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Travel category

The concept of travel shaped by things with meaning.
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ABOUT ME

Hi to everyone.
My name is Jessica!

I'am the author of Bjorn. Bjorn is a daily updated blog about travel, inspirations, photographers, food and everyday moments from all over the world.

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INSPIRATION

Inspiration category

Coming from two
different cultures has
been instrumental in
how we’ve approached
our design process.

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veganism
ethical living

from meat lover to vegan

#herbivorous.

I loved meat. Steak, burger, spaghetti bolognese…you name it. If I even heard the word vegan, I rolled my eyes. In my head, I imagined a person dressed in a potato sack handing out fruit and missionize people into veganism. To date, I have no idea where this thought came from. I believe the mainstream media has its roll in it because vegans are portraited as crazy people with an extreme view of the world. But my upbringing has a big role in it as well.

I grew up with rabbits in the backyard that would end up on our plate. Dairy and meat were part of a well-balanced diet, that’s what everyone was telling me. Teachers told me so, grown-ups, coaches, my parents, other parents, the TV, the internet, books, … everyone and everything told me that it is healthy to eat meat and dairy, that eating meat and dairy was the reason why the Homo Sapiens developed a brain like we have now.

Well, I was wrong! To be accurate: they are wrong. 

I never wanted to be one of those missionizing vegans, I am sure as hell trying not to become that way, but right now let me tell you: it is hard.

It is hard seeing my friends and family putting their health at risk with every bite they take. It is hard knowing that the entire world is practically lying to us. It is hard knowing how powerful the industry, the government actually is and how much power they exceed over our plates. They are so powerful that they are putting everyone’s health at risk.

Now you might wonder, why I became vegan after all? It was one night, that made my view shift completely. One day I was a meat eater, the next I was vegan. This post marks one of many vegan stories to come. Thoughts, recipes and helpful tips for every new vegan out there (I am so proud of you, just keep on going!).

The belief of meat eating is stronger than I thought

Not everyone is raised vegan. I actually think, most vegans out there were not raised vegan. Like I said, meat, dairy, and eggs were part of my childhood. But by the age of 16, I developed a severe lactose intolerance. After not getting any information from the doctor (which is even shocking to me now than back then), I researched it myself. I think this was the first time I researched the link between diet and health, and I think I was hooked ever since. It just took me ridiculous amount of time to finally make the link between meat, dairy, eggs and our health (over ten years!), but better late than never. I also believe, taking ten years to realize that, is a testament to how deep the belief of meat eating actually goes.

It is fair enough to say, that I always have been interested in health and diet. Due to my senior year in school and then followed by university, I did not really research as much as I might have should have. Finishing university and starting a full-time job for the first time allowed me and my brain to focus on all the things I used to love, before I had to study that hard. I finally had the brain-capacity to watch all the documentaries on my watchlist and read all the books on my shelf.

But even having all this time did not make me start right away. It was one night in August, to be precise it was the 25th of August 2017 that I actually was bored for the first time in a decade. My day at work went great, but it was not too stressful. I finally had my routine down and my apartment was clean, tidy, and my fridge was fully stocked. So I practically had time. I stress this so strongly because I was and am quite the busy bee. I’ve always had a part-time job next to university, I always studied as much as possible and had internships during breaks. So, having time and an eased mind was something so special, that I remember it to the day. (It also opened me up to a more mindful life – but I will get to that in another post). I sat down on my couch and looked through all my Netflix recommendations. Forks Over Knives popped up – shit went down from there.

4 hours, 34 minutes and 50 seconds later, and I was vegan 

I started with Forks Over Knives – it got me hooked and wanting to learn more.

Netflix recommended What the Health – consider my mind blown.

After that I watched Cowspiracy – I went to my fridge and threw away some parmesan cheese (the only cheese I ate due to my lactose intolerance) and some eggs. I did not have any meat at home that day, but that would have landed in the bin as well.

After being awake way longer than anticipated, I went to bed. The next day, a Saturday, I opened my laptop and did some research. After watching just the trailer of Earthlings, I was vegan.

Why do I write about the main point of this post in just one paragraph? Because it is just THAT EASY! It took me a few hours to become a vegan. If I would’ve known that it is that easy to become vegan and later see how easy it is to stay vegan, I would have done it the first time.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

reading
inspiration

reading list 2018

#lifestyle.

New Year, new goals right? Well, my ultimate goal for this year is finishing all the unread books I have on my shelf.

