Can you believe that the year is almost over again? I really don’t get it, and I know I say it every year, but it’s just messed up how the days race by. And at the same time I feel like there’s less and less happening, even though a proper look back tells me that’s definitely not true.
I mean, some years are more exciting than others, for sure. 2019 has started out relatively chill, but activity has ramped up massively towards the end. Maybe – and that’s actually the most probable case – I just got used to the general tempo of things. Looking at a bunch of old photos today I realized how much has happened since 2014.
I have become a completely different person.
Where’s all that leading, who will I be another 5 years down the line?
But let’s take a step back: what were the highlights in October?
The first thing that comes to mind is my 8-day road-trip through Ireland. Autumn is by far my favorite time of the year, and it’s become a cherished tradition for me to head into nature. After my trips to Iceland and Scotland the past two years I chose Ireland this time around. The trip was awesome, as you can see from the impressions I am still showing you on Instagram. If you have seen it you will have noticed that I have tried to compile sort of a travel guide on Insta-stories in order to share the most beautiful spots with you. I’ll also do a proper blog post in the near future. The trip was a genuine highlight of the entire year, and I was blown away by how many photo spots we found in those 8 days.
Apart from this fun excursion, I spent most of my time recently preparing for a bunch of things that are coming up.
Next week I’ll have laser surgery on my eyes, and I’m really quite nervous about it. Also, big news, I have a new podcast project coming up, and have already recorded the first episode. This one makes me quite nervous too, I’m so curious about your feedback. I think fans of Matchalatte will really like this new format, in which I’m planning to reveal a whole bunch of secrets. Plus, I’ll finally have a podcast companion again.
The launch is currently scheduled for the end of November or early December.
So please be patient for just a little while longer. And then I’m looking forward to several private highlights: the birthday and event season is in full swing, my mum will visit me in Berlin, I am redecorating my entire flat, and have I mentioned my laser surgery next week? If all goes well, the next couple of weeks will be intense and interesting, and I feel I may start the new year as a whole new person. But before all that, I decided to take few days off in a spa in Austria, which is where I am typing these lines right now. A holiday from holidays, so to speak.
You may have heard that a growing number of influencers is complaining about the problem of diminishing reach. Sure, the algorithm has a part in it, but I honestly believe that it’s more to do with the simple fact that people are just losing their interest in Instagram and all those other platforms. Many only check due to ingrained habits rather than genuine interest. Many in the industry wonder: wha’s next after Instagram?
If you ask me: TikTok!
I’m not even joking! I downloaded the app this month (my handle is @masha), and find it to be really entertaining and addictive (at this stage I still consume more than I post). I will probably share more content on the platform soon, once I get a proper handle on it. I’m curious to see how relevant this app will become in the near future, and whether my target group – i.e. you, dear readers – will make the switch to the platform as well. The game is on – again.
Almost a quarter of all votes cast in Thüringen went to the right-wing AFD, helmed by Björn Höcke. In other words, almost a quarter of the population votes for a man who can officially be called a fascist according to a legal verdict. Are those really all protest votes? In my opinion definitely not. Regardless of the thrust of some recent newspaper headlines, I am of the deep conviction that we still have freedom of speech in Germany, so I’ll voice my opinion in all clarity: people who vote for the AFD are racists.
Almost a quarter of all voters. It’s shocking. Right-wing violence increases, yet the focus seems to shift increasingly on instances of leftist violence. These tendencies leave me speechless. How is that possible?
How can that be?
What can we do?
I feel personally affected but also really quite helpless. As if the looming climate catastrophe wasn’t enough of a problem for our society, the AFD further increases the already large divide in the population. I really don’t get racism, I don’t understand it, and I have no real idea how to counter it effectively on a scale that matters. Surely, ignoring all those voters of the AFD can’t be the answer, but a debate does not seem to be possible either? What to do with people who consciously vote for a far-out right-wing party?
Has humanity really gone that far down the drain already?
Ad Astra. If we want to escape our own humanity, where are we going to run?
Maybe we’ll turn to space? Look at Elon Musk and all his activities, and suddenly it doesn’t seem that far fetched that one day we may inhabit a planet B as well. These are not necessarily central topics in Ad Astra, but watching the film I did wonder how it must feel to land on the moon or Mars. The movie itself envelops the viewer with stunning images from space, a great performance by Brad Pitt, and an open end. I wasn’t completely won over by the story, I must say, but I also have to admit that I am getting more and more critical when it comes to movies, now that I’m mainly watching series. I tend to find that movies lack the depth and character development I so came to appreciate, and more often than not the story arches just come an end way too quickly. Obviously it’s impossible to cram an entire series season’s worth of plot and development into 2 or 3 hours, meaning that story-telling in movies just works differently. I get that, but it’s still quite crazy and impressive to see how my perception of movies has changed with the abundance of amazing series out there.
I recently visited the Nike HQ in Amsterdam, and like a diligent student I prepared myself by listening to the biography of the founder of Nike. Said and done, and I was in for a surprise. I would never have expected to be so hooked by it, and I was genuinely surprised by all the twists and turns int he story. I had no idea how difficult it was for Nike to establish itself, and how many professional and private challenges and setbacks the founder needed to overcome. We know Nike as what it is now, one of the most valuable and successful companies in the world, and as with so many things we see the end result of a process without knowing what the process itself entailed. The path was rocky in this case, and if I’d have found myself in some of the situations described in this biography I don’t believe I’d have pulled through,to be honest. At least I wouldn’t have pulled through the way Phil Knight did. This book strengthened my motivation to keep going when the going gets tough, and it made me like Nike as a brand even more than I already did.