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Posts tagged “musing

ready to talk (about “mental instabilities”)

Note: I do not mean any offense in any way when I used the term “mental instability” in the title and when I’ll use it below. I simply don’t have a name for this condition and refer to it that way; if you do know of a more appropriate term, please let me know so I can correct my usage!

Okay people. I think this is a now or never moment. Right this moment, I actually feel ready to talk.

So, remember all the times these couple few years when I told you of my “state”? I always called it my “state” or “condition” because I’ve never – and still don’t for sure – know what to name it. I guess it’s some form of mental unavailability or instability. I don’t think it ever reached the state of an archetypical depression (that is if there even are any archetypical depressions… I simply mean the kind of depression classified by a professional, say, a doctor or psychologist) but then again I’ve read multiple times that mental instabilities (Can someone please introduce a simple-to-use word for these… “things”?) always develop differently in each sufferer, so it could well be that I reached a mild state of depression all along.

Anyway, I never talked – and never wanted to, frankly – about when and how it came about but I think I’m ready to do so now. For whatever reason I feel sick to keep it shut inside me and maybe, maybe someone will read this post and will be grateful for it because they can in whatever ways resonate with it, with me.

Thing is, I’ve always been an idealistic person. I’d even say I’ve always been idealistic to a fault, leading to me having so many presumptions and assumptions about what the world should be, how everyone should be and behave and how the processes of live and living should take place. In my opinion, it’s the most infuriating trait I have.
On top of that, I’ve always been self-conscious. It was very bad when I was quite young but then improved and was greatly reduced with the help of nice teachers and generous and kind-hearted friends I’ve met along the way.
Then I entered third grade of high school (no idea what English natives call that) and that’s when everything started to fall apart. Why? Because looking back, what I can conclude from being mentally unstable for such a long time, what the gravest consequence of all my suffering was, is that I’ve lost every bit of self-confidence I built up before. It might seem like such a small loss but let me tell you that losing every believe in yourself is one of the most painful and annoying things you could experience. (Or at least it has to be, from my 18-year-old perspective on life.)

See, I started third grade as a happy 14-year-old girl – in fact, I don’t think I’d ever been happier before in my life. Everything went great and while I knew that school’s just getting more and more challenging, I had enough self-confidence that I could make it somehow, someway. Moreover, I’m one of those people who sometimes have (ridiculously) high expectations of themselves and I wouldn’t let myself be disappointed by, well, myself. Also, my parents had high expectations of my achievements, too, so that’s something I had to fulfill as well… but at that point I was so used to it that it didn’t bother me much. So far, so good.

So, I entered this class in third-grade and – let’s not forget how idealistic and happy/content I was – I was instantly so overwhelmed by how grateful I was to be in that class. I can remember the couple of times when I gushed to my best friend about how lucky I am to be in that class and how it must be hands down, no doubt, the “best class ever”. At that time idealistic me thought that everyone in the world was good, or at least 90% good. Don’t ask me how I could have been so naive…. seeing as I knew that there were bad people out there, abominable, detestable people. I guess that because I never got in personal touch with someone doubtlessly “bad” on a regular basis, that fact never fully reached my awareness. I’m sure that dozens of people could’ve repeatedly told me “there are really malicious people in the world out there, Stella” and it wouldn’t have changed a thing because of course there are vile people out there but it’s not until you see it right in front of you or them personally affecting you that you can fully grasp the most obvious facts. (Or at least, that’s how it is with me… tragic, right?)

But then, as time passed, all of a sudden I saw cracks in those people. Fissures where unexpectedly dishonourable behaviour would flow out and make a mess in that perfect environment I thought I lived in. It’s not that I didn’t knew that even people close to me can sometimes be mean and cruel but those were people I stupidly thought were golden, angelic, (almost) perfect. At the beginning it came very naturally to me to ignore such behaviour or just to decide that I wouldn’t be so chummy with them anymore in the near future; but of course, foolish me completely disregarded the fact that everyone can be good and bad. And that there are people who don’t have a problem with showing their selfish sides, who don’t have a problem with being mean for a moment; and with the number of them increasing, my idealistic world view started slowly, but surely to shatter and to leave me completely befuddled and confused.

Now you probably think that if that was the only reason I got mentally unstable, then it’s doubtlessly a self-inflicted one and basically it was just me being foolish and stupid and this whole episode is simply one big tragicomedy. Well, laugh all you want – I don’t mind – because in retrospect, frankly, I cannot help but shake my head at 14 and 15-year-old me, too. But let me also tell you that a lot of times mental instability is very much part of a person (by which I mean there are already seeds planted inside someone) and it only needs a trigger to unfold, which I believe was the case with me. And of course there were other reasons shattering my world view; such as that I came to the full realization that without money in life it’s very hard to carve your own path in this world or that there are a lot more inequalities in this world than I’d ever thought there were.

Anyway, I suddenly felt very foolish and also irrationally deceived. Deceived that I could’ve believed that people were simply at least 90% good. Deceived that I could’ve thought that everyone lived by the same rule of trying to never flaunt your imperfections in front of other people or to always try to be generous so that “greater goods”/ common goals are easier to achieve. Deceived that I probably should have realized this all along and was probably the latest teenager in the world to come to that conclusion.

Also, about the same time or a bit later, people started to get weirdly competitive in my environment. Not always an obvious competition rather than that one feels a shift in the atmosphere and a certain feeling of, well, being challenged or people comparing themselves with you about every possible topic one could compete about. And I realized that while I have quite high expectations of myself I somehow was simply a) not smart, b) not diligent and c) not ambitious enough to compete with them.
Needless to say, that my perception (whether true or not doesn’t really matter in the end, I guess) of myself added to my existing insecurity about my judgement.

