HOW I BECAME MY OWN VERSION OF POWERFUL

301 words by Aleks Sztemberg

I always thought that to be powerful meant to be tough “like a man.” Speak with dominant language, a loud voice, and get openly angry when I don’t agree with something. 

When I realized that I am not advancing upwards in my career – only sideways – I looked into the experiences of my male colleagues along the way. I wondered how one becomes a C-level executive with less experience or knowledge than I have had?

In my last role, I started acting and communicating “like a man.” I was direct and not afraid to speak my mind. I was very open about my professional … continue

TAKE OFF YOUR ARMOR AND THRIVE

301 words by Katarina Stoltz

As a teenager my strongest belief was “life is a struggle” and I was miserable. I hustled for worthiness by getting good looking guys to like me. I toughened up on the outside, grew weaker on the inside and exaggerated my alcohol consumption. By my late 20s I had armored up so badly that I lost touch with the happy girl I used to be.

Then, I got hired as a photographer by one of the world’s biggest news agencies. My ego was thrilled! A few years later, I was at the top of my career when I suddenly found myself on the bathroom floor in … continue

Almost does count

The moment my life changed was six years ago.
It changed in the armpit of an almost stranger.

I believed he would be the man I’d share life with.
Instead, he became an almost lover.

We were naked. He was lying on the bed and his arms were crossed under his head. We were looking at each other. I looked at his armpit and heard myself say: “I want to snuggle in there.” I heard this with a delay, while I was already doing so—laying my head down, snuggling in his armpit. There was a pause in his breathing, and then he wrapped his arms around me. We must have … continue

My best worst case scenario

I arrived in Berlin in one of the coldest winters I ever experienced. One meter snow, no one in the streets. I decided to move to this city, where I knew no one but my friend Cami, because I had a job offer at the most exciting vegetarian gourmet restaurant in the world. But when I was about to start, the Chef told me the restaurant was not running good and he couldn’t give me the job for which I left everything behind.
Life has trained me to deal with worst case scenarios. From losing my father at the age of 11, losing my childhood, losing my house to losing … continue

Sometimes you have to leave to be able to come back

Sometimes you just know that you really HAVE TO do something. „I need to travel by myself, I cannot say for how long, I just know that I have to do this!“
Nothing could have stopped me.
I left my hometown Hamburg not knowing when I would come back. I gave up my job, my apartment and my relationship to travel to Australia. No strings attached. Ready for adventure and ready to find happiness.
After the first excitements of making new experiences and meet a lot of people I just felt miserable. What was I doing?
I had imagined to feel free as a bee but I had never felt … continue