My name is Melanie, but rather than telling you my life story, where I was born, how I was raised, and what my family’s like, although interesting, I prefer to tell you about my passions, since that’s what keeps me going these days. I’ve always been passionate about animals, first horses, then Dobermans, then Abyssinians, and now I’m into bonsai plants. I love to travel, and I’ve been to many places, all over Europe, North America, even Northern Africa and most recently Japan. I don’t get to travel as much as I’d like, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, since riding airplanes all over the world isn’t a very ecologically responsible thing to do. It’s through my hobbies that I got to know most of the people I interact with nowadays; we start a conversation, and sometimes friendships are formed.
I came across my passions much by accident, a best friend introduces me, I come across an interesting book or article, I visit a place that displays something that catches my eye, and then I let curiosity carry me. I do extensive research on whatever I’m into, and surround myself with knowledgeable people in the field, so I can learn from them, not just about their area of expertise, but other useful knowledge as well.
What one must always keep in mind, though, is that it has to be pleasant, if it starts to feel like a chore, an obligation, then it’s time to quit. With any passion that you have, you must invest a lot of time, and money. Unless you’re able to make money in what you’re passionate about, you have to keep another job, which you endure because it allows you to pursue your passion. I certainly believe that if you can make a living doing what you love, you would feel a lot more motivated in the morning to go about your day, because you’d really get into your plans and you’d be able to go beyond and explore different avenues. If not, you’re basically going through the motions just to enable you to achieve very small, very specific targets you set for yourself in your chosen passion, to complete in your free time.
I think that if you want to get somewhere, whatever it is that you want to do, you must set a high standard, and an almost unachievable goal, because in the process of reaching for it, you’ll at least be in good company, and enjoy the journey. As they say: reach for the moon and you’ll at least be among the stars.
A friend, to me, is someone who supports you. It’s easy to be friends when all is well, but when you really need someone, only your true friends will stick by your side and give you a helping hand, even if it’s inconvenient for them.
I think I give positive vibes to people, I’m friendly, and always try to keep the mood light and airy. I’m also very honest and direct, and don’t play mind games; if I don’t like something, or if I disagree with someone, I will say so. Sometimes this rubs off the wrong way, but I don’t do it maliciously, and I try to make myself clear. People who know me are aware of this trait of mine, and don’t take me literally, but if you don’t know me, you might take offense.
There’s no such thing as an ideal world, it can’t be done. But one thing that would certainly improve things is if people were just a bit more kind, considerate and respectful with each other. There are a lot of people who simply have no manners, no sense of propriety or consideration, and they just don’t care. That makes life a lot more tense than it has to be. Just a bit more kindness would go a long way.
Melanie is currently a Delegate of EBA (European Bonsai Association) for Switzerland. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Vereinigung Schweizer Bonsai Freunde (Swiss Bonsai Friends Association), where she helps new Swiss talents. She has a bonsai blog, where she shares her various experiences in the bonsai world. You can see more of what she does on http://www.scentofpink.ch, on the VSB website: http://www.bonsai-vsb.ch, and you can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.