Weekly Diary

Weekly diary #2

Posessed kids and creepy dreams..

Monday, August 20

Shit, shit shit, I can’t believe I overslept! It’s 9:30am, I should’ve been at work over an hour ago! I have to stop turning off my alarm in my sleep. But then I also should stop calling vodka my best friend, because that’s the real reason I overslept.
Fortunately, it wasn’t a big deal, fortunately. Everyone was happy I showed up after all.

Tuesday, August 21 

Dear Cat,

today was a normal workday. I fortunately arrived on time this morning (I was really freaking out about switching off my alarm again). But it’s not even been really busy. So I’m starting to learn how to do the medical screenings, which means that I’m basically just sheepishly standing around while others do their job. Btw, this job has helped me so much with not being afraid of awkwardness. Most of the time, I actually just or sit somewhere, not doing anything useful (because I’m still new at this, of course). And it doesn’t even bother me. I hope this not-bothering-me will help me a lot when I become a journalist.
So today, we did a screening of a 4yo kid. One part of the screening is having them draw stuff, in this case a human being. Then we count how many body parts the kid has drawn and evaluate its intelligence based on that. (Imo, that’s total bs. Most of the kids are just annoyed by having to spend time at the doctor’s. Of course they’re not going to draw anything – they wanna get out of there!) The kid we saw today drew a perfect Tim Burton figure. It looked super strange and almost as if she was possessed. In fact, instead of a human, she drew a little demon there. I absolutely loved it! And even though she didn’t draw feet or a neck, she passed the test. I think she should go to art school.

Wednesday, August 22

Dear Cat,

tonight, I had the weirdest dream. It was finally one of my consecutive dreams, which I always find very entertaining. They’re like mini-series of (sometimes creepy) nonsense. So tonight, was the third episode of a dream where I’m in the main building of my university, but it looks much more mysterious and more like a castle than irl. (Even the real one is quite castle-y.) And so I found this floor which is actually a cul-de-sac, but it has a women’s restroom (which isn’t labelled as such tho). With me are the Kardashians, at least Kim, Kourtney and Khloé, and Kourtney has her daughter Penelope with her. While we’re in the castle, there’s a huge medieval fight going on. It’s like a slaughterhouse in there and so obviously, we try to get out of there without being seen. Also with us is a character that looks like The Hound from GoT. He’s wearing the same kind of armour and is probably twice my height. In addition to his sword, he also uses a huge iron belt to smash people’s heads.
So we make our way through the castle, but when we get to the cul-de-sac, Kourtney suddenly stops because Penelope has to pee. So Kourtney and her wanna stop to use the “secret” ladie’s room. And I’m thinking something like: “Well then they might get trapped and if we continue our path, we probably won’t be able to help them.” But since I’m (subtle brag right here) ALWAYS lucid dreaming, my conscious me is telling me “No, we can deal with a being-trapped-situation later. Let’s see what happens next, first.” And so my dream-me is like “OK, go ahead, you’ll catch up with us.”, then turns around to The Hound and we’re leaving, still trying to get out of the castle as fast as possible. We make it to the gardens. And Kourtney and Penelope even manage to meet us there. However, they didn’t notice that they were followed and soon, we have an entire army of scary folks around us. Of course, The Hound is trying to protect us, but someone of the evil army grabs his iron belt from him, using it to tie him against a fence. And since I was trying to hide behind The Hound, I indirectly get tied to the fence as well, unable to move.
Again, it’s a war situation.  So the scary dude uses the situation to smack The Hound’s  head, over and over again. Blood is everywhere, quite a lot dropping on me as well. The Hound finnally breaks down and I’m thinking “OK, now it’s probably my turn to die.”. But then the scary dude abruptly stops and tells me I’m free to go, because his folks treat women right.
End of dream.

I wake up the second it was over. It was only the second dream I had in my entire entire life, where someone actually died in front of me. (I had only one other where the feeling of being helpless was stressed that much. That other dream was of a terrorist bus kidnap where I was on the bus as well. The terrorists would then scalp otheres alive.)

Yeah, most of my dreams are pretty dark. Maybe part of the reason is that I used to live next to a graveyard when I was a kid. We were so close, I could hear the sound of the bone mill.

