Monthly Archives: April 2012

I have never… written a song about a palm tree

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Oh yes, it’s true! Another post. The second one in less than 3 days. I guess thinking and writing about creativity really gave me a boost! 🙂

So speaking of creativity – last Saturday night (right after publishing my last post) I had a funny idea which had to do with how I spent Friday night, so in order to not confuse you, I’m just gonna start right there. Last Friday was the night of VyRT the MARS laboratoy – an exclusive online event which was hosted by no other than my favourite band 30 Seconds to Mars. It was supposed to give us a unique insight into their studio and the work on their new album, among others. I had been excited about this ever since the event had been announced a couple of weeks ago. So imagine my disappointment when the evening went exactly the opposite of what I had imagined in my head.

It all started with my friend and fellow VyRTer getting lost several times on the way to my house. It usually doesn’t take longer than 45 minutes to get to where I live, but she was on the road for almost 2 hours. I tried to give her directions over the phone several times which was quite difficult not knowing her exact location. I was seriously worried that she would never make it to my place. Luckily, she did. And I have to admit that it was kind of funny. Hell, it could have happened to me, too. I’m a lousy driver. When we finally sat down in the living room with a cool beer and tons of snacks, there was only about 1 hour left until the show was about to start. I logged into the site. There was a black video screen loading. And loading. And still loading.

“Do you think it is supposed to be like this?”, I asked my friend, unsure what to make of it.
“I don’t know. Maybe we should check what people are saying on twitter or the boards”, she replied.
So we did. People said they were seeing a palm tree. All we saw was a black screen. It wasn’t working. We both took a deep breath.
“Let’s try it on your laptop”, I suggested.
So we did. But the Wi-Fi didn’t work for some reason. Neither did the LAN connection. I felt a slight feeling of panic rising.
“My TV has Wi-Fi as well. I’ve never used it, but it’s worth a try”, I said. We still had everything under control. There was still plenty of time to solve the problem.

Of course, the TV couldn’t get an internet connection as well. Of course, my hopes that the stream would work on my computer once the show had started were shattered. And of course, the phone connection was way too bad to watch the whole thing on our smartphones. We spent more than 3 hours trying to get it to work somehow. Hopes were coming up when we learnt that there were some technical issues and that the show had been momentarily interrupted. But when it came back on, we were still cut off. We almost freaked out when we finally got a picture of the palm tree. I can whole-heartedly say that I have never been this happy to see a fucking palm tree in my entire life. And never have I been so annoyed by one. Because it just wouldn’t go away, finally giving us a glimpse inside the lab. Because it was just standing there, not moving, like it was laughing about us silly kids going crazy in front of all the screens we had set up and that were still not working despite our endless efforts. The fucking palm tree was all I got to see that night.

And all I could think about the next day. The fucking palm tree that had actually made it to a World Wide Trending on Twitter. When I was sitting on my couch that night, still disappointed that I had missed out on all the fun, I suddenly found some lyrics in my head. “A fucking palm tree” it went to the melody of “The Kill”. I looked a little further and after 20 minutes I had written “The VyRT Palm Tree Song”. I couldn’t stop giggling about my silly idea all the way through writing. I texted my friend and asked her if  I should record it and post it on YouTube. She thought it was a great idea. So did I. Almost 24 hours after our epic VyRT fail the song went online and it has had more than 1.500 views in less than 2 days – which is insane because that’s more than my blog got in 5 months. Unfortunately, it got more dislikes than likes so far – but I’m still hopeful and once again I guess it’s only for those who understand ;).

And above all, there’s a lesson to be learned here: Frustrating situations can actually lead to creativity as well. They can be turned into something fun. It’s all what you make of it. So let’s bring on those crazy ideas, people!

And please don’t forget to check out the VyRT Palm Tree Song. And maybe even click the Like-Button. 🙂

Creating life

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Last weekend was supposed to be a pure well of creativity for me. After a busy week with a heavy workload at the office and a business trip to Munich that left almost no room to work on my projects, I wanted those 2 days off to be all about productivity and advance. Despite all good intentions, I found myself sitting in my living room, miserable, annoying myself so much that I just wanted to close my eyes and hide under a blanket to never appear again. I had made a list of things I wanted to do that weekend, but I only ended up crossing off a few. And it took me forever to get started at all. I felt like something inside of me was holding me back, but I didn’t know what it was and how I could change it – until I dove back into my everyday life on Monday.

