…I am one of them. I decide to hide out at a corner table, swallowed by the shadows around me. The other two grab the table next to the door, chatting, smiling. I order a whisky. Like liquid amber, it sits in my glass, waiting for me. For the tingling sensation, the smokey aftertaste and that burning sensation in my stomach. The other two strangers are talking. He seems uncomfortable. She doesn’t seem to notice.

Her facial expression drops. Her eyes are turning watery. He is apologizing furiously.

While I watch her misery unfold, I remember your words. I let them flow through me, through every vein, every artery, crawling under every squarecentimeter of skin. Every nerve, every cell is in alert mode. Your words are rushing by; my inner workings try hard to hold onto every piece of substance. Your words are bashing in walls: hearts, lungs, stomachs. Everything hurts.

She gets up, screaming. His face is blank. She storms out the door.

The amber is rushing down my throat. It feels nothing like relief. Your words seem to break down my body. Slowly, but steady, having been trying for years. The way you looked at me, full of pity and self-righteousness. More amber. More amber. My thoughts get blurry, like headlights in time exposure. Your words flow over my eyes, holy scriptures in a language I wouldn’t understand.

He gets up, pays, sighs and walks out into the night.

I wrap myself up in my coat. I suppose everybody needs to defend themselves somehow. I trace the wet tracks the amber has left on my table. Your words have become silent. Satisfied, I get up. I pay the bill for a short night’s peace, I turn up the collar of my coat, brace myself for the cold, harsh air outside, give the good old table by the door a tap, and leave.

For the third time this year I’m vowing to never walk into this bar again.

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History is not a pretty thing. It forces us to reminisce, remember, discuss, reflect. It has to be kept protected, stored in a dry and cool place, on display, to be admired by generations to come. We cherish the Ishtar Gate, we try to forget things like the Armenian Genocide, we are fascinated by the Alhambra while the Millenials take selfies at Auschwitz. We pay entry fees at museums and exhibits (so we can post that stuff on instagram), and damages to ease our conscience. For all we hide and filter and emphasize and deny, we have always carried a reflection of the past and present on us - language.

The way we express ourselves, what we deem fitting, tactful, appropriate. As much as we prefer to forget, our language is scarred by the traces of the past. Some words have been scarred until inusability ("euthanasia", for example, is strictly limited to veterinary medicine in the German language, in order to avoid the connotations of 1933-45), some words have been carried over decades and borders ("maisonette", stemming from the french word "maison" [engl. house], meaning small house), and other words have scurried into our language like a stranger's cat through a tilted basement window ("hashtag" - talking about hashtags would greatly confuse my grandmother).

The way we express ourselves constantly reflects our socioculture, from the personal socio to the collective culture, as it has for decades and centuries, as our ancestors have expressed themselves and as our predecessors will. People use language as their tool, change it as they go, add, reduce, alter and drop. Maybe we should get used to the fact that language, unlike the Ishtar Gate or the Alhambra, cannot be preserved. It cannot be stored dry and cool, cannot be locked in a vacuum under glass in shining light. Maybe we should embrace the changes instead of worrying every other second if we lose something of cultural or historical value (looking at you, Bastian Sick). And maybe, maybe then, even the word "hashtag" will sound fancy for generations to come.

Just please, for the love of god, there is no such thing as a superlative of "optimal". If it's optimal, it's optimal. Period.



The day I met Susan had been, quite frankly, horrible. In the middle of August of 2008, I was fifteen or so back then, I started my high school exchange semester in the US. I mind you, I was mid-puberty, dearly in love with another exchange student (whom I wound up dating for a few years after that, fun fact), about 8000 miles away from everyone I knew and stranded at the New York/ Newark airport. All flights had been cancelled due to a huge storm, my host family was waiting for me somewhere in Knoxville and I was all alone, bawling my eyes out because not even the Taco Bell guy understood my English (neither was I understanding him, for that matter). Being stranded for fourteen hours at a huge airport on a different continent where you are not even capable of buying a damn taco puts some perspective on things, I suppose. After having failed with Taco Bell but being starving due to 24 hours of traveling I scrambled up what was left of my dignity and tried to buy some sweets out of a press shop. Susan was in line behind me. When it was my turn she just mumbled “I got this.” and payed the very unfriendly clerk (Oh, New York). We started talking (alas, she started talking and I sobbed along), she and her family turned out to be the only other passengers on my connection flight. She distracted me, borrowed me her phone (because European phones have a tendency not to work in the US; why did no one warn me?) and called my host family for me. When we finally arrived in Knoxville, she made sure I found the people I needed to find, went and grabbed my suitcase and wished me good luck.

