#randomramblings: Courage, Contemplation and Creativity during Crisis

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#randomramblings: Courage, Contemplation and Creativity during Crisis

Hey my dears,

no, today there won’t be a #sundaystory* but an interims post due to the current situation.
It’s not easy and it feels like the world was turned upside down, many things aren’t as we knew them or as how we got used to them for years, decades or even our whole lives.
I will avoid to repeat what is said in the media each and every day and what we hear from friends and acquaintances, as I assume that we all are already overloaded with information. On the other hand, it’s not my aim to pretend that everything is peachy sky and vanilla cake with cherry on top. It’s not.
But those who have been following me for a while now or even know me in person might have noticed that I have a tendency to be optimistic. I’d like to call it pragmatic optimism.
Because once a friend told me “Okay, Gina, now we have talked one hour about the problem, let’s talk at least one hour about the solution, that’s much more useful.”
What I’m saying is, I don’t try to sugarcoat anything or to confront it with blissful ignorance. That’s not me.
I don’t have solutions for the situation. But I’d like to try to contribute to spreading some light. And you can guess my medium of choice.
I hope the text will be more structured than my thoughts are right now and that you can take something away from it.

There will be more posts following according to my categories #modelmonday, #writerswednesday, #freelancefriday,#socialsaturday that are especially written for this time of crisis.
Make sure you subscribe to the newsletter, if you want to stay up to date.

Here now some perspectives on what we might do during this time, learn from it and take away from it.

Time
Now we ended up at what I already pointed at in a different post.
“We will never have time, unless we take it.”
Many didn’t take it, now it’s there, wanted or unwanted.

Instead of focusing now on what your everyday life normally would look like and what you would normally be doing and where you’d normally be, we can maybe switch over to a more pragmatic and useful approach.
How often did you say something like “Well, if I had more time, I would finally repair the squeaking cupboard door”? Or paint the walls, tidy up, iron shirts, take care of wooden furniture with special treatments, repot the plants on the balcony or whatever. These are productive things.
Of course they can be applied to personal stuff as well, like “Yeah, if I had as much time as XY, I would also do my nails, try out new hair styles, but in contrast to her I have to…” Or “As much time as he has, no wonder he already finished that game”, read this and that book, whatever comes to your mind.
Also popular “If there weren’t so many distractions at home and I had more time, I’d also love to do sports at home.”
Well, the fact about the distractions is real, but let me try to help you with this. God knows I’m not an expert, but as someone who works a lot in the home office and belongs to the more active (some say restless) types, I might have some tipps and tricks for you.

We order the above mentioned:
– productive / pragmatic
– fun
– training / learning / education
– sports

Especially if you’re not used to working at home or educating yourself at home via online courses or the like, the own four walls hold many distractions in store and you might end up in a never ending story.
Tendency is quite high, that it makes most sense to start off with the things on the outward to eliminate as many distractions as possible.
So repair the cupboard door at first, tidy up that bloody chaos drawer, dust off the lamps, clean the floor, iron the shirts, etc. etc. etc.
As said, just make sure you don’t end up in a perpetuum mobile, because while being busy with task A, you might recognise in addition to task B and C many more tasks until Z and then restart the whole alphabet with A’ and so forth.
That’s why I recommend the method that I also used in my IGTV video on instagram and here in one of my blog posts:
Take manageable portions from all the things you have to and want to do, so some that you might really be able to finish within a day and start with those that add to structure.
So, before you start neatly decorating your washing machine with washy tape, please start with tidying up and sorting out the cupboards and drawers and then work your way to cleaning up and then go over to the details. (Unless the details are a little creative pause for you and you feel secure enough to return to the have to’s vs. the want to’s)

Education and learning is another productive and pragmatic way to spend your time.
Now you can learn the language you always wanted to learn, read the business book about topic XY. Many content creators are offering free online courses and e-books right now. #solidarity, so if you’re interested in audio books, languages or DIY projects in your home or whatever, you can browse through the diverse platforms and find free material or get some good content for a small budget from an expert.
Same goes for sports. Many trainers with own apps are offering the subscription for free right now or for less money and some gyms offer free courses on youtube, etc.
And fun, like playing games, finally reading again or listening to music, is not to be forgotten.

