March Update

March Update

Once again it’s been two months since my last post in January. That is mainly due to the fact that after I’d returned from London I got really ill and struggled with getting better over a period of almost three weeks. Turns out I had a middle ear infection, for which I then had to take antibiotics and all that jazz.

London was amazing. It was the first time I’ve ever been abroad entirely on my own and I really enjoyed it. I met a lot of people; saw, did, and experienced things I might not have had I travelled with a friend. As it’s a bit over a month now since I’ve been back, I’m not sure whether I will write an entire blog post dedicated to my trip but I might.

Regarding what I’ve been up to the past few weeks: I’ve enrolled in an MA course in Literary and Cultural Studies that started this March, so I’ve been attending classes even though I am not planning on completing the degree. I still got my eyes set on going abroad; this is mainly to bridge the gap between now and when I will be able to set sail. Other than that I’ve been applying to jobs and internships. We will see where all of that will lead.

In terms of what I’ve been planning on writing for this blog: I’ve said this before but I am hoping to finally write more on literature and books. That had always been the original intention behind this blog. Somehow I seem to have favoured blogging about other things over the years, there’d been a lot of motivational posts and updates on how I was dealing with anxiety and feeling down. These have been fairly therapeutic to write and share but I don’t want to exclusively concentrate on such kind of topics. I am working on writing for this blog more regularly, whether I’ll succeed in doing so we will find out soon enough.

This is it from me for now – hopefully, I’ll be back sooner than later!

x,

Lauren


P.S. I mentioned in my last post that I started a new blog focusing on politics and current affairs – if you want, you can check out my latest post.

My Plans for January

My Plans for January

Since my last post – written a bit over a month ago – quite a bit has changed/happened. Most importantly, my mood has been lifted since then and I am not as anxious or pessimistic about my future anymore.

At the beginning of this month I finally received my B.A. in English and American Studies. I still have no clue as to what exactly I will be doing next; right now I am trying to just take some time to figure everything out. Especially considering that I at times doubted that I would even graduate at all these past months, I am relieved more than anything ;) The pressure of getting everything done and not being able to keep to my writing schedule was really stressful, so I am thankful for this little break.

For the time being I’ve decided to work on my writing a bit more conscientiously and get my CV and other stuff I’ll need for applications in order. But before getting started with all of that, I’m going to take a vacation!! I’m flying to London, my favourite city, on Saturday and I’m already fairly excited :) Organising all there is to do was a bit tedious as I also caught a cold last week (it’s been between -6 to -10°C where I live…) but apart from that I’m psyched to go. I am planning on blogging a bit while I’m there, so there might be a little update on my London excursions soon enough!

Another thing I’d mentioned in my last post was that aside from the plans I had for this blog I was also toying with another idea. I’ve been wanting to start writing about politics and social issues for a while and as I want to focus more on literature, arts, film & TV on this blog (the odd random or personal post will definitely still pop up every now and then), I went ahead and created a new one to exclusively feature relating posts. My new blog was “launched” yesterday; so far only the introductory post is up but new posts are about to be uploaded soon. You can go check it out if you want: https://consciousthoughtbox.wordpress.com/

Anyways, that’s it from me for now.

x,

Lauren

 

An Update

These past few months have been rather difficult for me. So much while at the same time so little has happened. I am unsure what my next steps will be which is thrilling but stressful.

I started this blog in October 2013. I was in my first semester at university and was absolutely excited about the next three years entertaining high hopes and aspirations. It’s weird to think that three years have passed already. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that my time at uni just flew me by. The opposite, in fact. It has at times even felt ‘dragged out’ and I thought it would never end. Now, as I am waiting for my very last grade and about to finish my degree, I’ve come to reflect on these past six semesters. Unfortunately, not much comes to mind. I do truly value my education and am grateful that I have had the opportunity to study at all but, if I am honest, it really has not been what I’d expected it would be those three years ago. What bothers me the most is that I seem to “have done so little”. I’m not entirely sure what I should have done differently. The whole experience, or maybe rather thinking about it, simply leaves me feeling empty.

I have indeed grown these past three years, found out things about me, became more self-aware and secure, more independent, more confident. Yet, I am still as clueless as to what I really want as I was then. Being almost done with uni obviously brings with it the typical questions as to what my plans for the future are. To be honest, there are none. No definite ones that is. I know that deep down I know what I want to do/can envision my next steps but I don’t feel ready to share all of that right now. I also think I should probably take my time to gather my thoughts and consider all my options. I’m definitely trying to make the next thing I take up be something I really care about.

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2016 has truly been a weird year. I’d say my worst. Despite the fact that I am graduating from uni, I struggle to really celebrate this “achievement” and be enthusiastic. I’ve been feeling down for most of this year and actually considered dropping out as I figured I’d never be able to finish my papers. Though I obviously did in the end I still am exhausted by all the negativity that I’ve been carrying around with me. Also, not wanting to sound trite but all that “has been going on in the world lately” really had an impact on my mood and general outlook. Brexit, Trump, the amount of brutal police shootings in the U.S., many European countries’ lack of interest in taking actual measures regarding Syria (they prefer demonizing refugees instead) were amongst the main ‘current issues’ that really dampened my spirits. I know that there are people by far more affected by any of these mentioned developments and I have to say the cynical side of me was not surprised by them; however, we’ve reached such lows, it’s mind-boggling.

