Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thoughts on... being afraid

When I tell people that I’m afraid of lots of things and that I worry all the time they usually don’t believe me. That is because if I talk about stuff like that I talk to people that I already know. They would say “Hey, you’ve packed your stuff a while ago and just moved to Ireland for a year. Then you came back and four weeks later you’ve packed your stuff again and moved to Cologne without knowing anyone there. How can you say you’re afraid of things?” Well, that’s true. When I moved to Ireland to work as an au pair, I didn’t know anyone there; I didn’t even know the family I was going to move in with and when I came back I had made so many experiences and met so many great people, some of them are really good friends of mine now. But when I went there I was scared. I was excited, of course, I was looking forward to make this experience but I was scared that I might be alone all the time. What if I don’t meet anyone I like there? What if the people I move in with are complete lunatics? What if my English is so bad that I don’t understand anyone… It was my own decision to go so I couldn’t blame anyone but let’s just say I was terrified. Before I went there I was pretty shy. People wouldn’t believe me because once I know people I keep talking and am really outgoing but before I know them I worry a lot about what they think of me and if they like me and all. In my experience, most of the girls who went to be an au pair had the same problem but we all had to be outgoing during this year, we were all scared to end up by ourselves so we kept going out, talking to strangers, meeting everyone we could. And it was a great experience. Ireland made it easy for me as well, it’s not hard to meet people, because everybody loves to talk and if you’re from a foreign country everyone will be very nice and ask you about it all the time. That’s when I lost the fear of talking to strangers (or at least it became a bit easier for me).
When I moved to Cologne it was the same. I didn’t know anyone and I had to start a real job. I was scared of everything. This huge city (which now seems so small to me sometimes), the huge hospital I was supposed to work in, all the new people… On my first day at work I was afraid that I had forgotten everything that I’ve ever known about nursing so I just kept quiet. I barely talked to anyone, not my co-workers, not the patients. After a few days I realized, that there were a lot of new people there and most of them didn’t have any experience, either. So I became a bit more confident and started talking and asking questions.
I always have the feeling that people could think I am stupid. I think about what they are thinking about me and stuff. If you start a new job here you probably won’t get a long-term contract in the first place. You have a test phase of about half a year and during this time you can quit your job easily if you realize you don’t like it but your boss can also make you leave if you don’t fit in or something. Every time I asked a question I was wondering if people would think I’m stupid and would ask me to quit. Every single time.
They didn’t ask me to leave. And I stayed. I even became friends with some of my co-workers which made life so much easier here. It’s still not easy for me to meet new people because I am shy and all (and all of the other stuff written above) but there is this line from a song: “Life’s too short to be afraid” and I try to think of that every time I don’t do a thing because I’m too scared.

Do you have any problems like these as well? Do you know anything that I could do about it?

Xoxo, Jenny

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thoughts on... going offline for a while