Thursday, August 23

Dear Cat,

today, I took this quiz on Buzzfeed that told me if I’m gonna get rich based on which eye shadow palette I choose. I love money and I love eye shadow, that quiz was made for me! In my first round, my result was “You’re going to be filthy rich”. (I hope that’s true!) This was the result when I clicked on the palettes that mostly included nude tones. I then took the quiz again, this time choosing more colorful palettes. And my new result was “You have zero dollars”. Which is accurate bc I live in the EU, but I still prefer “filthy rich. So obviously, it’s the colors that make you be successful or not. I mean think of Kim Kardashian and the eye shadow she’s wearing. Have you ever seen her wearing any flashy colors (except maybe blue)? Exactly, you haven’t. Kim chooses nude colors. So the  lesson I learned from this: Nudes will boost your career!

Friday, August 24

Dear Cat,

today has been a normal work day, nothing special. Tonight, we had an open house, but it was really quick. I’m just hanging out since, watching Bachelor in Paradise. Is it normal that I’m that obsessed with this show? I got beyond excited when I saw who’s going to be in Paradise this year, it’s crazy. And I’d actually love to be friends with some of them. I’m a huuuge fan of Jordan, I think he’s extremely funny. And I’d love to meet Benoît who seems super sweet. I think I’d really get along with Ashley I. and Corinne – of course! –  who were in the former seasons. (And I’d totally date Thomas from the Bachelorette Canada where Jasmine was the Bachelorette. Still don’t understand why she let him go.)

Saturday, August 25

Dear Cat,

today was shit. I didn’t follow the at-least-2-real-meals-plan my therapist gave me. I made it a 0-real-meal-plan instead. The problem probably was that I didn’t work out. When I work out, my mood is so much better. But right now, all I wanna do is write and feel this gigantic pit inside of me, like if all of my organs were squished together, leaving nothing but a paper thin surface. Also, why can’t humans function like plants? I wouldn’t have any of this trouble if our existence was build on sunlight and water.

I’ll still use this day and do something useful. So I asked a friend if he’d agree to take some photos and he said yes. So in order to find a good location, I had a great walk through the city. There are so many cool places, I’m pretty excited! Plus, I saw a few items I really loved at H&M (seriously, they should sponsor me! I usually wear nothing but H&M). So I think the shoot will be pretty great and I’m really looking forward to it.

I also discovered a new series, or should I say documentary? It’s pretty cool. In case you wanna check it out, it’s called Hollywood Love Story.

Sunday, August, 26

Today is weird. I feel totally empty (haha guess why *eyeroll*), but not only physically, but also emotionally. My brain feels like mush, it seems like I’m not even able to have a single normal thought. Which is kinda nice, it’s like instead of noise, there’s a moment of silence. Maybe that’s why I’m mia, bc it always has that effect on me – a moment of total silence in my head. It feels like I’m floating in an eternal cloud of nothingness. And even though I’m no use for anything today, thinking and feeling absolutely nothing feels kinda good.

Later today: Watching some more Hollywood Love Story. Damn, this is addictive! And kinda saddening. I know I’m sounding super cheesy right now, but everyone who’s interviewed in this documentary seems almost innocent. And then you see them confronted with all the struggles they have to face while trying to make it in the entertainment industry. Some of them are (former) sex workers and I’m super impressed by their attitudes. That reminds me of a tweet I saw earlier this month. It was about the ban on certain sex acts in British porn. Btw, they banned female ejaculation. Like wtf Britain???? Anyway, it was the smartest 280 characters ever, I should it saved it somehow. Anyway, I’ve read so many blogposts and articles, listened to podcasts all published by sex workers and every time, I just think they’re the smartest people with incredible emotional intelligence.

Somehow, I’m just thinking of one of my teachers. He was my English teacher and a pretty cool guy, one of my favorite teachers. Though, he was the type of person you either love or hate. A few of my classmate’s parents were teachers as well, at the same school, and so there were a few rumors about all the teacher’s private life. If you can trust the rumors, my favorite English teacher was a part time photographer and loved to take nudes. I remember that everyone was at least a little outraged by that, but I never got why. So he likes to shoot nudes, so what?? Especially because he was never, never inappropiate in any way at school (I also think that he must’ve been fun to work with). Let people be freaks, dammit!

 

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Lifestyle

Are you spontaneous?

I’m sure many of you have heard that question. Are you spontaneous?

Normally, that’s a question everyone would love to answer with a big YES!, capital letters, exclamation point. I mean why wouldn’t you? Being spontaneous rhymes with being easygoing, adventurous, fun and exciting. It probably also rhymes with being really good in bed. Girls who are down to improvise a camping trip to some place where only the stars are watching you. So who wouldn’t want to be spontaneous?

I told you that I do the whole online dating thing. (Spoiler alert, it’s the worst idea ever, but at least, it gives me something to write about.) And so guys asking me about how spontaneous I am is probably one of the most frequently asked questions. And it sounds like a normal question, right? Well, that’s what I naively thought too, until I realized that the typical time frame for that question was around midnight. Aka thirsty dudes looking for booty calls, not putting in any effort.

