Tag Archives: work

Is it ok to be proud?

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I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. Especially when I was in London for work a few weeks ago. Almost exactly one year after I’d been there for a little holiday over Easter. It had just been a week or 2 after I’d been at home for a week because of all the stress at work and the pressure I’d put on myself. I was having a hard time enjoying my time in London back then. What had happened was still affecting me. I couldn’t believe something like that had happened to me, I didn’t understand it all in its enirety yet. And I still had to fight with the aftereffects. Months and months after that.

One year later I was back in London and the work situation was pretty similar to the one of the previous year. Lots of work, lots of responsibility and so little time. There were and are times where I feel under pressure. And it’s not the easiest thing to calm myself down when this happens. There’s always the fear that the panic attacks might come back. They have been flaring up here and there in extremely stressfuls situations. But I’ve learned how to breathe them away and it usually works. The difference this year is that I’m aware of all this. I know the triggers and I know how to handle them. And I do talk about it with the boyfriend and even my boss when I need to. After I came back from London, having worked almost 70 hours that week and only half a day off before the new work week started, I asked to work from home for a day. I knew I needed that rest. The old me would’ve dragged herself to work. So yeah, even though it might just be little things I’m very proud of the way I’m dealing with it.

I know this is a phase and less stressful times will come sooner or later. This situation at work right now is a challenge and one I want to take on. I know this will move me a lot further in my career, it’s a chance to learn and show what I’m capable of. I’m not a real career person, but when a challenge like this comes along I take it. And that’s another difference I’ve noticed compared to last year. Back then I didn’t want to be in that job anymore. Much later I realized this was basically just due to a superior and the way she was treating me. Ever since I stopped working with her, things have changed for the better. So attitude towards your jobs plays a huge role. I wasn’t really aware of that back then. At least not that much. But things have suddenly become so much easier since I’ve decided I wanted to be there. I wanted to identify myself with that job again. I don’t see myself doing this job for the rest of my life. And of course I wish it would leave me a little more time for my real dreams and passions right now. I’ve been neglecting music big time over the past few months and we’re just starting to get back into it. But in a way this job makes it possible for me to pursue these things. It gives me financial freedom. We’ve recently moved into our dream apartment which wouldn’t have been possible if we both didn’t have well paying jobs. We’re going on holiday in Japan this fall. And we’re able to finance a rehearsing room and music equipment (and every musician knows that you can spend a fortune on stuff like that). And we’re making plans for a future together.

A year ago I only saw my job as a burden and a hindrance to pursueing my dreams. When it actually does help me to get closer to them in a way. And it feels good to be aware of that. Especially during tough times like these.

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An evening at Dippemess

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Yay, the Easter weekend is finally here! I have been looking forward to having 4 days off so much after the busy weeks before. Last weekend I basically had only half a day off on Sunday because I came back from London around noon. I was absolutely knackered when I finally arrived back in Frankfurt. On Monday, I felt like having a jetlag, just from having to get up around 6 in the morning and working until late at night while I was in London. It was crazy! And this week wasn’t any less busy. I don’t really know how I made it through, I literally had to drag myself to work yesterday. But I made it and while we’re busy in a different way this weekend (with the apartment and family things), there’ll also be time to relax. I definitely deserve it!

To start off the long weekend, we had one of our surprise dates yesterday. Being the bad girlfriend I am I guessed what the boyfriend had planned before he had a chance to surprise me. To be fair, I only did because I’d planned the exact same thing for the next week. But it wasn’t any less fun! We went to Dippemess, a fair which is held every spring in Frankfurt. We’d already been there last year and liked it so much we wanted to come back. To be honest, I don’t really know why I like it that much. There isn’t any difference to other fairs in Germany, really. There’s a ferris wheel, a rollercoaster, a ghost train, a water ride and many more rides. Of course, there’s a wide choice of food and drinks as well.

