Things about me that you probably didn’t know

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Today, October 18th, it has been exactly six months since TEAL sustainably’s launch! I’m very happy about that, even if my activeness throughout the summer was lacking. But since I can’t change that anymore, I will follow the advice I got in the past:  Celebrate your successes and learn from your failures!

To me the fact that the blog has been running this long is definitely a success!

‘How to celebrate it?’ – I’ve been wondering about that these last two days. Maybe, I thought, I can entertain you with some things about me, that few people know about! So here are some (weird) things about me. Enjoy 🙂

1. I live on the third floor, yet I hardly ever turn on the lights in our staircase when it is dark outside.

And thanks to working as a bicycle courier I come back in the dark most of the time. When asked about it I like to use the excuse that it saves energy, which is true, but not the whole truth.

Why do I do it?

Originially this habit started on a Canadian Ranch. I worked there during the winter of 2014/2015. While living there our (the girls’) appartments were down the road. To get there it usually took about 3-5 minutes walking from the main house, where our community room was (together with a wood stove and wifi – of which we had none at our living quarters). Because we were living in a remote area we had a clear ‘safety rule’ :

“Never go alone, or no one will get help when a cougar or wolf attacks you.”

And as we were living in a wild and remote area, this threat was actually a real possibility.
But I’m a night owl, so I often stayed longer in our community room than most of the others – to read, use the unreliable satelitte internet or simply to get ‘alone time‘. And thanks to that I often had to break the safety rule. I was simply a city girl who didn’t quite believe the wildlife threat. Only now, after having heard Canadians share some of their stories, and heard wolves howl close by the property, I know better.

At the beginning I always had a torch/flashlight with me, but one day I forgot…

So there I was, in a remote place with no street lights. It was pitch black outside and there was no way I would sleep on a couch in the house. It simply gets too cold when you don’t have a sleeping bag or proper bedding! So I went in the dark – enjoying all the adrenaline rushing through my veins and the colorful pictures a sort of paranoia drew in my head. At the house there was a motion sensor, so I always would start with light in the back. And walking as fast as I could on the icy and thus slippery drive way I would go ahead. As soon as the light behind me turned off, my speed was reduced to a turtle walk. It was like being blindfolded at first and I also didn’t want to fall on the ice.

While pushing forward I gratefully realized that our human night sight might be poor…

…but it will catch slightly different nuances in the dark!

I made it safely to my bed that day and somehow from then on, I would do it more and more often – even when I had my torch (ready to be turned on any time in my hand). Soon I had a sort of routine: After leaving the safety of the house light I orientated myself on the huge shape of the gate – after that I knew I  had to turn right. If I was lucky, someone was still up in the little cabin across the road and a dim light source would tell me where about I am. The next shape was a power pole…a thing I often missed, and then had to come back to. Behind this pole is the gate to the property. Turning off the road I had to go through a few trees which blocked all views onto the house, and then finally I would see the house.

It amazed me how well one can see

As my eyes got better in seeing in the dark, I hardly needed the torch anymore. Especially on a starry night, or when the moon was out. In a city it hardly ever gets dark enough anymore. So walking under the stars and moon was very lovely. I also liked the feeling (and adrenaline) of walking in the complete dark – especially when unable to cheat and turn on my lights. Suddenly I was truly dependant on my own senses! It’s great to learn what our bodies are actually capable of doing!

Back at home, I missed these walks so dearly, that I started this odd habit of mine. And I like it, because it actually is easy to see in our house’s dark staircase. And my body knows pretty darn well where that key hole is, most of the time I get it within 2 seconds. (I feel it rather than seeing it.)

So I don’t care if the people living with me laugh about it and think it’s strange. To me it is a fun activity. And yes, it also saves energy. It’s a win/win, you get me? 🙂

2. I’m too lazy to spend hours and hours on grooming

It’s actually true, and there is little to defend myself of not being lazy. Or practical, as I like to call it. But there are also very good reasons that made me stop in the first place, so now I simply see no point of going back.