And after all those happenings and realizations, I think, is when my mental condition started to weaken and when everything started going downhill.
By the way, I have to remark that I still am not 100% sure whether that was the trigger for my instability or whether it was just the tell-tale sign that I was mentally unstable; all I know is that being insecure about yourself and what you are and what you mean is a great part of what shapes mental instability (as I experienced it).

Let me explain it: It was around entering 4th grade that I started to have breakdowns on a monthly basis. Later there would be times when it extended to weekly breakdowns and sometimes I also had them several times a week. By the way, my definition of breakdown is this painful throbbing or stinging in your heart – psychosomatic I guess – sometimes even accompanied by headaches, that builds up a tension in you; and at one point you just collapse inside or sag and usually you start crying/sobbing and you can’t really concentrate on something anymore… it is as if your mind or your soul is just so heavy and leaves no place for logic; you just are in a state of despair (and at times you don’t even know why). And that’s basically what it’s about: Once you enter that desperation, that bleakness, it’s very, very hard to get out.

It messes with your mind. It doesn’t give you time to compose yourself for longer periods, doesn’t let you think logically. In fact, logic pretty much leaves your life. And all those insecurities you had? On one side they are intensified and on the other side you often feel so irrationally and inexplicably sad and dull that where they would’ve pass as logical reasons for your condition before they just don’t matter that much anymore because you are simply miserable without any sensible reason. (This is very hard to explain, I’m sorry.)

What I thought was the worse of those two was the first one; it’s also the one that has a lasting consequence. A simple example: Usually when I was crying or in a state of self-pity, I instantly chided myself and told myself to stop the foolishness and that I had no reason to cry at all. And that it was weak and stupid of me to do so. But what I couldn’t figure out was if the insecurities I had were justified, or if they were simply caused by me dramatizing them because I’ve always been pathetically melodramatic, or if they were even only dramatized because I was in an unhealthy state (that much I knew, by the way, that something was wrong with me). Basically it’s a vicious circle: Because of my insecurities and feelings of inadequacy and feelings of being misunderstood I never knew whether I could trust my judgements and my thoughts (after all I thought everyone in my environment was simply good when they also had their bad sides that they didn’t feel uncomfortable to act upon, which was a massive blow on my confidence that I could judge properly), which in turn increased my insecurities etc. and leave me in even bigger misery than before.

Of course that’s only the surface of what it means to be mentally unavailable; it’s a condition so complex and multidimensional – there are so many factors more (that my mind likes to suppress) to it and so many ways more in how it has influenced my perception of myself, my world and my life. There are also many more examples of living that way and effects it has on your lifestyle but I think that’s material for another time. I hope at least that I could show you one example (out of millions of different ones) of how it could possibly be triggered and the ways in which its roots start to dig in your heart and mind until you just feel mentally poisoned.

All in all, it just takes reason and logic away from you, increases your insecurities, implants self-doubt in your mind and heart; it’s a wrecked state, a poisoning state and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. (This is coming from me, who was probably comparatively stable as opposed to the people who are so effected they have suicidal thoughts.) All in all, this was simply the story of how the worst 3 and a half years of my life began. (Not that I think they’re fully over yet… I’m just a lot better. Quite a lot better.)

Thanks for reading and until next time,

Stella

PS: I’m back from hiatus… I guess?


untitled rant

NOTE: I know I haven’t done BEDA for over a week but I was very, very busy. Trying to catch up now though. (Hopefully.)

WARNING: This is going to be enigmatic. Basically, it’s just me talking/ranting to myself. Probably better to ignore this since it doesn’t make much sense anyway. (more…)


Daily Prompt: Share the Love

Remember the days when I used to participate in Weekly Photo Challenge? Yeah, long ago, I know. But I was thinking of possible posts for BEDA this morning (these days everything is about BEDA, I guess) and I thought that maybe I could establish Fridays as Weekly Photo Challenge day, so that I would have at least 4 more days of this month covered and on top of that get my lazy self to work on my photos. Coincidentally, today is the very first Friday of the month and when I looked up what next week’s challenges were…. I realized that I may have to postpone my idea until next week. Why? Because I looked the challenges up after lunch and one of the topics was about lunch or lunchtime; the other one was about colours but I couldn’t find interesting enough photos in my archive.

This is the reason why I instead decided to have a go at the daily prompt challenge, which I’ve never done before. Today’s task is about the following: Tell us about another blogger who has influenced your own online journey.

I’m afraid to say that I already know that there’s no one particular who stands out in my mind. The thing is, as you’ve probably noticed, I’m not the most avid and not the most prolific blogger. I don’t have that much experience and my journey is so to speak practically non-existent. Because I haven’t been blogging regularly, I have to delve into the world of bloggers anew every time I’m picking up blogging, which means that there’s no one I have been keeping in touch with or someone whose work I’ve been following so diligently that he or she’d have had the chance to influence my own work.

I can tell you though which person got me into blogging: It’s Libba Bray, the famous YA author and one of my favourite writers ever. (By the way I was just about to link you all to her blog and when I looked up the link (because I haven’t read her blog for about a year) I saw that she’s actually not – as she was back in the day – on LiveJournal anymore but that instead she moved here, to WordPress!) When I discovered Libba Bray’s books and her blog, which was late 2007, I think, she used to be really active on LiveJournal. She’d post almost everyday, if I recall correctly, and she had a really witty and humorous blogging voice that instantly got me hooked on her daily writings.
Also it was the first time I was directly confronted with blogging and the whole new world that comes with it – and I got deeply fascinated by how different you could design each blog’s layout, how there are so many people on the internet engaging in those comments or writing posts themselves, how people can be so productive and write a text everyday… (Yeah, I know. But I was 13 at that time, so give me a break.)
Because I was set on improving my English anyway, it didn’t take me long to set up my own LiveJournal blog afterwards.  I was very confused by the ways blogging works and also greatly overestimated my English abilities. Looking back, I don’t think I understood half of what the site was saying and the tagging system was just one big quiz for me. It’s no surprise that I stopped very shortly and put blogging aside for the next few months.

