06/12 - Halfway Gone

I know we're almost halfway through March already, but I had so much life to deal with lately that I just didn't find any time to think about how February ended.
And with this month the first half of my year in Würzburg.

It's funny how it took me so long to get used to being here and now I can't even imagine that I will go back in six months. I'm just halfway gone again already. But we all know: you can't put your trust in time. And, more important: We have to go back.

So, what did I learn within the past six months?

  • Home is where your people are.
  • Age is only a number.
  • I'll never be into wine.
  • Hand me a camera and I'm happy to work with it.
  • The people make the place worth living at.
  • Family rules.
  • Everything's better when there are bunnies in your life.
It feels pretty unreal to live here since last September. It feels pretty unreal to think back and remember the moments when I first met the people I now call my friends. It feels pretty unreal to have two homes in Germany now.

Anyways, I'll simply enjoy the second half of this whole thing. And I'll find out what it'll teach me.

"So I'll start a revolution from my bed. 'Cause you said the brains I had went to my head. Step outside, summertime's in bloom. Stand up beside the fireplace, take that look from off your face. 'Cause you ain't ever gonna burn my heart out." - Oasis


5/12 - It's never goodbye, it's just 'till next time

"Maybe it's because I look at everything as a lesson, or because I don't want to walk around angry, or maybe it's because I finally understand. There are things we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go." - Jennifer Jareau (Criminal Minds)
I always said that I'm not the person to write at a local office, especially not in a small town. However, it turned out to be a place I really liked to be at. Most of this is due to the people I worked with at my first station of the new job in the local office in Marktheidenfeld.

This last month was my last one at this station and it actually made me sad to leave. I got used to our way of doing things, I became part of the team and that was quite a good feeling. 

As a journalist, I learned a lot in this office and with these people. My writing got better, my photography got more focused. But most of all, I learned a lot concerning my person. I learned how to be more self-confident, how to trust the own skills, how to take responsibility when needed.

I will miss the people I worked with, no doubt (especially my favorite colleague who should basically know this already as it's really hard for me not seeing him everyday which leads to me texting way too much). I appreciate what they taught me and I am honored by what they told me in the end about my work. 

This is one of the two very present experiences of this month. 

The second one is way more happy: I became a real bunny mom as our two giant bunnies Dandelion and Amaryllis (who's called Odin now) are now the parents of four baby bunnies.

The babies are healthy and full of life. They run around and discover he world around them. It's the saddest thing on earth that I cannot be there while they grow up, but my parents take care of them now. 

I started to realize a change in me this month, and it's quite positive for the first time. I feel good, I finally got used to living here and I found people who mean a lot to me and who make me feel more at home here eventually. That's the first step, I guess.


4/12 - So long, 2016

I can't believe I already finished one third of this year away. And I can't believe 2016 is over.

I don't even have a specific reason why this year was so terrible to me, it was just the summ of everything that happened and that didn't happen.

My brother and his girlfriend broke up, the one couple I believed in to be forever together. I always said I would lose my faith in love if this ever happened, and look what appeared to be true. One of my closest friends moved to England for a semester abroad and then decided to stay there. My dutch course broke apart and won't take place again. One of my best friends went to Finland for six months. A close friend moved away and now we're not close anymore. Two of my bunnies died, one of them only 14 weeks old. Rock am Ring as a desaster. I had to move away from everything I love basically. My brother moved away. I finished LOST.

At least that last month finally felt good to me at most points. Sure, I was confused and insecure again because I don't know how to feel correctly anymore, but I could handle things somehow. Not everything in this last year was bad, I just can't rethink every single day. And I don't want to. "And then it was done. Over with. Never to happen again."

2016, I turned into a person I never wanted to be and still don't want to. It was just everything and nothing that happened and didn't happen, nothing specific but everything important.

The only good thing in 2016 were the rockshows. 
I started to think if happiness during the rest of the year works antiproportional to its rockshows. Because at most of these, I was damn high and - for just a few wonderful moments - happy. Meeting Halestorm and especially Shinedown meant the world to me. June was just one trip on this wave of music and people. I never was so close to Nickelback like at the show this year.

I found some new music in 2016: Alter Bridge and Sixx:AM, two bands I always wanted to try out but for some reason never did. Like A Storm were amazing at the Alter Bridge show, so I'll listen to them, too.

