What the DRAG?! Why can’t I be a queen? ūüĎĎ

“Ladies and genders,

rupaul seen it all

…But I can tell you, you have NOT. The purist drag queen community is shaking on its full coverage foundation since a girl from Belgium decided to turn her brain on and ask herself a fundamental question even Quora can’t answer:

Can anyone, and therefor also ME as a woman, be a drag queen?

Old-school drag purists: (Gag)

omg

Now this is how it all started…

Me: As you all know I, Evelien Delgouffe, am a woman of many faces and interests. I am interested in everything that lights a little spark in my eyes and makes me forget the mess that we as humans have to face on a daily basis. Yes, I like to live in a self (wo)manifested dream world.

Therefor I am a fan of movies, series, adventure, science fiction, comics, cosplay, fantasy creatures, make-up… etc!

nerd alert.gif

And since a while, my most favorite way to let off steam after a rough day is watching 1 or 10 episodes of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’. It’s a little hard to explain, but those men dressing up as¬† queens makes me feel good about myself.

Download RuPauls Drag Race S10 Season 10 SX Season X 1080p Assistir Online Legenda Embutida Fuzzco News.jpg

TV-show host and drag supermodel extraordinaire: RuPaul!

You: “Ahm… About yourself Evvy?”

Me: “Well yeah, whenever I watch an episode of RuPaul I feel a small change in my behavior. As if I’m suddenly sliding down a rainbow of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent. Feeling good about myself and my womanhood.”

giphy (2)

I am also inspired by the different looks and how these queens carry themselves as almost alien like, supernatural creatures.

chachki.gif

… Vogue-ing, parading, skedaddling, lipsync-ing and even death dropping for their lives.

FocusedFarawayArcticduck

… Topped with the occasional bitch fight of course.

valentina-reunion

I decided to take my fascination to the next level and dive deeper into this magical world of drag.

6aeb9007a6fe88e632e8aac85b69ec68

Since I am an investigative journalist (and not a ‘wannabe’ like my arch rival Lois Lane; she’s a drag but definitely not a queen…) I decided to do my research properly.

Now, asking the question ‘Can a women be a drag queen?’ turned out to be a stupid one since 1 search entry in Google taught me that women across the planet have been dressing up as drag queens (and I don’t mean drag kings, fyi)¬†for many years.

Why didn’t I know?!

awkward

According to my good friend Google:Picture 2018-06-02 om 09.04.02

See? ‘Artists of all sexualities’.¬†So it’s totally fine for women to dress up as drag queens too!

Well… not really.

To begin with. Female drag queens are nicknamed ‘faux queens’, which is not really a name to take pride in.

Further research taught me there’s actually an ongoing vitriol surrounding female drag queens. Old-school drag purists don’t like women to act or perform as drag queens at all and even boycot them.

You: “If men dress up as women…Doesn’t it make more sense for women to dress up¬†as men… in order to bypass that nasty ‘faux queen’ nickname?”

cocorosie2-Noticia-707127

Me: “Well yeah, but for me, aesthetics-wise, it is much more interesting to dress up as a drag queen and explore new depths of my femininity.”

Old-school drag purists: “But why would a woman want to parody a woman? It’s a complete oxyoxymo…. a complete TRAVESTY!”

stop immediately

¬†Me: “Look errr… girl… That’s just one transvestite calling another transvestite a transvestite… You know, you really shouldn’t put people into boxes like that.”

square

Me:¬†While let’s face it: drag queens would be nowhere without women AMMARIGHT?”

Old-school drag purists:

giphy (3)

Doing this research I suddenly realized that the idea only man can be drag queens is unfortunately also promoted by my favorite TV show. In ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’¬†only male identified drags can compete. Faux queens are not welcome. Transsexuals neither. #Dafuq?

condragulations

I wondered what RuPaul’s opinion on the topic of faux queens was. Does he actually support ladies in drag? Or not? Big was my grief when I discovered an interview of RuPaul with The Guardian in 2017 where he made the following statement:

RuPaul: ‚ÄúDrag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it‚Äôs not men doing it, because at its core it‚Äôs a social statement and a big F-you to male-dominated culture. So for men to do it, it‚Äôs really punk rock, because it‚Äôs a real rejection of masculinity.‚ÄĚ

Old-school drag purists:

alyssa-1522351446

In the meantime RuPaul has publicly changed his opinion on the topic but still, coming from an LGBTQ ambassador, it was quite a controversial thing to say. Why should drag queen-ing be a ‘men-only’ sport?

