#freelancefriday: Mythen & Vorurteile

Read in English here

#freelancefriday: Mythen & Vorurteile

Hey meine Lieben,

heute mal was anderes.
Wie in meinem letzten #writerswednesday Post versprochen, habe ich mir etwas überlegt, um die Verspätung wiedergutzumachen.
Da ich mich öfter mal mit anderen Kreativen austausche und aus diesen Konversationen immer Impulse hervorgehen, ebenso wie beim Hören des deutschen Podcasts Creative Kraut* von einem Freund von mir, habe ich eine Idee gehabt, die mir im Kopf blieb.
So dachte ich, dass es für euch interessant sein könnte, ein bisschen über das Leben eines Freiberuflers (oder auch Freelancers – den Unterschied spreche ich später noch an –) zu erfahren.
Warum bin ich in der Position darüber zu schreiben?
Hm, vornehmlich, weil ich seit mittlerweile 6 Jahren – woop woop – einer bin.
Sechs Jahre?! Ja, anstatt einen Studentenjob anzunehmen, wie viele meiner Kommilitonen, habe ich mich damals dazu entschlossen, mich neben dem Studium selbstständig zu machen.
Klingt saucool oder? Haha, wenn meine nachträgliche Bilanzierung mich nicht trügt, gab es einige Monate oder gar Jahre, in denen ein Studentenjob weeeeesentlich lukrativer gewesen wäre. 😀
Aber ich habe viel auf dem Weg gelernt und er hat mich dahin geführt, wo ich heute bin.

Und da heute scheinbar auf allen möglichen Plattformen das “Baue dein eigenes Business auf”, “Kündige deinen Job und tu, was du liebst” so intensiv beworben wird, dachte ich, könnte es ganz interessant sein, ein bisschen von meinem Weg und meine Gedanken dazu zu teilen.
Was denkt ihr? Gute Idee oder eher Schnapsidee?
Also, lasst mich mal wissen, entweder hier in den Kommentaren oder per E-Mail oder wie üblich über Facebook oder Instagram, ob ich diese Serie hier fortsetzen soll.

Heute würde ich gerne mit einigen Mythen und Vorurteilen gegenüber der freiberuflichen oder Freelancetätigkeit aufräumen.
Dazu nehme ich Aussagen, wie ich sie schon oft gehört oder in den Augen meiner Gesprächspartner gelesen habe, und gehe darauf ein.
Wie immer entspringen die Aussagen natürlich meiner eigenen Erfahrung und Meinung und dienen nicht zur Verallgemeinerung.

Kleiner Disclaimer: Ich schreibe aus der Perspektive eines Freiberuflers, der in Deutschland lebt und arbeitet. Deshalb entsprechen manche Aussagen und Regeln nicht unbedingt dem freiberuflichen Dasein in anderen Ländern. Falls ihr freiberuflich in anderen Ländern tätig seid, lasst mich gern eure Meinung wissen, ich bin interessiert daran, wie es sich in anderen Ländern darstellt und gestaltet!

Also, fangen wir an:

1. Oh, wow, du musst nicht von 8 bis 17 Uhr arbeiten und kannst dir deine Arbeit frei einteilen, wie es dir gefällt!

Also, das kommt darauf an, für was ihr gebucht wurdet.
Wenn ihr etwas unterrichtet oder Kurse gebt, dann solltet ihr schon zur angegebenen Kurszeit erscheinen, nicht wahr?
Aber klar, die Vor- und Nachbereitung könnt ihr zu einem Zeitpunkt machen, der in euren Zeitplan passt, rein theoretisch zumindest, solange ihr zur nächsten Sitzung vorbereitet seid.
Falls es sich um einen Job mit einer Deadline handelt, der aber keine Zwischenziele beinhaltet, mag es zunächst so wirken, als könntet ihr euch den ganzen Tag die Nägel lackieren und nur hier und da mal ein Stündchen arbeiten.
Aber nehmen wir mal an, ihr habt mehr als ein Projekt gleichzeitig laufen, was nicht unüblich ist (und auch etwas mit Geld zu tun hat, aber dazu komme ich gleich), dann müsst ihr schon verdammte Meister des Zeitmanagements sein, um alles unter einen Hut zu bekommen und nicht den Überblick zu verlieren und immer noch bestmöglich abzuliefern.
Und das wiederum, meine Lieben, bedeutet, dass ihr lange arbeiten werdet und oftmals kein Wochenende habt und manchmal sogar gar nicht mehr wisst, welcher Wochentag grad ist.

2. DAS ist dein Stundensatz?! Du verdienst ja ein Vermögen!

Puh, einatmen, ausatmen, ruhig bleiben.
Ja, mein Stundensatz ist höher als das, was du in deiner Festanstellung verdienst, wenn du dein Monatsgehalt durch deine Arbeitstage und dann Stunden teilst.
Stimmt.
ABER: Ich habe keinen Arbeitgeber, der einen gewissen Prozentsatz oder gar die Hälfte meiner Krankenversicherung bezahlt. Ich bin mein Arbeitgeber. Also zahle ich 100%.
Je nachdem, in welchem Bereich ihr arbeitet, kann es sogar sein, dass ihr dazu verpflichtet seid, euch privat zu versichern.
(Und hier kommen wir zum Unterschied: In Deutschland machen wir einen Unterschied zwischen freier Mitarbeiter und Freiberufler, die per definitionem meistens Anwälte, Architekten oder – so wie ich – Kreative wie Autoren sind. Zwar nutzen wir gern den fancy Anglizismus Freelancer, der dann oftmals mit Freiberufler übersetzt wird, aber korrekt ist das nicht. Nicht jeder Freelancer ist ein Freiberufler.)
Und private Krankenversicherung ist niemals günstig.
Außerdem habe ich keinen bezahlten Urlaub. Jeder Tag, an dem ich nicht arbeiten gehe, ist ein Tag, an dem ich kein Geld verdiene.
Ich wiederhole: Jeder Tag, an dem ich nicht arbeiten gehe, ist ein Tag, an dem ich kein Geld verdiene.
Lasst das mal für ‘ne Minute sacken.
Und ja, das bedeutet, dass viele Freelancer (ich benutze den Begriff hier als Zusammenfassung für Freiberufler und freie Mitarbeiter) arbeiten gehen, obwohl sie mega krank sind, schlicht und ergreifend deshalb, weil sie es sich nicht leisten können auszufallen.
Zusätzlich ist meine Arbeit Projektarbeit. Manchmal läuft ein Projekt ein Jahr, manchmal nur einige Monate und manchmal ist es ein sehr kurzfristiges Projekt, wie das Lektorat eines Buches innerhalb einer Woche.
Und das, meine Lieben, bedeutet, dass ich in möglichst kurzer Zeit möglichst viel verdienen sollte, denn wenn man nicht zu den ständig Glücklichen gehört, die bereits für ein Folgeprojekt den Vertrag in der Tasche haben, dass man sich von seinem Ersparten über Wasser halten muss, bis das nächste Projekt eingetütet ist.
(Hinweis: Eure Fixkosten werden dennoch jeden Monat von eurem Konto abgebucht, weil es keine Sau interessiert, ob ihr grade Geldeingänge verzeichnet oder nicht)
Das, in Kombination mit dem, was ich zuvor gesagt habe, führt oftmals dazu, dass Freelancer jede Joboption ergreifen, die sich bietet, sich den Arsch abarbeiten und keine Wochenenden haben, um das Gefühl einer Pseudo-Sicherheit zu haben, sollte das nächste Projekt erstmal auf sich warten lassen.
Und jetzt meine Lieben, stellt euch vor, dass 80% (Zahl ist geschätzt, keine Beweise vorhanden) eurer potentiellen Kunden versuchen, eure Preise zu drücken und mit euch zu verhandeln.
Jetzt bloß nicht verzweifelt wirken und Würde und Selbstwertgefühl bewahren!