I have this thing for browsing through a good bookstore, getting lost between the shelves and look for interesting stories that amazon would never suggest for me.

Throughout the year I will keep you updated and include reviews of the books I read. So here we go – down that rabbit hole of unread books:

How Not to Die – Dr. Michael Greger: Being a new vegan, this was the number one book on my list. Even though I have others on my nightstand already, I immediately started reading it when I bought it. I am not at all finished with it yet and there will be a review coming soon, but I can already tell: It blows my mind!

The Future – Al Gore: I think I picked this book up more than a dozen times but never made it to the last page. It is one of the few books that lie on my nightstand, just in case I feel like reading one night – which did not happen yet since I mostly read during my commute. I am a fan of Al Gore since I saw An Inconvenient Truth. When I saw this book in the store I simply had to have it. From the first pages, I read so far I can say: It is ambitious and overwhelming sometimes, but hell it is interesting.

But What If We’re Wrong – Chuck Klosterman: This book fell into my lap after browsing Barnes & Noble for hours during my New York trip last year. We always assume that the way we think today is the right way. But what if that is not true? In the past, we were proven wrong multiple of times.

The Unwinding – George Packer: I bought this book way before Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president. But even before then I was hooked on how the US has developed over the years and how much has changed. While researching this on the internet, this book came up. I am really looking forward reading it, especially with all what is happening right now.

Stieg Larsson Trilogy: This has been on my shelf for longer than I’d like to admit. I saw the movies and I saw the American adaption of it as well. After watching the movies I had no intentions of reading the book as well. But one day I found all three copies at the flea market and thought: why not?

Not That Kind Of Girl – Lena Dunham: I am probably super late with this since this book was trending in 2016 I think? Since then it is sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. Even though my interest in girly books has slightly worn off over the past year I am trying to give this a go.

Stoner – John Williams: While browsing amazon for classic novels that you simply have to read, this one came up. I have to admit, I never heard of John Williams before. But the back cover described in such a great way, that I put it on my reading list. We will see if it holds up to its description.

Hegemony Or Survival – Noam Chomsky: Another book that came up during my research about the US. Noam Chomsky is a classic when it comes to critical thinking. I only saw the documentary Requiem for the American Dream, so I am looking forward reading something of him instead.

What She Left – T. R. Richmond: Pursuing journalism for many years a thriller about a young female journalist has me hooked immediately. What She Left is about a young girl in college, writing for the crime column of a local newspaper and suffering a mysterious death. The book is written in different styles each chapter, such as blog entries, letters or phone texts. This is so unique, that the book made my list immediately.

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart: There is not much about this book on the cover. It does not really say what it is about, it only says it is a mystery of a young girl and her family. All the reviews printed on that book made it so interesting, that it ended up on the big pile of books on my shelf.

Gotham Writers’ Workshop Writing Fiction: Writing for me is therapeutic and helps me visualize my thoughts. For a very long time now I have several stories in my head that are just sitting there in a word document on my computer. Since English is not my first language I thought a little bit of research on creative writing in English would be good. Maybe it will motivate me to finally finish at least one of the stories.

The China Study – T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell: While doing my research about veganism there is one study that probably is cited the most and is criticised the most at the same time: the china study. After reading so many contradicting reviews about it, I had to get to be able to form my own opinion about it.

1984 – George Orwell: Another classic that does not need a lot of describing I guess. I have to admit, it is kind of embarrassing that I’ve never read this book so far. But this will be changed this year.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck – Sarah Knight: Another book I am probably way behind with. After the famous tidying book by Marie Kondo, this was another one that entered center stage of the books you simply have to read if you want to be cool. Trying to be cool I bought it, but haven’t had the time to read it yet.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

minimalism
minimalism

how I learned how to let go

#minimalism.

As a kid, I loved every thing out there. I always wanted the newest toy. But when I had what I wanted, I immediately wanted something else. Because at the end, it seemed to be that every other kid had more and better things.

I also never was good at leaving stuff behind. I never really thought about getting rid of anything. I loved all my cars, all my stuffed animals, all my toys for the sandbox and all of my Playmobil figurines. When you are asking yourself where the dolls and Barbies are…well I had one Barbie, I shaved her head and was bored. You could say I was a tomboy back then. But back to topic: I loved everything I owned and never had the intention of decluttering or even having the slight idea of what decluttering was. My mother went crazy with all the stuff lying around and once every week she said she would throw everything out that was lying on the floor if I wouldn’t tidy up my room. Scared as hell that I might lose even one of my beloved toys I tidied up my room. Apparently, parenting worked well for my mother with this line.