The biggest problem is probably the lack of routine that is normally dictated by your everyday life. I understand that.
But, I have good news for you: You’re now the captain of the ship!
You can build your own routine. It’s not easy, I admit, and it takes time, yes and yes, I hear your arguments “Yeah, then I have a new routine and everything goes back to normal, so why?”
Yeeeeeeeah…..no! Other good news: You can also take some of the things you like from your own routine and implement it later into your everyday life 😉

Here now the pragmatic approach:
Take a big sheet of paper. We’ll use the method that I used in the above mentioned video and post and apply it onto this case.
Write down all the tasks that have to be done, should be done and that you want to do. Then categorise them according to work, fun, sports, education & learning for instance. Just randomly onto the paper.
Ready, list everything that comes to your mind, go!

Ready? Great!
It might look like a lot now.
Now take another sheet of paper and create lists according to the categories you chose. (I recommend making them colourful)
And now take a closer look at all the things you wrote down on your random sheet before.
Let’s say you gave your list the colour green for household stuff. Now mark everything on the random sheet green that has something to do with household.
And now put it into the list, preferably according to a logical principal, like mentioned above.
Does it make sense to start a big clean up and then sort out the cupboards? Or would it be better the other way round?
Try to imagine the processes and to list them in a manner that makes sense, so that you don’t end up having done one task seven times in three weeks and totally neglecting another one that you wanted to do.
It will take a little moment. Just do it.
Great.
Now do the same with the other categories.

Amazing. Now you should have structured lists and an overview.
If you like to, you can put it into your calendar or just do it according to your mood and energy level. When you get up in the morning and during breakfast or the first coffee you’re thinking “Ah, today is a good day for sports”, pick something from your sports list. “Today I feel neither creative nor sporty, actually I just wanna chat with my friends”. Okay, do it. Call your friends. While you’re sorting out your wardrobe for instance. 😉 By the way, your friend might even help you decide what items to keep and which ones to donate or sell or give away. How does that sound?

Me personally, I’m a friend of picking at least one thing that I have to do and one thing that I want do, but often I’d also go according to the “What do I feel like today?” principle and then combining the tasks from different categories.
I recommend picking at least one thing you have to and one you want to do.
So, before I do six things I want to do, I’ll pick one to two, three things from the list that have to be done. This way I have success and fun in one day.
The Kinder egg for adults so to day 😉

Before this post gets completely out of hand, I’m gonna throw in some things you might wanna do:

household
– sort out your wardrobe and donate or sell the items you don’t want and need (doing something good and earning some money)
– structure your cupboards and rearrange them
– laundry, ironing, taking care of furniture and floors
– dust off the lamps
– archive photos and store old data from your computer on external hard drives

sports
– online courses and videos and using what you have to get some sports into your day
– if you can’t motivate yourself on your own and maybe live alone, try to find online groups that meet at a specific time of the day and do sports together
– computer games with sporty activities are also an option

business (a separate post concerning business will follow)
– now’s the time to restructure and relaunch your website
– depending on the branch you’re working in, you might find new concepts for your sales, marketing and online services
– you can create special offers and spread them on the various platforms you use

education / learning
– finally you can dedicate yourself to your DIY projects, the material for your self-made shelf is already rotting in your cellar, isn’t it?
– learn something new, a language, cooking, how to cut your hair yourself, doing manicure at home, drawing, whatever it is that you have been interested in for a long time and always wanted to learn

fun & relaxation
– take a long walk through nature and listen to the wind and the birds
– read
– listen to audio books
– finally watch the movie / series you have been longing to watch
– call friends
– playing games in the analogue world with room mates, partners, family or online with friends
– creating and designing birthday presents (especially for those that won’t be able to celebrate their birthdays due to the crisis, hello my Aries babes, don’t worry, postponed doesn’t mean cancelled and we have to celebrate according to the opportunities, and there will be opportunities in the future)
– meditation / relaxation techniques
– dance through the room

This is just a small list, but maybe there are some impulses in it that inspire you. I hope so.
Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments below and share your tipps and ideas. Sharing is caring.