3. Es ist total cool, dass du dir deine Projekte selbst aussuchen kannst und nicht immer dasselbe tun musst. Das macht die Arbeit vielfältig, das muss total spannend sein!

Mh, ja und nein.
Also ja, die Arbeit kann sehr vielfältig sein. Vielleicht lektoriert ihr ein Kochbuch, übersetzt die Website eines Coaches, geht als Übersetzer auf eine Messe für Kosmetik und unterstützt den Relaunch der virtuellen Präsenz eines Schuhladens.
Das ist absolut bunt und vielfältig und das ist definitiv eine Sache, die ich am freiberuflichen Arbeiten sehr schätze.
Aber das bedeutet auch, wenn ihr mehrere Projekte parallel laufen habt, dass euer Gehirn sehr schnell und flexibel arbeiten muss, damit ihr innerhalb von 12 Stunden durch 3 verschiedene Themen springen könnt und in allen dreien eure bestmögliche Arbeit abliefert.
Oder innerhalb einer Woche müsst ihr diverse Schreibstile nutzen, euer Gehirn auf andere Sprachen umschalten und dabei immer noch eure Termine einhalten.
Also ja, definitiv ist das total spannend und man lernt aus den verschiedensten Bereichen eine ganze Menge dazu.
(Wie viel ich allein durch das Lektorieren von Texten, mit deren Inhalten ich mich freiwillig nie im Detail beschäftigt hätte, gelernt habe. Und plötzlich entdeckst du dich selbst auf einer Party, wo du über Digitalisierung, Smart Homes, Finanzen und Medizin redest. haha)
Also ja, es ist aufregend, aber es kann auch sehr anstrengend sein.
Und an manchen Tagen wünscht ihr euch einfach nur ein “normales Leben” mit geregelten Arbeitszeiten, wo ihr zu einer bestimmten Uhrzeit nach Hause kommt und Feierabend habt und einfach die Dinge tut, die noch zu tun sind, wie einkaufen und Haushaltskram (denn ja, auch als Freelancer müssen diese Dinge noch irgendwo untergebracht werden) und euch dann mit einem guten Buch oder eurem Lieblingsfilm auf die Couch werfen könnt.
Aber es wäre schlichtweg gelogen, wenn ich jetzt behaupten würde, diese Arbeit sei nicht interessant oder spannend. Klar, nicht jedes Projekt ist ein Wow-Projekt und es gibt Tage, an denen ihr einfach null Bock habt, selbst bei Projekten, die euch eigentlich gut gefallen, aber das hat man ja immer, egal was man arbeitet.
Dennoch sind diese Aspekte definitiv welche, die mir an der freiberuflichen Tätigkeit sehr gut gefallen.

So, so viel zu den Mythen.
Bevor sich nun jemand aufregt, lasst mich kurz ein paar Dinge klarstellen:
1. Ich möchte in keiner Weise sagen, dass Freelance-Arbeit scheiße ist, weil es keinen bezahlten Urlaub gibt oder weil ihr mit einigen Unsicherheiten in Bezug auf Projekte umgehen müsst. Ich will mich darüber auch gar nicht beschweren, denn ihr könntet einfach sagen “Ja, aber das ist das, was du dir ausgesucht hast. Niemand hat dich gezwungen. Du kannst dir auch eine Festanstellung suchen. Das war doch deine Entscheidung.” und ich hätte diesem Argument rein gar nichts entgegenzusetzen.
2. Keineswegs möchte ich Festanstellungen irgendwie runtermachen und das Freelance-Dasein als das Nonplusultra loben oder gar behaupten, dass Freelance-Arbeit stressiger als eine Festanstellung ist. Nein, ganz bestimmt nicht! Eine Freundin von mir ist Krankenschwester, was eine Festanstellung mit bezahltem Urlaub und Krankenversicherung ist, und ich weiß, wie gestresst sie nicht nur an einigen Tagen nach Hause kommt und ich bewundere sie und ihre Kollegen für das, was sie jeden Tag leisten. Ebenso wie ich jedem meine Achtung entgegenbringe, der jeden Tag aufsteht und sein Bestes gibt. Egal, was und in welcher Vertragsform er oder sie nun auch arbeitet.
3. Mein eigentliches Ziel ist es, Verständnis und Bewusstsein für den oftmals weit verbreiteten Irrglauben über freiberufliche oder freie Tätigkeiten zu kreieren.
Sheesh, wenn ihr euch mal in den sozialen Netzen umschaut, bekommt man den Eindruck, dass jeder dritte euch erzählen will, dass ihr euren festen Job in die Tonne hauen und euren Träumen folgen sollt, um das zu tun, was ihr liebt. (Als wenn die Arbeit als Freelancer eine Garantie dafür sei.)
Was ich sagen will: Bitte bedenkt einige Punkte bevor ihr überhaupt irgendwas in die Tonne werft, okay?
Nur weil ihr als Freelancer in diversen Projekten mit vielfältigen Themen arbeitet, heißt das nicht, dass ihr euren Traum lebt, denn wie zuvor gesagt ist es oft so, dass man einfach den nächsten Job annimmt, der sich da bietet, um die Rechnungen zu bezahlen.

Ich will keine der Arbeiten, egal ob nun Freelance, freiberuflich oder feste Anstellung, auf einen Podest stellen und die anderen heruntermachen.
Mir geht es um Verständnis in beide Richtungen.

Lasst mich wissen, was ihr denkt.
Seid ihr Freelancer und liebt es?
Habt ihr eine Festanstellung und spielt mit dem Gedanken, euch selbstständig zu machen? (Falls ja, hoffe ich, dass mein Post euch nicht dazu bewegt hat, diese Idee zu verteufeln. Wenn es das ist, was ihr wirklich wollt, tut es! Ich sage nur, informiert euch vorher und macht eure Hausaufgaben, damit ihr nicht verträumt in irgendetwas hineinstolpert und euch hinterher denkt “Was zur Hölle habe ich getan?!”, okay?)
Habt ihr beide Seiten kennengelernt? Und falls ja, welche bevorzugt ihr und warum?

Lasst euch in den Kommentaren aus.

Auf bald, meine Lieben

xxx
Gina.

 

 

 

 

*[unbezahlte Werbung]

#freelancefriday: Myths and Prejudices

Auf Deutsch lesen

#freelancefriday: Myths and Prejudices

Hey my dears,

today for something different.
First, I told you I prepared something to make up for my belated #writerswednesday post and secondly, I thought this idea was a good one.
As I talked to other creatives and also listened to the German podcast Creative Kraut* from a good friend of mine, this idea popped up in my mind and stayed there, so I thought it might be interesting for you to read a little bit about the life of a freelancer.
Why am I entitled to speak about these things? Well, mostly because I have been working as a freelancer for 6 years now, officially, woop woop.
Six years?! Yep, instead of searching for a part time student job, I decided to build up my freelance business beside my studies.
Sounds so cool, right? Haha, well, if I did my calculation right, there were many months in which working a part time student job would have been wayyyy more lucrative 😀
But, I learned a lot along the way and it brought me where I am today.