Old-school drag purists:

Bianca_olhos

“I’m sorry Miss Delgouffe but we have to stop you right there: why would you even bother to do drag up? Why would you emulate what you AL-READY are? What is the illusion???”

alyssa-edwards-mirror-facial-expressions-rupauls-drag-race-gif

Me: “I’m pretty sure when I cover my eyebrows with a glue stick and draw on new ones, that’s called an illusion…”

bianca

Old-school drag purists: “Funny how women always depend on men to give the right example.”

RPDR-Valentina-Thinking

silence

RuPaul: “The time has come for you to form a conclusion, Evelien.”

Me: “Well hang on RuPaul, let me just call up a dear friend of mine to close this case on my behalf…”

how this turns out

*Drrrriiiiiiiing driiiiiingg*

giphy (6).gif

Me: “Miss G, I urgently need your help on something. Could you come to RuPaul’s ‘Werk Room’ real quick?”

(5 min later)

gaga werk room

Me: “Queens, I present to you the only woman who has ever been really accepted for performing as a drag queen. Bow down for the one and only…. LADY GAGA!!!”

ladygaga

tumblr_omz613i5hW1qlvwnco7_500

Me: “Now that I have all you queens’ attention. I would like to let this marvelous artist explain to you what drag, regardless of gender, is all about to her:

Picture 2018-06-04 om 18.27.44

(Thank you hellogiggles.com for the nice layout of this immortal Lady Gaga quote)

Me: “See? We are all looking to fill up voids in our lives. Whether it’s with money or with glitter. We are all eager to lift ourselves to the most fabulous echelons of whatever universe we want to belong to. Faux queens or real queens, in drag there is no room for misogyny, sexism nor racisme.”

tumblr_nmgtjh16G51ty3aeno1_500

“It’s about expressing what femininity means to us and defying sex-role stereotypes. It’s about art and performance. Whether it’s political, aesthetical or just satirical or for entertainment purposes. It shouldn’t be a ‘boys only club’ since we have so much to learn form each other.”

3a6f499b71db5cf553b4151437dc5f0e74dd850a8cab90db67691f80394f800d

“Let us try to see drag as ‚Äėgenderless‚Äô until it becomes the new norm and (meno)pause this ongoing bitch fight right here.”

gaga cry

“Or to say it with the words of a wise wo-man:”

love

Me: “Heu…well thanks Momma Ru, but I actually meant that other thing you always say…”

rupaul-we-are-all-born-naked-an-the-rest-is-drag

EEEEEEEEEEEEXACTLY

Now can I get an Amen up in here?

mother ru approves

Disclaimer:
This blog post was a sponsored feel good message brought to you by ‘I don’t give a Tuck’.¬†You can be a beautiful individual no matter what. Appearance and good looks are mostly a matter of behavior and perception. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then add on as many illusions as you want until YOU, the beholder in the mirror, finally feels comfortable with what you see…PS: The Kardashians do it every day.

bianca kardashian

After publishing this blog only one drag queen has decided to take a step back (…)

miss vanjie

…But now that the rest of the purist drag community has opened the boundaries, all¬†‘femme bodied individuals who want to try on drag every once and a while, for real or just for fun’ are more than welcome to play along!¬†

Violet's_First_Words_After_Winning_Drag_Race

As for me, I thought about where drag will take me. Since ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ maybe isn’t that representative for my understanding of the drag art, I will take my interest just a tiiiiiiiiiny step further….

…By going to a show in my local area and hope someone mistakes me for a real guy!

ūüėĪ

To be continued?

All in favor say AAAYE!

blink.gif

XO

 

 

Pretty darn lovable

You: “Hi Ev, you still around? Helllooooo? (echo – echo – echo)”

Me: “Yup. Rrrright here.”

wine

You: “What’s up?”

