Stop, Coffee And Smell the Roses

If we were having coffee. I have seen this tag once here on WordPress and forgot about it. Today I just felt the need to do a post that goes like a rant over coffee – about everything (while usually I try to streamline my blog and make it fit neatly into my categories, hehe). So, I recollected that somewhere in my feed I’ve seen posts with this title “If we were having coffee” – and a quick search on WP gave more posts like that. So let me go grab my coffee and share with you my mixed thoughts that didn’t fit neatly into my categories and content plan (like I have one ;)).

Blogging bubble. I was checking an Instagram page of my favorite Scandinavian jewelry designer and clicking on the collaboration posts with the bloggers. They all seemed to be German (though there was one Norwegian and two Swedish ladies) – and they all look alike. Very similar to my eye. Big lips, big breasts, carefully down curls, photos featuring their outfits, beauty products, jewelry and coffee cups. After checking five of such profiles one could write a recipe of what it means to be an influencer nowadays. One lady was different, though. She was a singer, living in the North of Sweden, she was older than the rest, more hippielike, and her gallery full of shots of Swedish forests. That was refreshing. I wish I could see more women like her. But the most girls were like each other. Which made me think about what it means to be a blogger these days.

When I started to blog in Russian some 12 years ago, no one cared. Blogging was like having an online journal which I started for sharing about my life with my friends who stayed in my home country. I got caught up by the process and genuinely enjoyed putting my experiences into words, not really caring how many people were reading my stuff. Now, when I share a link to my blog on FB, I get a question: “So you became a blogger, huh?” What do you mean by “became”? I’ve been doing it for many years now – and it is nothing I fancy of “becoming”. But it looks like “blogger” is a profession now. Kids say that when they grow up they want to be bloggers and youtubers, not teachers, ballerinas and pilots like we wanted when we were kids. Sorry, but I didn’t mean it to be my profession. Is it ok that I still participate in that field?

“How is your blog doing? Have you got sponsored?” – my colleagues asked me. But I am not doing it for getting sponsored. I mean, I would love one day to make money doing the thing I love, and writing and creating content is what I love too, and I practice it by blogging. But it doesn’t mean that I want to create my blog like a perfect space for advertising everything – from shampoos and hair pills to the hotels. I want to create my online magazine, a thing I would love to read myself – but I don’t want to prop it full of commercials. I see that the marketing strategies have changed, and now the bloggers take over the role played by the magazines: they share their style – and they do the advertising. But if someone wants to turn their blog into a commercial spot and live off it, it doesn’t mean that everyone who writes a blog wants to do so. Some do it just for the love of creating.

I wish I could say: well well, people are different and we all need different media and content (and blogs). But I am a teacher and (even if I am not a practicing teacher now) I will forever think of the influence we create in this world, and the influence that the growing generation is experiencing. So much for the wish of everyone to just make their living of their blogs – but I get critical about the effects some influencers are producing. It looks like a perfect life is still this: big lips, big boobs, carefully done curls, perfect manicure and a hipster man somewhere in the background. Thank you, bloggers, now we don’t need TV and magazines to press their images on us – now we have you, glossed and photoshopped! This is democracy in action, hallelujah!

At the movies. Last Friday we went to the cinema to watch a French movie “C’est la vie”. I am not a great cinema-goer and I am very picky about the films I want to watch. This one turned to be a little celebration of life. Created by the directors of another great French film “The untouchables”, this one shows the power of human emotion again. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry – and it makes you feel alive. The most interesting part: there are no special effects, no great script turns, it just shows a team of people creating a wedding, and during two hours you feel captivated – in the same location, by the same people. This is the power of human spirit and energy – they can captivate you and make you feel alive more than a mere entertainment does. I don’t have anything again American movies, but there are too many of them to a degree that the cultural space feels colonized by the American values. It is not directly bad, but I prefer diversity. It is like going to the restaurant and having the same choice of a steak and fries over and over again. That’s why I love European, especially French films. They are unpredictable in their ways.

