Personality Types – Find Out Who You Are!

Recently I’ve stumbled across this cool site I found on Liz’s blog (she happened to find it on another person’s twitter – the word spreads fast!). It determines what personality type you are according to your blog. It is based on the Myers- Briggs personality tests and a pretty neat tool I wanted to share with you since this is after all a blogging community.

Because I have two blogs, I first gave in my main one, which happens to be German-American Abroad.

The result was: ISFP – The Artists.

personality type the artists

According to the description, I am NOT a friend of many words (most readers would strongly disagree since a majority of my posts are 1,000 words and above) and have to make sure that I am not being taken advantage of. Aside from this, I am very compassionate and genuinely care for my fellow human beings. I really like that last part of the description!

brain activity

I then typed in A Picture Every Day and received a very different response. According to this blog, I belong to the ESFP – The Performers.

As the description goes, I live in the current moment and experience life’s riches. I also love being around other people and have an eye for beauty and art.

personality type the performers

I guess if I were to combine those two descriptions, I would get a solid (and very flattering) observation of my current personality. It’s interesting to see how the test takes your blog and transforms it into a pretty accurate view of who you are or perhaps wish to be.

To a certain degree, the results took me by surprise. I would have thought the roles to be switched, after all my picture blog appears to be way more artsy than this one, the writing site.

Please feel free to try it out for yourselves and don’t be shy to leave your feedback!

Go visit the Typealyzer!

Groupon Recap – Halfway Through

groupon_logo

A few weeks back I wrote about my addiction to Groupon and LivingSocial – two websites who offer deals and packages for a discounted price (read more here). One month later I have been able to try out a few of their bargains and I am now ready to share my thoughts on these with you.

1) 10 classes with the Body Reserve

Health has been letting me down since December. Perhaps this is the reason as to why I still have 4 of those 10 classes left to complete on my list for the Body Reserve. I do have to admit, though, that those 6 classes I took have been both eye-opening and preppy.

The first one I tried out was the Power & Movement course with a great teacher who seems to have a thing for theater and dancing. Power & Movement concentrates on finding your very own balance with various exercises; sometimes this means hoisting a few weights around. It also includes dancing a couple steps at the end of the course but mostly it’s about finding your inner body balance while exercising your breathing correctly. Since I hadn’t been to the gym in forever 6 long months, this class was a great compromise for both body and mind. It wasn’t too tiring but still challenging, and I have come back since.

Next, I tried out a Zumba Toning course. Since I had experience in Zumba before, the only new thing was that weights were added when dancing to a few songs but it wasn’t too much different from a normal Zumba class. I had fun taking it, but unfortunately, as everywhere else, those classes tend to be the most crowded (lots of bumping and elbowing).

Then, I was up for a chillaxing Pilates-type-of-course… so I took Body Toning! And ended up in a Boot Camp class two times as hard as I had imagined it to be. What I originally thought Body Toning would be? Well, I figured it had to do with lying around a lot, stretching some muscles, getting to know proper breathing techniques… Definitely the wrong idea I had! As soon as the 15 minutes of warm up were over, I was certainly lying on the ground – but out of exhaustion, not relaxation! And after 100 squats and jumping frogs, I had enough but still 30 excruciating minutes left to go. Time to tone more leg and stomach muscles! At some point in time my left leg muscle gave up and I was barely able to lift my right leg. Well, we all survive the worst, even a vicious bootcamp class!

After seeing the flexibility when it comes to instructors and learning, I’m pondering whether or not I should join this gym for good. I guess the trial period has been fulfilling enough to attract a paying customer.

groupon - portuguese

2) Learning Portuguese

After knowing French and some Spanish, I was burning to learn another language and my choice fell on… Portuguese. Or rather: Brazilian Portuguese. And after two classes with ABC Language School, I have already formed an opinion: I like it! A lot! I dig it so much that I am actually considering switching up my 6-week-groupon-class to a 12-week-class, if this is possible. There aren’t too many opportunities when it comes to expanding one’s language knowledge and it’s even better if you find a great teacher who is patient and goes out of her way to come up with her own exercises (rather than referring to the standard manual all the time).

Our class is kept small – it holds anywhere between 6-8 people (it fluctuates, a person joined after the second class while another was out sick). Brazilian Portuguese differs from Standard Portuguese in the way words are pronounced and letters left unswallowed at the end of the sentence. It is therefore easier to learn and doesn’t take as much hearing practice as it would with Portugal speakers. I do have to say, even though my last Spanish course is 5 years back, it has been a tremendous challenge to master the pronunciation as it keeps getting in my way. De nada, sounds easy enough, right? You pronounce it “dchi nada” though. And then “boa noite”, which resembles the Italian version of “good night”… So it’s been rather hard to get the Spanish out of my head for the time being but it has to be done, otherwise it will be hard to master this language.
Maybe one day I will find myself in Brazil, ordering a coffee and having an animated discussion with the locals. Hey, one can always dream of their gorgeous beaches, right?!

