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Category: Maria

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?

1,556 Comments

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.

 

1,988 Comments

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

2,095 Comments

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

1,917 Comments

Love & Relationships

Historically love is not necessarily connected to relationships, nor is it the other way around. For that matter the concept of romantic love is relatively new, sparking in the mid-1800s. Yet today love is probably the number one discussed topic between girlfriends, uncountable movies have been written about it and the tears shed over love could probably fill multiple oceans. But would we even share the same definition of love and romance without all the Hollywood movies, love songs and Valentine’s Day presents?

I personally I don’t appreciate Hollywood romance movies and the idea they leave in young girls’ head – including mine when I was 15. The guy does not have to make the initial move and in my darkest moments I don’t have to be saved – I can do my own saving, even if it might take some trial and error, I will manage. The fact that it is 2016 and most of my girlfriends still expect to be chatted up drives me crazy. We tie our own shoe laces and everything, go get yourself that date you’ve been thinking about for the past 2 weeks but have been too scared. “He could take the first step if he really wanted to”. Guess what, he could be thinking the exact same thing. Use your voice, it might not always work out the way you planned it to but occasionally it will, and that will feel good. I guess what I am trying to say is to not be a character in your story but to be the story.

As emancipated women – we do everything ourselves. We work the same jobs as men, we raise kids on our own and fix our bikes on our own. One of my New Year’s resolution this year was to be my own hero – ask for less help when it comes to difficult, mostly technical tasks that I would usually ask my dad to do. For that matter, I am planning to show the world that I can kick some ass in my future career – so why shouldn’t I start being badass in my day to day life? I want to be the though one – I don’t want to be rescued, especially when it comes to love. Prince Charming is a pretty concept, but what are his qualities that you can build a relationship on? The fact that he is good-looking and just bumped into me at the right moment doesn’t seem to be enough for me. Love sparks attraction, but a relationship needs to be built on more than ‘just’ love, not every time you fall head of heals for someone you are going to end up in a happy relationship with them. Love needs to be established in everyday life, not only on first dates and adventures. To me anyway, a long term relationship is built on intimacy.

“They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.” – F Scott Fitzgerald

After meeting that someone special, the way they see and think of you is important. Girls need to be perfect, loveable – lovely. Lovely is one of those words that only perfect girl-next-door use, while they braid their hair the way they always do and smell like their signature rose sent. Maybe I am just bitter but is that the type of perfect that is attractive? Who actually is like that? I am moody and realistic, far less easy to romanticize but nevertheless lovable. Am I still lovely even though I probably spent more time thinking about death than about my nails?

I guess you are able to tell that I have a serious problem with movie stereotypes. Today, love and relationships go and in hand with each other. It seems strange to think you used to marry someone you didn’t love or even really know. Or that love didn’t use to be red roses and anniversary dates. I guess I want to draw attention to the fact that the concept of love has been on a long path and only relatively recently took a turn to roses and butterflies. If things like love can fundamentally change in a matter of 200 years, it is important to see that societies’ standards of relationships need to be interpreted by everyone in their own way. No 90 minute Hollywood movie can show you how your life is meant to be.

Much love, Elena

2,017 Comments

How to move on from a broken heart

Having your heart broken or breaking your own heart is terribly devastating and trust me, there are moments in life where I don’t understand why love has to be so wonderfully beautiful and so utterly complicated at the same time. It’s not easy. But right now, I don’t want to write about the sweet, chaotic mess a heart can be in, I want to be bold and practical and stay focused on how to move on after a heart break. Here is goes:

  1. Distract yourself

This is so very easy to say but hear me out: I don’t mean filling your day with meaningless tasks, running from one activity to the other, never stopping so that you don’t have time to think. What I do mean is giving your life a new purpose, a distraction which drives you to a better place. Think about it as progress, dissolve yourself into a passion of yours.

  1. Slow down

This plays together with the point above. Slow down, do some reflection on your part and start to think about yourself. Meditate a little if that helps you. Find some other form of relaxation which helps you work through the pain rather than pushing it away. I know that sometimes I don’t want to stand still because I am scared of what awaits me in the silence. But there is no running away. Face it now.

  1. Be physically active

Sport is, no lie, the best medicine. Now, if you’ve never been physically active, don’t overdo it. If running is not for you, that is totally fine. Just find something that makes you happy. Go look for gym classes. Go swimming, do power yoga, take a step dance class, the possibilities are endless. And trust me, your mind thinks differently when you do sports. The feeling of exhaustion after a great work out, is one of the most calming and addictive feelings out there.