It wasn’t my own decision to go offline for a while. Two weeks ago my router broke while I was just writing an email. I just couldn’t go online anymore. I checked my computer, I checked all the wires but it was just broken. I called my internet provider and they told me, they’ll send me a new on in the next days. That’s when it became clear that there was going to be a whole weekend without internet. Yes, I still have my phone and I still can check my emails there and all but I don’t enjoy going online with my phone so I don’t really do it. I hate it that it’s so slow and I hate reading stuff on it, it’s just not comfortable so I don’t really use it except for texting via WhatsApp and checking my emails.
We didn’t have an internet access until I was about 17. That was pretty late, lots of people I knew already had Internet at home, were writing emails and enjoying the pleasures of getting information, playing games and stuff online. I had an email address and I checked my emails about once a month when I came to my uncle’s (who was the first person I knew with a laptop and now the first person with internet access) or when we were allowed to surf for a few minutes at school. Most teenagers today couldn’t imagine living without it but I did. And I survived. Still it fascinated me. When we got our internet access, we only had one computer. My parents didn’t allow us to go online for too long because back then we didn’t have flatrates, we had to pay for every minute AND nobody could use the phone while we were surfing (now that I think about it, it sounds as if this was hundreds of years ago but in fact, it was in 2003). My brother and I had to share the computer and boy did we fight about it. It was so silly now that I think about it but this computer was my access to the future. I fell in love with the internet. I first found out about blogging, I connected with people from everywhere through MSN or ICQ, it was all so easy. I couldn’t even watch 30 second films on YouTube or whatever because the connection was too slow but I enjoyed every minute in the World Wide Web.
Today things are a bit different. For me it’s normal to go online every single day on a high speed wireless connection. I sit on my balcony writing emails, I can watch tv shows I missed online while staying in bed on a Sunday morning. I hear a song on the radio, find out online what it is and download it on iTunes within one minute. I read blogs every day, I blog myself, I receive emails from my Nana, I don’t watch the news on telly, I watch them online, I check my work emails at home, my boss sends me my working schedule via email. I learned how to play a song on the piano in a tutorial on YouTube. I post pictures from my holidays on Facebook so my friends in the United States, Canada or Brazil can have a look at them and I’m glad I can see theirs as well. I am on Twitter, following people I haven’t even met just to see what they are doing, eating, reading… And I love it. I know, all of these things are for fun, more or less. Of course I have used the internet for research as well, it makes studying so much easier. I could have gone to the library to find out all the things I wanted to know but it’s so much more comfortable to stay at your desk and work from there. And libraries, even… I used to love them as a kid but nowadays I buy most of the books online. You can get used ones on Amazon, Ebay… It’s not the same as going into a bookstore but sometimes you just want to stay inside and be sure that there is a parcel coming to you soon ;-)
Now, when my router broke it wasn’t that I was close to killing myself but it was a pity. Even when I love being online, I still do a lot of offline stuff. I read, I go out, I meet people and this is what I did during the last days as well. It showed me, that I am not one of those internet addicts that go completely crazy without it. All of the people I like I can still reach via phone calls (or writing letters, how romantic is that?) so it was fine for me altogether. It’s just nice when you come home at night and can have a look through your favourite blogs, tweets, podcasts… And so yesterday when this green light showed on my computer saying: “You’re online, you crazy nerd!” I just felt relief. Welcome home, internet, you’ve been missed!

Xoxo, Jenny

PS: There are about 300 unread emails (most of them spam, I know), 2000 unread blog posts on bloglovin and a million tweets so if you never hear from me again, you’ll know what I’m doing…