I did pick it up in December 2010 though and that’s when I created this blog here on WordPress. I can’t remember having someone in mind as I was creating it but I do recall how in the first few months my mind would often wander to Libba Bray’s blog and how prolific she was. A great motivator was also Kristin Cashore, another YA author, and Scott Westerfeld, yet another YA writer. They never influenced me in style and posting format, I guess, but every time I’d pay their blogs a visit and see the amazing response of their fans or the amount of posts they wrote in one month, I’d be reminded of how much fun blogging can be, when you actually keep doing it at a constant level. The thing with blogging is, the more you post, the more fun it gets. It is exhausting, that’s for sure – but unless you keep the posts coming in, you won’t get any response at all from your audience, no progression and no motivation to continue. Blogging for me is something you do all the way or not at all; if you’re not committed then you simply won’t benefit from it. Or at least not as much as you could.
In retrospective, I’ve noticed that blogging has taught me a lot – about the English language, about writing, about internet culture and about organization; but first and foremost, it taught me a lot about myself and how to express myself in words. The few times I was active were already enough to help me to open up, to let feelings in, to mature, grow and become the person I am today.

Going back to today’s prompt, I can’t say there has been someone, especially a blogger, who has influenced my own blogging journey so I could, among other things, thank them today for it; but I’d like to think that Libba Bray, Kristin Cashore and Scott Westerfeld have deserved my utmost affection and gratitude, for they have introduced me to this world and have kept reminding me that blogging is a hobby worth pursuing. So, a big thanks to them.
And while we’re at thanking, I guess it’s time again for me to say: Thank you, followers, for still being here and still sticking with me. You too might not have influenced my work but I wouldn’t be here today without you all and your support. You’re among the top reasons why I haven’t given up yet and, despite all the hiatuses, am still running this blog. Thanks.

Until next time,
Stella


BEDA 2013 and other news

So I’m actually supposed to be working on a presentation right now, but here I am, procrastinating as usual and spontaneously deciding to blog again after a months-long hiatus (also as usual).

The thing is, I miss talking / writing to you guys. And tonight I just had the irrepressible urge to blog again after a long pause – and who am I to deny my heart its most ardent wishes? (I’ll just excuse myself by saying that you’ve got to let the creative mind do what it wants to do whenever it wants to do it – or the missed opportunity of being inspired for a moment will haunt you forever.)

I actually don’t even know what to write about and it feels so weird to be writing again: It’s a mix between familiarity and strangeness – on one hand my fingers know what they want to type but on the other hand they hesitate ever so slightly as if not sure if what they’re doing is right. It also feels weird to write so formally again, after such a long time, or to carefully think about when to begin a new paragraph – on most social media platforms I hardly ever check my spelling or grammar or structure and I have a tendency to write without much planning. (Which I am actually doing as well right now.)

I guess I can update you on my life though; a lot has happened in the past few months, and I think I do have enough to talk about for the near future once I’ve thought things through and made a plan. So far I can say this:

1.) Remember how I wanted to write a post about introversion? Turns out I somehow lost half of my notes. The topic is very important to me though, so I’ll definitely write about it some day (when I’ll have rewritten my notes) and hope you’ll still want to read about it then. (Thanks for being patient and ignoring my inability to keep promises, by the way.)

2.) A post I could write with less preparation though would be about the ways internet has changed my life – and it’s something I’ve wanted to write for such a long time now, so you might get to read it in a couple of weeks. (I won’t make any promises anymore, ever, since I’m apparently really bad at keeping them.) The post will tell the story of how I got involved in the internet in the first place, when that happened and how it has affected me and my life.

3.) Third, I’ve just decided to participate in BEDA 2013! So you all know how bad I am at challenges or challenging myself but I guess you also know by now how much I like to try and try again to actually conclude one.
This time it’s BEDA which stands for Blog Every Day in April, which in turn is the writing version of VEDA (Vlog Every Day in April) and means that I’m going (to attempt to) blog every day. I don’t think there are any rules to it except the blogging every day part, which gives me all the freedom to choose between short or long posts, text posts or photo posts, telling stories or recommending something. Sounds exciting, right?

Yeah, I know, a lot of you are probably sighing at the moment, saying “you’re not going to write every day Stella, you know you won’t, and anyway, you’re already three days late” but… I don’t know, I’ve just got a better feeling this time since some of my internet friends and a lot of people I’m following are either participating in BEDA or VEDA and that is an actual motivator for me. (They’re all ridiculously prolific.)

To give you an idea what I’m going to talk about, here’s a list of topics I could imagine writing/posting about (no guarantees though):

  • As mentioned above in 2.) “How the Internet Has Changed My Life”
  • “A Short Introduction to Webshows”
  • Teenage ramblings à la “I’m soon going to finish school – Arrgh!” or “University – help me!” or “I Feel Mopey and Depressed – A Post about Common Adolescent Angsting”
  • A post featuring my latest photography
  • Recommendations of compilations of articles on a specific topic you should read (which is rather reblogging than blogging, I guess) e.g. campus sexism, internet culture etc. or recommendations of bands you might want to check out or recommendations of other websites (link lists)…
  • Travel reports of amazing places I’ve been
  • Posts about events that happened recently

But maybe you have something you’d like me to post about? If so, don’t hesitate to tell me and write down your suggestion in the comments below. I’m generally open for anything and try my best to write about everything (since this blog has no concept anyway). Or maybe you have something of the list above you’d really like to see? Just tell me, I’d love to hear a response from you in any kind of way. And I know I’m not the best at replying very fast or sometimes I would forget to reply, but I do read each and everyone of your comments and am genuinely happy about each of them, really! Some of you have also written feedback per e-mail, which is totally alright, too.

