Tiring but inspiring

One day I’ll fall head over heels. I really think so. I don’t think it is now. Maybe when I am a little older and a little wiser. When I have grown mentally. Who knows. Everyone can tell that I am growing and changing every year.

Another internship is done. It was one of the hardest. I kept raising my voice and telling kids to leave my classroom. It was exhausting. Luckily, I also got the opportunity to teach and actually get a few kids inspired. Interested in reading or using Grammarly.

New beginnings. Starting as a volunteer at the library. New therapy. Starting bachata lessons. Cooking a lot for myself and others. Trying new recipes. Playing scrabble and others games. Started kickboxing again.

Living with my cat is also new in a way. He is 24/7 at my place and he even sleeps on my bed now. I don’t have a door to my bedroom… But I do appreciate having him around. He likes to sit close to me and I like to play with him too. His presence is sometimes already really nice.

Buying all kinds of new furniture and second-hand furniture. Also, doing a lot of the chores all by myself. Such as fixing the dishwasher or the sink. Taking care of the litterbox. It’s just all extra chores I didn’t have before. But I guess I can be proud of doing it all and getting some help here and there. Furthermore, I am selling books, tables, shoes and so on. Trying to make some space too. I gave some clothes to a second-hand shop. I might earn just a little there.

It has been a tiring journey living by myself. But it has also given me a lot of space. Space in a physical sense but also choosing who to be around which in turn causes more relaxation in my head.

I hope your on a good journey. I hope you are having a great time wherever you are and until next time! X

2023

I haven’t written in a while. I have decided to give some reflection a go today. It’s a new year. I don’t believe that I have changed that much. Not in these few days but a lot of things have changed. A year ago I left to London and now I am in my own place. After living in dorms for about 11 years, I have finally made the decision to live on my own. I really wanted to leave because I didn’t click with this girl who was new in our building but I could’ve chosen for another dorm but apparently I felt that it was time to live by myself. A more spacious place. I have been fantasising about this for so long and I think apart from a bath tub the dream has come true. I didn’t imagine living in the city centre but it is very convenient. Maybe cool but I don’t really care about that. I like that everything is nearby and that I can be there in five minutes or even quicker.

I have done a pottery class. A workshop. It was a lot of fun. I didn’t expect it to be so much fun. The instructor was fun. I had a funny friend with me and there was this other interested woman who asked a lot of questions. She was about our age which was nice. My friend isn’t able to do the full course now but maybe we will do it later in the year.

I have met a very nice neighbour and she might take salsa or bachata lessons with me. We enjoyed tea together on several occasions and we had a nice walk with my former housemate on New Year’s day.

I have decided to become a volunteer at the library. I am going to help others with language. I am going to teach Dutch. It is interesting how I am always going back and forth between these two languages. English and Dutch.

I will be starting a new internship this February. I will be teaching English at a very creative school in my city. I am excited. I only have to do four more portfolios and then I am graduated. I actually passed all of my exams. My Cambridge exams and a very big exam covering materials over more than two years of study and additional materials. For the upcoming half year I have decided to focus on one portfolio.

I have also decided on kickboxing. It is so much fun. I really enjoy spending time with my trainer. He is always giving you a riddle and making jokes. We enjoy each other’s company. Plus, I hope it will be good for all of my muscles.

I don’t think all of these hobbies or sports have that much to do with the New Year. I am always changing it up and trying new things. Kickboxing is familiar. I have been going to salsa evenings for free for a while but the lessons would be new. Pottery class later in the year will be totally new. As being a volunteer and a few mindfulness trainings given by my university. I did the same in London and Bristol though. I followed a few yoga/mindfulness lesson that were given by theuniversity/school. I might look up some additional lessons in my city.

I have to look at some tests my students made. So, I have to go. I hope you are having a great time wherever you are and until next time! X

Thoughts about life

I am feeling a little uneasy. Maybe I have done a little too much this week and need some time alone. I am feeling a little agitated I suppose. I have to see how I can relax today. It seems like a good day to go for a walk or to go cycling through nature. Maybe I’ll go to salsa this evening.