And since nowadays on all the platforms setting up your own business and leaving your corporate job and do what you love is so intensively and extensively promoted, I thought you might be interested in me sharing a part of my journey and thoughts upon it.
What do you think? Good idea or rather “hard liquor idea” (Schnapsidee is what we call it in German, don’t ask me why, probably because your ideas after consuming hard liquor might be quite, erm, weird?!)
So, let me know, if you’d like me to continue this series in the comments below or as usual on any other platform like Facebook or Instagram or even via email.

What I prepared for today is to do away with some of the myths and prejudices that are connected to the perception of freelance work.
I’ll post a statement, just like the ones I have heard or read in the eyes of my interlocutors, and then touch upon them.
Of course, as always, the answers derive from my own opinion and experience and are not to be generalised.

Little disclaimer: I write from the perspective and experience of a freelancer working and living in Germany. Of course, certain regulations and have-to’s might differ in your very own country. I would love to hear about freelance work in other countries, so please feel free to share your experience!

So, let’s start with the myths & prejudices:

1. Oh, wow, so you don’t have to work 9 to 5 and can schedule your work as you please!

Well, it depends on the job you got booked for.
If you’re booked for a coaching session on a regular basis or giving courses, of course you have to show up when it’s supposed to take place, huh?
But sure, preparing and the work afterwards you could do when your time allows, as long as you are prepared for the next session.
If it’s a job with a deadline but no schedule in between, it might seem as if you could sleep in and paint your nails all day and then just work one hour here and one hour there.
But let’s assume you have more than one project running at the same time (which by the way is not unusual, as it has something to do with money, too, but I’ll come to that in a minute) and then you have to be an effing master of time management to not lose track and guess what, my dears, often you end up working late and you don’t have a weekend and due to that it might also happen that you forget which day it is at all.

2. THAT is your rate per hour?! You’re earning a fortune!!

Phew, okay, breathe in, breathe out.
Yes, my hourly rate is higher than what you earn in your regular job if you take your monthly income and divide it by your working days and then hours.
True.
BUT: I don’t have a boss that pays a certain percentage or even half of my health insurance. I am my boss. Means I pay 100%.
Depending on the field you work in, you might be obliged to take a private insurance, as is often the case for freelancers in Germany.
Little note: we make a difference between freier Mitarbeiter and Freiberufler, which could be translated as free employee and freelancer, so the latter is mostly by definition a lawyer, architect or – like me – someone working in a creative field, like an author for example.
And private insurance is never cheap.
Furthermore, I don’t have paid vacation. Every day I don’t go to work is a day I don’t earn money.
I repeat: Every day that I don’t go to work is a day that I don’t earn money.
Let that sink in for a moment.
And yes, that means for many freelancers that they go to work although they are ill as a dog, because they simply can’t afford to be sick.
Additionally, I run on projects. Sometimes a project contract is as long as one year, sometimes it’s some months and sometimes it’s a short term thing, like editing a book within a week.
That my friends, means that I have to earn as much as possible in a short time span because in most cases, if you’re not lucky, you don’t have a following project already signed, so it might happen that you have to live on your savings for months or longer. (Note: Your fix costs are still gonna be booked from your bank account, because they don’t give an eff whether you have income or not)
That, connected to what I said before, leads to many freelancers taking nearly every option for a job, even many short term ones, to ensure they have enough savings if the next project start is delayed.
And that in turn makes many freelancers end up having no weekend at all but working their butts off in order to gain a feeling of pseudo-security.
And now, my dears, imagine that nearly 80% (number is estimated, no proof) of the people interested in your services try to press your prices down and negotiate with you.
Try not to look desperate and to keep some self-confidence and self-worth remaining.

3. It’s really cool, you can choose your projects and your work is so diverse, it must be exciting!

Mh, yes and no.
Yes, it’s true, the work can be very diverse as you might be editing a cook book for one client, translate a website for a coach, go on trade fairs as a translator for cosmetics and support the relaunch of the virtual spaces of a shoe company.
Sure, it’s diverse. And that’s an absolute lovable trait to freelance work, to my mind.
But it also means, if all or some of the projects are running in parallel, that your brain needs to work quickly and to stay flexible enough to jump through three different topics within 12 hours and still deliver the best work it can. Or within a week you might have to change the writing style, switch your brain from one language to the other and stick to appointments and schedules.
So, yes, it is exciting and you get many insights into different fields of work and you can learn amazingly much!
(How many things I learned from editing texts about topics that voluntarily I would never have dived into as deep. And then suddenly you find yourself on a party talking about digitalisation, smart homes, finances and medicine, just because your brain remembered the pages you edited. haha)
So, yes, it is exciting, but it can also be very exhausting.
And on some days you just wish you had “a normal life”, come home at the same time of the day and then be free to do the things that need to be done (grocery shopping, household stuff) – because guess what, besides all the project and topic hopping, that needs to be done, too in a freelancer’s life – and then chill with a good book or your favourite movie.
But it would be a lie if I claimed that it’s not diverse or not exciting. Of course, not every project is a wow one, and even in projects you love there are days where you just don’t feel it.
But that’s definitely a trait of freelance work that I consider exciting.

So, so much for the myths.
Before people start arguing now, let me take a stand for myself:
1. I don’t mean to say that freelance work is shit because you don’t get paid vacay or because you have to work a lot and have to deal with a certain insecurity when it comes to projects. I don’t mean to complain about that, either, cause you could say “Well, that’s what you chose. Nobody forced you. You can still go and search for a regular job. It was your decision.” and I wouldn’t have any counter argument against that.
2. Neither do I mean to belittle regular jobs and praise freelance work or claim that freelance work is more stressful than a regular job. Heck, no! A friend of mine is a nurse and I know how much stress that means, and yes it’s a regular job including paid vacation and health insurance, etc., and I truly admire her and her colleagues for doing what they do. Just like I admire everyone getting up in the morning, whatever they work and giving it their best.
3. My main aim is to create awareness and to do away with some of the commonly spread misconceptions as I’d call them about freelance work. Sheesh, when you look onto social media it seems like everybody’s telling you to throw your regular job into a trash bin and follow your dream and do what you love.
What I’m aiming to say is: Please consider some points of freelance work before you throw anything into the bin, okay?
Just because you’re working as a freelancer and have different project options in diverse fields doesn’t mean that you live your dream, because as stated before, sometimes you just have to take the next best offer to pay the bills, you know.

I don’t mean to put any of the jobs, be it regular or freelance, on a pedestal and talk the other one down.
Understanding in both directions is what I’d like to create.

Let me know what you think.
Are you a freelancer and loving it?
Do you have a regular job and are playing with the idea to step into the freelance life? (if so, I hope my post didn’t make you hate the idea, that wasn’t my intention. If that’s what you wanna do, do it, I just say, inform yourself and do your research and do not dreamily trip into something and when you wake up you think “what have I done?!”)
Have you experienced both sides, and if so, which one do you prefer and why?

Let me know in the comments below.

So long, my dears

xxx
Gina.

 

 

 

 

 

*[unpaid ad]

Blogwarming Party

Hier Beitrag auf Deutsch lesen

norbert josefsson

Welcome!

Grab a drink, take a seat or join me on the dance floor and let’s celebrate together.
The sofa is already there, decoration is not yet complete, table and chairs are ordered but not yet delivered, so take some cushions and make yourself comfortable in my place of creativity, my new virtual home.

