Monthly Archives: June 2012

InspiraShot: Reach for the stars

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On Tuesday, I went to see Blink 182 – a band that reminds me of a very particular time of my teenage years. For the grand finale, the guys gave us a confetti shower. As I stood there looking at the pieces of paper floating in the air, raining down on me and the crowd, I couldn’t help but think about how much my life has changed since the first time I listened to this band. How much I’ve changed from the 17 year-old me who didn’t really know what or who she wanted to be. It was one of those moment where you realize that anything is possible in life. You can reach for the stars – or shreds of paper. Some of them will fade away. But you will be able to grab others and take them home with you like I did that night. So what are you waiting for?

InspiraShot: On top of the world

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So I’ve decided to add a new category to this blog. Tadaaa *drumroll*: I present you the first edition of “InspiraShots”.

“Inspira-what?”, you’re probably asking. So here’s a little explanation: You know how I love some good inspiration, right. For my music, my blog and pretty much anything that can be created. I’m always looking for things that inspire me. And the great thing is that inspiration can be found pretty much everywhere around us. In the streets we’re walking everyday, in nature, in books, movies and music. In the past, I draw inspiration for my songs from a run in the woods, my boss pissing me off, an amazing friend of mine and an opera concert, among others. It’s really an amazing thing! So let the creativity flow, people!

This was taken on top of Maintower, with 200m one of the tallest buildings in Frankfurt. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of heights. When I’m standing close to the edge I always feel a weird urge to jump off deep, deep down. Creepy! But I love the feeling of being high above all other things and to look as far in the distance as I can. It puts things in a completely different perspective. When I was up there, it almost felt like everything was possible. The sky is the limit, right! 🙂

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Taking the next step

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I’m a planner. Before starting a new project, I like to plan everything out in the best possible way. I like to think ahead, to make myself aware of all the obstacles that might block my way and of what I might get myself into. Usually, this kind of thinking would lead me to – exactly nowhere. Especially when you try something new, something you have never done before in your life, thinking about all the possibilities that might occur makes you aware of a couple of things: That you’ll start out with nothing, like a baby that gets thrown out of the cozy womb into the harsh world. That it will require a lot of hard work and commitment to finally evolve from the infant status. And that there’s no garuantee that you will succeed in the end. These thoughts used to lead me to the conclusion, that it wasn’t worth trying, that my ideas were just stupid and were better just left ideas.

But I was wrong – not only about not daring to actually follow my ideas, but also about the way I was planning them in my head. I don’t know why, but when I started this whole music/band thing, I took a different approach. I broke the project down into smaller steps that needed to be taken in order to reach the goal. Now each step is a goal of itself – and will be a success if I do reach it. It’s a great way not only to keep track of the overall goal, but to keep myself motivated. So the first goal I set for myself was to find other people who wanted to work on my songs with me. As you might remember, I failed in my first attempt. But then again, I think that it was actually good that things turned out this way. Because joining an existing band that already had some material and had found their own style, wasn’t exactly what I’m looking for. I don’t want to be pressed into a pattern that isn’t me. I want to start my own thing, I want to bring in my own style and ideas – and I want to find like-minded people who are looking for the same.

So I was beyond happy when I received a message from a guitarist who had found my ad on the internet a couple of weeks ago. He sounded decent and motivated and he, too, was looking for people to start a band project with. He asked me to send him recordings of the songs I had already written, so I took my crappy mic and sang my songs for him with all my heart. I was actually pretty sure I would never hear from him again. When I performed one of my songs at the band audition the guys weren’t very impressed by it, so why would this guy be? But he replied. And he said that he liked my stuff, that he thought that we could actually turn them into some great songs if we worked on it together and that we should meet for a rehearsal. Wow! There it was. I could see the finishing line of goal number 1 coming up in the distance.

Last week, I met with the guy and it was just amazing! Like a miracle. I had waited for this day for a long time and suddenly there it was. I was singing my songs and the guy was playing his guitar to it – and after some rehearsing and experimenting it really started to sound like proper music. It was so much fun that we spent almost 3 hours in the rehearsal room. And when we left we were both carrying a huge smile on our faces. He told me that he really liked my material and that he’d like to meet again for another session. I can’t tell you how strange it feels when someone’s telling you that he actually likes your creative output which you’ve been working on quietly in your home for all this time. It’s probably one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever been able to make.

