I’ll have a coffee, thanks.

It’s real, guys. Like, some of you already know, but now I am ready to tell the world. My name has been signed on the dotted line at the end of a nice-lookin’ contract. And I am starting work again as early as this coming Tuesday! I am ridiculously excited and overjoyed at the prospect. But before I go into further detail, I want to let you in on the rollercoaster that has been September for me.

Early September things were very exciting. I’d just gotten back from a lovely trip in Belgium, where I was able to fully relax and enjoy some time with my family. Once in London though, the jobhunt was back on! More so, I had a promising lead with an agency. I had built a marketing plan for one of their clients and went to their offices to present it. While nervous, they pretty much loved my presentation and thought me highly skilled. So much so, in fact, that they called me the very same day to offer me a job!

You can imagine me being ridiculously happy, right? I mean… I was beyond happy. Here I was, after being home on the couch for well over 2 months already (technically the first month I was still paid, but “feeling useless” starts as early as the second week of being home, trust me on that) and suddenly there was the light at the end of the tunnel I had been searching for so feverishly! I definitely whooped and, of course, told everyone that my search was over! Congratulated by all of my friends and family, I just had to wait to receive the contract and sign on the dotted line.

Now here is where it gets tricky. I’m not a total whiz when it comes to contracts. I mean, I’ve never seen a “bad one”, so I’m not exactly sure how to identify them. My mom though, who’s been an HR manager for… Longer than I’ve been alive? Not sure. I know she started as a teacher in a very distant past, but I can’t ever remember her being anything other than an HR manager. The last 15 years even a very successful one – somehow we were able to survive on her one pay check for over 12 years with 3 kids… I mean, my dad can be very creative and smart with handling budgets, but still I’m sure her being great at her job had to be part of that equation. So naturally, that means I immediately forwarded my mom the new contract so she could review it and point out anything strange.

And then… There were a lot of strange things. Each strange thing was, in effect, legal and on its own not that harmful. But all together, I mean… It was iffy. And the more I thought about it, the more I questioned it with the company, the more I asked advice from people who know a thing or two about what’s acceptable, my stomach just roiled. This wasn’t a good opportunity. I might learn loads, but under what stress would I be living if I couldn’t even take a sick day, because they were unpaid? Opting out of the Working Time Regulations of 1998 – apparently a standard practice here in the UK with agency work – made me feel very uncomfortable. Because while I’d be all right working as much as the job required me to, that does mean that sometimes you dismiss your body ’til the point where your body says “no”. But then you can’t take sick days? Say what now?!

There was other stuff too, about training I’d have to pay back etc., that just made me come down from that high fluffy cloud I was on to this sad pit of reality. From overjoyed to miserable in three days flat. I don’t recommend it. It’s not something I would want anyone to go through. And yet… In a way it was also a good thing? This is weird, because at the time it was really dreadful to go through. But it taught me something: just because you’re happy at getting an opportunity, it doesn’t mean you need to be blindsided by saying “yes” to crappy conditions. Just because I was starting to become desperate for employment, it didn’t mean I had to simply ask “How high?” when they’d commanded me to jump. I could choose not to jump. And so… I didn’t.

And it was the best thing I ever did. Because well over a week later, I heard back from another company – Cafédirect – that they’d wanted to see me for a second interview. The time between hearing back and that first interview was… Three weeks? At least. So I’d almost given up hope. But now here I was: back in the running and working on another marketing presentation. I presented a week later, I waited a few (nervous!) days and… The rest is almost history already.

Their offer was great, down to the fine print. And I’ll be joining their team on Tuesday. I won’t just be working, but I’ll be learning so much, I’ll be part of a team again and I’ll be coming home each day knowing that my efforts are helping struggling coffee farmers from all over the world. Because Cafédirect gives back up to 50% of its profits to the farmers, something which is well over the necessary requirement to be called “fair trade”. It’s going to be in the city of London as well – no more funny trips to lovely ole’ Luton for me. Instead of just happening to live in this city, I’m going to be an active member in it!

