The Unexpectedly Wonderful Thing about Long Distance Friendships…

…is that the long-awaited moment of a reunion will eventually come around! After having had more miles and countries between you for much longer than you could have ever imagined, you can finally substitute that heart emoji on Whatsapp for a real hug. And no matter how long you haven’t seen each other, it will feel like grad ball was just yesterday.

Judith, the co-author of this blog, and I got to see each other in Hamburg after 1.5 years of having actively used all social media tools imaginable to stay in touch. We had 13 hours before I had to catch my flight back to San Francisco and a lot of catching up to do. I got to go to Vapiano with her, just like we used to after a long, much-dreaded final in college. We totally killed a bottle of our favorite wine. We watched the latest episode of one of our favorite TV Shows. We laughed at how old we had gotten when the planned allnighter ended at 3am due to severe tiredness. In the blink of an eye, it felt like we were roommates again. Except, she got herself a roommate upgrade- a handsome and witty guy she calls boyfriend. I approve of him because he took really good pictures of us that night and patiently endured Judith’s and my moments of girly squeakiness.

We wanted to share this moment of reunion with our beloved readers and let you know that more longdistanceroommates adventures are yet to come!

First hug caught on camera

First hug caught on camera

Le boyfriend, our triplet and Vapiano

Le boyfriend, our triplet and Vapiano

PLL and Hugo...college throwback.

PLL and Hugo…college throwback.

Judith, another one of our bests college friends, and I

Judith, another one of our bests college friends, and I

 

Early-morning goodbye at the airport :(

Early-morning goodbye at the airport 😦

 

See you…whenever Judith, I am already looking forward to that unexpectedly wonderful moment ❤

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Guess whose birthday it is?

Today, the sun is shining in Berlin and the leaves have millions of different colours. It’s a gorgeous October day, surprisingly warm, and I’m happy.

I’m also a bit sad, because this is my co-author’s and best friend’s birthday and I can’t celebrate with her. So I had to come up with something else… and I decided on this blog post. After all, this blog is really our baby, our project, and I’m so happy we really started it after only talking about it for so long. When I think of her, the blog almost immediately comes to mind, so what better way to say happy birthday than with a blog post?

Of course, just saying happy birthday would be lame. So in honor of her 22nd birthday, here are 22 reasons why Ari is the coolest person in the universe and the bestest friend ever (yes, I KNOW that’s not a word).

  1. She’s the kindest person I know, and she always looks out for everyone else before she worries about herself.

  2. She’s got style. Lots of style.

  3. We’re usually the same dress size – can you imagine how cool it was to be roommates?

  4. When the sun comes out in spring, she basically overflows with excitement, it’s the cutest thing ever. It’s impossible not to be happy around her then – she can’t contain herself at all, and it rubs off on everyone else.

  5. She trusts me even when she’s worried I might judge her for something she tells me. The fact that she still opens up then means the world to me, and the fact that I can do the same makes her one of the most important people in my life.

  6. She does amazing hairstyles – and eye makeup!

  7. Getting ready for parties with her is usually even more fun than the actual party.

  8. She gets so enthusiastic about things – not just spring, but also TV shows or theater.

  9. Speaking of which, she’s a really talented actress. I’m not saying that because I have to support her as a friend, I’m saying it because it’s really true. So much comic talent.

  10. She makes me come out of my shell, not worry so much about embarrassing myself by doing really ridiculously random things, such as spontaneously dancing “Call Me Maybe” when there are at least 20 people around who might think that’s stupid. Who cares? Thanks, Ari 🙂

  11. She saved my ass by modelling for a photo shoot I had to do for class. I don’t know how I would have gotten that assignment done without her!

  12. She can walk even in the highest heels. I think it’s awesome, because it kind of forces me to wear heels as well sometimes in order to avoid looking like a dwarf. And then, of course, I look good. So that’s a great side effect.

  13. She’s the best study buddy ever. We can be super productive if we have to, and super unproductive if we don’t really care. Either way, study sessions usually involve instant noodles, diet coke and pringles. Oh, sometimes I miss college life!

  14. She is also the best Starbucks buddy in the world.

  15. And the best running buddy / motivator. I would have never done a 5k if it wasn’t for you!

  16. She makes the coolest birthday presents and surprises. Sorry, Ari, I know this one can’t really keep up with the video, or the whole “Day in Hamburg and surprise Bavarian food afterwards” thing (credit goes to the triplets as well for this). I promise, though, should we be in the same country again, I will organize something epic. And I mean truly epic.