And so it made me wonder: What does being spontaneous even mean? I mean of course I’m not going to go out of my way and meet some random guy in the middle of the night, not even if I actually have nothing better to do. But still, I strongly believe that there are acceptable times for a first date and that a first date should never begin at midnight, period. Besides, there’s Netflix. So the entertainment that awaits me instead should be pretty awesome, but what are the chances? I largely prefer spending an hour or even two meeting someone in the early evening and then forget all about it while I drink tons of white wine and rewatch Sex and the City for the umpteenth time than having my entire night ripped away. Of course, there’s nothing that should prevent anyone to meet up with the crush of their life at no matter what time of the day or night. But what are the chances? In my experience, it’s mostly the thirsty dudes that want you to come over in the middle of the night – like a prostitute who doesn’t take money. Or at the very best, a girl who doesn’t have a life but waits for some dude to make her day/night.

So my answer to the spontaneity question? Mostly yes and no. I love to be spontaneous when I’m already with a person, meaning when I have already scheduled some time for them. But I would never abandon my plans just to meet up with someone who sends me a lazy message. Not even if my only plan for the night is to Keep Up With The Kardashians. That’s why I usually answer the spontaneity question with ‘No, I’m a stuck up bitch.’

 

PS: Google suggests fun stuff for spontaneity. Apparently, people who are spontaneous love the outdoors and have a healthy heart.

 

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Mental Health

Ana and Mia

This is probably the hardest post to write. Not only because it’s super personal and kinda heavy, but also because it’s much easier to write about stuff that’s in the past and that doesn’t still affect me. And yet, I wanted to write about this for such a long time, now. Partly because I think that it’ll create a new incentive for me to get better, partly because I think there’s still a stigma around eating disorders and mental health which prevents people to talk about it. In case you didn’t guess it from the title, this post is about my struggle with anorexia and bulimia.

I don’t really know where to begin and this will probably be the most unstructured post you’ve ever seen. I also don’t have any special advice, since I’m still trying to figure things out for myself. (And also, have you ever met someone who actually follows their own advice?)

So why am I posting this now?
To be completely honest, I’m writing this today because I just had an episode. And after 14 years of having eating disorders, it’s just annoying to be some tragic figure who doesn’t find a way out of her dilemma. It’s pathetic. And I feel weak and disgustung.

(If you’re reading this because you’re affected, please don’t take this or anything I’m going to say as a judgement on your condition. I’m just talking about my personal feelings, I’m not judging anyone.)

A psychologist once told me I should consider my eating disorder a disease. Well, I have difficulties doing that, since I feel like it’s in my control to give in or not and that I should be better than that. Except that I’m not. So I have no idea what to do with that information. Besides, it’s been such a long time that I’m dealing with that issue, it’s been more than 14 years.

I remember that when I was 7yo, I already wasn’t happy the way I looked. When I compared myself to my classmates, I found them much prettier. They weren’t as freakishly tall as I was. They also seemed to be more athletic and have nicer features in general. (Btw, this all was way before social media.) I never was the athletic type and since I scrutinized my body in the mirror every night, I noticed that I had ceelulite at a very early age. Sounds unreal, right? However, the dimples I discovered in my butt cheeks back then are still there. After that, my New Year’s Resolution would be to loose weight. However, I never succeeded. I mean, I was a kid and didn’t know shit about nutrition or dieting. And even though I’ve always been physically active, I never got ripped. Instead, I got some very unpleasant memories from when I tried out athletic sports and failed tremendously.

But then, right before my 15th birthday, my family and I made a trip to Italy. I remember flipping through a magazine and reading about this new trend called ‘Homeless Chic’. And apparently Mary-Kate Olsen incorporated it the best way possible. On the drive to Italy, I was reading a fashion magazine and still remember the exact picture, it was Gemma Ward wearing a ripped pullover from Dior. Next to her, Mariacarla Boscono in a similar outift. That day, I decided (!) that after the trip to Italy and all the pasta and pizza, I’d be anorexic.

Now people who say it was the magazine fault, stfu. In fact, do you remember that scene in SATC where Charlotte says that she can’t look at a magazine cover without thinking about her thighs? I absolutely hated it. Of course, the way how we see beauty is influenced by fashion mags and now, social media, but if a photo has that much power over you, there are probably some deeper issues.

