Looking back on 2015

It’s been a couple of months (years?) since I told you guys what’s actually going on in my life, so I’m gonna jump on yet another bandwagon. 2015 was a fantastic year, overall. I’m still struggling with a lot of things, but I’m so happy with where I am in life and where it seems I’m going. So follow me on my journey back through 2015!

January

looking back on 2015 - january { f.l.t.r.:  New Year’s fireworks / Fav graphic novel /
Taking a stand against Pegida / HOLY SHIT SNOW }

The year was off to an incredibly quiet start. Anna was staying over at my place, we were watching Let’s Plays, and at midnight I dashed outside to the balcony to my (now former) flatmates, wished them a Happy New Year, watched the fireworks, and went back inside. January is always a bit hard for me – most of what gets me through the cold and dreary winter months are the Christmas lights, that are usually all taken down in January, leaving everything horribly grey. And cold. I froze my butt off at the rally against Pegida (y’know, the racist organisation in Germany who claims Muslims are invading our country and stealing our culture …). Worth it anyway. I think around 11,000 people attended? As long as refugee homes are burning, things like these are important.

February

looking back on 2015 - february{ Photoshoot in a local park / birthday selfies /
planner doodles / “studying” in the library }

February is my birthday month! I turned 24 this year and got something I’d been longing for for years: my family pitched in together to get me a DSLR! I’m in love with this baby. I’ve since taken it on many photo walks (though I’m still in dire need of a lot of practice, yikes) and have started a YouTube channel. YouTube especially has been so much fun! Although I wasn’t able to stick with a weekly video routine, making videos has helped me in so many ways, to gain more confidence, practise spoken English more, or just develop my creativity.
My birthday was spent with my best friend Anna and my (now) flatmate Zoe, who made the day unforgettable. I love those girls so much. We went to Wobu, one of my favourite restaurants in Bielefeld, who make one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. It was around this time that I decided to become vegetarian, at least to try it out. So far, I’ve only eaten meat on three occasions since then.

March

looking back on 2015 - march{ re-decorating my room / one of my fave outfits /
the Sparrenburg / first dentist visit in a while }

I used some of my birthday money to start re-decorating my room a bit. It’s actually taken a couple of months, but now, at the end of the year, I can actually say I’m pretty much done and have my room the way I want it to be. Almost. But just getting that shelf you can see in the picture helped an awful lot, as it brought a lot of calm into the room (and gave me storage space). During March, one of my friends visited me from Hamburg. As is kind of tradition (translation: I drag all my visitors there), we went to the local animal park Olderdissen, which is open 24/7 and homes different animals that can be found in the wild in Germany (or used to be found here, before they became endangered).
After getting a push from my therapist, I also went to the dentist for the first time in (gulp) three years. And would you know it, three of my wisdom teeth had holes. Noooooo. I ended up getting all four of them removed in April. Very glad I made that decision, they’d been bugging me for quite a while, because my jaw wasn’t exactly big enough to keep them all (I don’t even know why I didn’t get them out earlier. Well no. I do know. Stupid procrastinating scaredy-cat, that’s why.) That being said, I desperately need to make a new dentist appointment for a check up. I always forget.

April

looking back on 2015 - April{ First Lush purchase / stuck on a rail replacement bus /
Anna’s birthday cocktail / a friend’s cat }

April sparked my addiction for Lush. I don’t even remember where or when or why I decided to buy something, but I opted for Ro’s Argan body conditioner. It’s something that you can use in the shower instead of moisturising afterwards and has since become popular with brands like Nivea and Dove as well, I think. Loved it. Hella expensive though. But Lush is worth every cent.
I went to see Traded Pilots, one of my favourite bands, play in Köln. That trip ended up being a huge disaster though; there was a fault with the signals and my train was cancelled, had to wait for over an hour for a replacement bus, which then of course proceeded to take about twice as long as the train would have, and instead of being an hour early for the gig, I ended up an hour or so late and only got to see the last twenty minutes. The chat with them afterwards was well worth it though. Can’t wait for that trio to be back on tour soon.
I only barely managed to get my train back and stayed overnight at a friend’s place with the fluffiest cat imaginable.
Anna turned 20 this year (my lil bby) and invited us to a bar in Osnabrück for cocktails. Sometimes I find it kind of ridiculous to pay >6€ for  a glorified fruit juice (I don’t drink alcohol so it’s all virgin cocktails for me), but you do what you gotta do to celebrate, right?

