My #altCV for #DiGiWriMo

First writing exercise for this month

is my alternative CV … hm … So I think this should be something that’s like me?

Food First?

Rhyming–more or less–is part, too

 “Despite Autumn” (13/09/2015)

… and writing of course

English is like make-up

I wrote this for a MOOC I participated in.

I wrote my first stories when I did not yet know how to spell properly. So I substituted the difficult words with drawings in the middle of sentences. Poems, diaries, two novels (that patiently wait for my sporadic attention), blogs (https://naddysheridan.wordpress.com & http://friedaaltmann.wordpress.com) and random short stories are part of understanding life.  They are friends and foes alike: friends if I can use them to make sense out of the mess in my head, and foes if they are a mirror I do not want to look into.

As I grew older and learned English in school. I fell in love with the language. English lends itself to story telling, maybe because it is not as precise a language as German? Maybe it is because even with the most basic knowledge I was already able to tell stories. Yet, writing in English came with an unexpected benefit. I could hide behind it.

English is not my mother tongue so anything I write is slightly dissociated from my Self. It is like putting make-up on in the morning to hide behind a thin mask of perfection. English is a thin mask of not quite what I would say, how I would say it in German or who I am, and yet still me. The features are still clear but you cannot see the scars, the spots, and the shiny nose. So writing in English will show me but not quite. Writing in English unexpectedly created a safe space; a room to express, experiment, argue, be cynical, funny, and sometimes go outright bonkers. English is a space where repercussions hold the superposition between reality and fiction—never entirely true either way.

Now you know quite a bit about me

There is also always the urge to understand. How do we learn? How do we make sense of the world? How do we gain agency, Weltaneignung, grow, keep on going, learn, and learn again?

Now don’t forget to dance!

… or hop around

 

 

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7 thoughts on “My #altCV for #DiGiWriMo

  1. I love cakes too and I lately started experimenting a bit but I’m not good at making any yet 🙂

    What you say about your relationship with the English language caught my attention because I often wonder about my own relationship with it. Mine is different in some ways but the part that is similar to yours feels more like being in a different space that have somehow different social norms and expectations. I think! hmm I will have to think about this a bit more .. 🙂

    Nice to meet you Nathalie 🙂

    • Nice to meet you Maha. 🙂 I am glad my little reflection resonated with you. It is difficult to express it, also the longer I live in this ‘other’ language, the more this experience shifts and changes. I like your picture of calling it a different space. Something I will ponder now 😀

  2. Nathalie, English is my mother tongue; French is my second language (and a bit of Spanish). I have sometimes pondered the chicken-and-egg question of whether language influences culture, or vice-versa. There are some terms in French that I find so elegant or meaningful compared to their English counterparts. At the same time, French only has one verb for “to love” (aimer)? How can that be?

    Thank you for your reflection… and the cake recipe. I’ll have to check it out!

  3. Hi Nathalie,
    I think I have similar feelings about German as you have about English. I do both daily, although the bulk of my transactions take place in English, my native tongue. (I’m an American living in Austria) When I express myself in German I can sometimes allow myself to take liberties that I might not otherwise attempt in English. So, make up on, make up off – I hear you and I’m listening. Thanks for sharing your experience. – Sherri

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