Latest Posts

A Surge of Creativity

Hello world,

I am seizing my fleeting surge of creativity in a swamp of impotence.
DSC06194DSC06163I have had quite a busy time. While I regret not having it documented well, I did enjoy taking a break from photography, blogging, and writing. Time has truly flown by and now I only have a couple of months left until I am graduating and embarking into the big, wide world trying to make important life decisions.

Let’s try to recap what I’ve up to since the last post on this blog:
DSC061391 I absolutely slayed my matura paper presentation. All the points. All the glory.

2 I applied for Swiss citizenship, which is very tedious, complicated, and expensive, but which will be worth the vote I am going to get.

3 I attended open house at Heidelberg University and realized that I really want to do something with English.

4 I saw Imagine Dragons live. That was pretty epic, although I was quite sick and was barely able to stand through it.
DSC061195 I passed my Cambridge Proficiency Exam. Now I am officially fluent on the highest English language level.

6 I spent the night of New Year’s Eve bleeding and bleeding, because I cut my foot on some glass. That was great. Not. Scarred for life.

7 I had some grad pictures taken by an American photography living in Zurich as part of her 30 Days of Beauty. Check them out here.
DSC062398 I had my wisdom teeth taken out, which was a pretty horrible experience. Thankfully it is now done with and I can have beautiful teeth as of Junish, by which, my orthodontist promised me, my braces will be gone.

9 I participated in an ambitious play and got the lead for the first time in my life. Yesterday we were sold out and a third of us had come down with the flu, which meant a lot of drugged actors collapsing backstage after pretending to be alive and kicking on stage.

10 I said hello and goodbye to many of my friends, who returned and departed with the change of semester.

11 I’ve been doing a lot of travel planning for 2016. It is going to be a great year. It already has been.
DSC06195I have been up to quite a lot of adventurous things, but I am excited to restart taking more pictures and documenting my thoughts. These photos were taken during a trip to the Oeschinensee Adina and I took this past Sunday. Looking through them I can still feel the warm sun and the incredible width; the main reason I’ve found the burst of energy to edit and post them: I want to reflect back on them and remember the great time we had.

Because there is quite the great time happening and ahead.

xo
Layla

Thanks for reading.

 

A Letter to Isabella Swan

Hello world,

I spent today at home watching Game of Thrones, going through pictures from England, and being driven to the doctor because I sprained my ankle on a jog yesterday. This morning, when I was still sleepy and not mentally ready for battle scenes just yet, I scanned through Twilight and Breaking Dawn (both parts), which I do from time to time to be entertained. However, on this specific morning the movies entertained me even more than usual with the false message they send to young women, therefore I decided to write a letter… to Isabella Swan.
DSC04754DSC04886Dear Isabella — Bella,

We’ve known each other for quite some time. We met when I was in 7th grade. First, we met in the library, then huddled up in my armchair, anxious in the movie theatre, shedding tears over your boyfriend at 2am, again in the movie theater after what had felt like forever — we had a short but intense relationship. By the time we met up in front of the big screen for the third time, I had already moved on.

There are a few things I want to say to you, things I wish you would have heard before you met that flawlessly handsome man, who is 120ish years old, supposedly still a virgin (I highly doubt that), a murderer, and who has waited for you for over a century but marries you after a year (because there haven’t been any other women around for a century, have there).
DSC04899DSC04818Let’s first address the elephant in the room: your very own Edward.

Repeat after me: A. Boy. Does. Not. Define. You. He does not own you. He is not your life. He is a part of it, a bigger part than other people, but he is and remains only a part. If he leaves you, you can scream and curse him and sob into your pillow, and then you can move on. He is not your other half; you are just as much without him as you are with him; He does not define you.

Don’t get married just to have sex. You don’t know him. You’ve never seen him deal with bad wifi connection (that brings out the worst in people). You haven’t travelled with him (except racing to Italy to stop him from committing suicide — lovely trip that was!). You haven’t even seen his awkward baby photos or talked with him about his first kiss (don’t be ridiculous: he is 120 years old, of course he has had other women.)

Forever is a long time, you know.
DSC04725DSC04859Let’s now talk about you.

You need to finally do something. Anything. Do some kind of sport, or if you are not into that, join a club. Pick up a hobby, learn another language, go out! Get drunk! Travel somewhere with someone. Get out of the U.S., go to Europe, and fall in love with our food. Take pictures, not lame ones to please your mother, but good ones to remind yourself of good times.

