love/hate challenge

I have never been part of a blogging challenge, so I was thrilled when I received notice from dweezer19 at tropcialaffair.me that I had been chosen to be included. Plus, this is quite the interesting challenge. 10 things that I love and 10 things that I hate. Black and white for a girl who lives in gray can be quite interesting. You see, not unlike dweezer19, I was raised not to use the word “hate“. My father always reminded me that we could not enjoy the sunshine without the rain and my mother is the queen of the devil’s advocates. As such, I try to find the one thing that is good about just about everything. Still, I find myself using the phrase, “I hate…” more frequently than I would like – even if I don’t really mean it. So, as the name implies, this was an actual challenge to come up with 10 things in BOTH categories.

Here it goes:

I love my parents.

They are funny and kind and everything that anyone could ask for in parents.

IMG-20150426-WA0001[1]Unfortunately, they live in New York and I live in Germany.

This means that they are 6000+ km away – something I hate.

map

I also hated being here in Germany and not being able to communicate.

It took me more than a year for my German to be good enough for me to be able to really speak in full, understandable sentences.  Life is so much better when I can chime in on the conservation or make a joke.  Plus, I can now say that I can speak 3 languages which I find quite cool.

And I hate not having anyone in my life who really understands how stressful it is to be so far away from how and not have a social support network, while dealing with a boatload of visa problems.

I cannot remember how many times I have been to the immigration office with positive expectations only to have my hopes crushed and defeated by bureaucracy.  Last time I went and stood in the pouring rain/snow from 4am – 7am before being informed that they (the immigration office) was only giving out 40 appointments for the day.  There were already 100 people in front of me at 4am.

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And because my visa problems have prevented me from travelling to the US in the spring as expected, I had to give up my two cats which I hate more than words can describe.

Harry and Jurgis.  I miss them so much. The individual who now has them told me that I had to get them last week, give them to him or he was going to give them away.  I cannot leave the country right now or I would not be able to get back in.  My only solace is knowing that this individual loves them.  Still, my heart is quite broken.

I love food.

I love eating it and I love cooking it. I love growing it and I love how it brings people together. I love how it smells and how it looks. I love watching it change through the cooking process and being surprised by the final product.  Then there is the fact that being happily surprised by new flavors is one of my great joys in life.  Potatoes are my most favorite food.  I think this song about them is just great!

But, I hate olives.

I cannot stand them.  Just thinking about them makes me gag.  Even if other food has touched the olives, it is tainted and cannot be eaten. The same is true with any type of melon. Fruit salad that contains watermelon? A Greek wrap that once contained Kalamatas? Both are completely inedible.antiolive

I also hate wasting food.

This is a major downside to my love affair with food.  I often get carried away at the grocery store or farmers market. I always start with good intentions, but unfortunately do not always get around to using all of the ingredients I bought or finishing up the leftovers. This means food waste. I know how expensive/environmentally damaging/dependent on fossil fuel the food production system is and every time I throw something out, I recognize that I am contributing to the problem.

I love shirking traditional societal expectations for consumers.

It is hard to admit, but I truly believe that the only real power we have in modern society is consumer power.  How we spend our money demonstrates our acceptance or rejection of current economic models.  At the moment the majority of my efforts are directed towards changing my relationship with the food system.  I have been working on growing my own food and finding creative ways to use up that which I already have.  I also enjoy recycling and finding new uses for old items.  This is based on my firm belief that the current sociopolitical system in place needs some serious tweaking.  My means of advocating for this are eschewing the roles that the broken economic and political systems dictate that we take on.  It gives me a thrill.

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I also love nature.

Not much more has to be said regarding that. She is a magnificent beast that surprises and mystifies us on a daily basis. How lucky are we?

IMG-20150519-WA0001[1] IMG-20150605-WA0002[1]

So, I hate it that so many people/businesses have such little respect for our natural resources.