  17. She doesn’t judge. Ever. I do some really dumb things (more so in the past but I still do). This goes with what I said about trust above, but it’s also who she is as a person. She doesn’t judge people easily. Unless they hate New York, then sorry, she WILL be judging.

  18. She’s not afraid to set me straight if I’m doing the above mentioned dumb things. She knows when to leave me to do what I feel like, even if it’s stupid, and when to actually sit me down and give me a serious no-nonsense talk.

  19. She’s the only person in the world to ever talk me into rapping for a class assignment.

  20. She ran to the store with me through a rainstorm, laughing the entire time. We came back soaked to the bones and water dripping from our clothes to the floor… it was the best thing ever.

  21. Germany’s Next Topmodel! We need to find a way to watch that together still, even if we’re so far apart. Also, that song we both spontaneously loved and that got stuck in my head from the show… aptly called “Stuck” (by Caro Emerald, if you’re interested).

  22. Because I got to #22 without having to pause and try to come up with more stuff. And because I’m sure there are a million reasons that I haven’t even mentioned yet. So I’ll just stop here, but please don’t take that to mean these are the only 22 reasons why Ari’s awesome.

 

So, Ariane, from halfway across the world – happy birthday!!

 

Long-Distance Friendship

They say when you’re in a place of great confusion, frustration or stress, you should remind yourself of all the things that are good in your life. So, while still trying to figure out what to do about the grad school debacle, I’ll do just that. This one is to my friends.

I have great doubts in long-distance relationships, having come out of one that didn’t end well a little while ago. So, yeah, I’m biased, mind you. I had just realized that people are under so many influences day by day that it’s really tough to make sure that, although both you and your partner grow and change, you change together and in the same direction. Assure that you’re growing together and not apart. On top of that, I had always trusted in Facebook to be a reliable medium of staying in contact with old friends. While it definitely simplifies things, it can also easily paint a completely different picture of your live. I’ve had several old high school friends assuming I had turned into an uptight, career-oriented person, based on pictures of me in a business attire or sitting in front of a(fairly earned) Macbook that showed up on Facebook at some point in my life. Of course you might say that, if friends are that biased, they aren’t worth your time but it’s always difficult to let go of people that have been in your life for a very, very long time. Incidents like that contributed to me thinking that long-distance of whatever kind is doomed to failure and it didn’t make graduating from college any easier.

I have, however, underestimated my college friends (sorry guys). When I got those really bad news on Monday, I didn’t really have anyone but my parents nearby since my friends are all scattered across the globe. But for them, that was not an excuse not to be helpful, each in their own way. One was late for work because she immediately skyped me to rationally help me assess my options. My long-distance roommate (hmm, who might that be…) stayed online and talked me through my trains of thoughts forbidding me to give up even though I just wanted to say “Screw this sh**”. Another friend, who is soon going to Manchester, gave me motivational speeches and information on studying in the UK. An old high school friend called me and gave me a breakdown of her expenses during her exchange semester in London. And, at the end of the day, I got this really awesome Cheer-up-Board from them, which made me cry and laugh and restore faith in humanity. Definitely check out the board, it might just also make your day brighter 🙂

I’m not saying all of that to show off my friends (although you are so worth showing off guys!) but just to remind you that friendships are important. Don’t take them for granted and try to give back what you receive. Open up because only when others know your greatest struggles and dreams, they’ll be able to support you. And heck, this whole process of growing up and getting where you want to get requires a LOT of support. So,  I want to revoke my original statement about long-distance relationships: It’s all a matter of effort on both sides, I think. And I know I’m willing to go through a lot of effort (or cheer-up videos, pinterest boards and facebook messages because we are too broke to fly to each other in case of emergencies) to keep those friends in my life.

So yeah, reminding you of the good things in your life and actually writing it down really helps, try it if you feel a little down, check out the pinterest board, then get strawberries and sit in the sun with a book. Oh yeah, and hug your friends if you can 🙂

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Cheers,

Ari

Things-I-love-Thursday

Since Judith introduced this idea a while ago and since both of us have been too occupied lately to update our blog, I wanted to use a moderately boring lecture to post something. So, its my turn to write down things I like and appreciate in life:

  • My boyfriend
  • The stage of being sick when you get better and don’t feel nearly as shitty anymore but people are still taking care of you and you don’t have to exercise
  • Exercising (well because, after all, I never came back from a run and regretted having gone)
  • Discovering good music on 8tracks.
  • Christmas and everything that is connected to it
  • Snow
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Acting and making funny little video clips for the shows I’m performing in.
  • Good chai latte, especially when its cold and dark outside.
  • Adele. Her new song is absolutely epic and amazing, isn’t it?
  • The US and, of course, New York
  • all candies, ice-creams, gums and other eatable things that involve a peppermint-chocolate combination. Yummy.
  • Skyscrapers

Jupp, thats it. Think about what you really like in your life, about your life and in your environment. It really cheers you up, promise 🙂

Ode an die Freude!