Reading. It’s been a while since fiction has captured my heart like this one. I love to read but lately I walked away from fiction towards books on self-development (I don’t want to call it self-help), psychology and society. But I love – with all my heart – a good biography and am happy to have gotten this book as a Christmas present. I like the stories of self-made men, and especially of self-made women, and I didn’t suspect that a novel about Chanel would be so powerful. I used to see her just as a designer, but she was included into the list of most influential people of the 20th century, the only designer, and for a reason. She didn’t just change clothes, she changed the lifestyle of women: creating not only the clothes that allowed more freedom, but the mindset that allowed that too. The author, C. W. Gortner, does a great job telling the story of this prominent woman in her own voice. My favorite quote is by Chanel herself:

My life didn’t please me, so I created my life. – Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel

last coffee with Georg Jensen

Closing a chapter. The last day of February was the last day I worked in that shop where I began to work last year. I didn’t want to share much about it while I was working there, but now I can say that I worked in Georg Jensen, a Danish design brand for the fine jewelry and interior products. The main office chose to close the store in Oslo, and I find it sad (not only because we were losing our jobs). It always feels strange when you work the last day, as you don’t really realize that this is it. But I choose to believe that when you close one chapter, you start at the new one. And when one window closes, another one opens. We will see! I am ready for the change!

Oh, I feel this catchup over coffee took suddenly more time than expected. I hope, it’s ok with you as it is Friday and almost weekend 🙂 This is so very me, when I get into the swing of things, it is difficult to stop 🙂

Let me know if something has resonated with you. And have a nice start into a new month which brings a hope of spring (and plays with it too :))!

16 thoughts on “Stop, Coffee And Smell the Roses

  1. I have not read the Chanel biography, but saw a film? Documentary? She was a remarkable woman. Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll check it out. Here’s to your new beginning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also saw “Coco before Chanel” but I totally forgot it 🙊 So the book gives me a lot of insights)) and I just love to enjoy it bit by bit, it sinks better. Now I can see more why she was so remarkable.
      To the new beginnings, every time! Thanks, Pierr!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When one window closes, another one opens, yes indeed! Hope you find another job you like as much – you sound like you liked it? 🙂 I love Danish jewelry brands, I forgot to say that in your post with the mixed Scandinavian products picture.
    I enjoyed reading this post Marina, again! So many thoughts in common.
    I also think of my blog as a sort of online magazine in a way. Sometimes when I meet someone new here, or someone I don’t know well, I end up mentioning my blog because of whatever reason. It just slips out. And they never really say anything. They go blank. They never ask me what it’s about or what the address is. They just raise their eyebrows and go “oh…” So I feel like they think I’m some kind of wannabe. Only one person at work was interested in it, and a teacher at my internet marketing class.
    …What else? I saw C’est la vie too 🙂 And I love French movies!! Ever since I was a kid and I studied French at school, out teacher would show us lots of movies (I think she was a bit lazy, we also played lots of pétanque – learning to actually speak French was somewhere in the background!) Anyway, I thought it was ok but not great. The people stressing about work just reminded me of working in France, it wasn’t really my kind of humor. But there’s always the scenery and the language to focus on! And usually, I love how French movies don’t spell it out, they let the viewer make their own conclusions and assume that the viewer is intelligent enough to do so. Hollywood films always spell it out each time…

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    • Thank you for the warm feedback, Snow! Keeps me motivated to write more (in the comment to Manja below I air my doubt that writing is so old-school and maybe as I blogger I should search for the new ways of communication. But but… as they say in Norwegian :))
      I liked it, and I also would love to combine a shop job with something else. Oh, which Danish designers do you like? With all my love for Scandi design, I don’t know many jewelry names.

      I am a fan of French movies. Sad that it is not easy finding them. I am always so envious traveling in France and seeing their cinema stands, so many local films! Ahaha, your French teacher sounded like a real professional. “Come on, French is all about enjoying your life, joie de vivre, so let’s play petanque” :))) I enjoyed “c’est la vie” because of that energy flow I could feel – totally different than Nordic. And people in the room were laughing out loud, it was a good atmosphere. Like two hours of party 🙂
      I feel that Americans produce too many movies so I can generalize. But with many I feel this taste of predictability – in the beginning you can guess the end (and I don’t watch a wide range, not thrillers, mysteries and action, so that leaves me with drama and comedy). And also, as you say, they spell it out. And no matter what happens (dirty sex jokes, rebels, promiscuity, whatever) in the end everything sums up to the same: family values, real love, bla bla. It is so American. Like you can be a lazy shithead through the movie, but in the end you will realize who is your real love, get on your knee and pull out the ring. Come on, life is not so uniformal, people!