Growing older my interests shifted from toys to makeup and clothes. But also there, I was a little bit of a hoarder. I kept everything because you “might like it at some point”. Well, I didn’t. Even after moving out I kept everything. Boxes full of clothes and makeup were moved to another city onto the 3rd floor and into my tiny room. I believe this was the first time I thought about getting rid of stuff. Not because I really wanted to, but moving 20 boxes full of clothes onto the 3rd floor was not a spa treatment.

Trends will break your bank account

I actually have no idea why I thought this way so early in life and carried it with me into adulthood. But I am pretty sure, that our consumer-society is mostly at fault for this. Back in the day (like back in the day of my grandmother’s life), you would purchase something and would keep it as long as it still works. Even if it stops working, you would’ve tried to repair it. Nowadays you buy something just because it looks pretty or it is on trend right now – the definition of consumerism. No one cares about the quality anymore.

New trends were my bank accounts death sentence every time. A new clothing trend that looked appealing to me, I would go into the city and purchase something. After a few months, it would lie in my closet and would never be touched again. I always felt the need to change that, but it wasn’t until I had to live off a few things for a long period, that I actually did change this kind of behavior.

Living in Sweden taught me how to let go

For me, it all began in Sweden. As part of my studies, I had the opportunity to go abroad for a semester. I’ve always wanted to go to Sweden, I don’t know exactly why, maybe because my mom and I used to go to IKEA all the time. I had no idea this semester would have such a long-term effect on me and my way of thinking.

I lived in Stockholm for about five months in a tiny single dorm room. Luckily I had my own bathroom, fridge, and one hot plate. Space was minimal, basic furniture, no decor. Even though I traveled by car and was able to bring more stuff than those who arrived by plane, I lived off two bags of clothes and one of kitchen items. The only thing I purchased in Sweden was a frying pan, nothing else.

It was not just the fact that I was able to live off those few things that made me rethink my consumer behavior and my way of accumulating stuff that I never used and did not even like. These five months were one of the happiest in my life. I felt free, relaxed and grounded. The pressure I used to feel was gone. I did not feel the need to be busy all the time, to get stuff done, even though my heart and head weren’t in it. Without this pressure, wherever it came from, I was able to be even more productive. I enjoyed being productive, it didn’t feel like it was forced.

This feeling was what I took with me on my way home. I wanted to maintain this drive, this level of being productive and still being relaxed and happy. Back home it took me a while to tackle this matter. Coming back after five months means a lot of paperwork, adult stuff to deal with. I had a pile of mail in front of me that needed to be looked at, the heating needed to be fixed and so on…

After settling in for about four months and getting the affairs of my return back in order I started my minimalism journey. At that point, I didn’t read about minimalism at all. I didn’t even know that minimalism was what I was pursuing. I just started with decluttering my wardrobe. A thing I do every year because it makes me feel good. But that year I was more strict than ever and threw away all the stuff I didn’t like, that made me feel uncomfortable or that I never wore anyway. With being more strict, I was able to downsize my wardrobe by half. But decluttering my wardrobe was just the beginning. Little did I know what I had started with this.

A few months after downsizing my wardrobe I realized that I still wasn’t wearing a lot of the clothes. I decided I would look into a video by The Anna Edit that I watched months back. She talked about a thing called „The Capsule Wardrobe“. It basically means that you divide your clothes into seasons and that you will live with a certain number of clothes for three months, without going shopping during that time.

Watching this video for the first time I immediately thought: „This sounds interesting, but that would never work for me.“ But deep inside I wished it would work for me. It sounded like it would be fun, less stressful in the morning to pick the right outfit. And let’s be honest, I am a sucker for trends like this.

Minimalism does not mean everything should be white

After rewatching the video and reading into the topic the term minimalism popped up a lot. I started researching about it and could relate to it more than I would’ve thought. I actually think of me as a person that likes to accumulate stuff. I like a shelf full of books, decor, and cozy rooms. I don’t like rooms that are empty and all white. Yes, those look better on Instagram, but I couldn’t imagine living in a room without any life in it. That is, why I was reluctant to call myself a minimalist at first.