3) “Body Language Explained” with Blake Eastman from the Nonverbal Group

Perhaps one of the most motivated instructors I have met in a long time, Blake has provided a great insight into the basics of body language. His background is simple to grasp: He has always been drawn to nonverbal communication and has taken his passion to another level after obtaining his Master’s Degree from CUNY. He is the owner and founder of the company and most likely also the only one to give presentations. The 3-hour-class started off with him asking everyone to introduce themselves. It was already interesting to see how he gave a few comments on everyone’s profession or background just to relax the crowd. He then went on discussing some basic behaviors and the mindset behind them. We were able to check out video footage of the cocktail parties he hosts in the loft (which are experimental) and analyze certain attendees and their social anxiety. It was fun to observe and now a few things make more sense to me than before. He emphasized that trusting one’s intuition is always a good way to go when it comes to reading another person’s body language.
In addition, he teaches a dating class and a lie detection course, which I am interested in taking next. You can find more under his web site here.

4) Failed Haircut

I once made the mistake of ordering a hair stylist coupon online via LivingSocial. I thought it would be nice to have my hair cut and styled before it was off to Miami (which was last weekend). However, when I called the salon, they told me that I had to make an appointment at least month ahead a time, since they were completely booked out for this offer. Who wants to wait 4 weeks when you feel you need a change NOW? I wonder what would have happened had I just walked in and requested to have my head taken care of. Sadly, I returned the coupon and ended up getting a decent haircut somewhere else. So I guess there are some pitfalls with the system but at least you have the option to return your purchase within a given time frame.

This week I will have my photo workshop with LivingSocial. I will also have to take my Self-Defense-Class at some point in time (preferably when the gym routine is over).

Until then, I will keep you updated on the rest of my experiences. What are your Groupon/LivingSocial stories? If you have some fun anecdotes, feel free to share!

Quarter Life Crisis: “Young, Insecure, and Afraid”

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you’re right.” – Henry Ford

quarter-life-crisis

I guess it all hits us at some point in time. The question is more of when than how or why. In the past month or so, I have been feeling very different. I’ve started feeling old. Is this part of being a quarter century old? Or is it just me who is experiencing the pressure to do something with her life?

With this peculiar sensation of age goes along an envy for those who are only 2 or 3 years younger. Does it make sense? Not really. And yet, I feel that some trains have stopped and moved out of the main hub I call My Life. Now I am panicking to catch up with all the dreams I never really had to begin with that are all of a sudden starting to surround my life. What happened to the modeling idea I toyed with when I was 20? Or the urge to become famous through performance and singing ever since the new talent shows have been dominating German and American mainstream TV? Is 25 really too old to pursue a career in acting? Do I even want to pursue a career in acting and musicals?

I am panicking to a degree that does not make sense and it all revolves around the idea of looking young and staying young – eternally. When I see my face distorted by my expectations in the mirror, a young female stars back at me. But my emotional life and turmoil inside depict a very different age. Is it possible to feel almost 40 when one is 25? Are my thoughts too bitter, my feelings too negative for someone who should be happy to currently live in the city of cities?

And then this clamping fear, almost taking my breath away when I think about such trivial things as the future. The future has to be better. Somehow. But what if I will never improve my dancing, will never be good at speaking Spanish, will never be able to dip into another passion as I have with writing and photography. I’ve been constantly working on ballet and Zumba ever since I discovered the studio courses 2 years ago. But for some reason (being inconsistent probably did not help), I still feel at the very beginning. Would better training perfect those skills? How much of my time, money, and, most importantly, patience am I willing to spend, though? So I acknowledge that some things have to change. It’s merely a matter of what exactly.

And then I think back to my late teenage years when I had friends undergoing the exact same stage I am in right now. The 26-year-old who couldn’t rise out of bed on the weekends for WEEKS. Because he was too depressed to form a single, positive thought. He then started painting and I believe has taken this hobby to another level now – almost 6 years later. Or another “friend” who complained how old he felt at the exact same age – in his mid-twenties. “You just wait until you get there!” his threatening voice still rings in my ears. “A few wrinkles here and there, it’s really no fun.” Well, I am there. I can’t detect a wrinkle – yet. Physically, I feel as young as a sprout, ready to go ahead and climb Mount Everest.

