I made a vow to myself. Whenever coming back to Amsterdam, I have to try and stay positive. To show myself the love side of things. One week here, I find it hard. Being positive can feel very shallow and fake when you don’t feel positive. When everything in your body is shouting: I don’t want to be here.
I am homesick. I miss the mountains. Their smell, their impact. The sun. Feeling how small you are. The realness of everything you see. But I miss the silence the most. My ears are not used to the noise of the city anymore and I hear everything, which make my brains do overtime. I hear traffic, airplanes, builders. Natural sounds are taken over by mechanical ones 24/7. It smothers me. I can’t think properly, read my own feelings and thoughts like I got used to.
As much as I try to enjoy the good things here – so many amazing, loving people, work, inspiration, evening ice creams – a feeling of emptiness arises. I know I should be happy anywhere. I should be able to keep my own thought and way of life wherever I am. But just like before, I feel blown away by the collective ideas that come over me. I see people struggle with the same things I struggle with. And I see them all looking for the same solutions. Things have to be practical and efficient, you have to gain something with everything you do. We value looks over inside, well-doing over well-being. Head over heart. People are so busy they can’t think. And so many things of tremendous value are lost there. I have been here a week and I can’t even count how often in a conversation I hear people say: I would like to, but I can’t. It is like a mantra. I have to be good, I have to be rich, I have to prove myself, I have to make money. So I can’t do what is really important to me.
Our world is on fire and everybody is worrying about deadlines, money, better houses, stress levels, what to buy, what to wear and thigh gaps. What on earth are we doing to ourselves?
I feel like a madwoman prioritizing true wellbeing and risking to stay behind with nothing. Choosing my beating heart over the sensible. I know we will be ending up without designer kitchens and retirement pensions. And just writing it down shows how ridiculous it is. Still it can feel scary. Seeing everybody moving in one direction that looks good and safe from the outside, and noticing there is this strong thing in you that is leading you in a totally different direction. To something real and raw and adventurous. You have to remember yourself of it over and over again.
I have no money in my bank account, we own some books and clothes, I have no idea who wants to work with me or where I will be in three months. When I walk in the street strangers break into big smiles when they see me. I am not scared, I am f*cking happy and alive!