I am doing NaBloPoMo this month. 30 blog posts in 30 days. Come join me. #nablopomo2022
More AMA questions answered. Have you been enjoying these kinds of posts as much as I have? So fun to learn more (random) things about you all.
From Meike: If you could live anywhere, where would you be?
My favorite city is Boston. If no other factors needed to be taken into consideration, I’d move to Boston in a heartbeat. The runner-up would be a beach house somewhere on the California Coast.
From Stephany: Why did you start blogging and what keeps you blogging all these years later?
I started blogging back in 2002. Blogging was all the hype back then and I thought it would be a great way to stay in touch with family and friends back home. I think my first blog was set up on Yahoo Pages and then I had iterations on LiveJournal and Xanga (do you remember Xanga?) before I moved permanently to WordPress. I originally blogged in German (because it was mostly for my friends and family back home), but in 2004 I started to also blog in English and quickly found an online community.
I used to be an avid letter writer as a teenager and young adult and transitioning to blogging just seemed like the natural progression. I realize that letters are more personal than blogs, but blogs reach a lot more people and the community aspect is just wonderful, especially when you live far away from family and friends and don’t have a large local network. I also just simply enjoy the writing process – and having some kind of “record” to look back through – and connecting with like-minded people. No doubt, I’ve made some lifelong friendships through blogging.
I know it’s hard to believe and kind of sad, but no, I’ve never had a pet (unless you count the three weeks I owned a budgie when I was six. My great-aunt had given my sister and me a pair of budgies for our 6th birthday without getting consent from my parents. They were not thrilled and arranged it so that when we got back from our Easter skiing vacation a few weeks later, the budgies – which “stayed with friends” while we were away – never returned home. Cruel!).
I’d definitely like to have a pet, it just hasn’t been feasible for one reason or another in the past. Jon and I have talked extensively about getting a cat (which seems less work than a dog, although I love dogs as well), but we currently live in a rental where pets aren’t allowed. We’ve also talked about if a smaller animal (e.g. a guinea pig) would be a possibility, but my biggest worry – and what is really holding us back, I think – is that I wouldn’t know what to do with the pet when we travel. We don’t really have a local trusted circle of friends who we could ask to take care of our pet if we’re going to Germany, for example. I think this is the biggest reason why we haven’t pursued harder getting a pet over the years because it is a responsibility I’d take very seriously. I also have a lot of respect for pet ownership. While Jon did have some smaller pets when he grew up (a guinea pig, a tortoise), we both aren’t experienced at all.
Also from NGS: Do you ever reread books? What book have you reread the most?
I have reread books. Not very often, but there’s a few I have reread. One of them is “Olivia and Jai” by Rebecca Ryman. I actually want to reread again, because it’s been such a long time. I usually opt to read new books though (there are too many that I am interested in), but sometimes there’s a good reason to revisit one that I have already read in the past. It’s also fascinating that sometimes your perception and reception of a book can change. I definitely think that with books timing can play a huge role.
I am currently rereading the “Outlander”-Series. When the newest book – book 9 of the series – came out last year, seven years had passed since book 8 had been published and my memory had gotten fuzzy on people and the timeline of events. So I decided to reread all the books in the series (which are all tomes!) before picking up the latest book. Needless to say, it’s been taking me a while getting through them but I’ve been enjoying it very much. There’s so many details I had forgotten about.
From Zenaida: You mentioned in a comment that you almost became a teacher too. What happened? Why didn’t you?
I received a Master’s Degree (with teaching credentials) in Geography, English, and Physical Education from a German University. I would have probably gone into the second part of (in-school) teacher training if I had stayed in Germany, but since I moved to California after college, I used my MA to pursue an internship in science. I don’t think the teaching credentials would have transferred easily and I would have had to do more schooling here to become a teacher in the US system. My heart wasn’t set on teaching, so I was happy I could switch gears and pursue science instead.
From Elisabeth: What is a go-to mood booster in your life?
I realize that this might sound cliché, but my biggest mood booster is getting out for a run. If I feel down, I know that moving my body and spending some time outdoors will fix whatever is bothering me. Or, if not fix it, I will definitely feel a lot calmer upon my return. Running clears my head like hardly anything else. I can prove this with the happy smile that running puts on my face after (almost) every run (see above). For me, the endorphins are very real.
Also from Elisabeth: What’s the best life lesson you’ve learned in the last year?
Wow, that is a good question. I think one of the best life lesson from this last year is that you have to accept people for who they are. I could give a few examples, but the most recent reminder was when I traveled this summer with my family and Jon opted out of the road trip. I would lie if I said that I wasn’t disappointed. I wanted him to be part of it, but I also know that he would have been miserable. As much as he loves my family, this type of intense travel wouldn’t have been his thing. People are different and we have to accept that, even if it’s not always easy, or what we’d prefer. It was kind of an “aha”-moment for me when NGS shared that her ideal vacation was one without her husband.
Also from Elisabeth: What’s your favourite song right now?
I am currenty loving contemporary piano music, especially these two pieces: Chance Harbor by Mark Pinkus and Meditation 22 by Riopy. (The latter is used by Peloton Instructor Kristin McGee in her meditation classes and I loved it so much that I downloaded it to my phone, so I can listen to it whenever I want.) I’d really love to learn to play both of these pieces on the piano some day (when I have access to my piano again).
What is your favorite song right now?
You can submit more questions here.