All in all, I couldn’t be more happy, because it feels like a new beginning. As most of you know, the past 12 months have been rough going for me. I was dumped. I faced the insecurity of a planned “re-structure” for months in the office. I survived my old boss, which – for the insiders reading this – was a feat in and of itself. I was then pushed into a position I didn’t want and also very much hated. Simultaneously I was forced to move out of my apartment, leaving great friends and memories behind. And all of it then lead me to the last few months, where unemployment reigned.
I mean… That’s rough. No matter how you try to present it.

So here I am. At the end of those pretty dismal 12 months. And while autumn is taking hold of this country once again, I feel like I am experiencing a new spring. Because I am now ready to start a new job for a company I believe in. (I never actually drank beer, or many alcoholic beverages anyways… Whereas I’m a lover of coffee!) Because I am living in a new flat with a great flatmate. Because I have friends who send me care packages or who come to visit, not London, but me and the only expectation is to chill out together. Because I have family who also send me care packages, who surprise me with trips to Belgium and Germany and who’ve been incredibly supportive through this whole ordeal. Because the past 12 months have taught me loads. I now know I can handle way more than I ever thought possible. And I also know that what they say is true: after rain, there will be sunshine again.

I am ready for a new spring. I hope you are too.

12-months

What (not) to say to your unemployed friend: 5 do’s & don’ts

Good evening and welcome to today’s helpful advice on “What to say – or better yet: not to say – when your friend is unemployed”. Given that I have been on the job market for a couple of weeks now and have come to the stark realisation that my industry isn’t in the best of shapes – thank you Brexit – I thought it was time for me to write a post I never wanted to have the knowledge to write. Alas, we don’t always get what we want. Me sitting on the couch all day is a stellar case in point. But at least it provided me with some inspiration, yes? Right, so let’s dive right in:

1. DON’T

Ask how the job hunt is going?
Trust me, if your unemployed friend had good news to share about her incessant search for work, she would have definitely already told you. Most likely she would have hired a blimp with a massive “I’VE GOT A JOB!” printed on it to scour the sky in the area of where you live. There’d be no way you’d ever miss that news, trust me. And if there was any other update to share, like, say, she scored an interview? You will have been notified far in advance, so you could root for her when she went. Even bad updates about failed interviews will be shared – if she wants to. Just… Don’t ask for them, okay?

1. DO

Talk about what is going on with you!
Your friend is, most likely, living a pretty bleak existence right now. If she had the money to spare, she would probably pay you to talk to her about anything other than her own sad reality right now! So have at it, tell her what you’re doing these days, what you’re up to over the weekend, what your significant other is planning for your birthday… It can even be OK to talk about something great you’ve done at work. Just because she’s unemployed, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to share in her friend’s great achievements. If she has a problem listening to your success, then I can tell you right now: that’s not a true friend.

2. DON’T

Be jealous of “all the free time” you’d love to have!
I don’t care whether you’re my bitch or not, I’m about to smack. You. UP! Say that and it’s very likely your friend is doing her best not to punch you in the face right now. You’re being a brat. Because guess what? She’d give a-ny-thing not to be at home all the time. Spending time on the couch is fun for… About a week. Max two. After that it becomes boring and with every passing day, your friend is probably just feeling like more and more of a loser. So don’t be jealous. Don’t even pretend to be jealous. Otherwise any teeth you’ll be missing are of your own doing.

2. DO

Ask what she had for dinner last night?
Did she read a good book maybe? What about a movie? Like it or not, your friend has got a lot of free time right now. You can’t spend ev-er-y waking moment applying for jobs. So odds are your friend is able to Netflix away for a day and picked up on this amazing show she’d love to talk to you about. Take an interest in her life without having what can only be described as “laser focus” on her current work status. She’ll be happy to talk to you about anything and everything, just not her job hunt – capiche?

3. DON’T

Give advice.
This one is simple. Yes, she is applying for jobs online. Yes, she has updated her LinkedIn profile. Yes, she is sending out her resume to various recruitment agencies. Yes, she is personalising emails to people in the business. Yes, she is trying to use the full extent of her network. Yes. Yes. YES! Whatever advice you’ve got: 9 times out of 10, the answer is “Yes, I’ve done that” and you implying otherwise is not only condescending, but patronising and be-yond annoying. Don’t do it. Unless you’re in HR yourself and you actually have valid advice on your friend’s resume, cover letter, upcoming interview (or anything similar), then please keep your comments to yourself.

