MY RETROSPECT – how everything begun …
My story – my road to Kite2Connect
I was born on 27.01.1978 in Nürnberg. Already back then it was clear that I had to do things the way I wanted to, which meant, it had to be different and connected to action. According to this trait of mine, I of course, could not just come into this world quietly – the easy way, no.
Firstly, I decided to be premature by 6 weeks, plus after hospitalising my mum prior to my birthdate, once in the hospital I decided to take my time of course, which resulted in me being threatened by the doctor in charge that if I did not come out immediately he would have to use the suction cup to get me out. Well, I did not like that, being disturbed and on top of that being told how I would enter this world – so after hearing the doctor’s words I decided to pop out within seconds, elegant and in my own way.
Secondly, being premature back then meant to be taken away from my mum, leaving us both to experience what being apart from loved ones meant. Not a nice time for my mum she told me and I believe also not for myself. Naturally I cannot remember. After 2 long weeks being apart, we were reunited and my adventurous family & personal life could begin.
Oh, I forgot. This was not all yet. I had to be even more spectacular. I ended up being diagnosed as being a coeliac – being gluten intolerant. This was a horror trip for my parents back then. They just could not find out what was upsetting my stomach so badly, resulting in me being sick for weeks and my parents not being too amused about that. In the end a doctor suggested that I go for a blood change. That was the only solution they could think of – and this was a risky action.
Already back then I seemed to like the word “action”.
Well thank God there was a young doctor at the hospital who had come to learn about the coeliac disease and suggested to my parents that I have a bowl biopsy done – in secret – as the “older” doctors were not in on that idea. Anyhow, my parents grabbed at this idea and voila, it turned out I was a coeliac. My diet was adapted, I became full of life again and everyone was happy.
So, coming into this world and the following months already started with action and excitement, let’s see how this continued through my life during the coming years.
Shortly after getting healthy again, my parents and I moved to Nigeria where my father was working at the time. Being there, living a simple life, allowed me to explore my already then developing sense of curiosity and enjoyment for action.
So of course arriving to Nigeria had to be spectacular again – so my mum and I “decided” to board our plane not only with our suitcases, no, we had a secret passenger with us. It was a night flight so people were sleeping, all was fine and quiet until we woke up in the morning to find that we had red spots coming out on our faces. We had sneaked the chickenpox on board and most probably had infected a few other passengers while sleeping. Right after arriving in Nigeria we were put in quarantine for 6 weeks, enjoying total detachment from the outside world. Another bullet point on my action list was done!
Two years later we went back to Germany and straight after that to find our home in Austria, as my father had found employment with the company VAI. Shortly after, in 1983, my brother was born and 6 months later we moved to Misrata in Libya, where the next contract was waiting for my Dad to take on, and we, his family were part of this great journey. We spent 5 most wonderful years together in Libya as a family. It was a childrens‘ paradise living in the camp back then. We could do and explore practically anything coming to a childs mind for growing as well as for getting into trouble.
Living in that camp allowed us to explore our limits, to discover our abilities and grow on them.
- We climbed up and down trees as well as houses.
- We learnt how to swim, we built small houses and rafts.
- We floated on these rafts when the heavy rains came and flooded vast areas of dried land.
- At the weekends we would spend amazing times with family & friends.
- We could enjoy the simple nature – it was a child’s paradise.
It was all very simple and easy there.
At times we could not even buy the most basic staple foods. Nonetheless, thinking back to those times makes everyone of us who had been there have a big smile on our faces as our memories create such a wonderful inner peace and particular sense of balance inside of us.
*** Our memories make us smile from within – it is an innocent smile of our heart. ***
There was a time back then when my mother left Libya both with my brother and myself as the situation was getting rather tense in 1986 due to the USA bombarding Libya caused by the Lockerbie plane crash. The lights were all turned off at night in the camp so that no missile could find and hit us, according to the authorities. During these times I always had to be taken back by a grown-up when walking home from playing at friends’ houses, as I was too small to see and walk by myself.
