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“Multipotentialist”— Teacher, Musician, Yogi, Self-Proclaimed Polyglot — Obviously, a Writer ❤ 3rd Culture Kid in Vienna.
Photo by Franco Antonio Giovanella on Unsplash

Well, now that you’re here I’ll let you in on a little secret.

Many moons ago, I won the award of “Worst Listener Ever.

It was a little painful to hear three of the most important people in my life each tell me: “you’re a shitty listener,” but deep down, I kind of knew it was true. Well, not so deep down.

It was glaringly obvious actually.

The good thing is, I didn’t get offended at all. (If there’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s that I can admit all my faults, and this is one of my biggest.)


Social Media

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

I wasn’t so addicted to the Gram. Prior to deleting it, I even had it restricted to 30 minutes a day (which included work).

But if I’m being honest, I think I was a little addicted to the likes, the comments, and the attention. Still, I thought it was important for me to have a ‘presence’ for my singing career or whatever.

I then watched the Social Dilemma, and I was seriously creeped out.

But I thought, ‘I’m strong and I’m confident, so it doesn’t hurt me! Plus, I only use Instagram to look at recipes and food and learn…


So great! Some points made me lol so hard - especially the first point!! It's so true! Why is everyone suddenly a self-proclaimed nutritionist?

I stopped eating meats and became a pescetarian since I was 13 - so about 17 years ago - and stopped dairy 3 years ago which I thought I could never do, and literally so many people, especially older people, feel like they have the right to give me unsolicited advice about eating. Still, I try and respect their opinion, and never give anyone my opinion on the topic unless asked for it. …


Photo by Lan Pham on Unsplash

My affair with Japan began almost a decade ago, and yet I feel like I’m falling deeper in love.

One of the things I adore about Japan is the culture of appreciation, which is deeply embedded in the language. Even when speaking in English, every Japanese student I’ve ever taught sincerely expresses their appreciation towards me, in what feels like an overwhelming ode of gratitude.

Even the nicest non-Japanese students don’t quite have this innate desire to constantly thank me, and it’s not to say that one way is ‘right’, but just that the way I feel after receiving the…


Language Learning

Photo by bady abbas on Unsplash

After a few years of studying Japanese, my Japanese is still worse than my German of a few months. Why?

Is there something wrong with the way I study? Is my teacher not doing a good job? Is it the textbook choice? Am I not studying enough?

Why do I struggle to reach a basic A2 level in Japanese, but in less than half the time and with half the effort, I’ve managed to scrape up a B1 in German, a language I don’t even enjoy?

It’s been nagging at me for a while now, but ironically, it was only…


MEETING PEOPLE SUCKS

A real-life photo of me with friends (Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash)

There’s something about meeting people that makes me nervous. Not the nervous that I get when I’m travelling to a new country. More like ‘the nervous that makes you want to stay at home and not meet new people or avoid them’ type of nervous.

And actually, it’s ironic because anyone who knows me would say I’m an extroverted social butterfly. I love people.

But I just wish I wouldn’t have to introduce myself or talk about myself at all, especially to people I don’t really know well. Actually, it’s probably even worse for people I do know.

I guess…


Love is for everyone

Yep. Love in the time of Corona! (Photo by June Heredia on Unsplash)

For the past 10 years, I’ve had many ups and downs with diverse relationships but always felt like ‘finding the one’ was not in my cards. It was just not going to happen.

Getting married was just not something I felt I needed nor wanted. And if I’m honest, I was kind of scared of commitment and didn’t think I could find someone that I’d love enough to want to say ‘yes’ to.

Somehow, I went from saying I’d never get married to finding myself engaged and almost married in the span of a year. …


P.S. Not all Arabs use camels. And not all Arab countries have deserts. Even though they look quite bad-ass. (Photo by Matthew Foulds on Unsplash)

A beautiful thing about languages is how they all have their own kind of pulse. Some are faster, some are slow and sultry. Some are dressed in clipped politeness, and some employ hilarious adjectives.

As a follow up to my five top untranslatable expressions in Arabic, here are some of my favourite adjectives to describe all types of people. All of these are native to the Lebanese dialect, although some can be found and understood elsewhere.

I use these all the time and find myself seriously struggling to find English replacements for them. Half the time, I’m tempted to sit…


On Belonging in the 21st Century

The grass is always greener on the other side. (Photo by Alex Ivashenko on Unsplash)

10 years ago, I left the Middle East for good, returning yearly to visit family and friends.

In a way, I’d left the Middle East even when I was still there. I was physically there, but my mind had been in ‘the West,’ for decades already.

My foreign beliefs, my style, my cares, my TV show and music preferences — almost everything was fundamentally ‘foreignized.’ My identity and mindset had been formed out of multiple countries and cultures, none of which were inherently mine.

I looked at friends who were from one or two countries or cities, and how I’d…


My feelings exactly, darling. (Photo by Desola Lanre-Ologun on Unsplash)

Alternate Title: “3 Ways to Not Give Unsolicited Advice”

Just don’t.

I genuinely wanted to end the article here, kind of like John Cage’s 4'33. (4 minutes and 33 seconds of pure silence). If I were my own reader, I would’ve loved it and ROFLed (that’s millennial-speak for laughed).

But, that wouldn’t be fair to the people that genuinely want to give unsolicited advice, which kind of seems to be a majority of the population — myself very often guilty as well.

First, can I just tell you why I think we shouldn’t ever give unsolicited advice?* Yes, I can. …

Yara Zeitoun

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