When you google the term minimalism, you mostly will find white rooms, without any or just one picture on the wall, pretty instagramable furniture and a few pretty plants in the corner. The fact, that every blog had that kind of aesthetic and was pursuing this goal threw me off the minimalism journey a lot. It took me a long time to get over the fact that minimalism has different looks and that everyone needs to do it their own way. It is not a strict lifestyle that forces you to love with as little as possible and have the most instagramable room out there. At the end, it is about living a purposeful life and enjoying the simplicity of it all.

Stay tuned for more stories and thoughts on minimalism and how I incorporate it into my life.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

 

new year's resolution
inspiration

hello 2017

I am kind of late with this post, I know. But life is crazy at the moment, so many things are going on at the same time. I am in the middle of my master thesis and under a lot of time pressure. While writing the thesis I am also working part time in retail to pay for life, but my head is already at my new job, that forces me to hurry up with my master thesis. So you can imagine how crazy 2017 started for me. Still, I want to put out my goals for this year.

Since I will not be a student for most of this year for the first time in what feels like ages, new years resolutions actually mean something this year. Normally I have goals like “finish all school work on time”, “always prepare your lectures”…and so on. This year is different. So without further ado, here are my goals for 2017:

  • finish my master degree // Obvious goal that does not need any further explanation.
  • read all the books you bought during the last years // Every time I see an interesting book I buy it, but since I have to read a lot of academic papers, I never have the energy to read a book. Before going to University I used to finish a book every month and I am missing that. Since I will commute to work I will finally have the time to do this. There are 11 books on my shelf, unread, untouched. We will see how well I am doing with this goal.
  • save enough money to pay off student loans // Despite common belief, studying in Germany is not entirely free. Every semester you have to pay a fee around 300 Euros in order to stay enrolled. Yes, it is way less compared to other countries, but this is just so that you are still a student. There is no accommodation or food included. You have to pay for that on your own. Since my parents aren’t rich, I got federal financial aid throughout my studying every month, that I will have to pay back by the start of next year. Fun times…
  • digitise all old videos // My father used to tape our every move when we were kids. We have around 30 old tapes lying around that you can only watch on that old recorder it was used to tape with. After a lot of research, I found a method how to digitalize old analog videos. Since you have to play the videos through completely in order to convert it, it takes a lot of time, but it will be so worth it at the end.
  • post more regularly on the blog // I started this blog at first for job applying reasons. Now it kind of became a lot of fun and I want to do more for it. Until now, studying and working are not allowing me to put that kind of quality content on here like I would love to. 2017 will allow me to change this.

signatures

 

blog name
fair & ethical

why “the lieselotte”?

Every Sunday morning I woke up, crawled out of my crib and walked across the hall. My feet made a loud sound on the floor, even though it was carpet. With clumsy feet, my stuffed animal under my arm (a green rhino called Hugo), and a cloth in my mouth I tried to make my way through the dark, which wasn’t that easy. I used those washable diapers as a cloth to suck on. Without it, I wouldn’t sleep at all and I used those way longer than I should have.

I was an early riser, very early. Especially for a Sunday. After sneaking into my parent’s bedroom I tried to wake up my father “nicely”. I prodded him with my finger until he woke up. He was grunting, now I know he was just a little bit annoyed by me waking him up at 7 am on a Sunday morning, back then I thought this was just what people would do during their sleep.

Without a word, he picked me up and walked with me downstairs. In the kitchen, he put me on the counter, letting me watch him making a hot chocolate. With the cup in my hand, I sat in my father’s arms, him carrying me upstairs. Every time I was kind of excited because now the best part of my Sunday morning routine was starting.

Back in the bedroom, he sat me in the middle of the bed, between him and my mother, who has the deepest sleep ever and was still snoring. My father turned on the TV while crawling back into bed. Turning on the kid’s channel, with cartoons and funny shows. Drinking hot chocolate in bed while watching cartoons, and sitting between my parents is one of the happiest memories of my childhood. It is so mundane, normal, and totally unglamorous. But those memories are the best ones, those that make you smile every time you think of them.

At first, I would sit there quietly, drinking my cup of hot chocolate and watching TV. But when my cup was empty, I would start talking to the people on TV. Well, maybe not talking TO them, but talking exactly like them. I tried to dub them and tried to beat them. I wanted to talk faster than the people on TV. Which is kind of not possible, because you don’t know what line comes next if you never saw the show before. But as a little kid of three years you just don’t care. So I didn’t really care about the fact, that my talking might be annoying to the people sleeping next to me. They certainly did mind, but they started loving me for this even more I think.