4.) I know this blog has never changed its appearance in its almost 2 1/4 year-long existence but I’m actually thinking of changing parts of the layout. But before I do that I want to know what you think. Should I leave it like this or should I change? Do you associate this blog especially with its layout?

I’m not thinking about changing my theme since this one displays text as well as photo posts so perfectly; but I’ve been thinking of changing the background to a lighter colour maybe. I know that the dark blue goes well with a lot of different photos, which was really important to me at the beginning but I think a white or crème or beige background would fit well, too. And maybe I’ll also change my header. What do you think?

As always, thanks for reading and sticking with me – see you tomorrow!

Stella

PS: Today, I’ve unusually used a lot of slang words – I’m sorry, I’ll try to be more formal next time.


2012: Looking back

WARNING: Don’t read unless you have an enormous patience for grammar mistakes and wrong spelling and colloquial language. I was moody and grumpy and tired when I wrote this so a lot might not make sense. Sorry!

I’m back! And as promised here the posts informing the interested ones among you what I’ve been up to (I actually said what I’ve been up to in the last couple of months but I figured a reflection on the whole last year would be just as good). About some of the mentioned experiences and happenings I’ll probably post something more detailed sometime so I just talk about them briefly.

First the good things that happened to me (I was actually surprised that there were more than 5 bullet points on my list):

1. This May the Mia Patria Choir (MPC) from Jakarta, Indonesia has come to Switzerland during their Europe tour! The MPC is basically a professional catholic choir from Indonesia singing and playing music partly for services (then church music) and for shows (traditional Indonesian music). Their coming to Switzerland was my personal highlight of 2012: I’ve never felt so truly, satisfyingly happy before or after meeting them.
My family and a lot of other family friends spent with them 2 amazing weekends – my family was among the most active because my mother was part of the organizational committee and therefore we practically went to all their shows and had to stay the night nearby (when they had concerts at two close places which were far away from our home town).
During that time I had the chance to meet amazing, lovable people from my home country and being surrounded by Indonesian culture and music and food got me on such a high like never before. I was part of the photographing team (I was ‘appointed’ by my mum) and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. A lot of our family friends take photographs in their free time too, and having all those more experienced photographers around was wonderful and extremely beneficial – at times I felt like an apprentice learning from masters.
I won’t say more though; I want to recommend them and their music in a post later this year.

2. + 3. I bought myself a new camera! I’m still so excited by looking at it and getting all giddy inside…. don’t ask. I’m weird. But yes, this is the second highlight of my year and it’s – I actually have told you that already but it’s so worth repeating – a Canon EOS 550D and it’s my biggest treasure and I love it and I’m so satisfied with it. I’ve saved money for a camera for such a long time and I still can’t believe that I finally did it.
I’m not that proficient in handling it yet but I’ve realised that slowly, I’m making small progresses along the way and I’m very happy with the way things are at the moment. (Wow, how eloquent of me.) I started out mostly shooting in half-automatic mode and a couple of months ago I finally began to take photos in the manual mode. It was frightening at the beginning and I often confused one setting with the other but I’m making less and lesser mistakes now.

Coupled with this event is actually a recent one: I got a brand new, only-for-me-to-use 1TB hard disk from my dad! Yay! You probably never thought that a 17-year-old girl could get that excited over a hard disk but I can. I am. I’ve been hijacking my dad’s own hard disk for far too long and my photo archive is getting bigger and messier every day. It’s actually a win-win situation: My day gets his own hard disk back and I finally found a place large enough to contain my photos. The negative side was the many hours that I spent sorting out new files and old files I had next to my photos and the many more hours I spent on categorizing and sorting out my photo archive. It’s finally done though and I’m super, super happy.
And because I have an actually organized archive now it’s so much easier to look for photos for my blogs… which is awesome for me and awesome for you.

4. I finished my Goodreads Reading Challenge 2012! I set up a goal of reading 30 books last year which I eventually and very narrowly only managed because of all the school books we had to read. Thanks, school! You are useful for something after all.

5. I got to travel to amazing places! There was Sicily with our school choir this spring and then my Singapore-Indonesia-tour this summer (I’ll post about both.) of which the latter was even more amazing because I got to see my cousins and my grandmother and the whole extended family again. I didn’t always felt at ease there (my ‘condition’ unfortunately didn’t vanish for summer holidays) but it definitely felt like home and like heaven and at the end of the summer I looked back with good memories in my mind.

6. This autumn/winter highlight was the Florence + The Machine (FATM) concert which I attended with a couple of friends. FATM has always been one of my favourite bands ever since I discovered them but I think that after the concert they started to play an even more important role in my life. Especially Florence Welch, as lively and energetic and creative as she is, has always been an inspiration to me and thus seeing her live on stage got me on a high shortly before the concert, during the concert and shortly after the concert. Doesn’t seem like much but these days I’m craving for even the smallest bits and pieces of happiness.