I just feel like reading my book. My book is really sad though. The girl is being bullied by her classmates. Her mom died and her father spends most of his time with his plants. The person interested in her is her aunt but she came out of nowhere into her life. The girl showed no interest in her aunt and was a bit apprehensive but she seems to slowly bond with her. The book is also about love and war and a lot about plants. I am also looking forward to choosing another book but I will finish this one first. It’s called ‘The island of the missing trees’. It is filled with mystery and a lot of superstitions.

I wish I wouldn’t get so angry about religion. It can feel like they are judging me or my family or friends or even that I haven’t prayed enough for my mom in order for her to live. I find it a hard pill to swallow. The other day two religious people knocked on my door and asked me if I was interested in the bible. I raised my voice. It was a Friday just like this Friday and it had been a busy week and I felt agitated at that moment.

I was very angry. I told them it was fine that they were religious but that they shouldn’t impose their beliefs and that they were now standing on my doorstep. I said I didn’t do that either. I think that partly I shouldn’t judge myself as much and just believe that I couldn’t have helped my mom in any way and that God or religious people have nothing to do with that. That they should just live their life with their religion and I without any religion. It’s just that it hurts so much to know that there are other people out there who are judging me for my actions and my choices and my beliefs and maybe I am doing exactly the same. I am judging them for believing in something that to me is untrue and judging them for wanting to spread this news to others. I am judging them for judging others. Maybe I am no better. I believe that people who are gay or who have had an abortion can have a hard time with the church. Religious people can be against these things and that automatically causes a rift. But not every religious person judges gay people or people who had an abortion. And not every non-religious person judges people who believe in God.

There are a lot of people who believe in a certain God. I have always rationalised this with the idea that people want to feel safe and cared for. But in the way that God is represented with all of these rules and judgements isn’t love to me. Empathy and forgiveness is love to me. Loving everyone. No matter what. That is love to me. It is not easy to love someone no matter what and to forgive someone. I suppose there are boundaries and within these boundaries sometimes you lose contact and sometimes love can still exists. Sometimes you find each other again even if there is a rift. But I do not believe in a hell. I think that kind of punishment just absolutely goes way too far. I haven’t met people that I think belong in hell. Not even people who have treated me really badly. Even for them, there is empathy. I can feel their loneliness and hopelessness and the actions that come with that which are hurtful to others. Their actions should change but that doesn’t mean they should burn eternally. It is so extreme. For someone like Hitler who has hurt many people, isn’t there a much more suitable way to handle a person with his kind of actions? A way to talk to someone and to understand someone and to get someone on the ‘right’ path. A loving path. Or is this idealistic? But burning eternally isn’t that just too much? I do not believe such a thing exist. Or just being punished eternally. I do understand the pain of people who have lost loved ones because of Hitler or who hate him and would like to see him burn. But eternally? Do they want to hate him eternally? That costs a lot of energy. Isn’t there anything in between? Something like a certain way of being able to relieve this pain and a way of dealing with someone who has hurt others?

I am not sure what the antidote to pain is but maybe it is something like forgiveness or acceptance. Maybe it is love. Maybe the world is just not always a wonderful and loving place and is heartbreak and death and war part of it. Maybe it is just something I should accept. I wish I could always be in this mindset that is loving, forgiving and accepting. But if the world doesn’t work that way maybe it is unrealistic for me too. It is something to strive for though. To be loving, kind, empathetic, giving, nurturing understanding, accepting, forgiving and that all with boundaries I suppose. As long as you give what you can give and it doesn’t hurt you, it is fine.

I believe that when you die that you are gone. I do think that people are that special unfortunately and that there is a place in heaven for us. We lose our loved ones and we miss them so much but we don’t get the chance to reunite with them. Dead is dead and gone is gone. To me there is life and new life on this earth and I hope that this life will continue and even if this planet dies, I hope there will be life on another planet. I just don’t believe that there is a place in heaven or hell dependent on my actions or dependent on anybody else’s actions. I just wonder what happens to any other living thing on earth then. To animals who rape and fuck animals that are dead and animals that kill other animals. Just like ourselves since we eat animals. There might be no consequences to certain behaviour. Maybe there is no such thing as karma. But maybe the things that you radiate do come back to you. Moods are reflected by others. My conscience is quite strong and if I feel like I’ve done something wrong I’ll punish myself in my head for years – this is why forgiveness and unconditional love is so important – but maybe not everyone does this and karma doesn’t exist and God doesn’t exist – to me – but I do believe that what you radiate can come back to you in the way that if you help someone, they might help you and if you smile, someone might smile back. This effect can ripple all the way through to people and other living things you don’t even know.

