Teenage Dreaming


I’m turning twenty tomorrow.

I used to think that everything above 16 is pretty old, adult. I’ve come to realise it’s one of those childhood ideas that barely have to do anything with reality.

I’m still bloody young when I think of the people I know who are approaching their thirties and still act young anyway. There is no reason to feel old. But anyway, an important phase of my life is over.

My teenage years have come to an end.

And I’m looking back to 20 years with many ups and downs. Luckily mostly ups lately. I’m incredibly privileged to be able to experience so much in my young life.

The photos above are taken within two and a half years. I think those were my most defining years, from my exchange year 2011/12 in Uruguay where I lost myself and the beginning of 2014, where I’ve finally got on the right track again (thanks to my boyfriend, I guess). And look how different I look today, haha.

Anyway, I want to write down what I wish to achieve and who I want to become before my next birthday. Just like in this blogpost that actually pretty much changed my life – I would have started with my psychology studies a week ago if it weren’t for writing that post and realizing in the process what I really wanted.

  • In a year, my photography will have been taken to the next level. I’ll have read a lot about it, watched tutorials, got lots of practice. Fine art, portrait, documentary, street photography.
  • I’m going to be in Art School.
  • I’m going to travel to one of my dream destinations – either a Native American Reservation or Myanmar.
  • I’m going to live healthier. Take care of my body. Have a more balance lifestyle.
  • I’ll be leaving my comfort zone regularly. Try street portraits again, ask people I don’t know very well for a photo shoot, .. the possibilities are endless.
  • I’ll have passed a language exam – maybe in Chinese.
  • I’m going to succeed in all the jobs I’ve got and am going to earn enough money to support my photography and travel passion.
  • And of course, I’m going to be more organized, take care of my things instead of relying on other people (my parents) to do it for me. I’m going to beat procrastination before I start my studies.

What do/did you expect from your 20s? Do you feel ‘mature’, more in control than years ago? How were your teenage years?

I’m having troubles with my blog again and am very sorry for multiple emails or other inconveniences!

    1. I will turn 33 in 3 weeks and I still don’t feel like an adult in many ways!! And in case you wondered: I think that is a good thing!! :-)

      1. I’m glad to hear that – it’s reassuring to know that we can stay young inside :) thanks for your comment!

    1. Your list of goals is awesome, very mature if you ask me. I had no where near the stability it sounds like you have, when I was 20. Being a teenager…..was….I’m glad it’s over! It’s an interesting, fun, journey of incredible ups and downs. Every time I think I have it figured out, I realize I don’t. I think that is another idea from childhood that fades. And it’s ok, there is always more to discover, more goals to hone in on and more to learn. Best wishes on your 20th year!

      1. First of all, I think it’s so fascinating and amazing that you’re living in Kazakhstan!! :D
        Thank you for your comment and the compliment. My life definitely has got much more stable since last year!
        I’m glad you had crazy and memorable teenage years :) You really make me look forward to what’s coming next in life :) thank you!

    1. Best wishes for the future!

      And yes, biological age isn’t everything that decides how you act and feel.

      1. Great to hear from you again! :) Thank you.

        It’s very reassuring to hear that – I remember mistaking you for a girl in her 20s :D

    1. Hi Monika,
      als erstes wünsche ich dir alles erdenklich Liebe und Gute und ein wundervolles neues Lebensjahr, in dem du alle deine Ziele erreichst! :)
      Ich bin ja vor ein paar Monaten auch 20 geworden. Die letzten Jahre waren bei mir sehr aufregend und es gab viele Veränderungen, sowohl positive, als auch leider viele negative. Durch die ganzen Erfahrung bin ich wahrscheinlich schon irgendwie “erwachsener” geworden, ich habe mich auch ziemlich verändert in den letzten Jahren. Aber ein Kind bleibt man ja doch immer irgendwie und das ist auch gaaanz wichtig und gut so! :)
      Ganz liebe Grüße und hab einen schönen Tag!

      1. Liebe Elli,
        So, tut mir leid, dass es so lange gedauert hat. Es hat mich sehr gefreut wieder von dir zu hören, vielen Dank für deinen Kommentar!
        Ich hoffe, dass du mehr positive als negative Veränderungen erlebt hast und in Zukunft noch viele positive Erlebnisse erleben wirst! Darf ich fragen, was eine negative Veränderung war? Ich hoffe, dass du mit deiner Entwicklung glücklich bist und gut auf dein inneres Kind acht gibst :)
        Alles Liebe! <3

        1. Hallo Monika,
          oh ist doch gar kein Problem! Schön, von dir zu hören! :)
          Die negativen waren zum Beispiel leider einige Todesfälle in der Familie oder dass mein Papa für einige Zeit quasi zum Pflegefall wurde… das schmeißt dann schnell mal das ganze Leben um. Aber es gab auch viel Gutes und insgesamt bin ich zur Zeit sogar sehr glücklich und hoffnungsvoll für die Zukunft! :)
          Ich hoffe dir geht es gut und du hast jetzt dann ein schönes, sonniges Wochenende! :)
          Alles Liebe dir zurück <3

