January 30, 2014

a life in style. or so i thought.

yesterday i stumbled across this awesome post from geraldine and it hit home. as people who have a blog (wouldn’t want to say “as bloggers” or “as writers” because that sounds really pretentious and sort of asshole-y) and people in general we constantly need to define ourselves. or at least that’s what the world wants us to do. little boxes on the hill side… the one and only time i ever put my little blog up for any sort of best of i had a hard time choosing a box that i wanted to be the best of. in the end i think i chose the humour box, which turned out to be the wrong one, because while people tell me i’m funny, i apparently don’t fit into the humour/haha funny box. or maybe i wasn’t funny enough. thekla told me afterwards i should have chosen the lifestyle category for my blog. mpfh. i of course liked the idea better that i was simply in the wrong box than the box i was in didn’t like me, but was too late in any case so i just didn’t think about it anymore.
so i read geraldine’s post about how she not a lifestyle blogger, but how she wanted to give it a go and attempted to make a crostata and document the whole process. now that was something i can relate to. sort of. i thought crostata was something like a crostini, i definitely didn’t take it for some kind of pie. my bad. her not reading the recipe and thus not having all the ingredients is also something i can relate. i would make a bad lifestyle blogger because i never use recipes to begin with. it already drove one ex-boyfriend insane, i can only imagine what it would do to a lifestyle blogger’s readership.
so as you can read her crostata making wasn’t  going so well, but there was lots of liquor involved and a failed attempt at caramel making, both things i can appreciate too. let’s just remember the fish cake incident of 2011 and the easter egg shaped macarons for a moment.
so that’s why i adore her. sometimes i need aspiration and sometimes i want to relate and just know that thank god there are others out there like me.
and don’t get me wrong – i love lifestyle blogs, in fact most blogs i read can probably be labelled accurately as such. i love them, not in an ironic way, but in a i truly love to read about this person’s life way. i find it inspiring. i would like to be such an inspiration for others too maybe. but there comes the time when i have to admit a life with a certain style a lifestyle blogger doesn’t make. my toe nails might be painted nicely, but there is nothing picture worthy about the process; to be honest it’s quite gross. and while i do enjoy wearing and buying nice clothes, i don’t have a significant other who will take decent pictures of me in my nice clothes. neither do i have a child trustworthy enough that i would hand it my canon or any child at all for that matter. actually i hate to have my picture taken ALWAYS and if you tell me to stand up straight, tuck my ribs, pull my belly in, and lift my chin, that’s the face you get:

thank you, thekla, my wonderful friend. no, i am not being sarcastic, the others turned out wonderful, but were quite a bit of work and if i had to pose for pictures on a daily basis i would be a proper alcoholic. now you will rightly say that a lot of lifestyle bloggers don’t pose in their shots, they are just being snapped. yeah, well, those girls don’t have a double chin problem and uneven arm skin tones.
one of my favourite with no such issues is james from bluebird. she and her husband are the quintessential hipsters. but really original hipsters, not just someone who lives in brooklyn and wears a beard that doesn’t suit him. no, she bakes bread and cake, she has chickens in her garden, homeschools her 4 kids, and still always looks fabulous and wears essie nail polish in awesome shades. i get tired when i have to do homework with my friend’s daughter for 10 minutes so i really don’t know how she does it and then some.
another must have if you are a lifestyle bloggers are series or features and a blogging calendar. yes, we all know how my attempts at having series worked out and if i don’t even find the time to stick to my series, i wouldn’t know where to find time to make calendar. sorry.
if i had a calendar and would have looked at it, i would have noticed that i did already write about the fact that i don’t have a lifestyle blog. in fact i wrote about it in such detail that i named my blog  a random, somewhat funny blog with stories about wine, pasta, yoga and failed dates. but i don’t have a calendar; otherwise i would also know that i have probably already blogged about the fact that i frequently write the same posts twice. that’s how not organized and unscheduled i am. and i am aware that is a big no-no for a lifestyle blogger and i can wear all the hip orange/red lipstick and hair buns in the world it wouldn’t make up for it.
so no, i am not a lifestyle blogger and probably won’t ever be. i’m just me in my little box full of random, somewhat funny stories about wine, pasta, yoga and failed dates. and as long as there are some others who are in equal random boxes i am okay with that.

January 20, 2014

let go or be dragged.

