“What are you Scared off?”

My recent post kept my inbox filled with questions for the last couple of days. I think more explanations are needed on why I took certain steps in my life. 

I asked a very good friend of mine yesterday if he is afraid of anything. He told me, “Yes, I am afraid of mice and birds!” Initially I thought, how can anybody be afraid of these little, innocent sweet things. But it is the context that matters. Why? We are not just afraid of things without a reason. I observe this with Petit Joel as well. He watches me. Constantly. I am not afraid of X, Y and Z, so he is not. I don’t  freak out about a spider or bee and neither is he. I don’t tell him bad things about dark, spooky places and he won’t get afraid. Easy so far? Read on. 

Whenever I catch myself in a place full of anxiety, stress, panic, confusion or even self-doubt, the little strength that I built up over time comes up and puts this nice, neat bubble around me for protection. It was not always that easy. I was scared to leave everything behind in Germany and move to New York. I remember this exact moment when I decided to make this switch in my life. This switch from routine, comfort, home and safety to uncertainty, thrill and insanity. I worried (German Angst) to leave my family and friends behind to take this job offer across the ocean and planting myself into a new city, all alone with my entire belongings/my life packed nicely in three suitcases. I was afraid to ride the subway in New York, I did not want to talk to strangers or to even approach them. I thought I will never pick up the language and my English is not good enough. I was 23 when I arrived in New York. Innocent but dumb enough to believe that I can make a living writing a column for a newspaper and have a nice brownstone apartment on the Upper East Side like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. I spent a lot of time with myself. Alone. Thinking and reading a million books. And soon enough I remembered why I decided to make this switch in my life and that I needed this personal growth to realize that Carrie Bradshaw is not real (and sucks; I mean c’mon, she left Aidan!!!!). 

I pushed myself past my perceived boundaries and it was all okay. I looked at my apartment, my life and the strength that I gained which all ignited this little spark of inner confidence that eventually lit the fire. Pushing myself past these boundaries was important but there are also always setbacks and discouragements. Things that threw me back. Bad experiences. Birds and mice? Roaches? There are the victories and then again the self-doubt, the confusion, anxiety and questions like if this was the right decision to leave everything behind and start something new. So how do I deal with these feelings of sometimes exhaustion, discomfort, hating all this here especially the weather and this damn thesis on suicide notes (since I am human and I am not sugar coating anything here) and transform them into energy that will just make me feel good or propel me forward? 

My 80 year-old neighbor gave me the answer. She told me to just stop overthinking things. She said that we are so bombarded with stimuli and several distractions in our daily life and that we just lost sight in this incredible benefit of not thinking. She told me that whenever I feel like I am drowning or I am stuck with work on suicide notes, I cannot breathe correctly or I suffer from anxiety to just pause for a second, stop what I am doing and especially stop thinking. She said to just deeply breathe and re-center. Simple as that. I tried to make a joke by telling her that I never tried this technique with roaches in New York since luckily there are none in Canada. She just shook her head and said, “Rule number one, don’t try. Just let yourself be alone and the turbulent whirlpool in your head will quiet itself.” 

Since I suffer from, a let’s say milder form of, PTSD and know what fear, insomnia and nightmares are all about, this is pretty helpful. I believe that fear is just an illusion. An illusion that our mind creates which means I can slow down my thoughts,  worries and fearful, frightening chatter and especially those eyes that appear almost every night. I believe this is how I can reach mental clarity. 

Real Playground Talk.

It is finally spring in Canada; well, in Ottawa where we live. Needless to say, everything starts to blossom and bloom and it is warm enough to comfortably wear a t-shirt, short pants or a dress and finally give my Canada Goose jacket a break for a bit. Warmer weather also means spending a lot of time outside, enjoying the sun, playgrounds, picnics and endless chats with other mom’s in the neighborhood who mostly with tired eyes and annoying look stand somewhere, stare at their phones and wait for supper-time. I am sure I am a crap friend to most of them since I usually say how things really are. How I really feel about things. Usually, I don’t do this out of malice but looking back, I was always like this. 