There is one other thing I don’t understand and that is why people can think so human-centered. As if animals were made for us by God. I think that is setting yourself above everything else whilst I think everyone knows that we are dependent on trees to be able to breathe. I just don’t think we are that special. Humans aren’t that special. We are just part of this earth. But maybe others just feel safe believing there is this kind of figure that is above everything else for mankind and made the animals for humans and that there is order and safety in that way. How do they believe in that same safety if there are things such as floods, orphans, wars, violence within marriages, uncared children, fires and so on? God has mysterious ways? Is that the answer? But that means nothing to me. But everyone can believe in what they want to believe and if someone wants to believe in an order where everything was made for humans, then that is the way it is. It is probably a belief where everything is tailored to mankind but it feels like you are forgetting then how interconnected we are and how dependent we are on other living things. But maybe that is just an assumption.

I do believe that things such as wars will always exist. People trying to see how far their power stretches. Maybe that is part of life too. All these painful things. I am more interested in understanding these things rather than judging them. Why is there war? For power and to gain more. Is that a desire that everyone has? Some more than others. Some go to war whereas others avoid it. Some believe in harmony and others want to get ahead in life by hurting others. Maybe it will hurt themselves in the end since what you radiate comes back to you. You can call that karma if you like but I just believe in reflection in a way and also in unfortunate events. Not everything that happens to you is because you did something great or bad. There is something like unfortunate events or luck. Chance you could call it or just the way things go. But I do believe that your smile can cause someone else to smile.

How do humans differ from animals? Apparently, humans are higher up in the food chain and we can restrain ourselves from certain desires and we have things such as rationality and will. But who is to say animals don’t? I believe they can have empathy and that they grieve and maybe they sometimes do things that are better for them rather than listening to their desires. I am not sure and I am no biologist. Maybe humans do have this interesting brain that is is able to rationalise and people can restrain themselves from certain actions whereas animals can’t but I am not sure about this. Maybe they do have these alarms that go off in their head and they adjust their behaviour accordingly and maybe they have very different behaviour. Maybe it also depends on which animal. Maybe it is something that is not black and white.

I just know that people designed weapons that make us safe from lions and bears. This is why we are not chased but that we chase. Humans can communicate via messages on a screen or a telephone and animals can’t. But I do believe that humans are animals. I do believe humans will die someday and maybe another animal will take over the top of the food chain. I just don’t think humans are that special. Or more special than anything else living on earth. I believe we should appreciate nature, animals and humans – which are animals to me as well -. It is life in all kinds of forms. Interconnected and since we are distanced from nature in our houses we might forget how interconnected we actually are. I am not saying that people who believe in God do not appreciate nature. I just made assumptions and interpretations after a conversation that made it clear that God made animals for humans. To me, it seemed like animals were less than humans and I just think we are interconnected and that that aspect should be highlighted. And that animals can’t be judged by God for their actions because how are they supposed to know about God and adjust their behaviour according to him which makes me believe less in God. As if humans should live according to a certain set of rules and are otherwise punished eternally and animals are made for humans and can live freely. I just do not understand that. Yet. Maybe someone can explain this to me. But what I do believe is that we need nature and I hope nature needs us.

How does nature need us? Since we barely fertilize our ground with our poop and our water is cleaned just to reuse for ourselves. Our water is running out in fact. Maybe we are a natural enemy to other animals that keeps everything in balance? A natural enemy to each other that helps to keep the population in balance? But we are I think overpopulated. Are we? In what way? That we are killing this earth by polluting it? How are we contributing then? That is an interesting question. Maybe that I am planting a lot of plants that allows bees to live from the flowers is a way of contributing.