Make friends, for god’s sake. No offense, but you spent your bachelorette party alone in your bed dreaming of dead bodies. That is just sad.

There are so many things you don’t seem to be interested in, but which you are missing out on. (And honestly, I cannot understand how at least four guys are simultaneously in love with you — you are freaking boring.) And for heaven’s sake, relationships should not restrict you from doing anything but encourage you to do more, to feel more, to be more.
DSC04907DSC04785Dear Bella,

Your life is a cold bucket of suck. While there is your not very promising relationship with Edward and colorlessness, there is also the fact that you are as of book #4 and movie #5 (nobody needed that movie) forever eighteen. I am eighteen but I could also be fourteen or forty, it would make no difference: I would always want to move on, get older, wiser, and more badass. Truly, I feel sorry for you for being asked for your ID forever, not being allowed to drink in the USA ever, and for not being genuinely taken seriously by adults your whole ‘life.’

Why would anybody want that? Why wasn’t it enough to live in such a beautiful place as Washington State (the one thing I love about the movies)?

Dear Bella,

I am very glad I did not stay fourteen forever but moved on, got a tiny bit older, a tad wiser, and slightly more badass. I am glad because now I know what you did not know. And if another Edward comes around I won’t wait for him to tell me in a sensual voice how he likes to watch me sleep. That is just creepy. Come on, Isabella Swan, you know better, you beautiful little fool (because that seems to be the best thing a girl can be in your world: a beautiful little fool).

xo
Layla

Thanks for reading.

Camden and other Picturesque Places

Hello world,

I’d like to share some pictures of England with you today.
DSC04613 DSC04622I took a rather short trip to England last week with Tabea. The reason behind it was our mutual close friend Jasmin who is currently doing volunteer work in southern England getting to know people from all over the world.

We and another friend all met up in Russell Square which is quite central–a pretty crippling fact since we therefore walked everywhere in order to save money on tickets–and from which we visited Camden Market, the main sights, and a couple a parks to relish each others’ company and talk. DSC04632DSC04610DSC04672DSC04612 DSC04634DSC04692xo
Layla

Thanks for reading.

Bright Yellow Amsterdam

Hello world,

I have finally have some photogenic stuff happening in my life.
DSC03779 DSC03883Two weeks ago I went to Amsterdam on my senior year trip with my classmates. We stayed for six days exploring the beautiful city on bikes, trams, and mostly by foot at 11pm on the quest for a location for 20 girls, partially underage, which everyone enjoys. We did not succeed until the last evening by which we had already caught a cold from the night walks before.
DSC04056 DSC03887Amsterdam was gorgeous, plus we had a great time. Even though their bicycles are frightening since they only have back pedaling brakes and everyone riding them is trying to kill you. I managed to trip and rip my brandnew pants–that was fun! Basically, Amsterdam is the place to marvel, shop, and quickly die at.
DSC04423 DSC04330We went to the sea one day, just three friends, the teacher, and I. It was a rainy, gray day with white spume dancing on the waves; a waffles with Nutella kind of day. Walking along the shore we talked about how strange it is that to some people the sea means warmth, sand between toes, and bonfires. To others it means windy cold walks, bundling up in beach chairs, and drinking hot cocoa afterwards. I love realizing how different all our lives have already been: so many different places and perspectives. We are all already knitting the stories we are going to tell one day.
DSC04285 DSC04296The other day at work this one resident said: “Isn’t it wonderful how many stories are compressed into this house!” (I work at an old people’s home.) Everything and everyone is made out of so many stories; untold stories, anecdotes rattled off too often, or secrets only confided to one special person. Wherever we go, whoever we meet, whatever we experience, it’s always a new addition to our story.

I hope mine is not too boring.
DSC03854When it comes to planning my stories: A second resident told me to avoid quarrel about money at any cost. A third simply told me o evade all unfaithful men, even if they’re handsome. Oh, and when I don’t know what to do I must only use the pendulum.

I must say, I have already knitted a bit. I’ve even used a couple of different colors already, which I am pretty proud of.
Amsterdam was a bright, happy yellow.

xo
Layla

Thanks for reading.

PS: I don’t know how to knit.