It’s been one of those years. You know the type. When you’re like, “Oh, I’m gonna get this super duper important thing done in February, after I recover from the holidays.” Then you’re like, “Oh damn, it’s already April? I gotta get that pretty important thing done next month.” Next thing you know, you’re like, “What month is it now? July? Time’s passing quickly, huh?” Then finally you’re like, “I never got that thing done, and it’s November. It was somewhat important, so it’ll definitely get done after the holidays.”
Is this a thing? Or just me?
So, what’s that important thing that I keep meaning to address?
Fix yo life. Continue reading
My eyes pop open just as the sun peaks over the horizon. With the soft glow of morning overtaking my serene bedroom, a deep stretch is enough to toss the previous night and its warm covers aside. Hopping out of bed with a smile on my face and a pep in my step, I embrace the good fortune of the day ahead. As I sit by the window to sip on green tea and read through the latest news, I’m warmed by the sun that continues to rise. Ah, next: yoga. The bright orange mat that was neatly stored beside the bookcase is now stretched across the living room floor, inviting me for daily practice. I clean, dry and put away my tea mug, then ease into several sun salutations. The calm and meditative practice takes my mind away from the stresses of the news and the to-do list that I’ll tend to later. I focus now only on my well-being and strength.
Yes, this is how a boss starts her morning – in stardust pajamas. Continue reading
I’ve been living in The Hague (Den Haag) for more than 5 months now (whoa, what?!). It’s been enough time for me to experience a pleasant evolution of sentiment about my circumstances and surroundings. What started as a disappointed exodus from Amsterdam has turned into a delighted embrace of Agga (what the cool kids are calling it, apparently).
I first moved here out of necessity. A lack of affordable (and also bearable) options in Amsterdam led me to look outside of the city. And it didn’t take me long to find a cute little place in The Hague that was in a modest price range.
My newly adopted city was a mere 45 minutes by train from Amsterdam, which I convinced myself was nothing compared to my former daily commute by subway from East Flatbush, Brooklyn to lower Manhattan. I could get back and forth to Amsterdam with ease, even daily if I wanted. And I thought I might want to. I had friends, favorite restaurants, libraries, coffee shops, and seemingly places to be in Amsterdam. In order to tolerate life in this new city, I would surely have to make frequent trips back to the only city that mattered. Continue reading
Immigration matters? Uh, no thanks. Not interested.
Well, that’s been my approach pretty much the entire time I’ve been here. I was a student back in 2011. So when I moved from the U.S. to the Netherlands, the University handled everything with very little input from me. Aside from a bunch of fees and a delay when I first arrived, it was a pretty mindless process. From my residency status to my city registration, they had it covered. I received my registration details in the mail. I barely understood the purpose. And I just had to show up with my passport and smile (or not) to receive my residence permit card.
For once, I was basking in the glow of privilege.* Continue reading
Have you ever had trouble getting a key to turn a lock? Sometimes a key will go into the slot pretty easily, confirming you have the right one. But no matter how aggressive you are with the right turn and jiggle maneuver, the thing won’t budge. You turn it upside down. You adjust its depth. You try other keys. But you know you have the right key – the one that won’t turn.
Then you take a second to breathe. Frustration subsides. Your grip loosens. And suddenly, as if you were imagining the countless seconds of resistance, the key finds its groove. The lock turns with ease.
I complained in my last post about not having a stable place to live. Well, technically I’m still homeless. And I stand by my complaints. But sometimes the bright side of a bad situation turns out to be the point of it all. In this case, once I was able to recognize that bright side, I realized it’s what I’ve been wanting all along: freedom.
Stability would be cool. Eventually I want to have all of my stuff in one place. And I’d like to eliminate that uncertain pause when people ask me where I live. But in the meantime, what have I been complaining about? This is the perfect time to take advantage of my life with no leash. As you may know, I thrive on opportunities to pick up and go wherever, whenever. So I trashed that rising anxiety and purchased another plane ticket.
Perhaps the most extended silence on the blog has just passed. I wish I had an excuse – maybe I haven’t had a minute to write; or perhaps I forgot my WordPress password. But nothing like that. I’ve had plenty of time. And Chrome remembers all of my passwords. I’ve even had things I wanted to write. But I’ve just been unable to commit to the finality of blogged words. Many of my thoughts have felt fleeting. Most of my grievances have passed. And a bunch of my recent “lessons learned” have been challenged. So even if I had written in the last couple of months, I probably would have wanted to take them back. Turns out I just needed some time to be quiet.