I have spoken to a mom the other day and she told me that all her extracurricular activities are over since she had her first child. She is currently pregnant with the second (sigh!) and mostly miserable and sad. “My life has been flushed down the toilet,” she said, while looking for a paper towel in her pocket. “My friend called me the other day to hang and go to the movies and I was so tired that I almost feel asleep on the phone, ” she sobbed. She doesn’t know how to make time for others; especially her childless, “normal” friends (as she called it) anymore. Also, her husband is never home and works late most of the nights. “Is he trying to escape? You think he still loves me? Do you think he thinks I am fat, now that I am pregnant? Well, he does spend a lot of time in the office,” she said and wiped away some more tears. 

Honestly, things changed drastically when my son was born. Baby blues? Yep, quite a bit! Gladly, I had my parents to help me a lot but I also called spontaneous weeknight drinks, readings, reading, movies, theater and museum-visits and get-together(s) goodbye for a long time. Now slowly, I am able to go out again but I don’t have “normal” childless friends anymore, hah! Go figure and there is this desperate yawning sad chasm between them and I! Anybody who did not congratulate me or brought me a gift to the birth of my son within the first year is dead to me! Just kidding, there are some true friends left but it took a toll on some relationships for sure. The ones I truly treasure remained however for many years which is the most important thing! This being said, I think it is very important to have childless friends! Friends who inspire me, who still read, watch good movies and have interesting stories to tell; well, anything that does not involve kids. Spending time with childless friends makes me think that nothing has changed. I absorb their relaxed attitude for a while and I am good again. Free(er) and ready for new challenges. 

Whenever we are outside, Petit Joel loves to play with the bigger kids. Those kids who are already five or six years old and up. They play rough and usually he gets thrown into the mud; occasionally water, or beaten up with wooden sticks. He does not care and goes back to play with them the next day. For me as a mom, I would think that it is kind of logical to look and connect with mom’s who have children in Petit Joel’s age and are in the same boat as I am and so these little guys get along a big better. This is when I met my new mom friend, Meghan. *

Her son is not even three years- old and we can talk for hours. We hit it off from the start. We started talking about how we sometimes still find ourselves struggling with the realities of our mom-situation. We spoke about this little feeling that only mom’s can relate to when approaching the daycare and spying this sign that says: Daycare will be closed next Monday for X, Y and Z. Which means, long weekend, which means three days nonstop entertainment and so on. “I hope the weather will be okay. Like rain would toooootally suck, eh,” she tells me while I still stare at the sign with my eyes and mouth wide open. With a bit of a weird feeling and a slight frustration I pick up my son. Don’t get me wrong here. I love him so much and spending time with him is the best. However, I don’t want to lose myself or forget about myself in the picture. He is here, I gave birth to him but this does not mean that my life is on hold until he moves out at some point. 

So I have some mom-friends but sometimes I even feel anger, helplessness, more frustration and whatnot toward all my childless friends since I want to be in their shoes again, just for one day. This usually happens when shit hits the fan and we had a very hard day. You know, this feeling of just caring for yourself and nobody and nothing else really seems then so tempting. Once I made this decision to have a child and everything changed and I have to keep that in mind. I know now that there is a huge lack of freedom and spontaneity that was all so natural before. Every weekend party, activity or hangout needs to be planned in advance and be child proof to some extend and many won’t even happen. I do take my son to festivals, some concerts or the occasional Senators hockey game.  And he is okay with it for some time but it is however not the same as when I go there without him; it seems I can never really fully enjoy it or relax. “Hire a babysitter, my childless friends suggest. Yep, great idea, but then I think about money, time, is he okay with the sitter, did he eat, did she remember to put a diaper on for the night, will she call and I constantly check my phone. And whenever you bring your child along to any childless friends party (because your childless friends say it is OKAY; honestly, how many of your friends really want to hang out too long with your kid and how quickly are you leaving after you arrived when you do not see another child running around? One hour max; if even…

I just have to face it. I decided to have a child with everything it entails. All the pros and cons and even though I did have some parenting examples that could have warned me not to take this step, (I never wanted to have children) I decided to have this child anyway. You know why? I told myself that I will do it all differently than all the other moms. My child will be different. Easier. And this is why human beings exist. Why we have a society and why women still give birth to these little people. It can be so exhausting but yet I love my son to death and I am glad he is here on this planet.

*Name has been changed. 

Aging.