In my case, it was the fact that I never felt beautiful or even appreciated. My father told me that he disliked the way I looked and also never took any interest in me, at least not as his child. He also let me know that he thought of me as lazy when I didn’t wanna do my homework or when I came home with a grade that was not brilliant. As for my mom, I could feel her disappointment when it became clear that I’d never be an athlete, nor good at science, especially maths. (She used to excel in both.) And her trying make me become better actually felt more like harrassment than encouragement. In addition to that, my family never had a normal way around eating and I can’t think of a single meal that wasn’t stressful in a way or another. According to what my mom has told me, I had a phase where I refused to eat when I was 3yo and since then, everyone in my family made sure that I ate enough, to the point that I was forced to empty my plate. And if all that wasn’t enough, let’s throw in the snide remarks my parents would make about my friend’s looks, some bullying at school, and a predisposition for depression that seems to run in my family.

I kept the promise I’d made to myself. When I turned 15, I weighed around 53kg (117lbs) for 1,79m (5’11”). A few months later, I went down to 46kg (101lbs), then 43kg (95lbs). One day, at a doctor’s appointment, my doctor pointed out that my state of health was pretty critical. That was when I was 16. The word she used was pathological. Yet, I never went to see a professional. I only had to go to a clinic where they did a couple of blood tests and then told me that my liver values were shit. But that was pretty much it. I never had anyone help me with a recovery plan or anything.

However, after this, I put on weight pretty quickly. I kinda happened automatically after I heard that my father was worried. This detail really annoys me up to this day. Daddy issues defining my life. Classic. And again, pathetic.

When I turned 17, my weight was up to 63kg (139lbs). Side note, the highest my weight had been before was 59kg (130lbs). And that was at a time when my mom let me know that my ass was getting huge and that a classmate said about me that he’d only consider dating me if I’d loose like 20kg (44lbs). In other words, I hated how I looked in that year. My face was puffy, everything felt huge, I didn’t feel like myself at all. So I slowly started loosing weight again, but still wasn’t happy with how I looked. Besides, shopping for jeans was a nightmare that time, my waist size being 30.

And then, I moved to Paris.

Didn’t know anyone there and later went through two rather difficult relationships. It didn’t take long until I was down to 46kg again. My mom came to see me and started to cry, which I found pretty annoying. I don’t know what made me gain weight after that, but slowly, I did and have maintained a weight of 57kg (125lbs), even though not always in a healthy way.

I still haven’t established a normal attitude towards eating yet, and probably never will, at least not completely. I’ve been in therapy a couple of times, not sure if it really helped. However, the number of bulimic episodes has decreased from 5 times a day to around twice a month. That’s at least something. My major motivation right now are my teeth. I know, it sounds sad, but I kinda stopped caring about other people’s feelings and opinions on what I should and shouldn’t do. (Probably because my parents did a great job at ignoring what was going on and especially after I had a friend tell me that the way I looked made her feel uncomfortable.) So yes, it’s about my teeth. Because even though they’re already paperthin, I would like to keep them until after I turn 50.

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Society

Dear men…

…this is a post especially for you. Maybe it’ll even help you to step up your dating game.

So I was asked to write about how men should behave. A funny request, because in my opinion, men do know how to behave. It’s the boy who doesn’t know shit. Regardless, while I was thinking about stuff that I could mention in this article, I realized on how many bad dates I’ve been. Seriously every single thing in this list is about something that I’ve experienced, sometimes multiple times. Not only does it makes me question the way those boys were raised, but it’s also very frustrating that in 2018, so many people lack of common sense. So in hopes to make the world a better place, here’s a list of things I wish guys would or would not do. (Btw, if you’re a guy reading this, feel free to write a similar article about girls. I’d be interested in your opinion.)

 

  1. Appearance & hygiene

Call me superficial, but the first thing people will notice about you are your looks. And with that, they will notice if you’re maintaining a proper hygiene. It sounds stupid to even mention it, but since I did have a couple of dates with guys who didn’t give a rat’s ass about hygiene, let me remind you: showering (once a day) and brushing your teeth (at least twice a day) is always in style. Taking care of you is important, not only because it makes you look more attractive and keeps away the nasty bacteria. But it also shows that you’re not neglecting yourself – which means that you know your worth, which means good self-esteem. And guess what’s the sexiest traits of all? Confidence.