May
looking back on 2015 - May

{ Supporting a friend’s band / Besties! /
Japantag 2015 / Quinoa Burger at Wilde Kuh }

I’ve also managed to see some local bands this year; Anna is friends with a band that took part in the SPH Bandcontest, one of which was in Bielefeld. There was some quite unique talent on there, it’s fascinating.
At the end of May, we went to the Japantag in Düsseldorf, as we’ve done the year before as well. The photo was taken before Düsseldorf decided to put on a torrential downpour that wouldn’t really stop for the next couple of hours – of course none of us had taken any umbrellas with us so we ended up completely soaked. I really didn’t enjoy the Japantag this year. The weather was horrible, as was the food. Next year we need to be better prepared in all regards.
Sometime this month I tried out a new restaurant in Bielefeld with my mum; Wilde Kuh is a place that specialises on burgers and kumpir (basically really fancy baked potatoes). I’m always a bit disappointed when there’s only one veggie burger option on the menu, but the quinoa burger they had was really good. I mean, the patty fell apart completely, as quinoa does, but I really didn’t mind. The taste’s what counts, and that was A++.

June
looking back on 2015 - June

{ Seeing Jurassic World in cinemas / flatmate’s roses /
local band / selfie at a friend’s party }

It only needed one stupid film about dinosaurs to remind me how much I actually love those giant lizards. Let’s be real, the film was pretty … ahem … trashy … but I couldn’t not love it. I sold my soul to Blue. Since then I’ve spiralled back into my full-blown dinosaur obsession. And I have absolutely no regrets.
My old flatmates moved out in June (their maximum lease was up – I’m living in student halls and we’re allowed to live here for 4 years max), and in moved one of my friends. Another one too, technically, but he didn’t properly move in until a couple of weeks later. This was definitely one of the biggest (and best) changes of the year. I liked my old flatmates as well, but it’s a lot different to live with people you actually have something in common with and that you’re close friends with. I couldn’t imagine better flatmates than I have right now.
I also saw that friend’s band. Again. In Münster this time. And my friend Kathi had a little birthday get together, that I actually left kind of early because I wasn’t feeling terribly well.

July

looking back on 2015 - July

{ New job! / friend’s birthday BBQ /
flat’s coming together / it. is. hot. }

I really wouldn’t have thought it would ever happen, but in July I finally got myself a lil job. I started as a proof reader at a publisher of magazines on renewable energies, where I proof read  the English edition and manage the events pages. It’s been challenging, not gonna lie, just to get used to an office environment (and constantly worrying if you’re doing a good enough job), but I have amazing colleagues and really enjoy working there. Although I’m wondering if I will ever actually understand the subjects I’m reading about. 😀
More friends had their birthday parties this year (you don’t say?), and Daniel did another barbecue outside again. Sooo much good food. Since Daniel himself is vegan and a couple of others were as well, there were quite a few vegetarian options apart from just boring sausages, which was absolutely amazing. I’m actually enjoying barbecues a lot more since I’ve become a vegetarian, because I tend to put a lot more effort into making veggie skewers and salads.
Summer was also kinda difficult for me as usual, because I don’t deal well with heat. Of course I got a lot of comments making fun of me for cancelling on plans repeatedly, which … y’know. I wish people would just shut up please thank you.