After learning how to talk I did not stop. I ran around talking all day, driving my parents insane and make them laugh constantly at the same time. But just talking wasn’t enough for me. Like I said, I wanted to beat the people on TV and spoke fast. Very fast. My mother always used to say: “You talk like a waterfall and never stop.”

But my full name is kind of hard to pronounce if you want to speak fast. So my mother came up with a new name. I have no idea how she came up with it, neither does my dad. This is one of the things I kind of regret asking her. And now you can guess where this is headed.

She named me Lieselotte Meyer Schulze. Luckily the two last names, which are basic standard German family names, kind of got lost during the time. But since I was a little kid, my Mama called me Lieselotte. My father never did and is actually kind of not allowed to do so. There are text messages on my phone starting with “Hi Lieselotte”. Birthday cards, Christmas cards and even on the phone she called my like that.

I would love to know how she came up with it, what the inspiration for this unique name was. But it was just so normal that she called me like that, so I never asked why. Two years ago my mother died of cancer. She was sick her whole life, but always had a smile on her face. Being strong, independent, and being able to recover quickly from a setback is who she was. Exactly like me. Like mother, like daughter, huh?

When I first started this blog, I really wasn’t keen on having my full name displayed as my blog name. And I really did not want to name it BloggirlX164 or anything like that. Since this blog is about writing and my passions for books, movies, and decor, I wanted the name to be memorable, personal, and kind of funny.

Naming this blog like my mother called me just seemed perfect. It is a story close to my heart, that makes me feel comfortable and gives me a homey feeling like nothing else does. Naming it The Lieselotte fits perfectly because it is memorable, personal, and kind of funny.

signatures

link collection
inspiration

the sunday collection #2

Having a blog means you spend a lot of your time on the internet. Either researching for a new post or story or just for fun. With an overwhelming offer of websites, articles or shows it can be quite hard to find the really interesting ones.

Every Sunday I would love to share my favorite findings of the world wide web. It can be everything, from an interesting Instagram account to a fascinating article.

Ellis Island immigrants, in color:
This is a gallery of pictures of immigrants of the United States. It is kind of fascinating to see all those different faces, clothes all around the world that make America the country it is today.

How We Measure Success:
An article by Tangerine and Me that inspired me to write my post last Friday, “I Don’t Want a Career”. It is about how we measure success and that a career nowadays means everything, being happy is not considered a success. And this needs to change in my opinion.

Elizabethtown:
This is a movie I always turn to when feeling uninspired, completely down and just unhappy. It is kind of a sad story itself, but so intelligently put, funny and inspiring. A must see!

The Art of Condolence – NYTimes:
Another article that popped up on my screen a few days ago. An article that speaks my mind. After losing my mom to cancer a few years ago I experienced first hand how people deal with grieving people and with giving condolences to somebody. And let me tell you, after this experience, I stopped talking to a lot of people. While grieving over the death of your mother the last sentence you wanna hear is: “Well, it is bad, but at least your mother left you a lot of money, I would like to get that money.” Believe me, it did happen.

signatures

career
fair & ethical

i don’t want a career

“What are you going to do now? Are you pursuing a different career and are you interning again? I mean you kind of need a career, right?“ Do I? I mean yes, I need a job. I need to pay my bills, my rent, insurance, groceries and a little bit of money for fun would be nice as well. But does it need to be a career? A title in front of my name that raises eyebrows and let people make impressive sounds and comments? Since when is a big career more impressive than being happy?

Since when became having a job a statement, rather than just being the thing you do to make money? Why do we always have to thrive higher? Why do we need to devote our life to our job? I mean the solemn purpose of having a job is to earn enough money to pay for life and not the other way around.

Two weeks ago my head was full of all that questions. And I myself was in that awkward position to answer all those questions. Two weeks ago I didn’t get that trainee position at that newspaper I wanted. Bummer, … but not really to be honest.

Even before I had the interview I hesitated a little bit. It would mean leaving the city I love, leaving friends that have done so much for me over the years. It would mean to start over, a clean slate. Sometimes I wished for this kind of opportunity. Starting over, in a place where no one knows you, without all that baggage of the past. But these days are behind me. I love my life, I finally live in a flat that I can truly call my home. I have friends that would do everything for me. So why leave?