I guess you can tell by now that my expectations regarding what’s about to come are not particularly optimistic. I am looking forward to somewhat figuring out what I want to do next, though. I’ve got plans for this blog as well (to post more regularly first and foremost :P) and another idea that has been on my mind for some time, which I’ll reveal in the next few weeks.

x,

Lauren

When Do You Get to Call Yourself a Writer?

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That’s the question weighing on my mind lately: when does one get to call oneself a writer?

Recently, I’ve been following loads of people on WordPress and Twitter – young people about my age who already seem to have achieved so much more than me (writing-wise). A lot of them have already published articles and personal essays in various online and print magazines. This has lead me to contemplate my own writing which so far has gone by largely unread. Part of it is due to my own hesitation to share what I write. I feel like my writing is just not quite ‘there’ yet. But if no one ever gets to read what I write, aside from entries on this blog, can I really call myself a writer?

 

To be honest, I don’t ever actually call myself a writer. I always thought that was a distinction reserved for people who’ve actually had any of their work published. Is having been published the only determining factor though? Or maybe someone who religiously writes everday (which would also exclude me…) would qualify as well? I guess the simple wish to one day be an “established” writer isn’t enough…

After some further reflection, I realised, however, that I am not one to espouse elitist views, especially not when it comes to ‘the arts’. Writing is for oneself primarily. Sure, there are people who write for money, fame, recognition etc. but I believe most people with a passion for literature and writing would agree that the main “reason” they write is that it’s a perfect way to express oneself. To deal with life’s frustrations, to make sense of the rambling thoughts in your head, to cope with anxiety or depression, to create a world that’s wholly your own. And these experiences made when writing for oneself are just as valuable as are pieces printed in noteworthy publications.

 

For now though I doubt I’ll ever truly think of myself as a writer. I am too insecure and worried about style, originality, creativity, and authenticity. This doesn’t mean that I won’t ever get there eventually. So, until then, I will simply take solace in the fact that this is a struggle many writers(-to-be) face.

“[…] he had the vision necessary to write, but he needed to discover the method that could translate ethereal clouds of thought into written word”

quote on Jack Kerouac – one of my favourite authors – finding his writing style from Dennis McNally’s book Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, The Beat Generation, and America

Here I am again. I don’t know how many ‘blogging comebacks’ I’ve already had and quite frankly I wouldn’t want to know. I keep coming back to it though because I actually really love it. And once more I’ve told myself to be more driven and committed to my blog. Maybe I’ll keep it up this time, maybe I won’t. But for now the plan is to settle into some sort of routine and get back to posting more regularly.

Not much has happened since my last post. I’m in the midst of graduating from university – I finished my last semester in June and now I’m writing on my B.A. papers which isn’t exactly fun. Sometimes I wonder whether writing indeed is the career path I should pursue given that I do not enjoy writing papers for uni at all. As to what I want to do after graduation I have no clue whatsoever. I do have ideas of what I’d possibly like to do but still got a lot of figuring out to do.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to concentrating on blogging some more in the next few weeks. There are a lot of books I’ve recently read that I want to write about, maybe I’ll talk a bit more about what has happened with uni in the past months (*hint: lots of procrastination, one failed exam, many sleepless nights, demotivation, moments when I seriously considered dropping out*), or what my plans for the future are.

x,

Lauren

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Also, I failed to mention that this is what the typical “summer day” looked like for me this year

 

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.

Bruce Lee

I find that to be very true. At least it applies to me. As a constant worrier, I usually ponder over things on my mind, whether and how I should approach something daunting and then go on to devise plans, which I hardly ever see through. Recently I’ve become a bit more spontaneous and impulsive but, most importantly, more confident in my own judgement. Whether it’s a new activity I want to try out, a club I want to join, a job I want to apply to, my main advice to myself is to just do it. Just do it…you’ll eventually figure it all out.

source: http://srainwater.com/

Back to Blogging, Summer’s Finally Here & Vacation Plans :)

Back to Blogging, Summer’s Finally Here & Vacation Plans :)
taken at my uni: amazing view from the rooftop terrace
taken at my uni: amazing view from the rooftop terrace

I’M BACK! After a whole month without posting, I’m finally back. I just finished my semester last Friday and now I’m officially on summer break from Uni.The last month was filled with finals and presentations, and while I still have term papers to write, I’m positive I’ll be able to blog more again :) There are also several things right now I’m quite excited about:

1) Summer’s Here

It's finally safe to wear open-toe shoes :)
It’s finally safe to wear open-toe shoes :)

Following weeks of cold and rain, summer, warmth, and sunshine are finally here (to stay, hopefully). In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about and why sunny days in July should be a source of excitement – where I live, in Austria, you cannot simply expect to have more than 2-3 weeks of real summer. Therefore, I’m pretty thrilled and try to soak it all in before it’s gone.

My balcony flowers are bloomingly alive again!!
My balcony flowers are bloomingly alive again!!

2) Vacation Plans

This year I didn’t really plan on going anywhere abroad for vacation, not because I didn’t want to but I was simply to caught up with everything else that what I was going to do during the summer sort of got forgotten. Also, as I’ve just started a new job, I thought I might not be able to go on holiday but everything’s worked out and I’ll spend the week right after my birthday at the beach!

3) The Big 2-0

I’m turning 20 this month!! Not sure why I’m still excited over birthdays, especially when shortly before them I’m usually completely demotivated and leave any sort of planning until the last minute. But so far I am looking forward to that, too.

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That’s all from me right now! New post soon, I promise ;)

x