10 Things That Might Surprise You About Me


Usually, I want to write things that create value.

What I’m sharing today has no such aim.

I was tagged by James Jordan in his post ‘10 things about me’. He challenged me to write a similar article. I was hesitant because I seek to produce essays that inspire others to think deeper and ‘10 things about me’ listicles don’t align with that goal.

James took his inspiration from the original post by Tim Cigelske (“Hello, world! 10 Things About Me”). I feel Tim when he confesses:

“I miss getting to learn more about a blogger’s life, journey and motivations. What’s their story?”

As a reader, I, too, love getting a peek behind the scenes and learning a bit more about the people I read. With that in mind, I decided to take up James’ challenge.

Here are 10 things about me:

1. I really like to work

I spend almost all my time on my PhD-research and my Medium blog. I see reading and writing as “my work” and it’s a labor of love.

I’m OK with “working all the time” or being a workaholic, or whatever.

I get what Ryan Holiday means when he writes:

“The only time I’m not happy is when I am not working in some way or another.When I’m just dicking around. To me, that’s unhappiness. Idling. Happiness is working and excelling. Fulfilling your potential.”

2. I’m a fan of cycling

But isn’t that the most boring sport ever? Like, for 5 hours nothing happens, just people going faster and slower and slower and faster and sometimes crashing.

It is kind of monotonous. So why on earth do I like it? My father is a cycling fan too and, ever since I was little, we used to watch it together, meanwhile reading the newspaper, swapping parts we had each finished, talking about the race and the news. Reading something while watching cycling reminds me of that and that makes me feel good.

Other non-work things I enjoy: craft beer (especially stouts), talking with friends/family, walking, ASMR — anyone? — , neat-but-not-too-fancy shirts, wearing a cap so that I don’t have to do my hair, discovering new food, places, and states of mind, cabaret, signing out loud, forests.

3. I often wonder whether I’d do anything “hard” if I could just feel good all day

Except when I’m hungover, I have a hard time “just” being happy. Does living well requiresomestruggle or goal-achievement, or is that just me?

To an article that asked how there can be truths about how to live in the first place, a friend replied:

It seems you need the answer to your questions to measure up against ‘am I living my life okay?’ Or ‘am I okay?’”

This hurts.

On the one hand, I tend to think that improving yourself to make a difference is something people who were born in a privileged position like mine shoulddo. On the other hand, I sometimes envy people who seem to be less bothered by this alleged burden, leading me to doubt whether I’m instead working so hard to satisfy my need to believe that I’m okay.

4. I never know the way

I don’t have any sense of direction whatsoever. Some years ago, for example, I was on holiday with some friends and while we apparently could already see our hostel, I still managed to lead us astray. When I take an IQ-test, I alwaysget all the questions measuring spatial intelligence wrong. Like I should have learned some skill that I never learned.

5. I don’t have any social intelligence either

Back when I turned 21, with that same group of friends, we had this thing going where we would ‘roast’ each other on our birthdays. Among other things, I apparently “have the social skills of a solitary suicide bomber”. For some reason, I don’t ‘get’ a lot of this empathy stuff and social rules and reading between the lines and knowing how to understand how others feel. It feels like there’s something ‘missing’ in me. Again, like I should have learned some skill that I never learned. But I’m happy to report that I have been told that I’m making huge progress on this. 💪

6. One of my favorite things is experiencing a different culture

One month after I turned 18, I lived in Cambodia for a couple of months to teach English there. I have since fallen in love with seeing the world from a different perspective. In 2016–17 I lived in Africa for almost six months. I also did two months of Couchsurfing — you want to meet the locals! — in Eastern Europe. Comprehending life from diverse perspectives makes you realize that your own default framework is not ‘standard’, but optional.

Sadly, Hungarian wages don’t quite allow me to go on a big trip soon.

7. When I grow up I want to…?

As Seth Godin writes, “the idea of thinking about “when I grow up” is mostly an ill-formed fantasy”.

You know, when I think about my future, nothing gives me a ‘this is it’ feeling. There is not one thing I’d like to do, but many. I want to be a writer, I want to be a teacher, I want to make a large-scale difference in education.

I don’t have a dream job.

But, having a family is a top priority for me.

8. I’m fond of playing around with my state of consciousness

Because being ‘me’ all the time gets boring.

To literally, deeply experience life in a different way, I believe, chemical means are the most effective ones. I thoroughly enjoy these episodes and get a lot of meaning out of them.

9. I never set an alarm, unless I really have to

Oh, the joys of being a PhD candidate and not having a 9-to-5 job! I usually go to bed between midnight and 1, and wake up around 9 or so.

10. I’m currently working on…

Next academic year is going to be packed! In addition to everything I’m always working on (my PhD in philosophy and writing one quality essay per week) I have two big projects for this year:

· I’m going to start a podcast. Over at Central European University, we have a ‘Podcast Initiative’ and with their support I will be making a podcast — working title: There’s More To That — on which I’ll interview philosophers about real-life issues on which philosophy can deepen our understanding, and how it can do so. As I have zero interview training or experience, this I going to require a lot of preparation and practice (tips welcome).

· Connecting with others: expressing myself more and listening better. In that spirit: let’s keep in touch!

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