3. DO

Talk about any job opportunities you’ve come across.
If you know what your friend is looking for and you’ve heard of a job opportunity that really matches her skill set, then of course, tell her about it!!! What are you waiting for?! Any kind of lead like that will be most welcomed! You’ll probably even win “Best Friend” Award of the Year if it pans out. If not, for sure you’ll receive an honourable mention. Either way, your help and thoughtfulness will be most appreciated. Even just knowing that you’re keeping an eye out for her means a lot. You go Glen Coco!

4. DON’T

Suggest any kind of outing.
Going to the movies. Going for dinner. Taking a spa day. Going on holiday. Going partying. The list can go on. Do you know what those suggestions all have in common? They cost money. Do you know what your friend doesn’t have at the minute? An income. Do you know what does still come in though? Bills. So no, your friend can’t go out clubbing with you to take the edge off. And dinner at that nice restaurant is going to have to wait. Anything that entails spending money is most likely going to be off-limits right now. So don’t even go there, because while you think you are taking her mind off things, you’re actually making her feel even more miserable. Trust me, she’s got enough to feel depressed about already. There’s no need for you to help with that.

4. DO

Surprise her with a bag full of food you are going to cook for her!
Or just spontaneously show up with a bunch of dvd’s and demand a movie night! Or maybe you feel like you’d like some company on a walk through the local park?! Any activity not costing money and designed to hang out – without strings attached – is absolutely amazing. Like a breath of fresh air, she’ll be pleased at how considerate you are. Being unemployed can leave your friend feeling isolated, because there’s so many activities she suddenly can’t participate in. By surprising her with your (free) company, she’ll get the benefit of your friendship without that pesky financial cost. Bliss! And also eternal gratitude.
Oh, and if you’re trying to circumvent the “cost” issue by offering to pay for her? Be careful with that one. A nice treat is fine and truly generous, but don’t overdo it or she’ll start feeling like a charity case. Even if she kind of is one right now, there’s no reason she should feel like one.

5. DON’T

Talk about your friend of a friend of your brother who’s in the same position as she is.
Great. What the fuck do I care? Is this helpful information? Is it going to make your friend feel better? Do you really think your friend is going to be pleased to hear that other people are also having a hard time with finding a job? I’m sure you think it’s going to make her feel less alone and therefore less of a failure, but you thought wrong. Instead, it’s just going to convince her that the market is absolutely horrendous and her next opportunity for a job might not be weeks, but months away. She probably already knew that, but you confirming it really adds on the pressure. Thanks for that.

5. DO

Say that you believe in her.
All she really needs from you is support. Belief that she can do this. She may not always believe it herself, so therefore your relentless encouragement is key. There will always be days when it seems hopeless and on those days it means the absolute world that her best friends are rooting for her. You may not be able to supply her with a job. You may not be able to give her advice. You may not be able to show up on her doorstep with a collection of chickflick movies. But you can show support by simply saying that you believe in her. You believe in her skills. You believe that, despite that this is a rough patch she is experiencing, she will get through it. Do that and you are already the best friend she could ever have. Word.

Voilà. And there you have it folks: some insight into what it’s like being unemployed and how to talk to someone who is – i.e. me. Of course, anyone who’s ever had an unemployed friend and now realises that they may have done some of the aforementioned “don’ts”: don’t worry. We, the unemployed friends, know you mean well. We’re not here to bite your head off and discount you as “unfeeling idiots”. On the contrary! We know that you’re trying to be a good friend, but you’re not entirely sure how that works in this new situation. And that isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s simply “uncharted territory” for your friendship. We I would never hold that against you.

Though, now that you understand my situation a bit more, I will no longer make apologies for any grunts, eye rolls, yawns or potential walk-outs you may encounter if you fail to comply with the above. Not to be mean, but you have been forewarned, so no calling me out on being “grumpy”. Because until you wear a robe more often than you wear jeans, you haven’t even begun to understand the meaning of the word.

XOXO

– Your couch potato

 

 

 

Life is unpredictable. Expect that.

