Part I: The silence before the storm

Crystal Castle - expectation hangover

This is Part I of a little mini series where I try to share with you how I came from trying to fulfill everyone’s expectations to setting my own rules and started to not only breathe but live.

My story starts shortly after high school. I was a decent student and until I took part in a school project of the Boston Consulting Group I thought I wanted to be a fashion writer, having lived in Italy for a year. After this school project was finished I wanted to become rich and powerful and that very fast so I decided to go after traineeship programmes or dual study programmes as I will call them.

I started the dual study programme right after high school or the german equivalent Gymnasium. I was lucky enough to get accepted already in January of the year I took my A-levels so that I was calm and relaxed during the prep time and the exams, because I knew what the next big step after school would be.

I like to know what the next step is, or least that’s how I used to roll.

A quick word about my dual study programme, there are many different combinations for this but the essence is that the company pays your study fees at least in part at a university that specialises in education for full-time employees. The model at the company I worked at was that you started the studies right away, but for the first two years of the program you are a normal apprentice. After getting your degree as an industrial clerk you would get a regular full-time position while still taking university classes and exams in the evening and on weekends.

Having a major Expectation Hangover

During the apprenticeship, which was a federal regulated one and therefore had to comply with all the guidelines from the chambers of commerce, I had to work in many not so interesting departments. I was tremendously bored already at my first department which was IT.  When the holiday season came and almost the whole department had taken off, the remaining staffer had so much work to do that he could only mutter a quick good morning when I entered the office and didn’t even notice when I left.

One day I actually contemplated taking a nap in the office of the head of the department. But as he also was the union rep I figured that anyone wanting to speak with him would just enter his office. It would not have made for a great start to be caught napping at work.

I did this a year later in an even more boring department. I think that someone entered, saw me napping and quietly close the door again. That’s the off-site production department’s work ethic for you 😉

The study part wasn’t as demanding or interesting or international as I thought it would be, but every semester I would tell myself that it would get better eventually,  when suddenly the programme was already half done. That’s when the sum of university fees I would have had to pay back, as I had signed a restitution contract, became too high, therefore I continued. After I finished my apprenticeship I was able to get a very interesting full-time position within a newly formed department of our yet to be founded energy market division.

As this position came with a nice paycheck and I had my heart set on moving out of my mum’s flat, I  continued to schlepp myself towards the end of the studies.

This is part of a series of posts, Part II will be uploaded next week

I borrowed the phrase Expectation Hangover, from Christine Hassler’s book 20 Something Manifesto: Quarter-Lifers Speak Out About Who They Are, What They Want, and How to Get It
This book helped me a lot during the process of changing my attitude towards life. And the phrase, which she trademarked and I hopefully won’t get any angry lawyer letters for using it, just sums it up perfectly what it felt like to hae all your expectations crashed by the harsh reality.

picture courtesy of nikki
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Holy Moly I did it – the big step that changed my life

Not my granddad's garden, but it looks pretty similiar

Holy Moly, I did it !

I did it, i turned my life upside down, quit my job, moved back to my hometown to live with my granddad. And the odds of getting into my favourite grad school, any grad school at all, turn out to become smaller any day that’s passing. {Update I did get into one!}

Doing it right

I always figured that I did everything right, in “their” mind whoever you want “them” to be. And almost immediately I hated it. Half a year before I even finished high school, I got the offer of a “dual studies” programme with a coal-trading company. I happily took it, being the type A personality that I was back then and needing the security of knowing what the next step would be.

When I started this programme consisting of an apprenticeship for the first two years and after that a full-time position within the company, all while going to university lectures 2-3 times in the evening and on most Saturdays, I immediately hated it. I didn’t like the general management stuff they taught us at university and I felt not needed and bored during the apprenticeship.

After convincing myself that I just needed an adjustment phase and that afterwards the big career I always wanted during high school would await me. Money to buy Jimmy Choos, get a BMW Z8, fancy designer clothes, etc. Needless to say when I envisioned that I was a clueless high schooler, pumped up on talk about the demographic shift and how we are the Generation that can choose their employers freely.

After sometime I just couldn’t take it any more and I started to plan my “escape” (I will blog about the detailed process in an upcoming mini series)

Now that I have “escaped” and things do not go according to plan, again, I still feel calm. I am full of confidence in my decision, my future, and most important of all, I am full of confidence in myself.

That is when I don’t get a letter of decline from a grad school that I thought to be a sure candidate….

But after watching bad TV for an entire day and nearly crying in the car, the next day I was okay again. Now I am sitting here in my new favourite spot to write, in my granddad’s big garden and…

I am so happy and proud of me that I did it, that I let go of my unfullfilling day job and started anew.

moi pink

PS: I wrote this piece while on my blogging-hiatus so it’s probably a bit confusing. Because I did get into grad school after all, but I just wanted to share this article with you nonetheless.

picture courtesy of jour de pluie via Ilorias hub

111 days to change my life

Change-your-life

Picture courtesy of DamonFizzy

Yesterday I lay in bed and was angry with myself for not having done any work for university and stuffing my face with any food I could find in order to justify not doing anything, because duh I was eating…

So I lay there and I got so mad at myself I was about to punch myself but then a tiny thought crept into my mind.

