In August 2017 I wrote this little piece on feeling sombre while I was house-sitting at a friends’ place in De Pijp. I had no house of my own at the time and that might have contributed to the gloominess that took hold of me. However, I believe that this could have taken place on a regular day, on regular life circumstances, and I want to share it with you today. “Sad is bad” is how this piece started. Well, let’s move on to the text and you’ll probably see what I mean.
A pile of clothes, the blogger, and her stylist friend. Brace yourselves.
One year ago Linda and I got together, on a mission. To make my wardrobe great again. Today I am stoked to announce that we have done it once more. You might remember the rules of the game: there are no rules, basically. Linda comes and makes whatever the combinations she wants with the clothes I already own. Sustainability is the word here. Creativity as well.
In case you get excited about this experiment, know that Linda is launching her personal styling services, and she is offering a styling session to one of Amsterdive’s readers. Photoshoot included! Read more about that at the end of the article.
Once upon a time, there was a personal article about work and yoga. It started with this quote:
“Let your concern be with the action alone, and never with the fruits of the action. Do not let the results of your action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction” Bhagavad Gita
Then I clicked on the wrong button and it all disappeared. Puf. Just like that.
Get tickets to the next SHFT Happens via this link: MAKE SHFT HAPPEN using Amsterdive’s DISCOUNT CODES for 30% off, 20% off & 10% off:
* SHFT Happens work-immersion * April 7 * Rent24 (Magna Plaza), Amsterdam
When you start working on a project, whatever the nature of it, it’s like you’re trying to get a rusty engine to work. It will take time until you actually see some sort of motion going on. As cliche as this sounds, all you can do is work hard every day. More often than not, it will take quite a while until something visible occurs because there are no shortcuts to these things. This is especially true when you are starting whatever you’re starting from scratch. When you have no relevant connections in a specific field, sometimes no former education in it, when you have never done it before, starting a project is always a walk in the dark. Even if you have some sense of direction, you can’t really see where you’re heading to. It’s like you’re blindfolded but still, have to make your way to the other side of the road. It makes you nervous because your eyes are not used to the dark. Most people give up before they manage to get to the other side (or turn their engine on, if you will). It is just too much uncertainty. But here’s this: there are ways to make the crossing smoother and less scary. You could find a mentor, go to coaching, surround yourself with creative people, go co-work with people from your field, inspire yourself with the example of more experienced folks. Or you could do all of this at the same time. Usually, that’s when SHFT HAPPENS.
I have always loved Christmas. I feel it is a time for cosiness and introspection, and so I try to pay special attention to those around me and honour the blessings I receive. It only makes sense to spend Christmas in Amsterdam, for it is here that I feel home.
Some of you might be acquainted with the fact that my mum usually spends Christmas in Amsterdam with me. This year will be an exception. Mum is spending Christmas in the tropics and, oh well, who can blame her? So I will recap some of the things we have done together on Christmasses from previous years so that I both celebrate this lovely lady from whom I got my smile (they say) and hopefully give you some ideas for the following days.
Lisbon whispered in my ear:
Come. I have coffee and crispy pastéis de nata waiting for you.
I have found the workshop “Meaningful Work and Money” while researching cultural events and activities in the city of Amsterdam. First liner: “How to do what you love, contribute to society and make it your living?”. In my head, a bright light immediately went on. THIS IS WHAT I NEED. Just a little context for the ones who are here for the first time: I am at a turning point at Amsterdive. I want to continue writing and creating content for this beloved platform of mine, but it is time to take it a step further. I want to make it my job. I already spend the majority of my time over here, which means that I do need to start translating this work into money. But how?
We were crossing the Ij to Amsterdam North with the ferry, and he asked me, with eyes wide open, if there were fish in the Ij. I was struck by the question. Fish in the Ij. Damn. I had never thought of it. I used to have cool conversations all the time with artists and creatives of all sorts, folks of different nationalities who could speak at least a couple of languages, and had university degrees, and were cosmopolitan, and well-travelled, and kept themselves busy with exciting occupations, and knew a lot of complex stuff about fields of which existence I ignored. And then this guy I had randomly met at a party asks me, in his broken English, if there are fish in the IJ, and I am mindblown. Who would have cared for such a seamless, simple thing like the aquatic vertebrates living down under water? To what sort of person could this piece of information matter? At that moment the love seed germinated.
Every now and then I am walking around the city – wait, who am I kidding?, I never walk – I am cycling, cycling around the city -, and I get struck by this feeling that we are all so disconnected from each other. Which is ironical given the fact that we are also living crammed to each other and yet emotionally so far apart, always busy, never really paying attention to what’s happening around us. Then I can’t avoid my mind to wander to a place where it all was different, where connecting was the rule and not the exception. Where everyone smiled at each other, where people acknowledge each other’s presence, where interactions with other human beings were easy, simple, and free. This description might sound like a mere utopia to most of us. But the cool thing is that there are places like this in the world: not many, that’s true, but they exist.
Six years: still no house
Right now, all the things I own are stored in three different houses in Amsterdam. Most of them are housed in a storeroom of this couple friend of mine who lives in Ijburg, in the large house they own. Then I have some other stuff in the Westerpark area, at the place of another friend who has also been the caregiver of my cats while I can’t have them with me. He also owns his house. Finally, I have one piece of luggage and a backpack which I carry with me everywhere, with the essentials for everyday life. Currently, I am staying in the area of Museumplein (I know, I know). This other couple friend went on holiday and offered their home for me to plant sit while they’re away. Thank god they are not like most people in Amsterdam who will Airbnb their place at the first opportunity. If they had done that they would be now basically enjoying a free holiday. Airbnb prices here are similar to hotel ones so it is easy to understand why people do it so massively in this city. This also helps explain why, from a market point of view, is it not the first time that I am in the ‘homelessness’ situation in the almost six years I’ve been living over here.