I understand and respect the fact that people are important and special, but without a well-cared for environment people cannot live safe and healthy lives.  I truly wish that people would think more in the long-run and make proactive choices that are conducive a well-balanced world.

I also hate when people abuse a system or group or even individuals who are there to help.

It makes me sick to my stomach when I hear about fraud within social assistance/charity/non-profits (It is also bad in the private sector, but private businesses rarely claim to be helping to improve society).  When this happens, it makes the whole system/entire group look bad which plays into stereotypes and ultimately hurts the people who really need assistance.  This drives me absolutely bananas.  I want there to be not only help, but good help, for people who need it when they need it.

And I hate that many children must suffer through terrible childhoods because they are born to parents that have children for the wrong reason(s). 

It boggles my mind that people need a license to have a dog, but are free to have children by the litter.

But, I love that I was lucky enough to be born into a society where women are treated (relatively) equal. 

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to choose what I want to do with my life and how I want to do it.  I cannot imagine being born into a culture where I would be considered property and my only worth is defined by how many children I would provide or how many goats I was traded for on my wedding day.

And I love using that freedom to acquire new knowledge. 

Minutia is my thing and I love being the person who knows something completely random and/or important about an off-beat topic.  I also think it is great to keep oneself educated.  An educated population is the only way to maintain a fair and civil society.

tooth ache

 I hate toothaches and back pain.

I can handle other pain, but these two just get me.  They’re awful.  I am currently experiencing some I wish I was dead, shoot me now tooth pain.  It completely gets in the way of being a productive human being (hence this post that has taken over a week to write…) which is a total bummer because…

I love being a productive human being with unique interests and faith in myself.

It could have simply been because I was younger, but a few short years ago I had few interests of my own and I sort of did whatever it was that I thought people wanted me to do.  I never really felt like myself and I always felt like there could be something more.  Then I was in a terrible car accident and it completely changed my relationship with the world.  I started to look at the things that are really important and I examined who I wanted to be as a person.  I wrote down what interested me and how I wanted to represent myself in the world.  This led me to the decision to complete a degree in Public Affairs with a concentration in food, health and the environment (and I am hoping to start a master’s in Integrated Natural Resource Management in the fall of 2015), learn how to cook, start gardening and stop being afraid to try new things because I wanted to, not because of what other people wanted.  I am now happier than ever and I have confidence which makes life that much better.

I love reading, too.

I do not do it as much as I would like, but I do it when I can. A few of my favorites are Garden of Marvels by Ruth Kassinger, Cry of the Kalahari by Mark and Delia Owens, Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal by Joel Salatin, A Million Little Pieces/My Friend Leonard by James Frey (despite the controversy over its accuracy) and The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw (a childhood favorite). I am currently reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (gotta love those free Ebooks!).

everything i want to do is illegalThis plays into my love of being alone.

I am definitely an introvert which may or may not have to do with the fact that I am an only child.  I enjoy my own company and can entertain myself for days at a time. That is not to say that I don’t like being in a group once in a while, because I do, but they can be tiring.

And last, but not least:   I love hammocks and rocking chairs. 

rocking chair

My favorite sitting/laying equipment.  Hands down.

So those are my 10 love/hate choices. Thanks for reading a bit about me.

And as part of the challenge, nominees are supposed to choose 10 additional people to participate.  I chose these blogs because I think they all have really interesting things to share with the world and I thought it would be nice to know the 10 things they love and hate.

My 10 Nominees for the next round of the challenge are:

Be a Seed for Change

Backyard to Fork

Green Lizard’s Blog

A Farming Artist

Snapshotsincursive

Beeintheredugthat

Barefootbudget

Simply Grateful Housewife

Grannie Appleseed

Klarinet

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3 thoughts on “love/hate challenge

  1. Awesome! Thanks for accepting and passing on the challenge. It is good to know more about you. I agree about the olives. I don’t have a phobia but am extremely prejudiced against those green pimiento stuffed jobs. Uuugggg.. Hope you get your visa situation worked out.

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