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Moody Ukes Posts

To the person that I thought I knew. A work in progress.

one – Are you my soulmate?

I laugh. My heart jumps, it is made out of cotton candy. Pink and plush, running through high grass on a humid summer’s day.

two – Are you my soulmate?

I sigh. My ears not believing what they are hearing, for the first time in so long, opening up like old, rusty blinds, finally letting in the light. Finally letting in the air that I so desperately need to breath. But you only take my breath away. Your words weaseling your way under my skin, between my fingers, running your hand through my hair, tickling the back of my neck, caressing my earlobes, whispering: Are you my soulmate?

My insides are pulling themselves together, longing for words they never dreamed of, coming up for air after spending ages under water. Gasping.
But you only take my breath away.

three – I am lying in bed, you just cancelled our date. The familiar war behind my face washes over me, pulls me in deep. I cannot see the picture frame on the other side of my wall, my smiling face seems so unfamiliar. Where is she?

four – You look at me, with honest eyes, you see me. You. See. Me. Are you my soulmate? Piercing me, through and through, four simple words, they have no meaning to me, but hearing them from you means everything.

five – When is the last time you spoke with him? I have news for you.

six – No, this is the wrong life, this is the wrong line, my dreams have already taken over, I know the truth. This is not happening to me. All this time you were lying. Someone else. No, this is not you, no, this is not me. No, this is not her. This is just a bad movie, I am in, there is someone playing games with me.

seven – I feel so stupid. You made me into a cliché, you made me half. There is no explanation.

I will not believe this story. Would I have thought that you were the one that would betray me? You did. This is having your rug pulled out from under you and I am falling, falling, falling without ever waking up. There is no waking up.

Breath in, breath out. Let the disappointment wash away all the pain of feeling whole. Of trusting someone and having it all shattered in a matter of seconds. All that is left is emptiness.

eight – this is washing away the beautiful painting I made with my ideas and dreams and songs and seeing the gray truth behind it. Who are you?

And the question that will never be answered.

Why?

1,082 Comments

Reflecting on Moving Out

A year ago, I moved out of the house I was raised in into a tiny decent sized apartment with another girl to go to university. We live above the funniest bar, so it is never boring (or quiet, for that matter).  I had mixed feelings about the move, but I instantly loved it. Being completely independent is a feeling I wouldn’t want to miss anymore and I found that mundane things are easily incorporated into my schedule. I have learned a couple of lessons in the last year, five of which I want to share today.

  1. Just do the dishes

Do your dishes right away (or within a reasonable amount of time) because you deserve to have a clean sink. You might not want to do them right now, but your motivation is not going to get any bigger and you will hate yourself if you have to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes. Regard it as a treat to your future self that you are doing them now.

  1. How to be an adult

Sometimes (more often than you like) adult stuff will creep up on you that you suddenly have to deal with. Afternoons will be spent on the phone talking to the bank, or insurance, or landlords, or university staff. The list goes on. Even though they are not the most pleasant things to deal with, they are responsibilities that come along with the newly introduced independence. Therefore they are good things. And that feeling after successfully dealing with them – priceless.

  1. Find a roommate that is on your side

I got extremely lucky with an amazing roommate, one that I look up to like a big sister. It is so great to live with someone that you like, someone who will listen to you moan but someone who will also leave you alone when you want to be left alone. It’s intimate to live with someone else, after all you see them at their best and at their worst. I found it important to be open minded, guaranteeing that you will always find a way to make it work.

  1. Leave the apartment at least once a day

I’m an introvert, I use downtime to recharge my batteries. I have days where I don’t have any plans and therefore no reason to leave the apartment. Yet I have learned that it is important for me to get out regularly. Otherwise, I’m more likely to spiral downward into feeling bad about myself. So I make sure I take a walk, go shopping or take my bike for a spin at least once a day to keep my mind at Zen.

  1. Landlords are also just people.

This one is probably just relevant for me.

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Is it okay not to be okay?

1I am having a rough time at the moment. Nothing bad happened – nothing in particular anyway. Rarely is anyone’s life ever smooth sailing, I find there is always something to worry about. But usually, I can look past that. But right now I feel like there are so many things that are not going my way. I have been having an even harder time not beating myself up about it. A monologue repeats itself in my head about 50 times a day: You’re not happy – why? You should be happy. Everyone else is. Be happy. Now! But that’s not how it works. It is almost impossible to silence the voice in my head. I strongly believe that happiness is a mindset, one that you have to work for. But I find it really hard to be positive right now. There is no acute tragedy. Maybe the tragedy is in myself and I’m having trouble accepting it. I don’t feel like myself.

I find it hard to be around certain people right now. In my head, we usually get along because my rhythm and theirs flow well together, but at the moment mine is off-beat. Talking to those people shows me how off my beat really is, reminding me that I am not doing good. There are also people who are good for my troubled soul, they know how to adjust their rhythms to harmonize with mine, or remind my how the melody goes. The one that I normally know by heart.

In the back of my mind, I think I am aware of the tragedy. I am always scared of not doing enough. Right now, I feel like I’m waiting – I just don’t know what for.

 

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Small talk.