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      • Hahah! Yes, and in American movies the goal/purpose of life/everyone’s dream is always to get married! (What?!) And spend a zillion on the wedding! (Whaaaat?!) And then the woman obviously quits working. (Why?!) It’s so weird and worn out. And men always run after the women onto streets in the rain. And in thrillers, the cops are always dirty. And so on, so on…
        I’ve seen a lot of French movies along the years and I like 99% of them. Can’t remember most of them though. The last one I saw was about a man in a wheelchair who hired an assistant – I usually don’t watch movies with a sad theme because I get depressed so easily 😀 But that one was really good! Can’t remember the name. Then another one I liked, which was actually very, very sad was Cafe de Flore with Vanessa Paradis. Can you get movies from the library in Norway? Here, you can.
        I also like other movies from around the world. Tesis was a great Spanish thriller I’ll always remember, and El secreto de sus ojos a really good Argentinean one!
        As for Danish jewels, Pilgrim is a nice brand that’s inexpensive, kind of like Vero Moda for jewels 🙂 And I’ve had a couple of rings from Dyrberg/Kern which I really liked!

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      • And in the way American values just ring the bell of… Russian values. To me. It is all about getting married, family values, macho roles… Gosh, last night I watched “where to invade next?” by M. Moore, and it reminded me so much of Russia, with the propaganda, military spendings and even prison labor (like in USSR). I always wanted to live for a while in the States, a country of opportunity, but now I feel more like that Islandic woman saying: “there are no real opportunities”. and she adds, in her beautiful accent: “I would not live there if you payed me” haha.

        That French movie is “Untouchables” I refer to, the same directors who did “C’est la vie”! It is genial, the same power of human emotion and not the special effects.
        Oh, I used to borrow movies from the library in my first years here, but with all the availability of the internet, especially the Russian services, hehe. Thanks for reminding! I will check it again!
        As for Danish jewels… 🙂 Pilgrim is nice, it is not wide-spread, and the choice is tiny, but I have found a couple of necklaces I like. Dyrberg/Kern is really popular here. And then there is so much resemblance in some Scandi designs sometimes, I cannot tell who is who 🙂

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      • Oh yes, Untouchables is the movie I meant! 😀 Last night, there was a French movie on TV but I didn’t watch it because I don’t have time to watch now and I’d already seen it. It was La vie d’une autre femme with Juliette Binoche. I love her movies!
        Interesting that the American ideals are the same as the Russian!!! Seeing as they are always seen as each other’s enemies in all the movies, they are in fact similar. Well well well. Over here in Finland, many people have big weddings but also many don’t. People are more down to earth. Personally, being a princess and spending all my money on a party have never been things I’ve dreamt of…

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      • I guess, Untouchables has won some prizes, it is so worthy it. I love Juliette Binoche, but my first meeting with her was through a very very sad film “A thousand times good night” about young girls being used for carrying bombs in terror attacks. I was crying after the movie, it felt so heavy and sad. But I would love to see more movies with her, they are not all sad, I hope, haha.
        I would not say they are the same, but there is a lot of resemblance 🙂 And I guess, they have the same basis for their cultures: huge country, huge empire to protect, so there is heavy military, heavy propaganda. That’s why they are similar maybe, and also that’s why they seem each other like enemies. European countries have totally different basis. Look at the narrative of Norway. A little proud country in the North, peaceful, humanist, secular. It is a totally different story than that of the big big boys 🙂
        In Norway people can live together for years without getting married, and then, when the kids go to school, they decide to throw a wedding 🙂 some live also a whole life without it. And I never dreamt of the wedding, so this culture fits me in this matter 🙂

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  3. C’est la vie sounds interesting, might see it. The end of one’s job for external reasons is always a bit stressful. I hope you find an even better one. Would you like to teach again? As for blogging, I’ve given up on getting new (or old) people excited about my blog. In this day and age, with such online competition, everybody who spends some time willingly on my blog is hailed as a little miracle. Including you. 🙂 Much luck for the future!

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    • Thank you, Manja! I hope too 🙂 I would love teaching again, but to adults. It is not easy to get into this branch as Norwegian system is very formal and you have to have right education for that and bla bla. But it seems like I can find some openings there.

      Oh, so totally agree with you. There is so much information flow in these ages, and so many channels. I soon will feel like a dinosaur bc I write so much 🙂 When everyone already communicates through images and videos. It seems like a much easier and entertaining way to follow someone. But no, I am old schooler, I want to write! Never knew I was so conservative :)))
      cheers to those little miracles! May they happen all the time 🙂

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