Why Do We Blog?

Yes, why DO we blog? Do we crave the attention, the publication, maybe even fame? Or is this just the 21st century version of keeping a personal diary?

Obviously, everyone has to answer this question for themselves, but I’d like to urge you to do so at some point. Why do YOU blog? And because no one should ever ask someone to do what they are not themselves ready to do, here are (some of) the reasons why I blog:

Because I like writing. Writing has become a part of all our lives and doing so willingly is essential for getting by. Whether it is a novel, a thesis, a postcard or an application – writing can be a massive pain. What to write? And how? Although I have always liked writing (probably because I like reading so much), I am well accustomed to the dread that might come with having (or wanting) to write something. Writing a blog, I hope, will serve as some kind of therapy to this ill and make me less hesitant to sit down and start typing.

Because it helps me out. Life is complicated. We notice this largely due to the magic that is the human brain, but this lovely tool also has it’s quirks: It plays tricks on us and we never seem to be in control of it (just think of guilty pleasures and morbidly inappropriate thoughts). My brain appears to be all over the place. I get so overwhelmed by thoughts and impressions that my everyday life just swallows me up completely. And not always in a good way. Blogging gives me the necessary time and space to focus, reflect and see the bigger picture, which has proven to be awfully helpful. Yet, on the other hand it has also inspired me to hold on to the little things. Moments, thoughts and conversations that seemed irrelevant before suddenly become potential topics for a blog post.

Because for some reason I have always failed at writing a diary. Maybe you know this. Ever since I learned how to write I yearned to write a diary (rhyme!!). It seemed so awfully poetic and dramatic and meaningful. It never worked out. I never made it past five pages, which also meant that I was always in possession of notebooks that had the first few pages written on and were therefore rendered useless (at least from the perspective of perfectionist young me). So frustrating. When I started blogging I knew I was at danger of falling back into this pattern. But somehow I didn’t. Not so far. I think the notion that people could read what I write also helps. I’m not crazy about the Stats, but I love the thought that someone somewhere in the world might read this and think “Yes, this is exactly how I feel” or “She has no f****** idea what she’s going on about”, you know – that it might trigger an opinion or an emotion.

What are YOUR reasons?

B x

Birthday Wishes – The Key To Happiness?!

We’re back to me mirroring Gretchen Rubin’s resolutions during her first happiness project. Today’s resolution is surprisingly simple and straight-forward. Like Ms. Rubin, I’d like to remember birthdays. I’d like to send those I love and care about a card or a message to let them know that I care and also to stay in contact.

During the past few years I have done this sporadically, whenever I knew for some reason that it was someone’s birthday and when I had the time to write a card. Messages were’t really necessary because those people I’d write a birthday message, say on Facebook or WhatsApp, I usually saw on their birthday. School had that kind of convenience.

But, this time I have approached the topic systematically: I have printed a birthday calendar (very basic, but so useful, here), found out birthdays of friends and family –  Facebook and my dad’s phone proved invaluable for this task, I have some cards on my desk and all the addresses on a nice document, so that birthdays can now come. I might also set some kind of tracker on Outlook or something so that I actually remember them, but the groundwork is laid. Success!

I know it is a tiny tiny thing to do, but I also know it will make my friends and family, but especially me insanely happy. Such fun!

B x

Mirroring Resolutions, Things I Like And Blogging Over Christmas

My Happiness Project is only about a week old, and yet somehow I have managed to fail every one of my resolutions at least once. I’ve completed the circle yesterday when I broke my promise to blog daily by – you’ve guessed it – not blogging. Oh well. This was pretty much predictable. It’s not like this hurts anyone. But if you’ve thought that I can be distracted from my ambitions this quickly, you’re wrong: I’ll make all of this work somehow.

A major helper is an aspect of wordpress.com that I only discovered today (I’m new, okay, cut me some slag!): Scheduling posts. This simple feature will go a long way for me trying to keep my promises to myself. I can simply write posts in advance. Especially at this time of year this is extremely useful: Now that I’m at home over Christmas, I don’t have the time to write daily and it will probably be that way until the 6th or 7th of January, when I return to university.

So what I have thought of was this: For this time, I will have two feature categories supplying you with posts. The first one is related to my Happiness Project.  As you might know from this post, I have come up with seven aims of my own. However, as I was reading Rubin’s book, I constantly felt that I should make a not, that I might be missing something essential, like the resolutions that could bring me happiness were just slipping through my fingers (like the ABBA song but in a different context). So I’ve gone back through her aims and resolutions (there are so many!) and I’ve chosen seven that also make sense for me to adapt. Of course, that means that I now have 14 resolutions to think about and keep track of, so I’ll have to make a new track sheet… Which I’ll do right after writing this post, I promise.