The other day I was chatting with one my BFFs – yes, I know, what a cheesy way to describe someone, but in my defence: I did grow up in the age of “BFF” and “NWLY” and “ILY”, also known as the MSN-generation. And there’s simply no better way to describe this particular foxy lady. Anyways, I digress: we were talking boys, as us girls tend to do. And in the midst of it, I was advising her to not have too many expectations of how life was supposed to be. Especially not in the love department.

Why? Well, a lot of us – and with “us” I mean “girls” – grow up thinking that we need to find the right man. And once we do, we need to make that relationship a top priority in our lives together, so that when a sufficient amount of time has passed, it will have become appropriate for us to move in together with said man. After which another period needs to pass, so that it will become acceptable for the man to propose to us and we can finally start our “happily ever after”.

Simultaneously though, we are also expected to work on our self-actualisation and be our own woman. To go out and enjoy a movie, you don’t need a man. Same goes for dinner and every other activity you’d often need a partner to “enjoy”. We are told we don’t need a man to feel worthy of love, to feel worthy – period. Which, in my opinion, is so true! But I find it to be a conflicting message, because if we can enjoy our lives on our own, then why can we not have a happily ever after without that other person?

One of my dear friends is a stunning woman. She was married. It didn’t work out. All of her friends have gotten married, started on kids and look at her with that look of pity – because “her plans” didn’t pan out. And it’s heart-breaking. Because her life is freakin’ fabulous. She does what makes her happy. And sure, she’d love to meet a great man and maybe have kids with him. But it’s not going to define her. Instead, she just landed a job abroad and she’s going to be kick-ass amazing at it. I’ve not been this proud of someone in a long time, because – while she doesn’t know it – it gives me hope for my own future. That I can be me and chase after my own dreams, the way she has done no matter what happened.

She’s taught me this: I can be my own woman. And that will already be enough. The rest of it… Will sort itself out, I hope. But I’m not counting on it. I don’t need to follow that “traditional roadmap” in order to achieve happiness. Because even when you do, my friend’s story proves that it doesn’t necessarily mean happily ever after. Expecting that everything will be miraculously wonderful once you’ve got a ring on it, well it just ain’t realistic.

Which brings me to my point, something I’m taking a long time to get to – I know. But as I was talking to my friend who was having all these expectations about how her relationship was “supposed to go”, as us young women have always been unconsciously taught to have, I told her to stop having them altogether. Because life is totally unpredictable. And while I understand that human beings don’t do well with insecurity, it’s madness to think that there’s only one way your life can go, one plan that will deliver happiness. Because that’s not real life.

So I told my friend: Life is unpredictable. Expect that.

A year ago I didn’t expect to be out of a job right now. I didn’t expect I would have moved out from my place, a flat I’d only just moved into at the time. I didn’t expect to have lost a lot of my self-worth in the months past. I didn’t expect to have to do all of this rebuilding on my own self right now. I didn’t expect a lot of things. But I did expect that nothing would happen according to planBecause it wouldn’t happen that way. Because it hasn’t been happening that way for years.

From the moment I applied to business school – something that would never have occurred to me in a million years in the years preceding that decision – I threw everything out the window. My plans I’d had. My future I’d always seen so clearly. I threw it all away. Because what’s the point? Life doesn’t work out that way. And while it was hard at first, somehow I ended up in another country. And then I started building a life here, somewhere I’d never envisioned living – besides in my wildest dreams. Clearly not everything has been smooth sailing, but is that what I did it for? To lead a charmed life? Or is it more interesting to lead a life, experiencing both the good and the bad – whatever it likes to throw at you and see how you do?

I still haven’t got a plan. I have no idea what I am going to do. But I’m sure I’ll find out. As time moves forward, I am totally confident I will at least find out. It’d be awesome to have a bit of certainty, but since it’s been uncertainty that has brought me here… Even through the bad, I’m actually OK living my life this way. As the unpredictable mess that it is. I’ve come to expect it. More even: I’ve come to love it.

collage

That Roaring Summer

Taken today, Friday 21 August 2015. Wearing a smile.
Taken today, Friday 21 August 2015. Wearing a smile.

Two years ago, I experienced the most amazing summer.