And what would a year be without its people. 2016, I got to know Erik, a close friend now and my source of new music at all times. Thanks for just caring and for understanding my "please-take-me-back-home"-feeling. I met Rike at the Shinedown show in Hamburg, someone I'd love to see more often. The new ink is HILARIOUS, sister! And most important, Janina - who made Rock am Ring at least worth the visit. Love you much, my dear! Thank you for everything. Of course, moving to Würzburg also brought new people to my life. Just to mention the most important ones - Ralf, Kristian and Anna: you made the time here much better for me, and I wouldn't want to miss you in my life now; not as colleagues but even more important: not as friends.

And there are more people I'd like to say thank you to - for getting me through this strange year: Mom and Dad, simply for everything; John for being my best friend; Janis for showing me how strange friendship can look; Sophie for unforgettable love and talks and times I needed so badly; Ina for showing me the good time aren't over; Alicia for just being that weird lovely girl I love; Joost for listening whenever I need someone and for giving the best advice; Anneke for being my moral and emotional back up; Stella for making me feel much better with the way I live and love; Caro for being so lovely and helpful; Inga for being my positive friend from school who always helps me smile again; Lara for simply everything because she is so amazing; Anna for making the strange days even stranger and the funny ones even funnier; Svenja for being my better half basically and for all she is; Christina for rocking with me if possible; Fabian for caring about Johnny so much and for being such a good friend; Lars for never writing back but still being the most amazing person ever; Lina for laughing with me; Jule for English courses and the times beside this; Maike for incredible karaoke-nights; Megan for tv-series-watching no matter how boring it gets; Anne for keeping us all together somehow; Britta for gaming and fun; Paulina for talks, rockshows ans love; the rest of my family for everything of course - and Zach, Brent, Barry, Eric, Lzzy, Arejay, Joe and Josh for the most amazing moments of 2016.

Not everything will be better in 2017, but at least there's a small chance somethings will change. 

I'll close this one with the only song that ever made sense in a post like this: HERE'S TO US!


Mr. Brent Smith - The man who changed my life

Another birthday gives me a reason to talk about another important person - actually THE most important person for me.

Mr. Brent Smith

It's no secret that this man changed my whole life by showing me where I belong in this world. Brent opened my eyes for a world I was looking for so long. When he came up on that stage in Cologne on 5th February 2012 and started to talk about rock music and life and all of this being forever, I just saw it. 

This man is without any doubt a true hero. Brent Smith is overly talented. When he enters a stage, the whole room or stadium or whatever he's playing in will just listen to him. His voice gives me chills. He is super handsome, kind, gentle, funny and always surprising me.

I met Brent last year and it was the first time for four years that we talked again. It is amazing how much time he took just so we could have a conversation. And it is amazing how different he is off stage - but as adorable if you ask me. 

Brent Smith always finds the right words to say to get me through the tough times. He did once bring me through a phase of loneliness and despair, and I trust in him being able to save me again.

There's not much left to say but thank you. I hope that one day, we will have the chance for another conversation. Happy Birthday, Brent! You are beyond amazing.



2016 in a nutshell

It is no secret that I did not get along with 2016 at all. However, there were several positive moments and some of them were caught in a photo. Here is my 2016 in pictures.

 January: Spending some good time with my old friend Ina at the winter light festival in the biggest park of the city. We reactivated an old tradition and went out to take a long walk in the cold and talk about the previous year. 

 February: Quite easy to see a was the happiest girl on earth in this moment, when I met the incredible Josh Smith of Halestorm after a more than awesome show in Bochum. Still can't believe he thanked me so much for the simple letter I wrote. This night was unforgettable and this photo will always remember me of how perfect the time with this guy was.

March: In March, I visited one of my best friends to spend her birthday with her even though she studied in Finland for six months. So I traveled to this country I never really thought about but love now. It was such an important trip because it taught me some things about myself that helped me get through some of the rough times of 2016. And this girl is one of the best people I know. The time with her was just so good.

 April: April was the month of zoos. I visited many and worked on an article about six of them in my home region. Animals just make me happy and so did this baby alpaca. This photo was taken in the zoo in Hamm which is one of my favorite places to go now.

 May: 2016 might have been bad, but not so bad that I couldn't visit my fovorite place on earth: Texel. I just can't go without an island in my life it seems. The time I'm there just sets me free from everything and that doesn't work anywhere else. 

 June: If I had to pick one photo to decribe the most important moment of 2016, I'd choose this one. I waited four years to finally meet Brent Smith of Shinedown, my hero and role model, the most amazing voice in rock music, the most kind, handsome and gentle but also honest person I know. It's not often that I am truely happy, but this moment was just so perfect, how could I feel anything else. 