I woke up this morning, earlier than usual for a Sunday, and looked out of the window. I felt like crawling right back into bed. A draining mix of grey, cold and rain was what I saw first. On my bedside table: Bakhtin’s Speech Genre and other late essays. “What a great start,” I mumbled. I put on some comfortable clothes, dragged myself to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and realized that more sleep would have definitely been good for me. The last couple of weeks and days just sucked a lot of energy out of me.  Today, I definitely look older than I feel. While I searched for some lotions and potions I heard that Petit Joel is up reading loud in his room. 

He greeted me by asking, “How old are you again, Mommy? I am almost four years-old but you are ooooooold, right?” Exactly what I needed to hear. “I am almost 36, so maybe I am a little bit old”, I told him while I rolled my eyes. I gave him his clothes to change and realized that he needs new ones. Did this kid outgrow most of his things over night? He eats way more than usual, sleeps longer and tells me here and there that his knees hurt but c’mooooon. 

I went downstairs to prepare breakfast for us but the thought of getting older followed me quietly like a shadow. While I made coffee I thought that I wouldn’t call it wrinkles since they only appear when I am laughing and ONLY on the side of my eyes. Laugh-lines are a good thing and I usually don’t have frown lines unless I have to get really angry. I also found ONE grey hair so far. Sometimes my knees hurt but this is usually only after sitting in the library for hours. I chase my son up the slide and down and all over the playground without a problem but when other kids call me Ma’am, I sort of cringe. I am up to date with all the apps, gadgets on the iPad, phone and I know what’s hot on the kid’s channel. What I however will never understand is Snapchat. I just don’t. 

My son comes downstairs, fully dressed with just minor adjustments necessary. Okay, I had to change him completely since he decided to put on his Halloween costume that he found in his closet. I realized that not too long ago, I had to dress him daily, nurse him, change his diapers, do everything from scratch. He grew up so quickly and looking at him I realize that I am indeed getting older but this is a good thing. I am learning and I am changing. Some things that used to keep me up at night so I can worry about them (German Angst again) have been replaced by others since the former are not significant anymore. Certain parenting-related or social issues are over and new ones arrived. I found out that I love to talk to my 80 year-old neighbors who sit by the window and observe the birch tree, flowers, birds and have so much knowledge and experience and they do remember the past so vividly. 

Isn’t it amazing how life goes in chapters? In one chapter I am a heartbroken girl who had been left by her boyfriend who cheated. In the next chapter I joined police academy; then I am a traveller and explorer; then a college student, a wife, a mother, a grad student and a thirtysomething woman writing all this. Things always change. Sometimes hard, difficult times feel rather endless but I always keep a very good friend and her tattoo in mind that says,”this too shall pass”. Who knows what will be written in the next chapter? 

Work and Suicide.

I know it has been quiet around here but I am pretty busy working on my thesis as well as on some personal issues. One question that popped up recently however is if I like what I am currently doing. Kind of like, “Do you like your job?”

“Hello, my name is Daniela and I am currently linguistically analyzing genuine suicide notes for my Master’s thesis and I really believe this might help so my nightmares eventually stop.” There are times when I feel restless and sad indeed. Especially when I read and analyze what suicidal people wrote in their maybe last minutes/hours alive which gives me goosebumps at points. It is not easy, let me tell you. Again, since this is still at a very early stage of my work I won’t discuss it further here. If you have questions or would like to know more about it send me an email through contact

I have a bunch of friends who envy my life and think this is all fancy which then makes them fantasize at the same time about going back to school, moving to a different country or even imagine doing something completely different like living off their land or joining a Kibbutz in Israel. But do they actually make the significant final step that it takes to start something new? Or is it just a dream that bursts like my son’s colorful dishwashing detergent bubbles? Changing careers or life is not easy or at least it wasn’t for me when I quit my job as a police officer in Munich. Quitting a job is a process that should be given quite some thought before actually making this decision.  

My parents are working at the same company for 35+ years. Wow! A long time! I watched Office Space yesterday and it made me realize once more that I made the right decision to make a slight change in my career path for now. But what makes many people stay with the company they are working for even though their mind is wandering every single day and they detest what they are doing day in and day out? Is it routine, starting lower again in the hierarchy, uncertainty, convenience, (German) Angst of the unknown, security, fear to lose the pension, safety, comfort, all of the above or something completely different? 