I can’t believe that goal number 1 is actually achieved. I’m beyond happy to be this lucky and I feel like this is the beginning of an interesting and exciting journey. The next goal is to find other people to join us, so we can actually start to work on the songs as a real band. No matter how long it will take and how hard this journey will be, I know one thing: I am already a winner. Because I dared to take the first step. Because I’ve achieved something noone can ever take away from me. So what’s your next step?

Life’s battles

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I like to think of life as a series of battles. There’s the battle to support your beliefs. The battle to be the person you want to be. The battle to live the life you want to live. Sometimes even the battle against yourself. And I like it that way. Life would be pretty boring if we got everything we wished for without lifting a finger, without putting all our passion and sweat into it, wouldn’t it? Those are good fights because they lead to something, they make us a better person. But then there are the bad fights that just wait for us behind a corner on a bright, sunny day and when they attack, the sky suddenly turns cloudy and the temperature drops. We don’t need these kind of battles. They’re unnecessary, yet they are there and they need to be faced.

I entered into such a battle 8 months ago when I was diagnosed with a minor condition that however required at least 2 surgeries. Of course, it didn’t come as a total surprise to me. I had been putting off the visit to the doctor for quite a while which is kind of typical for people working in the healthcare industry, I guess. And maybe I should have just been relieved that my condition was in no way life-threatening, that I was lucky that it could be fixed with just 2 surgeries. But then again, who gets excited about the prospect of hospitals, pain and the likes? I didn’t. I hate hospitals. I can always feel the presence of death around and it scares me a little. Yet, when I checked in for surgery number one I turned on my battle mode. I didn’t really know what was awaiting me after. I knew the theory, but when reality hit, it hit hard. The first week was horrible. I believe that I can take a fair amount of pain and I am no whiner, but it did hurt as hell. And the fact that my wound was in a spot where it had to be touched and cleaned all the time didn’t help that much. I was grumpy (sorry, Mum!) and the fact that I couldn’t jump right back into life didn’t help much either. I’m the queen of self-annoyance when I have to be ;).

But after a week the pain got less, after 6 weeks I had my life back like nothing had happened before, it seemed. Yet, I had changed. I think that was exactly the time when I started to rethink my life. That (and my 29th birthday) was the trigger that started that weird journey of finding myself and my purpose in life I’m somehow trying to document here in this blog. I probably would have gotten there anyway, sooner or later. But hey, all the pain and crap I endured must have been good for something, right? Plus, I found that singing actually makes for a good pain killer. Something else that’s become a passion over the last couple of months.

Anyway, the battle wasn’t over yet. Just before Christmas I learned that surgery number 2 which was scheduled for January wouldn’t be the last. Bummer! But I was acting like a big girl. I swallowed the tears and entered the OR for round 2. I expected the worst, but guess what: it wasn’t as bad as the first time. Maybe they had already damaged all the nerves, maybe it was just because I knew now what I had to expect. Who knows. All I know is that I was stronger that time. It was easier to take the pain and all the precautions I had to take. Because I knew I could do it. Then came surgery number 3 last week which was supposed to be different from the first 2. That’s all I knew. So the day before I had to go to the hospital to learn what exactly the doctors wanted to do with me, I found myself at a really low point. I felt like someone had put a rope around my chest and was pulling on it as hard as possible. I was in panic! And people who know me well know that this never ever happens to me. I’m not a panicky kind of person. But the panic went away after my talk with the surgeon and when I went to the hospital for the final battle I was calm. I handed my life into the hands of the doctors and they did a great job. Surprisingly, I was in almost no pain at all this time – apart from the pain the constant chatting of my ‘room mates’ gave my ears ;).

When I left the hospital on Tuesday after 5 annoyingly boring days that involved horrible liquid food for the most part of my stay, I could feel tears coming up in my eyes. I had been waiting for this day for 8 freaking months! So much has happened during that time. I feel I’ve grown in many ways, connected to this experience and not. But I guess it all comes down to me trying to enjoy life more than I did before. I want everyday to be a step closer to what I want my life to be like. And even if life throws rocks on my path, I will find a way to remove them and continue. So yeah, I do love a good fight. Because that feeling you get when you’ve won is just unbeatable.

I know that this post probably sounds more dramatic than it all was. I like a good drama, so sorry for being all Shonda Rhimes today. I know that there are people out there fighting far worse fights than I will ever have to face in my entire life, disease-related or not. What I want them to know is that I believe in them and their ability to win these battles. Just switch on that battle mode and beat the hell out of whatever is blocking your way. There’s no other choice!