I had one exam I had to retake, sometime in mid August. Which, granted, wasn’t exactly fun. And I had to write my dissertation for my Masters degree in Corporate Communication. Which, granted, wasn’t exactly fun either. But somehow, that summer was absolutely incredible. That summer was one of the best I’ve ever experienced. It was a glorious time at home, still swaddled in the comfort of everything I’ve always known, whilst standing at the precipice of a staggering adventure.

It was the summer of ’13. The days were long and swelteringly hot in the small little town I grew up in. My favourite place to be was in the garden of my parental home. Our garden has always been large and rich with flowers growing everywhere. And there’s a big oak tree, which has been there even before I was born. I’ve seen it grow to a majestic piece of marvellous nature over the years, standing at the edge of our garden, overlooking the empty fields in the distance. The grass is always full of weeds, moss and daisies, making it exquisitely soft and gracefully delicate at the same time. I like daisies the most. No matter what you do, they will grow wherever they like – uncompromising on the simply beauty of being. And this summer, oh let me tell you, the weather was just perfect. The sun would burn hot during the day, whereas the night skies often brought the most refreshing rain. The garden stayed a lush green all summer long – have you ever smelled anything better than the smell of summer rain? It was a glorious time. Life was all nonchalance and comfortable luxury. And happiness seemed to last forever.

Not in the least because of the company I was in. I was home. Home with my parents, who know me well and who’ve grown accustomed to my bouts of loving craziness. My sister was staying with us for a few weeks after having spent many years abroad – it was a great time to reconnect and remember old times, like when we’d sing the theme song of “Gilmore Girls” together whenever it was on TV. And especially when my brother would come by for dinner sometimes, we’d all be reunited again. It wasn’t exactly like my childhood – somehow it was even better. And I’d play Scrabble with my dad, read books, invite friends over… In the evening, I’d reach for my laptop and slowly but surely write my dissertation – barely making a dent in an otherwise careless existence.

It was almost like a perfect beginning to a stunning 1920s novel – all gaiety and naivety. Because of course, I knew it wouldn’t last. In fact, I was acutely aware that it was going to be the last summer I would ever spend at home. My year at Vlerick Business School was awaiting me, which I knew would bring job opportunities in the summer ahead. Which would mean starting work, most likely moving, becoming an adult and all that jazz. (Little did I know I would end up in London, UK?!) So I enjoyed every single minute of it. And I made sure I would always remember the indescribable ecstasy I felt during that summer of ’13…

This summer is so far removed from that one. Instead of two months of vacation, I have 2 weeks. Instead of writing papers for a degree, I now work for a living. Instead of letting casual euphoria take over, I count the days I must return to real life. Instead of feeling like the world was just waiting at my doorstep, I increasingly find you have to cross the threshold and discover it for yourself. While I enjoy making my own way and figuring things out as I go along, there was something so lavish about that feeling I experienced during that summer in ’13. My responsibilities were minimal, at best. My only “job” was to fill my days with blissful happiness, to enjoy spending time with my delightful family and friends, to relish life in a beautiful garden paradise. And even knowing it would end, even knowing things would change soon, I was caught up in the sheer extravagance of those two months.
It was the ultimate summer feeling.

Today, I find myself longing to go back. Like Gatsby before me, I was trying to recreate a time long ago, trying to recapture what I lost. But as naive as I was then, I’m less so now. I now know that you can never go back, not really. We’re not meant to. And that’s okay. People grow, they move on, they change, they – hopefully – get to be even better versions of themselves. It’s only taken me a mere week back home to realise that I won’t be recovering those swelteringly hot summer days of ’13. Instead, I’ll experience new days. And you know what? That’s a good thing. Because two years ago, I would have never even dreamed of living in London. So waking up to a new day… Who knows where I’ll go next?

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
― F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby

The end of an era

It’s over. It’s really over. After years and years and years of sitting on benches in classrooms, which later became large lecture halls, and studying god-knows-what… It’s over. I have finished my final masters year and said goodbye to the wonderful story that is Vlerick Business School. And, while I’ve been looking forward to this moment for a long time, now that it’s here… Wow. It ain’t easy.