Me: “That depends. The old me would have said: ‘Yo dude, everything great. Work is gooood. Life is goooood. Errythang’s gooood.’ But lately I cannot lie to save my life. When people come up to me and ask me what’s up, they get TMI.”

You: “Transmitted Mind Illness???”

Me: “Err.. no, ‘Too Much Information’…”

I don’t know how it happened, or when, but lately I’ve been giving people the hard truth and nothing but the truth. It’s like word vomit, I cannot help it. Once I get started I can’t stop puking all the toxins out.

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been experiencing rather extreme ups and extreme lows. And yes. It’s got everything to do with ….

johnnydeppkiss

ROMANCE. 

I’ve been feeling down, bitter, … down, did I mention bitter? Also hurt. Ahm… (what else do I feel…) Hungry. Naah I’m always hungry…. ANYWAY: I don’t feel too good.

And usually when I don’t feel too good. I turn to a dear friend. A psychologist, who has helped me through many tough moments, who has stood by me on all my travels, I am talking about: MY BLOG ‚̧

You: “Then why-hy has it been so long since we’ve heard from you Ev? Why didn’t you turn to us sooner?”

Me: “Aha! I had a new blog post ready but I had to postpone it because it kind of involves a ‘go’ from the bank. So you can expect this one very soon I hope.”

Anyway. All this waiting kind of got in the way of necessary sharing sessions and that’s why I reach out to you today.

Okay, so romance.

I kind of got romantically involved with someone. As in ‘past tense’. It’s over now. Finito. Schluss.

The way it came to an end, however, was rather painful.

Usually when I’m devastated about someone, I feel weak and sad. But now… well…

diealone

Let me just start from the beginning…

I’ve known this guy for almost a year now. And it wasn’t until the beginning of this year -when I returned from Canada- I started to notice him differently. Actually he had been on my mind in Canada too, which was kind of weird cuz I never really noticed him like that before. When I first met him I thought he was…well…

amook

But that’s the thing with girls: we’re capable of changing our minds. If we don’t like a dress at first sight, we will find a way to make it work. Pair it up with some nice bracelets, some cute sandals, … If a guy sees a shirt he doesn’t like, he will never bother to see the potential.

I knew he fancied me, so all of a sudden we fancied each other AND I thought I had the cat in the bag but the moment I reached out -guess what?- he lost his interest.

You: “Whuuuuut?”

Me: “Suddenly he was all emotionally unavailable and not ready to be in a relationship and yadda yadda yadda.” #commitmentissues #bigbaby

Now, for a Libra I’m pretty stubborn. Unfortunately I don’t take no for an answer. And that’s where I went wrong. I sort of made myself believe I could be with this guy without being emotionally involved… Basically we became FWB.

You: “Friendly Whale Brothers?”

Me: “No you idio… FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS!”

You: lovedeclaration

Me: “I know, it was the worst idea ever. I am waaaaay to emotionally wired to do something like this but you never know until you try right?….Am I right…?…?”

wrongidea

Soooo to make a long story short: we had fun, the sex was ah-mazing, then I got ‘relationship muscle memory’, he¬†spasmed out and I zoned out after he gave me quite a big uppercut when saying he will never love me and I will never have to expect a love declaration from him.

And that was that.

hermione sarcasm

We both messed up. And ever since … I’m left with an emotional hangover.

pennyhelp

And that’s how I decided to reach out to you today and share my story. But most imporantly:

SPELL SOME SHIT OUT FOR THE NEXT ONE IN LINE

lovealgebra

I’m going to put some things out there for the next guy who crosses my path or even thinks about sweeping me off my feet. This is not a manual. It’s a MAN-UP-ALL.

Why you probably can’t handle me but why you definitely should try:¬†

– I’m a handful
Also literally. I have curves. I am a woman and I expect to be treated that way. With respect. I’m not a shallow girl you can boss around or control. If we’re going to be in a relationship, we will treat each other as equals.¬†I’m not the boss of you, you’re not the boss of me. (Unless it’s part of some sexual fantasy)

– I’m probably less crazy than you think
Guys tell each other horror stories about girls they date who turn out to be complete mental cases. Occasionally I hear about those too. And I can assure you: I am nowhere near that type of girl. Yes I have traumas and I carry emotional baggage and yes I can get a little goofy at times, but I’m not CRAAY-ZAAY.

thanksbrain

– Who said I want to get married and have yo babies?
You all have this evil friend who makes you nervous by saying all the wrong things, like: “Watch out with her, she’s pushing 30 she probably wants kids soon and wants to get married. Run while you still can!”
=> Dump that friend, he’s a douche.
=> I’m nowhere near ready to have kids. And I’m too cheap to get married. Let’s just take the money and invest it in a teepee in Portugal!

