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fair & ethical

blog name
fair & ethical

why “the lieselotte”?

Every Sunday morning I woke up, crawled out of my crib and walked across the hall. My feet made a loud sound on the floor, even though it was carpet. With clumsy feet, my stuffed animal under my arm (a green rhino called Hugo), and a cloth in my mouth I tried to make my way through the dark, which wasn’t that easy. I used those washable diapers as a cloth to suck on. Without it, I wouldn’t sleep at all and I used those way longer than I should have.

I was an early riser, very early. Especially for a Sunday. After sneaking into my parent’s bedroom I tried to wake up my father “nicely”. I prodded him with my finger until he woke up. He was grunting, now I know he was just a little bit annoyed by me waking him up at 7 am on a Sunday morning, back then I thought this was just what people would do during their sleep.

Without a word, he picked me up and walked with me downstairs. In the kitchen, he put me on the counter, letting me watch him making a hot chocolate. With the cup in my hand, I sat in my father’s arms, him carrying me upstairs. Every time I was kind of excited because now the best part of my Sunday morning routine was starting.

Back in the bedroom, he sat me in the middle of the bed, between him and my mother, who has the deepest sleep ever and was still snoring. My father turned on the TV while crawling back into bed. Turning on the kid’s channel, with cartoons and funny shows. Drinking hot chocolate in bed while watching cartoons, and sitting between my parents is one of the happiest memories of my childhood. It is so mundane, normal, and totally unglamorous. But those memories are the best ones, those that make you smile every time you think of them.

At first, I would sit there quietly, drinking my cup of hot chocolate and watching TV. But when my cup was empty, I would start talking to the people on TV. Well, maybe not talking TO them, but talking exactly like them. I tried to dub them and tried to beat them. I wanted to talk faster than the people on TV. Which is kind of not possible, because you don’t know what line comes next if you never saw the show before. But as a little kid of three years you just don’t care. So I didn’t really care about the fact, that my talking might be annoying to the people sleeping next to me. They certainly did mind, but they started loving me for this even more I think.

After learning how to talk I did not stop. I ran around talking all day, driving my parents insane and make them laugh constantly at the same time. But just talking wasn’t enough for me. Like I said, I wanted to beat the people on TV and spoke fast. Very fast. My mother always used to say: “You talk like a waterfall and never stop.”

But my full name is kind of hard to pronounce if you want to speak fast. So my mother came up with a new name. I have no idea how she came up with it, neither does my dad. This is one of the things I kind of regret asking her. And now you can guess where this is headed.

She named me Lieselotte Meyer Schulze. Luckily the two last names, which are basic standard German family names, kind of got lost during the time. But since I was a little kid, my Mama called me Lieselotte. My father never did and is actually kind of not allowed to do so. There are text messages on my phone starting with “Hi Lieselotte”. Birthday cards, Christmas cards and even on the phone she called my like that.

I would love to know how she came up with it, what the inspiration for this unique name was. But it was just so normal that she called me like that, so I never asked why. Two years ago my mother died of cancer. She was sick her whole life, but always had a smile on her face. Being strong, independent, and being able to recover quickly from a setback is who she was. Exactly like me. Like mother, like daughter, huh?

When I first started this blog, I really wasn’t keen on having my full name displayed as my blog name. And I really did not want to name it BloggirlX164 or anything like that. Since this blog is about writing and my passions for books, movies, and decor, I wanted the name to be memorable, personal, and kind of funny.

Naming this blog like my mother called me just seemed perfect. It is a story close to my heart, that makes me feel comfortable and gives me a homey feeling like nothing else does. Naming it The Lieselotte fits perfectly because it is memorable, personal, and kind of funny.

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career
fair & ethical

i don’t want a career

“What are you going to do now? Are you pursuing a different career and are you interning again? I mean you kind of need a career, right?“ Do I? I mean yes, I need a job. I need to pay my bills, my rent, insurance, groceries and a little bit of money for fun would be nice as well. But does it need to be a career? A title in front of my name that raises eyebrows and let people make impressive sounds and comments? Since when is a big career more impressive than being happy?

Since when became having a job a statement, rather than just being the thing you do to make money? Why do we always have to thrive higher? Why do we need to devote our life to our job? I mean the solemn purpose of having a job is to earn enough money to pay for life and not the other way around.

Two weeks ago my head was full of all that questions. And I myself was in that awkward position to answer all those questions. Two weeks ago I didn’t get that trainee position at that newspaper I wanted. Bummer, … but not really to be honest.

Even before I had the interview I hesitated a little bit. It would mean leaving the city I love, leaving friends that have done so much for me over the years. It would mean to start over, a clean slate. Sometimes I wished for this kind of opportunity. Starting over, in a place where no one knows you, without all that baggage of the past. But these days are behind me. I love my life, I finally live in a flat that I can truly call my home. I have friends that would do everything for me. So why leave?