People often say that every door closing means that another one is opening. And that’s true, for sure. In about a month I’m starting my first real job and I’m – still – over the moon excited about it. But even though a new thrilling beginning is right around the corner, that doesn’t mean that the ending of the previous chapter isn’t difficult. Because you can trust me when I say: it is hard. Over the past year I’ve made lots of new friends, many of which I will miss so much when I kind of emigrate the hell out of here, y’know? After so much time together, now I’m just supposed to leave them? What seemed like a golden opportunity just a few months ago, now feels like a great loss in the making.

I guess my year at Vlerick just changed me in a way I never thought possible. And now that I’ve graduated, it’s slowly starting to sink in that I can’t go back. I can’t turn the clock back a year and be that eager student again. My student days are over. The book is closed, the movie credits are rolling. And besides me missing my friends, the end of my student days is a crazy-hazy feeling, kawauwza. I mean… I will be… w-o-r-k-i-n-g. Working. For a living. And it’s not a practical joke. It’s not temporary. It’s real. And it’s happening. SOON.

I feel like adulthood is totally ambushing me actually. All this time I thought I was growing up and becoming an adult, but puh-lease. Every weekend I go home so my parents can do my laundry & ironing. I don’t cook – not so much because I can’t, but because I just won’t.  I have no driver’s license to speak of – a matter that was again painfully obvious after spending about an hour on my bike in the pouring rain today. After a long shower my clothes are still hanging in the bathroom, trying desperately to dry. And let’s not even mention my absolutely soaked shoes. Ahem, yeah, soooo not an adult yet. 

But in about a month, adulthood will be like Sylvester Stallone in the jungle with some type of bandana around his head and a big scary rifle in his hands: all of a sudden, I’ll be trapped in this dangerous foreign country and Rambo will force me to kill or something. After I make the shot, he’ll just wipe the blood off my cheek and tell me not to hesitate next time. Rambo is like… Scary or something. And definitely a movie I should re-watch: there’s something epic about his mouth and the way it curls whenever he tries to smile. I say “try”, because let’s be honest: dude just can’t.

Anyways, Rambo aside, adulthood’s coming, whether I’m ready for it or not. And it’ll pack a punch for sure. I’m already putting some extra ice in the freezer to soften the blow. But one thing I do have, which will strengthen my resolve in pursuing my dreams. And that’s a whole lotta friends. Friends who’ll be in the same situation. Friends who know me well and who’ll be cheering me on, whether it be in person, or via Skype. Friends who I can depend on and who – though they’ll be far away – I will never forget.

Call me sentimental, but there’s no power greater than that.
Thanks for an awesome time, you guys.

I'm ready for a new chapter. Are you?
I’m ready for a new chapter. Are you?

23 & going on… What?

Wow. Just… Wow. My best friend just told me she’s going to be moving in with her boyfriend next year. They’ll have their own apartment (read: love nest) and basically a whole new life to look forward to. It’s amazing and I cannot tell you how unbelievably happy I am for her. If there’s one person I totally love seeing so blissful, it’s her for sure! :-)

And oh yeah, I’m 23, currently still without a job – okay, technically I also haven’t graduated yet, but yeah whatever – and going absolutely nowhere. Helloooo inadequacy!

This is just crazy. I’m starting to enter that “zone” where your not just your friends, but your close friends are starting to GET A LIFE. And yes, that is a wonderful and totally normal thing to happen. But – and I’m speaking for all people who are in the exact same position as I am – it’s also extremely and excruciatingly frustrating. Because guess what? We would love to be normal! All of us would love to start that life, like our friends are doing. And it’s got nothing to do with jealousy or anything like that – to be honest, I’m nowhere near ready to move in with anyone – but I’m just having one of those moments where I look up towards the sky and wonder “Hey, are you forgetting someone?”.

Those friends of mine with cool job opportunities and amazing relationships and generally just lives that seem to be the ultimate point of happiness… They deserve it. Because everyone deserves happiness. And everyone has to grow up and start dealing with these things. But yeah, I feel left behind sometimes. Which is weird for me, because I’ve always been a front runner.

However… On the other hand… I just look upon this as an opportunity. Because yeah, I have always been a front runner. The first of my friends to get entangled in serious romantic relationships. The first to make a pretty daring move education/career-wise. The first to move to a new city. The first in several areas basically. And it was always a little weird, because I felt like none of my friends were in that same position and while they did give me solid advice, it was just not the same. I often felt uncomfortable. And now… Well… I may still have no clue what the future holds – which is, granted, a little scary – but I’m not worried about it. Or, not too much anyways.

