You don’t spark joy

Über Hannes Soltau und seine Meinung zu Marie Kondo

Etwas verspätet öffnete ich die Sonntagsausgabe des Taggesspiegels und sah die Frau, die aktuell überall zu sehen ist: Marie Kondo.

“Does this spark joy”, höre ich irgendwo aus meiner Erinnerung und las die Unterschrift: ZWEI MEINUNGEN Ein Pro & Contra zum neuen Aufräumhype.

Na das wird klingt schon spannender, sagte ich mir und blätterte auf Seite 3. Ich habe aufgehört zu zählen, wie viele Menschen mir insgesamt das Buch von Marie Kondo empfohlen haben. “Es hat mein Leben so verändert”, versuchten Freundinnen es mir anzudrehen. Als dann die Netflix Serie erschien, hätte ich kotzen können. In einem niemals zu enden wollenden Strom aus Nachricht empfahl mir gefühlt jeder die Konmari Technik. I get it, your fucking socks are folded.

Ihr seht, ein Fan bin ich beim Besten willen nicht. Aus diesem Grund war ich umso neugieriger eine Meinung zu lesen, die ebenfalls den Aufräumhype kritisiert. Zu meiner Enttäuschung wurden keine Glücksfunken in mir entfacht und ich frage mich, ob ich die Zeitung hätte begrüßen sollen, bevor ich sie las.

“Und [meine Oma] hätte auch Marie Kondo geliebt. Allein wegen des eingefrorenen Dauerlächelns, um das herum jegliches menschliche Mienenspiel unter einer zentimeterdicken Kosmetikschicht verschwindet.”

Was Soltau in seinem Text zusammen kratzt, kritisiert entweder Kondos Aussehen oder irgendwelche Annahmen, die nichts mit der Konmari Technik gemein haben. Hier wird Marie Kondo mit Minimalismus gleichgestellt, weil offenbar die Zeit für Recherchearbeit nicht reichte.

Weswegen Soltau die Entsorgen von Kinderfotos und Liebesbriefe mit Konmari verbindet, bleibt nämlich schleierhaft. “Spiegeln sich darin doch Erinnerungen und Erfahrungen”, argumentiert der Autor. Ganz richtig, und diese finden in der Konmari Technik auch ihren Platz. Jeder Mensch entscheidet selbst, welche Objekte Freude bereiten und welche nicht. Sollten die Liebesbriefe Glücksfunken in uns entfachen, so müssen wir sie auch nicht entsorgen. Zu dem Zusatz des Autors, dass Erinnerungen auch dann wichtig seien, wenn sie schmerzhaft sind, kann ich nur folgendes sagen: ich brauche bestimmt kein Foto meines Stalker Ex-Freundes in meiner Schublade, nur damit ich diese Lektion fürs Leben nicht vergesse.

Ja, auch ich mag mein kleines Chaos und auch ich fühle mich in einer kargen Wohnung wie die von Kondo eventuell nicht wohl. Muss man aber so weit gehen und gehässige Kommentare zum Aussehen machen? Eh… thank you next.

In dem Sinne fasse ich halte ich diese Seite 3 der Zeitung ein letztes Mal in meiner Hand, sage “Danke” und werfe sie auf den Berg Papier, den ich so bald erst mal nicht entsorgen werde.
(Ich mag Aufräumen vielleicht nicht feiern, aber die Memes zu Marie Kondo finde ich super.)

A text per day- My fear of creating shit

Not every creation has to fulfil great expectations. It might be bitter, but most of my texts will stay trivial and meaningless. I don’t care.
I am free to create for the sake of creation itself. Despite all the shallow words, I do feel more at peace and sane when writing.

A meaningful piece of work does not come overnight. It starts with a vague intuition and will grow with enough care and attention. The first draft is never perfect- it’s not supposed to be. Never.
The difference between the draft and the finished work is the process in between. Re-definition and improvement are only helpful if I allow flaws to become visible. Neglecting the imperfection of my vision means suffocating the chance of innovation.

Decisions and ideas can change their form at any stage. If guidelines aren’t helping anymore, I am free to toss them aside. A rule without purpose is nothing but an unnecessary weight on a long journey.