7. Last but not least – I finished my final paper! Yay! I first didn’t know if I should put it in the positive or negative list because it’s been so much work. And with ‘much’ I mean enormously, life-consumingly much. I swear, I don’t think I could ever describe the amount of hours I worked on it properly and the endless frustration that came with it (especially since you didn’t need 95% of the painfully patiently collected research material in the end anyway). Eventually, after about 9 months researching and working and frustrating on it and pulling some all-nighters for last corrections I managed to write a 60 (65?) pages long paper (with appendix though). I don’t even want to think of having to do that on a regular basis in university next year…

Looking back it does seem like I had a good year but I probably should show the other side, too:

1. We moved house. And it’s painful to think about it and I admit I still wouldn’t feel slightly at home if it weren’t for the fact that my family lives here too but I guess it will take another couple of years for me to accept this place as my new home. (It’s only a couple of houses down the street but it feels like a completely different world.) I don’t know if I’m ever going to write about this experience (and I tried a couple of times, believe me) but I do know now that you can shed a gazillion tears for an old, wooden table. Or for a bedstead. Or for a white wall.

2. At the beginning of the year I actually started to count the times that I hung out with my best friend. We both have very different schedules and other people in our lives too, so that for a couple of years we haven’t been able to see each other as much as we’d like; but I don’t think it has reached such an all-time-low as last year. And that was the year I was counting and actually could improve the whole situation by communicating more with her (we both are also non-texters…) but I just don’t know – every time I felt like I could do something with her I was way too tired for any kind of interaction or communication, especially with human beings that I know. And I should probably receive the ‘worst friend award’ for this, I know, but at so many days I felt so incredibly tired and at a lack of energy.
It wasn’t even always the physical energy but more of an inner one, you know what I mean? I generally get frustrated with other people so easily and it always takes me a lot of this inner energy to interact with basically anyone. This year my energy has been needed at other places too, so I guess that friends were somewhere near the bottom of my priority list. (It sounds rude but it’s true and I wish I could find a nicer way to phrase it.)
Moreover, we both, my best friend and I, are very relaxed about our relationship. I won’t say that this lack of time together doesn’t have its effect – because it does. It does so heavily, and when I once used to know so many facts about her, I’d be glad if I can get 5 things right about her nowadays. Lack of intimacy has caused a change in the superficial part of our relationship which revolves around the momentary well-being and preferences of the other. But the essence of our friendship, the core of it and what has brought and kept us together for all these years – that hasn’t changed and, I hope, will never change.
The problem that we both know this leads in me (I’m not 100% sure about her) sort of taking this friendship for granted, which, I know, I never ever should do. And I hate it but I can’t help it and I don’t know how to fight it and it doesn’t occupy my mind as much as it should these days. I guess, I can only hope (and work on it!) that this year our friendship will get much more intimate again.

3. And last about my ‘condition’ (I have to find a better name for it): I don’t know how eloquent and articulate I’m going to be (probably not at all) because I’m not used to writing about it – and I’m still not 100% ready for writing about it – but I’m going to try to describe the general state of this year in a couple of sentences. (I’ll write a couple more posts about it later this year.)
I actually thought for a long time that at the beginning of last year I experienced the peak of my ‘condition’. It was quite dramatic then, I guess, because I showed it like never before (and I was never supposed to show it). I don’t know how many people noticed, if anyone has noticed but I felt pretty naked and exposed at that time, especially because so many things coincided then and I was overwhelmed by the gigantic pile of emotions I had on a weekly basis. But then this autumn/winter happened. I already told a couple of people (not that there are many who know about this personally, so ‘a couple’ = max. 3) that I was bettering and it’s going upwards and whatnot but I didn’t realise that I experienced a new aspect of my ‘condition’. Looking at it, I think that you could compare spring 2012 to a raging storm because then I was the loudest; but this winter seems more to be of the ‘horrendous aftermath/possible build-up for another storm’-silence kind because my anxiety etc. more often than not expressed itself in physical pressure I feel (and leads over then to mental pressure) than in outbursts as it did once.
And I should probably elaborate and explain more but it hurts to think about it and it’s giving me a headache on top of it all. So I’ll just stop writing here until I find enough courage again to continue.

All in all (and I might elaborate here more on a separate post) if there’s a lesson I learned in 2012 than it’s this: Patience is a virtue. Don’t rush into things. Be patient. (Because waiting for a better state is painful and after a long time of anxiety you tend to rush into positive things the moment you get a glimpse of them.)


2 years!

Dear followers and readers

As mentioned in my previous post I’ve been very busy (as usual, actually) and hardly had time to post anything on this blog. Last week was, in fact, the very first week I didn’t have to worry about anything and I took time off to relax and recharge. Some of you who might know this blog from its very beginning know that around this time I post a lot since it’s Christmas time and New Years Eve and this blog’s birthday. But I deliberately took time off from writing here as well, since (bloggers probably know, non-bloggers probably not) it always takes a lot of time to prepare a post and for me, being a self-conscious introvert, it also takes a lot of ‘energy’ and a little bit of ‘courage’ to share something of mine with you all.
Especially with my inconsistent blogging I’m always wondering how and if your responses to my text posts and my photos change over time or  if you expect something from me (and then what).
I actually started this blog just to write for myself – the thought that I might get followers never really occurred to me – and now I’m trying to find a balance between self-expression and meeting your expectations. I’m a person who, at times, gets rid of things in my system by writing. I’m fully aware that more than half of you follow and read this blog for the photos that I post (I guess visually inviting posts will always attract people more) but I need this space here for my writing as well.
This summer I’ve learned in an Economy workshop project of my school that in a market you, as a company, only have a chance of survival if you have a clear concept. Transferred to the blogosphere, this means that WordPress is the market and my blog is my company. And if you’ve been reading my posts for a while you’ll surely have noticed that I have no concept whatsoever. It’s basically a gigantic mess consisting of teenage angst, rambling, observations, photo posts, music posts etc. around here.
That you all, after two years, still follow me and accept all the sides of this blog is an incredible honour for me. I can’t thank you enough for all the support you have shown me in the last two years, the encouraging words and the fond comments. The many, many likes that I got for my posts. That I get the honour of being linked on some blogs, of being recommended to other people, is the biggest gift I ever received since I started blogging and it makes me super teary and thankful when I think about it. The professionals among you might think that it’s nothing but your appreciation for my work is something I’ve never dared to dream of and now have so generously (and surprisingly) received.