Susan wrote me a few e-mails after that, but we never particularly kept in touch. Just a few months ago I let her know how much this still means to me. No heroic deeds, nothing, but her distraction and affection was the only thing I ever needed in that moment.

By now, English feels like my native tongue. But for the love of god, I still can’t understand New York people. No tacos for me.



The other day, my little sister asked me which piece of advice I wish I had ten years ago. 

Count. Your. Blessings.

The only advice I wish I had been given earlier. Maybe people even did advise me, maybe I was too young to understand. When you are a teenager, life seems infinite, friendships seem to never end and loss is a concept far in the future. Whereas some of us had to suffer through losing people early, I was, thankfully, not one of them. I grew up sheltered, but with a good grip on reality.

But standing here now, a good 10 years later, I start to realize that growing up also means parting ways with many loved ones for different reasons. Some die too young, some pass away, some just take different paths in life than you do, some change and some might not understand your changes. I wish myself back a few years ago way too often.

So wherever you stand in life, count your blessings now. Be aware of the things you have. It may not be much to you now, but ten years in the future it will probably be all you wished you had.



For the longest time the biggest guilt I had was not being productive. I loved doing so many things, but in the back of my mind I was always stressing out about just how much work I still needed to get done. I was the kind of girl that’s attached to her smartphone’s e-mail inbox on vacation or even has some sort of legal textbook with her when waiting for dinner at a restaurant. I ruined things for me and quite possibly others. So here it is, my guilty pleasure: Fun.

By now, I have come to understood that having fun is nothing bad, even when you have work to do. But do it right. Enjoy the time with friends, traveling, reading or doing whatever you like. The more you enjoy yourself, the more balanced you will feel when actually getting back to work. Stop stressing out so much, eventually, everything will fall into place. Have fun without your smartphone or books or laptop. Things can wait!

And then, after having had a great day/week/5 minutes – get back to work, take matters into you own hands and be productive like a champ.



Love and I, we don’t get along too well. Without drawing any parallels to my current situation; love never wanted me, I never wanted love. I have always been a wanderer and wunderkind, I focus on everything but social interactions. Quite frankly, I have always sucked at literally every sort of inter-human relationship. “Why are you never calling?” goes hand in hand with “You just don’t care about me.”. Bingo! I don’t care about 99% of the world, so I guess statistically, that’d be a hit. For those I actually do care about, I care deeply, I just suck at it. For some reason, over the past few years this little core of hardcore friends has evolved who put up with me – cheers to you guys. That doesn’t mean I’ll ever remember to call.

Which essentially brings me to the answer of today’s question. Love is trust. Trusting in the fact that I will still get in the car so you can cry over your break up even though we haven’t spoken for three months. Trusting in the fact that whatever you are holding in your arms does not suddenly submerge its teeth beneath your skin until the blood flows (which is completely unrelated to my friends and rather the animals [and possibly children]) mentioned in the question above, I promise). Trusting someone with your emotions, making yourself vulnerable and hoping to god you trusted the right person. Trusting in a place to be your shelter, your heart, your home; the minute the door falls shut and you are safe; the door that opens and makes you feel invincible. The feeling of driving through the night with your windows down and the (much too cold) wind in your face, arm out the window, M83 in your ear. “This city is my church“. Trust is the smile on your face when you remember drunken mistakes and mishaps, the secrets that are safe and the silent consent between to people to never, ever stop trusting each other. You can’t love without trusting. And I firmly believe you can’t trust without loving, one way or another. One can love in a million different ways, but can only trust in one.

Stage direction: Less Drama!

Alright, alright. All in all, I can say about myself that I have always loved the right people, things & places. I may have loved too little, but therefore I was always safe & sound. I do have many regrets (because that no regrets thing is bullshit) and I would definitely change the way I interacted with certain individuals compared to what I did back then. No matter how much I may regret, it is an elementary part of what I am today; however, that does not mean I can’t wish to turn back time.