What if I finally change my approach to tackling daring tasks?

Instead of putting them off until further notice or until shit hits the fan I would just do it and stop being afraid of failing before I even start. The sad thing is, I had this approach when I changed my life and made the decision to go to grad school, despite having an okayish job that paid very well. I was so energetic back then, but the anxious waitng before I got accepted and the overwhelming fear of being to dumb for University it just paralyses me again. Same goes with this blog, I put off writing for so long because I was too ashamed to open up about this overwhelming fear of failing. But I am done with this, or at least I try to beat it. As they so nicely put it in yesterdays episode of New Girl (Season 3 Episode 8 – Menus)

Either you are a doer or a dumpling !

And as I am a little list obsessed and love deadlines I immediately checked an ancient app I got on my phoen called “Days until” to check how many days are there left until my 25th birthday, because gals this number is secrectly freaking me out. What a nice sruprise it was to see that I had 111 days left until my birthday.

What a magical number so I am taking the next 111 days to change my life, with the main goal of stopping to be so afraid of failure and a more detailed list will follow shortly!

I hope I can get some of you back to reading my stuff even after my long blogging hiatus and the sad fact that there will be no more Work Wardrobe Wednesday posts, as I am no longer working.

Temporarily Out of Order

taking a breakPicture courtesy of Matheus

Hey you gals,

I am sorry to announce a temporary blogging pause, but as I am approaching the last weeks of my employment there are still so many projects that I don’t want to leave unfinished and the 10+ hours workdays are taking up all of my energy.

The little rest I have left is going towards organising my move back home, but more on that once I will have gotten Internet connection installed at my grandpas house.

I hope to be back in the blogosphere around mid July.

Road tripping

vw käfer_road trip

Picture courtesy of Tumblr

Hey you gals (my try of a new salutation, converting the generic maskulinum in a generic femininum, do you like it?) when you read this I am off to the north looking at a university with a friend of mine who quit her job as well to pursue a master’s degree. Before we get to the university we will make a stop-over in another student town where we hope to get certified copies of all our documents, needed for the university applications. If we are lucky, they won’t ask us if we are from that town and get them for free. It’s worth a try as it also costs half of what they charge here. I plan to apply all over the country as my chance of getting into a master’s degree seems pretty slim as I do not have enough credits in math subjects. I even contemplated applying for a bachelor and get me the math credits on the side…

Anyways I am really looking forward to this little road trip. I have been stuck at home for a long time and I think there is nothing better than a little trip to let your everyday worries disappear, and there have been a lot of them around lately…

moi pink

The Post in which I properly introduce myself

I have made it through some troubled times and now that I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel I want you to share my way towards an independent and self-determined life. I have no idea where this path will take me yet, but I am finally confident that I will be able to make it no matter what.

In this blog I will recount how I took matters in to my own hand and started to live, not only breathe”

That’s what it says, as of today, on my about page.
Whenever I am not as melodramatic as above I am generally up for any shenanigans and like to try new things.

Trying something new 2 years ago led me to start Poledancing. It has been an incredible experience, I was never opposed to sports but didn’t do any regular sports activities since I had to quit horseback riding when I was a teenager. Poledancing reconnected me with my body and gave me a lot of self-confidence, even though I wouldn’t mention it to my boss, the co-workers I am closest with had to endure many talks and video-presentations of myself on the pole in the tea  kitchen. Oftentimes interrupted when a more distant co-worker or someone from management entered the room…

I have to see how I can continue my sport once I will move out of my apartment. This leads me to the point where I will tell you a bit about my current state of being.

You guys, I am in a major life transition !

When I thought about starting this blog, in like 2009, I already wanted to change my life. But as I am kind of chicken shit when it comes to loosing my fix and secure income, I waited until shit hit the fan to take some action. Obviously my first action was to get myself a therapist as I couldn’t get up in the mornings and dreaded going to work. Strangely whenever I was at work I felt okay, it was just the thought of going there that paralyzed me. But I guess being at work and being around people and getting some human contact was very helpful when living alone and knowing nobody in the city I was working and living in. As much as I hate to admit it , human kind and therefore me too is a social animal .

But back to the life transition, I already quit my job, the flat as well, and am currently applying for Master degrees.  I already planned a series about my transition, now I’ll just have to kick procrastination in the ass and take the idea from paper to an actual post (Yes, even though I am planning on becoming a blogger I still scribble things on paper)

So therefore we’ll continue with what I imagine to be a cute and quirky description of myself, some cringe factors included 😉 BTW what would be an accurate translation for the german word “Fremdschämen” ?

I am a poledancing bibliophile, I love the opera but have been so obsessed with jersey shore at one point that I seriously considered flying to Florence when they where shooting there.
Luckily I had exams to write and no more vacation days left.

Although my projections and plans for this blog still change nearly every day ( and change the most whenever I am only thinking and not writing…) I want this blog to be about my transition from the conventional, secure career path in life that I chose in high school to a more self-determined and personal life. Not only breathing but living !

moi pink