Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Why I Quit Blogging

Hi there!
I more or less already quit blogging around April 2015 but I didn't want to leave for good without a last goodbye. 

As this blog wasn't started until autumn 2014, I didn't really stick around for too long. The reason is even though my blog has always been small and even though I have found amazing and lovely people via their blogs, running my own blog and keeping updated with others' just gradually made me feel more and more pressure and forget about my offline life which - let's be honest - is all there really is (at least for me).
I felt a pressure to think about possible posts, I felt a pressure to do certain things so I could blog them, I felt a pressure to make people realise my blog is out there. And this just was anything but beneficial for my own well-being. I didn't really live my life the way I should have, I rarely enjoyed the moments just for what they were but was occupied by the thought of documenting them or - in moments that weren't meant to be documented - thinking about the ones I could document. I didn't really and actually live my life but was possessed by the idea of documenting it and getting my blog out there.
When I quit and I realised how good that was for me personally, I was actually troubled with remorse a lot of the time - I felt like I should blog, like I should want to do this as I had put so much effort into it and now I just let it slip away. But I also felt my posts would be completely shitty if they weren't honest and I really just didn't feel like writing anything so I didn't.
As there are a few posts after April 2015, you can tell there were moments when I felt like writing again. But my content was different, I didn't really feel too comfortable with most of the things I'd written beforehand and I knew how much time of my life I had spent reading blogs just to keep updated instead of really enjoying it that I refrained from doing that again. I did write my most heartfelt and to me personally important post in September 2015 but I never really felt this need to put myself out there with a blog again. There are topics that I'd wish got more attention (which is mainly why I wrote the aforementioned post) but I also knew I didn't have the audience to do that myself and I knew I didn't want to produce the content anymore that I felt I could gain an audience with.
I am grateful for the people I virtually met by writing this blog and for the experiences I made but I think a lot of social media just aren't for me because they tend to influence my life too heavily. It's been a short but also lovely time on here having my very own place on the internet and I'm keeping it here as it is with a few posts that mean something to me or that I feel could help somebody who stumbles upon them in one way or the other but I think blogging just isn't really for me.

Lots of love

PS: And Sjoukje please don't be mad at me for never writing that Amsterdam post that I promised you!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

A Life With Monsters - Dealing With Depression and Mental Health Issues

I know I won't reach as many people as I'd like to with this post as this is not a popular blog. But I feel that if this reaches out to only one person, then it's worth it.

I live a life with monsters and we've had our ups and downs and over the years I've become better and better at learning that they are something that I need to accept and get along with. They're there, they may be a part of me but they don't define me. They don't need to go away and vanish so I can be happy, I can live a happy life despite and with my monsters, I only need to take care of them.

The reason I'm writing this is because if you are struggling, I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know that it's okay to ask for help, it's okay to break down sometimes, that doesn't mean you're weak. You're battling your monsters every single day, that is such an exhausting thing to do, no wonder it sometimes gets too much. You actually are incredibly strong because you realise and admit that something's wrong while weaker people would just pretend to be okay so they fit into an absurd standard that tells us to be happy all the time and neglects that life is like a rollercoaster that has wonderful ups as well as downs.

A mental illness is an illness and having a cold or something similar we usually take a rest to gain the energy to battle it so we'll be fine again afterwards. But as soon as our mind is affected, we tend to forget that it's an illness too. It's an illness that consumes a lot of energy and it's quite understandable that sometimes there isn't enough left to go to work or to do the dishes because all the energy is absorbed by the illness and if there's anything that's left, it's needed to take care of ourselves as good as we still can. And that's okay. It's an illness, it doesn't mean we're failing, it doesn't mean we're not trying hard enough or we should pull ourselves together. It is an illness. It consumes energy and it's no wonder that during down times when our little monsters want to be fed with a lot of it, there isn't much energy left to spend on other things.

The crucial part I think is to accept that these monsters exist and to realise that we are stronger than them. Always. These monsters are mean little beasts though because they make you think you're weak, they place harsh thoughts about yourself in your mind and we tend to forget that those are the monsters speaking not ourselves. But if you think about it for a moment, you'll realise that these monsters are a lot weaker than you are because you do not in any case depend on them but they fully depend on you. They need you to survive so they make you feel weak. They pretend to be stronger than you so you won't find the courage to fight them. But I know you can.

And even though it's hard and it hurts and it might not seem so at first glance, monsters do not only have disadvantages. I know that mine start to show up as soon as I'm too busy, having too many projects at the same time so there isn't any room for taking care of myself left. When there are too many outside tasks I need to handle at once, I tend to forget to look after myself and to listen to my own needs. And that's when my monsters make an appearance, a slow one at first but if I don't react, they'll grow. But this also means they are some kind of early warning system of my body to tell me that I'm biting off more than I can chew and that I should see whether some of the tasks are negligible or can at least be postponed to a better moment.

Of course there are things that have to be done and situations you can't leave and sometimes a lot of them come together and are suddenly a huge thing to handle even though they're easy on their own. And it's okay that that gets too much sometimes, but never forget to take your time and make breaks and look after yourself. Always put yourself first, not last, because you're worth it - always, at any minute of your life.

I want you to know that you are never alone, there are people out there who struggle too. Other people fall as well and it's okay to do so as long as eventually you get back up. I know it's hard sometimes, I know sometimes it doesn't feel like anything could help. But never forget that there are people who care, people who listen and who are there for you when you need someone. It's okay to need someone. You are beautiful and strong and even in your weakest and most desperate moments you are and always will be stronger than your monsters.

Be safe!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Polaroid Safari

Today I went on a little photo safari taking my Fujifilm Instax 210 with me. I really just felt like walking my environment looking for details I might normally overlook and snap them - and I thought I'd share the outcome with you.

The photos were all shot around the Schlachthof in Bremen which is now a location with a bar and a skate park where a lot of concerts and parties take place but used to be part of the municipal slaughterhouse. It's a really pretty brick building and I love its atmosphere. If you ever come to Bremen, I'd highly recommend a visit.

This was actually the first time I properly used my Instax 210 which is probably one of the reasons the exposure isn't the best in all of the pictures. But composition and exposure are actually a little tricky with this camera anyway as there isn't really a lot you could adjust. But the feeling of watching the photo develop totally makes up for that and the limited properties of the camera also make for a charming change in comparison to an SLR.

I hope you enjoyed the snaps. Have you got any recommendations on using a Fuji Instax?