I am socially capable of getting along with your friends, parents and pets (I will not raise your kids tho)
Guys who have kids from previous relationships = > sorry, see previous bullet point

– I am funny and witty and smart
(But can be boring, tired and insecure too)

– I am not here to CHANGE you…
Fo fuck sake, why do guys always think girls want to change them? Or the way they live their lives? The only thing we ask is to integrate us in your current life. And relax, you don’t have to introduce us to your parents and family right away. Also don’t feel the need you got to be someone completely different. Or think you have to turn your schedule around and can’t hang out with your friends anymore. Just continue your life, let us live ours, but give us a call every two days =>¬†There is no Siamese twinship. I have a life and priorities too you know!

– …But do keep in mind I can change my mind too
After a short period of being in a relationship, I could lose interest in you. Relationships aren’t an exact science. Girls usually are quicker to start a relationship because they are willing to take the jump and try.¬†Guys fear a relationship means ‘staying together until they die’. #WRONG! What’s wrong with taking it day by day? I’m not here to chain you. (Again: unless it’s part of some sexual fantasy).

РGet bent 
If you’re taking it up the butt. I’m taking it up the butt.

bitbit

In other words: once we’re in a relationship you will have the sole proprietorship and thus advantage of unlimited sex with me! * What a lucky SOB (son of a bitch) you would be!
(* After a dry period of 9 months or after marriage, that is. I’m catholic. And a virgin. That’s right, I reclaimed my virginity and I got the certificate to prove it)

paper

– Man up and take a chance on love, it could be the one thing you’re missing the most
For this final one I am going to quote a 73 year old customer from the bar who has been married for 47 years:

“You don’t have to look for the complete package with one person. A good marriage combined with good friends is all you need to live happily ever after.”

rosscrying

 

Any questions or objections? You know where I live.

XO

PS: WHOOF I FEEL MUCHO BETTER ALREADY! THANKS FOR THE FREE PSYCH SESSION!

A jelly dilemma

After the previous entry about illegal substances, we’re taking it the next step further and stay in the forbidden candy department.

You: Speed? LSD? XTC? Molly? Miley?

miley

Me: “Nope, jelly beans.”

You: “They don’t have drugs in them … Do they?!”

Of course not, how off the handle do you think I am? However, Celine’s son was supposed to bring some edibles to the NYE party but that plan got sabotaged.

jellybeans

(Robert Downey Jr is so great in this¬†movie ‘Tropic Thunder’. You know he struggled with¬†a severe drug addiction at one point in his career? One day he was driving¬†around with a trunk full of drugs like he was Raoul Duke-ing his way to Vegas.¬†fear-and-loathing

He pulled over to have a burger at Burger King and was so disgusted by what he ordered he then tossed all of his drugs into the ocean, deciding then and there to clean up his act. Last year he¬†was the most lucrative actor of 2016 earning 1,1 billion dollars. It’s one of the most impressing and inspiring stories.)

emma-stone-nodding_lgcni4.gif

mariah-carey-rep-responds-to-rumors.jpg

“I wish I could make a glorious comeback like that.”

emma-stone-nodding_lgcni4

Anyway. Having brought this interlude to the table…

ludes.gif

… It’s time we get this story going.

So no drugs for me on New Year’s so I had some yummy jelly beans instead. It was the first time I tried these sugary bullets of pure happiness. I had a hand full and threw them all behind my grinders one by one. At one point¬†there were only two left.

The dopamines in the sugar had brought me into an elevated state of being. Like I was in a vortex, levitating like a human lotus.
lotus.jpg

There was a voice inside my head commanding me to chose a jelly bean. My inner Morpheus. One jelly bean would bring me back to two years ago. Where I had my own house, my future to be husband, my career. And all this wandering around would just have been a wicked dream.