We did stay a few weeks in this extraordinary state of living, until my parents decided this was not a place for young kids to be, and, we had the possibility to leave.
Boarding our plane, taking us home to the shelters of war-free Austria, we were each given a poster – a poster to always remember and to show the world what was happening. Each passenger HAD to take this poster and on each poster there was a dead body of a child on it from the bombardments coming from the USA. We still have ours. I can still see the little body and face of the little dead girl on my poster.
There are many stories out in this world about countries and people, and dictator Ghadaffi for sure contributed to some dark moments to happen on our planet. Nontheless, my family and I always felt safe and protected while living there. I understand that what I am saying here is hard to comprehend from the outside and for sure we knew how to move around in order to make things good for us.
By showing my brother and myself this kind of life, my parents
paved the way for us to be open-minded,
not to judge and instead to look behind the scene and figure things out for ourselves.
We were taught how to move around in foreign countries, to be alert while at the same time seeing the wonderful things each country, life and situation has to offer. We were raised to respect local traditions and each person as an individual – the way we were allowed to grow up has given our mind the gift to see more than there is to see when blinded by judgement.
*** Our mind can only comprehend what it has been taught to see. ***
At the age of 10 we moved back to Austria as it was time for a new school era. It was time to leave elementary school and to dive into the strict world of grammar school. It was a rather rough time to settle into this new type of system, sometimes it was easier and then again more difficult for me.
Actually it is hard to believe now, but I had to change from writing German letters to writing Austrian letters. Back in Libya I had attended a German elementary school and therefore teaching me the German alphabet – and yes, Austria does, or back then, did have a different way of writing the alphabet. I am sure this is the reason for my peculiar handwriting today. In addition to this unbelievable challenge, I was also behind in maths – the Austrians seemed to be quite a bit ahead in the teaching system. I had no real issue with catching up and adapting to the school system. My battle was more with having the feeling I was out of place, not really having the feeling of being home.
Once I turned 18 I took the chance to escape into the bigger world, I moved to Vienna and studied international business management. Basically the only reason I did that was because studying this particular field included learning languages, and I enjoyed speaking foreign languages. It made me feel part of the world – it made me feel alive. At my grammar school our schedule included being taught 5 languages. So the only common thing I had with this chosen course were the languages and my goal to conquer the world, to dive back into it and out of the rather uptight Austrian flair.
Choosing to study “international business management” meant being able to visit a university abroad which I did in 2000 and spent a whole year studying in Straßbourg, France.
The French are a peculiar bunch of people, better to speak their language instead of relying on them to make the effort to communicate. Despite this special trait of the French people, Straßbourg did put its spell on me, especially during the Christmas time. The Marché de Noel, like our Christkindlmarket, really has its
own charm, creating a wonderful atmosphere and spirit.
Where has the action gone? No worries, I did know how to create some turmoil during my exchange year in France – life would be boring otherwise, right?
During the Christmas holidays, being back home in snowy Austria, my brother, my friend and I went on a ski trip on the 24.12.2004. All went well until I decided to go into „training mode“ for the next winter olympic games and a second later I was up in the air, all fine, until I came down again, all fine too, just my ACL was not too happy about the landing – the tension on my knee was out of place and there went my first ACL. I can still feel this very special pain of it rupturing, like when grinding herbs in a grinder. Well, it had happened and not long after I was on my way to the hospital.
I can still see the doctor in front of me, telling me that I had ruptured my ACL in the left knee and that I could most probably forget any future sport, especially skiing – my heart broke at that moment of hearing this news. I still had so many athletic goals in my head. My soul was wounded as being sporty, athletic and moving around was a very big part of my life and I still had the aim to become a professional skiing instructor. Growing up in Libya, in the sand, did not really make it an option to become a professional skier, BUT becoming a professional skiing instructor was still out there – at this point I was not sure anymore though.