 

I hate small talk. Really. If you ask any of my close friends, they will agree. They know this about me. I don’t like the pretentious smiles and introductions. The meaningless information you share with strangers don’t make any sense to me.

But we all live in a society that values small talk. We are surrounded by strangers and if we want to get into contact with them, we need to suffer through the small talk and get to know them. At least that’s how I though it works. But I am starting to see that there is more to these first conversations than I thought. There are most certainly what you make of them. I think I have learned a few things talking to strangers. First of all, burst through that barrier. Go out and talk to people. It sounds so difficult, trust me I know. But it helps. Don’t be scared, because what could happen? They won’t talk to you? Well, they are not talking to you right now, so there’s that. And make the conversation meaningful. Be present and ask questions that actually matter. Go into detail and be specific. Nobody likes talking about the weather so be a little more creative. Be generous, be kind. Listen to understand, don’t listen to talk.

Just try it. Believe me, as an introvert, it is draining for me to go out and talk to people. But I learn and I grow from each conversation and I am a little prouder afterwards. Be aware of your environment and take the little chances the day gives you.

Because small talks are actually doors. They can let you in and share with you anything or nothing. It is all up to us. So leave your door open from time to time.

 

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House of Cards

I picture every relationship as a house of cards. We build them on a foundation – a mutual feeling or interest. And then we build further on that – layer by layer the relationship evolves. With some relationships, we will eventually add the last layer. The relationship reaches it’s best before date, and we move on to build new houses. I’ve learned that not every person is meant to be in your life forever, we grow up and change, all that crap. That’s okay –  sometimes it is even good. Or necessary.

What I like about the house of card analogy is the fact that it could collapse at any moment in time. It’s two people building the house of cards – one mistake could ruin everything. Have you ever looked at someone and thought ‘there are things I could say right now that could completely ruin this‘? “I cheated on you” or “I don’t love you anymore” will do the trick with a significant other. “I’ve murdered someone” to a friend or “I copied  someone else’s work” to your favorite professor sure changes things. I consider these big things – like wrecking balls that will ruin almost every relationship.

But it’s fairly easy to avoid most wrecking balls – what I am more scared of are the houses of cards that collapse at the slightest blow, even though you were confident they would last forever. You didn’t realize at the time that too many cards were crooked or uneven. Somehow it all worked and you could still build on them – to a point. You couldn’t tell it was all doomed. You can’t pinpoint your finger on what it was that made it all fall down. Maybe it was not meant to be. Those are the relationships that haunt me the longest.

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Being home.

What does being home mean to you? What is home? I know that a lot of people connect home to a physical location. A home town. The house they grew up in and spend most of their life time living in. Maybe it’s that little apartment you can barely afford but for the first time in your life you can live by your rules and be independent. Maybe it’s the city you know best, where every street looks familiar and the neighbors greet you when you pass them. Maybe it’s a country where everyone speaks your language, where the food tastes and smells the best to you.

To be honest, I have trouble with the concept of home. It makes me feel a little uneasy, as if there is something missing. Because I don’t have a clear cut definition for it. What if you move around so much that there is not one specific location to call home? What if there are several houses you remember from your childhood? What if you have not spend more than two years in the same city in the last ten years? What if there are so little constants in your life? I think this is when things get interesting. Because you start defining home again and again. At least I feel the need to define home to myself over and over again. Oftentimes I noticed that home can be anywhere as long as there are people that you love and that love you. Your family and your friends that give you the feeling of belonging. But there is still something missing in that concept. What if family is everywhere, what if your friends are not one collective but individuals living all around the world?

So what is being home to me? It is the bed that I sleep in, it’s the calming, familiar smell when I unlock the front door. It’s the place where I know exactly where everything belongs. It is where I drive home to after a long day of work. It is where I hang up pictures on the wall. It is wherever I feel like I need to be right now. That opens up the concept of just one place in my mind. It helps me understand that home can be anywhere and everywhere. It is a feeling of peace and calm, of knowing that you are safe. It is not one singular place.

After moving around so much, I can finally say: Welcome homes. And I hope you can too.

Home

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To my beautiful sister

Change is the only constant. And it creeps up on us, whether we notice it or not. Tomorrow, a big change is going to happen. My sister is moving away. I am beyond happy for her but I am also selfish. I don’t want her to go because I don’t want to miss my big sister. We are rarely ever physically close, yet it somehow feels different whether hundreds of kilometers separate us or a huge ocean and time difference. It has been quiet on our little Uke Blog, there is no real excuse, just life that happened and things that got busy. But with change and new challenges comes new energy, from which MoodyUkes is going to benefit. I want to start this new chapter with a couple of words directed to my beautiful sister.

To me, you can do no wrong. To me, you are the strongest, most fearless person I have met. You jump on challenging opportunities and you handle them so brilliantly. You never give yourself enough credit for that.

I want to hurt everyone who has ever dared to hurt you because you are my sister and no one gets to do that! I don’t want you to face any pain ever alone again, I want you to know I am here to listen. I know our genes and twisted brains tell us to keep it together and deal with it on our own, but you have taught me over the last month that it is okay to be hurting and it is okay to talk about it to someone. It is more than okay, it actually helps to not deal with things alone. I hope you think of me sometimes when you are facing a problem because I know you will be the first person I ask for advice. Be prepared for many calls from your little sister (probably at an unreasonable hour) to discuss my little worries. I will try to tone it down, I promise.

