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To travel is to live

I love to travel! It is not only about visiting new places – well, also about that of course but it means so much more to me. When I travel, I feel free. I feel a freedom and peace within myself that I often thought to have already lost. Don´t get me wrong. I am mostly okay with my daily life, finally. There was a long time when I wasn´t but since I changed perspective on some things, started to overcome fears and learnt to say no at times, I feel more content more often or sometimes even happier. I´m still working on this feeling to grow but it is a step by step process and traveling helps me to simply clear my mind.

Nevertheless, it is not the same kind of content and happiness compared to travelling. I love the freedom, getting to know new places, new people, new life styles. When I travel, I barely stay at hotels. Instead I choose to live at the houses or flats of people who offer a room, so I can see a real part of how they live instead of just the touristic side. I love to talk to them about anything and everything when they offer to chat, like work days over there, job situations, economics, free time activities, places that are hidden treasures for a must see beside the touristic spots which are of course on the list as well. I love to learn about the culture. In a way their lives are so different but similar at the same time. I think both sides gain a lot of knowledge which also prevents from prejudice and helps to be open minded for the unknown.

Also I love the feeling to leave daily business far behind for a few days. Every now and then everyone needs to recharge batteries but as long as you´re home, there´s housework, groceries, cooking and other errands to do. Being freed of that, if only for a little while, also gives so much of freedom. The days seem unbelievably long because there´s just no pressure in time and you can do whatever you want – whenever you want.

Last but not least I love to see all the various places, the sea, a unique castle, or little rebuild New York in Rotterdam in the Netherlands for example.

Someday I hope that I can also host a guest pupil from somewhere in the world. I can´t go to all the places I´d like to go (as long as I don´t win in lottery ;)), so it would be a nice way to get a part of the world into your home that you might can´t afford to visit yourself. I know that there are some people that don´t understand my desire for traveling but that´s okay. My way is for me, not for them.

If you love to travel I can only advice you to do it. Collected experiences and memories are so much more worth than items. In the end you only regret the chances you don´t take, I can tell out of own experience. Do the trip you´d love to do if it´s what you really want, so you can talk about it when you´re 70. Isn´t that nice thought?

escape life

Lately  I often read that people want 2016 to end because of the shit it brought by losing a lot of famous people. Yes, it is sad but I think it is a waste to wish away a year that also brought good. Let’s face it, each year has its ups and downs. The year hasn’t been all good to me as well but there were also some amazing moments I wouldn’t want to miss. I guess it’s the same for everyone. You may had struggles as well but there also might have been a lovely trip, a reward at work, a new family member you got to know, etc. Don’t let the good things be overshadowed by the bad. Each year will have its good and bad times. Cherish the good, it’s a way better feeling than cursing the bad.

Also I think that those sad happenings make us realise even more how fast our lives or the life our loved ones can be gone. I don´t mean it in a depressing way. Instead I think it´s a reminder we (sadly) need sometimes, when we rush through the days again in daily business. Sometimes we should take a moment and realise i.e. the beauty of nature around us or skip to clean the car and meet up with a friend or family for a coffee instead. Those moments are worth it so much I for myself with try to remind me more often. Maybe it would be a good new year resolution? 🙂

I hope you all have a good start into 2017. Remember, that it is not a fail if you can´t keep anything you´ve planned for the year. Don´t pressure yourself with that. As long as you made happen a part of it and try to keep going, you´ve already achieved a lot more than people who aren´t trying at all.

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“I am the sum of my fears” – A sentence that described myself pretty much since… the day I don´t wanted my fears to rule my life anymore, since the day that the pressure my fears put on me became bigger than the problem itself. A few years back I was suffering from panic attacks about each new or unpleasant situation. I came down with the whole package, a heavy pounding heart, a way to high pulse, sickness, sweating, shivering and the feeling to faint right away. Somehow I always managed to get through without fainting and so my self-esteem grew little by little that I can do it, that I can control it if my will is strong enough. I was sick of avoiding situations or knowing that it would cause another attack. I just wanted to do the things everyone did and rate them normal or with good things, like traveling for example, even enjoy it!

That´s when a new chapter began. Once again my endless thanks goes out to a special person in so many ways. I started traveling because of this person and after the first panic attacks before entering or in trains – guess what? I loved it! First, it still was harder for me than for others but the first step was done. With each time I did, the fear backed off because of the positive experiences. In the end it motivated me to start the same procedure with other things. In the beginning it wasn´t any easier but also here the positive experiences triggered a positive effect and the desire for a more normal life. Don´t get me wrong, there´s still some things that scare me, things that are ”normal” or maybe just a bit unpleasant to others but they don´t give me full panic attacks anymore. In between I even get myself into those situations absolutely conscious about 3-4 times a year because I found out that once you do what you fear, fear usually disappears. I don´t expect to be free of any fears in the future but of most of them. The list is getting shorter and shorter. 🙂 This years I successfully did two self set challenges already, currently doing my third and two more to come!