And now imagine this:
What if we all learned something from this situation and took something away from it?
What if, when everything is slowly returning to a level of normality, we got out of it more toned, more educated and if we met all our loved ones in a fresh and rearranged home and took hours to exchange what we have done and learned?

Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s difficult and hard, especially for families with children, who now also have to do home office and are not used to it. For those that still have to go to work with worries in their hearts. For the care givers, doctors, retailers and tradesmen, delivery people and craftsmen, farmers and all the small and medium sized companies and self-employed people, that are confronted with big problems and worries and sorrows.
I see you and you’re brave. True heroes. I have nothing but gratitude and respect for you and I’m thinking of you!
But maybe you too find something in this post, that might spread some light onto your sorrowful soul and that nurtures it with positivity and calmness.
I’m not free from sorrow either, but I decide consciously for hope and optimism.
And I share it with you. I hope your arms are open so that you can embrace it.

Take care, stay at home, stay safe and sound.

xx

Gina.

* the #sundaystory will be paused until my upcoming book is published. I need my resources now to keep my business running and creativity flowing. I hope you understand that. Please bear with me.

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#socialsaturday: Reflections & Resolutions

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#socialsaturday: Reflections & Resolutions

Hey my dears,

I don’t know about you, but reflecting on 2019 makes me go phew, what a year!
There was a time when I’d make new year resolutions after reflecting on the year that was coming to an end.
Which in turn just meant starting the new year with additional pressure instead of letting go of the pressure of the past year.
So, I turned to having wishes and visualising them.

But first, I’d do the past year justice and reflect upon it.
Sum it up, go through the ups and downs, see what I learned and what I can still learn.
Then I turn to visualising my wishes for the new year.
Without pressure.

For some it’s the next big career step, for others it’s building a home and family, for others it’s doing more sports, calling mum more often, and for many it’s taking more time for themselves.
And that’s exactly what I decided on to bridge the old and the new year.
Thus, I decided to spend New Year’s Eve all on my own in a place that I love: close to the sea.
Just me, myself and some salty splashes of water, to wash away what needs to be washed away in order to clear the path for a new year.

I have no idea how it’s going to feel, maybe I’ll hate it, maybe I’ll love it.
But as nowadays so many people on social media are talking about self-love and even Felix Jaehn sings about putting love on yourself first, why not travel alone and end the old and start the new year with the one person that was, is and will be with you each day, every day?
Take them by the hand, listen to them, their wishes, their needs, their desires, hopes, dreams. And promise them that you’re going to support them in their endeavours.

I know, many think it’s brave, some say they could never do that.
You know what? I do believe you can do it, if you really want to. I do believe, if you set the “can’t” aside, you’d be astonished by all your capabilities and abilities.

And let’s be honest, today it’s so easy to go somewhere alone and still not be alone, just by being glued to your phone.
And it’s also easy to “travel” alone to a place where you know people.
When I talk travelling alone, I really mean travelling somewhere where you are on your own, for your own.
Of course, you shouldn’t throw your phone away, you should tell someone that you arrived safe and sound. But maybe reduce it to certain hours where you’re available or if you feel like sharing a beautiful sunset, do so, but you know, your story will be available for 24 hours, so just check the likes and reactions 18 hours later, that’s fine.

How are you gonna make and take time for yourself if always someone is slamming the door open and talking to you? And even by invitation because you just posted a sign saying “come on in, you don’t even need to knock”!
No, I’m not talking “digital detox”, but neither am I talking “me-time” which consists of 100 selfies and 10 food porn photos a day.
I think you get me.