          1. Hallo Elli,
            Gleich einige Todesfälle? Das ist ja schrecklich. Ich musste das zum Glück noch nie erleben.. Kann mir gut vorstellen, dass dies das Erwachsenwerden beschleunigt. Ich bin sehr froh zu hören, dass du aber zur Zeit der Zukunft sehr positiv entgegenblickst :) gibt es besondere Gründe dafür?
            Mir geht es gut, danke – wie geht es dir denn?
            Pass auf dich auf :*

    1. Happy Birthday Monika!!! I wish you all the best for the next chapter of your book :) I’m sure you’ll have many interesting stories to write. And I wish you good luck with achieving your goals!! There are many nice things on your list. I have to say, my twenties were pretty awesome (still are for a little while;)). Studying, meeting new people, traveling…there are some cool things and experiences ahead of you!! Make sure you’ll enjoy it ;)

      1. Hey Dennis – here’s my reply, three weeks later.. I’m sorry! Thank you very much for your kind words :) I do hope I’ll have many interesting stories to experience and write about. You really make me look forward to the next ten years to come (I still can’t believe you’re almost ten years older, haha) and I hope you’ll have an awesome last year before starting your next chapter! :)

    1. I like this thought “ask people I don’t know very well for a photo shoot, .. the possibilities are endless.”. I have done it a couple of times and got very good results. But I am still not comfortable doing it on a daily basis. I will have to give some more shots at having uncomfortable conversations to make myself comfortable with it.

      1. thank you for reading and commenting! :) I’m definitely not doing this on a daily basis either, but in the meantime, I’ve photographed many people I didn’t know before the shoot – and since everyone was nice so far, I’ve never had a bad experience :) putting yourself into an uncomfortable situation so you’ll gradually feel more comfortable about it sounds like a great plan – I’m going to do this with my street photography in Uruguay! that’s quite challenging for me. Good luck with your endeavors! :)

    1. Hey Monika
      I think, this post was a while ago (a year ago), but as others note (comments above) – you’re wise, beyond your years! (Also, I suggest, wise beyond your ears.)

      Hey check this out:
      …this is what science (well, Psychology) says about your personality.

      `The Creative Personality’ (Psychology Today magazine, 1995)
      Here are the 10 antithetical traits often present in creative people.

      ie I think, you tick all ten boxes, right?

      Aw man – I’m supposed to be 41 Earth-years old now (ie so they tell me), but, 21 years ago when I was 20? I was a mess. Just finished working on the family farm — and very much knew what I didn’t wanna do (ie work on the family farm, LOL),
      But – wanted to be a filmmaker – and novelist – and photographer – and songwriter – and actor – and videogame maker – and basically, creative professional person.
      And – didn’t really have a clue how to do it.
      No connections, no mentors, no friends or family in the business, nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch-i-mundo.
      It was just, me – and, very some big ambitious dreams.
      Starting: from scratch.

      So I took a gap year off at 20, and applied to university.
      To do: Communications.
      And, studied, and one thing led to another, and it worked out.

      So – 21 years later, oddly, I somehow managed to do all that stuff…?! (Weird.)
      eg (No need to read this blog. but it shows all that creative stuff)
      The Transmedia Blog of JT Velikovsky:

      Anyhoo. Thank you yet again for sharing!!!!

      Keep up the amazing photography and blogging.

      And yes: stay young (inside) either way. :)

      ie In that article (above) about The Creative Personality?

      `Creatives’ are both: often very childlike (playful, curious, naive, innocent, fascinated by everything) and yet also very `old and wise’ also (ie wise, grown up and responsible, in other ways, or, at other times… or indeed– as the situation requires it!)

      Anyway, great post.


      1. Hi Joe,

        thanks for your interesting comment and the article! I’ve just read it. I’m not sure if all ten points apply to me (maybe they will in the future, I only became a ‘creative person’ last year), but I have found myself in some of them! Especially in the childlike and mature point (though I think I got the child-thingy from my mum, haha)

        I shared your story with my boyfriend (who is currently studying audiovisual communication and wants to become a scriptwriter/director) and he could totally identify with it and it gave him hope since he’s also starting from scratch.

        Thank you so much for sharing your story! :)

        Take care and have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Haha cool! Please suggest to your b.f., to read my blog! :) (https://storyality.wordpress.com/)
      – It’s totes meant to help anyone who is just starting out in the field.
      ie Basically, I sure wish, someone had told me all the stuff I say on my blog, 20 years ago :) hehe

      1. I can’t visit your blog via your profile – could you send me the link? :)
        How old are you? And thank you so much for your kind words, but I’m sure I’m not more awesome! I used to think that half the world was cooler than me, now I’ve come to realise that it’s bullshit. I’m sure you’re really cool as well, don’t tell yourself otherwise <3 hugs from Switzerland!

          1. thanks! :) Do you also have a blog? I’m already super curious because of your country of origin – I know people from everywhere, but nobody from the Middle East :D that’s so fascinating haha

              1. Oh, India, awesome! <3 I'm taking care of Indian twins and they're so adorable :D

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