“A mind that is streched by new experience can never go back to it’s old dimensions.”
The new year has started, and here I am, enjoying a view over Cape Town, reviewing the past 365 days in my mind. If I had to sum it all up in one phrase, I’d go for something like this: all new.
It was a year of changes for me: new flat, new layout, new blog concept, new travel destinations, new people in my life and new confidence. In 2016 I made a conscious decision to ditch a tried and tested approach, and instead opted for an alternative. I listened to my gut much more often and made spur of the moment decisions. I tried new things, widened my personal boundaries. Over and over again. It was the best thing I could have done.
Sure, openess to new adventures sometimes means leaving old habits behind. More than once I had to fight with myself, and found myself questioning my own decisions. Now, looking back on the year, I am very happy about most decisions I made. If anything, I feel I should have made them earlier.
I don’t know to which extend it is simply to do with the fact that I am in Cape Town, but I’m filled with happiness right now. It was an exhausting year for sure, with many sacrifices and many a fear that I had to overcome, but it was intense in the right way and dotted with moments of undescribable happiness, where all I felt was pure, undiluted joy. I am experiencing one of these moments right now.
Which moments made this year so special? I’m glad you ask!
I welcomed 2016 at my parent’s place, which is a little family tradition. I remember going for a walk on the beach, doing a bit of rock climbing and eating tons of great food – actually not too dissimilar to what I’m doing in Cape Town this year.
The quiet start was followed by a flurry of activity: I launched a new blog design (crazy that it’s already been a year…), dove head in into Fashion Week Berlin (… and posted my rants about the event) and engaged with the issue of time management.
After Fashion Week I escaped winter and headed to Thailand!
It was only a week, but the trip was absolutely marvellous. The time in this exotic country afforded me an opportunity to gather strength for the big task and adventure ahead: moving into a new home!
I also got quite annoyed with the idea of social media fame, and the related post was still written under the impression of Fashion Week Berlin. You know me, I just had to go there and tackle the subject.
The month of March was not an easy one for me, I had to work myself out of a bit of a hole. I was dissatisfied with my body and filled with self doubt. But feeback from you, dear readers, was incredibly positive and served as a platform from which I could pull myelf up again.
I celebrated my birthday in March, visited Vienna, attended Fashion Weeks and cuddled with Valentina.
In April I dealt with more enjoyable questions of life, among them the big one whether I should get married or not. The related post proved to be a popular one and sparked a lot of discussion. It seemed like many of you could not really relate to my decision.
April also brought another adventure: Coachella 2.0! It was my second time to visit the festival, so I decided to stay in the US a little longer and to go on a road trip through California after the festival. A definite highlight and one of my most beautiful memories of 2016!
Returning home from California I needed some time to digest all the impressions and experiences.
I also focussed a bit more on beauty topics on my blog. Among the posts was one where I engaged with the question how you can create your own signature look, and which beauty hacks I consider to be indispensable.
Plus, I wrote a really private post: I shared some insights about how I met my boyfriend and posted pics of my very unusul fashion style from the time before I became a blogger.
In June I returned to the US, to LA to be more specific, where a project was waiting for me. I also wrote another very personal post, sharing with you the ten tough lessons I learned from blogging. Shortly thereafter, my ‘No Means No’ post sparked another round of heated discussions.
Not everything was roses in June: my car was broken into in Barcelona, and a whole bunch of stuff stolen. What can I say, it made me really, really sad. To an extent, the incident changed my outlook to the day – I’m much more careful now than I used to be, to the point of overdoing it sometimes. Also, I have refrained from making bigger ‘investments’. The whole thing still makes me sad, thinking about it. Definitely my lowlight in 2016.
What would Fashion Week be without a critical post from me that takes you behind the scenes of the event? Exactly. I also wrote a text about the current state of the world, which is of course very close to my heart.
By far the most elaborate post was the one in which I tried to give you an overview of the expenses associated with the blog. I also tried to shed a realistic light on life as a self-emplyed individual for you.
The post was among the most popular this year, guess everyone is interested in money. The text is actually still going strong :)
In August I attended my first Fashion Week in Copenhagen. The next stop was London, where my lifestyle caught up with me: I had a nervous breakdown and had to decide to work less. I was completely overwhelmed with the situation, felt that blogging no longer made me happy and had turned into a burden. I was deeply, depply sad at that point in time.
Working less was a difficult decision, but I simply saw no other choice. It was probably my lowest point that year.
So, I was forced to work less, and to make that happen I had to change some habits I had built over many years. Instead of blogging every day I started to make my schedule a bit more flexible and to let the posts follow the flow of life.
There was a huge upside to it all: this approach allowed me to put much more care into each individual post. With hindsight I can say I am super happy about the decision. The change on my blog was extremely positive, and on top of it I life a much more balanced life.
I arrived back in Berlin and finally got around to engaging with a subject I had been eyeing for quite a while: true cures for lovesickness. After all we’ve been through together on this blog it felt like it was about time.
Also, a major campaign, which I had the honour to be part of, went online this month.
Another highlight was the two-part post about worries in the late twenties. The text was quite elaborate, as were the photos, which were shot recreating a GDR flair. These amazing pictures were the start of a wonderful new collaboration between Fee and myself.
In October I headed north, to Iceland, where I shot some pics which may be among the best I’ve ever had on my blog. Iceland was also one of my big personal highlights this year. I fell head over heels in love with the country, and feel blessed that I had the chance to visit it with Lina.
Iceland left such a deep and lasting impression on me that I still find myself pondering the question whether I should move to the countryside at some stage in my life.
Another important post was the one dealing with 5 Social Media Safety Tips, basically a collection of simple prevention tips for more security in every day social media life. Kim Kardashian was robbed in Paris that month, and the while incident got me thinking about how safe we are and what we can do to protect our online identities.
In November I returned to Berlin with my head and heart full of impressions from Iceland. I also posted a short story, my first ever, which was received very warmly by you guys. Thank you!
Plus, I gave you some tips for finding the perfect location and optimizing your Berlin Style.
Unsurprisingly, christmas was the over-arching theme in December: it got festive on the blog. I posted a bunch of gift guides and another short story. My Alexander McQueen shooting turned out very popular with you.
I also published a text in which I ranted a bit about the ‘girly style’ – a polarizing post, as it would turn out. Some bloggers replied directly on their own blogs, which I really loved!
I wrapped up the blogging year with a list of wishes for 2017.
Phew, it was a rather intense December!
My biggest thanks goes to you, dear readers, for giving me so much love and support throughout the year. Your comments and participation make me happier than I can say. You being there helped me through the tougher times, and your words shone a light for me in dark hours.
I would also like to thank my team for all the amazing support this year, without which many posts would never have made it online this year.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for an exciting 2016!