I don’t know anybody in my family or closer circle of friends (okay, maybe one: Ronia Fraser) who took the steps I did. Leaving Germany behind, saying goodbye at the airport to your loved ones and heading off to start a new life somewhere else. In a different country and different culture. When I started working at the UN, I realized after a while that it is totally okay to have two, three of four career changes already in ones working life. Many people I met went through major career changes and are fine. Nothing happened and honestly, they seemed happier, gained life experience  and are more content. I believe that switching career paths these days becomes more and more common and is okay. I met a woman who went from working as a banker on Wall Street to become a wedding planner and blogger. I reckon everything is possible, eh. 

The thing I always wondered about while I patrolled the streets of Munich was if this is it or if there is something else out there. Could I stick with this job until I retire? Of course, there are departmental changes possible within the police but nothing sounded tempting to me to stay or apply for something different. I was very young when I resigned (23!) and even younger when I joined the Police Force (17!!). The first steps are always the hardest. I brainstormed, researched and I knew I love New York. I love writing, I love the English language, I like the UN core values and I love to travel. I applied. I gave it a shot. And I got the position that changed my life 180 degrees and threw new challenges and tasks at me. I knew if I would not have resigned; and many people told me not to, I would have thought about this path not taken forever wondering what if. 

When people ask me now why I quit my “secure” police job I tell them that I was not happy. It just did not fulfill me. It made me very sad at points as well as frustrated and helpless. I still have nightmares about some of the things I saw while on duty and struggle mentally. It was very intense, tough and necessary for me to admit, that I needed to make a change even though deep inside I was struggling if I should take this sort of big risk to start something new. 

I never regretted this step. New doors started opening up. New challenges, new adventures. I went for something that sounded completely insane but I figured out a way to do it. Courage is important too I guess. And I think that it is okay to make wrong decisions since it is worth trying anyway. 

Mother’s Day.

This morning I received an email from my mom wishing me a happy Mother’s Day. Honestly, I am not very fond of days like this one. Valentine’s Day? Hells to the no! I want to be loved, respected and treasured by my family every day and do not need anything special just because a day in the calendar tells me so. 

I had a nice chat with my sister last night about how we, as mothers, deserve props for having all these superpowers we seem to have. As a mother, I notice things differently than before. I notice when we run low on diapers for example among other things that seem to magically appear and reappear in the household. I notice that we run low on my son’s favorite apple juice, muffins, Nutella and whatnot. I am the one who notices that certain veggies are rotting in the drawers in the fridge and that bananas are getting dark spots in the fruit basket. (Damn you, fruit flies!) I get input from le husband; however, I am the person who usually stays on top of these things and this post isn’t about him. It is about me, since it is Mother’s Day, eh! I definitely have superpowers and I am seeing things. Well, not dead people but basic stuff that makes life easier. I kinda rock! 

I rock in this mother-business because I notice that we are running low on coffee, on new clothes for Petit Joel, toothpaste/dental floss, lice hair shampoo (germ infested Daycare!). I am the person who notices we are running low on jam, pasta, bananas and other food basics and life/nerve-saving snacks to survive long car rides. I am the one who has all the ingredients at all times to make waffles which is essential. I am the one who notices that we run low on toilet paper and Tylenol (the party on Friday evening lasted longer than expected). I am also the one who notices that we run low on Children’s Tylenol and Paw patrol band-aids just because. I am the one who notices we are running low on crayons, glue sticks, sparkling water colors, paint brushes and colored pencils. 

I am also the one who notices that we need paper towels, laundry detergents, sponges, cleaning supplies and dish soap. I am the one who notices that Petit Joel needs new shoes and clothes that actually fit him. And hats, mittens, and appropriate outdoor clothing for Kindergarten since it is still sort of winter here. I know when sick notes, vaccinations and annual doctor visits are due. Also when Kindergarten forms need to be filled out and payments need to be made. Even when library books are due!  

I am not the one who notices that we are running low on oil for the car. That the battery needs to be charged and the charger needs to be charged so it can charge the battery. That Netflix account and iCloud storage need to be updated and that phone chargers, flashlights, fire distinguishers and lightbulbs are handy but who cares about and needs all this, right? Back to me.  