August

looking back on 2015 - August

{ Me in Camden / Natural History Museum /
Regent Street / Camden again }

I’ve decided there was absolutely nothing else more interesting in August than our trip to London, so there you go. We went with a friend of Anna’s from Vienna and stayed in an Airbnb flat. Not gonna lie, that place was kind of a dump. It was absolutely okay for the price, especially in London and a pretty central location, but after 6 nights I was more than happy to leave that bed behind me.
Somehow this trip frustrated me, because I felt like I didn’t make use of it enough. I think Anna and Hanna largely felt the same, which kind of makes me feel like it might have been my fault, because both had successful/fun London trips without me in the past. Heh. Or maybe sticking three introverts with anxiety issues together for 7 days wasn’t the best idea out there. ;P

September

looking back on 2015 - September

{ Connichi in Kassel / Schlösschen Bielefeld /
new phooone / hello there }

The things I do for love. My dearest, dearest friend Anna made me cosplay her OTP with her. May I introduce you to female versions of Nagisa Hazuki and Rei Ryugazaki of Free! ? Yeah, you’re welcome. My wig is a mess, but this was basically my first cosplay, soooo … ‘s all good? The connichi was a rainy mess as well – climate change, people, climate chaaaange~ (not that it’s very unusual for a day in September to be rainy, but y’know. Climate change.) – but we made the best of it. I’m not incredibly interested in anime to begin with and usually just go to stare at cosplayers and listen to Anna gushing about animes I forget the titles of immediately, but it’s always a nice trip.
I also made a bit of a habit to go to the cutest little café in Bielefeld, the Schlösschen. It’s the daintiest little place with very lovely staff, and lots of vegan cakes. And just a drop away from my job!
I also splurged a bit and got myself a new phone, unfortunately only a couple of weeks before the 5s was hugely discounted. I felt so stupid, and I’m still not really over that money that I basically wasted! Getting that phone was a really good idea though, I love it; especially having so much more storage space. (And my phone case. Oh my god that phone case.)

October

looking back on 2015 - October

{ Fall Out Boy in Düsseldorf / bagel at Goodies in Essen /
uni starts again / Metric in Köln }

I went to two big(ish) concerts this month, woop! One of them was actually in a stadium, so I’m guessing that counts as a big concert. FOB is Anna’s favourite band (or one of them, rather), soo again I kind of just tagged along. Don’t get me wrong, I like FOB as well, but in hindsight, I don’t think I need to see them live again. It was good, really good actually, but I’ve seen better. Maybe I’m just not a big enough fan.
The Metric concert in Köln, on the other hand, was an experience. I’ve loved this band for six years, since my ex introduced me to them, and this is the first chance I had to see them live. I almost didn’t go, because of the usual headache of catching the last train back home, but I ended up going anyway, and I’m so, so glad I did. I’m kinda sad I didn’t manage to pick up a vinyl of their latest album, though.
I discovered that there was a veganz in Essen, including a Goodies, which is a vegan café that I’ve known for years from my trips to Berlin. I went to check it out, and since then Essen has become my new go-to city to go shopping when it comes to shops we don’t have around here (like Kiko, Lush, Hema and Primark. And Goodies.)
As usual, October also meant that uni was starting again. I’m in my fifth semester now, which makes me feel so … old. Also underachieving. Theoretically, this is supposed to be my penultimate semester. Weell .. it’s not going to be. But that’s okay. I’m taking all the time I need to get through this with my health and sanity (relatively) intact. 🙂

November

looking back on 2015 - November

{ I bought a uke! / Pray for Paris /
Off to see Mockingjay Pt 2 / Journalistentag NRW }