I saw a very interesting Ted Talk on buying new stuff. Our stuff ends up at the shore of Bali. It clutters up this beautiful shore. People buy the newest phone and several pairs of shoes. I don’t buy a lot of things but I, unfortunately, do end up with things I do not use sometimes. It’s clutter to me and otherwise could be useful to someone else. But a lot of the clothes we give away end up in piles in Africa to be lit. Big piles of clothes on fire. It is a capitalistic way of living that hurts everyone. I will try to adjust my buying habits even more and I do like things such as ‘eBay’ and in the Netherlands, we have ‘Marktplaats’. It helps to get rid of stuff you can’t use that can be useful to someone else. Secondhand shops do the same of course. We are producing a lot more things than we actually need. It was an eye-opener to me that Ted Talk. Luckily I don’t buy that many clothes and I will try to stay that way as much as possible. I let my clothes be repaired and I invest in my local shop that way.

There is so much to think about in this life. So much that I don’t know. So much to consider. To realise that life might not be fair but that it is still worthwhile to do your best to try and smile at others and be loving. I hope I didn’t offend anyone with this post but you can see it as an investigation into life. Wondering what life is to me and hoping that I am still trying to understand someone else’s perspective. And that others might view life differently and I hope I can still be open to all kinds of perspectives and try to understand why others think differently. And at the same time, I am trying to figure out what I want my life to look like.

I hope you are discovering life just like I am and that you can smile. I hope you are having a good time wherever you are and until next time! X

Calming effect

It is so nice to be able to put on some lo-fi music and just sit by myself under the covers and write. I enjoy writing. It is as if things become clearer in my head. I felt restless today. A little sad. I decided to keep on doing things. Swimming was nice though. I did some grocery shopping for all the visitors I’ll have in the upcoming days. That is nice though. Less lonely. Even though living by myself is a huge improvement to living with a housemate I couldn’t stand, it does get lonely sometimes. Luckily I know a lot of lovely people and they are coming for dinner. I am also contemplating writing a letter to all of the neighbours with my number and a little bit of info such as that I am a tutor or that I could possibly babysit their children. That they could come over for a cup of tea. I think it would be a nice gesture. We don’t all need to live separately from each other. I could do with some connection myself and who knows, maybe the neighbours too. This is also how I met people in London. Just housemates. I don’t have any housemates anymore but I do have neighbours.

I am allowed to dance and swim again. My toe and back still hurt a little but maybe I can find a solution to that too. And just exercising would be good. I need to stay in shape. It will leave me feeling better. I am going to try and swim more often. I was comparing myself to others which I rarely do and I looked at my reflection in pictures and it didn’t make me happy. Then it’s a sign I suppose. Well, that is good to know. I will try to work on it. Work out a little more and try to stop eating when I am full. Seems doable. Going swimming during the weekend and on Mondays and going to salsa on Fridays. It seems like a plan.

I just don’t know how to manage my emotions. Well, if everything is easy and breezy I am fine but with big disappointments I just feel like there is no way out. I feel unsafe and unloved and sometimes I just become hopeless. It is my least attractive trait. I really wish I didn’t have it but I also know that it might never leave or that I need to become a little older to be able to be nicer to myself and better deal with energy management. This might contribute to a calmer state of mind. I am also seeing a therapist. This might help too. Maybe I am just doing what I can and I am working on it as much as I can.

Sometimes I forget my good traits. Charming, a connector, emphatic, creative, playful. Those are five traits that I appreciate. Do I? I like them. Maybe I should learn to appreciate them. Appreciate myself. I can actually love myself. Mindfulness helps to bring this feeling to life. Loving myself no matter what. No matter what I have been through, no matter what choices I made, no matter what I thought or did or said. Unconditional love. A good friend of mine spoke about forgiveness. Forgiveness is important. This is also something I shouldn’t lose out of sight.

Writing has such a calming effect on me. I hope you have a similar thing in your life that brings that kind of calmness to your life. I hope you are having a great time wherever you are and until next time! X

I turned 29

Grey hairs everywhere! Hahahahahaha! Most of my friends are younger. Maybe I am just very playful and they suit me well. I have one much older friend. I think he is one of my best friends if not my best friend. Maybe age doesn’t say that much.