God, I miss her.

I miss her so much.

Every gasp of air I choke down reminds me that I wasn't worth it. I wasn't enough. As much as I tried, I would have never sufficed. I was her downfall, when all I ever wanted was to be everything to her. I wanted to be perfect for her, perfect, just like the perfect deep grey of her eyes.

She had always hated their color.

Oh god, dear god, I miss her so much.


I open my eyes. Everything hurts.

Today's the day; day one of the rest of my life - my life without Maddie. I just want to vanish, cease existing here and now. I loved her so much. 

I feel a paw on my face. A friendly reminder that the world keeps turning. As much as I refuse to acknowledge the fact that the sun will rise and set like any other day, I'm afraid I don't have much of a say in this. "Life goes on." was the first thing Mom told me (tactful, I know). Bullshit. Utter and complete bullshit. My life does not go on. It has stopped dead in its tracks and is staring wide-eyed right down the abyss. A paw on my face, again. My cat Thatcher is giving me death stares. A quick look on my alarm clock reveals the time: 3 pm. Thatcher has been due for breakfast for hours; no wonder he is so pissed. 

I slip out from under the blanket and sit on my bed. I'm one hundred per cent positively convinced that my heart will explode out of my chest any second now. She's Gone. Gone, gone, gone. Thatcher is standing in the doorframe, purring. I surrender, throw on a t-shirt and head down the stairs for the kitchen.


The sun is bursting through the French windows of my kitchen, bathing the room in rays of light. It feels obscene. I fill Thatcher's bowl and head for the water kettle, in hopes of soothing my aching mind with a cup of hot Sencha tea - at least temporary. 

Maddie had always loved my house with its high windows and large double wing doors. Now, it just feels like a wasteland to me. Every time a thunderstorm came up, Maddie would grab some pillows and blankets and hide out on the window sill in the living room, watching the rain drops race each other down the window glass. Thatcher and I usually just hid out under the blankets of my bed, praying to god that the storm would pass soon.

The lump in my throat gets bigger. I'm desperately trying to fight against the rising panic inside of me. She's Gone. Gone, gone, gone. Forever lost. I make a beeline for the patio doors, I need to get out, I need air, I'm suffocating in here. When dashing past, I accidentally rip down the water kettle. Hot water is scuffing its way over my hardwood floors, leaving drips and splashes and drops everywhere. I throw the doors open, grasping for air. Deep breaths, in and out and in and out again, air filling every cubic centimeter of my body, rushing through my lungs. Breath after breath, my heartbeat begins to slow down, my hands become steadier. 

Then - silence. And with the silence comes the sadness, creeping up my spine, into my veins, pressing every last bit of air out of me. 


She's Gone. Gone, gone, gone.




​“We are all books, because we have spines and stories to tell.”

I really, really wish I could remember who said this to me. It was dropped in a conversation a long time ago and I remember how it struck me perfectly. Yes, some of me would definitely be a book, just as I believe everyone else is. A thousand words swirling, until they finally crawl up your spine and write your story, good or bad. No matter which direction life will take you, your story will be there. The words will never stop swirling and forming new plots; a genuine and unique blend of the things you lived through and the things you wish you had experienced, the things you wish hadn’t happened and the things you think you saw. It’s that perfect storm when you read through someone else’s story and finally discover what they are, what they are not and what they want to be. When you start to understand the inner workings of someone. We are all books, we are the sum of words and stories, inter alia.

A bit of me would be tea. Every blend of tea you can think of. That warm, comforting feeling, whispering that everything will be alright. I promise, I’m just as many million flavors. And steamin’ hot, of course. If you know what I mean.

All jokes aside, I might love books and tea a little too much. If you do too (at least the books-part), you should check out Vanessa's blog– definitely a personal favorite.

Also, if you have taken the time to read this, leave me a comment with your favorite book and/or tea, one can never have enough of those!



So, all of a sudden it's July. I have been wanting to blog since probably the beginning of the semester (so mid April), but I never got around to it. 

My July playlist is getting full, so it's time for August to come around! Mainly, because I can start an August playlist, but also because I'll go on vacation (yay, Sweden) and all my exams will be over. 

So, for now, I at least managed to set this up. Enough work for today, back to Netflix!