The reasons are as following:
  • During my schooling to become a Pharmaceutical-technical Assistant (yes I really learned that!) I learned about what a sensitive organ our skin is. That it naturally keeps up a certain pH (around 4,7-5,75), which helps prevent the wrong microorganisms from growing on it (I’m sure most of us know, that there are many good microbes living inside and outside of us, right?).
  • I also learned that many toilettries that people, do not keep the pH at the right level, thus rendering the healthy protective skin barrier useless. Of course, we where then told, that many pharmaceutical skin care products would not to do that, and I doubt it not. But why put anything on, unless you really need it? I didn’t need it, because I was blessed with rather normal to  slightly oily skin. So eventually I stopped using body lotions or moisturizers.
  • Make up – I certainly used to use some, but after being told several times that I look much better without… I slowly used less and less until I stopped. Another reason for it was the suspicion that it actually was part of the reason why I had a need to cover up ugly spots, etc in the first place.
  • I soon after dropped my skin scrub. All it took was one video on social media. It made me realize that I was using micro plastics to scrub my skin… and at what cost they come for our water systems. There was no way I wanted to contribute to it any further and simply stopped.
  • A few years ago, I then ended uo reading a book about „chemicals or toxins“ in our every day lifes. About how weird things are added to almost everything, without proper proof that the things really are harmless. After reading it I seriously was starting to wonder:

    ‘Why the heck would I use all that possibly toxic stuff on my skin then?’

And that was pretty much the end of it. My favorite cleansers now are natural, silicone-free and ph neutral shampoos. Or even better – a soap bar for my skin. It’s nice cause you can find them for cheap, plastic free and they even make nice prrsents as they come in all kinds of shapes and forms and can be found hand-made too.

Having learned that to disturb my skin barrier as little as possible is the best for it…

….and having rather dry hair, allowed me to reduce showers to only once or twice a week. Anything that really needs to washed more often/daily can be done outside of a shower after all.

This routine was already quite normal for me. During my enrepreneurship training in Canada I loved to assisted on wilderness trips and usually that meant days in the bush. Without any shower! And despite being out and active all day – on hot days, on rainy days (meaning you are as wet inside as outside, from sweating), on dusty days. The only showers I would have were before and after the trip…meaning only about once a week. And my skin was a healthy as can be!

Of course, everyone is different. And there are certainly times, like after being active or when going through other things (sickness, hormonal changes, etc), there is a need to shower more often than that, and that’s ok. But when I’m not physically active I stick to the same routine. This allows me to save a lot of water and put less soap/shampoo etc in our environment. Which also means, I have to buy a lot less stuff.

So far, it seems to work, no one has complained about me being smelly yet 😉 – The only exceptions being long work days as a bicylce courier, but then it is usually is me myself who complains first 😉

3. I’m still listening to my old playlists from 4-5 years ago.

My official excuse for that is the following:

“My life is changing so often that I need at least one thing that stays constant.”

Back then I was travelling in New Zealand. Part of my ‘travelling education’ was to get to know dubstep. It wasn’t really my music style but since I tried to be an open and tolerant person, and was surrounded by people who loved dubstep, I let them play their music and listened. It didn’t take much to make me fall in love with Nero’s ‘Welcome Reality’. The boys at work being eager to share their tastes, Flux Pavillion followed and soon, I was driving around listenting to dub all the time! The only non-dub would be Maria Mena albums that I loved very much (and still do).

When some of my friends visited me in New Zealand (to go on a road trip), they were quite shocked at my new tastes and I was often not allowed to listen to my weird music! I still think that is funny.

Since then, my list has grown a little bit. I found Skrillex and others suited my new taste too. Somewhere, somehow I also picked up Grimes and Bon Hiver – even before actually travelling in Canada for the first time. Since then I have only added some Koto pieces (which you tube somehow introduced me to while listening to classic music). And some ‘german rock’ songs I have owned forever and that’s it.

So yeh, if you ask me what kind of music I like and I tell you “I listen to pretty much anything“ go ahead and roll your eyes! But it is true 🙂

Because I like music for the composition or for its lyrics. So when fancy strikes me, I doesn’t matter if its rock, pop, electronic or whatever. Thus I have been pretty loyal to my old music. And it doesn’t look like I will grow weary of those playlists anytime soon!

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