And don’t be afraid to come across as too feminine. I know a few guys who are actually really worried about not being manly and therefore, they refuse to use lotion or any kind of self-pampering. But let me tell you this: No girl want to be touched by hands that feel like sandpaper. Keep it smooth! With that being said, also pay attention to how your fingers and nails look. Edward Scissorhands may give some sort of sexy vibe in the movie, but imagining having hands like these inside of me? Ouch. And do you remember the scene on GoT, where Theon gets his hands into Yara’s pants? Have you seen his fingers? That’s an infection going to happen right there. Needless to say that nothing kills the mood like thinking about scheduling an urgent gyno appointment the next morning. Therefore guys, please keep things nice and fresh, not only your hands.

I’m a big fan of lotion and smooth skin. Hence my advice: Invest in good skincare products – especially (!) if you’re struggling with acne or sensitive skin. Unaccordingly to what some men seem to believe, those things won’t disappear overnight (or ever) if you’re not treating your skin correctly. Also maybe rethink your diet. Food allergies or an unbalanced diet can have some pretty rough consequences on your skin, maybe it’s time for some culinary variation.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of the right scent. Personally, I strongly believe that the perfume you’re wearing is part of your outfit and also part of you. Scents can leave such a strong impression and emotional response, it’s no wonder that stores use vanilla to make their customers spend more time inside. So, find the right scent for you. Ideally, it underlines your character and leaves a strong and positive impression. I’m speaking of an actual fragrance here, not just that AXE deo that billions of other people use as well. I’m speaking of Armani, Burberry, Dior, Tom Ford. And yes, they are a little pricier than the stuff you find at your regular drug store, but once you get to know a thing or two about a good fragrance, you’ll see it’s definitely worth it.

Find a haircut that compliments your face and a hair color that goes well with your complexion. As an online dater, you can’t even imagine how many times I’ve swiped left on someone because of their haircut, even though without considering the hair,  the guy was cute. So why did I swipe left? Well, simply because someone who doesn’t care for their hair/ hasn’t changed their haircut since fifth grade doesn’t exactly give the impression of a worldly, confident man. In contrast to that, a guy with a dope haircut will immediately look sharp and modern. People will probably also think of him as more confident and therefore find him sexier. To put it in a nutshell: Find a great hairdresser and get a haircut that  looks amazing on you! (If you don’t know how to find a good hairdresser or if your mom has cut your hair for the last 20 years, I suggest you go with the salons that are also present at Fashion Week.)

Since I was talking about confidence: Working out is a great way to boost your confidence. And it makes you look good, too! So keep exercising!

 

  1. Personality

Read! More! Than! Fiction!

Especially if everything you’ve read so far has been nothing but SciFi. Not to judge SciFi, but someone who’s able to talk about philosophy, literature, art and culture is hot AF. Imo, non-fictional texts or podcasts should be part of everyone’s daily routine. Also, why doesn’t every guy read GQ? There’s so much good advice in there and it’s not even chauvi anymore. Also, with that being said, don’t be afraid of the words feminism and feminist. Instead, go and do some research and learn why it’s important to women and why it should be important to men as well.

Also, try to surround yourself with people whose opinions are totally different from yours. Not only will that make you grow as a person, create more understanding and eventually have some greater impact that you could have ever imagined, but it’ll also broaden your mind and make you a better conversationalist.

 

  1. Manners

(Everything here is stuff I shouldn’t have to say. However, I’ve experienced every single one of them, some multiple times.)

Develop a feeling for what’s appropriate and what’s not. (Especially, again, ESPECIALLY, if you’re online dating.) Don’t even think of asking your date extremely intimate questions on the first time you meet up. Don’t show up late, drunk or drugged. Also, if you had a change of heart and don’t wanna meet up anymore, let the other person know, even if it’s last minute. It’s called respect. And talking about respect, nothing is as uncool as insulting your date. I’ve had guys saying pretty messed up shit to me or giving me the finger, just because they thought it made them look particularily manly. Well, spoiler alert, it didn’t. Just made them look like total idiots. Besides, why would anyone ever meet up again with some dumb douche who disrespected them? Also remember the key rule: treat everyone the way you want them to treat you. So if you’re nice to your date but an asshole to the waiter/ waitress, you still won’t get laid. Just. Be. Kind.

And last but not least in this section: if you’re the one choosing the place, especially if it’s fancy, be prepared to pay for both, you and your date. (You don’t know anything about the other’s financial situation yet, so you can’t know what would be ok with their budget.) Also, if you’re living in different cities, don’t take it for granted that someone will meet you in your city. No one is too special to meet halfway. Don’t expect your date to do all the traveling.

 

  1. Online dating

Never send unsolicited dick pics. NEVER. Don’t send any sort of unsolicited sexual pics or texts at all. Don’t greet someone by describing what sexual act you’d like to do to them. Shortly, don’t be a perv.