After walking through the whole place, we decided we didn’t really feel like going on any rides. I was too tired for a thrill. Instead, we got some fries, Currywurst and a beer and sat down watching the people passing by. And then we discovered something: UFO catchers (you know those claw machines you can win stuffed animals and other toys with). Playing UFO catcher was a real hobby for me when I lived in Japan. It could’ve  easily turned into an addiction. Maybe it already was. I have no idea how much money I spent and how many stupid toys I won. It wasn’t about the prizes, it was about winning, about perfecting that skill to get the thing you want into that damn hole. Unfortunately, German UFO catchers are a real pain in the ass. Their claws work a lot different from Japanese ones, so I never really bothered to play. But yesterday we did. I’d spotted a little minion which looked like it was possible to capture. And I was right. It took us 3 tries to get it. Yay! To celebrate our win, we bought some cocktails and sat down in a deck chair. Aaaaah, almost like holidays! It started to get pretty cold, so we went for one last look around and then headed home. I think I haven’t slept this well in a long time.

Happy Easter everyone!

 

 

March Photo Challenge: Week 4

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I did it! I finished my first photo challenge! I’m aware that I’m awfully late with this since we’re already way into April. I’ve just returned from a business trip to London which was exciting, but also very exhausting since it required loads of work beforehand and I worked from early in the morning until late in the evening and only had half a day of the weekend. I have lots of ideas for posts I want to share and I really hope I’ll get the time to write them down soon when things have hopefully calmed down a bit. But before that, I finally wanted to share my pics of the final March week with you.

I have to admit that I had some trouble with the theme of that week which was “night”. I don’t stay up very late during the week, so I probably went to bed when it was still “evening” for most of people. And of course, I didn’t do very exciting things before I went to bed. Nevertheless, I tried to cover the topic as best as I could.

Day 22

DSC_0720As I mentioned before, Saturday is usually the only day of the week we cook proper dinner. And what would dinner be without a nice glass of red wine? I’m not the greatest fan of wine to be honest. As a German, I prefer beer of course. But from time to time it’s quite nice. And since I’m not used to drinking that much wine it goes straight to my head. We had a very fun night with that bottle of red! 😉

Day 23

IMG_0061 Here’s a pic I took of a little fellow that lives with us. His name is Emil, he’s a broccoli and he accompanies us on all of our travels. (Yes, we are a little crazy, but who cares really.) At least he did until last weekend. When I forgot him in the hotel in London. That’s what happens when you have to get up at 5:30 in the morning. I’m currently trying to get the hotel to send him to me. I know it’s only a toy, but I’d still be very sad if he didn’t return. Poor littly guy!

Day 24

IMG-20140216-WA0003I didn’t do much on Monday night except lying on the couch. I realize the photo is not taken during the night, but still I thought I’d share a picture of our beautiful living room because that’s where I spent that night. Nice, isn’t it?

Day 25

IMG_0064Here’s a pic the boyfriend took from our balcony. He recently bought a DSLR and likes to take photos all around the house. This is the skyline of Frankfurt. I’m not sure until how long we’re gonna be able to enjoy this view since there are currently buildings being built around us. I really hope they won’t block our view because I really love it!

Day 26

DSC_0725Wednesday marked the day we finally went back to the rehearsal room. After a break of almost 3 months. Horrible, I know! But the move and our jobs didn’t leave much time for anything else. The result was pretty horrible as well. I’d originally planned to take a pic while we were still “at work” and didn’t remember until I found that guitar pick in my pocket. Oh well.

Day 27

DSC_0727On Thursday, we started something new together. As part of our resolution to go out more often again, we’ve decided to take each other on surprise dates. Every week one of us gets to choose what we do that evening. On our first date, the boyfriend took me to this awesome bar which is located in an old slaughterhouse. It was a pretty interesting location and I really loved to spend time with the boyfriend outside of our home.

Day 28

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We stayed in on Friday because we were pretty tired from the busy week. So here’s yet another picture of our new neighbourhood. Are you bored yet?

Day 29

DSC_0730That day’s challenge was to take a picture of our favourite time of day. On the weekends I basically like all times of the day. But since the boyfriend had to work that day, my favourite time was when he came home in the evening. It had been a warm, sunny day, so we grabbed a beer and sat down by the basin looking on the river. Simply perfect!

Day 30

DSC_0731That day’s topic: Favourite moment of the day. Since the weather was absolutely amazing again, we decided to go on a little trip with my sister and her boyfriend. We drove to this nice beergarden in the countryside and decided to go on a little hike. It was supposed to take about an hour, but because we suck at reading maps and followed the wrong sign, we ended up walking around for 2+ hours (and I was already hungry before we left). I was never looking forward to a cold beer and some nice food as much as when we finally got back to the beergarden.