Ah yes, there is the reason: Because of a career.

Of course, it sounds kind of like pouting because I didn’t get that job, but I got the „bad news“ weeks ago and made my peace with it. I am happy that they kind of made the decision for me. Apparently, fate wants me to stay. A lot of my friends are happy that I am staying, but some of them are asking: “What are you going to do now?”

It is a legitimate question, don’t get me wrong. But it is how they are asking it. With a hidden tone of pressure in it and for some it is even a rhetorical question that demands an answer like: “I have a backup job all lined up and ready.” The one answer not acceptable is: “I don’t know.” But that was exactly the answer I was giving. Their reaction was raised eyebrows, embarrassed looks, and silence. It was not acceptable apparently.

Nowadays everyone needs to have a plan, a career, a title. It is your duty to love your job, having a passion for it. Just doing your job, not loving it that much and not really caring about it either is not a thing that you hear often. But why? I mean it is just a job. Yes, you work a minimum of eight hours a day for five days a week. Most of your life is spent working. So it would be nice if your job is a little bit of fun. But does it need to be a passion? Does it need to be a big career, do you need to climb that latter higher and higher until you have that big title?

I say no, it does not! Work is not your life, your life is your life. Do your best in your job, of course, but don’t force yourself to thrive higher and higher when you are just not made for it. I am definitely not made for it. Being good at something is great, but I don’t need to be the best, I just need to make enough money to pay for everything important.

Looking around my friends and society, there are not that many people thinking like me. I see a lot of people killing themselves while trying to be the best, the greatest, the ones with the big title. Even though they are not made for this. I don’t blame them, society made them and they are just going with it.

And there is one reality highly ignored by that bubble of a passionate career. Even the most passionate person, having the greatest job on the planet will have days that suck. Days where you just want to lie on your bed, watch Netflix and chill. Even if you love your job, there will be days that are shit, but no one talks about that because you are supposed to love your job so much that it can’t possibly suck even for a second.

So can we just start talking about that secret that no one wants to talk about? Can we talk about our shitty jobs again, ranting about our bosses whilst sitting in a pub and drinking beer? I am even the one paying the first round…

After getting a lot of feedback for this post I want to describe my choice of words a little bit more. Having a career for me in this context means, that you want to have the highest position possible. That you want to thrive no matter on what costs, that you want to have it all. That’s what I mean with “having a career”.

 

Maybe it is a little bit misleading or confusing since a lot of people see a career just as a basic incentive to grow in your job. That is not what I meant in this post. I want to grow in my job, I want to be able to achieve goals, but not at all costs.

 

Talking to my friends, having a career often means working so hard and so much that you will lose your friends and almost never see your family, that is the part of a career I am just not made for. I love my friends and family and I am a strong believer of giving yourself the ability to breathe and think. Having a healthy brain is the one thing you need to be good at your job, how on earth will you achieve that by not giving your brain the time to enjoy itself a little bit?

 

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multipotentialite
fair & ethical

why decide?

I’ve stumbled across a post for a while that just wouldn’t get out of my head. It is rare that an article, a story stays with me when I shut down the computer or close the book. This time, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. During the entire day and even days after I was always thinking: “This is so me”!

I am a multipotentialite! Yes, you heard right. Some of you now might think: “What are you?” Well, I never heard of this word before either. Maybe it is because I am not a native English speaker and there is no literal translation for it into German. But I also never saw it as a thing to declare, to be honest.

My spectrum of interests is annoyingly wide. I love numbers, finance, and economics, but I also love writing, photography, and design. Since I can remember I always did things differently. When there was an option to go another way, I did it. A little bit special, weird, and standing a bit out of the crowd – that’s me, nothing to be put in a box.

After reading lovely Portia’s blog post about “What It Means to Be a Multipotentialite”, I researched quite a bit about it. It sounded exactly like me and I was glad that she wants to continue that path on pursuing her multiple interests and not trying to put herself into a box. (Have a look at my link collection at the end of this post, everything you need or want to know about multipotentiality).

First of all, this thing we are talking about here is defined like this:
Multipotentiality is an educational and psychological term referring to the ability and preference of a person, particularly one of strong intellectual or artistic curiosity, to excel in two or more different fields. [wikipedia]

So if you find yourself with more than one of these characteristics, you might wanna thing about multipotentiality:

  • your spectrum of interests is wide and in areas on the opposite side of the scale (such as economics and art)
  • diving into one topic is fun for a while but you get bored easily by it
  • you are always eager to learn more and could never just think about doing one task forever
  • being interested in a lot of stuff is superb, but you also are kind of good in a lot of tasks

But after reading posts, comments and articles about multipotentiality I was surprised by finding a lot of negative words and criticism. Because, multipotentialites do not have a niche, whereas the market is asking for specialists. It is referred to as a curse or a problem that is affecting daily life, … and so on.