Just like a housewarming party where not everything is 100% ready and perfect, I throw this blogwarming party today, where the frame is set, new layout plastered on the walls, but some details might still be added or removed in the course of the coming weeks.
Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy it here and that you come over and visit me often.

After two years of not blogging, many months of planning the new layout, structuring ideas and setting up a whole strategy and subject schedule, pulling all-nighter after all-nighter in order to progress and proceed here, my fingertips are still covered in colour, my hair’s a mess and I’m still sweating.

But you see me with a smile on my face as it feels good to be back.

Let me give you a quick “room tour”. – Everybody should know where the loo and the fridge with fresh beer is, huh? –
On top you find the different topics.
The portfolio offers you an insight into my photo and video repertoire.
The about section offers you information on me, this blog and my work. Same in German below.
The services section gives you an overview of the services I offer on this website, including modelling and writing with the specific services of poetry & prose for special occasions and professional storytelling.
Contact & booking explains itself, I guess.
The Creative Chaos Cloud shows you all categories which you can find blog entries about, so that you can quickly get to the topics you’re interested in.

So much for the room tour, I hope you’re gonna find your way and if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to ask me. I’m trying to be a good host, you know.

What are the plans for the next weeks, what do I offer and why should you come back?
First of all, I’ve worked hard on a concept and contents that might be of value and interest for you.
So, here is what I came up with:
I will blog four times a month, so once a week about topics connected to the different fields I’m working in. One topic a week, that is.
Thus, what you gonna get is this:
#modelmonday: Information for models and photographers, funny anecdotes I experienced during 10 years in front of the camera and other info connected to this field.
#writerswednesday: Information for writers and readers, food for thought, inspiration and impulses revolving around writing and reading.
#socialsaturday: Random topics connected to us humans interacting with one another, social phenomenons, questions, perspectives, impulses on social topics.
#sundaystory: Yes, the sundaystory will be back and we gonna play again. If you don’t know what the sundaystory is, please click here. I will announce the next round early enough, but this won’t be before August probably, as I still owe two of my readers their stories.

After this blogwarming party, where you can take your time to stroll around and look at the redecoration, the new furniture and features, there will be a special series on the balcony, a.k.a instagram. So, don’t forget to check out my plants on the balcony, too.
Plus, I will also take you with me behind the scenes of creative productions in the insta stories.
The special series has been a production with Norbert Josefsson, which we produced last year, but I considered it so beautiful that I kept it for a special moment.
And I think that moment has come now.
So every day, starting on Friday, 15th June, I’m going to post one picture with text on instagram and facebook, which will add up to a series of six. On Thursday, 21st, you will get the complete series here on the blog as well as on instagram.

After the special we will start off with the first sundaystory on the 24th, as it has been two years of me owing these stories to two of my readers.
I hope you’re still there and I hope you still gonna read it.

Which leads me, after the organisational part, to the speech I’m supposed to give on such an event before everybody starts popping bottles like crazy – or at least that’s what I’m gonna do –.
Ahem, clink clink, ladies and gents, may I have your attention please: (you better grab another shot and drink, this is gonna take a while – or just skip the part written in italics – the perk of being here virtually and not in reality)

Thanks for being here tonight, for sharing this moment with me, for taking some time out of your busy day to join this celebration.
I’d like to thank all of the followers here on WordPress that stayed although I haven’t blogged for two years, which, in nowadays time is like an eternity.
Also I’d like to thank all the followers on instagram that didn’t unfollow when I didn’t post for six months, which is close to social media suicide.
I’d like to thank the virtual community for staying with me, supporting me and being patient with me.

Most of all, I’d like to thank the people, especially my closest friends, who virtually and in real life sent me their positive vibes and words, who encouraged me to keep up the work, who relentlessly kept asking about my work, my art, my blog, my writings and my poetry, who invested their time and energy to provide me with tipps and tricks, good advice and knowledge about social media, who gave me input and impulses for new content, who were patient with me when I asked for advice and feedback and who were loving and caring when I had to say “no” to events and instead had to sit down and work, who shared their nurturing positive energy with me and who knowingly or unknowingly inspired me and fuelled my motivation.

Without all of you, your patience and support, we probably wouldn’t be celebrating today.
It wasn’t an easy time and task, but now we’re here and I raise my glass to all of you. I’m forever grateful.

martin zethoff

Now enough of the talk and enjoy your time here, I hope you gonna stay a little longer and come back frequently.
If you have any questions, let me know.

xxx
Gina.

My Catalyst for Creative Impulses

My dears,

It’s already been a while since I’ve been blogging.
But I’m on it, working on it.
But here’s something, I wanted to invite you to:
Follow me on Instagram!
Why?
Because, you know, sometimes, when it’s just too busy a time to sit down and write a blog post (including obsessive paranoia about spelling mistakes resulting in three circles of proofreading..), but still inspiration hits you hard, you need to find a way to release that creative pressure.
And I found a catalyst for those inspirations that jump on me in moments when I’m most busy and in the flow, mainly when I take a short coffee or tea break from working.
Well, that catalyst is Instagram, because with the app InstaQuote I can create neat little pictures with texts on it and upload them on Instagram and Facebook with just one click.
So, if you don’t want to miss out on anything, I invite you to follow my Insta profile to stay tuned.
Of course this doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop blogging, it’s just a way to release the pressure that builds up when inspiration strikes me, but I don’t find the time to create a full blog post here.
Here are some results that I’ve created so far:

This one was the first one I created and I felt so released afterwards
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The following one was my contribution to Valentine’s Day (for all the cynics out there 😉 )
gina-laventura-valentines-day-cynics-my-hail-to-love-storm-wind-compass

The following one has the caption:
“Talent is fine, but in order to live up to your full potential, passion is essential. Passion and the will to pursue and to persist. To pursue your dreams and to persist on your goals. And to persevere when it gets hard.”

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And of course I use it for funny things as well 😉
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Please tell me what you think?
Do you have any recommendations for other apps that might be helpful?
You can comment here or on Facebook or on Instagram.

I hope a wonderful and joyful Easter weekend is ahead of you.
All the best and stay tuned. 🙂

xxx

Happy (Chinese) New Year and Thank You!

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Photo & Editing: freshandjuicy

My dears,

I am utterly, utterly sorry for not having posted for so long.
And I know I have said that a hundred times before, but as plain as it sounds: sometimes life comes in between!
I had planned so many blog posts and thoughts I wanted to share with you and I am well aware that I still owe you two sundaystories.
But I hope you will be kind with me and understand that I was just too busy and too many things happened all at the same time, so I had to set priorities and work my way through a whole lot of to-do-lists and tasks. And although art and writing is definitely a priority in my heart, other matters had to be put first.

I felt terribly sorry and even told a friend “now that I have gained some new readers who even show interest in my blog and interact with me, I let them down” and he said I shouldn’t worry and that my readers probably would be patient and understanding and caring and kind and that they would be happy when I finally post again.
So, I hope he was right.

I won’t promise to publish a bunch of blog posts right now, because I prefer making promises that I can keep and as it is still a turbulent time for me with loads of things to do, I don’t want to disappoint you by not finding the time to blog.
But I promise that all the posts I had planned will be published bit by bit and I hope you find something interesting, enjoyable and inspiring in it.