Es war nicht meine Entscheidung, für eine Weile offline zu gehen. Vor zwei Wochen ging mein Router kaputt, als ich gerade eine E-mail geschrieben habe. Ich konnte nicht mehr online gehen. Ich hab den Computer überprüft, alle Kabel, aber er ließ sich einfach nicht mehr einschalten. Also habe ich meinen Internetanbieter angerufen und die haben mir gesagt, sie schicken in den nächsten Tagen einen neuen. Da wusste ich plötzlich: Es liegt ein Wochenende vor mir ohne Internet. Ja, ich hab immer noch mein Smartphone, auf dem ich meine E-Mails abrufen kann aber das mache ich nicht so oft. Ich mag es nicht, dass es so langsam ist und Sachen zu lesen macht keinen Spaß, also benutze ich es kaum, außer für WhatsApp und ab und zu E-Mails lesen.
Wir hatten kein Internet bis ich ungefähr 17 war, was ziemlich spät war, viele, die ich kannte hatten zuhause schon einen Internetanschluss, schrieben E-Mails und hatten Spaß daran, online Informationen zu bekommen, Spiele zu spielen und so weiter. Ich hatte eine E-Mail-Adresse und hab so einmal im Monat reingeschaut, wenn ich bei meinem Onkel war (der erste Mensch, den ich kannte, mit einem Laptop und auch der erste mit einem Internetanschluss) oder wenn wir in der Schule mal für ein paar Minuten surfen durften. Die meisten Jugendlichen heute können sich das heute nicht mehr vorstellen aber ich habe ohne Internet gelebt. Und überlebt. Aber es hat mich trotzdem fasziniert. Als wir unseren Internetanschluss bekommen haben, hatten wir nur einen Computer. Meine Eltern haben uns nicht erlaubt, lange online zu gehen, weil wir keine Flatrate hatten, wir mussten für jede einzelne Minute zahlen UND niemand konnte währenddessen telefonieren (wenn ich so darüber nachdenke klingt das, als wäre es hundert Jahre her aber eigentlich war das so um 2003). Mein Bruder und ich mussten den Computer teilen und wir haben uns ständig gestritten. Das war total bescheuert, wenn ich jetzt darüber nachdenke aber dieser Computer war mein Zugang zur Zukunft. Ich habe mich ins Internet verliebt. Ich habe das erste Mal vom Bloggen gehört, ich konnte mit Leuten von überall reden über MSN oder ICQ, es war alles so einfach. Ich konnte noch nicht einmal 30-sekündige Folme auf YouTube oder so anschauen, weil die Verbindung so langsam war aber ich habe jede Minute im World Wide Web genossen.
Heute sieht die Sache ein bisschen anders aus. Für mich ist es völlig normal, jeden Tag online zu sein mit einer High-Speed-Verbindung. Ich sitze auf dem Balkon und schreibe E-Mails, ich schaue mir TV-Serien an, wenn ich Sonntags länger im Bett liege. Ich höre ein Lied im Radio, finde online heraus, was es ist und lade es mir innerhalb einer Minute bei iTunes herunter. Ich lese jeden Tag Blogs und ich blogge selbst, ich bekomme E-Mails von meiner Oma, ich schaue die Nachrichten nicht im Fernsehen sondern online, ich lese zu Hause meine E-Mails von der Arbeit, mein Chef schickt mir immer meinen Dienstplan. Ich habe über ein Online Tutorial gelernt, ein Lied auf dem Klavier zu spielen. Ich stelle meine Urlaubsfotos bei Facebook online, so dass meine Freunde aus den USA, Canada und Brasilien sie auch anschauen können und ich bin froh, dass ich ihre auch sehen kann. Ich bin bei Twitter und folge Leuten, die ich noch nie getroffen habe, nur um zu sehen, was die so machen, essen, lesen... Und ich liebe es. Ich weiß, die meisten dieser dinge sind reiner Zeitvertreib. Natürlich habe ich auch schonmal das Internet zur Recherche verwendet, weil es das Lernen so viel einfacher macht. Ich hätte in die Bibliothek gehen können, um alles herauszufinden aber es ist so viel gemütlicher, am Schreibtisch sitzen zu bleiben und von dort zu arbeiten. Und auch Bibliotheken... Ich habe sie als Kind geliebt aber heutzutage kaufe ich die meisten Bücher online. Es gibt immer wieder gebrauchte auf Amazon oder Ebay... Es ist nicht das gleiche wie in einen Buchladen zu gehen aber manchmal ist es einfach schön, zu hause zu bleiben und zu wissen, dass ein Päckchen auf dem Weg zu einem ist ;-)
Als jetzt mein Router kaputt gegangen ist, war ich nicht kurz davor, mich vom Balkon zu stürzen aber es war schade. Ich liebe es, online zu sein aber ich mache auch viele "Offline-Sachen". Ich lese, ich gehe aus, ich treffe Leute und das ist auch das, was ich die Letzten Tage gemacht habe. Es hat mir gezeigt, dass ich keiner von den Internetsüchtigen bin, die ohne durchdrehen. Alle Leute, die ich mag, kann ich immer noch telefonisch erreichen (oder ihnen einen Brief schreiben, das ist vielleicht romantisch), das heißt, es war okay für mich. Aber es ist einfach schön, wenn man abends nach Hause kommt und einmal durch seine Lieblingsblogs, Tweets oder Podcast schauen kann... Deswegen hab ich mich einfach erleichtert gefühlt, als gestern das grüne Licht an meinem Computer anging, das mir sagt "Du bist online, du bescheuerter Nerd!". Herzlich willkommen zu Hause, Internet, du hast mir gefehlt!

Xoxo, Jenny

PS: Ich habe etwa 300 ungelesene E-Mails (die meisten sind Spam, ich weiß), 2000 ungelesene Posts auf Bloglovin' und eine Million Tweets, also wenn ihr nie wieder von mir hört, wisst ihr, was ich mache...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My top 10

First of all: A friend of mine asked me lately, why I don't blog in German. Well, I really want that my friends who don't speak German can read the blog as well. Most of the blogs I read are in English and as I am interacting with some of these bloggers it's just obvious that I write in English as well. And, in the meantime, I'm just so used to writing in English so much that it just comes naturally. But I'll try to translate some of my posts into German now, see below. I won't do it all of the time but I'll try my best...

