Many of you know a lot about me, and many know just a little. Well it’s about time that I tell you a little more about myself. Would you in turn tell me something about yourself I probably don’t know?
1. I studied journalism and PR+Advertising in the university for two years. But afterwards, I switched to film studies. My emphasis was directing and scriptwriting.
2. I speak four (actually 3 1/2) languages (English, German, Turkish, and a little bit of Italian), but English is not my mother tongue.
3. My hometown is Istanbul – a city that connects Europe and Asia.
4. As a Mediterranean gal, I love red wine and Mediterranean food cooked with extra virgin olive oil.
5. I’m very interested in studying anything and everything about human psychology and character profiling.
6. I started working for a big national magazine in Turkey when I was 19. I began as a translator and reporter and ended up interviewing famous writers, artists and intellectuals and writing cover stories about strange places like traveling circuses.
7. As a kid, my dream was to join a traveling circus, but just like Cosmo Kramer, clowns scare the hell out of me.
8. I’m good at organizing and running programs. And I have almost two decades of experience in the education and publishing industries. In my last job, I used to organize huge orientation and in-service training programs for the American, British and Canadian teachers in Turkey as well as leadership programs for high-school students.
9. I love minimalist French movies and novellas in which not much happens. But I also love quirky comedies. Oh, and anything by Woody Allen.
10. I’ve been writing essays and stories since middle school.
11. One of my dreams is to establish my own indie e-publishing company and publish beautiful books on creativity, change and personal growth.
12. I am an awarded literary translator, and I’ve translated 35 books, half of the translations being into English. One of the books I translated into English was published by the St. Martin’s Press in New York and received a prize.
13. Once I also was the sales responsible for a line of ceramic products in a big Italian producer and wholesaler. I used to sell zirconium silicate, pigments and glazes to big ceramic tile companies. It was an interesting experience that taught me a lot about sales and marketing.
14. I wear contact lenses, and I’m almost blind without them.
15. I’m an introvert. A Myers-Briggs INFP type.
16. I may look a little reserved at first sight, but people who get to know me better say I’m warm, inspiring and fun.
17. I love connecting people and organizing collaborative projects.
18. I’m the founder of the Personal Development Writers and Bloggers League. I am in the process of recreating it as The Changemakers Collective. We currently have a closed discussion group on Facebook but will have our own website, online magazine and forum soon.
19. I’ve always liked going against rules that didn’t make sense.
20. I dislike foul language, and I can’t stand small talk.
21. I enjoy listening more than talking. And I express myself best in writing.
22. I’ll openly tell you what I think about your problem if I have your permission.
23. I’m not good at being politically correct in my relationships. I say what’s on my mind. But I do my best to do it compassionately.
24. I believe taking action has a healing power.
25. I’m an Apple addict. I love everything they create.
26. I’m good at building websites at the speed of light. I’ve learned it all by myself without any kind of formal training, and I’m good at teaching it. I know it sounds weird, but building websites relaxes and recharges my brain.
27. I want to learn to create fabric art. I dream of making quilted and felted fabric paintings and one-of-a-kind healing dolls.
28. I have the ability to remember my dreams within dreams. The most intricate one involved waking into three concentric dreams.
29. I’ve always wanted to have a tree house, and I love swings. I cherish my childhood memories.
30. I love Mary Poppins, but not the Disney version. She was my childhood hero. I think the Disney movie sucks.
31. I’m a hard-core Seinfeld fan. And also Curb Your Enthusiasm. Actually I love anything created by Larry David.
32. I’m interested in Zen Buddhism and Taoism.
33. I’m working on two books: (1) “If the Buddha Did Business” and (2) “Love Like Buddha, Dance Like Rumi.”
34. I find peace through meditation and walking. I can walk for two to three hours at one go.
35. I used to do yoga regularly, now I do it occasionally.
36. My little sister is one of my heroes. She’s a writer and ceramic artist. And she’s my second best friend. (The first is my husband.)
37. I’m terrible at remembering birthdays. Once I forgot my own birthday, and my mother had to remind me.
38. And I’m really bad at drawing. If you saw my horse drawings, you’d unsubscribe from my blog.
39. I will be taking Dr. Eric Maisel’s Creativity Coaching course in 2013, and I really look forward to it. At the moment, I mostly work with coaches and other women solopreneurs. I also want to get very good at helping writers and artists.
40. I have a 19-year-old son, who has two nationalities: German and Turkish. He used to be a genius at drawing. And he’s a cool kid. This year (as a senior) he decided to join the U. S. Marine Corps (in spite of our strong objections – I hate anything to do with weapons or war!) He scored a 93 and became a Poolie. Next year he’ll go to college as a Marines reserve. He got accepted to Rutgers. He plans to do a double major in Law Enforcement + Criminal Psychology.
41. My son Guido Deniz’s birth was almost totally pain-free. I cannot say the same thing about bringing him up.
42. I got married twice. The second and forever one with the love of my life. I can say without hesitation that I’d give my life for him.
43. We lost contact for 16 years and then found each other again. We communicated for two years and then decided to meet. After spending 12 days together we got married on the last day. Two hours after we got married, he had to take me to the airport. Yes, we were crying and had red noses. We had to wait for almost two years to be together again.
44. At the moment, we live in New Jersey, USA, which I think is a strange but interesting place. I would love to live in Boston, New Hampshire, Maine, or San Francisco.
45. My first name ‘Cigdem’ means ‘crocus’ in English. But my favorite flowers are blue hydrangeas.
46. I sometimes dream of living in the country in a tiny house with a garden full of blue hydrangeas. Yet I’m a city girl who hates bugs and critters. I also have a fear of flying insects.
47. But I love airplanes and flying. I wouldn’t mind flying on a plane every single day. In the past, I got some training on flying small Cessna planes. But I never completed it to get a license.
48. I call myself a creative alchemist. I’m also a project midwife. I like actively helping creative and entrepreneurial women to create, develop and launch their projects. And their dreams.
49. I don’t believe in the myth of the suffering artist.
50. I feel the happiest when I can learn, grow, create, and bring about meaningful change. And I see it as my mission to help women, who want a more meaningful and fulfilling life, to be happy, thrive and feel alive!
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