I just don’t agree with that. For me, having multiple interests is a blessing. Of course, I have to keep myself busy so that I can keep up with my multi-interested brain. But that’s okay. Studying at university, working a part time job at a drugstore, being a freelance journalist and writing blog posts and making pictures…well, there is no time to get bored.

Whenever I talk to people about work or hobbies, they always seem to enjoy just one part of it. New or different experiences make them uncomfortable, uninspired or just say: “I hate dealing with that”. For me, every task is something interesting. I am always happy when I realize how much I can learn from that new task, how high I can thrive because of that. Other people like to have a routine, I never did. So what?

This “diagnosis” is just another name for my crazy, weird, special personality. I never thought of just doing that one job. Somehow I managed to combine two very opposite passions of mine in one: Economics journalist. So I write about the thing I love and do the thing I love, writing. Not everyone might get that lucky. But even these two are not enough for my brain. Writing stories is another passion of mine, just as photography, designing and creating something new from scratch. That’s what this blog is for.

Yes, the economy is asking for specialists at the moment. Expert freelancers are becoming a bigger deal every day. But being a multipotentialite does not only apply to your work environment. It is who you are, in every aspect of your life. It might take you longer to finish that degree, you might even finish two. But as long as you keep doing everything you want – writing that horror story you always wanted, learn how to do calligraphy or invest in the stock market – you will never get bored.

And if you ever feel bad, because you feel alone with this multipotentialism, come back to this quote from Steve Jobs:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” Steve Jobs, Wired, February, 1995

So being multipotential is not a bad thing after all apparently. But somehow the market, economy, and allegedly successful people told us that we need to be an expert in something. I believe that we have an advantage actually. We love learning, we love to achieve something, we love different things, we know different things and we are able to connect a lot of different ideas that other people can’t. I am not saying that you might become the next Steve Jobs (if you are, lucky you!), but if you just accept the fact that you are multipotential and feed those interests of yours, then you will thrive.

Interesting links about multipotentiality:

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home
fair & ethical

coming home

People say you carry your home in your heart. Maybe that is true. Actually I believe it is, but a home is also a place where you feel safe. A place where you go every night after work. I lived in different kinds of apartements, different cities and different countries even.

Some places were a home, others were just a place I slept in. They were just a room, without the cozy and safe feeling a home has. But every place had its journey, an experience that I will remember for decades. Some places even changed me.

The first place I ever lived in was my room at my parents’ house. It was a big room, with one window. My parents rebuild our entire house before they had me and my brother. The childrens’ room were in the attic, which made it even more cozy. My room went through a lot of changes. From colorful clowns at the walls to a beige grown up color with white furniture.

For Better and for Worse
Like the place’s appearance grew up, I grew up to. With rough times and good times. I thought this room would always be my home, my safe place.

But after I moved out it looked empty and sad. Even though my mom painted one wall in dark red and made it more cozy, it wasn’t my place anymore. It was still home, but different.

I moved to a different city, for university. I shared a flat with with another girl I did not know. We went along well…for the first two weeks or so. But then it became weird. She and I had different thoughts about cleaning the flat, when it would be the right time to invite friends over and so on and so on.

It became worse,…so worse I moved out after a total of six month. I looked at one room apartments. I just couldn’t stand the thought of sharing a flat again. Sharing a flat wasn’t for me at this point in my life. “Not another experiment”, I thought. I found a small apartment with a balcony, a small kitchen place and a small bathroom. Everything was small…but I am not that tall either, so it worked.

The Horror Apartement
I decorated it lovely, cute, a true girly-apartment. After half a year, horror went through my home. Literally. Small insects were crawling around the flat. On the floor, the walls, even the carpet in front of my bed. All this happened, because the landlord forgot to mention, that the basement is permanently under water. The walls were wet, literally wet. This insect loved wet and humid rooms, so they loved my apartment. After hours of fighting with my landlord, cleaning the apartment and spraying poison on the ground and sleeping at my parents house for over a week, they finally were gone. No more insects, … like I said: I don’t like sharing my flat.

After the insects, mold followed. Behind my shelf, behind my closet, in the bathroom. Two years I lived in this shitty apartment, that cost me a lot of tears, nerves and even my health. I had a cold for over a year.

Finally Home
I decided to move out, pay a little bit more and take more time searching for a place. A friend of mine came with me and we found the apartment I live in today. It is the exact opposite of the horror apartment before. Here I have the problem that it is too dry. But that is easier to take care of.

Now I have two rooms, a separate kitchen, a cute living room. Even thought my wallpaper is damaged in some places, even though my shower decides to go from hot to cold in nanoseconds, … I feel at home.

Why is that? I mean it is just a place and apparently it does not need to be perfect. It just needs to feel right. …

It takes a long time to find a place that you feel at home after you are moving out. For me it took almost three years.

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