Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 38: OMFG! | Overjoyed

I am well aware of the fact that my recent weekly "snippets" radiated a lot of cryptic doom and gloom and I might have sounded like a maniac depressive more often than not. Believe me, the whole year so far really was a very unsettling and somewhat schizophrenic period. The latter due to the fact that I was working regularly during my 3-months termination period (I had to sign my termination agreement due to the fact that my previous job role did not exist any longer, and the current one was a temporary maternity cover) with one disappointment after the other regarding interesting openings, but yet getting more praise and gratification at work than ever before in my career. After years in Sales, which I never really warmed to, I really felt like I had arrived at a job that I had always dreamed about and was well-suited for. Now, at the very last minute and after months of literally blood, sweat and tears, the proverbial silver lining appeared on the horizon and the absolute BEST best case scenario that I secretly dreamed about, materialised. I am beyond happy! I never for a minute was afraid of ending up unemployed, but not feeling appreciated by "the system" seriously deflated me and it took quite a bit of effort to separate the task at hand and the people who continued to have faith in me and my capabilities, from my lingering bitterness and those people who caused me nothing but frustration and hid behind legislation and red tape. A life lesson (in particular for an impatient creature like me) for sure and confirmation that once more my mantra that everything is going to be all right in the end, IS true.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 37: Adrenaline | Never a Dull Moment

"Boring" and "predictable" are arguably the most dangerous adjectives ever. They have certainly been known to make me do my fair share of stupid things after they have bubbled under the surface for a long time. But not only stupid: when I was a student and had little money, but a lot of free time and a new sewing machine, I would redecorate my first apartment in Vienna in short intervals, usually by buying a large amount of cheap fabric and making new cushion covers. In a parallel universe, I'm an interior decorator. Boredom and predictability played an important role in me quitting my long-term relationship of 11 years and job of 9 years in short succession. Both were pretty traumatic and tearful at the beginning, but at the same time I still had no doubts that it was the right decision and if nothing else, it has taught me that if you can survive scary shit once, you can do so again, with the added bonus of knowing that you'll come through at the other end. Part of me also loves flirting with drama to some extent and the feeling that "ANYthing could happen" to me, with a certain amount of cluelessness paired with an equal dose of recklessness makes me as excited as it has me afraid.
I am currently in exactly such a phase where I feel I keep replacing the master-script to my life and every time I have found it and have immersed myself in the next chapter, some major editing occurs by other contributors to the document and I think "Oh, that could be quite interesting, too. Why not". 
I may have sleepless nights and a head exploding with questions, but I am certainly enjoying the possibilities.
In other notes, my bag collection embraced one of my absolute dream bags recently. But this deserves a separate post.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 36: Déjà Vu | You Always Meet Twice

I was in Dublin for the greater part of last week (staying in 3 different hotels, by the way) and it was an intense exercise of Déjà Vu, ranging from not only not being able to avoid certain people who have been causing me a lot of emotional trauma earlier this year - I think we can all guess which department they might work in - but having to engage in smalltalk with them, to bumping into random people "out of context" and staring at each other until it dawned on one of us where we knew each other from. Funniest example - one Irish girl who incidentally sits next to my manager also had the impression that she knew me from somewhere when I finally approached her at some evening event. We found out that it must be from Sydney, where she had worked for years before coming to Dublin. It became clear that we had not met as some kind of training or summit in Europe recently, as I had initially suspected. The it dawned on me - I have plenty of pictures of her, and one of the two of us together, wearing "shower caps" and holding our hands up, covered in cocoa powder - we both attended a voluntary chocolate making session by a famous French pastry chef back in November 2011 at our Sydney office. It's a small world indeed!

Monday, September 05, 2016

Week 35: Rollercoaster | Planning Escapes

Among all the emotional weeks I have had this year - and I have had my fair share - this past one ranks among the top 3 definitely so far. Frustrating work background noise aside, I got yet another reminder that there is obviously no limit to the shitty things men come up with to hurt women. It does not even matter much if these words or actions are deliberate or accidental, but in my case the protective Teflon layer I have tried to build up over the years has become porous and does not work quite as efficiently to ward off the insults when I am not my chirpiest, happiest self and just want to be treated nice and respectfully without having to constantly be on guard. Suffice it to say I am still very upset as I am writing this post on Sunday morning.
On the bright side, I spontaneously booked a week in Ibiza and am very much looking forward to a few chilled days by the seaside with one of my all-time favourite travel companions from the "Nice Gang". Can't wait.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 34: Peak | Moving on Up

