Do you believe in fate or destiny, in reading the signs?

I do.

I love the idea that the universe may or may not conspire to aid my journey through life.

Hell, I even get emails from the Universe :)

So it is for this reason (amongst many others) that I am pretty amped about an amazing event happening in Berlin on the 26th of July.

It’s a story about a girl, some words, an enthusiastic German fan and a threesome of gutsy, go-getter gals whose blogging careers are culminating in a world-wide teaching tour. Oh and also about traveling half way across the world.

The words

This blog was started last year after my computer crashed and I lost a hard drive full of unpublished writing. My boyfriend at the time encouraged me to create a platform like this to showcase my writing because “you’re not an artist until you put your work out there”. He then went and promptly broke my heart. But that’s another story. This story is about how his words inspired me to write and to share that writing with an audience.

The enthusiastic German fan

Some people do not have to read my Compliment Challenge post to know how to give a sincere compliment. Thomas Fiehn is one of those people.  Although we have never met, I will always be unbelievably grateful for the day Thomas decided to drop me a mail to share his appreciation for my writing.  It was via this compliment that I got to learn about Gala Darling and her fabulous concept of Radical Self Love, which clearly resonates with my article on building a relationship with yourself.

“We spend so much of our energy contorting ourselves to make our relationships work, we end up like psychological pretzels , twisted into other versions of ourselves.”

Thomas, the good German that he is, was obviously enthralled. Human beings compared to pretzels? Sehr schön! He enthusiastically shared Gala’s Ted Talk and this interview with me. After watching, I felt instantly inspired to make Carly’s Couch better. Although the “how” was not yet apparent, I knew from the chills running up my spine that the universe was smirking.

The Blogcademy

During my travels on the interweb, I discovered that Gala along with two other fab female bloggers, Kat and Shauna, is not only changing the world one pink blog post at a time but that the three of them also offer workshops to aspiring bloggers who want to take their blogs to the next level.

Me, I do! I want to take Carly’s Couch into the stratosphere please Universe :)

Scrolling down to see the tour dates I noticed there is a workshop in Berlin on the 26th of July. Okay, seriously Carly why does that even have any relevance, you crazy hippie? Because. It. Is. Exactly. Two. Days. After. I. Arrive. In. Berlin.

Mind blown. This isn’t a sign, it’s a damn command! Yes, sir. Straight away sir.

 Why Berlin?

Having just completed an eight-year grueling training to become a registered psychologist in South Africa, I am now officially a professional and officially scared shitless of settling down. At twenty-eight, I’m not ready to say “right, this is me for the next 30 years”. I still wanna explore the world, explore my mind, my talents, and my options.

And so, not without a tingle of butterflies in the tummy, I dug into my savings and bought a one-way ticket to arguably one of the coolest and most creatively cutting edge cities in the world – Berlin.

But this is not just a story about the glitz and glam of international travel. As is always the case with me, there is something more profound beyond the “woohoo” and sparkles.

You see – coming from South Africa, a beautiful yet complex country, I cannot simply go through life without acknowledging the social and historical context in which I find myself. I may be a fun-loving party girl but I am also committed to living a life of meaning and significance, which entails being thoughtful and contemplative of my place in the world and how my yesterday influences my today and propels me into my tomorrow.

It therefore strikes me as significant, that I am traveling to Berlin 25 years after the Berlin Wall came down and 20 years since Nelson Mandela become president of South Africa heralding a time of reconciliation and transformation.

I wonder what personal transformations await me as I cross language and cultural barriers half way around the world?

For one, I will be the first member of my family to live in Germany since my grandmother’s parents was taken to Auschwitz. It’s been seventy odd years since the Holocaust. My grandmother, only 5 years old at the time, was fortunate enough to get smuggled to France and then later to South Africa where she met my grandfather. Before the war, our family had been living in Germany for 500 years! As awful as all of that is, I am extremely grateful that I now have a German passport. I feel if anything, it is my duty to go back to Germany to make peace with the past and begin forming a new relationship with my estranged fatherland.

So that’s the story in a nutshell. I am a twenty-something psychologist blogger with a love of all things silly and all things profound. And my blog reflects my sometimes-paradoxical personality. I can write a post about gender inequality and then follow it up with some crazy advice about how to keep quiet while masturbating. No topic is off limit and I welcome comments, questions and all manner of interactivity. I have gotten a lot of fabulous comments and positive feedback. I still haven’t received anything from my haters…maybe there aren’t any?

I’ve even had some recent spikes in traffic thanks to my post on Oscar Pistorius, which was hugely popular. I feel like I’m on the right track. I just need to know a lot more about how to make my blog look, feel and act like a professional. I am just itching to know how to make this blog work, like work work.

For this I need the Blogcademy. I need Gala’s no nonsense business brain. I need Shauna’s impeccable style. I need Kat’s knack of connecting with what readers want. I need a truck load of blogging advice and glitter!

So, because I am from South Africa and because I am all but broke after spending my savings just to get to Europe in the first place, I would like to apply for a scholarship to go to the Blogcademy in Berlin on 26th and 27th July.

I would love to be as brave and bold as Theresa That from Tremendous Times, who went out and hand poked a tattoo for her Blogcademy Scholarship application! But the truth is I’ve never had a tattoo and probably won’t ever get one.

I thought long and hard about how I would grab the attention of the Blogcademy Headmistresses. “What is it that makes Carly’s Couch work?”, I thought.

And then it hit me.

You do.

My beautiful, thoughtful, complimentary readers!

Since I started this blog in September (on tumblr no less…eeek) I have been overwhelmed by how many of my friends and followers have complimented my writing or referred to a piece of advice being useful or helpful. It really has been so encouraging!

So I asked my friends and followers to send in videos taken on their phones telling the world why I need the scholarship. The response was incredible! I received over 14 videos in a just over a week! If you want to see all the videos, please go to my Youtube Channel.

So, before I go on blabbing even more than I already have been (did I mention that I get verbal diarrhea when I’m nervous), I am going to hand over to a group of fabulous men and women. Please watch this video, made with love from my friends and followers, edited by the one and only Thomas Fiehn who started it all:

With Gratitude

I am a firm believer in expressing and sharing one’s gratitude. If the Universe has a love language, it is most certainly giving thanks, in my opinion. Right now I want to speak directly to the universe’s heart. It is with gratitude that I end off this post. I know that whatever happens, I am one fortunate being!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Thank you to each and every one of you who have read, commented and shared one of my posts. Thank you to my friends and family for your encouragement and support. Thank you for your advice, for your suggestions, for your constructive criticism. Most of all, thank you for contributing to this video. I am totally in awe of your generosity and your love. Thank you for taking the time, for sharing your insights and for making me laugh! And thank you, thank you, thank you Mr Thomas Fiehn – Sie sind die Besten!