“let go or be dragged.”

this is a zen proverb that i came across sometime, somewhere last week. i have had it on my mind ever since. i think letting go of things is my biggest problem. actually not things. while i started to go through my flat, preparing for the move, i found it really easy to put things into the to give away pile. things were always easy. experiences, thoughts, people, ideas – letting go of those is a whole other story. letting go always seems to indicate loss to me. i never could see the benefit of non-attachment, well, maybe in theory but not in actual praxis.
that was till i read let go or be dragged. how simple. how clear. with an immediate benefit of letting go right there, no waiting for what was at the end of the letting go rainbow. being dragged sucks. being dragged reeks of a bad guy tied to a lasso who is dragged behind a good cowboy on his horse. who would want that? it looks like it may hurt as hell and you get your clothes torn and your face dirty, not even to mention that one probably feels quite embarrassed too.
mind you i am not sure how much i am actually achieving of the letting go quite yet, but it has become my little mantra for now. so here i am, trying to let go of…

… my anxiety.
… 5kgs of body weight…and the need to even lose those 5kgs at all.
… my worries about my dad.

… my anger at my friend and the desire to walk up to him, shake him, and demand an answer as to why he is ignoring me.

… my love for wheat.

… my laziness and procrastination.

… my demand for perfection of myself and others.
… my monday grumpiness that sometimes gets me at any given day of the week.

i’m sure there is more. but i am starting with no 7 because my own demand for perfection seems to be the basis for quite a few other things i need to let go of, so why not start there and see how the list changes and hopefully shrinks.

what do you need to let go of? what is dragging you down?

January 7, 2014

homecoming crying queen.

i'm not well right now. i had actually planned a post about how i wasn't quite well after i returned and that one made a whole lot of more sense, but then i got a whole lot worse in one day and the post seemed redundant.
i used to suffer from anxiety attacks a few years back. with the help of some anti-depressants and therapy i got it all under control and the only thing that remained was the fear that the anxiety might return. worst thing ever – fear of fear. actually well, right now i might argue with that.
the break-in really shook me up. i forgot this very scary feeling of having my place robbed and my privacy invaded over christmas chocolates and family drama though. but then it came all back to me when i was at my mum's and actually had some time to reflect. new year's eve brought tears and revelations, not all bad, but definitely not great either.
and then i had to go back, house sit at a house that as much as i love to visit scares me when i'm there alone, face work, and today face going back to my little flat. while that may not seem a big deal to some, it is a big deal to me right now. it is such a big deal that i am bawling my eyes out, sometimes sobbing so much that i can't have a drink from my beer without knocking the bottle on my teeth. the little girl in me wants to do nothing more than take the grown-up girl's credit card and passport and book a flight back to germany and crawl up on my mum's lap. but the grown-up girl can't do that. she has responsibilities and stuff to take of and sort the life she is leaving and the life she wants to build. and as it turns out she is completely overwhelmed by it all.

why i am writing about myself in the third person i have no idea. maybe i need to detach a bit. i really don't want to sound pretentious. i think you must be a douche to refer to yourself in the third person, so i apologize for sounding like one right now.

yesterday when it got really bad i was on my way to my cousin in hout bay and while driving i was trying really hard to keep it together. when i arrived she came downstairs to my car to greet me, something she has never done before, i usually just go up to the house. she hugged me and asked me how i was and when i just started crying and stammering she just hugged me harder, got a friend of hers to write me a script for some ativan while her daughter made me a cup of tea. to everybody else in the house she just said annika is a little fragile right now. no big deal. how much do i love my family where things like anxiety and depression and sobbing for no reason are no big deal. they are a part of life. they are normal and you find ways to live with them and try to make them better. sometimes way includes tea, sometimes medication, sometimes wine and a big bowl of pasta. sometimes you just to cry for a bit. and sometimes for a bit longer and just knowing that that's also okay.

on my way back my amazing family continued to be amazing when i went to my uncle's house to drop of his suitcase he had let me borrow for my trip. i told him a little bit about my afternoon, got teary eyed once again, and told him that i had to go back to the house i didn't want to be at to housesit. in addition to giving me a glass of whiskey – the really good one, so i knew he was worried about me – he simply refused to let me go. he told me i would spend the night, no debating. then he drove me to the house and watered the garden while i packed all my things. in the evening he moved into his office to sleep so i could be comfy and feel safe next to my aunt.

this morning i was still feeling a bit anxious, but also a whole lot of grateful. i have a lot on my plate now and it is okay to feel overwhelmed with that. i will manage. i have support from all sides. and even more important i know that it is okay to sometimes feel like that. c'est la vie.

p.s. i have wholeheartedly claimed back my flat. i bought flowers, sprayed my favorite linen spray everywhere, celebrated the things that got not stolen, and the fact that my basil survived while the nasty vietnamese coriander miraculously died.  
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