When I enter my cold Berlin apartment after spending the Christmas holidays at my parent’s house, I immediately throw my bag on the bed and start unpacking. After all those years (10, to be precise) and train rides between Berlin and Bavaria, I still suck at packing bags appropriately. So many redundancies! The water colors I bring every time, as well as the sketchbook, that is left unopened during the whole stay. The stack of unread New Yorker issues—who is actually able to read that much every week?! The shirts and jumpers I wanted to wear but didn’t, as I hardly left the house and spent the holidays in my comfortable sweatpants. And the ugly brooches I bought for everyone but forgot to hand out on Christmas eve. It all goes back into the drawers and shelves. And like those brooches, some things are meant to be left behind in 2019 entirely.
I just finished my yearly review lists, asking myself: What was good? What wasn’t so good? What was missing in 2019, and what do I need more of in 2020? It was easy to make these lists this year. I learned to identify and get rid of stuff that does no good for me (it just took a lot of therapy and a bunch of breakdowns to learn that). But I got it now. Or, let’s say: I got better at it! Cheers to that!
In 2019, I wrote a brief essay on the things I wanted to focus on: More excellence regarding my work; taking up more space regarding myself; and allowing more feelings regarding … my LIFE, I guess?! Well, essay comes from the french verb “essayer”; to try, and that I did. Most of the time. I didn’t become a master of any of these things, but at least I managed to remind myself about them throughout the year. I even allowed myself to be less excellent in certain situations, or take up more space than I would usually, or cry (!!!) while watching a movie; or presenting an honest indifference towards things that didn’t interest me. Or, simply, remembering to hug someone extra hard when it was necessary. (This, in particular, is something I want more of in 2020, that’s for sure.)
What I enjoyed watching, reading and thinking about during the past months:
- I admittedly was surprised that the German Queer Eye spin-off by the Berlin public tv station RBB actually turned out really nice and, thanks to Fabian Hart, is really wholesome and not cringeworthy at all. You can find the three episodes on the ARD Mediathek (in German).
- My Twitter feed has been full of hate and destructive arguments lately, so I decided to pause Twitter for a couple of days. I made a list of a small number of people I actually wanted to follow, and until now I don’t miss any of the rest.
- Doris Dörrie wrote a book about Writing, and even though I haven’t read it yet, I started writing again, on paper, everyday, just for myself. It’s true what she says: 10 minutes of writing can be a cheap, easy and relieving journey back to yourself. Give it a try.
- I also wrote about salad. I just had to get this off my chest, really.
- I took the Dazed 2010’s Subculture Quiz and—surprise—my subculture is Normcore. What’s yours?
So, that was 2019 then. Unpacking bags, re-arranging shelves, deleting candids and duplicates in my Photos library, and making lists clearly clears the mind. I hope this brief note finds you well while switching decade. The upcoming year already has a bunch of exciting changes that I can foresee, and I am looking forward to sharing them with you. Stay safe and sound and let’s hug extremely hard when we see each other next time.
This issue’s title is borrowed from: WHY? – Stained Glass Slipper (Listen on Spotify or Apple Music). By the way: You can subscribe to these diary-like posts via e-mail! It’s my newsletter Christel’s Corner. Get it here!