The train was pretty crowded that morning, so I squeezed myself into a corner and just watched people getting on and off and the landscape flying by outside. And suddenly, my creativity was flowing again. There were words flying around in my head like butterflies. I only had to grab them and form them into lyrics for the song I’d been stuck on.  It was amazing! And it made me realize again that creativity is absolutely nothing you can control or plan on. It will come to you when the time is right and there’s just no use in sitting around and waiting for it to come to you. No matter how much we’d like it to be that way, it’s not.

What is in our control though is to dive into situations that help putting ourrself into the right mindset. Which is exactly what I tried to do today. As I’ve mentioned before, my mind starts to move when my body moves. Being on a train, a plane or a bus, walking or running always makes my thoughts go for a wander. I pretty much always end up in interesting places, sometimes strange, sometimes even scary.  And I come back with something to work on, something worth to be further explored. So today didn’t seem to start off much better than last week. I had a weird night with not as much sleep as I’d wanted to get after another week of sleep deprivation. When I got up in the morning, I felt kinda energetic. I wanted to do something great. But after doing some tidying and lingering on the internet, I got really, really tired, so I put my deckchair on the terrace and took a nap in the sun. When I woke up again, it was already late afternoon and I still hadn’t done much. I could feel that familiar feeling of incredible discontent and annoyance crawling around somewhere deep inside of me. But this time I didn’t give in. I went for a walk instead.

It was a perfect spring day. Blue sky, the sun was shining and it was almost hot. I walked past fields and meadows, watched birds flying through the air, singing. I saw people walking their dogs or going for a run. I thought about a strange dream I’d had a couple of nights ago in which a friend of mine was drawing blood from my arm – as I said, there are strange places in my mind ;). I came to a crossroad and had to decide which way to go. I chose to walk into the woods which I usually never do on my own. I guess I’m a bit scared of walking around in the woods on my own, even though I know that there’s nothing to be scared of, really. It was nice walking past the trees looking out on the corn fields shining brightly in the sun. When I got home, I took out my little notebook and filled almost an entire page with ideas for lyrics and other stuff. I also came back with this post. So I guess what we all who want to create things need to do, is to live. Go out and experience the world. Open your eyes and take it all in. Then look inside your head and see what you can find. Sometimes it’s as easy as that :).

“I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
Joseph Campbell

Living in different universes

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I’m on my way to work waiting for the bus. I’m an hour later than usual because I just had an appointment with the guy from the moving company. I’m lost in thoughts as always. Then I suddenly see something black moving towards me from the corner of my right eye. “Oh nooooo”, I think when I realize what it is, but it’s too late to escape. He’s already standing right next to me wearing a huge grin on his face so I can see his crooked teeth. It’s my personal stalker whose company I’ve had to share for a couple of endless weeks now.
It all started with a friendly nod. Then we quickly moved on to hello, a stage in which we luckily stayed for a while. Until the day he finally found the courage to talk to me. Despite me trying to keep our interaction as little as possible, putting on my grumpiest face and staring on the ground when he was close and finally hiding behind corners when there was a chance he could be waiting for the same bus. As hard as I was trying to prevent it, I had to face the unpreventable.
So now I was standing here with stalker guy and the bus was stopping right in front of us. I had no choice but to get on. Of course, he sat down next to me. “I like to sit in driving direction, too”, he explained.” Suuuuure! I took out my phone to check some stuff on the internet. I’d just visited my usual sites at home, but there was nothing wrong about checking them again.
“You’re late for work today”, stalker guy says.
“I had an appointment with the moving company”, I reply busily staring at my phone.
“Ah, so it’s getting closer.” He does sound a bit disappointed.
“3 weeks”, I say.
“Are you moving on your own or with your boyfriend?” Uhoh, someone is having some courage here! I think about lying to him. I have a heartbraking story of a boyfriend living in Japan all set up, but I decide it’s not the right time yet to tell it.
“I’m living alone”, I say.
The bus ride is taking awfully long. I soon run out of things to check on my phone, so I put it away and stare out of the window. I turn my head as far to the right as I can, so it should be clear even to him that I’m trying to ignore him. I can feel him getting uneasy next to me. Suddenly, he starts to hum a song. What the heck! I pretend not to hear it, but he keeps on going. I’m trying to concentrate on the song that’s playing on my iPod which is still plugged into my right ear. We’re only a couple of minutes from the station, when he gets up.
“I have to hurry to get my train”, he explains.
“Yeah”, I say, happy that the message finally seems to have come across. At the station I get off the bus, slowly making my way to the tracks. I’m relieved I finally got rid of him – for today.