Last week, I had the opportunity to go hiking in the beautiful Montafon area. I had not been on a proper mountain hike for years and never been to Vorarlberg, the westernmost province of Austria, so was really happy I got to join this company outing, even though I was a bit of a gate-crasher, as not really part of the Sales team(s) whose offsite it was. Be that as it may, we all had a blast and the weather was perfect. Needless to say, there were plenty of mountain metaphors ("reaching the top", "rope team") mentioned to draw the analogy to work and it was somewhat shocking how - at the beginning at least - the majority of the participants seemed to saw this more as a race than an experience in the sense that they were running uphill that made others (including myself) long for a break, or even the opportunity to stop to admire the scenery and take a picture. I was really grateful when one of my office colleagues started the "break, please!" and it was reassuring to see that the intern in her twenties seemed way more out of breath than I was. Once the ice was broken, the super ambitious ones raced ahead and arrived at the chalet where wer had lunch an hour ahead of schedule and the rest continued the hike at their own pace and stopped to enjoy the beauty of the mountain range and blue skies whenever they felt like it. Deterred by the competitive vibe, some Austrians did not even join for the second, much longer, but less steep, leg of the hike, but I did as I don't know if I will ever be back in this part of Austria. Stopping to smell the roses, or take more phone snaps than anyone will have the patience to look at seems to be an "art" that does not come naturally to some.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Best of Beauty: My New(ish) BFFs

Ever since I cancelled my Glossybox subscription last year and stopped hoarding nail polish like there was no tomorrow or I was a centipede with way more nails to paint than I actually have, my stash of beauty products has gradually dwindled a bit since I have actually used up some stuff. This is not to say that I don't still get intrigued by new products or buy things upon recommendation of others. Case in point for the latter is my Babyliss "wonder brush" as I like to call it.  I ordered it in April as I fancied a nice blow dry that I could do myself (not an easy feat with longer, thick hair) and remembered my favourite Bulgarian colleague raving about her Babyliss brush. It only took watching a YouTube tutorial to get the hang of it and I have been using it pretty much every time I wash my hair. I am so addicted to looking nice that I even take it abroad with me. Definite recommendation if you are looking to tame your hair in 5 minute tops.
The other amazing discovery is a lip crayon by Spanish brand Camaleon. It is caleld the Magic Colour Stick and I randomly picked it up at a pharmacy in Barcelona while waiting to pay for my (shockingly expensive, by the way) tampons. There were several colours available, but being me, I had to pick up the weirdest of them all, the green one. Since I never owned one of these mood rings as a kid, I am weirdly drawn to cosmetics that change their colour upon application. I did not have high expectations as a) it was pretty inexpensive and b) lipstick has a tendency to fade on me after 10 minutes max, even if marketed as "long lasting". Therefore I was in shock when I looked myself in the mirror hours (!) later and still found my lips a nice shade of pink that really suits my skin tone. Unfortunately, I had no opportunity to return to that pharmacy during my brief visit and ended up ordering a backup (plus the red and grey one) on a Spanish website with an outrageously high shipping fee. I love all the colours, so if you are in the market for a flattering long-lasting lipstick and happen to be in Spain, stumbling upon these: grab them!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 33: Struck Chord | Target Group

Last week I went to see the film "Toni Erdmann" with my mother upon her suggestion. I had bookmarked watching it at the back of my mind, but have to say was as suspicious of the hype around this film as I was repelled by the off-putting fake teeth and crazy wig of its male protagonist. I did not even know it was a whopping 162 (!) minutes long and had an espresso before leaving for the cinema performance at 8 p.m. just in case it turned out to be lengthy and boring. In the end, I was completely sucked in by this film and would not have minded watching 162 minutes more of it in the same sitting. My Mum, however, was yawning theatrically next to me and afterwards said that she could not remember the last time she had watched such long-winded BS.  I could not believe it! Then I realised that it was a case of me being the perfect demographic or target group while she was not. The day after our cinema visit, I found out that a friend had seen it as well and said she had never cried so many tears of sadness and mirth at the same time in a film. I could not agree more. In case you are wondering just who I think IS the perfect target group for Toni E: anyone working in a big corporation and/or consulting, expat life or numerous business trips, as well as mild mildlife crisis optional. Go see it and report back to me please if you loved it or kept looking at the watch.
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