Know that everyone of you who suffers from anxiety and panic attacks can do it. Remember that your brain evaluate things more dangerous than they really are! The worst case is only happening in your head 99,9 % of the time. So how big chances are that it´s are going to happen for real? Overthinking is the worst thing you can do. I´ve once read a sentence which nails it pretty perfect: “Overthinking is the art of creating problems that weren´t even there.” In the end things mostly turn out different than you thought about it anyway. Also remember that even unpleasant times pass. In the end they can make you stronger if you let them. The fight may ain´t easy but it´s worth it! As long as your desire for a normal life is unbroken you have the power (to learn) to control it. Your will can and certainly will take you there if you challenge yourself to leave your comfort zone step by step. Each positive experience will propel you into the right direction.

Never give in to your fears because everything you desire is on the other side!

Free

 

Today is a day with a special mark for me. 5 years ago my Dad passed away by cancer. Don´t worry, this won´t be a too sad blog entry (I hope) but more reflection of a memory that´s still so alive.

Some people say that the memory of loved ones fade in time. Thankfully I can say that it didn´t happen to me yet and I hope that won´t happen too soon or even better, that it won´t ever happen. I still remember the small and little things. I still can hear his voice, can remember conversations, yes also arguments we had because that´s normal. Let´s say I remember all the daily situations as if it wouldn´t be any longer than a few month, so how can it be 5 years? Honestly, if he would show up in the door right now or tomorrow, acting all normal, it would feel that the past years would have been a long, weird dream but not reality. Do you know what? I wouldn´t want it any other way! I somehow can “feel” that he´s doing okay on the other side and in peace. It calms me a lot. I feel blessed that my memory and so this part of him is somehow alive. What I still don´t get is the years that passed already, it seems unreal.

About a week ago one of my favorite artists, Conrad Sewell, released a music video for a song that´s called “Remind Me”, which is exactly about this topic. A young boy, who´s father died (what´s revealed in the end of the video) got guided by his father in his mind in every single step he did. It´s what kept him going while his world broke apart. It literally let me burst into tears right away when I watched it but I think it´s a sign. The storyline idea Conrad had himself and it means more to me than he will probably ever know.

In the end memories of lost ones don´t always hurt, sometimes they make you smile and grateful and keep you going. I am happy to feel those memories so alive even though I question myself how it can be five years already?

Hey guys,

tomorrow is a huge day for me. I will start at a new company, which is really a huge step. I tried to get into this direction for a long time and now it finally happened. Let´s say I am bit nervous that it will turn out good and I can make it through the testing time. Please cross your fingers, it would mean a lot!

If you read my previous blog entries you know that I encored my new year resolution of 2015 “to work on- and live dreams.” The new work is definitely a part of the first part. In contrast to 2015 this year will be pretty rough water for me. I need to face some challenges, the year didn´t start good due to sickness of a close family member. No one knows how it will turn out yet. Honestly, I felt stressed an over challenged with the situation but I refuse to over think what´s to come because it won´t help and so I try to remain positive.

On the other hand there are also some good things coming up in April that I am really looking forward to!

All in all I don´t know where this year´s journey is going to take me. There will be a lot of ups and downs for sure, a lot to learn, a lot to be proud (hopefully) of and a lot of new memories. I will keep you updated and you know, if you have a moment to cross your fingers tomorrow… 😉

change

Hey everyone,

2015 is slowly coming to an end (where has the year gone?). In January I promised you to take you onto a little journey throughout the year and give you some updates. My new year resolution was “to work on – and live dreams”. As you may have seen in my little updates I did both of it! Beside some minor setbacks it was one of the best years I remember! It´s crazy how goals can motivate you to go for things or even take you to unexpected chances.

I have to confess that I didn´t made everything of my list happen but hey, there´s a new year! 😉 It worked so well that I decided to give the resolution an encore with the things that are left over and some new goals. J All in all, realizing stuff step by step and get some unexpected addition made me a definitely more positive person again that just wants to start over.

Here are a few examples of my highlights:

  • I really made it to go to London, finally! It was a huge wish on my bucket list + I went there by Eurostar, a thing I really wanted to try even though it also scared me at the same time. In the end it was nothing to scare for at all and I had a wonderful time in this beautiful city!
  • I had this really unexpected experience with my local radio station. You have to know that I was always interested in the “behind the scenes” stuff of a radio station and the job there but I never thought to have the chance to ask an insider about it. This year I had, out of the blue and the lovely reporter told much more right away than I´ve ever asked. It was absolutely interesting and I had a fabulous day!
  • I´ve been to quiet a lot concerts of my favorite artist and had the chance to meet her back. This never gets old and each time so special to me! If you read my previous posts you may remember a part of why she is so important to me.
  • I´ve seen a person back I haven´t seen for years, which was just an amazing feeling!
  • The “secret project” I started with a year ago turns out better and better, which really makes me happy!