We all age at different rates, I know that now. Not everyone is as lucky as I am and blessed with good genes which will hopefully keep me young-looking until ten years from now. But what the physical appearance is lacking is what my emotional experience is making up for. How can you feel so desperate after a quarter century of your life? How can you have the urge to change your entire life from one day to another? And what exactly has been the trigger to all of this…?

My frantic new hobby in looking up everyone who is big in the news now. Seeing how old they are now, when they started to become famous and what their life has been about (I thank wikipedia for countless hours of patience). Most people start “young” – when they are teenagers. Let’s disregard the child stars. But what if you never had the interest to start out as a singer when you were 17? Least to say the opportunity because you grew up in a small village and the big sparkling city was hours away?

And then the most nagging questions of all: Will I feel truly satisfied with what life has offered me and what I have made of it when I am old-er. Say 40? Or 60? How can I possibly feel better then when I don’t feel anywhere close to being happy with life’s circumstances now? I guess this all leads back to what I’ve written back in August: Living the best life. Not being sidetracked by every day’s monotony. Trying out something new every once so often. And immersing oneself into the pain a wrong step could bring but still holding on, clutching to the hope that one day it will all be right. It has to be.

Then I also remember a child’s story, swarming around in my head. About the passionate painter Vincent Van Gogh, who never picked up painting until his late 20ies. Despite the fact that he was also mentally ill, he never actually gained popularity until after his death. If the life of such a genius artist can be characterized by so much pain, so much self-doubt and so much criticism, why can’t the life of an average person from today be? And what is better: Being happy and less successful or fulfilling one’s dreams day by day? Why can’t both come in handy? Perhaps there is a middle way to it all. And through the glamour Hollywood brings its young aspiring actors and actresses, I also see the pain inflicted on their lives. From a young Macaulay Culkin who was drug-addicted as a teenager. And other failed “stars” who were rocking the scene as a child but were never seen after that.

And somehow, as I flick through old pictures and dwell in old memories, I realize something that has not seemed important to me until this date. In my teens I wanted to be something I could never be and ultimately what I wasn’t afraid of being. In my twenties, I started being someone I would have never dreamt of being. And while I thought I had potential to be someone back then, I now have more. I have passion. And I have my thoughts, which are starting to settle, nudging me to try out new things NOW.

If you have read Goethe, you are familiar with his concept of “Sturm und Drang” (also a literally movement during that time). It is particularly manifested in his master piece “The Sorrows of Young Werther” – a book most German high schools require their students to read. Roughly summarized it is about a young chap trying to fulfill his passion for poetry & romance and also the demands of everyday life, which are nowhere close to that passion. Of course it ends badly; he commits suicide, also because he is unlucky in love with a girl.

My point is that it is hard to grasp this movement when you are still a teenager. It is not until you are older, in your twenties, when you can shape your life the way you want. Fiscal means, energy, and simply the courage to do so don’t develop until well later. It takes a bit more of maturity and stupidity to finally break off from old ideas and try to go down a way that is meant for you. Not to forget the independent mindset to say: Let’s do it!

So many articles have been written on this, but I still think an unknown creation to be beautifully phrased.

You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough. – Mae West

Cool Places You Can Find Me At (Part II)

A couple of months back I introduced you to nice selection of pages I frequent way too often use to gain some online presence. From then until now, a few changes have happened. And I am incredibly excited and happy to announce that most of these have occurred in a photographic sense.

Number one is …

website

My dream has always been to have my very own web site, not necessarily designed by a blog or some other platform. So after 2 painful months and lots of back and forth with an actual web designer, I can now proudly present to you: My very own photography portfolio!

So far, I’ve expanded it into 7 categories, all with significantly more pictures than the old portfolio provided. More info on purchasing pictures and pricing for session is also given, in case you are interested in private shoots.

I’ve had some incredibly positive feedback regarding my first dot com and I myself am pleasantly surprised that it has turned out to look so professional. It’s easily accessible and not too complicated when it comes to navigating through the selection of pictures. I hope you enjoy looking at the pages and let me know if you find something input-worthy!

facebook page

Then, you will find more frequent photography stuff on my very own Facebook page! That’s right, just look up and to the right, where you will find the “like” button for Facebook. Yes, I’ve broken down and discovered that being an artist and expressing one’s own talent can be quite successful when sharing it by means of a social media page. You will find albums with the most current shots and also links to the photography blog, where even more current shots will be posted. All in all, I’ve gained more following than initially thought and I hope one day I can work on an exclusive referral base. (don’t forget to hit that “like” button!)

