Can I just start this off by saying: Uff, what a month.
I believe that working with an assumption that everyone is trying to do their best right now is not an overgeneralization. Of course we’re trying, and of course we often feel like shit nevertheless. When paralyzed at home, treating the quarantine as a personal wellness retreat feels a bit tone-deaf. Obsessing over 24/7 media coverage and conspiracy theories doesn’t however provide a much better alternative. How do we stay sane in times that are systematically working on crushing us down?
If there was any mantra I kept close to my heart this past year, it would probably be: no more long distance. With the history of two long distance relationships, long distance family calls & nearly all of my friends being elsewhere plus one long distance relationship with my cat, I’ve had enough. Well, little did I expect to start a long distance relationship… with myself, on the top of it all.
How often do you run on autopilot? Before you shrug your shoulders, think: of the types of people you tend to avoid. Of the one food aisle in supermarket you never visit. Of the movie genre you ignore on Netflix, and of the date invitation you’ll decline before they even ask you out. Sky is the limit, but the autopilots in our head only fly back and forth, operating on the one safe line we already know by heart.
I’ve been a fan of stories since day one. It took me, however, a bit more time to discover great storytelling hidden outside of fiction. Even though I automatically tend to associate nonfiction with heavy academic texts, fighting against this stereotype paid off. Searching for stories in different literary forms introduced me to books that deeply affected me and challenged my worldview. Here are some favorites of the past year.
Blind spot [noun]: 1. vision small portion of the visual field of each eye that corresponds to the position of the optic disk within the retina. There are no photoreceptors in the optic disk, and, therefore, there is no image detection in this area. 2. figurative An area that is not able to be seen, either due to its location outside of the field of vision, or due to some physical obstruction or a defect in one’s vision.
A secret – not because you’re tight-lipped but because secrets are a luxury. A moment of your life you chose not to share. A tender moment you need to protect.
I’ll be honest with you: writing this text was a drag.
For some reason, I decided to blog about girl’s friendships a month ago and since then, I’ve been stuck in one of the lengthiest writer’s blocks in the history of Berlinkiddo (and boy, were there many). I wanted to talk about the complexity of female friendships, about their ambivalence and their emotional rollercoasters. Instead, I kept quiet.
There’s a lot to be discussed and I only know so much (read as: not much). The lack of answers inspired me to write in questions instead: so, maybe, you could write this article for me…?
I woke up early to write this article. That’s remarkable for two reasons: Firstly, mornings aren’t exactly my jam, and I usually prefer not to interact with humans before 8am in any way, not even through a blogpost. Secondly, it doesn’t happen often that an academic text gives me a creative impulse so strong it could double as an espresso shot. However, times are changing and so it happened that I spent a lovely morning with Mark Granovetter and his findings about the power of strangers in our lives.