Sunday, December 28, 2014

The year Miro Klose became a Legend

Me, "dressed up" as Angela Merkel. But it was really me.

A year always seems to be a short period of time. But then, at the end of the year, I usually realize that it was filled with one hell of a lot of things. The last few years I got to look back on graduations and many more successes. Not so much this time. The vast majority of my year was an existing stage, not life. Other than winning the World Cup, which is pretty much my favorite thing to happen ever, there was little to celebrate. My memories include the hospital, unemployment, living in the most boring and the most stressful country and doing a whole lot of things I never wanted to do. Undoubtedly being the worst year of my life, it was needed to teach me valuable lessons and change my entire life, attitude and personality.

The quarter-life crisis hit me hard this year. One bad decision in the end of 2013 set me up for a year of misery which eventually forced me to go to a country that couldn't be worse for me. My entire life I had made heart decisions and this year I was forced to change that. Opportunities don't come along very often so I had to go to Egypt despite me hating Cairo. The decision to go was an easy one as I hated life and it could only get better. And of course it did. I could not have been luckier. My initial job which was impossible to exceed in boredom and stupidity was the only bad thing I quickly exchanged for an amazing job. Three weeks in I met a boy. I was also living rent free for three months. I was still in Cairo but it couldn't have been made easier for me.

The groundbreaking realization I made this year is best explained in the words of Paolo Coelo. In Brida he speaks about two kinds of people: builders and planters. Builders work towards a pre-existing goal but what after? Planters take the seeds they were given and create something from that. I changed from being a builder to a planter this year, simply because being a builder didn't work. I worked hard and still didn't get any closer to my goals this year. Instead, I was given a seed that can only flourish in Egypt so that's what I'm doing, letting it blossom to bring me whatever I can have.

I have no plan whatsoever for the new year and I'm prepared to just let it happen. If I don't feel like it was a waste of time, like 2014 was, then I'm happy. I take all my happiness from 2014 from the fact that Miroslav Klose will go to bed as a World Champion for the rest of his life and it works. Genuinely being the happiest moment of my life so far July 13 makes everything worth it. Whenever I think back to it my heart is filled with joy. I am, however, not the same person anymore. This year truly left scars and I don't just mean the huge one on my shin. The all-smiles, nice and loving company person has been absent for a few months. There are fewer people I actually enjoy spending time with as opposed to the "OMG I love all people!" kind of girl I used to be. But that's just the way it is. I've had a bit of a reality check. But I'm glad I had it.

Tragic Christmas

Just before Christmas, tragedy hits harder than it usually would. How much harder is it to be sad during Christmas? Quite substantially. December is the best month for those who are happy. For the lonely, sad or grieving, however, it is a nightmare. All those carols reminding one of childhood or those times when things were still alright can be a painful experience. In the light of this thought, bad news always have a bigger effect on me around Christmas time. When I heard six Christmas shoppers were killed in my former home town of Glasgow yesterday because a lorry crashed into a shopping alley I immediately thought of the families: not only did they lose loved ones but they probably had the feast of love all planned out with them. Now they will be unwrapping their presents themselves.

Two years ago, a tragedy that occurred far away from my own life ruined my Christmas. The horror that was the Newtown shooting caused me lots of tears and I couldn't even fathom what the affected must have been through if I was already a mess. Such tragedy would have devastated me any other month as well. It was the thought of Christmas, however, that made me ache even more. Those dead little children had been looking forward to it so much, their parents probably had presents wrapped already and the young families would have been perfectly happy on Christmas if it hadn't been for a mad man. This kind of tragedy doesn't ruin Christmas, it ruins your life. For the rest of their lives they will hear those songs, see those decorations and remember when their lives were ripped apart at Christmas time.

It is the fact that Christmas comes back every year and will bring with it the memories of Christmas past. I had some of the best times of my life at Christmas time. Last year, my Christmas was so good it made up for the fact I had to skip it this year. November last year was one of the worst months of my life so that when I started working at the Christmas market which allowed me to meet a lot of people and drink lots of mulled wine I was so relieved it made me very happy. Three years ago, at Christmas, I spent it with a boy for the first time which made it ultimately more enjoyable. And some of the fondest memories of my life come from spending Christmases with my adopted California family in times when my own family was in pieces. Every year certain songs come on it takes me back to those beautiful memories when I was a child waiting for Santa who was ultimately my Dad who is now gone. But when those beautiful memories are horrible ones Christmas is no longer a joy.

