From time to time I sit down and answer a question of a question series, published by the New York Times with the title: 36 Questions – How to fall in love. Today I am going to answer question number eleven.
If you want to start at the very beginning with the first question, simply click here.
If you missed my answer to question number ten, you can find it here.
Question number eleven is as follows:
Take a few minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
Disclaimer: I will be as open as possible, but be aware that there are things, I won’t tell. Not because I can’t talk about it, but I think that it is wise to not share everything with others and to share specific things only with family, friends, or your partner.
I was born and raised in Berlin, Germany. I actually don’t remember much from my early childhood. Why that is I don’t know, but it definitely has nothing to do with repression. I had a loving family and I grew up in a secure environment. My mom told me once that my attention could quickly move from one thing to the other, especially when it was time to tidy up my room =).
I was always a good student, but also a comfortable one. Some might call it lazy. I didn’t do much for school, but I had always good grades. Not great grades. I knew I could have done better, but other things were more interesting to me. Especially playing soccer. Since I was seven, I played soccer and although I wasn’t very good at the beginning, my parents saw how much joy I had, and they let me continue. As this club, was and still is a rather good club in Germany, soccer became more and more prevalent in my life. Every year team mates had to leave the club, because they were considered “not good enough” to still play for the club. But that is a part of competitive sports, I guess. Anyhow, when I finished primary school, I went to a special sports school, where I had additional soccer training. I was already a bit older and the sport became more serious.
On a different note, I was always a happy person who makes fun and laughs a lot. However, the older I got the more thoughtful I became, too. Also, when girls became interesting, I also realized that I am rather shy. I was good at school, good at sports and quite popular, though approaching a girl was not necessarily my thing. I have my ideas why this is. The older I got, the bigger the problem with not finding a girl became. I was raised by two loving parents who got together since they were young. And I was looking for something like that, too. It was very difficult to not find it and I had some difficult moments because of it.
When I was 17 I left the club, and joined another one. There were several reasons I left, but one of them was that I thought I might not be made for professional soccer. Although it is a team sports, everyone fights for himself and this already starts in the youth teams. I don’t like that people try to blame others for their mistakes and playing games. I like competition though. I like to improve and to be challenged. I just want to also work together as a team where everyone supports each other. I think there is my need for harmony speaking again =).
I started my studies, but after a while I realized I don’t like it that much. I studied Economics in my Bachelor and I was missing the human side of economy. That is why I tried to take as many courses in business administration related topics as possible. To be more precise, I attended classes about innovation, personnel development and leadership. Those are subjects that fascinate me to this day, because their impact on people is paramount.
Then I had rock bottom. I try to make it short. I found a nice girl and she became my first girlfriend. I was already 22 then. But after a few months, I came to a point where I couldn’t handle my situation any longer. I didn’t like my studies, but I felt I need to continue. I was unhappy with my situation at my soccer club, and now my relationship became difficult as well. I felt as if I had no energy. To give you an example. I went to soccer training and even it was just a light one, I was so fatigued afterwards that I couldn’t fall asleep. I decided to ask my girlfriend for a break, because I needed time for myself. Understandably, she didn’t want that, so we broke up. Already that night, when we broke up, I started to have fever. This continued for a few weeks. I had to cancel some seminars at the university and I stopped playing soccer for a while. It took me a whole year to just to get to the point where I was able to reflect about what has happened. I also said to myself that something like that should never happen to me again. This lead to my interest in psychology and personal development topics, and mindfulness.
After that, I embarked on a 3-year journey of self-discovery. I was very honest with myself and tried to dig very deep to get to know the reasons why such thing could happen to me. In retrospect, what happened to me was the best thing that could happen to me. I don’t wish it for anyone else, because it was a very dark time, but it made me the person I am today. Still with flaws, but at least I know why I do certain things. And I would say I know myself very well and my reflective-skills are quite developed.
I became very interested in giving trainings. Especially soft skill trainings. I knew that Aiesec had a very good trainer education, I joined this student organization. That is also where I me another dear person in my life. Actually, I met a lot of very dear people there, which I don’t want to miss anymore. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. I managed to become a facilitator and I specialized in leadership topics. I trained on a few leadership conferences and my highlight, which was also the end of my Aiesec career, was the opportunity to lead an international leadership conference as an agenda manager. My love for training and learning led me to join my current company as a training developer. Where I am still today. For how long? I don’t know, but this will be another post =)
There are a few stories I left out and maybe I will write about them in another post.
Have a wonderful day and take care!
Ps: If you do this task with your partner or friend. Really take your time. And it will definitely take you longer than five minutes! So why not spending a cozy evening together with good food and delicious wine and have a look back.