If you don’t know the difference between pervy and sexy, go back to point two and read stuff. Read about sexual harassment and Harvey Weinstein.

And if you have a doubt about whether you should send that text or not, think of how your mom would react.

 

  1. On the date

Apply all of the previous points.

Don’t get wasted, don’t start crying about personal stuff or stuff that’s related to your ex. (Nothing against men who cry, but try to keep the heavy stuff for some other time, like when you know the other person.) Don’t expect your date to come home with you. Also, don’t try to lure your date into coming to your place. That’d make you a perv, you’re better than that. Don’t try to get your date drunk. If they wanna drink, sure, why not. However, keep in mind that drunk people can’t give consent. Also, if your date is drunk af, I’m pretty sure you did not follow all the previous points and they needed the alcohol to make the entire night seem less terrible. Go check again. Oh wait you did check all the boxes and were on your best behavior? Well then your date is probably an alcoholic. Go see someone else.

 

  1. After the date

Send a nice message where you thank the other person for the good time you had. (If the date was terrible, don’t send any text at all, why would you want to continue seeing that person? You can’t and should never be that desperate.) Again, DO NOT SEND UNSOLICITED DICK PICS. Also, don’t invite them to a swinger’s club if they haven’t expressed that desire. And last but not least, if your date decides to ghost you, don’t send hundreds of messages. Don’t stalk them, either. Face the defeat and move on.

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Just blogging

Compassion or self-marketing?

Yesterday, I came across a post on instagram which I found rather particular. It was a repost from a girl battling cancer, prompting others to send prayers. Seems nice, doesn’t it?

The caption said that the two had met two years earlier at an event. It didn’t make it seem like they’re close at all, or even acquainted. Besides, the girl who shot the original photo (I’ll call her Fightergirl) is not following the one who published the repost on instagram (I’ll call the latter Charity). And just another fun fact, Fightergirl – who’s of course tagged in the repost – has a community of almost 300k people, whereas the other account has just about 16k followers. So far, the repost got a little less than 350 likes and 30 comments, half of which are replies reminding people to read the caption. Because most people are just talking about Fightergirl’s outfit. (She does have great style.)

Call it cynicism, but I don’t think Charity’s repost was truly genuine. Let’s assume she did feel inspired and her only intention was to share that feeling as well as to show compassion. She could have done so by leaving a comment on Fightergirl’s page or sending her a DM. But no, she had to post it on her own page. And besides, why wait two years? It actually reminds me of the attention seeking RIP status on Facebook when someone famous dies. Sure, everyone has the right to feel how they feel, but not everything and every emotion has to be shared with everyone.

Of course I don’t know anything about Charity. For all I know she could be an activist who’s dedicating her life to support cancer patients, so I don’t want to discredit her. But it is unfortunate that on her instagram, she’s just picking one person with a large audience to show her ‘support’ to. Btw, I’d love to know what Fightergirl’s reaction was. I bet it was something like “Oh how thoughtful! This girl I saw for a second at that event is using my name and it got even two praying-hand-emojis in the comments! Now that really made my day!”

Ok, I’m done ranting now. So I let Bill sum up what I wanted to say.

Belikebill

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Just blogging

What makes a good story?

This semester, I’m taking part in a photography workshop. And even though the main focus is set on photography, obviously, we’re also doing some exercises to help us become more creative. One of these exercises is writing short stories.

The first one was pretty simple and very very short. All we had to do was sit down somewhere and describe our surroundings. Then, in a second step, we had the task to develop that description and create a short story from it.

Initially, I was super excited about that. Mostly because it gave me a good excuse to go to Starbuck’s and stuff my face with cake. But also because it sounded like a fun thing to do, especially because somehow I always have some fighting couple or gossiping teenagers sitting right next to me. It’s highly entertaining. Btw, I seem to attract crazy people in general and I think (but am not sure) that I already wrote about this a few years ago. But I’ll get back to that in a minute.

This day however, there were no gossiping teenagers and no fighting couples, just boring, normal people and a crying baby. So the transcript of my surroundings was just a bunch of onomatopoeias for the opening/closing door slamming and the coffee machine. Which was totally fine with me. I even thought it had some sort of experimental character to it. But apparently, the teachers hated it, because I didn’t get any feedback (not even bad feedback). Besides, it’s quite difficult to turn “clong” and “crshhhhh” into a short story. So the story I wrote instead was pretty shitty and didn’t have a story line at all. I basically just wrote down my thoughts but called myself Nancy. So no big literature at all.