Ah yes, there is the reason: Because of a career.

Of course, it sounds kind of like pouting because I didn’t get that job, but I got the „bad news“ weeks ago and made my peace with it. I am happy that they kind of made the decision for me. Apparently, fate wants me to stay. A lot of my friends are happy that I am staying, but some of them are asking: “What are you going to do now?”

It is a legitimate question, don’t get me wrong. But it is how they are asking it. With a hidden tone of pressure in it and for some it is even a rhetorical question that demands an answer like: “I have a backup job all lined up and ready.” The one answer not acceptable is: “I don’t know.” But that was exactly the answer I was giving. Their reaction was raised eyebrows, embarrassed looks, and silence. It was not acceptable apparently.

Nowadays everyone needs to have a plan, a career, a title. It is your duty to love your job, having a passion for it. Just doing your job, not loving it that much and not really caring about it either is not a thing that you hear often. But why? I mean it is just a job. Yes, you work a minimum of eight hours a day for five days a week. Most of your life is spent working. So it would be nice if your job is a little bit of fun. But does it need to be a passion? Does it need to be a big career, do you need to climb that latter higher and higher until you have that big title?

I say no, it does not! Work is not your life, your life is your life. Do your best in your job, of course, but don’t force yourself to thrive higher and higher when you are just not made for it. I am definitely not made for it. Being good at something is great, but I don’t need to be the best, I just need to make enough money to pay for everything important.

Looking around my friends and society, there are not that many people thinking like me. I see a lot of people killing themselves while trying to be the best, the greatest, the ones with the big title. Even though they are not made for this. I don’t blame them, society made them and they are just going with it.

And there is one reality highly ignored by that bubble of a passionate career. Even the most passionate person, having the greatest job on the planet will have days that suck. Days where you just want to lie on your bed, watch Netflix and chill. Even if you love your job, there will be days that are shit, but no one talks about that because you are supposed to love your job so much that it can’t possibly suck even for a second.

So can we just start talking about that secret that no one wants to talk about? Can we talk about our shitty jobs again, ranting about our bosses whilst sitting in a pub and drinking beer? I am even the one paying the first round…

After getting a lot of feedback for this post I want to describe my choice of words a little bit more. Having a career for me in this context means, that you want to have the highest position possible. That you want to thrive no matter on what costs, that you want to have it all. That’s what I mean with “having a career”.

 

Maybe it is a little bit misleading or confusing since a lot of people see a career just as a basic incentive to grow in your job. That is not what I meant in this post. I want to grow in my job, I want to be able to achieve goals, but not at all costs.

 

Talking to my friends, having a career often means working so hard and so much that you will lose your friends and almost never see your family, that is the part of a career I am just not made for. I love my friends and family and I am a strong believer of giving yourself the ability to breathe and think. Having a healthy brain is the one thing you need to be good at your job, how on earth will you achieve that by not giving your brain the time to enjoy itself a little bit?

 

signatures

link collection
inspiration

the sunday collection #1

Having a blog means you spend a lot of your time on the internet. Either researching for a new post or story or just for fun. With an overwhelming offer of websites, articles or shows it can be quite hard to find the really interesting ones.

Every Sunday I would love to share my favorite findings of the world wide web. It can be everything, from an interesting Instagram account to a fascinating article.

Alltop.com
I am always on the hunt for new blogs. Until today I mostly used Bloglovin’ to find interesting blogs. This week I did that on alltop.com. A website with kind of a clean design, but very effective search for new blogs, all of them divided into categories which make it easy to look through.

haarkon_
I love plants, mostly green ones. Cacti, snake plants, ivy…I would love to have my personal own jungle, but I just don’t have much space or money to buy myself a green jungle of happiness. To make it up, I discovered a new Instagram account: haarkon_
A London-based couple has its own personal jungle. All of it, you can enjoy on their Instagram account.

anothergirlslife.com
The whole blogging thing for me started with beauty, makeup, and fashion. Since I grew older my interests kind of shifted, but some beauty bloggers and also YouTubers are still my favourites. Every now and then a recommendation pops up, and this time, it was Mary from anothergirlslife.com. She is one of the most relatable beauty bloggers out there and her vlogs are a joy to watch. If you are getting tired of all those highly professional people out there on Youtube and the beauty blogger world, Mary is the girl to watch.