Yesterday was so much fun. I celebrated turning 29. We danced on the table, the sofa and eventually in a bar. I am a little tired now but I loved my party. I got a few compliments and people who were really happy to be there. That really brought me a lot of joy.

Moments spent together can be the most wonderful moments. Blowing bubbles, playing games, dancing. Most of all: Laughing. A friend of mine made a joke and I kid you not: I laughed for about 5 minutes.

I spent most of the day preparing: Going to the market and supermarket, cleaning and preparing snacks. Luckily a friend helped me carry the heavy drinks from the supermarket to my place. He had never sat in the car with me before. I am such an adult. My own car, my own place. OLDIE haha but GOLDIE.

Realising

I’ve just come to realise that I don’t want to become an English teacher. I want to become an interviewer and a writer. Somehow, I just know that I want to publish at least one book. I want it to be insightful. Probably to me. There is a thirst for knowledge. About my life. Past events. Future events. What to choose right now. There is a real interest in how others go about their lives and why they make the choices they make. I love talking and not just about the weather. I choose friends who are studying philosophy and I talk with a therapist. I watch interviews with Mr. van der Kolk and Mr. Peterson. I hope to learn more about life. About traumas, coping and how to live a life that is good for me and others. I do mindfulness every morning. It is a way of noticing what goes on in the body and brain and noticing the breath. It can be very calming. It is a good way to start the day, since I’ll be calmer and can give more to others. I can be more present and less overwhelmed.

I know I have at least a year left to finish my study. This study allows me to become an English teacher. I could have already had a job in this field but apparently, I choose not to. It doesn’t mean that this job doesn’t suit me at all. I have been a tutor for three years and I love that job but what I loved most about it is that I got to chat with the children and I got to ask them how they were doing and what they wanted to do in life. I loved those conversations. I loved feeling connected to them. Merely checking if they knew English words, wasn’t necessarily that interesting. Helping them prepare for a presentation or helping them write a letter or helping them to pronounce a word was more challenging and therefore immediately more engaging to me.

It is hard to find that one on one engagement in my classrooms sometimes. I do have these lovely conversations but I think it is mostly the classroom management that absolutely sucks the life out of me. So does teaching grammar. I like a more immersive approach and this is why I always speak English to them. You never know how life will go. I might find my next internship more engaging and I might have less police work to do. Deep down I do know that I won’t be a teacher for the rest of my life. I just know that that creative part of me will come knocking at my door asking me to do something with it.

I hope you find something in your life that is meaningful to you. We only have one life. I hope you find a place you fit in and that suits you. Nice colleagues that you can cooperate with. Maybe it is not reasonable or practical that everyone can pursue something that fits that like a glove but in an ideal world you would hope that. At least that everybody would search for something that suits them. Eventually it will help everyone. Bring light. For everyone else and yourself.

I hope you are having a great time wherever you are and until next time! X

Adjusting to my new life

I am sitting on my sofa. My cat is close to me. I guess it is a scary time for him. After living at one place for so long and then a big change comes along, it means uncertainess to him. He jumps up on my lap, while he never used to do that. I guess it makes him feel more safe being near me. It actually calms me down as well. So, it has a good effect on both of us.

I can’t say that I miss my old place. It’s just that I was ready for a more calmer place. It’s very green here. There are blue tits, a robin and black birds. Flowers, trees and all the neighbours are very happy with my plants.

I finally had some time today to do some schoolwork. That is positive! And just having the maps of the U.K., America and Canada on the wall starts up a conversation when I have guests over which actually helps me study.

I guess through all of the changes and the bad news I just received, I am managing pretty well. My broken toe hurts and so does my back. I’ve ordered a lot of food lately, since I am too tired to even move a limb but I’ll get adjusted to everything and will have more energy left to cook. For sure.

New place

I’ve been living at my new place for a little over a week now. My old housemate just texted me with a joke about a famous football manager who’s English is infamous. Funny. Nice to hear from her. I haven’t had enough lunch and I woke up very early and my body is telling me to either eat and/or have a rest.