That’s that. But if you’re a careful reader you’ll recall that I was talking about two new categories, and indeed I was. The second one is remotely connected to the idea of Christmas. I am not religious, but I love Christmas. What I like most is the idea of sharing. You share your precious time with the other members of your family, no matter how annoying they might be. You share presents of course, and loads of food. This is also the time of year when many people that are otherwise absorbed in their own worries remember to share with those who aren’t as lucky as they are. I don’t have a lot of money to give to charities and I don’t cook very well, but giving presents is a passion of mine. I love to share things that I love. And this is going to be the second category: Me sharing things with you, whoever you might be.

There we are: Enjoy the posts, Merry Christmas, and I’ll return to live-blogging at the beginning of the next year!

B x

Good lecturers, bad lecturers…

So, yes, it’s been a while. The internet has been mostly working for the past month, and it seems I am way more compelled to contribute to this blog when forcibly offline.

Anyways, it’s time for an update. Looking back, it seems funny how excited I was for courses to start. I signed up for the whole lot of lectures and seminars and vowed to go to all tutorials as well. For the first two weeks I did it. Attended every event on my self-enforced timetable.

Things are a bit different today. I dropped out of all of my lectures and most of my seminars. And, believe it or not, this is a good thing. Why would I attend a boring lecture if I don’t want to? Clearly, my chances of learning something are inversely proportional to how much I dread getting up in the morning. But there are some seminars left over. Also a very good thing.

My beginners’ Danish course, for example, is a delight. Yes, there are the irregular words, there’s the pronunciation that continues to puzzle me. But it is heaps of fun and very rewarding. As always, this is largely due to my Danish teacher, who is amazing. It is refreshing how personally engaged she is and how proud our progress makes her. And I myself love that after only two months of learning the language I was able to watch a film entirely in Danish (also organised by that lovely teacher, outside of our lessons, in her own free time) and I managed to follow the plot!

The other seminars I still go to include academic writing, an introduction into Spanish Literature (although these are both quite dull, but academic writing might actually prove useful someday and if I dropped out of Spanish Lit, I would have dropped out of Spanish entirely…), an introduction to Scandinavian Medieval Studies and a presentation skills workshop.

That last one is the other delight of my week. It is the only seminar I have in English and it’s very much an interactive course. We are only five participants, which makes it really cozy and personal and the teacher is a lovely lady that provides biscuits and tea and coffee. Yet again, she is probably the cause that I find this workshop as enjoyable as I do. With a background in acting and teaching English she’s just lovely and cares for each and every one of us.

Well, that’s enough from me for now, I have some festive spirit to generate (I find writing cards, buying presents, mulled wine and Frank Sinatra very helpful in getting me in the right Christmas mood) and a risotto to cook (yes, that phase isn’t over yet).

B x

Success!

18th October 2014

So, few days later, here I am on my first visit home. The Tuesday outing was more or less successful, thanks to three gin tonics, two mojitos, two beer and endless cigarettes. Turns out my suspicions about the people I went with were outright right (mildly racist, mildly homophobic, and, surprise surprise, more than mildly sexist). But drinks were comparably cheap, the music was bad but not too bad and with a bit of courage it was easy to meet new people.

I have also found out that my internetlessness is caused by an external problem (the student halls are cut off from the main server or something…) and am pretty much settled in. It will take me yet another week until I will be able to start my lectures and seminars, but hey ho. Only slight obstacle is a nation-wide general strike of train drivers that will put a hold to any attempt of me getting back to uni on Sunday. But hey ho, right?

So, back home also means back online. I have however, so far put off taking this blog viral. The writing itself is the easy part. So far, whenever I found the courage to think “Hey, I’ll start a blog”, I only ever got to the part where you set up all the technical stuff. Suddenly you’re faced with so many options and you have to make so many choices. What do I know what the header should look like? I just want to write a bloody blog. And what about this ridiculous “about me” section? What am I supposed to write there? Infinitely annoying, but I will pull myself together and do it. Now. So that you can actually read this stuff. Makes sense.

P.S. I’m doing my best, people. But again: What do I want my blog title to be?

As you might have noticed: here we are! I made it. So proud of myself. Make sure you read the previous posts so that all of this makes sense. Also, a precautionary “Soz” for any spelling or grammar mistakes.

B x