Well, I haven’t made it to post at New Year to wish you a wonderful start into a hopefully successful and amazing new year, but at least I made it to Chinese New Year, which started on the 8th February.
It will be the year of the Red (Fire) Monkey and is said to become an interesting, adventurous year with many chances to achieve goals.
So, I wish that this year will hold its promise for you and that you find the strength to set out and achieve the goals you’ve set yourself!

Remember when in my Christmas Post I invited you to count your blessings on Christmas Eve?
Well, of course I did the same and I think it is a beautiful way to end one year and step into the next: Being aware of and thankful for one’s blessings!
This is why I’d like to say a big

to all of you.
To the ones of you, who have followed and accompanied me from my first blog steps to the relaunch, through texts and videos and photos to the publishing of Labelled Love.
I am thankful for my family and friends who support me in all my endeavors.
I’m thankful for all the inspiring people I was and am allowed to meet and for the remarks and moments that brighten my days and keep me going.
Some examples (as shown in the picture):
Once an acquaintance wrote me a message, saying something along the lines of “I’ve just read your blog and I love your story Reflection” followed by one of the remarks that has stuck with me ever since: “Your art matters.”
Or when I was having a really bad phase and a million things happened at once and I was struggling and one of my closest friends asked what was wrong with me and I answered something like “Everyone reaches their limit at some point” and she replied “My free spirit Gina has no limits!”.
Or when another one of my closest friends bought my book and when I said that she doesn’t even read in English, she said “but it’s written by you and I want to display it on my shelf because I’m proud of my friend”.
Or the moment when I advertised my first book being published on social media and a former close friend hit the ‘like’ button and I had to smile, because we had known each other eight or ten years before “One day” (the day I published) and I always said “One day I’m going to publish a book”; it was as if my words were remembered and hitting the ‘like’ button somehow said something like “Well done, girl, I knew you would.”. Despite my critical point of view of overrating ‘likes’ and the like, this was a moment it actually meant something.
The moments when someone says that they read my blog and liked it or when people send me inspiring and motivating quotes or ask for more entries to keep me going; the moment one of my favorite poetry slammers (Patrick Salmen, the first slammer I ever saw on stage and the reason I still go and watch slams) started following me on instagram; the moment I was allowed to see Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Big Magic, a book I love, live and even ask her questions; the moments I’m able to collaborate with other creative people, like writers, dancers, actors, directors, photographers and videographers; the moments you guys read and like and comment and interact with my work; the moments I’m allowed to be connected to creativity and experience inspiration.
I could list at least twenty more examples, but I’m going to leave it at that.
Thank you!

What is it that you are thankful for?

I think it is important to sit down once in a while and really take the time and list the things we love, appreciate and that we are thankful for.
And to communicate them.
That is what I’d like to invite you to: Think about it, count your blessings, list them (in mind or on paper), communicate!
Tell someone what you appreciate in them, tell someone that you love them, tell a stranger that you find their aura astonishing, tell yourself something nice.
Life is too short not to spread the love.
Namaste.

To provide you with a sweet little appetizer of what is planned for the next blog posts (please, give me some time):
* Two book recommendations
* Some tipps for creativity
* Two sundaystories I still owe you
* Another game of #sundaystory
* At least three further blog posts on diverse topics
* Text and Image collaborations telling stories through visuals and lyric
* Further projects, still to be planned in detail 😉

Any preferences how I should prioritize? Any other ideas?
Hey, it’s New Year with goals to be achieved: Let me know, is there anything you’d like to see here and what you’d be interested in?
Comment here or send me an email or a message on Facebook.

All the best and loads of love.

Gina.

Merry Christmas!

Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar


picture source: pixelstalk.net

My dears,

I’m utterly utterly sorry for not posting for so long.
Recently I have been too busy to blog, but I hope I’ll find time during the holidays to get back to blogging asap and present some new texts to you!

I wish you all a wonderful and blessed Christmas time amongst your beloved ones with loads of love and joy and happiness!

Let us count our blessings tonight and pray for the ones who are not as fortunate as we are and share and spread some love and piece; with our families, friends, neighbours, strangers, across the world. We are all one.

All the best

Gina.

Taking a shower

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Photo & Edtiing: GOTOX, 2011

Today a result from a writing exercise I had to do in one of my courses.
Basically the exercise was this: Normally you handle adjectives and comparisons carefully, just like stereotypes, but this time, think about something that you did today and try to compare it to anything and use many adjectives. Exaggeration helps to become aware of stylistic devices.

Taking a shower

This morning I woke up and my back was hurting like hell. I felt as if I had been run down by a lorry.
I knew the only suitable pain relief I could get was a hot shower, so I took my towels and my peeling gloves which remind me of goose-bumps on a shivering body when I touch them and opened my door which made a similar shrieking noise like me after having noticed the severe pain in my back. I tiptoed over the blue carpet that was leading my way to the shower from one edge of the hallway to the other just like those tunnel visions people have when they are about to die. I could even see the white light at the end of the corridor. While I was tiptoeing the blue carpet tickled my feet and it felt as comfortable as the grass did back in my childhood days when I ran across the green of our back garden.
When I finally reached the bathroom door I opened it as quiet as I could to not be reminded of that shrieking sound again. I entered the shower room and closed the door, put my towels on the doorknob and started undressing myself like in slow motion. Although for me it felt as if I was moving like an old woman who was suffering from some severe disease, I imagined myself as undressing with a sexy slowness as if I was about to seduce somebody with this striptease. I let my clothes drop like leafs of a tree in autumn and entered the shower. Then I shut the door and despite the fact that this shower room is more reminiscent of a cabin in a psychiatric clinic and unsuitable for claustrophobics, I just felt protected like a pearl in a shell.
I turned on the hot water and let it run down my aching body, stretched my arms and reached on tiptoes for the top of the shower door in a position that reminded me of some random BDSM story where the victim is tied up, about to being whipped.

Gina Laventura © 2012

funny anecdote: I read this story out loud in class and my lecturer said “Well, your story seems to work as all the boys, the further you went in your story, blushed and started watching their feet.”

Cheese Macaroni

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super fast, super easy and super tasty macaroni! 🙂

You need:
250g Macaroni
250g Ricotta
2 teaspoons of grainy mustard
3 spoons of chives
salt and pepper
200g Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
100g dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
butter or oil for the form
100g grated emmentaler (or a cheese mix for gratins)

a big bowl and a form for gratin.

Put the macaroni in a pot with boiling salted water and make them al dente according to the packaging.

Mix ricotta, mustard and chives in a big bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
Now put in the macaroni, the cherry tomatoes and the dried tomatoes and stir everything.
Grease the gratin form. Put the macaroni mix in and distribute it evenly.
Preheat oven/grill. Put the cheese on top of the mix and grantinate it for 4-5 minutes in the grill. (works in a normal oven as well, but keep an eye on it, let’s say with 180° it might take up to 45min)

If you want to put some left over chives on top and serve the food.

