Who am I? Well, I’ve been trying to figure that out for years! And guess what, I haven’t quite found an answer but somehow I must be a human being, of the female persuasion. I grew up in Germany and after graduation high school, I came to the US with Action Reconciliation/Service for Peace. As other volunteers, I mistook this as a match-making service and got married to the guy of my dreams only to wake up in a nightmare. Before my son turned one, I left my husband. While raising my son, I got a BA, an MS, and then started working. I was in the “real world” for over 10 years, working myself through several industries in search of a job I can actually call a career. By outer standards, I was probably fairly successful but inside, I felt rather empty. Other detours – also known as intimate relationships – took me away from creating a life that I find meaningful. It wasn’t until 2007, that I decided to pursue life creation in earnest, after yet another painful relationship. I made a vow to not pursue intimate relationships, at least for a while, but instead to focus on my life. This vow is grounded in the realization that I am happier single. This is supported by the wonderful work of Bella DePaulo, Kay Trimberger, and Karen Gail Lewis who have all shown that we can be happy and single. Lewis calls remaining single just another life path, which we can choose (as opposed to the failure our society is trying to make it). So, with supportive research in hand, I decided to embrace being single (even though, it’s a little different for me since I am still a single mother). That “coming out” lay the foundation for a new, invigorated search for meaning and purpose. More on this in My Story… And this interview contains some of my future plans.
Somehow making a decision to take life into my own hands in one area had a ripple effect in others. So, I am embarking on more personal change and, finally, taking the plunge into designing work that is meaningful to myself and socially responsible while living sustainably.
In my early 40s, I am now doing what many 20-somethings are doing: Trying to find my place in this world in the midst of my transition to new work. I am reconnecting with many of the topics I was interested in during my late teens, which makes for wonderful conversations with my son. Along my current path, I bring many sacred cows to their retirement pastures, questioning everything critically and leaving belief systems behind. It is very freeing and exciting! And slowly, a vision is emerging of what I want to do, what I can contribute to this world:
I study the stereotyping and stigmatization of singles with particular interesting in the development of singlism as a prejudice. To counteract internalized singlism and stereotypes in general, I am working on rebuilding communities by deemphasizing the couple and nuclear family. I believe that this will also allow us to address the global problems we are facing, including overconsumption and climate disruption by encouraging strategies that truly meet our needs.
A bit nervously, I am transforming my ideas into a business as a life design guide to help people design their paths. And I continue to hone my scholarly skills by pursuing a masters in philosophy where I study stereotypes from a cognitive science perspective. I am proud to say that I have presented some of my ideas already.
This website has always chronicled my journey but now that I have turned it into a blog, the updates will be more frequent. It continues to be my writing sandbox but with renewed purpose while I embrace being a writer. I will use the blog to hone my writing skills, as well as collect my ideas, for everybody to see and anybody to comment on. I hope my musings will matter to other people just as much as they matter to me.
(Last updated on January 13, 2011)