Tag Archives: Life

Normalcy is overrated, right?

4 Sep

Today I came across a blog post by the lovely Emmy in which she talks about the difficulties she has about explaining where she is from/what exactly made her her. I couldn’t explain it either, there is only one thing I remember about growing up which is still with me in some way – wanting to feel normal.

There is not one single definition as to what makes a life normal and another one abnormal. There are definitions as to what the adjective ‘normal’ refers to but what is a normal human being? How does he/she feel? I guess many people think of themselves as different, so here is my tale.

The first time I felt different was in kindergarten when I was asked what my father’s job was and I couldn’t answer. At that time he still lived with me and mom but I had no clue as to what his job was since he spent most of his time at home but not like a stay at home parent. All I knew was that he was not really unemployed but not really employed either as he was doing stuff that wasn’t cool. Kindergarten!Me didn’t know what to make of it so I said I didn’t exactly know; the first of many such explanations. All I wanted was to be able to say, hey, my dad is a police man, a firefighter, construction worker, secretary etc. but I couldn’t because it wasn’t the truth.

I knew from an early age that my parents weren’t happily married; in fact one of my first memories is seeing my father shove my mom into a wall so hard it left a crack in it. I heard them yelling at each other too many times, mostly about money. To this day I don’t know everything but I know enough to be sure he was an ass. The rest, I really do not want to know. I have no idea why my mom didn’t divorce him sooner but once he moved out of the house I was glad. However it was another thing that said I wasn’t normal – my parents were separated whereas all my friends at school had mostly happy families with parents that were still married and living together without yelling at each other all the time. I wanted that so badly.

In 2003 I had to have surgery on my hip which meant I didn’t have to go on the class trip to France (which I was more than happy about) but it also meant I was running around on crutches for the better part of that year, having physical therapy and all sorts of stuff. Regarding medical issues one can have, my hip dysplasia is a light weight but nevertheless none of the other kids had to explain why they needed surgery. When they were on crutches, it was because they had broken a bone or sprained their ankle like normal kids/teens.

Of course this post couldn’t be complete without talking about being gay since it took me so long to accept that about myself. I have a very specific memory of thinking “Please don’t let me be gay, please, I want to be like everyone else”. I was in fifth or sixth grade by then, maybe even younger. So for the next ten years I wasn’t gay, I was trying to find boys exciting but I failed miserably. When a boy tried to kiss me (at least I think that’s what he was doing) in seventh grade, I just ran away. I had no problem flirting with him over text messages but heaven forbid we were face to face. Back then, I didn’t realise why I ran away from him, or why I didn’t feel what I was supposed to feel about the next one, in retrospect it makes sense though.

To this day I feel like the odd kid out, I frequently cannot remember German words while I know the exact right phrase in English. I watch shows that none of the people around me have watched whereas I don’t keep up with crappy reality TV like everyone else. There are things I feel like someone my age should have experience by now, like falling in love, being in a relationship, going on a date and all that stuff. I don’t have a father anymore, or a mother. I keep the biggest part of my online life secret from most people in my life except my closest friends because they don’t understand why I live online like this. I hardly ever felt normal. I still don’t. Maybe that is a lot of bullshit, lots of people have weird things going on in their lives, I am by far an exception and normalcy is overrated anyway. Just sometimes I’d like to be able to see the normal, easy road ahead of me instead of the unpaved road I usually travel on.

Oppositionalism

21 Aug

The whole vlog every day in August thing has made me think about a lot of things I normally don’t spent too much time thinking about. For example, today’s topic about insecurities left me fairly unsatisfied as I didn’t know how to express what I feel because I don’t even know how I feel. I acknowledge that I have a lot of insecurities but I can’t label them let alone rank them.

And somehow my brain jumped from that to the fact that I cannot stand when people tell me what to do. I never did. I don’t enjoy unasked advice because I think I need to be able to make my own decisions, let them be mistakes but they are my mistakes and I need to make them in order to learn. If you tell me to watch Angel for example because he is less broody and annoying on his own show than he was on Buffy, I will probably cross my arms in front of my chest and do exactly the opposite of never even checking out the show. Especially if I said I don’t care for the character and you keep telling me that he’s totes better on his own show. Nope, sorry but I will not do that. In fact, it makes me want to do the exact opposite of what you suggested.

I can’t exactly explain where this is coming from nor have I any interest in changing this thing about myself. I was a good kid growing up and I understand how biased this is, coming from me. Nevertheless I tried to not cause any trouble to Mom and Grandma and I did a good job at such. Therefore these two authority figures in my life didn’t have to tell me much of what to do or tried to make me into someone I wasn’t. My grandma is probably the only person that I actually take orders from because she has earned the right to put me in my place from time to time.

If you want me to do something I may not be fully on board with, try to make it sound like it’s my own idea. I just have this need to do things myself, in my own way, however shitty that may turn out to be. I hardly ever ask for advice because I should be able to figure things out for myself. This is probably narrowing my ability to grow as a person or whatnot but that’s fine with me. I’m plenty of a person to begin with. I don’t even like asking for directions and only do so begrudgingly, like after walking up and down the hardware store three times without finding what I was looking for. Then, and only then I may consider asking for help.