Bon appetit! 🙂

#tbt: Winchester – Now and Then –

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#tbt: November 2014

Two years ago I’ve spent a semester abroad in England. In Winchester to be precise.
Before coming to the main topic, the short comeback to Winchester this year, I think I have to take a detour and start from the beginning.
3 months England. 3 months Winchester. “3 months holiday”, some people think. Haha, no. 12 weeks preparing courses and assignments, working on the mid-term assignments, the mark of which contributed to the final mark. Furthermore, one had to adjust to the different “system” as even essays are structured differently there.
3 months full of interesting courses and I had the luck of meeting amazing lecturers who were truly inspiring, not only concerning the content of their courses but also concerning their method of teaching. Moreover, I had a course about the short story and that was when the prose line of my writing started.
3 months of meeting new acquaintances, but moreover, making new friends. Friends who I still keep in contact with and in whose lives I still can – due to modern communication channels – participate at least a bit.
3 months I like to remind myself of. Not because everything was peace, love and harmony in a sea of milk and honey. It was a nerve-stretching time and a lot was moving and changing and it continued when I came back home. But maybe that’s the reason why I like to remember this time. Because it was milk and honey in sleepless nights and cake combined with contemplative days.
3 months, I wouldn’t want to miss.

Interim: I came back home. The first thing I did? Taking everything out of each and every single cupboard, shelf and other storage possibility I own and sort it out. Outside the box so to speak. Making room for air to breath. Meeting friends. The friendship to my beloved people intensified and we grew closer to each other than we were before. And I’m thankful for that.
Uni. Work. Creative stuff. Inhale, taking a run-up and run. Making up time. Tearing forward in order to hopefully get where you want to get.

Fast Forward: 2014.
Finally there was the possibility of visiting Winchester again. Even if just for four days.
After the bus that started at Heathrow spit us all out at the King Alfred Statue and I was able to inhale deeply, I had to smile. The sleep deprivation and the inconvenience of travel (and yes, it is an inconvenience to ride on a bus for one hour when it smells as if a complete fish market decided to lock itself up in there), was irrelevant. Washed away. I was there.
Besides the fact that in most cases when you travel and you are “away” the atmosphere is different, England always had something special about it for me.
When saying “away” we mostly mean being “away from everyday life”, away from routine, from constant repetition. Taking a break from the meritocratic and hectic society in whose wheel we run every day just to fall out of it at the end of the day, crawling into bed and falling asleep with the feeling that we haven’t achieved enough.
At least this is how you can feel from time to time. We’re just talking about a feeling, not about it being an actual fact. And whether this is optimal or not we don’t want to discuss now, either.
But here’s the main point: I often tried to analyse why I felt so comfortable in Winchester, in England. (So comfortable, that it’s always hard for me to leave again.) Is it because of all the memories I harbour? Because of the fact that I always connect it to an aha-moment and a moving time? I really tried to analyse it over and over and over again. Do I idealise and if I’d be there for a longer time, everything would be as much routine as here, as stuck, as hectic, just the same?
For now, and I say for now, the diagnosis of my analysis is this: I personally perceive the mentality there as different. The people there also have a job, a house to clean, hobbies, friends, families, obligations, ambitions and goals. But somehow they still manage to meet their friends once a week for a pint and a round of pool in a pub or to have dinner together and talk. Without watching the clock all the time, without getting nervous and making the impression as if the length of their to-do-list just doubled because of this enjoyable time.
It’s this having time, or maybe taking time for things that make you happy. And still managing to get everything else done. But the people seem more relaxed about it. I say seem, because it is my personal opinion, my personal impression. If you want to agree, you can agree, if you can’t agree, then you don’t agree with me, that’s ok. As said, I’m talking about a feeling, not necessarily of a fact that can be proved.

I was asked “Is Winchester still the same as when you left?”
 Well, yes and no.
 Of course, the air is the same, the city didn’t change too much, although there are some new shops and some building sites. But of course, things changed, we changed. It’s been two years now and it would have been a shame if everything was still the same, wouldn’t it? We all progress and proceed with our lives and that is good, we grow and develop.
But what I can say is this: It was an absolutely amazing feeling to meet again after such a time span and seeing old friends again, catching up, sitting in a pub and talking as if two years had been nothing at all.

And no, to say “just take this relaxed attitude and atmosphere and apply it when you’re back home” and believing that this is as easy as it sounds, is just wrong.
But it’s worth a try.

Head Holiday

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Photo & Editing: freshandjuicy

An endless to do list.
One task completed, two others added.
The thought about all the things you would like to do (again) if you just had some time again. But first the washing has to be done, the house has to be cleaned, the bills have to be paid, the project has to be worked on, the emails and papers have to be sorted, the duties have to be fulfilled.
But then, yes then, when everything is done, then you can read the book you got for your birthday four months ago, then you can go to the theatre again or cosily relax on the balcony, or catch up with the thirty-five episodes of your favourite TV show or play a computer game again to complete the mission.
When did long to-do-lists become a sign for ambition? When did we decide that workaholic was the new career goal, no matter what branch we’re working in? When did stress become a synonym for eagerness and success? When did “you look exhausted, you should eat and sleep properly again” become a compliment that appreciates your body shape and is a hint towards your eagerness?
In this list like success plan even the things that are enjoyable and lovable become another to-do-nuisance, like “call Sarah”, “reply to Mark’s email” or “going to the cinema with Susi and Jo”. Are we still enjoying? Are we enjoying the time we’re now spending there or are we already structuring the next day in order to get the things done, for which there is no time left now because of the visit to the cinema?
Time…Factor time…always a topic. Especially in a society that is determined by phrases like “Time is money”. Maybe time is money. But moreover, time is precious. We just have it once. Once the minute is gone, you’ll never get it back. Sitting down from time to time and reflecting upon how you would like to (not should or have to) invest this precious good can be quite helpful.
We are stressed out, frantic, we run from appointment to appointment, from goal to goal, and we always believe to one day reach the point where we finally have the time to do all the things we’d like to do. But what if we never reach that point? What if there is always another point added to the list? What if we can’t help ourselves but to put another point on the list, because we are not used to and moreover, can’t handle a blank piece of paper anymore? What if we didn’t know what to do with it?
And what if, yes, what if we just took the time we think we didn’t have? What if we just followed the urge to walk through fields and forests after the first coffee in the morning? What if that was exactly what gives us enough energy to get eight instead of three things done from our to-do-list?
What if you took the little timeframe between the things that are to be done to start reading the first chapter of the book you got for your birthday four month ago? What if we replaced complaining about an urgently needed holiday by taking time for ourselves? Holiday in the head. Head holiday.
Be it during a stroll through fields and forests or while reading a book on the balcony or while sitting in the next café observing strangers, it doesn’t matter that much. What if we took the time and enjoyed it? And what if, yes, what if that would be exactly the method that makes it easier for us to get all the things done that are to be done?
Everybody’s talking about the great work-life-balance and everything has to be optimised and perfected, be it the working moral, the working method, one’s own look, the wardrobe, the time management or one’s partner. But with all this craze for optimisation we forgot to pause now and then and to enjoy what we already have (achieved), to say thank you. With all this perfectionism we forgot to be good, to be good to ourselves.
We’re not talking about lazing around or taking things not seriously, but we’re talking about stopping the monkey business in our minds in order to breath again. To stop optimising and start reflecting and realising. To sit down instead of running around.
To hold the eyes closed for a moment and taking a holiday.
A holiday in the head. Head holiday.

#tbt: Quoteworthy

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Throwback Thursday to when I was quoted. With a little addition to the original at the end.