 July: I already mentioned all the zoos I've been to. The truths is, there are not many photos of July 2016 because I felt way to stressed and terrible because of moving away. But this photo makes me smile because who wouldn't smile about a baby elephant climbing on its mom.

 August: August was a terrible month full of changes I didn't appreciate and sorrow and tears, but this very short holiday with these three amazing girls was one of the best times I had in 2016. Anneke, Stella and Caro just showed me what true friendship looks like and I cannot say in words how happy I am to call them my friends.

 September: The first photo tour in the new city I live in for another eight months now on a beautiful day. In the meantime, I got used to this place, but it was so hard in the beginning. However, this was one of the good days I had in September and this photo just says it all. I'm quite lost, but that's nothing new, right?

 October: A family portrait because I miss them so much when I'm in Würzburg. This was taken at our family's traditional Halloween party at my aunt's and uncle's. One fun night with everyone I love. Can't believe just how cool we actually are.

 November: My bunnies were a very important part of my 2016. These two are my newest bambinas. Nevada, the brown and black one, got a place in my room and my heart becaue if the tragic loss of my baby Freckles who died aged 14 weeks because of a genetic disease. However, these two are my little family in Würzburg and they made me feel so much better there, I never want to miss them again.

 December: This picture of my oldest bunny Lily closes the year for me. It reflects home, the things I had to leave. But I will come back this year, and I won't go again. 


Rock Before Christmas #2 - Alter Bridge convincing me forever

So after seeing Billy Talent I went to Frankfurt to rock out with Alter Bridge - for the very first time for me. I just discovered the band for me this year and to be honest, I regret all the years I didn't listen to them.

For the show, I didn't know what to expect. First there were two supporting bands, one of them Gojira, which isn't really my kind of music. But their show was good fun and they handled the lights not working nicely. The second band was Like A Storm and I really think they make some awesome music. (Never saw anyone playing a didgeredoo on stage before!)


So, back to Alter Bridge. First to say, they had a hilarious setlist! I really loved hearing "Broken Wings" and "Open Your Eyes" live as well as "Addicted To Pain" and "Isolation". And of course there were many amazing songs of the new album. 

Alter Bridge means awesome guitar solos live. That's what I learned, too. However, I would love it more if Myles Kennedy (who looks even more handsome live) would talk a little more to the audience. 

And there's nothing over a musician performing a song live and all alone at a rockshow. Thank you, Myles, for giving us your live version of "Watch Over You". My personal highlight of the show.

Myles also has a hilarious live-voice. And he's always smiling which just sends positive vibes all the time. One more thing to mention, it's been quite nice to also hear Mark Tremonti sing a song - "Water's Rising".

One thing's for sure now: If Alter Bridge comes back to Germany anytime soon, I will definitely go to a show! And next time, I'd love to go there with my dad (who went to the show in Cologne the day after the show in Frankfurt).


Rock before Christmas #1 - Billy Talent burning Düsseldorf down

I've been to my last Billy Talent headline show in 2013 in Bochum and I actually did not like it. I do not know why, it was just the people, the choice of songs, the location. So I decided I would not necessarily go to another show. But when I saw the guys at Rock am Ring, they just killed it. They finished the whole festival for (which I hated so much because nothing worked out and I could not see two of the bands I came there for) and just touched me. They chose the best songs they could play.

It was hilarious.

So I bought a ticket for the show in Düsseldorf and went there with my brother and two close fans. We made it to the front and met two super kind people we spent the whole show with.

And so it began. Two supporting bands - The Dirty Nil and Monstertruck - opened up even though Billy Talent does not need a warm up. As soon as they hit the stage, everything's on fire. They opened with "Devil in a Midnight Mass" and the audience went crazy right away. It was pure fun and the setlist was gold.


Besides the big hits like "Fallen Leaves", "This is how it goes" and "Surrender", they also played some surprising stuff like "This Suffering" and "White Sparrows". And of course there were many songs from the new album; not just "Afraid of Heights" and "Louder Than The DJ", but also "The Crutch", "Ghost Ship of Cannibal Rats" and "Leave them all behind". However, I missed hearing "Diamond on a Landmine", which they played at every show I had been to before.
Lead singer Ben talked a lot about serious topics like Donald Trump, but also the sickness of their (former) drummer Aaron Solowoniuk who suffers from MS. Judging by the reaction of the audience, this is one of the points that a) belongs to every Billy Talent show and b) is deeply loved by the fans - because we like being talked to, being taken seriously.

In the end, there is not much left to say but this: I will definitely go to the next Billy Talent concert again. Pure fun, exhausting like hell, great choice of songs, awesome live music. Thank you.