Writing Tips by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter is still my favourite story out there. I was one of those people that had the book preordered and being delivered to my house on the night it was going to be published. After 24 hours of reading, I was done with the book. So it just seemed fitting that an article about J.K. Rowling giving writing advice was one of my favourites this week.

Great British Bake Off
Cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies … I just love them all. Baking is one of those things in the kitchen that I love. I hate doing the dishes, I hate to cook, especially when I am really hungry, but baking is just true love. When I am in a really good mood, I pamper myself with some really good baking. When I am pissed as hell and hate the whole world, I am baking something really extravagant to relieve the stress. Somehow I discovered a baking show called The Great British Bake Off. A show where 12 contestants are baking in a competition to become the star baker of the United Kingdom. Germany has kind of adapted this concept, but like every German show it just is totally embarrassing to watch. In love with baking and the British accent, it just makes me happy every time I am watching it.

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multipotentialite
fair & ethical

why decide?

I’ve stumbled across a post for a while that just wouldn’t get out of my head. It is rare that an article, a story stays with me when I shut down the computer or close the book. This time, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. During the entire day and even days after I was always thinking: “This is so me”!

I am a multipotentialite! Yes, you heard right. Some of you now might think: “What are you?” Well, I never heard of this word before either. Maybe it is because I am not a native English speaker and there is no literal translation for it into German. But I also never saw it as a thing to declare, to be honest.

My spectrum of interests is annoyingly wide. I love numbers, finance, and economics, but I also love writing, photography, and design. Since I can remember I always did things differently. When there was an option to go another way, I did it. A little bit special, weird, and standing a bit out of the crowd – that’s me, nothing to be put in a box.

After reading lovely Portia’s blog post about “What It Means to Be a Multipotentialite”, I researched quite a bit about it. It sounded exactly like me and I was glad that she wants to continue that path on pursuing her multiple interests and not trying to put herself into a box. (Have a look at my link collection at the end of this post, everything you need or want to know about multipotentiality).

First of all, this thing we are talking about here is defined like this:
Multipotentiality is an educational and psychological term referring to the ability and preference of a person, particularly one of strong intellectual or artistic curiosity, to excel in two or more different fields. [wikipedia]

So if you find yourself with more than one of these characteristics, you might wanna thing about multipotentiality:

  • your spectrum of interests is wide and in areas on the opposite side of the scale (such as economics and art)
  • diving into one topic is fun for a while but you get bored easily by it
  • you are always eager to learn more and could never just think about doing one task forever
  • being interested in a lot of stuff is superb, but you also are kind of good in a lot of tasks

But after reading posts, comments and articles about multipotentiality I was surprised by finding a lot of negative words and criticism. Because, multipotentialites do not have a niche, whereas the market is asking for specialists. It is referred to as a curse or a problem that is affecting daily life, … and so on.

I just don’t agree with that. For me, having multiple interests is a blessing. Of course, I have to keep myself busy so that I can keep up with my multi-interested brain. But that’s okay. Studying at university, working a part time job at a drugstore, being a freelance journalist and writing blog posts and making pictures…well, there is no time to get bored.

Whenever I talk to people about work or hobbies, they always seem to enjoy just one part of it. New or different experiences make them uncomfortable, uninspired or just say: “I hate dealing with that”. For me, every task is something interesting. I am always happy when I realize how much I can learn from that new task, how high I can thrive because of that. Other people like to have a routine, I never did. So what?

This “diagnosis” is just another name for my crazy, weird, special personality. I never thought of just doing that one job. Somehow I managed to combine two very opposite passions of mine in one: Economics journalist. So I write about the thing I love and do the thing I love, writing. Not everyone might get that lucky. But even these two are not enough for my brain. Writing stories is another passion of mine, just as photography, designing and creating something new from scratch. That’s what this blog is for.

Yes, the economy is asking for specialists at the moment. Expert freelancers are becoming a bigger deal every day. But being a multipotentialite does not only apply to your work environment. It is who you are, in every aspect of your life. It might take you longer to finish that degree, you might even finish two. But as long as you keep doing everything you want – writing that horror story you always wanted, learn how to do calligraphy or invest in the stock market – you will never get bored.

