It was January 2014. From the beginning of that month, I would have to commit to a Dutch language course, every Tuesday and Thursday evening, at a building called De Potgieter, located at a pretty square in Amsterdam West. I had finished a beginner’s course around one year before that. The municipality of Amsterdam, who was paying for my studies, had stated I could not postpone the attendance of the second level anymore. Otherwise, they would stop financing me. Sounded fair. It was a now or never situation, thus. I was hoping it’d work.
“Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so you apologize for the truth” // Benjamin Disraeli
“I am afraid I can’t fall in love anymore”, my friend tells me, with a smartphone in hand, his Tinder account left open. The shiny screen he holds so tightly is a promise of happiness in the form of endless beautiful faces smiling at you, stating availability, opening a passage to something greater than the dullness of everyday life, the loneliness most of us know all too well.
One of the people that have impacted me the most during my yoga teacher training at Tula Amsterdam is Carolina. She’s kind and soft, warm and witty; one of those people one immediately likes. Now that the training has passed I must admit that it wasn’t an easy period for me. It was a time of big changes and uncertainties in my life and I felt disconnected and anxious more often than not. Moreover, a yoga teacher training can be a very confronting experience in which your shortcomings get so exposed in your eyes, and any emotion present may feel like it’s double its size. Carolina’s presence was soothing. We got together to practice, she met my mother, and we even got the chance to do a yoga photoshoot together. When she announced she had to take the final exam earlier because she was going back to Spain, I felt pained at first. Continue reading “Carolina and her yoga retreat in Menorca”
It all started like this. He shuffled up the cards and suggested I picked one. SO… I did. I read the question. I sighed. Here comes a hard one, was the thought that crossed my mind. I wouldn’t have been able to answer this question, in all honesty, ten years ago. Now I know that it’s important that I do. When we’re sincere and open about our struggles, we help others feel less inadequate and less alone. If not for you, do it for them.
Should I really write about this?
Here’s yet another photo of my laptop, gazing the viewer from a terrace on a sunny day, cappuccino on the side. The caption reads: “all the perks of freelancing summed up in one photo”. I posted this and proceeded to make calculations on how to pay next month’s rent, followed by sending e-mails asking when am I supposed to get honorariums from jobs I have long ago delivered.
I realise the irony of the situation and decide to make up for the delusory image. Next story I post, same picture, different caption: “Hey, don’t be fooled. There are plenty of downs, too. Should I write about this?”.
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.
It is a mystery to me why haven’t I written about my favourite Amsterdam musicians before.
Good news number one: it’s never too late.
Good news number two: it’s not electronic music.
Good news number three: this is all very very danceable. In some cases, freaky-danceable (just invented the term, by the way).
Ah, bands from Amsterdam! Not the good old classics, not the über famous ones. Real bands composed of real people who make real sound and play in real concerts that real people attend. Some of these musicians are folks whose activity I follow closely because I KNOW that whatever they are involved in, it’s bound to be good (or simply put, bound to make me happy). This is how I have seen a couple of these bands a few times already (Furake, Conjunto Papa Upa) and don’t seem to get tired of it. If you’re into dancing like a freak, this is possibly going to be your pool as well. Let’s jump right in.
Oh, also, there’s a giveaway by the end of this article.
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.
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?