I drove down to my parents' last weekend to celebrate my birthday with friends and family (well at least to see them for a while, it wasn't a big celebration), to watch some football, to go to a theme park with some friends and to just relax for a while. It has been very nice so far, I really enjoyed it. Here's what I like these days:

This lovely necklace. My friend gave it to me for my birthday.

There's a watch inside ;-)

My new dress

My other new dress

Flowers on my balcony

The view from my balcony ;-)

Sunset in my hometown

my new haircolor...
  • It's so important to believe in yourself and your strength. It's good to know that other people have the same worries but are trying to beat them. See this nice post at Bonnie's blog
  • I am starting a photography project these days. As I'm still at my parents' I have been looking for all my old cameras. I really want to try something else than digital photography and I'll tell you about it as soon as there are any news. (Even if I want to go back to the roots, this is what I'm going to save some money for)
  • My friend finally bought the tickets for Summerjam Festival and I'm so looking forward to going there!
What have been your favourites lately?

Jenny, xoxo

Als erstes: Eine Freundin hat mich vor Kurzem gefragt, warum ich nicht auf Deutsch blogge. Naja, ich möchte, dass meine Freunde, die kein Deutsch sprechen, mein Blog auch lesen können. Die meisten Blogs, die ich selbst lese sind auf Englisch und da ich zum Teil mit den Bloggern in Kontakt stehe ist es für mich ganz normal, dass ich auch auf Englisch schreibe. Außerdem habe ich mich in der Zwischenzeit so daran gewöhnt, dass ich auf Englisch schreibe, dass es ganz von allein kommt. Ich werde versuchen, einige meiner Posts in Zukunft zu übersetzen, die Übersetzung steht dann unten. Ich werde das bestimmt nicht immer machen, aber ich tu mein Bestes...

Ich bin zu meinen Eltern gefahren, um meinen Geburtstag mit Freunden und Familie zu feiern (zumindest, um alle für eine Weile zu sehen, eine große Feier gab es nicht), um Fußball zu kucken, um mit ein paar Leuten in den Europapark zu gehen und einfach für eine Weile zu entspannen. Es war echt schön bisher, ich genieße es. Hier seht ihr, was mir die letzten Tage gefallen hat:

  • Diese süße Halskette. Ich habe sie von einer Freundin zum Geburtstag bekommen. Es ist eine kleine Uhr drin ;-)
  • Mein neues Kleid
  • Mein anderes neues Kleid
  • Die Blumen auf meinem Balkon
  • Die Aussicht von meinem Balkon
  • Der Sonnenuntergang in meinem Heimatdorf
  • Meine neue Haarfarbe
  • Es ist so wichtig, an sich selbst zu glauben und an seine eigene Stärke. Gut zu wissen, dass andere Leute sich die gleichen Gedanken machen und versuchen, sie abzuschütteln. Auf Bonnies Blog gibt es einen tollen Post darüber
  • Ich fange gerade mit einem Fotoprojekt an. Hier bein meinen Eltern habe ich nach meinen alten Kameras gesucht. Ich will es statt Digitalfotografie mal analog versuchen und erzähle euch, wenn es dazu was Neues gibt. (auch wenn ich zu den Anfängen zurück will spare ich trotzdem hierfür)
  • Meine Freundin hat endlich die Tickets fürs Summerjam Festival gekauft und ich freu mich schon so drauf!
Was hat euch die letzte Zeit begeistert?

Jenny, xoxo

Sunday, June 10, 2012

26 Things

I'm turning 26 today. Jeez, ten years ago (yes, I was 16 TEN YEARS AGO!!!) that seemed really old to me. Now I have days where I feel pretty old, for example when I need a whole day of recreation after a night out. Or when I don't go out on a work night. Then I feel very young on other days, when I want to go out for a whole weekend or when I am being spontaneous and do things without planning. I also feel way too young to settle down and stuff like that, when I was 16 I thought I'd be married and have children by the time I turn 24 and now? I'm not even close to it and that's good. So many good things have happened instead and I feel like I still have loads of time. See, still pretty young ;-)
Here are 26 things I want to do until my 27th birthday (I've seen this on other blogs and think it's a really good idea):