All I’m saying is: There lies beauty in spending time alone. In solitude.
And mind you, solitude is not the same as loneliness!
Even if, you know what? Bearing loneliness can be an indicator for power. Finding a soothing beauty in solitude and even cathartically crying can show you a lot about yourself.
I know, I know, I don’t make travelling alone sound really sexy, I’m sorry.
But believe me, it is!

In a hectic world, where “I’m busy” and “I don’t have time” seem to be the most frequently used expressions, I think it’s important to remember that we will never have the time, unless we take it.
And if this “me-time” should serve its purpose, then we should take that time for ourselves. Taking walks with ourselves, listening to ourselves, and embrace everything we might encounter. Yes, the good, the bad, the ugly, the imperfect, the desires, the flaws, the longing, the wishes, the dreams, the ambition, the hurt, the pain, the joy, the fun, the goofy, the ridiculous. All of it.
Cause we are all more than one thing.
But we will never find out, if we never take the time we never seem to have.

Whatever you have planned for New Year’s Eve, I hope you take some time to reflect on 2019, visualise your dreams and wishes for 2020 without putting pressure on yourself and that you make it safe and sound into a new decade that holds so much in store for you.

So long, my dears

loads of love

xx

#writerswednesday: Tips for Creativity & Inspiration

#writerswednesday: tips for creativity & inspiration

As there are many creatives out there in different fields, be it photography, film making, writing, singing, acting, modelling, dancing, painting, whatever, I realised that often they are confronted with the same or similar problems.
Some of them being in the direction of the following:

* I’m not in the mood, I don’t know where to go with my art, it feels useless what I’m doing
* I have the feeling that I’m just repeating and reproducing what I’ve already done
* I have too many ideas and my mind is all over the place so that I feel like getting actually nothing done

These and similar thoughts I myself have encountered, but I also heard them quite frequently from other creatives, as by now I know quite many of them.
That’s why I’d like to share some advice with you. And this is not just for writers or photographers or other creatives.
Creative comes from create and therefore, any task that creates something can be seen as a creative task.
Be it gardening, redecorating your home or something else.
To cope with all these negative, limiting and blocking thoughts, I’m gonna share some tips with you that helped me all along the way of my creative path.

1. Take a break, have a coffee*. Consume art.

* can be substituted by anything you like, tea, whiskey, chocolate, cake…

When you feel like not being in the mood, like having all these ideas in your mind but they don’t mould into the next great piece of art, leave it. Let it take a rest. Don’t let inspiration run away, but give it a little time.
If you feel like being really blocked from it, it can also help to consume a lot of art to get into your own flow again.
As a writer, read. And read a lot.
As a photographer or model, watch a lot of pictures, follow other models/photographers and get your inspo board refreshed.
As a film maker, watch a lot of movies.
As a cook, read recipes, watch cooking shows or youtube videos.
The list could go on like that now, but I think you already got it.
This is not to say consume a lot in order to copy, but in order to get your inspiration back on track.

2. Sit down. Turn your phone off. Produce.

When your mind is so overflowing with ideas that you’re loosing track and you always think “I don’t know where to start.” this is gonna be lethal to your inspirational flow.
Instead, sometimes, although it feels like sh*t, just take the next best thing on your list (or if you already prioritised, take the top priority), sit down and get something done. Just start.
Or if you feel totally lost, like nothing great is coming out of your mind, take one thing that has been on your to do list for a quite a while or take a small creative task and push it forward.

As Picasso said “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

So, if you’re missing inspiration, it’s not necessarily gonna come while you’re contemplating about not having inspiration, you know.
In most cases, negative thoughts create a negative environment, so why should inspiration feel invited?
Create an invitational environment for inspiration and keep on working!