You know, since I was 14 or so, I’ve been collecting. Everybody was collecting something back in those days. Be it little porcelain animals, candles, dried flowers, whatever it was, everybody had another obsession for collecting one thing or the other.
I started collecting quotes. Wrote them down in different colours in my little notebook.
Quotes from Nietzsche, Woolf, Wild, Cleopatra, anonymous people and sometimes even some smart remarks made by people that were close to me.
Often because they had a deeper level of meaning, but sometimes because I had the slight feeling that they might be exactly what I need in the future. In a desperate moment or a moment when I was searching for an answer to a particular question.
I dare say I was a good and passionate collector for some years, I could quote by heart and tell precisely who uttered it. For every occasion a quote would slip from my lips. For my birthday and other occasions I would get cards with quotes on it, so that I could pin them on my wall. My walls were selectively decorated with quote cards.
I had started writing poetry way before I became a quote collector.
Never did I really assume that one day one of my remarks or lines from my written works would become quote worthy or actually be quoted. (Until that one time where a fellow pupil stole one of my lines and pretended it was her’s, as everybody knew she was writing as well)

Fast forward: 2015.
Last year I published my first book.
And I got some feedback on it. And on some lines that are considered memorable.
Like “Love becomes a lost lullaby when we label it like lipstick.”

And then there is today.
Taking a break from working. Scrolling through my WhatsApp contacts (yes you only do that in breaks, out of boredom, curiosity or the itch of stalking someone, I know).
Out of a sudden I stopped.
There I saw it. As an away status.
A line oh so familiar to me.
“The heart’s a stranger we once knew.”
From my story Reflection. (reposted below)

I feel genuinely honoured and pleased.
These are no lines I picked up somewhere else. They are not the quote of a quote.
These are the words that fled from the inspirational spark in my mind through my body, through my fingertips onto the page.
And it made me smile to see these words, this line standing there.
Why? Because it means that those words mean something to someone. That they give something to someone.

And that is what I’m writing for.

Addition: I want to be honest with you. The true story went like this: I saw this quote. And I got angry. Why? Because it wasn’t really a quote. And as I’ve learned from Austin Kleon, whose works I will recommend tomorrow, “Quote correctly or don’t quote at all”. Okay, I’m not that strict, if you don’t know who said it but you love the quote and you can’t find out via google or other search options who said it, then I’m perfectly fine if you still share the quote you love. Only point is this: Please, please, please mark it as a quote! How? Use quotation marks! Just to indicate that this formation of words is not your intellectual property, that it doesn’t stem from your own mind. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t resonate with you, it’s still something that you shared. Nothing is taken away from you if you use these tiny quotation marks, I mean, come on, artists produce art and they share it, so of course it is an absolute joy if they see that their work resonates with the people, but if you don’t indicate that it is a quote (or name the origin of it if you know it) then it makes the impression of pretence, of stealing, of pretending that it was you who created it. Is that fair to the artist? Is that fair to all the sweat, blood and tears they’ve put into the creation of the work?
I don’t even ask for naming me. I just ask for two tiny “”.
So, you might wonder, if I got this angry with the quote which wasn’t indicated as one, why did I write such a positive post about it?
The answer is quite simple: Because I didn’t want this negativity to get hold of me. Every energy is energy, whether it is positive or negative. And we can transform it. It’s up to us what we make out of it. And that time I decided to transform the negative energy into positive energy.
So the original post was absolutely honest, so is this addition to it. Not because I decided to blame the person who didn’t quote correctly later on after having thought about it, absolutely not. I still stand to what I said in my original post, it is an honour and a pleasure to be quoted and it means a lot to me if something, be it a small piece of a sentence of one of my works, resonates with you and gives something to you, and yes, this is definitely a part of what I’m writing for, I want to give (back), but I decided to write this addition in order to urge you to quote correctly or at least to use quotation marks. Just to be fair with the artist, the creator.

Can we ever make it right? Against constant blaming and shaming

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Photo & Editing: No bilis

It is noon. Coffee break. I’m scrolling through Facebook. In the newsfeed: a friend liked this photo.
The picture shows a German TV hostess. She wears an outfit consisting of a jeans blouse and jeans trousers in the 70’s style, you know, a pair of flares, brown belt, sunglasses and a charming smile, standing against a wall.
The caption says something like “My favourite outfit these days, cool and comfortable, perfect for mommies.”.
So, first of all, I’m not entirely sure what this lady wanted to express with her saying “perfect for mommies”. Maybe she meant that it is a loose fitting outfit that conceals the traces of the exhausting procedure of giving birth, like stretch marks and the maybe not-yet-completely-trained-and-toned-belly. Maybe she meant that the outfit is so comfortable that it allows you to do all the things you want to do with your child, like playing, sitting down with them in the grass, crawling through the mountains of toys, whatever. Maybe she meant that it is easy to wash, so when your baby decides to puke over your shoulder or your toddler thinks it a good idea to build a mud cake on your lap, that jeans is a robust material that is easy to be cleaned afterwards. Maybe she was just proud, not only of having given birth to a beautiful child, but also for finding an outfit that made her feel comfortable and attractive, because, yes, even after having given birth you are still a woman and everybody likes to feel comfortable within themselves and maybe this outfit contributed to her feeling absolutely gorgeous.
But maybe may be.
Now, let’s roll up the sleeves and rub our palms for the really interesting part (which I guess already dawned upon you): the comments.
Despite the fact that there were comments stating that she even looks more beautiful after having given birth than beforehand, that her shape was now better than before, there were many critical comments, to put it in a nice way. There were comments stating exactly the opposite of the before mentioned, namely that she looked better before she had had her baby, that she was now too thin. That the trousers were an ugly no-go, which was actually one of the mild ones, because, well, okay 70’s style flares might not be to everybody’s taste and this is a free country and you can state your opinion about style.
The really striking ones were of a different nature. There was one comment that basically said in German “Im Röckchen siehst du besser aus”, which is likely to be translated as “You look better in a skirt”, but it’s not just “skirt” because “skirt” would be “Rock”, but the suffix “-chen” always intends to make something small and cute, so basically it says “You look better in a neat, small skirt” and at least to my mind a “small skirt” would mean a short skirt, because when using the term “Röckchen” nobody actually thinks about a long hippie like gypsy skirt that goes over your knees or covers your ankles..
Another one, which was really, well, I can’t even find an adjective went like this:
“You should rather buy a push-up bra”.
Phew, yes, let us digest that for a moment and take a deep breath.
So, sticking with the comments saying that she looked more beautiful now.. Well, I’m not talking from first hand experience, but I guess a pregnancy can do something to your appearance, for better or worse, and if you look absolutely happy and radiant because you are proud and happy, that’s fine. The bugging thing is that these comments drew on the fact that she now seems to be slimmer than beforehand. And I’d say that says a lot about nowadays’ society, where everybody is talking about the “after baby body” and women compete in “who gets back into shape within the least amount of time”. This puts pressure on them and frustration on those who didn’t land in the top 100 of this competition, leading to frustrated comments like “Yeah, well, good for you that you are back in shape, but not everybody is a celebrity who’s capital often consists in their appearance, and guess what, I don’t have a personal trainer…” etc., etc., etc.. Don’t get me wrong, I do not dub the last fictive comment as invalid, because, c’mon, that’s the argument that is always played across the table when it comes to topics like that, and it is just a fact that many celebs are working with a personal trainer and try to get back into shape asap.
But this is not the point right now.
No matter whether the comments are envious, frustrated or admiring, they all draw on the same craze. Please, could we keep one thing in mind: This woman just gave birth some months ago! So, actually, her body performed a frigging natural miracle.
And maybe, just maybe, she is not so slim now because she did a lot for it and because that was her intention, but maybe, just maybe the procedure of labour was exhausting, maybe there were complications and she was stressed out and worried about her baby’s health, maybe she wasn’t well during pregnancy, maybe her baby is not one of the sweet “he already sleeps through all night” ones but doesn’t allow her to sleep more than two hours each night. All this can also contribute to a different shape. Just saying.
By the way, the last argument also serves as an answer to the comments stating that she looked better beforehand and is now too slim.
Now, let’s turn to the “Röckchen” thing. And the push-up bra thing. Both comments from male writers by the way. Well…seriously?!
Okay Mister X, I understand, your personal opinion is that short neat skirts suit her better because..she has beautiful legs and can show them or because they support her proportions better, right? Just your personal opinion, right? And Mister Y, I guess, your personal taste just prefers big boobs, huh? Alright, free country, everybody can say what they want. And they do, especially when feeling safe in the vast anonymous sphere of the internet.
But what I mean is, is that what the image of a woman looks like? What it has to be? Is that what defines women as women: big boobs and short skirts?
Can we just take a second and remind ourselves that no matter whether this lady is a celeb and being watched by the public eye and using all those social network channels to share her experiences and events of the day with her fans and ‘putting herself out there’ or not, that she accomplished more than just looking good? (although that most probably is part of her career by the nature of itself) If she decided to wear her “perfect for mommies” jeans outfit during work (which she actually did) that doesn’t make her a less competent TV hostess, that does nothing to her skills or all the competences she earned during a career that started in the late 1990’s.

