My year review of 2016;
The year 2016 went by so fast. Let’s be honest, for all of us. I’m one of those bloggers that just couldn’t find the time/energy/inspiration and name it reason to post frequently. I’ve lost readers and that’s okay I guess. The year 2016 started horribly already. I was alone and the only comfort I had was Yoko. I was anxious and disoriented. I never do New Year’s resolutions but I had high hopes things would go well this year. But I stayed anxious and disoriented and I didn’t seem to lose it. I panicked a lot, felt unsafe in my own house. I clung onto A, but subconsciously knowing that no matter where I was looking for safety and peace, if it’s not inside, it’s nowhere else. Hard lesson to be learned and can only be told afterwards (speaking for experience).
The summer was supposed to be ideal for me and my photography but my mind was in different places and I couldn’t grasp my thoughts cause they were too ephemeral. I spent ten great days in Sweden and met amazing people (almost found myself). Right after I came back A told me he was going to the UK for a job in two weeks, and gone he was. I couldn’t live in this place anymore and on this short notice I wouldn’t find anything else.
I heard the cracking of my heart before it had even started. Tiny cuts ripping open until they were wide enough for me to feel the blood running out of me. With that heavy heart I packed my stuff one by one. I had wanted to leave this apartment for a while because the city was intoxicating and draining me. But I never wished it to be in such a way that I didn’t know exactly what was happening. My mind was catching up way too slow. Then the apartment was near empty and all that was left was his stuff. In a hopeless attempt I had put an old photograph with him and me together, in the mirror frame. I ended up feeling too frustrated and angry at him that I stuck it in a box. He can have it, he can have it all!
Yoko and I had moved in with my mother. From day one my mother and I fought. She was talking to me but I was beyond listening. The switch, the moving, the full responsibility of Yoko, my distracted mind, A. All of this and more prevented me from being an adult. All I wanted to do was curl up in bed and cry. My mother disagreed and instead of giving me the space and understanding, she fired me with screaming lectures about how I should fit into society. Sure this sounds reasonable. It wasn’t reasonable at all. I was doubting myself. I couldn’t ask myself a question or I had forgotten the rest of the words mid-sentence. My mother pressured me (I’m sure she disagrees, but what else we agree on?). I mean no disrespect towards my mother. I love her but she isn’t a very good listener. She has one view in her mind and that is just how the world is (yes of course it is, to her. I’ve learned that we all have our own truths and realities that we create for ourselves and this was hers. I had my own and she didn’t care about my truth and my reality and that’s where we kept colliding).
After three weeks things got heated and that same day I moved in with my dad. The first few days I slept on a mattress on a floor but I didn’t mind at all. I just kept thinking; anywhere is better than with my mother. I cried rivers, not knowing how to make all of this better. After a week my father had built me a bed and made a little room for me. And I felt welcome.
Although most of these intense paragraphs capture my mother’s bad side I never cease to believe in the good she has done for me. I thought for a long time I was unable to forgive her and at this point perhaps I’m not ready to yet but it never prevented me from loving and believing in her. 2016 wasn’t a good year for A, my mother or me.
While living with my father was supposed to be temporary and I was looking for ways to ‘’fit into society’’. Finding a stable job, getting enough clients, looking for a place for Yoko and me etc. At one point I just gave in to the feeling cause it was getting me all twisted inside. I had to find peace inside myself and when is the time better than now?
After a long time of slow progress I was gaining back my rational thinking. This had so much to do with meeting Luna. I think she came at the right time in my life. I can still cry tears of joy how much she saved me from the bad thoughts that were circling in my mind. I didn’t know that I needed someone to understand me until I talked with her. Life made sense after all. By cutting open some old wounds from my past and admitting that it had shaped the last three years of my life, I finally dared to open up my mind to others again.
I’m also totally neglecting the fact that my father’s support was crucial. I reasoned that, this is the way it was supposed to go. I had a bond to recover with him and my little (now-taller-than-me) brother Beau. Living with them made my life and theirs easier. I lied low in photography, clients, social media, Fashion Push and blogging and I forgave myself that I hadn’t pushed myself to do it. What else did I do with my time? I fell back in love again with reading and writing (although not publicly). Reading books were giving me the comfort and yet the escapism of feeling bored all the time. I was in different places. I had different faces. I had different friends and enemies. I started collecting my journals, read them, wrote new ones, knowing I could never stop writing. Writing was important to me. More important than photographing. Words pour out of me and if I don’t write, I’d go mad. It was an ancient rule that all of my journals had carved in the front.
