The mother of all my lists

I updated my life list. Have a peek!



It feels like that moment when the shimmering surface of the water breaks and you are finally able to fill your lungs with sweet, clean air after having been underwater for that teeny, tiny bit too long. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this journey under water so much more than last time. It was still under water – you know, it was difficult to breathe after the oxygen ran out, and my diving suit was several numbers too big, as if someone *bigger* than me had been supposed to be on that very journey. But this time around, I managed to see the beauty down there, and to scare a couple of sharks away.

So now, I have two books to show for my dive into the real world. Add a couple of scars, wrinkles and a slightly bigger heart, and you have my picture. After some down time, I will be cooking up a new venture, trying to combine peace research with political decision making. And just so you know: I will need your help.

See you at the beach.

Letter to my sixteen-year-old self

Dear Christiane,

I know you hate being 16. You are so desperate to fit in, so sensitive, and at the same time so passionate, so free. So fragile, and so strong. In some ways I envy you, in others, I truly don’t.

I want you to know that there will be a time in your life when the things you are wishing for now will have come true. A time when you will have overcome all that heartbreak. A time when hearing from old schoolmates will not raise the hairs on your neck anymore. A time when you will finally have found the courage and compassion in your heart to accept you, at sixteen years, with all your pain and mistakes and insecurities. And when you will have understood that your inexplicable capacity for dealing with conflict and for dreaming is rooted in those black months, back then, when you thought you couldn’t take it anymore.

It was all worth it.

Much love,