For the last day of March I have a special post coming up. So stay tuned!

We did it!

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Yay, I’m finally back online! I was planning to be back a week ago already, but thanks to German customer service which is anything but reliable I had to wait for another week to be connected again. The past 2 weeks have been busybusybusy. And suddenly we’re almost one week into February! Can you believe it? I couldn’t help but remember a post I wrote exactly a year ago in which I was surprised at how fast the first month of the year had passed – and I felt like I hadn’t accomplished anything at all. Again this year, I feel like time is racing at the speed of light. But unlike last year I’ve accomplished a lot during this first month of the year already.

First of all, there was the move to our new apartment = loads of work. But everything went surprisingly well. We managed to move all our stuff to the new place and to clean and refurbish the old one in just one weekend. Thanks to our amazing family who helped us where they could. We’re still pretty much living in chaos, but the boxes are getting less and less and this week our brand new kitchen arrived. We only had to live without a kitchen for a week which was bearable, but I’m so glad that from now on it won’t take us ages and 5 trips through the whole apartment to make coffee in the morning. We’re both madly in love with this new place and I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s finally finished in a few weeks. I might even share a few impressions soon.

As if a move wasn’t enough, I was also pretty busy at work. We had a presentation for a new client last week which had to be set up within a ridiculously short time frame. I was really keen on working on this project because it was a challenge and something different from the usual. But as an introvert I hate nothing more than speaking in front of people. I just hate it. I know it’s part of my job and I also know that nothing bad can happen. But just the mere thought of holding a presentation in front of strangers makes me feel really uncomfortable. This whole situation, with the move on the side, was a pretty big test for me. It was the first time I was thrown into a somewhat stressful situation at work after my breakdown. It was my time to prove that I’m capable of handling stressful situations again and that I’ve overcome that fear of failure which used to put so much pressure on me.

I have to say it wasn’t easy. Deep down I was a little scared I’d get back into that vicious cycle it took me so long to get out of. There were a few days where I could feel my stress level and the pressure on myself rising again. So much so that I wasn’t able to sleep very well. It worried me. But I knew what I had to do. I breathed, I calmed myself down and took care of myself. And in the end everything worked out fine. Heck, It worked out brilliantly because: We won!!! Of course, I was completely exhausted after the presentation was over. After all the tension had fallen off. But in a good way. I managed to handle this challenge in a healthy way. To face my fears and get over them. It might not look like something big to others. But it’s a big success for me. I’m very much looking forward to everything going back to a little less stressful level. But I’m sure the next challenge is right around the corner. And I won’t be scared of it.

Time to stand up!

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I was raised with the mindset that I should put other people’s needs and wishes over mine. That I should try to please everyone and that I better keep my mouth shut if what I had to say was going to upset someone. I was raised to be what my parents thought a good girl should be like. And I don’t blame them. I know they had the best intentions and I totally understand where it comes from. I’m also glad they didn’t raise me to be an egoistic idiot who doesn’t care about others. But I do feel that in a way it also made me blind to my own needs, to finding my own way for the longest time. It took me decades to convince myself that it’s ok to have dreams and to do things that others might not approve of. Even if it’s your own parents. Sometimes it’s totally ok to piss someone off if you have reasons. You don’t have to please everybody. And you can’t. It’s the most normal thing in the world. And most importantly, admitting this is not a defeat!

A while ago, my company gave me the opportunity to attend a stress seminar because I’d had some problems with my workload and coping with the stress that came with it. I’m convinced that anybody would have had a problem with the situation I’d been in at the time, but I thought I’d give that seminar a try anyway. To my surprise, I had to realize that I’m still pretty much caught in that mindset my parents taught me. Even though I thought I wasn’t. Subconciously, I still felt the urge to please everyone, my clients, my bosses, my coworkers and all the other people I had to deal with. And when I wasn’t able to fulfill these high standards (which was basically not possible in my situation) it stressed me out. To no end. But did I say anything? No! I just suffered. I talked about it with my boyfriend, my family and friends, but I didn’t complain to anyone at work. Or just subtly. I hoped for things to change for the better. But they didn’t. They even got worse. But everything looked fine from the outside, so of course noone came to rescue me. In the end, I pulled myself out by breaking down. I can tell you, it wasn’t pretty and I don’t wish for anyone to experience anything like it. After a week at home, I went back to work, but it took me weeks to get back up again. In fact, I think it’s still leaving it’s traces here and there.