yelp

Third, I yelp! I’ve discovered voicing my unannounced opinion and rating bars, restaurants, hotels – pretty much everything on the online social media platform. I’m getting my words out there and have already gotten so-called compliments (you got the “write” stuff, babe). Not that it really means much but I did start relying more frequently on how restaurants were rated on yelp before I head over there. Then again, it’s more fun to explore bars no one has ever ventured to just to be the first person to give a great rating. Sigh, it’s all very time-consuming but also fun and easy to become addicted to. I’d recommend it to anyone who has had a really good or a really bad experience in the service industry and wants to spread the word.

about me page

Last, but certainly not least, find me on About Me – a page which offers an overview of all the online sites you can currently find me under. I don’t remember how I’ve come across this page but somehow I saw it and signed up for it, therefore I am now introducing it to you. It might be sweet for people who are searching in one category or another and discover that you have all the talents they wanted. Either way, I find it quite appealing with the two images you can display on your site and it’s quite easy to walk through, don’t you think?

So far, my online presence has been expanded to the links mentioned above, but when will an end come in sight?! I have recently looked at joining Pinterest as it seems to be the next hot thing in the universe. I am not sure if I’ll ever find the time to sign up for it, though.

Have you guys been stricken by the Pinterest fever? If not, what are your online habits?

Photo A Day: Decembeer 28 to the End

It’s a new year and the only remnant I am carrying over from 2012 is the photo challenge created by Liz from Be.Love.Live. Those last 4 pictures from December 28 to 31 are best to express how I must have felt during this past week. Liz has announced that she will not partake in any other challenges come 2013 and has not created another list for January. I myself have no desire to catch up with any other PhotoADay’s again, and therefore, will continue without a picture challenge this month.

[rolemodel]

dec28

What you see here are New Yorkers, some of which have become a true role model after living here for 2 and a half years. “Everyone trynna make it, everyone trynna shake it in a city this big!”

It always fascinates me how resilient New Yorkers are and how nothing can put them down. I wasn’t here during 9/11 but I witnessed how this city was turned upside down during hurricane Sandy. The chaos, the stress, the victims, and the lack of power – we made it through all of it and even more.
I once read a quote that it doesn’t matter if you dropped off the bus or I’ve you been here for years, you are a New Yorker from the moment you first set foot here.

I believe this is very true. You don’t necessarily have to earn your right to be a New Yorker but you do have to earn your weeks and days and hours to become someone people can look up to. I therefore cherish this picture and all the anonymous people in it for the inspiration they bring to me every day and the great memories they have created in the past.

[nature]

dec29

The day it snowed again. Or rather: Finally! I am beginning to fear that those pricy snow boots I bought two months ago will never be utilized when it comes to global warming affecting another New York winter. I am unsure whether or not this should make me sad or happy, for I still have the pictures in mind when we did have one snow day after another during the brutal time of 2010/2011.

However, on this particular day, it was snowing. It didn’t stick but it caused a blurry vision onto the streets of the East Village. The smoke rising from the middle of the road is from one of those multiple man holes that eject steam during pretty much any time of the year. It’s one of those “phenomena” that first make you stop if you are not used to it but then belongs to the city’s landscape like the array of skyscrapers do.

[memories]

dec30

The fond memories of a day spent at Fortt Tilden during late summer. I don’t think I will be returning this summer, as the area was completely devastated by Sandy. But I enjoy looking back at all I have accomplished last year and cannot wait to hit up the beach 5 months from now. The countdown is on!

[me]

dec31 - me

Self-portrait taken on New Year’s Eve. Ready to go to Manhattan and sit with friends having a get-together. It was nothing too fancy but nothing too boring either, just one of those evenings you need to say good-bye to a year and start another one. Lots of prosecco and home-made snacks. And a stunning view onto the disco-lit scene of the Empire State Building.

With this I am finally letting go of the old and welcoming 2013! I Hope you had a happy new year!

My 2012 Year in Blogging

Rolling out of bed to see that the WordPress.com stats helpers have prepared my 2012 annual report for German-American Abroad. What a great comparison they have come up with!

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 14,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals.
In 2012, there were 129 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 230 posts.

I never even thought about comparing the quantity of my blog views to movies submitted to 3 film festivals at once. I am flattered by all the traffic I’ve gotten and how this blog has grown to reach more and more people around the globe.

A year in blogging has brought me closer to other writers and photographers. It has opened up new worlds to me and and endless opportunities to re-connect in creative way on the Internet. I am happy to still be a part of the WordPress community and look forward to every day a new post is created.

I want to take my time and thank every single one of you followers for being faithful and sticking to my writings, for contributing with likes and comments to several ideas this blog has expressed, and for still dropping by every day.

Happy New Year! Happy 2013! To another successful 365 days of blogging and sharing!