I am the one who hears: “Mommy, Mama, Mooooooooom, Mamiiiiiiii, I can’t find/do/see [insert anything here]” all day long without losing it. I am also the one who snuggles and is always there when Petit Joel has a fever. I am the one who sees dustballs under the table and crumbs on the couch. I am the one who finds the crayons in the car under the passenger seat. Petit Joel’s wrist watch is there as well. I am the person who knows when birthday parties (actually any party) and anniversaries are due and what kind of gifts to get in advance. I am also the one who notices a rotting goji berry under the kitchen counters. These are all real observation talents that mothers usually do not get credit for. You just do it, every day, without complaining. Okay, most of the time I do not complain. Okay, I complain but did we ever run out of diapers or apple juice? Never. 

Happy Mother’s Day to me and to my Mother who did the best job ever! I love you Maaaaaamiiiiiiiiiii <3

The Book Review: “Since We Fell” by Dennis Lehane.

Thanks to HarperCollinsCanada and the publisher for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I have read “Shutter Island” by the author which attracted me to Lehane’s latest book “Since We Fell”. This does not affect my opinion of the content or the book in my review.

Rachel Child did not have an easy childhood and grew up in a rather dysfunctional family. Her father left when she was a baby and her mother who is manipulative with a somewhat mean personality never revealed his identity to Rachel. Later on in Rachel’s life, she worked as a journalist, got married but things did not get better for her. She suffered from panic attacks and her husband left her after she experienced a major mental breakdown while covering the Haiti earthquake. She struggled with trauma and PTSD which just caused her to lose her job as a journalist. Rachel Child now lives as a “virtual” shut-in. 

Against all odds, she meets the love of her life, Brian who eventually becomes her second husband. Everything seems to get better in her life. She lives the “ideal life with an ideal husband” until she realizes that he lied to her since they first met about his life, what he does and who he is. She knows that she needs to work on and with herself first to overcome all this drama and trauma in her life and find strength; however, she focuses with an obsession on Brian, conspiracy, violence, fear, and this secret life her husband lives. 

Lehane’s language throughout Since We Fell is great and well-written; however, what through me slightly off was the fact that the first 150+ pages seem just too much of irrelevant build-up. There is a lot of “boring” (overly analyzed) heart-breaking, troubled suffering woman, romance, psychology, search for missing father, tension as well as description of Rachel’s bad/sad childhood and struggles later on in her life. [I usually give a book 50 pages to get me interested in the plot; however, Lehane’s language kept me going for some reason and I finished the 400 pages!].

I reckon, there is this duality throughout Since We Fell. In the first half of the book Rachel is looking for her father she never knew and in the second half she is doing the same thing with her second husband Brian. The ending of the book was rather abrupt and here Lehane could have used a little more elaboration indeed. 

Overall: If you read some of his other novels and enjoyed those, this book will most likely be for you. If you are willing to struggle through the first 150+ pages to get to the point, this book is also for you. Happy reading! 

The release date is May 9th, 2017. 

The World Trough my Son’s Eyes.

I should work on my MA Proposal but then again, it is Saturday night and I had an awesome day today that I would like to share. So there was this idea to hand my son my Canon camera to explore since he always wants to take pictures. I showed him my photo album recently and all the pictures from many years ago when I noticed this flicker of interest in photography in his eyes. We played outside in the park and at the playground and I took my camera with me. He was again all over it so I thought that it is okay to just hand it to him. With precaution of course. New lease, awesome camera, expensive, him constantly dropping (expensive) things. Yeah….

I explained and showed him once how to take a picture and he got it and understood. He did not change any settings of course but he carried my camera around almost everywhere we went. He has shot ALL of the black squirrels in the park, portraits of random things, his toys, portraits of me, his food and his all time favorite: the sky, birds and people’s shoes and hands. 

Looking over the memory card today, I thought I have to publish some of his “work” here since I think it is quite amazing and I was at points awestricken. We have been to the Musée canandien de la Guerre froide (Canada’s Cold War Museum) today and they had an Easter Egg Hunt throughout the bunker which was amazing. We ended up looking at everything else but the egg; nonetheless he received his bag of chocolate eggs for “finding almost all the eggs” in the end anyway. 

I love the naive, honesty in whatever he shoots. I love his eye and his focus on random, yet for him special things. I asked him today if he is planning to do anything with all his pictures since I showed him everything he shot today on the computer. He simply replied: “I just love to take pictures, Mommy!” 

Shopping for Supper.