Still, when some of the other short stories were presented in class, I was pretty underwhelmed. Or maybe our teacher praised them way too much before they were read out loud. I thought they were pretty cliché, from their story lines to expressions such as “unruly hair”, that everyone’s read at least a million times. Which made me wonder: “Am I just immune to good writing?”, and: “Is it ok to hate on detailed descriptions or am I just a moron who doesn’t have the slightest idea of art?” And anyway, “What makes a good story?”

Of course, you can look up all the technical stuff online somewhere. And of course, lots of practice makes your work better (hopefully). But besides that, I guess it’s like categorizing a joke (which is nothing but a very short story) as funny or not – purely subjective and depending on the reader’s taste.

However, since I can’t come up with fictional stories, I’ll share one of my personal life. As I mentioned, I attract lots of crazy people. Some would maybe be annoyed by that, but I find it rather funny. And it always gives me something to talk about.

Anyways, during my first two years in Paris I used to live in a chambre de bonne – a tiny studio that used to be intended for the maids back in the 19th century. My floor even had a seperate entry, so I would only cross the people living in the bougie apartments down in the hall.

One day, a couple of months after I’d moved in, a middle-aged lady who was living in the first floor approached me. She seemed nice at first, but also quite nosy. In just one second, she went from the regular small talk to rather personal questions, including for example how much rent I paid. I guess for her, the concept of boundaries just didn’t exist, as she then started to talk about how annoyed she was by her husband. I’m normally really good at getting rid of people that unnerve me, but it was different with her. Not only didn’t she notice the common signs of disinterest, but she also followed me after I told her for the umpteenth time that I had to go. This scenario kept happening everytime i ran into her, which by the way, seemed to happen more and more often and made me believe that she was waiting for me. Since her apartment was in the first floor, she was able to see the hall from her door. Besides, I found it rather awkward that I only met this person after living in that building for almost a year, but then suddenly at least once a week. One day, she even made me come see her apartment and meet her husband, just to prove me how annoying he was. The both of them then got in a fight and I quickly left. Another day, she ran into my then-boyfriend. I have no idea how she knew who he was, but judging from what he told me, it was a very weird encounter. And her telling him in her coarse cigarette-whiskey-voice that he was “very handsome” definitely added to the awkwardness.

The weirdest moment however happened one night after I came back from a night out. It wasn’t that late, but late enough to expect that the entire building was already sound asleep. But just as I reached the door to the servant’s entry, I heard the lock of Crazy Weird Lady’s apartment turn. I froze, hoping that she was just about to go outside to have a smoke. But then she started calling and so I ran. It’s not that I was afraid of her or anything, I just didn’t want to deal with her, especially not at 2am. But I heard her following me and so I continued running, all the way up to my place in the 6th floor. When I closed my door behind me I was hoping she’d given up. But then, a minute later, I heard a knock on my door. I first ignored it, but then there it was again, followed by a loud “Hello?”. I opened the door, unnerved, seriously wondering what kind of excuse she’d have to track me six floors in the middle of the night. Pause. – “Do you have a lighter?” – “No.” – “Ok, good night.”

That was the entire interaction. It also was the last time I saw the weird lady from the first floor. Maybe she was embarrassed, but I highly doubt that. Seen from a theatrical angle, it was the perfect exit. It would have been really hard to top this kind of crazy without making it totally creepy. Therefore, well done Crazy Weird Lady, well done!

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Just blogging

When time stops

Since I’m back to university, the same university I started my studies around nine years ago, it feels like nothing has really changed. My friends still live in the same town, few of them are still studying – like me. It feels like time traveling – I’ve lived abroad for 7 years and now that I’m back, things are pretty much the same. Especially this week, where we’re having a student exchange with (not only) students from Toulouse. The first time I participated in that exchange was exactly eight years ago and even though I was only 20 yo, the program was pretty tough. I mean, we were students. And so with the cultural program we’d do during the day and then the social gathering on top of it, we basically didn’t sleep at all for one week. It was pretty awesome. And still is, especially because the group dynamic this year is insane.

This weekend was the start of this year’s exchange and boy am I tired! And it’s only the start. (This is also why I’ve been running late with this blog post.) However, I’ll take it slowly this year because in contrast to my early 20s, I’m taking my studies a little more serious now and don’t want to miss classes because I can’t bring myself to get out of bed. Besides, even though I like the comfort of a little emotional throwback, I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to do the same things over and over again. Of course, I’m super happy having my friends from university around, but at the same time, I almost feel like I’m back in my first semester and to me, that somewhat feels like regressing. That’s why right now, I’m planning to cram everything I still need to do to get my BA into this semester, so that I’m hopefully done by the end of the year. After that, there’ll still be time to travel and party.