Last year, for Christmas 2014, I asked my dad to help me pick a ukulele (because he knows his music stuff). Due to some … planning issues (including one visit I specifically made so we’d check out a shop and he just went “oh no we’re not gonna be able to do that today, was that important?” – thanks, Dad), months went by and I was still uke-less. One day in November I just had enough and dragged my flatmate to the nearest music shop, where it took me a whole 3 minutes to pick out this gorgeous specimen. It’s a beginner’s ukulele, so probably not the greatest sound quality, but heck, as if I could tell the difference! And it’s in my colour! I’m having great fun with it. Although the only song I can play on it (and “playing” is highly exaggerated here) is Rudoph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. And now Christmas is over. Goddamn it.
We also went to see the last installment of the Hunger Games series at the movies – ooooh gosh, what a good film! So many people disliked Mockingjay Pt 1, and couldn’t get to terms with Pt 2 either, but frankly, I loved both of them. Overall, the Hunger Games movies are among the best (and most accurate) book adaptations I’ve seen.
November was kind of overshadowed with the Paris attacks. It’s weird to say this, because there are so many tragedies happening all over the world all the time while we claim that we’re “at peace”, but this … this could have been us. I know friends who’ve been to concerts at the Bataclan, friends of friends have been there that evening (and are safe and sound, thankfully) – it just hits so close to home. But at the same time the reaction of proclaiming solidarity with Paris, and ONLY Paris, when so much is happening elsewhere, kind of put me off as well.
Just a couple of days later, my colleagues and I went to the Journalistentag NRW, where everything was slightly influenced by the recent events, such as wondering what journalism needs to do in days like these. It was an interesting experience to be surrounded by, well, actual journalists who work in actual newspaper offices (like the ones at my job) and who weren’t lowly lifestyle bloggers like me (hii!). It definitely gave me a taste for conferences though, and I’m more interested than ever to attend blogger meetups if I can.

December

looking back on 2015 - december

{ Baking marathon / Space Burger in Düsseldorf /
Grandma’s Christmas Tree / Merry Christmas!}

And yet again another year has passed. Late in November, my favourite professor offered me a job in his department as a student assistant, which I gladly took. I think I must’ve walked around with a big fat grin for the next week or so. This is basically what I’ve been dreaming of since my first semester! So as of January, I’ll actually have two jobs. And uni. Oh boy.
I love Christmas and the season overall, but was kind of worried because last year had felt like the un-christmassiest Christmas season there ever was. Last couple of years, actually. Maybe that’s just because nothing can compare to the festiveness of London in December, that I could experience in 2012 … anyway, it all turned around again this year. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed advent quite as much as this time. Okay, maybe I did back when I was still a kid. This year I baked, I filmed daily christmassy vlogs, I threw my annual Christmas party … I love my friends so much, and that party was definitely the most festive and warm and fuzzy I’ve ever felt. That’s what Christmas is all about for me.
Shortly before that party, I also spontaneously grabbed my friend Tanja and went to Düsseldorf with her, to do some more Christmas shopping. Mainly because I wanted to stop by muji, which we don’t have anywhere closer to us (sobbbb). I’d also promised her we’d go eat at bentobox, an amazing Japanese restaurant we discovered last time we were in Düsseldorf, only to find out it had closed. Forever. Heartbroken, we googled for other vegan-friendly restaurants (cause Tanja is vegan), and discovered Space Burger. Space themed burgers?? I’M IN. They ended up being really, really good, and they had Star Wars cut outs standing around and a wonderfully romantic Chewbacca portrait hanging on the wall. Plus they had loads of meaty, vegetarian AND vegan burgers to choose from! Definitely going back there in the new year.

Whew. That was a lot. I think 2015 is one of the (if not THE) first year of my life that was actually really, really good! I got new flatmates, two jobs, quite a bunch of new friends and connections, and my overall health has improved. Well. At least my mental health. Especially towards the end of the year, my IBD has kind of kicked me in the guts (hah) with terrible fatigue that kept me completely in bed for some days. I might have to think about switching meds sometime soon.
I’m looking forward to  with the happiest of memories and a whole lot of anticipation. BRING IT ON. 🙂

in Life.