  1. Taking sewing classes online
  2. Doing 12 sewing projects in 12 months
  3. Write one letter or postcard each month
  4. Starting to sell my stuff
  5. Going to the cinema more often
  6. Doing at least two weekend trips (Hamburg or Berlin or London or Amsterdam or Cork or...)
  7. Buying a new music album each month
  8. Going to a music festival (Summer Jam!)
  9. Blogging at least once a week
  10. Getting a new haircut
  11. Working out more (at least twice a week)
  12. Dressing up
  13. Wearing the heels I bought a year ago more often!
  14. Joining a choir
  15. Learning to play at least three new songs on the piano
  16. Going shopping! (not online, not in the shopping center, IN TOWN!!!) And buying a complete outfit! (already did this once last week!)
  17. (This is additional to No.12 and No.16) Wearing a dress at the wedding in July
  18. Making my own jewellery
  19. Bringing the ideas out that run around in my head
  20. Saving a bit of money each month
  21. Visiting my friend in Innsbruck, snowboarding
  22. Reuniting with my au pair friends (I miss you guys!)
  23. Finding a new appartment (maybe)
  24. Visiting my Irish hostfamily
  25. Reorganizing my blog
  26. Worrying less about stuff that isn't worth it...
That's a lot now, I'll see how far I can get. But goals are good, I think, which ones do you have for the next months/years?

Jenny, xoxo

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Thoughts on... living in a football country

The Euro 2012 started yesterday, today is Germany's first match and I’m pretty excited about that. Time to think about how it is to live in a country full of football lunatics.
It starts when we are small kids. Whenever we are out with our parents – in the park, on the playground or just in our back garden – if there’s a ball in sight we’ll probably start playing football with our fathers. That’s just their job, playing football with us. When I was small I was sure that my Dad is the greatest football player in the world (which he’s not, sorry, Dad!). The first football player I’ve known even had the same name as my DadJ.
When my baby brother was old enough, of course, he started playing football. Unfortunately he didn’t like it that much… Anyway, my Dad went to nearly every match of our local team and I remember sitting in front of the telly just looking for him in the crowd. Back then there weren’t lots of girls football teams where I lived otherwise I would have probably wanted to play as well.
When you grow up in a football nation it doesn’t matter how old you are, male or female, if you meet someone, they’ll probably ask you at some point if you like football and which team you support. I have to confess, I was never that crazy about it but I enjoy watching a match, especially with friends or at the stadium, it’s just a nice atmosphere. Ate the world cup 2002 I told my Mom, I wanted to go to a match. She said no. Well, I haven’t mentioned that I was sixteen and the games took place in Japan and South Korea, have I? I was pretty mad at her anyway and told her, I’ll go next time. “You’ll be twenty by then, you can do whatever you want” was her answer and she left me standing there, embarrassed. Oh, what a brat I was…
I didn’t go in 2006 either but this was pure craziness. The World Cup was in Germany and everybody went completely crazy. Public viewing became a huge thing and wherever you went there was football. On telly, on big screens, people dressed up themselves, their cars, flags everywhere. All of a sudden we were one nation of Germans from Germany, Turkey, Russia, Italy, Poland… all celebrating this crazy event together. It was probably one of the best summers of my life. I turned 20 during that time and everything was just nice. Unfortunately we didn’t win the World Cup, we ended up being third but still it felt like we’ve had won. And since that time everybody loves the bigger competitions.
There are also bad things about having too many football enthusiasts around. During the last weeks/months there have been a few incidents with hooligan-like football fans making it impossible for those who just want to watch the match with friends and family to enjoy themselves. There’s loads of police around and you don’t really feel safe anymore. This is sad, it’s still just a game and there are far more important things than that, even in Germany.
So dear fellow football enthusiasts: Can we just enjoy the Euros peacefully, looking ridiculous when staring at huge screens where there’s a lot of green, a ball and a few lads running around in shorts? I promise there will be barbecues, I promise there will be beer, tears, joy and all of that but just be nice to one another. Deal?

Xoxo, Jenny


That I have been away for so long. My wifi router broke and I haven't been online for over a week now. I have created a few posts though, you'll get to read them very soon!

Happy weekend,

Jenny, xoxo