We got to know each other five years ago. It was a sunny winter day in Berlin, mid-December. The city was brightened by christmas decoration and everyone seemed a bit more filled with joy. I was walking through the streets and took everything in. It was my favorite time of the year in my favorite city (I didn’t know New York back then yet) and I was happy. After several hours of strolling and window shopping, it happened! My life got changed! Love at first sight, a concept I had never trusted in, stroke and I was gone. I lost myself and got embraced by an intense feeling of warmth and completeness and happiness. I didn’t find a single thing to complain about. Except maybe, that I had to share. I gave into the feeling as long as possible and we saw each other again, every day during my stay in Berlin. But then reality kicked in and I had to go back home, to the small town at the baltic coast. Nothing there could ever come close to my short but intense fling I had had. And the worst was that I couldn’t stop comparing. I got to know many, many others. Some came close and could partially give me what I was looking for, desperately searching for. Most of them were disappointing though, I was constantly dissatisfied. Eventually, I just stopped looking for alternatives, I stopped telling myself that it was okay, that I would find something better. I accepted that I had found perfection and that it would have to become a long-distance relationship.

Then I moved to Bremen for college. It wasn’t Berlin, but that was okay, I found a lot of friends and felt happy. I did not care much about the town itself but rather about my campus. However, one sunny (as if it was destined to happen only on sunny days) afternoon, I decided to explore my new home a little more and went downtown. Bremen is a cute city, it really is. Nothing mind-blowing. But then I found what I had secretly been searching for. Something in the corner of the market square caught my eye and after I looked twice I realized that I wasn’t dreaming! I had found what I had believed to have lost forever! I ran towards the love of my life, it was a happy and quite intense reunion. However, I was short on money, a poor college student and we had to accept that we couldn’t see each other all too much, that I couldn’t come downtown every day, as much as I wanted to.

We went to New York together, this summer. It was amazing! I thought I knew everything about the love of my life already but I was taught better. I had no idea! Over these three months, we intensified our relationship, we went everywhere together! We had breakfast together, went on crazy subway rides, we cooled each other down,we could rely on each other. And I got to know so many new sides of my love, so much more of what it had to offer.

Now we are incredibly close. I couldn’t live without my love anymore. I feel comfortable enough were I can spend hours and hours in this world that is created around us, in this bubble. It calms me down. It makes me study better. Sometimes I introduce my friends to my love, most of them are smitten as well. I know we will be a part of each other’s lives for as long as we exist. Especially now that the winter comes I can’t think of anything more pleasant.

I love you, Starbucks Coffee!

Ain’t no sunshine…

… when she’s gone.

My roommate, the awesome person you know as Ari or sunshine2091 (and yes, I have tried, and failed, to figure out what the numbers stand for… date of birth being the obvious guess but then the month is missing?), has left. In about 18 hours or so (I didn’t actually calculate so this might be way off) she’ll be boarding her flight… right now she’s on a train to a friend’s house close to the airport. She checked out of her dorm room, the door is locked, I am alone. And I’m staying here until the end of July. She’s coming back next semester just in time for me to NOT see her before I go to Kenya for several months. So… the person that I have spent anywhere between 10 and 24 hours per day with is just gone. It’s a bit like missing a limb.

Plus, it’s raining, so there is literally no sunshine.

Anyways, this separation of ours was the whole reason for this blog… because we don’t actually care so much whether YOU read it, we just kind of wanted to keep each other updated, and do it in a way that makes us look like the cool, technologically savvy, gadget-wielding hipsters that we would so love to be. (Don’t tell me blogging is SO yesterday. Have you ever seen a long-distance-roommate story on Instagram? Exactly, me neither.)

So anyways. Since the Long-Distance-Roommate thing (can I abbreviate this LDR, please? I’m a lazy typer) is kind of the reason for the blog, we won’t bug you (or each other) too much with how much we miss each other. Instead, we’ll tell you about all our amazing adventures in New York City, Germany and East Africa. Just not today, because the most exciting thing that happened to me today was that somebody told me they were going to sponsor my dinner from their mealplan.

See you next time!

Dear Ari,

Dear Ari,

I thought this was too fun of an idea not to do it. Think we’ll actually use it?

I vaguely remember something about challenges at this point. Maybe pictures. Old stories, new stories, good stories, bad stories, sad stories, crazy stories, Jacobs stories, typical stories, weird stories…

What do you think?