Those are my absolute highlights but okay, I want to be fair, of course there have been also bad moments. I had to decline a wonderful job opportunity just because the daily ride would have been way too long. When I sent my application I thought they would be looking for a department closer to me but everything happens for a reason, even if we can´t see it right away, doesn´t it? Also I´ve messed up a situation with a guy by my own stupidity (and fear – if the signs haven´t been all in my mind anyway…) and there´s no chance to set it right. Probably I will regret the “what if” forever but well… I will take it as a lesson because that´s all I can do… Nevertheless, I want to keep focusing to work on and live more dreams in 2016. It seriously made the year so worthy to me! Some of them will become really tough to realize but I´d be happy to share this new chapter with you!

“I wanna take this chance and do something I´ve never tried
I want to make this moment matter till the end of time”
~ Take this chance – Anastacia ~

Goals

Hey everyone,

I already excuse myself for the longer post and also that it will be a pretty serious one but the topic just IS serious. Lately I saw something about cyber bullying on TV and what I saw truly shocked me to the deepest. I want to share something personal with you that barely anyone knows about me in real life. Back in school time I had been bullied for about 6 years myself. They attacked me physically, they called me names like Zombie, threw things at me… the whole list of what you can imagine but it wasn´t even the worst. Even if I was scared of the physical attacks, what hurt me more over the years was the psychological effect they had on me. By excluding me from group activities they made me feel unwanted, by calling me those rude names and ugly they destroyed my self-esteem step by step a bit more. For those of who haven´t been bullied you might ask, why did you believe it? Well, in the beginning you may don´t but if you get influenced that way over years, you slowly start to believe. Someday you believe that you aren´t pretty or good enough, that no one wants to be your friend and you´re unwanted in general. Thankfully I reached a point after 4 ½ years where I started to turn the “game” a bit around. I blocked physical attacks (never hitting someone seriously back) and acted like I´d laugh about the things they called me. For some reason it started to work. It never really ended but it became a bit better and so survived the rest of my school time. What didn´t end for years, even after school was the destroyed self-esteem. Meeting new people stressed me out. What would think of me? Would they like or hate me? In the end I barely talked to anyone until I started to feel comfortable when I knew persons better. When a boy hit me up for a conversation, I literally looked at him “like a car”, if he was serious about talking to me. Or was he making fun of me as well? It was a natural skeptic thought I wasn´t able to control. The negative feelings about myself I got implemented over years hadn´t gone by leaving school (with degree).

Why do I tell all that here and now? Because I think in the time of cyber-bullying things even got worse. When I got home from school the bully time for me was done that day. Nowadays it sadly doesn´t stop at your door. In the time of constant internet connection, chats, Twitter, Facebook and many more platforms people can go on to attack the victim. They exclude people from Whatsapp groups, post nasty comments or pictures on their profile wall or send rude direct messages. Teenagers already killed themselves because they got messages like “You´re totally worthless…the world is be better off without you… go and kill yourself, no one will miss you…” These words aren´t fictional, they are real statements that have been shown in the media after another bully victim committed suicide. I truly don´t have a clue how someone is able say afterwards that it was “a joke” and “not serious”. How can a person ever think that statements like this wouldn´t hurt? Have they ever imagined to switch roles and how they would feel? If I already felt the way I described by “just” being attacked in school, I don´t want to know how desperate a person may can become by this over a longer period of time. Whoever experienced or experiences this and keeps going has my full respect!

What I want to say is, if you are a victim of bully, don´t hide yourself! What those people tell you isn´t true, they are the paltry ones! Don´t be afraid to ask for help. You can turn the “game” like they call it, around. Be offensive, go to your guidance counselor or to your parents/siblings if it´s that bad that you think about changing school. Or maybe you can build friendships outside your own class in courses or breaks. If you´re also bullied online, talk to your parents, block those people! Report the accounts! You can do something about it and most important: Don´t believe them! Don´t let narrow minded people destroy your inner peace and self-esteem.

A little note at the end. In between my school time is over for 16 unbelievable years already. I have friends – real friends, I can count and relate on. I have a job with no bullies! 😉 Sometimes I still feel a bit insecure about myself, I don´t want to hide it away but it becomes better more and more. Also I´m still pretty quiet in the beginning when I meet new people but it doesn´t stress me out anymore. Persons who know me better always say: “First I thought that you would be a pretty quiet / shy person but you´re so not!” (Never judge a book by its cover) ;). In the end I can even find something positive in being a bully victim: I´ve learned to trust my gut feelings about people if they´re true or not. If you´re in the caught in the situation by now you may think “however can I find something positive about it?” Trust into your “inner voice” and you learn to get to know yourself better than most others. I can´t describe it any better. It´s a tough road to free yourself from all this but in the end it is worth it!

Even if I don´t consider myself as a Fan of Christina Aguilera, she has the perfect words for the things I can´t find own words for, so here to all those bullies out there:

After all you put me through
You’d think I’d despise you
But in the end I wanna thank you
‘Cause you made that me that much stronger
(Fighter)

Well I know what you were thinking
You thought you’d watch me fade away
When you broke me into pieces
But I gave each piece a name
One of me is wiser
One of me is stronger
One of me is a fighter
And there’s a thousand faces of me
And we’re gonna rise up
And we’re gonna rise up
For every time you broke me
Well you’re gonna face an army
Army of me
(Army of me)