For me, that breakdown was a warning sign. That it’s time to stand up for myself again. And that I have every right to. It still have to force myself to do it, especially in the work environment. When it comes to my private dreams I’m a pretty good advocate for myself, but for some reason not so much jobwise. Last week, however, I had one of these awesome moments where I actually had the guts to stand up for myself. I had been told to do an assignment on very short notice which absolutely wasn’t my responsibility and which could’ve already been done days earlier. In short, it was just totally unnecessary to put it on my desk which was crammed with work already anyway. Probably a result of bad planning and I was the one to pay for it. I didn’t complain. I did the work that needed to be done, but I swore to myself that this time I wouldn’t just swallow all the feelings I had. I needed to make clear that it wasn’t ok to treat me that way. And I did! There was a brief moment where I thought of backing out, but I was brave enough to speak my mind. It was such a relief! And guess what, nothing bad happened. I didn’t get shouted at or anything. And even if I had, it would’ve been worth it.

I know I will continue to stand up for myself. I need to if I want to lead the life I’m dreaming of. It’s inevitable. This is really just the beginning I think!

InspiraShot: The board of motivation

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A while ago my co-worker had the idea to start decorating the afwully white whiteboard in our office. Since I might have been a teeny bit unmotivated, we came up with the idea to put up some motivational quotes. And here is the result! I have to say that it does help to look at it from time to time. And I’m definitely gonna need some motivation tomorrow which marks my last work day of the year. There are some nasty tasks waiting for me that I’ve been avoiding to touch. And a messy desk that is in desperate need of being cleaned up. But then there’s 2 weeks of Christmas holidays ahead. I can’t wait!

Btw, you see the pic on the top left? That’s our preliminary band logo. And a decent one is hopefully still gonna follow this year. Oh, and my favourite qoute is the one on the top right. It’s actually the only one I personally chose to hang on that board:

If you’re willing to walk the path of a dreamer
anything is possible (Jared Leto)

Because it’s true! 2012 is my personal proof for it. More on that later. Got any motivational quotes? Feel free to share them.

Back to life

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So, I’m on holiday this week! Big yay! This is probably one of the most deserved holidays I’ve ever had. And I had my last holiday just 3 months ago. I feel like from the beginning of September I got sucked into this crazy work schedule and have tried to get out of it ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I can sure take some stress, pressure and a heavy workload. But if someone would’ve told me what was lying ahead of me at the time I probably would’ve run away screaming. Instead I hung in there hoping it would get better. But somehow it never really did, except for a couple of days in between which weren’t enough to take a breath. Sometimes I felt like the only option I had to get out of this was to either run away or break down. I did neither, but there were times when I felt like I wasn’t able to go on much longer. It’s amazing to see that I actually could. But to be honest, I don’t wanna do it again. And I hope that things will get better. At least a little bit.
What I hate the most about the past weeks is that I feel like I didn’t have any time to live at all. All I did was work, work, work and when I didn’t have to work on the weekends I was so tired that all I wanted was to sleep. My apartment turned into a dirty mess because I couldn’t be fucked to clean it up. I still made time to make music though and that is probably what saved me. It was something to look forward to, the only time I could feel connected to myself. I get miserable when I don’t have enough time to myself, time to be me. I can’t tell you how happy I am right now that at least for one week I’m getting a break from all this. I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas already. In my head it’s still the end of summer. But anyway, I’m gonna spend this week doing things just for myself. Of course, I’m gonna make as much music as I can. I’m gonna organise the chaos that still surrounds me at home. I’m gonna visit my sister for a couple of days and enjoy some quality time with her. And just live. As much as I can in those couple of days. And then it won’t be far until the Chrismas break.

To all those people who are also having to deal with live’s crazy ways, I hope you’re making sure to take a breath once in a while. Take care of yourselves!