All in all, thank you so much for sticking with me and I’ll hope we can go this road together for at least two more years. Cheers!

Stella

PS: I’ll be away now until the second of January. From then on, I’ll post a text about what I’ve been up to the last couple of months and (hopefully) another one about my personal experiences with introversion and how it has influenced me and my life. Also, I’ll probably queue some posts for my photo blog, so if you’re interested for photos – wait for me there!


an awfully long text for a short message only

In about approximately 24 hours and 10 minutes I’m going to be 17 and I’ve realized, once again, that in my past 18 years I’ve done nothing to really leave a mark in this world, which has been one of my greatest wishes since I was 10. I think it had something to do with my artsy side; it doesn’t really matter if I realise this wish through acting, painting, taking photographs, writing or making music – important was the fact that I’ve always wanted to leave it in a creative way, a way to express myself and simultaneously leaving my footprint for the world to remember me.

This wish has been inspiration for many of my actions and works so far; however the past few months I was incredibly unproductive and uninspired, which left me often in a frustrated mood. This hasn’t actually improved until now, not fully anyway. Next to the inhuman amounts of homework, assignments and exams I’ve lived through last semester, the preparation for my confirmation – surely this must be fate messing with me to top it all – has started.
It’s not exactly something I’m always looking forward to – in fact, I feel oddly out-of-place. Mainly, I’m doing this because I don’t want to disappoint my parents (bad reasoning of mine, I know, but there’s no arguing with them) and so, when we had to decide which project group we’d like to attend – I choose for the least evil of all: the creative group.

Although the creative group has a remarkably uncreative name I joined it anyway. The leaders presented it as an opportunity to get artistically creative, which means we’ll be doing all sorts of handicraft work. I’m actually not that talented in these “do-it-yourself”-things (and that is generously said) but with one term they had me in the team for sure, and that one key word was “photography”.

Our theme this year is “get up”, which is an awfully difficult theme and so I spent some time brainstorming about possible ideas for images to capture until the next meeting (It turned out to be a quite demanding task.) when we’ll decide what to produce, to which I went with an already pessimistic attitude.
“Why?” you may ask, “What’s the point then of going to this confirmation preparation?”
Well, due to the point that I’ve actually no real interest in being confirmed, my only hope is that I get to take photos (the only thing creative I’m willing to do with all my heart, picky that I am) and photography was not on the list for sure because most guys were all for sculpting.

When I got there and we finally reached the brainstorming part, everything turned out to be in my favour, fortunately. Two other girls had interest in photography as well – and I think I can’t just pull-off a solo-thing (it’d be really, really rude I guess) – I’m going to take photographs with them while the boys can happily go sculpting and the other do what pleases them (I’ve become really ignorant of other things when I’m relieved that something turned out the way I wanted it to be).
Now the thing is that the whole time they spent arguing about different materials I zoned out to get inspired and actually came up with some ideas. But as I said before, I’m in a group and it won’t be until next time that we discuss our project further. So I just kept on daydreaming, when, a couple of times though, I felt gazes lingering on my ring. That is, the moustache one – my everyday lucky charm. The gaze belonged to the “professional artist” our group is working with: she was sitting next to me, and she probably noticed the lack of oral participation from my part during the discussion or else she wouldn’t have wanted to talk to me afterwards.

Our conversation was really short; the kind of conversation that doesn’t take more than five minutes. But it was special. She asked me first about my ring and why I bought it. I answered that I liked to be different from other people and this is a way of doing so – buying things few people would. She was really interested in this whole “being different”-attitude – and also wholeheartedly approved of it, saying that it’s good to be different. A second later, a bit out of nowhere really, she said that I should just do my own things and not just agreeing with other people’s ideas.
First, I was a bit offended that she thought I wasn’t independent enough to make my own decisions; but she kept on talking and it was during a tiny amount of time passing – seconds probably – that I realized that it didn’t really mind me.
When people notice the fact that I have a bit some anti-mainstream attitudes and generally like to be different, they mostly silently acknowledge it and do not comment further on it. But this was the first time that someone was really interested and also encourage me to go on that way and it felt… nice. There she was, an artist for living, talking to me, wannabe-inspired nobody.
Looking back, it felt like hours but in reality it was presumably only a minute that we spent time talking about some ideas of mine. Somehow I had absolutely no fear of sharing them with her, what with her beaming at me and nodding and saying repeatedly “Just try”. It was only this one minute, but apparently this one minute with her was all it took me to get inspired again. Right in this moment I feel the inspiration creeping up into my brain and I feel very, very excited.

So this is one of the things I like best about life; it takes only one encounter of only one minute but maybe it is the one that turns your life upside-down. It’s all about this little meetings, encounters, the bumping-into-each-other moments and the forever-burned-down-in-my-mind images that makes life exciting, worthwhile and is material for entire books to write about.

Or, in my case, to capture huge amounts of new, inspiring photographs so I’ll be closer to my goal of leaving my mark in the world. (I should hope so, anyway.)