I’m applying for jobs. Hanging out with my friends. And I can go anywhere after I graduate, because there’s no one in particular that’s got me tied down. Which is actually a good feeling, as it gives me the freedom to make any decision I want. And to be honest, I’m soooo not ready to think of someone else’s needs right now. I’m 23 dude, I just want to live my life, thanks. So my best friend moving in with her boyfriend: I’m excited for her. And I wish her the very best. I know we’re never going to lose touch, we’ve been through way too much for that.

So maybe… Maybe I’m not really looking up towards the heavens, wondering why I’m not getting the same things. I’m sure I will one day. But I wouldn’t know what to do with it right now. And I, for one, cannot wait to see what the future holds. Because for me, everything’s still out in the open. Nothing’s been decided. And while that would have freaked me out in the past, it’s pretty damn awesome right now.

So… Goodbyyeee inadequacy. Helloooo opportunity!

 

And as for those opportunities… This is how I’m trying to find some:

Hangover Day vs. Lotte: 0 – 1

Last night we had the grand Vlerick ball and it was soooo epic! My goodness, the anticipation, the getting ready, the crack house, the walk over, the ball itself… Haha, the fun was non-stop for sure. And the best part: besides being dead tired, I didn’t really get much of a hangover. Of course, it’s physically impossible for me to actually get a headache – nice bonus of being born in my family – except for when I donate blood – which I’ve never done again since that one time… But still, I wasn’t feeling sick at all and I could eat whatever and enjoy a sunny day out with my friends to boot!

So, short recap of last night! It all started with my bestie and how she had fun with my hair. Seriously, I didn’t know it could get…. That big! :’) I have no clue how much hairspray has gone into it, but we’re 24 hours later and it’s still kind of weird to the touch. But it was cool though. And the messy part about it made it possible for me never to have to comb it once all night: it was a messy hairdo anyways. Ha! It’s a little hilarious that I’d be so into “getting ready”, since I usually just go for jeans and a t-shirt. But for one night I got to be a real “girl” ;-).

Next we arrived at the crack house with panda in tow! Okay, confession: it’s not REALLY a crack house. But dude, if there ever was a house I visited that really looked like one… Dayum :’) I believe the kitchen was absolutely the worst. That’s what happens when 5 pigs – oh I’m sorry, “5 guys” – live together. Sheer and utter disaster ensues. But we played some drinking games, had a good couple of laughs and got ready to – finally – go to the ball.

The ball itself was pretty awesome. Okay, it wasn’t so much a fancy room as it was just a room with lots of fancy-dressed people in it, but still… People looked GOOD. And it was cool. And so many wasted people, which always makes me giggle in my head.
Tihihihi. Did that guy just kiss some total strange girl’s head when passing her? And is she looking as surprised as I think she is? Haha! Yup.
Like I said: so many giggles in my head.

However, all good things must come to an end eventually – how to know something is “good” if you don’t experience the alternative sometimes? – and it was bed time. Which was kinda awful, because I don’t know why, but… I woke up after only 5 hours of sleep. WHY? WHY silly brain WHYYYY? Do you NOT see those circles underneath my eyes? Think it’s clear to me… Oh well. That’s when the hangover day – but not really for me, because I actually felt kinda fine – began!

So what did that mean? It basically just started out with my bestie comin’ by, completely dead, going over last night’s events. Though soon we were finding ourselves at the Graslei here in Ghent, with a couple of friends. And it was sunny. Like… really sunny! And that made it the perfect chill day after a long night like that. We just hung out, recapped the previous evening, had some froyo (or McFlurry, but froyo’s so much better, yes!) and took lots of selfies. By the way, for those people who do not know the exact process of taking a selfie: always take 3 pictures. Don’t ask me why. Don’t ask me anything basically – so annoying when people do that, tsk, the nerve! – but just take 3 pictures whenever you take a selfie. These are the rules. I didn’t make them. I just adhere to them. And you should too if you want to maintain your friendships! Just a friendly warning basically ;-).

Anyways, the victor of today’s super sunny hangover day:

Springtime!