  1. Stop idolizing your ex-lover

Stop thinking of them as the good guy, the hero, prince charming, whatever. They are most certainly not. If they were, they would be sitting next to you at this very moment massaging your feet or whatever. But they are not. And I know this is the most terrible realization, but you need to think rationally. What advice would you give a friend or sibling in this situation? You would tell them to move on, wouldn’t you? You would want their best, so be kind and love yourself more.

  1. Take the high road

Don’t think of revenge, don’t sabotage your surroundings, and don’t do something you will later regret. I know it’s one of the hardest things to do, but take the high road. Months or years down the road, you will be so glad you did. The best revenge is to live well. Focus on yourself, take the time to improve yourself.

  1. Act out of love

You will probably run into them again, you will have uncomfortable conversations with your friends in which their name is mentioned and an oblivious friend will go on about how wonderful the new girlfriend is and how great your ex-lover and her fit together. Yeah, that really sucks, but act out of love. Love is stronger than anger. Love will make you happy, anger will drag you down into that dark, dark place. So smile and pretend for a while. Fake it till you make it, is what I’ve heard. And trust me, there will be a time where you are genuinely happy that you are free and they are gone. Because one of the biggest criteria for a relationship should be that the other person wants to be in it with you. And if that is not the case, you are better off without them.

  1. See it as a catharsis in your life

I know it hurts. But this pain will make you stronger, break down all the parts in you, so that you will come out a better, stronger self.

Plato once said that love resides in the person who loves, not in the person who is loved. You are able to love and to feel and to trust and to be hurt. Be proud of that, it’s more than some people will ever experience.

 

Much love, Maria

 

 

 

2,035 Comments

The uke and your inner voice: Practice – listen – love

I have this tendency to make decisions in my life based on my gut feeling. Yes, I am a rational human being and strategic deliberations are an important part of my decision making process – but oftentimes it boils down to the emotional choice I tend to make. Decisions on where to live, which career path to choose, what people to surround myself with, can be approached rationally but in the end, when all the facts have been considered, I do tend to choose what “feels right”. And guess what? That’s a good thing.

Your gut feeling

But there is a difference between the gut feeling and what I like to call the inner voice. Now, I am not saying that the inner voice is a new concept, but I do think there are many different opinions and definitions out there. The gut feeling might tell you instantly what seems to be the easy way out, the most convenient choice, the path of least resistance. It’s the voice that you will most likely want to listen to, the easy choice. It’s the voice that tells you to stay in after a long day at work, it’s the decision for the safe side. The gut feeling focuses on short-term gain. But your inner voice works differently. The inner voice has your own best interest at heart. It considers all the options, checks in with the parts of your mind you do not necessarily consider at times. The inner voice decides on, yes, what will help you in the short-term, but also asks how this can further your horizon and benefit you in the long-run. The inner voice challenges us, makes us reconsider. It sometimes even chooses the impossible.

Now, I am not saying the gut feeling is wrong. The gut feeling is necessary, crucial in life, it’s the instinct, the weird undefined feeling you get when you first meet someone and you just know that there is something off about this person which later turns out to be true. Listen to this gut feeling. But let your inner voice make the decision on how to precede when interacting with this person.

The inner voice is us.

And you know what the best part of this is? The inner voice is already there, it’s you. It’s me. It is not a schizophrenic part in all of us, telling us what to do. It can’t be reprogrammed and manipulated by an outside machine. The inner voice is the sum of the emotional, the rational, the sceptic in us, and the many different unique parts inside that make us individuals. But as with almost everything in life, the inner voice does not come easily, it wants to be trained. The inner voice can be quiet and reluctant to act. But deep inside, the more we listen, to more we are honest with ourselves, the better we can hear it.

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Playing ukulele and listening to my inner voice

Playing the ukulele has surprisingly taught me a lot about listening to my inner voice. Practicing every day and playing that same horrendous finger picking part I just can’t seem to get right, can be very frustrating. With the uke I can immediately hear when there has been a mistake. I can adjust, improve, practice again and make it better. There is a lot of truth in that for my life outside of music as well. Being able to improve, to really start to listen to what I play, how I interpret a song, what feels right and what sounds wrong, has been translated into my life. Long-term success can only be achieved through. Truly loving the music, truly loving my life – it is achieved when listening really close. To the uke, to the inner voice. Finding that melody, the harmony in music, has shown my inner voice that there is not only one way to play, not only one way to decide. But there is my way of playing – a certain decision I have to make for myself. There are things in my life that will support me and help me face challenges ahead. In music, that is my cute little concert ukulele. For my life and any decisions on where my life is going, it’s the little thing called: my inner voice.

Much love, Maria

1,945 Comments