Re-Inspired,

Stella


to end a year

Laying in my bed right now and listening to the thundering sounds of fireworks nearby, I watch how the minutes on my clock turn from one minute to another. From 00:00 to 00:01 and from 00:01 to 00:02 and so on. It’s actually quite sad: sitting in front of your computer on New Year’s Eve while all others are out there partying hard or just enjoying an exiting night with friends.
But this year there has been complications and one way or the other, I somehow knew that, as so many years before this one, I’ll be spending New Year’s at home, despite this year’s possibility of breaking the habit.

Last year for example I could recall myself lying in my bed desperately trying to stay awake until midnight because it felt plain wrong to not stay up on the last day of the year and trying to think of some ways to stick to my resolutions I’d written about earlier. It was my first “real and official” time then; I had no experience whatsoever and looking back now, I must confess that I haven’t been that successful with my resolutions list.
I came up with exactly 5 resolutions of which I achieved:

  • 2 to a three-quarter,
  • 2 others to a half and
  • 1 to zero.

I was, of course, most successful with continuing to write this blog; it was my first and utmost goal and I’m proud that I haven’t vanished yet. The second thing was actually my sports-resolution (going running from spring on) which I really did – occasionally. My two halves are 1. the poetry thing which I did a few times but I sadly have to say that I haven’t been that creative this year and 2. searching for a new hobby. That one I managed only half: I mean yes, I engaged in that school play but it was only temporarily, nothing for a longer period. Still, I’m glad I haven’t been sitting around at home as much as last year (or better: 2 years before.) A failure of mine was actually the writing resolution (the one where I wanted to write a story) – I did nothing of that kind. I tried to find the time; but as you probably noticed from this blog’s content I focused much more on photography this year than writing and whenever I had free time I’d spend it attached to my camera.

All in all not a brilliant result, I guess, but rather a failure of my part. But I also think that this resolutions business may be associated with the saying of “Try, trial and try again”. And so I’m just going to try again with these:

  1. Keep on writing this blog; especially filling out the “holes” and motivating myself much more.
  2. Getting a DSLR camera and start shooting at whatever comes my way.
  3. Figuring out a topic for my final paper (is due anyway).
  4. Trying to keep on going running as soon as spring arrives.
  5. Write a bucket list.
  6. Keeping as many promises as possible.
  7. Learning a few star constellations.
  8. Starting to read a few English literature classics.
  9. Stay individual.
  10. Be myself.
  11. Be happy.

And now I’m just going to ignore the fact that this list is far too long and it makes it just so much harder to accomplish all these goals Happy New Year to you all!


one year of blogging

Truth to be told I’ve got this (original boring) title already last year figured out. I always saw it clearly in my head, with a text of medium length, beneath it everything clear and structured, for it was my goal. A year ago I set up the goal to keep on writing this blog for at least a whole year and I’m still quite astonished that I managed to do so.
Well, not too successfully but at least I managed to get a better result than the one I got with my first blog.
Looking back, it was a bit of a bumpy year and I see now that I’ve chosen my time rather unlucky for it’s been a year with quite a lot of things going on. For some this rather may seem as a fortune but for me it’s quite inconvenient – I always need quite a lot of time to get a post done and time is what was lacking the whole last year.

Anyway, so far, I guess, I’ve succeeded in a rather fair share of posts done; I wanted to write at least 52 to fulfill my PostAWeek2011-duty and I’ve written even more. In fact these are the results of one year of blogging on boredmaiden:

  • 1 page
  • 8 categories
  • 120 tags
  • 17 followers
  • 181 comments not written by me
  • 6439 views of all time (of which I must say most of them were of weird sites)
  • … and 73 posts.

Hooray! In fact, I’ve got to say that these are amazing numbers. One year ago I’d thought that by this year I’d probably have one up to two readers, if it even comes to that. But looking at these facts I actually feel immensely proud of what I’ve achieved so far. It hasn’t been easy for most of the time and I’m utterly and terribly sorry for the many times I abandoned this blog and broke my promises. It’s my goal for next to year to catch up with my work and fix these huge post-holes; I want a post for every single week of last year written out and published and I’d be damned if I don’t!
Most importantly I’ve got do to this for you readers; thanks to all of my 17 followers! The discovering of the growing number on my site stats have every time conjured in me various, very positive feelings: I truly felt honoured all over again each time I’ve heard of a new follower. And I was truly touched and I felt very grateful for the fact that you’re following me. I follow quite a few amazing blogs myself and I know that compared to them, this is nothing – and I’m not even talking about the differences language-wise.
I’m also very thankful for all those people who are not following me but still find the time in their busy lives to stop here and there to read some of the posts, to the ones of them who also leave comments and feedbacks and thoughts and generally being very supportive of this whole blogging thing.
Many, many thanks as well to the few bloggers out there who actually have recommended me in their blogroll.
I haven’t thanked you all but let me say to you, be it the first time or the most recent time I’ve found out about someone recommending me – you don’t know how my heart jumps for joy and I feel a lot like giggling all the time and generally being very childish and very girlish. It’s one thing to have your work being praised but it’s another thing to have your work appreciated through recommendation. I’ve never dreamt of it and I still have a hard time believing it these days. So, thank you lots for making me very, very happy in this busy year.

In the end, I guess, I haven’t got much more to say. I can only say that it’s been one hell of a year and a wonderful experience and lots of fun. At first it took me some courage to start; but now I even miss writing in busy times and interacting with all these new acquaintances I’ve made this year. I started as boredmaiden; I’m still boredmaiden at times – but blogging has taken away a lot of boredom out of my life.
So to a new blogging year! You’ll hear from me soon.

Lots of love,

Stella


a trip to lucerne, part 1: falling in love with pilatus

Have you ever lived in an other country or just an other region than your original one and then get so accustomed – to its shape, its look and smell and traditions – that you got, after some time, bored by it? You thought you’d seen, heard, smelled, touched everything already?