I’m trying to be a good person. I really am! I’m trying to be friendly to everyone around me even when having a bad day. I hold doors open for the people behind me. I always say thank you, even to the unfriendliest salesperson. I help mothers carry strollers on trains. I offer my seat to people who need it. And I’m always wearing a smile on my face hoping it will make someone’s day. Since I’ve involuntarily met stalker guy a different side of me has come to surface, though. Sometimes it’s defensive, sometimes it’s just indifferent, but it’s always sending the same message: Leave me the fuck alone! I have no clue why he doesn’t get it. Underdeveloped social skills I guess. I know that he’s probably lonely and just looking for someone to talk to (even though I have spotted this dreamy smile on his face occasionally that wants to shout out “I love you” to the world – and makes me cringe everytime it appears).

I know I could just talk to him and pull out my boyfriend escape plan if it’s going into the wrong direction. But the thing is that we don’t have anything in common. He’s just a person I don’t want to interact with. It’s not just his looks which actually make me wonder what in the world makes him think I could like him. That’s a totally different story. But even when it’s just about talking we’re living in completely different universes and I’m 100 percent sure that there isn’t even the tiniest bridge that connects the two. I’m good at making small talk, I have to do it all the time for work. But when he says something I just don’t have anything to reply. There’s just annoyance inside of me. I don’t think it’s funny to tell a girl on the bus you’ve never met before how many bubbles she’s made with her gum. And no, I don’t think it’s better to commute 1,5 hours one way everyday than moving to Frankfurt. I actually love Frankfurt! And big cities! That’s why I’m moving, dude!

I’m pretty sure it doesn’t sound as bad as it feels to me right now and there are definitely way worse stalker guys out there. But it still annoys me, so much so that I’m having a tense feeling in my guts everytime I have to take the bus. And it also bugs me that I’ve had to show my little evil side so many times lately. Deep inside I am a good person. I really am! I’m sure stalker guy is too. Just in a different universe.

Inspiring Blogger! Me?

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I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve had some trouble keeping up with my weekly post schedule lately. I meant to post 2 weekends ago. I had it all set up in my head already. But then I found myself tidying my apartment, dealing with moving soon, practicing the guitar, working on my new song – and being desperate about not being able to express myself the way I want to. And suddenly I found myself thrown into another busy work week without having written a single word. In the middle of the week I received a note telling me there was a new comment on my blog. I wish it was different, but this is still a pretty rare thing to happen, so I was curious to see who had commented and what he/she had to say. Imagine my incredible excitement when I found out that momentsofmezz had nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! The Very. Inspiring. Blogger. Award. That’s right.
Inspiring? Me? Wow! I sat there for a while staring at the comment with a huge smile on my face. While this blog is in many ways about exploring myself and all the possibilities life throws at me, what I’m really hoping for is to inspire people by what I’m doing and writing about. And if there’s just one person, like momentsofmezz, who feels inspired by what I have to say, I’m more than happy. So thank you for this Award. It means a lot to me and I’ll promise to keep on doing what I’m doing (and trying to do so more often, starting when I’ve finally moved in about a month the latest, I promise!).

Now that I’m done with Rule No. 1 (Thank the person who nominated you), let’s move on to Rule No. 2:

Share 7 things about yourself:
1. I’m a closet rock star. \m/
2. I’m addicted to Nutella. So fluffy and tasty in your mouth, yum!
3. If I had to I would risk my life for my sister. She’s the most important person in my life and nothing compares to the bond we share.
4. I hate cats. They’re mean and evil and they scare me. One of those beasts once got me a concussion when it ran into my bike, so I fell over the handlebars and landed on my head.
5. People always think I’m way younger than I really am. Not too long ago a temp asked me if I was doing an internship at my company. I also have to show my ID to get into clubs on a regular basis (access is allowed for people over 18 here in Germany).
6. My passion for 30 Seconds to Mars very often gets mistaken for a crush on Jared Leto. You are so very wrong, people! But well, you know, it’s not for everyone, it’s for those who understand! ;).
7. I’m a big time dreamer. I’ve been chasing dreams for all my life and I will not stop to do so until I die. Unfortunately, there’s not enough people like us out there…

And finally rule No. 3:
Pass the award to 7 inspiring bloggers:
I have to admit that this is the reason why it took me so long to finish this post. I’m actually not following that many blogs. And the ones I do follow are pretty popular ones already and don’t necessarily need  the extra attention. However, they do inspire me and maybe they will inspire you, too. So be sure to check them out (I’m sorry it’s not 7, but I couldn’t come up with more):

The Art of Non-Conformity

Danny Wallace’s Fotoblog

Scott Berkun’s Blog

Unfettered Ink

Nomadic Matt’s Travel Blog