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I’m Nicole and now I’m going to tell you a bunch of things about myself that nobody, absolutely nobody cares about.

  • I was in the program or gifted kids all through elementary and middle school.
  • I was the news anchor on the morning announcements in elementary school because I could read better than anyone else.
  • I was in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. I was chosen because I was the teacher’s pet.
  • I was the salutatorian of my high school and had to give a speech in front of a stadium of people. …

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As I shove my zucchini pasta in my mouth and watch the clouds roll by on my balcony, I can’t help but notice my neighbor’s thriving Basil Plant. Upon further inspection, ALL of her plants were thriving.

“It wasn’t because she loved them,” I reasoned, “no one loved her plants as much as I do. And I’d NEVER seen her talking to them or caressing their leaves.”

The Arugula I’d been so proud of for shooting up so quickly never reached the fat peppery leaf stage, and instead skipped straight to the long and delicate white flower stage. The internet said I could eat the flowers, which I sometimes did while watering, but it never tasted the same as the arugula I bought from Lidl, the one that’s crammed into a plastic tray and then wrapped again in a sheet of plastic. My Tomatoes were forming nicely but the leaves, they seemed to be irritated; not enough water, too much water, bugs. …


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My dad nonchalantly informed me I’d have to take him to the hospital in a week, a routine colonoscopy and then added that it was nothing to worry about.

“Sure, no problem, just remind me the day before,” I replied back with equal nonchalance.

The truth is, I was happy and honored that he’d asked. Since I lived in Berlin, it’s not exactly convenient for me to fly to Tucson and help him check off his important todos.

The day before his appointment, I received a Facebook message with the details of his exam. “I’ll be there!” …


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Hey Airline Industry, we need to talk.

I travel a lot. Never for business or anything, always for pleasure. I’m a freelance internet nerd which means I can work anywhere there’s a decent wifi signal. For the last four years though, I’ve had a primary residence in Berlin and then travel to far off lands when the wanderlust sets in.

I’m aware that flying is one of the worst things you can do for the environment (besides having a kid or voting for Trump) but until Greta starts a fossil fuel-friendly sailboat transport service, there is really no other feasible way for me to see the world (or my mom, for that matter). …


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When I walked into the ladies only room at my new gym, there was only one other woman working out there. She was older, probably in her 60s. Not bouncing around one of the many lime green machines, not lifting weights, not using the non-slip rubber mats. No. She was, however, dancing along to some salsa fusion dance video playing on her phone.

My first reaction was shameful, I admit.

“What the hell is she doing? Doesn’t she know that she can do that at home? Why join a gym just to watch YouTube?”

My second reaction wasn’t any less shameful, unfortunately. …


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I am a woman (not because I chose the title myself but because I was born with a vagina and my mom checked the female box when filling out my birth certificate.) It also means that I have a womb, which used to imply that my worth derived from cooking a decent fetus and the occasional pot roast. Now it also means I am able to run a company, run for office, and run a marathon… all whilst bleeding and getting paid less than my male cohorts. WOO-HOO!

Even though the sky is the limit for women these days, there is still something about being a “woman” that carries a lot of weight (and no I’m not talking about the Overnight Maxi Pad with Wings warmly nestled between your thighs.) I’m talking about the weight of Motherhood. The weight you bare even if you’re not really that keen on having kids of your own. The weight you bare when your biological clock is running out and the only reason you’re still entertaining the idea of having kids is that you’re afraid you might regret it if not. …

Nicole Paulus

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