I just disoovered an L.P. Kiss me Kate. It’s great. I love it. The washing machine and the fridge are delivered. The first wash is already spinning in the washing machine. As we would say in Dutch: ‘kleine wasjes, grote wasjes, stop ze in de wasmachine’. It’s a song. A man also came to measure the glass in order to get better isolated glass in the windows. It won’t be here after the winter, though. That’s unfortunate. My sofa might take as long to be delivered. I’ve got a loan sofa though. That’s good. Now I can properly celebrate my birthday at my new place. I’m 28 and I have my own place. Who would have thought that. Plus, I’ve got a garden. In the city centre! Crazy. The only thing I still long for is a bath tub. I still have things to long for in the future.

Enjoying candle light and plants ❤

Mi casa

I’ve moved. Not to another city. Not to another country but just five minutes away. It’s really exciting. Also, stressful. My back hurts and I broke my toe. Got big feet, and sometimes my feet just get hurt. My friends helped me. We didn’t have much time to talk or catch up but it was great to have them there and the occasional joke was funny.

I really wanted to be here. At my new place. I’ve slept here for the past few days on a very thin mat on the floor. Mause, my cat, would sleep at the end of my bed. He does wake me up in the middle of the night. I think he’d rather be outside sometimes but he does like company. He comes and sits close to you and he purrs. Happy cat. He already made ‘friends’ with the neighbouring cat. They hissed at each other with a window between them.

I have discovered that I have a lot of plants and a lot of lamps. The plants are a bit overwhelming. I’ll need to find good spots for them since it feels a little crowded. My ginkgo isn’t looking too happy. They told me it needs water every day and I thought that can’t be true but it’s already getting yellow leaves. Another plant I chopped off accidentally. It might grow roots again. It was my favourite. I can buy a new one if necessary. One plant is hanging, but it used to get support while hanging in some ropes and was able to lean against said ropes. The rest of the plants look quite happy. Good to have a hobby I suppose. A hobby maybe gotten out of had a bit. I didn’t have much to do this summer and I just bought loads of plants and took care of them.

I need to figure out a way to hang up my sheets after they are washed. A new fridge, a new washing machine, a new hoover and a new sofa are all things I still need to get. I would also prefer some new chairs over the chairs I have now.

I’ve got a lot of extra space now and everything to myself. I won’t have to deal with girls who just turned twenty and I don’t click with who I share a floor with and more importantly a wall. Yep. It’s all over. I am all by myself now. Mausehause no more. I’ve lived with Anna for four years and with Jelle nearly for four years as well. Luckily I can still do all kinds of things with them. Cook together, celebrate my birthday and celebrate New Year’s Eve. And all that in my new roomy living room. What a life, what a life.

A new door is opened

It’s cold. My bed stands directly next to the huge window. Not for long, because in 6 days I’ll be sleeping at my new place. Yes, I’ve got a new place. I’m moving to a cute apartment on the ground floor with a garden. The view is lovely. There is a little park filled with plants, trees and winding paths. It’s finding little mysteries at every corner. It’s not that mysterious, since every weekend a load of people comes passing by with a guide who shows off the area. It’s not the best kept secret, this little garden in the middle of the city centre. It’s actually in the North. That finally makes it possible for me to get a parking space since I was already living in the city centre, but not in the North and apparently it comes with its perks to be living in the North. Now, it feels like I’m living near the North Pole. It’s cold, but not that cold.

I’ve been painting the walls white and driving my car full of plants towards my new place. Today I’ll be driving my car that way once again. Who knows, the neighbour and my former neighbour, who are friends, by the way, might come and help me out. I can count on a lot of help. That is lovely. It makes me feel loved, helped and safe. And, it’s gezellig. A word that can’t be translated from Dutch to English. It’s just nice to have loving people around and they give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside and you can laugh with them.

My mind is a little occupied by this move, but afterwards, I can get back to studying for my exams and therapy. I am actually looking forward to therapy. I know exactly what I want to talk about and who knows, it just might all hurt a little less with a few more insights.

Life moves fast. My life is moving at a pace I somehow manage to keep up with. There are beautiful things in my life and coming my way. Friends, family, a study that will turn into a job, my cat, my plants, my new place. Candlelight, a new sofa, a place to invite others to come and eat. And who knows, one day I might meet my prince charming.

I hope you are having a great time wherever you are and until next time! X

The door is opened to new possibilities!