The classmates of my long passed grandfather wrote about his character in the school paper that he was against it on principal. I guess that’s where I’m coming from as well.

“Aus Prinzip dagegen.”

And with this I’m ending tonights reflective insight to who I am. Maybe I will actually manage to create a more interesting and substantial post in the near future. Don’t get your hopes up though ;)

Not me, but apparently me after all.

6 Aug

Last year at this point in time I could have never fathomed that this would be me some day. I was so overwhelmed with Mom’s care-taking and my academic life that missing her seemed impossible. 12 months later I am sitting here in the middle of the night, missing her like crazy, and this is by far not the first night (or day) this has happened.

When I got the grade for my thesis she was the first and only person I really wanted to tell but I couldn’t for obvious reasons. Not like I told her about my A-levels or all the other times throughout my school life. Instead I spent the entire car ride crying of relief and sorrow over the fact that I was finally done with it but also that I was definitely done with it. Does this even make sense?

I was so happy to not have to worry about the outcome of my studies anymore while being extremely worried about not having a plan that went further then one day at a time. Things have started to become more interesting in the job department which is great. However there are so many things I would like to ask my Mom that I simply cannot and I never expected me to be this person that I read about on many different occasions,.

I’ve lived on my own before in a strange country and solitude is not a problem for me but…

I don’t understand why this is suddenly so hard for me. It has taken me such a long time to actually mourn my loss, it’s ridiculous. There were just so many overlaying feelings that had to subside first. And I keep wondering if this feeling of loss and missing her will ever dull and be a thing I hardly think about anymore. Will it get better when the job thing finally comes through and I am not entirely in between everything anymore? I’ve never been one to cry much but in these last couple of months I have been so not me on this front. Aside from missing her, I miss having my shit together and not started sobbing at random things. Will I ever get to be the person again that I was before the cancer and the death? Mirror, mirror on the wall…

Maybe having my family in town is increasing these feelings of loss. I look at my uncle and see so many of Mom’s features in his face that make it hard to look at him for me. Not even the good features but the face after she lost all the weight and was already sick. Today my aunt asked me what I wanted for my graduation present and I could only answer nothing because she is not supposed to be the one giving me anything. I know Mom would have been all over me with a gift and I would have given her a hard time about it but I would still have expected something. I don’t want Aunt and Uncle to pick up the slack for Mom not being here anymore. I don’t need a present, I already rewarded myself it’s no big deal. Nevertheless I want to know what she had gotten me. I want to know, damn it!

Mirror, mirror on the wall, will I ever stop with all the feelsy stuff?

Mina goes Grown-Up

30 Jul

Yep, you read that right, this little blogger is in the business of growing up, just a little bit though. I’m not ready for the whole nine yards yet. However, I managed to graduate from the university with my very own diploma in Industrial Engineering!! I think this calls for a little dance party, what would you say?

lemon dance 4

lemon dance 3

See, that was fun. Now onto the not so fun parts of graduating, having to actually work for a living, look for a job and all those other pesky things. I’ve taken my sweet time to get there when you keep in mind that I handed in my thesis at the end of May. Whoops. Sorry, not sorry. I took some time off traveling and avoiding responsibilities but now it’s time to actually do something useful with my time. (Not that marathoning all the TV shows of ever is not a useful thing in my book, but, you know, something that pays the bills.)

Yesterday I sent out a couple of applications and just in time I might add to get my uncle off my back because they’re coming over on the upcoming weekend. This had me spending my sunday night analysing why I’m dreading their arrival. Many points were already made in a post earlier this year. He won’t be able to complain though since I actually applied for some jobs. I even bought my very first pant suit which incidentally makes me want to throw up because, ugh, adulthood. I may also have created my very first online dating profile and I still don’t know how that makes me feel.

I fully plan on blogging about my holiday sometime soon but I’ve been too lazy to do so until now and with VEDA starting on Thursday, I guess it won’t happen too soon?! Will see, can’t promise anything. Have a Blurred Lines gender-swap video while you wait, m’kay?

How has life been treating you guys? What’s new? Talk to me!

Have I lost my mind?

24 Jul

Not sure if this was a wise descision but it’s something I wanted to do for a while now so here it comes: I signed up for VEDA! If you’re not familiar with that, it means I’m attempting to vlog every day in August. Crazy, I know, right?

Since I thought I needed some more training, I made a little vlog to celebrate my sign-up which you can see below.

If you’re interested in VEDA yourself, you can sign up here. And also, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Girls in STEM: The Women of NASA

24 Jul

If you have about 50 minutes of time I strongly encourage you to watch the video below. It’s an all-women panel made up of NASA employees discussing how to get more girls and women into the STEM field. But what is STEM you might ask. Let me clear that up for you real quick.