This text is written today and might lose it’s relevance tomorrow but so be it. I find peace in forming these sentences and phrases. This draft of many has no claim for perfection.

Even though my texts are going to be short or poorly written, my wish to create is bigger than the fear of ridicule.

The common mistake of overestimating your own relevance


As an admirer of design and poetry, I feel ashamed for reading and (occasionally) agreeing with these cheesy pictures.
The quotes have the poetic quality of fortune cookies, are poorly designed and popular on Tumblr. No matter how blatantly trivial the statement is: Sometimes they fit very well.

When taken for granted people often experience a lack of appreciation. Their kindness and care have become a standard while the work and effort behind are left without credit. Obviously, this imbalance is problematic and will lead to conflict sooner or later. Whether this is reminding on an ex-partner, a former friends or even family member: The motivation to support people shrinks drastically in the face of ungratefulness.

It’s weird. With autumn being around the corner and the weather growing colder I found myself becoming harsher as well. As if trying to compete with the trees shedding their leaves, I am eagerly cutting people out of my life. The last weeks have been undoubtedly tough but the stress helped me to open my eyes. Some people are straight up shit. Like so shit that I have really no reason for keeping them in my life.
The story in short: While I made an effort to support these people as good as I can, I did not have the impression of gaining much of the friendship apart from disappointment, weak excuses and empty promises. I am currently struggling with many things at once and I do not have any energy to spare. Especially not for people who are hardly trying to be useful. Fuck them.
This time the overall conclusion was very very simple: Bye.
It is a practice I do on a regular basis since keeping my environment healthy is just too important. Moreover, it is a question of efficiency as well.

How dare I?

To make this perfectly clear: these cuts never come suddenly. I give warning shots on different occasions. The final decision of letting people go is always a conclusion of incidents in the past.
On good days I try to give people a fair and useful description of why I am tired of them.
On bad days I keep it very short.
On very bad days I tell them to fuck off.

Do you know that is very funny though? Sometimes people have the damn audacity to try convincing me that I do a grave mistake. As if I am about to lose something precious.

“You can always text me if you change your mind.”
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
“It would be a shame to end things like this.”

Ok, so first of all, no. Just a big NO.

Why on fucking earth should I want to endure this attitude much longer? It is obviously god damn easy saying this from their position. You had no disadvantage from the friendship and are in fact losing a useful toy here.
It’s pretty much asking: “Yo dude, you sure you don’t want to do some emotional labour for absolutely nothing in return?” (Surprise the answer is still no.)
I fail to see what I gain from changing my mind. Where is the value of this relationship? What makes it worth all the shit?

To me, it feels as if we have two different judgements colliding here. While one party feels unappreciated, the other sees hardly a problem in the current dynamic. For them, the friendship has been functioning before and still is. Reading this choice as a mistake is oddly logical.
It does not change anything about my feelings though. No matter how much fun and laughter I have shared with people: In the end, it has little meaning to me if strangers can easily replace them. How am I supposed to make the world a better place when my well-being comes too short? It is not my job to teach people about being a good friend to me.

Ghost In The Mirror

Ghost in the Mirror

Mirror selfie in the bathroom

It is a lie if to say that I always do what is best for my body. There are times when sleep becomes optional or even a luxury, caffeine or energy drinks worthy substitutes and meals turn into rushed snack breaks. Habits like this leave traces and it was just recently when I saw them for the first time.

It was during a shift in the museum when I went to the bathroom. While washing my hands at the sink I saw the picture in the mirror and was startled. For the first time, I saw a woman in the mirror instead of the usual girl. I could also see that she was very tired. Her skin was pale and blue veins are shining underneath. Her eyes were slightly swollen and lying within dark circles. Her hair that was once luscious and thick had gone dry. The shimmer that reminded of raindrops in the night disappeared and got replaced by thin threads of silver.
Yes, things changed but she wouldn’t say that life had solely taken things from her, that is not true. With all these years gone by, she might have lost the softness in her features. Her face got slimmer, cheekbones higher and the jawline more defined. She prefers it that way it. She likes her edgy face much better. However, even without the puffy cheeks, she had been failing to see something else than a girl in her reflexion before.