I took a picture of this little paragraph today that someone jotted down on the wall at the library at the university. It somehow stuck with me throughout the rest of the day. It made me think. Made me think about my life even while I was at the supermarket with my son shopping for supper. I realized that the most obvious and ubiquitous things in life are for some reason the ones that are the most difficult to talk about. This little banalities in our day-to-day life while we go on, what gives our life “meaning” or importance. [I love reading the scribbles on the walls at the library]

So, what is the value of this education and the degree I am getting and “earning”? Does it pay off? Does it even have to pay off? All these things I learned in the past seven months at university and gaining a myriad of new knowledge: Is it supposed to just fill me up or should it teach me how to think on my own? Do I need anybody to teach me Statistics and all these formulas in mathematics or should I be proud that I had been accepted at a university to start and finish this degree? It rather gives me the choice of how and what to think about, I reckon. I believe this has value to me. An atheist friend told me once that she is really depressed most of the time. She usually feels like she is stuck in a toilet bowl and someone keeps flushing. When she was at her lowest point she asked another friend (pretty catholic) for help who told her to just pray and ask god for help. So my friend did exactly that. She said: “God, I cannot take this anymore. Please help me”. When those two met again my friend felt a lot better and the catholic friend said: “See, I told you. God will help you. You must believe in him now, right? He saved you from drowning in your toilet bowl!” My friend just answered that she met a man, now current husband, two days later who is the love of her life and she is the happiest she has ever been. Was it god or coincidence? Who’s interpretation is true and correct now? We construct meaning to whatever we do, I think. Everyone interprets life differently; for example some are arrogant, blind, religious, open or closed-minded, certain or imprisoned in their thoughts. But usually, when I feel most certain about something, it turns out to be totally wrong. I guess, the only choice we have is what we worship. Go figure! 

While I am passing the sushi aisle I thought about that I am not the center of the universe. I am not more important than the guy who is digging through my garbage in front of my house looking for food. I won’t preach about what’s right or wrong or bring up any personal virtues here I am just interpreting what I am doing through my own eyes and experiences. Through my self. How much of this work I am doing every single day involves actual intellect or knowledge? I guess it all depends on what type of knowledge I am talking about. I think academia is great but it is salient to pay attention what is going on right in front of me as well as  inside me. To also pay attention and focus on what my head and heart tell me is great. To be aware and conscious to choose what to pay attention to while I create meaning through experience is important to me. 

The mind or brain is our servant but I don’t want to be a slave to my head. Most likely and I assume here, the person who wrote the paragraph on the wall, does not know what it means to have a “9-5” job from Monday to Friday. This boredom and routine that slowly creeps in with almost every job and people end up frustrated. You come home after a long day and decide to go to bed early because you have to do the same routine again the next day. But you realize you don’t have food at home. So you drive to the store. This is where you meet me and my son just in front of you at the cheese counter. You are annoyed because the traffic was bad and this stupid kid is jumping all over the place wherever you want to push your cart and all you really wanted to do is get in and out of the store as quickly as possible. Of course, after you put all the food you need in your cart and you walk tiredly to the register, this kid is right in front of you again in this incredibly long checkout line while the person behind you yells in his cellphone pretending it is a megaphone. 

Meaningless little routines, day in and day out. This frustrating stuff on top of everything else. Papers to write, finals to pass, assignments to hand in. Priorities. Does it all matter?

But, thinking differently like, maybe this person in front of you in the car had a bad day as well, their dog just died, the wife just left, you name it. Maybe I am the one bothering someone in the supermarket as well. Again, it is all about choices and luckily we are able to choose and look differently at certain things and I always have other options. If I cannot deal with X, Y and Z. I can transfer any situation from good to bad I believe. I can consciously decide what I give meaning to and what I don’t really care about. This for me is real freedom. 

Thoughts on Consumerism.

“We buy things that we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people who we don’t like.”

