicated than that. Tbh, the housing situation in Bonn is just crazy and people are clearly taking advantage of it. The amount of crappy shithole apartments people try to rent to you is insane. And so after I’ve annoyed everyone in my circle with my rants about how shitty the situation is, I realized, that I shouldn’t just concentrate on the area close by, but also consider other places. Besides, I haven’t exactly felt at home since I came back to Bonn – it’s quite provinical and I’ve always preferred cities to small towns. And even though Cologne is not exactly a metropolis either, it’s at least Germany’s fourth largest city. But more importantly, there’s stuff happening here! On my first weekend, I’ve already done more interesting stuff than I would have done in two months in Bonn. I went to series of talks, met up with a stranger, went to the Christmas market, checked out some art. I feel like Cologne is a city where I could actually see myself staying for more than just a couple of months. (To give you an idea, within the last ten years, I’ve moved exactly 10 times.) Besides, my new roommates are pretty dope. In short, I’m quite happy here. But of course, it would be too easy if that was all. 

So at the same time I was looking for apartments, I also had to get a new job. (The one I had before was on a fixed-term contract.) I was lucky. Instead of just one, I got two part time jobs, which I’m both currently doing. The only inconvenience is that not only they’re both in two different places, but also both in Bonn, which brings be back to the beginning of this post. In addition to that, I’m house- and catsitting at the moment, for a lady who has cancer. This one is in Cologne, but at the other end of the city.

Therefore, I’m constantly traveling back and forth from one of the apartments to one of the workplaces and also in between. And as you can imagine, it’s very time-consuming and also very exhausting. And especially this week, it’s gotten to a point where I felt that people would just randomly claim my time, without considering what a change of schedule could mean for me, how much planning ahead, and how much time lost it would be in the end. But fact is, it’s been three weeks it’s been like that. And since most of it is related to work, it makes me feel like I’m a slave to others, without a having a say on how I to use my time. Instead of being able to plan and take time for things that are important to me, I’m now always in reaction mode. It’s just exhausting and innecessarily time-consuming. And I can actually feel how it takes away from my quality of sleep and my general well-being. 

Now I know that my complaining comes from a place of privilege. I mean, at least I do have a job and a place to live, right? But the thing that really annoys me is that I’m not using all my capacities the right way and that I’m not reaching my full potential. I could and want to do so much more. And being in this situation where there’s basically no time for myself left just sucks. The only comfort right now is that everything about my current situation – or let’s say my jobs – is just temporary. I guess in the meanwhile, all I can do is to pack good books. 

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Mental Health

Feeling fat and thin privilege

Did I ever mention that I love instagram? 😀 Well today, I came across a post of a fat girl eating chocolate (I think I can say that here, since she refers to herself as fat. Otherwhise I wouldn’t.) In her post, it said that “Fat is not a feeling, but an oppressed body type” and in the caption she went on describing how hurt she felt when some girl at Starbucks said she felt fat and that someone thin of course doesn’t know the “discrimination that comes from living in a fat body.” 

Of course, I had to check the comment section ( I LOOOVE comment sections) and found a comment which read “Thin privilege is real and those who have it need to be made aware.”

Sorry, but wtf?????  

First of all, thin privilege? I guess this statement adresses people who are not overweight, which probably is a majority of people. What does thin privilege even mean, seriously? That people won’t make assumptions about your health because of your weight? That maybe it’ll be easier for you to get matches on Tinder? Or that a company won’t have to make calculations on how many days you’ll be out of office because of problems that are linked to your weight? Tbh, I’ve never heard of “thin privilege” before. Tbh, I didn’t do any research on this either, this blogpost is just me reacting on a post I saw on insta, so I’m just writing down my initial thoughts. But it pretty much sounds like an overweight person complaining about not being thin. And in my opinion, there’s no point in doing so, it’s not like you can’t change your appearance.

Anyone can gain our loose weight, it just comes down to nutrition and exercise – and maybe some willpwer. (Except maybe if you have some serious diseases, like a thyroid malfunction.) 

Btw, the account I’m talking about shows nothing but an overweight girl eating food and bitching about discrimination. And I get it, it’s a pretty shitty move of people to think they have a say on what you should and shouldn’t look like. As I’ve mentioned in former blogposts, I’ve had the experience.
My family, people at school, boyfriends, photographers, strangers on the street, pretty much everyone has felt the need to share their opinion about my weight with me, as if it was any of their business. Or as if my job on earth only consisted in pleasing them.  I guess what I’m saying is that as long as you’re happy with yourself and the way you lok like, then there are no fucks to be given on other people’S opinions. However, if you’re using social media to passive-aggressively release your anger, then you might wanna change a thing or two about your lifestyle. 

No one is slave to their body. So saying stuff like “living in a fat body” as if you were trapped in it and couldn’t do anything about it is not a thing, or should I say excuse? It’s also not a reason to skinny-shame average-weight people. And of course. there are differend shapes and bodytypes. But morbidly obese is not a body type. 

Your body is there to support you and help you through  life. It allows you to move and do stuff. It’s the only ally that will sure stick with you your entire life. Therefore, treat it with respect and take good care of it. That’s all it’s gonna ask in return. And it has its way of showing you when you fucked up, if it’s your skin, your weight, or your health. So you might as well take it seriously.

And instead of finding excuses for being fat, maybe start working on reasons that hold you back from getting fit. 

PS: Feeling fat is a thing. Just to clarify, and I don’t care if anyone gets offended or not, it’s the feeling that you get when you were eating for three and you’re well aware of it/ can feel your jeans getting tighter already.



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