The STYLE DEFINERY COLUMN -
relaxed for the second coffee today ☕️
You can say what you want - but even as a Germanist and born in the land of poets and thinkers, I have to realize time and again that the English language often has a lot more to offer than the one I grew up with. There are wonderful expressions for certain situations or emotional states that somehow sound better spoken in English and just get to the point. "Anxiety" is such an example. Translated into German it means "fear", but "Anxiety" is so much more. For me, this term stands for discomfort, pressure, nervousness, insecurity, restlessness - and yes, also a little fear, but in combination with the one before - and one of the biggest triggers in my case is social media. Few things put me under so much pressure and trigger such fear of failure in me as Instagram, for example. Of course, I know myself that the saying "More appearances than reality" is absolutely the program here, but I can't free myself from the feeling that everyone else is better off than me, that I'll be around 2500 forever and ever followers, most of whom don't care what the style definery is doing anyway and that everything will come to a horrible end. I cope with this state of mind sometimes better and sometimes worse. Actually, at the age of 55, I know very well what's good for me and what's not, but many days a week I don't start with morning exercise and my beloved Nescafé in hand, but still scroll through my Insta-Feed while lying in bed and I'm then at 7:30 a.m. already as demoralized as I used to be when I looked at my bank statements as a student. What a miserable way to start the day. It was all the nicer when I was away from home at the weekend and realized that I had left my mobile phone at home. After a small attack of nervousness, a feeling of the greatest freedom set in, which reached its absolute climax on Sunday.
I can't remember the last time I woke up and didn't stare straight at my screen. No bad news, no Instagram, no emails, just start the day dozing off, listening to the constant rain, drinking an oat milk cappuccino and then watching "Moonraker" with Roger Moore and enjoying the spectacle that the 007 producers put on in 1979 without AI and all the other digital noise that came up. Until the evening I was without a phone, without social media and without a weather app, just with me and the man I gave my heart to. We talked about love and happiness, about the past and about new beginnings, we went for walks and philosophized about the ideal age, about Frankfurt and Berlin, about family dynamics and extraterrestrial life, about Athens and spaghetti with lemon sauce - and we didn't look once on a cell phone screen. It was the perfect day and when I drove home in the evening to collect my phone after all, Instagram was just as scary as before, but for a short, delicious and precious moment I didn't care at all. My last thought before falling asleep was that I should find a way to keep this feeling and free myself from my anxiety, the compulsion to constantly post and pose, and my fear of not being good enough for a world in which all constantly outshine each other and over which there is almost always a filter. That's a noble goal, but practice makes perfect. Holiday part 2 begins today – and the mobile phone-free weekend was the best start imaginable.
Have a wonderful start into the new week, wherever you are.