3. Try something new.

If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and you’re only reproducing and repeating things that you already did and you tend to be bored by yourself and your art, just try something new.
Again, this is not to copy someone else, but if for instance you’re a writer of romantic stories and you’re completely stuck, try to write, dunno, a detective story or something from a different genre. Just to see whether you like it or not, to challenge yourself and to keep your mind in your creative field but with a different perspective.
This can also add to your own authentic voice, because maybe you find out that you actually like this genre, or parts of it or even that you don’t like it at all. It doesn’t matter. Either way it’s gonna show you something about you and your art and work.
For me, I realised that the #sundaystory helped a lot with this. It is challenging to combine the prompts to something coherent and as the mood or tone or genre is given as well, sometimes they are completely off my normal field of creative work. But I consider it exciting and really refreshing to use my skills in a different genre and to learn and grow with it.
Of course, this also works in other fields, cook something new, wear a combination of clothes that you haven’t worn before, style yourself in a manner that you’ve never styled yourself before in, take photos of things that normally don’t attract your photographic attention, etc.
Just try something new. It’s refreshing and helps you grow and learn.
About you. About your work. About your art.

4. Communicate. Meet friends. Chitchat. Share. Exchange.

One of my creeds and believes is “Inspiration through communication”.
Oftentimes while chatting with close friends, business partners and strangers, this exchange gives me impulses that hit a spot that was untouched before. And sometimes a good conversation is all you need to get you back on track again.
More often than not, when my mind is overflowing with ideas and I don’t how to prioritise them or whether they make sense or not, calling my best friend and chatting with her over a nice cup of coffee is the best thing I can do.
It’s not only her input, although it’s a beautiful input and I feel blessed to have such great friends, but it’s also that while you’re talking to someone else, you’re also talking to yourself and in that moment you shape things in a manner that you weren’t able to when everything was just in your own head.

5. Take yourself on a date.

As much as communication and conversation with people can be inspiring and give you impulses, as much is it important to take some time just for yourself. And no, darling, I don’t mean you on your own, glued to your phone, having a ton of chats open and still communicating with others.
I mean you, yourself and you again.
And when I say take yourself on a date, I really mean it.
Don’t go to the laundry service alone with a cuppa to go and call it a date, ok?
Don’t cheat!
I really mean, if you were another person taking yourself on a date, what would it look like?
Would you go to a restaurant? A cafe? To the cinema? Taking a long walk in a park?
Whatever you consider your dream date to look like, don’t wait for anyone, treat yourself to it.
Sometimes you would find me in a cafe with a cup of coffee and a piece of cake, mostly with my paper notebook or my laptop or a book to read, enjoying some time alone, just doing things that I love and that inspire me.
And no, no, no, I don’t do it to have a cute picture to post on instagram.
I mean yes, you caught me, that happened too, but I don’t go there in the first place to promote and advertise dating oneself on social media, you know. If I do so, I do it because I’m in the mood.
One of the things that I also love doing is getting up early in the morning, when the streets are still quiet and drive into a city, any city that I like, and walk the streets, watching all the details of architecture for example, taking pictures of the rising sun between houses or a beautiful flower on a wall or anything that captures my attention and that I therefore want to capture too. It’s really an intensive feeling taking a walk alone and watch a city waking up.
Sometimes I also take a walk in a forest or in a park or at a sea, whatever I feel like. And yes, a lot of the times I’m talking to myself.
I mean, hey, this is a date, huh? And normally we do talk on dates, don’t we?

General advice: Disconnect.
In many cases it’s a good choice to enjoy these moments disconnected from emails, social media and chats.
This is not a necessity, but it helps you refocus on what’s important to you without comparing yourself and your art to others and their work. And this gives you more freedom in your mind to work on your very own business.
You can still share the pictures you took, the things you’ve done, the experiences you made later on, but grant yourself a little time to really feel them inside of yourself.

I hope these tips and advice gave you some impulses on how to get yourself and your creative energy flowing again.
Of course there are many more things that I could put on this list and I might make a series out of it, but right now, I don’t want to bore you until the last spark of inspirational flow ran out by reading a blog post that was waaaayyyy too long.

Plus, guess what I’m gonna do? Yup, I just heard some coffee call my name. Can you hear it, too?

Happy (Chinese) New Year and Thank You!

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IMG_0445
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.

#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.