Before my birthday I set up the Christmas tree and decorated it. I loved Christmas, ever since I was a small child. I used to care about the presents. My birthday was in between the Dutch Santa Claus and Christmas, giving me lots and lots of presents or nothing. Throughout the years I held Christmas in my heart but I stopped caring about the presents. I had hand-knitted two scarves for my father and Beau, wrapped them and put them under the tree. My birthday was everything I could have ever wished for. I made vegetarian sushi. My other brother, Jorrit and Luna joined our sushi dinner and stayed over. Near the fireplace and the decorated Christmas tree.
Christmas, we spent at my uncle’s and I received this book for Christmas. I read first two pages and I found myself in Spain this time. I’m not going to tell you what face I’m wearing but I totally recommend anyone who loves music and magic combined; ‘’The magic strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom.
I hope you had a very pleasant Christmas & up to a very happy new year!
[In a sort of weird way I reconciled with A, nearly seven months later. I’m not angry at him. Even if the only thing that connects us is Yoko.]
I am avoiding talking about my heartbreak in nearly a threefold but before I start publishing that post I wanted to share something else. It’s something that I keep telling my friends repeatedly. (This post is a bit of an internal dialogue).
This world is extremely powerful in terms of energy. The forces of nature are so gigantic on the inside. Let alone all the energy externally. It’s sometimes too much for me and I can’t imagine being the only one. A lot happens in the world I disagree with. It’s enough to make persons doubt themselves. Some get mad by insecurity.
Humans are social animals therefore we sometimes cling to opinions from our peers. It gets confusing when their opinions contradict our feelings. I often explain them that your person consists in two selfs. Your higher self that always knows that you are good enough & your lower self, what I call your ego. Your ego is yearning for approval, and is ever so insatiable. It will always want more and more. Unfortunately, this will never stop. You carry both these selfs with you, till you die. One is always accompanied by the other. The trick is to listen more to what your higher self is telling you; You are whole, you are enough and you are good. This is real.
I got comments about being so sure of oneself, doesn’t it lead to arrogance? Or isn’t it healthy to doubt oneself? Listening to your higher self doesn’t make you arrogant at all. It’s an equivalent for self-love and knowing your own worth.
There is a difference between who you are and how you handle things. It’s good to think to yourself; maybe I shouldn’t have reacted that way or I should have approached him with more compassion. Those are healthy doubts. Remember; You as a person are always good enough. The world needs people like you and the universe loves you no matter how lost and insignificant you feel.
It doesn’t mean that you should ignore your ego, your fears, your sadness or anger. Ignoring feelings never made a person much better. All of your pain and emotions are a part of you. It’s what I like to call presents. I visualise a present as a box of emotions (some call them baggage, whatever flows your boat right?). Everybody has boxes throughout the day and throughout their lives. Not all those presents are rainbows and butterflies, most of them carry our pain. Many people avoid opening their present because they don’t want to be confronted with what is inside of them. The ones who avoid opening, usually passes it on to others. And we open other presents to avoid opening ours. On short-term this might occupy us but we won’t learn from it and we deny others the chance of learning from opening their own present. When one does open their present it means one is taking responsibility for their own actions. You will have a chance to grow. I’m not saying you will immediately feel growth, despite the fact that you confront yourself with your fears and flaws you feel rather overwhelmed and scared (and lost!). This is how you know that you are on the right path.
You always have the right to be sad, happy or angry (or whatever feeling creeps into your mind). Character is not about what you feel but about what you do with them. Ask yourself next time, what am I feeling really? Why am I feeling like this? How will I react to this now? Will this help my situation?
Before you start thinking that your ego is just a little unwanted monster inside of you that you need to get rid of, it has a purpose. Fear was developed for survival. Ego isn’t just what makes you human. It makes you feel human and fighting your humanity isn’t much of an option. So embrace that little monster. It is maybe not who you are but it is part of you.
More about insecurities; since a couple of months I’ve been trying to write a book. Which explains my silence. I have more words to share than just my humble opinion in a blog post.
When I started writing my head was wild with ideas. However, the words just didn’t seem to come. I started reading books and I felt overwhelmed by envy (but I was determined). Why is it that so many have written beautiful pieces and I can’t seem to put a sentence together? Sometimes I’d read for weeks without writing and I felt like I was starting to give up. That’s hard for artists. I started comparing myself to great writers. I had to tell myself ‘everything goes with a process’. You can’t compare yourself to an other. For they are not you and you are not them (duh, but we still do it!). Their process have been differently and that doesn’t mean that you won’t succeed. Take your time and try again. Practise and breath.
If you ever feel overwhelmed and you feel this insignificant projection of yourself, just repeat after me;
I matter. My feelings matter.
Let me know what you think by commenting!
p.s. after re-reading this I decided that this post will be edited (once I find the right time)