I haven’t been at a Mall in a while and I must say that I did not miss it at all. The other day, this insanity of consumerism and shopping hit me hard when I had to walk through a Mall to get to the Museum. All these different smells, stores, clothes and beauty parlors that are designed to catch the buyers interest and sell, sell, sell. For myself, less is more and shopping is not my hobby anymore for years now. What I splurged on was books. I was not able to leave a bookstore without at least buying one (let’s be honest here: rather 3-4!!!) book(s).The emphasis is on the word “was”. I am on a I-don’t-buy-books-for TWO-months-strike and so far it is amazing. With this in mind, I cleaned out my bookshelf with this rather shocking result that I haven’t read a myriad of books. I simply bought more and piled them all up for whatever reason. In hindsight, it makes no sense really, since this addiction to add new books to the bookshelf will never stop. Too many books, not enough time and books and new books are published daily. There are just too many books out there that are recommended on a daily basis through the media; it feels and seems so natural to just add more and more. This depiction sums up my bookshelf pretty well:

I also unsubscribed from many book review and new book release pages online since it became really insane. What next? I will simply read the books I haven’t read yet (approximately 25 or so!) which should keep me occupied for way longer than two months. Proposal, Thesis work and university readings add up as well. Honestly, who do I want to impress with my bookshelf? Nobody. I love books, yes, but just piling up to admire this bookshelf and not reading the ever-growing pile of new ones does not work for me anymore. 

Why do people buy more and more? Whatever this may be (clothing, make-up, books etc.)? Usually, to satisfy unfulfilled desires I believe. What are mine? Desire of knowledge? Many years ago, I used to buy expensive clothing because I wanted to belong which makes as much sense as watching the Bachelor or trying to figure out sense and meaning in a communication two people have in any Talkshow. Media tells me daily that we need to get this and that to be happy. You need to read this book of X,Y and Z and you need the overpriced lipstick by Chanel, you need a Sixpack so join this gym and you definitely need this fast car to be someone. Are we happy? I know I was happy initially when I bought the book but as soon as I came home, I piled it silently to my “to-read” stack. The item loses meaning pretty quickly. Every time. 

I won’t avoid bookstores and I will still buy things; however, I pay more attention to what I buy. Do I really need this book and is it worth the purchase? Will I actually read it? I also stop contemplating if there is anything better out there. Unrest and dissatisfaction and this urge to look for new things does not work for me anymore either. So I change to find focus in more important things that make me happy;  like calmness, silence (Quality time doing nothing) and love for the simple things (playing in the park with my son) with a somewhat freedom of social constraints and pressure. 

Mother with Flaws.

Hey Hey! 

I know, I know. I haven’t been around lately but I missed writing here and this blog – as usual. There is just so much going on right now and the small amount of time I have left after I come home from my courses or the university library for the day I love to spent with my son or good friends and even try to read for pleasure at points. I stop complaining because I love my life the way it is with all its craziness and time spent researching and working on my Masters Thesis. And after all, here I am again, right?!

I had a great conversation with my mother recently about motherhood, raising a child and having another one. My friend Julia gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl yesterday and baby-talk came up naturally. I am happy for my friend and wish her all the best obviously. She needs strong nerves with two children I reckon. However, let’s be honest here. The people who know me realize pretty quickly that I am a selfish woman at points. I am a loving mother, yes, but I am far away from forgetting who I am completely. I simply cannot see myself being a stay-at-home-mom and only raise my offspring. I have done so, with the help of my parents, for almost three years and I must say that I have gotten pretty tired of it. It was a great time, don’t get me wrong, but I felt that something was missing. I don’t judge mothers who decide to stay home for good and never want to do anything also but raise their progeny. If this is your thing and it makes you happy, good for you. 

As far as myself, I put my life on a hold for some time. This is normal. Especially, after I gave birth. This little person needed me and he will always need me. But hopefully, less and less which is awesome. I am gaining a bit of my somewhat adolescent lifestyle back, readings, movie nights or even nights out with friends and some parties. Many things changed since my son was born and I am not even looking for “those times” (talking to the toilet-ghost and this bad morning-after) anymore. I did it all – when it was time to do so. I grew up. I learned and made decisions. Then again on the other hand, I don’t want to give up anything really, just because I have a child. I love being a mother; I love to teach him things, love to see him grow up, see how smart he is and I imagine how handsome he will be when he grows up. (Now he is just so cute!) He is worth everything to me; however, he is not the king he seems to think he is sometimes. We share valuable moments together, he goes to kindergarten, he plays with his friends – he develops his personality. I watch over him and sometimes still feel a little guilt when I have to leave for an evening class at school. At the same time, I am not maman poule. He also learnt that fire is hot. 

I want to be his friend without forgetting who I am, what I want; without forgetting that I am a woman and not his slave. I don’t want to miss the life I had before. I just include and add him to it all with the goal of encouraging his chivalry and eventually raising a man.