And if you ever feel bad, because you feel alone with this multipotentialism, come back to this quote from Steve Jobs:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” Steve Jobs, Wired, February, 1995

So being multipotential is not a bad thing after all apparently. But somehow the market, economy, and allegedly successful people told us that we need to be an expert in something. I believe that we have an advantage actually. We love learning, we love to achieve something, we love different things, we know different things and we are able to connect a lot of different ideas that other people can’t. I am not saying that you might become the next Steve Jobs (if you are, lucky you!), but if you just accept the fact that you are multipotential and feed those interests of yours, then you will thrive.

Interesting links about multipotentiality:

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writer's block
mindfulness

that blank page

Every Sunday I sit down at my desk with a cup of hot tea, full of motivation to put those words on a blank page, filling it with my imagination and ideas, bringing it to life. I declared Sunday as my writing day since here in Germany everything is closed and you are basically chained to your flat. Almost all the time I really look forward to that specific time. Me holding a cup of tea, thinking about the story I want to tell. It is me time. Just myself and my blank page.

I love writing. Since I was a kid I always wanted to tell stories, write them down and read them to everyone I knew. Letters, postcards,… you name it. So keeping up my motivation is almost never an issue. But every now and then I am holding my cup of tea and am staring at the screen and with an empty brain. No story seems to be finding its way into my head, no imagination. Nothing.

It was a rainy day this particular Sunday. For me the perfect atmosphere to be writing in. It just has this certain vibe for me, kind of melancholic, a little bit dramatic sometimes. Just perfect. But this Sunday I was just staring at this blank page and this annoying little flashing vertical line. You know, this thing telling you where you are on the screen. It was almost mocking me with its flashing rhythm.

“Imagination and inspiration is a tricky thing. Without it, you might as well be the most motivated person on earth, but no sentence will come out of your fingers.”Annika, the lieselotte

For me, this kind of situation is especially annoying. Working full time, finding a moment to write is rare. Even though Sunday is my declared writing day, life just gets in the way sometimes. I have a social life too, you know. Writing might be a very lonely activity, but that’s the reason why a social life is so important. And friends tell the best stories to get inspired by. But having the time for writing and then be without any inspiration sucks.

So what should I do in this situation? Just stop writing? Yes, well, that is always an option. But it will get me nowhere. My project will never be finished, no one will ever read my story and I still believe it is a story that needs to be written down and read by masses. (Just kidding, I don’t really believe that my story is that good, but who knows.) Giving up is never an option, especially not in writing. I believe having the urge to give up is just part of writing in general. Suffering always tells good stories.

Last Sunday I turned to Google and asked how you get rid of writer’s block. Yeah, well, several articles popped up. All of them told the same story. But honestly, there are no standard solutions to this particular problem. For some – hopefully, never me – a writer’s block will last forever. I am not saying that last Sunday was a full-on writer’s block, but it was a little one.

After asking Google what to do, without finding a solution to my problem, I turned back to my blank page and that annoying little vertical line. I swear, sometimes I can even hear it laughing loudly. You know, with this diabolic laugh. Only starting writing will make it stop. But I just couldn’t. My mind was blank, nothing was in it.

After just shutting down the computer I turned on the TV and tried to relax a little bit. The world is not in danger because I am not writing, is it? My mind was not really focusing on what was going on in that show I was watching (writing this I still can’t remember what I was watching back then). During this time, the idea of this blog post came along. Describing my pain, my suffering of that stupid blank page. And just because I love everyone who reads my blog so much, (which so far are just a handful of people, but I am so thrilled to have you here) I am telling you what I did that day to overcome that annoying little flashing thingy.

  • Starting the day, I always rely on a cup of hot tea. I know, coffee is the poison of choice for writers, but I don’t know, tea gets me through the day better at the moment than any coffee.
  • Lying down on my couch with a cozy blanket around my legs always does the trick. The morning is the most important part of my day. If this part goes wrong, well, then we can just forget the rest.
  • Even on a Sunday, I sometimes put makeup on. Yes, that might sound ridiculous, especially because I will never leave the flat anyway. But putting on some nice clothes, cozy ones, of course, makes me feel ready for the day. Try it! It will make all the difference.
  • The next thing I do is kind of a girly one (if putting on makeup wasn’t girly enough for you). I like to clean my flat, make it nice and pretty. Watering my plants, hoovering and buying flowers that match my rug perfectly will put my mind in a writing mindset. My imagination always works best in a pretty environment. This can be your flat, your favorite coffee shop, library, …

After doing all this last Sunday, my imagination was back. I wrote ten pages and am still quite happy with them. Not bad, heh?

What do you do to get your writing hat on?

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