My first ACL-back to-sport-battle was about to start.
I was determined to get back on the snow and to become the skiing instructor I wanted to be, make people smile and happy. I must admit, I was quite crushed after the doctor’s words about my knee and future athletic prospective. It is never easy to find a change of plan put in front of one – it takes a while to get over it, accept, adjust and find new ways of going about one’s goals.
Two weeks later I was operated on and the following months were filled with hard work getting my knee back into snow motion. Despite the smashing words by the doctor at the hospital, I made it and I was skiing down the Tyrolean Mountains as a skiing instructor during the winter season 2001/2002. Injured knee or not, I spent all the time I could with the pro riders, riding down steep off-pist slopes. It was a great time and adventure – I learned so much.
They made me feel safe by knowing exactly how to guide me down any challenge.
- This allowed me to progress and to forget my knee injury.
- I left my inflicted fear behind.
- It did not matter how steep the slope was, I could conquer it.
- They taught me to know what I was doing, which has developed into a slogan of mine.
*** As long as you are aware of what you need to do, you are safe. ***
So one time ACL rupture was not enough, I had to rupture it again while still at university.
I actually wanted to advance in my professional ski career, take the next level of exam. This new injury, again in my left knee, put that goal behind though. Also this incident was not spectacular. It was just a ski instructor colleague and myself who wanted to just enjoy a ride after our day was over. We took lovely powder beside the slope, and when jumping back onto the official track, something cracked and I had to sit down. Looking at my left leg I could see it was hanging onto my upper thigh twisted. I could not believe what I was seeing! My mind was already going crazy thinking of all the torture and hard work it would now mean to get that knee back in order AGAIN. There are worse things to go through, nonetheless. Such an injury is quite an emotional strain to go through.
Anyhow, I had no choice than to master this challenge too, and to start rethinking. It was time for no sport and more time for relaxing, relaxing and relaxing. At that time I started to think
“Why did this happen to me again? I am an athletic person, I take care of myself, skiing is part of my life – what am I doing wrong?”
The answers to these questions still had to be born. The beginning to find the answer though had already begun … my maturity process had started to kick in …
After I had finished my studies in 2004, I managed to work in aviation, which was another passion of mine. I had written my Master thesis in Revenue Management at Austrian Airlines and shortly after leaving university I became Revenue Manager of the Middle East at Austrian Airlines. I was there from 2005 until 2007 and enjoyed many challenges and destinations – one of them being to revisit Libya as a now grown-up person. It was just great to go on a business trip to the country that held so many childhood memories. In 2007 I left Austrian Airlines and was heading towards my next adventure, now based in the Middle East. I needed a new challenge and I still wanted to see the world – there was so much to discover.
My time in the Middle East was quite challenging I would say and personality shaping at the same time. I would not want to have missed the 4 years I had been living in that part of the world by myself – I would wish to have had a bigger mental tool box though, this could have been handy.
I encountered many situations, feelings and challenges which I had not been through and experienced before. I had to deal with everything by myself and I was alone out there. My family was back home in Austria. Without being aware of this, my soul, my mind was encountering so many new, different and challenging impressions every day, and there was no time to pay attention to everything happening in detail and to categorize what was happening. I did not know back then that this is vital for my mind and body to stay sane, to stay powerful and healthy. The society I was in was moving on a 24/7 basis and life was happening everywhere.
Today I know better.
Today I know that we cannot only keep on moving, we also need to keep on resting!
Both these movements need to be in balance – we need to give our thoughts and our emotions the attention they are seeing. If we do so, our body can heal and be strong.
I have so much more I would like to share with you. This is only the beginning. Stay curious and find out more about Kite2Connect and your possibilities. My past, my now, my experiences and feelings so far, are all the reason for my next chapter.
This new chapter is named Kite2Connect ….
*** Find out more in my NEXT blog, stay tuned and be curious. ***