STEM is an acronym of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In Germany, this is referenced as MINT. While the number of women in this field has increased over the last couple of decades it is still not made up equally of men and women, men are domineering these fields and that is something education policies are trying to address. As an Industrial Engineer, I fall into this STEM field and it’s true. Of the 200-something first year students, less than 50 were female. My AP math and physics classes in high school were made up of similar ratios which is something I don’t get. Yes, every person has a different set of skills but women are not categorically worse at math or science just because they are women. Instead we are, from an early age on, pressed into these categories.

Girls play with dolls and boys get to fix stuff with their fathers. These are the things that influence us throughout our lives. It doesn’t have to be like this though. I was very lucky, my uncle, Mr. PhD in Physics, was giving me all these great gifts for Christmas and my birthdays each year. I got a microscope, electronic sets, Lego Technics and much more of these things that are not typically girls toys. And I am grateful for it. As a kid I never knew this to be something special but as an adult I can appreciate it even more so. Having grown up with a father who didn’t change the tires on his car himself or even change a lightbulb in the house and a mother who was not that handy herself, I learned a lot of things at an early age because there was nobody there to do it for me. Even more so after my father left when I was a teenager. Either I did the things or they didn’t get done so I stepped up and rightfully so.

Watching the panel above reminded me of how far we’ve already gotten but also of the long road that is still ahead of us. But just watching these women talk about their work has me all excited because they are so excited about their work to begin with. I am a grown woman but listening to them I’m like a little kid standing in front of a fire truck admiring the view. And I can’t even imagine what this does to girls in primary or middle school, seeing what anyone can accomplish if you set your mind to it. Seeing that as a girl, you cannot only become a nurse or house wife but you can become an astronaut as well! You can work with the brightest minds of the country, discover new galaxies, see the world from space and many more things.

And a note to those of you who think that NASA is not important, I beg to differ. The research they are doing is not only so they can send people into space, every day lives are improved by it. If you don’t believe me, follow this link. At the moment NASA is researching the bone and muscle loss of astronauts which will eventually help older people with less dense bones and the treatment of their conditions. These are just some examples. Many people may know the joke about the competition between the US and Soviet space programs. Faced with the challenge of writing in zero gravity, NASA spent millions on inventing a pen that works in zero gravity while the Soviets used a pencil. But as one of the panelists said “fail and fail often”, it’s a good thing. It means we are aiming high enough and there is no shame in failing as long as we get back up. Also, ask as many questions as possible. Ask people for help to try and get where you want to get to in life.

One of my favourite quotes from this panel is by Edward Teller upon being asked wether women should be allowed to become astronauts. He said: “Yes, in fact, only women should go to space. More brains per pound.” There you have it ladies. Don’t take no for an aster. Be bold and don’t accept being told you can’t do something just because you’re female. And most importantly, teach your kids these values, push your daughters not only to play with dolls but get them a tool set and vice versa for the boys.

For further information visit Women@NASA

Life post Graduation

14 Jul

I am officially done with my degree in industrial engineering now even though I will stay enrolled until the end of term for insurance and pension reasons. Alas, this means I will have to find a job but I still have no idea what I want to do. Sure, I’d love to work for ESA the European Space Agency but that sounds highly unlikely. I would also love to write a book (lol, I know) or get paid for watching TV but those are all not very realistic scenarios.

My options are not limitless or better so, I am limiting myself by region. This is something I never thought I would do but things have changed and I have to adapt. I have a house to think of. Of course I could rent it out but that would mean cleaning it out first, and it is full of mine and Mom’s entire life. I have more stuff that I care to have but that doesn’t mean I can easily get rid of these things either. Also, getting a decent tenant is not the easiest thing these days. You can get lucky, sure, but you can also end up with hoarders that more or less destroy your beautiful house. I am just not ready for that. I am not. I cannot pack my things and move on from here, I wish I could but it’s not just the house, it’s other things as well. There is my Grandma and the theatre that I love being a part of and don’t completely want to give up.

And honestly, at this point, I don’t care about going out into the world. I know I should. I am young, this is the time to do it, yada yada yada. I just don’t feel it, okay?! I want to go on long holidays like last year, maybe own a summerhouse by some gorgeous lake in southern Sweden but I don’t need to flee this country right now. No matter where you live, it’s never perfect so I’ll stay here for a while. Where I know what to expect and am integrated into the community.

Last month I met with my godmother, she lives in Berlin with her husband and our little city naturally was too small for them. Of course it was. Of course. I get it, you live in the capital, that’s awesome, I like the city very much but I don’t feel too limited where I am just now, thank you. Frankfurt and Cologne are not that far away and until American Eagle opens a store anywhere in Germany, it doesn’t really matter where I am as I found Marshmallow fluff in the grocery store. What more could I possibly want? – Ahoi chewy chocolate chip cookies, thanks for asking.

Despite my high flying dreams of what I would like to do, I will try and downsize it a lot, go for a big local company and see if they will hire me. There I can get a start, see if I am really as terrible at anything else aside from TV watching or not. Maybe I will even find something that makes me almost happy and I can deal with my emotional and stuffy baggage then. This sounds reasonably which means I will have to learn how to write applications and do job interviews now. After all, this is the first time in my life I am out of the educational system and without a specific plan for the future.

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