The ‘funny’ thing is this: Let’s just play a game, are you in?
Let’s imagine she would have uploaded a picture in a neat short skirt, push-up bra and either tight tank top or cool blouse with cleavage. Imagine that for a moment.
What would the comments be like? “Oh, you look radiant.”, “Beautiful”, “Wow, so sexy after having a baby”? Probably, yes.
But is it unlikely that the comments would also include “You are a mother now, you shouldn’t present yourself like that, where is your honour, do you think your child would like his mommy be running around like that?” and the like?
So, I really ask you: Can we ever make it right? No matter how you do it, you do it wrong.
And yes, we all know that we cannot please every single person on this earth, that is normal. But why is it that people always have to blame and shame each other?
One way or the other there always seems to be something to criticise, to rant about. But why?

And this is just an example taken from a photo on a social network platform, a small example. Let’s open the blind a little bit.
If you are a career oriented business woman you are judged for not wanting children. Here it comes: mostly by women, not by men! By your own ‘fellows’.
If you say that you definitely want to have children because you think they are a huge contribution to the fulfilment of your life, you’re judged for being old fashioned, not emancipated, etc.
But this is not exclusively reserved for women. Men are also confronted with those controversies.
When you decide to take over your family’s business although your original plan was to follow your passion and do something else, you’re judged for giving up your dream and conforming with the expectations of others instead of living your life according to your own wishes, even if stepping into the family tradition might have been your free choice and a deed you did with all your heart.
When you decide to follow your dream instead of taking over the family business, you’re judged for putting yourself first, being egoistic and letting down your family.
Oh, great! You see? Apparently there is no way of doing it right.

But why do people still so often try?
Why is the want to be everybody’s darling still so present?
As if the struggle of combining the wish to live up to your full potential and choosing the ‘right and reasonable path’ wasn’t enough.
Why do we blame and shame and judge so often?
Is it because we blame and shame and judge ourselves so hard that we need to project it onto someone else to let all this pressure and frustration out?
Is it because we are so hard on ourselves that we automatically are hard on others?
And if so, does that not mean that we need to work a little harder on being patient, loving, caring, forgiving and kind to ourselves?
What if the way we treat others was the way we treat ourselves? What if the way we treat ourselves was the way we treat others? What if this worked vice versa?
Maybe a wake-up call to rethink the way we’re behaving not only towards others, but also towards ourselves.

Be kind. Spread the love.

Welcome to the Relaunch of my Blog!

Dieser Eintrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar

My dears,

welcome to ginalaventura.com.
As it is sometimes time to tidy up, clear out, re-accessorize and to decorate at home, so it is the case with the virtual space you call your own as well.
So I welcome you to my freshly refurbished, decorated and restructured blog.
Maybe it’s not all perfect yet in every detail but we also give housewarming parties even when there is a box left in a corner or a picture is not yet hanging on the wall, don’t we?
So, what’s new?
* the layout is different
* the structure is optimised, so beneath the menu bar in the header you find the sites also in German
* at the top of the German entries you find the note “this entry is also available in English” with a link, so that you can read the entry in English if you like to (although not all entries are bilingual, some are just available in English and others just in German)
* in general there are more links implemented, so when I refer to something in an entry you can find it quickly
* additionally, I now share some insights into my model portfolio and there is a separate page for videos/films I act in or I participated in

Those of you who have been following me for a while know what the blog looked like when I established it in September 2013, you also know some of the entries already and you are familiar with the sundaystory.
* Of course I conserved all of the former entries and haven’t deleted them
* Still, now with the relaunch, I decided to mix new entries I have prepared for you with older text that you maybe already know to keep it interesting for new readers as well as for the people who have been following me for a while already

I hope you like the new layout and the new structure and that you still – or maybe now even more – enjoy stopping by.

But to celebrate the relaunch of my blog properly, I have prepared something else for you:
I raffle 3x Labelled Love paperback off + a little surprise.

What you have to do to enter the competition?
Write in the comment section below why you should win the book. Deadline is the 30th August.
The winners will be drawn by lot and announced until the 5th September.

Take a look around, make yourself comfortable and enjoy reading and rummaging.

Be creative. Be yourself.

Gina.

Goat Cheese Rocket Muffins

Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar.

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Today another recipe.
This time: Goat Cheese – Rocket – Muffins
The perfect snack for a party 🙂

You need:
100g butter
250g flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
50g rocket
1 small onion
250g goat cheese (I tend to take the one that looks like Geramont and is normally used to eat on bread, but it has a nice consistence and melts quite well)
2 eggs
200g sour cream
1 teaspoon of salt

muffin form for 12 muffins / 12 paper liners

preheat oven with 180° (recirculating heat 160°). put one paper liner in each pan of the muffin form. melt the butter, mix flour with baking powder.

give the rocket a shower, shake it dry and cut it roughly. peel the onion and cut it into small cubes. mix both under the melted butter. cut the goat cheese roughly.

stir eggs with sour cream, salt and rocket-butter. then stir the flour-mix into it quickly, fold the goat cheese in.

put the dough into the paper liners.
put the muffin form in the middle of the oven and let it bake for 20-25min. take them out, let them cool down and take them out of the form.

Bon appetit! 🙂

Do you think you ever thought a thought

Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar

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Do you think you ever thought a thought
that nobody else thought before?
That even never was thought of before
in the whole history of our mankind?
Do you think you ever had an idea
nobody else had before?
Might there really be anything entering your mind
which has never ever
entered another mind before?
And what would this mean
regarding security and individuality?
I mean, if you cannot be sure of your own thoughts
– regarding the thesis that they might have been somebody else’s thoughts before –
what can you be sure of then?
Maybe it is just like the Indians once said
“We do not own the world, we just borrowed it from our children.”
Maybe it is the same with thoughts and ideas?
Maybe it is all about timing
and thoughts and ideas
have to enter different minds over and over again
until their time has come
to be put into practice
at the right time
in the right place
the right moment
with the right surrounding
and by the right person.
Do you think you ever thought a thought
that was never thought before?

Gina Laventura © 2011