I know you will have an amazing time, you will meet great people and you will be okay, no matter how you feel right now. I want the people you are about to meet to know what an incredible human being they are about to get to know. And I want them to fully appreciate you because otherwise, I want my big sister back!

You will be missed here, but I know you need to be elsewhere now. I love you so much

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Feeling alive

What moments do you think of when I say a moment that makes you look above your personal horizons? When you suddenly see your emotions and issues from a different perspective? When everything you have been worrying about seems so tiny or irrelevant because you’re looking at a bigger picture?

To me, this happens when I see a really good movie. Preferably at the movies because that way you physically step out of your own life and into the space of the movie. When a movie makes you feel Something that isn’t part of your everyday emotions. I can’t think of a better example but it happened to me when I watched The Fault in Our Stars. Feeling sad and happy and confused all at the same time. Cancer – luckily to me right now – is not a part of everyday life. But in that moment when you encounter something that is out of your rut, you realize that him not texting you back or the exam next week is not going to matter in the long run – to me, that is what feeling alive feels like.

It also happens to me when I hear certain news – this week hearing about the death of Christina Grimmie or the night club shooting in Orlando. Something that shakes up your life and makes you think. And then you need to force your head back into your own routine, while also subconsciously still reevaluating yourself and your choices.

Feeling alive, how morbid that other people’s death caused this feeling in me this week. I’m only now realizing how dark that really is. Also The Fault in Our Stars is concerning the topic of death. Maybe the concept or realness of death is making me feel alive, forcing me to see that life is more than my personal environment and worries.

This is not the direction I wanted this to go in. I wanted to point out that I like this feeling of being alive, present and active, I like looking above my horizon. But I feel like I can’t say that right now.

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About Manhood

I recently watched ‘The Mask You Live In’, which is a documentary on male struggle in the United States. I highly encourage you to watch it – it’s good brain food and it is available on Netflix.

After last week’s post about emancipation, today I’m going to address the opposite topic. Well not opposite necessarily. Let me explain. I wouldn’t label myself an extreme feminist – of course I’m all for emancipation as you know, but I don’t identify with the term. Especially because of today’s topic.

To clarify some terms, sex is biological differences in males and females, and gender is the social construct around the sexes. Different ‘extremes’ of feminism either wants to get rid of these constructs and live in a gender neutral society or fight for equality for the sexes. Either way, I feel like this is discussed in today’s society and worked upon, so I don’t want to focus on this topic – at least not today. Today is about what it means to be a man.

Don’t cry, man up, don’t be a sissy… the list goes on and on. These phrases are only the tip of the iceberg of what it contributes to be a man in (american) society. Why do we treat the sexes so differently? Why are men the strong gender, why are they not meant to cry and why are they allowed to see women as a sexual object? The answer is in the way they are raised and taught by society.

The stereotypes and phrases the society poses on men, which are practiced in families, harm boys and men in many ways. Expressing emotions and speaking about intimate issues is difficult or nearly impossible the way men are brought up today, and unless there is a discussion about this topic, hardly anything is going to change. This girl-boy thought process is limiting and harmful – I know this is what feminism is fighting but maybe the problem I have with feminism is with the word itself. Fighting for equality is the essential aspect – whether that includes increasing the numbers of women in leading positions or changing the way men are brought up.

Being a man shouldn’t be a performance – neither should being female. I don’t know why the sexes are being treated differently, it is deeply rooted in history – but now should be a time to change that.

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Stress and meditation

 

In the spirit of Elena’s post last week and all emanzipated women, I will be my own hero this week and all the weeks to come. This is why I am currently at university trying to juggle way too many projects and tasks at once so that I can progress and achieve my long-term goals. And you know what? I wouldn’t want it any other way. But this also means that I am late on this week’s blog post and that the uke has been sitting in my room waiting for me to spend some time with her for over a week now.

But as my favorite saying goes: “Drink some coffee, put on some gangster rap, and handle it.” So that is what I am doing at the moment.

So today, I want to share with you my way of handling the busy times.

Meditation.

I know that this is not for everyone but if you feel like you are running in circles, you lose focus easily, or feel like you can’t slow down, it might help you. Meditation makes you stop in your current tracks, reflect on your current well-being and keeps you grounded.
It’s not always easy to start, so I suggest going to a class (Yoga is usually also an introduction to basic meditation), read a book, or (my newest finding) an app to introduce you to the concept. I recommend the app Headspace (both for Apple and Android). It guides you through meditations and helps you in understanding how the mind works. Trust me, 10 minutes a day and after a week you will feel a difference. It’s not groundbreaking but everytime you relax a little more, you are one step closer to letting the thought things in life go and gain some perspective.

I want to leave you with this simple understanding of thoughts and how to gain some perspective from this crazy thing called your mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xAeJKgupPI

(This video was made by the creator of headspace)

Much love, Maria

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