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Just blogging

When I was homeless

Almost one year ago, I got this incredible opportunity to work as an intern at Condé Nast. I applied in a moment where I had nothing figured out and I didn’t even expect anything from it. I just wanted to see what my chances were, but thought that my application would probably be rejected. I’m not  sure if I’d have applied otherwise – it was past mid-May and they needed someone who could start in June and the Condé Nast office was in Munich, around 600 km away from where I lived at that time.

To my surprise, I got a callback only two days later. And since I’d never say no to an institution like Condé Nast, I started planning my move to Munich. Everything went well, I found someone to sublet my room to as well as an apartment. Everything went really fast and it was almost miraculous how perfectly things fell into place.

I arrived in Munich late on a Sunday evening and made my way to the apartment where I was supposed to meet the landlady’s daughter, my future roommate, who would be there with the keys. But when I arrived, no one was there. Besides, I couldn’t find her name on any of the door plates. So I frantically tried to call her, which also didn’t work, because apparently, she gave me the wrong country code (she and her family were Irish). I finally got a hold of her by messaging her on Facebook. She explained that there was some sort of family emergency and that she couldn’t meet me that day. But she’d try to get there the day after. She suggested that I should stay at a hotel until then.

I was pretty broke at that time, mostly because I had just paid a month’s rent and the deposit to that reckless bitch that didn’t show up. It also was my first time in Munich, so I had no idea where to go. Besides, considering that I was carrying four huge bags that night, I was also very reluctant to start wandering around, looking for a place to stay. And if that wasn’t enough, I also couldn’t really use my phone because I had limited data transfer. Lucky for me, there was a hotel right next to the apartment and with the money I still had, I even could afford a night. And they had wifi!

I had an inkling that I wouldn’t hear from that girl anytime soon and so I spent the rest of the night and the next morning looking for a host on Couchsurfing. Again, I was super lucky, because in only one hour I found someone who was willing to host me for a week. Yet, I still didn’t know how lucky I was at that point. But that couchsurfing contact also put me in contact with a girl who sublet her room at a student’s residency where I could move in a few weeks later. In the meanwhile, I squatted at one of my new colleague’s place (she even was so ind to stay at her boyfriend’s for that time). After that, I lived at a hostel. Again, it was my CS host who gave me the address. Eventually, I also got my payments for rent and the deposit back.

So yes, in the end, everything worked in my favor. The room at the student’s residency was only half of the rent I would have paid at the other place. But most importantly, I got to meet some incredible people and I’m incredibly grateful for all the help, support and unexpected kindness I received from total strangers. Without them, my situation would have been pretty dire to say the least, especially because I didn’t feel like I really had a support system back home.

This entire experience has definitely strengthened my wishful thinking that some things happen for a reason. I mean after the troubles during the first few days/weeks, I was much better off than I’d been with the original plan. And who knows how things would have turned out with a roommate who clearly doesn’t give a shit. (Btw, I still don’t understand what her deal was. If the family issue was real, then why couldn’t she manage to send someone on her behalf to pass the keys? For a moment, I thought it was a scam, even though I had a contract and even though extensive stalking didn’t show anything suspicious. But then I got all my money back. I really don’t understand.)

Also, the time I spend at the hostel probably was the best time I ever had. But I feel like I’ll talk about that in another blogpost.

Until then, enjoy your Sunday night!

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Just blogging

How much is too much?

When I think of possible topics to write about, I automatically think of how much I actually want to share. How much information is too much?

I thought about some of my previous blog posts and deleted two of them. I also deleted my blog-related Facebook page. Not because I was ashamed of anything I wrote earlier, but because I’m not sure if I want all of my friends, family, or in the worst case my employer know EVERYTHING. Somehow, I find it much easier to expose my personal life to an anonymous crowd rather than people I see on a daily basis.

My biggest fear is that people misjudge me or take things I say too seriously, forgetting that everything I write is nothing more than my point of view, which, of course, cannot be applied to everyone or all kinds of circumstances. And I hate tiptoeing around topics. As much as I love how woke people are today, the all time political correctness can be such a pain if you’re trying to express something in writing, especially if you want it to say in the same way you would in a conversation.

But whatever (subtle transition), I feel like this time I’m going to try not to think too much about how my posts will be received and care more about authenticity instead. Not that my previous blogposts have been fake, but I sometimes felt like I’ve held back a lot. In the end, if any of my babbling is inspiring to anyone, or if it makes someone feel a little less alone, then that’s all that matters. And so that’s the ultimate goal here.

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