From now on Christmas won't be a holiday for those who lost children and partners in the Glasgow lorry crash or at the Newtown shooting. But throughout the year people have lost loved ones, and the first Christmas without them is the worst. I wonder what it is about Christmas that makes people suffer from loss more; I think it's the fact that it's supposed to be the season of joy and happiness so it's disappointing when it's not. It's also the memory of all those beautiful times we had around Christmas in the past and the childish anticipation we still have every year leading up to the holidays that make it a bittersweet affair. Having a successful Christmas is ultimately reflecting a good year and when it's hasn't been one the feast will be equally sobering. When our lives are struck by tragedy, Christmas becomes a challenge. Therefore I'm truly blessed I might not have Christmas but I have the love, the happiness and the time off work that it stands for. And that's what Christmas really should be all about.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Thoughts on age difference part III

Once again, I have found myself in a relationship with a much younger guy. The youngest before him was 39 months younger than me. I had every intention to never break that record. Little did I know that my current boyfriend is in fact 39 months and two weeks younger than me. People have stopped believing me when I say I am actually not looking to be with youngsters all the time. And in my defence, I thought my current lover was two years older than he is until two weeks ago but I will have to admit this has undeniably become a thing now. How much I finally wanted to be with someone age worthy and still I end up with the children. At the same time, the current toyboy owns land and is self-employed which, besides academic achievement, beats my achievements by quite a bit. So what is age?

I feel no day older than 23 despite me turning 26 this January. Three years ago I dated someone the same age as my boyfriend, only that back then I was 23 myself. I haven't changed so why would it be worse to date someone of that age now? Because I'm so mature? Obviously, I do not care. I have found this entire age thing to be totally irrelevant. Yes, I'm slightly more interested in someone if he's either younger or way too old for me but only because I like to be unconventional. I have just met way too many exceptions to the age rule. I know many people older than me that are more ridiculous than my baby lover. At the same time, I'm not ahead of my age or even age appropriate so why would it even matter? Jennifer Lawrence AMD Kate Upton are way younger than me, for God's sake, and I'd still have an epic time with them if I ever partied with them.

Especially since leaving university my age range for friends and partners has extended heavily. These days I hang out with 20 year-olds just as much as 40 year-olds. In fact, my age range in my circle is 28 years. While most of my friends would be considered my age I am close friends with people much younger and older, too, and we don't live in different worlds. I even find myself going to raves with my friend who recently turned 40 who is a full generation older than my boyfriend, yet my boy is the one rather staying in watching a movie and smoking a cigar. Clearly age rules are truly loose in my generation. And quite visibly beyond my own.

For me it has become a firm of tolerance speaking to people not my own age. I used to age-discriminate big time. As I learn to approach people from different backgrounds better growing up I also learn how to forget about age. When is the last time I didn't befriend someone because he was a hippie, or a punk, or a geek? That's right, freaking never. The opposite applies actually: the more different people are the more I am attracted to them. It's no different with age. People outside of my own generation are more interesting. My baby boyfriend lives in a completely different world due to these three years. Sooner or later that won't be the case anymore but for now I'm shocked about the absence of NSync in his life. Age just doesn't matter at all at my age. We're all kinda lost around 20, not shaped to perfection at all and the younger we are the more we have to discover.  Some more than others. And it looks like it's what we've seen so far that determines who we are, and not the number.

The opposite of boredom

As writing is now my job and hobby, the recreational use of it has suffered. However, the much bigger problem with writing a blog these days is the sheer and utter absence of time. My room at New Palace Hotel has not been graced with my presence in over a month other than to catch a few hours of sleep. Most days it is physically impossible to sleep longer than six hours and I have not had time to catch up on Modern Famliy. This only really becomes funny when considering what my life was just over three months ago. Just a little hint: it was the complete opposite.

Now that is not a bad thing. In the beginning of September I was unemployed, out of this world bored and I'd say pretty lonely. I had friends but they never had time and my mom had become my leisure time companion so in a way you could say I didn't have friends. What I did have was a long day ahead of me every day in which I intended to get up at nine but then thought to myself "what will I do for 17 hours today?". I started playing The Sims, not because I liked it so much but at least it gave me something to do other than writing more applications for jobs I wasn't interested even slightly. Needless to say, even though I'm crazy busy here I don't miss those days for a second.

It's funny how people here have way more things to do than Germans but still find a way to enjoy something other than their couch. I work from ten to six every day and have never just gone home after work once. I have a sister and a boyfriend I wanna see more than once a week so that's almost impossible next to extra work hours and having an interest in some hobbies or random people. The job comes with a lot of benefits but also the odd "conduct an interview at the other side of town after work hours" which doesn't help planning to spend time on the things I want to spend time on. I usually coordinate my weeks and the suddenly, boom, there is no plan anymore. At least I'm not bored!

Being bored is virtually impossible. My job has me going to restaurants to eat for free or parties with an open bar. On top of that I have someone to call if I ever get bored. In Germany I called everyone I knew on a regular basis to find someone to drink a coffee with me and I did not succeed in 99% of those cases because I was competing with couches, tv shows or boyfriends. Now I have my own boyfriend, I don't even need tv or a couch. My mom is coming over this week and it stresses me out thinking that I will have to squeeze her in too which of course I will be very happy to do. However, it's hard for me to even remember those days I was bored because I am now the opposite.