While standing here in the fluorescent light of the bathroom she finally saw a new side of herself. A pair of black eyes gave you a cold stare, cold enough to make you feel uneasy. She learned the many ways to speak with her eyes but the kindness did not disappear, no, it was simply now used more wisely. “It is important”, she thought, “to make people understand how you feel. Especially when you are upset with them.”

The naive spring glow has vanished from her smile. In fact, she never liked dishonest smiles that do nothing but please others. Her edges are evidence that she had lived, learned and grew. Heartbreaks, disappointment and betrayal shaped her and some bitterness has definitely found its way into her heart. However, life has also taught her to recognise kindness when it came across her path. It also taught her what she really wants: certainty and a meaning. When she laughs now it is because she was truly happy, it was not fake. Her smile should be warm as the golden light of a late summer sun. Her shoulders should be strong for all the sorrows that may come for her friends. Yes, life has also made her strong. It is a strength that is in her, a strength that does not need to be proven.

Still observing my own picture in the mirror, I realised that I simply stopped pretending to be something I am not. Yes, my body became frail and thinner – how is it supposed not to? My bony chest and my hollow face do not look healthy. My body looks as if it is about to fall apart at any moment and this is exactly how I feel inside. I do not feel well and I won’t hide it. Authenticity became more important than keeping up a lie. Being pretty means nothing if it is not sincere.

Displaced Trust: A painful lesson


Photo: Jenny L.

Only a few things hurt more than a loved person letting you down. Whether it is your significant other, your best friend or even your own family: it hurts, maybe not so much physically but emotionally.

My trust does not come easily and I am sceptical towards most people. A friend who hurts you – even if it’s unintended – feels more gruesome and painful than usual. It is because we were neither prepared nor protected for this fall.
We call people friends and we keep them close for a reason. Ironically, it is that very reason why these moments leave us paralyzed.

I always thought I was a good judge of character and can see through lies. It seems that my vision gets clouded when I have invested a certain amount of trust in people. Why so? Calling somebody a friend – especially close friends – comes with many responsibilities. You tend to be more honest with each other, caring and protective. These are the differences between your friends and a brief acquaintance.

Would I call a person I just met last Sunday when I am having a panic attack? Probably not. The idea of presenting myself that vulnerable to a stranger doesn’t seem pleasant. I guess this is also one reason why therapy tends to needs some time until it progresses: Opening up to somebody we don’t know (yet) and therefore don’t trust is hard. In other words, the act of building trust in a person is a form of work by overcoming your own distrusting nature.

There is a reason why I don’t burst into tears when the bus driver was rude to me this morning. During the day I am aware that I will need some wall to protect me from unfairness. It is sad but the reality we live in. On the contrary, I had tears many times when a friend said something equally rude in the heat of a discussion.

Besides the trust and love we feel, we also see a set of expectations towards our friend. Or maybe it’s just me. I tend to assume that my friends and I have similar values. Whatever I would do for them I like to believe they would do the same for me. This concept of mirrored devotion does not work. The abilities that I have and the circumstances I’m living in are not the same as the ones my friends face. We are different and I forget about it. This concept is meant to disappoint. When you build up a set of expectations on this theory it can differ from the reality a lot.
I guess I need to look at it from a different point of view: How is the other person supposed to know the extent of my devotion if we never talked about it? Therefore, how is the other person supposed to know what I expect from them?

With that in mind, I try to recover from my current disappointment. Somewhere torn between “This just can’t be true! This is a big misunderstanding!” and “Wow, that person was my friend and did it anyway.” I try to evaluate what happened. For now, I feel that my expectations were too high and my trust not really justified. I feel stupid and I started to doubt my own judgement in the oddest moments now.

If friendship was a game then my expectations were its rules and I believed that my friends and I were both following them. Seeing it that way it reminded me a lot of the following quote from Peter Pan:

“Not the pain of this but its unfairness was what dazed Peter. It made him quite helpless. He could only stare, horrified. Every child is affected thus the first time he is treated unfairly. […] After you have been unfair to him he will love you again, but he will never afterwards be quite the same boy. No one ever gets over the first unfairness; no one except Peter.” ― J.M. Barrie