It’s fitting to open this blog with the classic coder greeting. While I have not been this distant from the bloggiverse since I began back in 2010, I am more emerged than ever before in the tech world. Technology has consumed a large chunk of my interest capacity since I got my first computer in 1998 (note to self: share more about tech on the blog). While most young women were saving for new clothing and handbags, I was saving for the newest gadget. With that, it’s safe to say it has been a pretty great year and I am dang happy with what has unfolded.
I had a revelation recently. One evening as I was climbing in bed and I realized that I am so content with my life right now. There is nothing material I want or need, I love my people, I love my job, I am saving money and have free time to pursue my interests. Sure some things are missing (namely a love life), but I finally feel in the place to just enjoy living life and am excited about the possibilities of each day.
What have I been up to? Well, as I noted earlier, it has been tech, with a lot of bureaucracy mixed. Below, please find several major reasons I haven’t blogged (and not having time is not one of them).
I finished my master’s degree in Consumer Affairs, specialized in Consumer, Technology and Innovation.
It seems like just yesterday I was explaining my master’s program on the blog. I feel so lucky that my decision to au pair led somehow guided me to my Master of Science at the Technische Universität München. Moving to Munich was a dream for me and studying at a world-class university was the perfect excuse. On top of that, it cost next to nothing, and I could support myself throughout my studies with various part-time working student positions.
2016 was largely consumed with writing my master’s thesis, “Leadership & Organization in Highly Innovative Digital Firms: Organizational Models to Maximize Happiness, Innovation, Health and Efficiency”. While I enjoy writing, academic research and writing was a different ballgame, and I am very happy it is behind me.
I started and completed my honors degree in Technology Management.
One of the best surprises of the last year was starting my add-on study program at the Center for Digital Technology & Management (CDTM). CDTM is an interdisciplinary study program, so I could meet people from very different study backgrounds and work with cross-functional teams on various hands-on tech projects. The program opened so many doors, and O learned more than I could imagine in a single year, while meeting some of my best friends in Munich.
I started my career in innovation.
The second I touched the topic of innovation as a field in my studies, I knew it was what I wanted to pursue. People often ask me what on Earth it means to work in innovation. There are many fields, whether it is innovation strategy, culture, new product development, opportunity analysis, etc. Currently, my team is focusing heavily on using robotics (software > hardware) for automation and I find it insanely exciting to exploring such futuristic topics.
I moved into my very own studio apartment.
The second I received my working contract, I knew I wanted to reward myself with a new flat, specifically my first “adult apartment” where I could live alone and call it my own. Munich is well-known as the most expensive city in Germany and finding an apartment is T-O-U-G-H. My 6-week search felt like a full-time gig, but finally I got my lucky break with a studio apartment in a fantastic neighborhood. I thought I would never find something in such a super area of Munich, but the stars simply aligned. There’s much more to say on all of this in a final post, but I have now been in my flat 7 months and I am still overjoyed with it.
I applied for a new working permit (next step: permanent residency).
With my studies ending and working life beginning, I needed to switch visas. Fortunately, with a German degree and a working contract, it was super easy to obtain my new residence permit. After two years with this working permit, I will finally be eligible for permanent residency in Germany!
Looking back, it is hard to believe how much I traveled last year with all of this going on. In 2016 I visited Amsterdam, Turin, Stockholm, Mexico – Isla Mujeres, Berlin 2x, Vienna, Chamonix, Florence, Mykonos, Hamburg, Israel, and traveled home for Christmas.
I stopped my Europe Itinerary business.
While I still want to pursue my own business someday, I lost my passion for Europe Itinerary and decided to prioritize my time elsewhere. Therefore, when I began my job I decided it was best to close the business, since I could no longer serve my customers at the level of quality I initially envisioned. It was certainly sad to hit the delete buttons, but I know it was for the best.
Life is a little leveled out with working and (at least for now) I am very happy with that. I began this year with a few goals:
- Develop a healthy routine
- Find an athletic activity I enjoy and do it regularly new athletic activity
- Join an organization where I can contribute to the good of society
- Read more
- Dedicate time to a personal hobby
I can safely say, while none are firmly accomplished, they are all well underway, I have: 1) improved my food choices in the canteen at work, started waking up early to work out on weekdays, 2) started playing golf, bought new skis for winter, and looking for fitness class – maybe boxing, 3) talked to various people about organizations I could contribute to in Munich 4) read Girl Boss, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Outliers, Tools of Titans, and 5) well, I’m making a bold statement that once a week, I will dedicate time to this little space of mine. No matter how hard it is to start, I’m always happy I did.
And wit that, I am blown away by all that can happen in a year.