I did. I got bored with my country. I thought I’d seen, heard, smelled, touched everything already.

Truth is, I didn’t. I haven’t seen, heard, smelled, touched everything already. Truth is, there’s no way that in a region, as small as it may be, you could have ever seen everything. Everyday new things happen, occur, come along and add itself to this very region. Or old things change, turning and twisting into a new shape. I guess, there’s no way that you could have seen everything there is to see in a certain area or even in this whole world. There’s no way you could have seen everything because in this world there is so much undiscovered for each one of us; so much left to see, when we thought we’d already seen everything – so much that no amount of time – except eternity maybe – can give us the time space we need to discover all these wonders.

For many of you this may seem like ancient history; a matter of fact so clear to you that you even forgot it’s something one has probably had to experience first to understand. But not for me: The truth of this epiphany was in fact something I had to realize first.

About a week ago, my mum, me and my sister went on a trip. We had these super convenient day tickets which were valid for whole Switzerland (and which you can get via your municipality) and agreed to spend the day in the region around Lucerne.
The thing is, when we came to Switzerland about 10 years ago we all were very interested in getting to know this country. We travelled quite a lot within Switzerland: we visited the French-speaking part, the Italian-speaking part and even the Rhaeto-Romanic part of Switzerland. We visited a lot of cities, saw almost all places of interests and so on. It never came to my mind that almost is not equal to everything, concerning this topic.
So when we decided to spend the morning on visiting the Pilatus, the local mountain of Lucerne, I didn’t really care much. I’ve never been there before (and my mum was there 17 years ago) but I thought it’d look no different that all the other Swiss mountains I’ve already seen.

Of course, I thought wrong.

It wasn’t a particularly wonderful day, when we went for our trip: it was quite cloudy and I worried that it might even rain. But when we were sitting in the train, we saw a blue sky, and I hoped, that maybe the sun will shine up there. Not that I cared very much – yes, my mum had gushed a lot about the view from up there, on the mountain, but as I said before I thought it’d be like any other Swiss mountain. I just thought it’d be nice if I could get some photos with a blue sky in them. (Yes, that was what was important to me.)

But then standing in Alpnachstad, the station from where we would have a ride with the cog railway up the mountain, I felt excited. I don’t know if this was because of the fresh air surrounding me or because the sky was blue at that moment or just because I somehow knew that it’d be a good day – but I was suddenly in a very cheerful mood and wanted to be up there as fast as possible.

As you have all guessed by now, I, of course, have not been disappointed. My mother was right. I still didn’t know if the fresh air had any influence on me at that moment, but it  everything was beautiful. The view was stunning. Plain stunning and amazing and captivating and fascinating and a lot of other nice adjectives. It was a bit foggy, rather cool, and the sky wasn’t partly that clear any more the higher we went, but somehow the landscape of Pilatus managed to enchant me.
Still have in mind that I thought it’d look like on any other Swiss mountain? Well… yes, partly the landscape looked the same of course. Many cows, very green landscape, big parts of forest, steep, rocky flanks and some of these little cottages… everything known as a Swiss trademark could be found there. (We even saw some farmers up there.)
But on the other side it looked very different too. I remember that I couldn’t describe what it really was that made the Pilatus so special – I still can’t – but there is something. Yes of course the view on the Lake Lucerne and Central Switzerland that could only be seen from this mountain, but also a certain charm that belongs to this mountain and makes you fall in love with it.
Sitting in the cabin of the cog railway and just admiring this beautiful, stunning countryside I realized that, once again, I shouldn’t judge so fast. I was so wrong and big-headed to think I’ve seen this all before – I completely forgot that although I’ve seen much of Switzerland, I haven’t seen everything. And that there really are many mountains, but somehow each one of them is unique in their own way. And that this revelation applies on the rest of the world as well; no matter where I’m going I’ll never be able to see everything in that part of the world. There’ll always be something left to see, something you have yet to discover. And with that in mind, I went silent for the rest of the way up.

Gotta love that one, single tree in front of this “cave”!

Besides the cog railway you could also reach the top by cable railway.

Then we were at the top. I’d like to think that it was quiet up there, very idyllic and such but that would be one big, enormous lie. Of course, there were loads of tourists there (mostly Japanese). But the nice thing was, I was such in a good mood, that they didn’t stop me from enjoying the nice, fresh mountain air and the glorious view. I made quite a few photos up there; I chose the best ones to share with you here: They are all the “rawest” I could find. I didn’t want to edit them so they’d rather look like art; I wanted them to look as “raw” as possible, as true as possible so you’d get to see what I saw in its (hopefully) original way. Here they are:

I love this picture; it’s my favourite one, in fact. I love these flowers – and the fact that they grow in such heights and at the very end of these steep mountain slopes; it reminds me that the fewest things in this world are impossible to reach. There are no boundaries for true beauty.

We were really lucky to see this guy here paragliding around the Pilatus: Above the start and below…

how he flew around the mountain.

Right at the “foot” of this part of the mountain you can see the rails of our cog railway.

When the fog disappeared for a while we even saw a red cable car on its way up! (And in the distance: Lake Lucerne)

Already on our way down: we went the same way back with the cog railway.

I just love these zigzag hiking trails!

Typical Switzerland: Just cows everywhere!

Bye-bye Pilatus and I hope I’ll see you soon again! (I so want to go up there again.)

So that was it for part one. Part two will be posted next week (probably) and will be about the following shipping on the Lake Lucerne. See you soon!

If you’re interested, more on Pilatus, the local mountain of Lucerne here.