I think of myself as Pac-man collecting pointless dots on its way to certain death.

Hi. Nice to meet you, what’s your name?

(Also, n2mywyn is my current ear-worm. Feel free to let it play in the BG while you read further.)

Will this bite me in the backside when I’m famous?

I’ve recently established a foolproof benchmark of self-evaluation.

I ask myself this: “Will this bite me in the backside when I’m famous?”. Think about how would it look on the title page of The New Yorker.

It is what I ask myself when I am about to do what the demon on my shoulder just asked of me. Happens way more often than it should, btw.

Yesterday, he ordered me to give myself…

Photo by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash

I remember when Michaela flung her glass of red wine at the beige stucco wall and broke down in a pile of tears. I’ve known her and George since we were children. They were not a perfect couple.

Michaela reminded George every day how he can do a little bit better. He tried his best but somehow always managed to do the wrong thing. They squabbled, argued, went on holidays together, and quarreled on the beach. But in the Fall of 2012, he popped the question and she said yes.

I was at their wedding. It felt like we always…

and how he saved my work, purpose, and sanity.

Photo by Angelo SARTORI on Unsplash

Every country I set foot in told me that fear is my right. That as a lone young woman, fear is the logical response to most things. So when a frail old man stumbled out of the taxi and hit the ground I did not jump to help. I crouched in fear.

The stillness of the German village Heimsheim jumps at outsiders. Especially if you come from a bustling country with a billion people, like me. Impeccable homes stand quietly, the lights in the windows not matching the absence of sounds.

Alfred rudely interrupted my daydreams by crashing face-down onto…

The truths I found on my path to mental peace.

Painting and photo courtesy of the author.

Stress comes from within. Not from work, from friends, or circumstances. It comes from the expectations you set for yourself. It comes from building an alternate reality in your head which you think “should actually be the case”.

If you get your facts right and ethics in place, it feels like having a pair of clear new spectacles to see the world. It may not solve all your problems but it will help you settle down in your seat and be calm. …

Leaving your country for a good life is not fun.

Photo by Neelam Sundaram on Unsplash

In one gut-wrenching moment in the documentary “Cuba with a Cameraman” a four-year-old girl in New York gets to go to see her grandmother in Cuba for the first time in her life. The girl’s mother breaks down in tears of joy on reuniting with her mother.

They were Cuban exiles whom Fidel Castro allowed returning to the country for a visit.

I am a free woman.

Unlike a Cuban exile, I can go home whenever I want. But there is a catch. I can’t.

When I see my German friends visit home for Christmas, easter, weekend, and laundry, I…

Everything that died during the pandemic and wants to recover immediately.

Photo by Jason Abdilla on Unsplash

Despite what LinkedIn viral posts might tell us, people like going out. People want out of the drab walls of their home, their forever crumpled bedsheets, their empty wash-needing snack bowls after Netflix last night.

Why are Peloton’s home-workout shares falling like yellow leaves? Because we like the sweaty, people-filled gym. We like to go there wishing it was empty, but we like the feeling of a largely empty space where nobody knows us. We’d rather feel alone in a crowd of strangers than among a crowd of friends.

Our bodies are longing to be taken care of. During the…

Improve the level of your thinking and conversation with these nonfiction science books.

Photo by Keenan Beasley on Unsplash

Sometimes, the smarter thing to do is to shut up.

You must have seen people around you fall apart arguing which religion is better, what is nature or nurture, and what is good or bad.

Here is a band of books where you can find your concrete, state-of-the-art, fuzzy answers to difficult questions on the subjects of religion, cognition, morality, human psychology, and behavior.

The following books are all works of award-winning scientists. They are not opinions, and when opinions are stated, they are not stated as facts.

1. The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins

“We will honor women’s rights within the norms of the Islamic law.”

Photo by Andre Mouton on Unsplash

“We will honor women’s rights within the norms of the Islamic law.”

The words of the Taliban Spokesperson rolling on one of my many open tabs. On another tab, Afghanistan’s national football player fell to death at the Kabul airport. He lost his hold while clinging to the bottom of a military airplane in flight in an attempt to escape.

One month ago, a woman was beaten to death with a Kalashnikov because she didn’t have anything to cook for a Taliban soldier. Her home was bombed as she lay in a pool of blood.

“We will honor women’s rights…”

Immigrant life during the pandemic.

Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

It had been three years since I saw mom.

Dad had called to tell me that she was sick. Really sick. Back then, the pandemic had not yet hit. I was free to go.

I didn’t pack or change into regular shoes. I jumped on a train to the nearest airport with a passport and a credit card in my pocket, work shoes still on. I was worried that my employer would let me go, but I could not care if I wanted to. I wanted to see mom.

On the way, I googled for symptoms of dying. Mom was…

Including data about exactly when you get horny.

Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash

Judith Duportail first installed tinder after she went through a break-up. Reading through the 1700 sent messages on her tinder report, she looks slightly embarrassed. On one occasion, she had used the same pickup line on 16 matches and then ghosted all of them.

After reading some horrifying truths on tinder’s practices, Judith decided to ask tinder for her personal data. She wrote Tinder, hoping to find out her attractiveness score.

She received 800 sheets of paper with every last conversation she had, pictures she liked both on and off of tinder, and some more intimate information best left undisclosed.

They decide whether you are hot or not.

Sruthi Korlakunta

I laugh at stuff for their pointlessness and smile at others because they don’t know. | I live in Germany and help them make Audis. |

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