The other jelly bean symbolized the continuation of this adventure track. The not-knowing, the risks, the adventures, the dangers, the butterfly I have been chasing down this rabbit hole. Sliding down the big question mark. Not knowing if the stairs of this organic life will go up or down.

catupordown

Pussy going down. Or up?

It struck me but I hesitated way longer than I would have thought. There was some part inside of me that wanted it all back. For the first time.

I was conflicted.

There was a part of me that wanted to go back to my old life. Suddenly.

So I turned to my spiritual guide woman.

theoa.jpeg

Me to Celine: “Hi woman, I’m feeling all hormonal. I have these weird feelings and thoughts in my gut and gulliver.”

Celine: “Spill it.”

Me: “It’s all fresh snow in the beginning but after a while it gets slushy. I don’t know if this gypsy life¬†will continue to benefit me?”

Celine: “Well sometimes you have to go through a little mud to get to where you want to be.”

Me: “Like a lotus?”

Celine: “Yeah like a lotus.”

Me: “Well if I only knew where I¬†want to get…”

Celine: “Ok, here’s what you got to do. Take a piece of paper and write down the three things you want to create for yourself in 2017. No, wait, write down the ten things and pick out three that are most important to you.”

Me: “Ok…”

The three words that shot into my head were:

  1. LOVE
  2. COMFORT
  3. SECURITY

Any other day and I would have chosen:

  1. LOVE
  2. ADVENTURE
  3. CLOTHES

But these were my words of choice today. Which was very interesting… And very conservative for my taste.

I continued to scribble on the piece of paper. And came up with a bunch of stuff that I want to (continue to) create for myself in the new year.

4. CONTROL/STABILITY
I am an adrenalin junkie and I love being able to just take a chance every once and a while but it’s not how I want to spend¬†every¬†hour of my life. I want to live an adventurous one but still have a certain amount of control and stability to balance things out. When I feel like I don’t have control and things just slip between my fingers like sand, I get stressed.

5. A SCHEDULE
Not a fix routine or anything but I ‚̧ a schedule that gives me time to do stuff before and after I go to work. Sit on my bicycle, walk around in my own head, go and have a coffee somewhere. I don’t want to be caught in a rat race.

6. NO STRESS
Being able to turn off the phone and have a quiet evening. No stress. No traffic. No last minute work things that can come up.

7. MONEY
I feel good about having money and being financially independent. Money gives me freedom to do what I want.

8. FREEDOM
I love this feeling of being free, being able to go places and not have as much stuff as I used to. It feels great to have just enough and to have an overview.

9. HEALTH
Actually this one should be way up! But¬†I guess it’s part of ‘2. COMFORT’ since I want to continue feeling comfortable in my body (not being sick, injured, etc) and¬†also in tune with my body and mind.

10. HAPPINESS
I’m so happy, thankful and grateful for everything the universe has given me. The privilege of being a human emotional being. Being able to¬†feel, see, smell, touch, taste, learn and grow. Also being able to let go of things and to rise with resilience.

***

It made me feel really good to write all of this stuff down. I encourage every one of you to take a paper and do the same thing. I always thought it was bad to plan stuff in advance, as if it would take away all the impulsiveness and surprise but there is plenty of room for improvisation. This just helps you to sort your priorities out and man does it feel good to have those! Otherwise you just feel like a missile being launched into outer space, not knowing where to hit so you just keep orbiting and orbiting and orbiting. Burning all this precious energy, burning up before you find out your true destination and reach it.

If I can continue to live in this mindset then 2017 will be a sweet year. Just like 2016 has been a sweet year for  me. All the traveling I did, all the challenges I faced, all the things I learned. What 2016 has definitely generated for me is getting me de-constipated.

shitface.gif

Figure of speech.

It feels great to have such a natural flow now. To speak my mind, to dare to show myself to others, to share bits of my life, to videotape my journey and make aftermovies and snapchat stories for you guys to see.

I write openly, live my life openly and encourage people to live their lives according to their own needs and desires. I connect to people. And they connect to me. It is a wonderful state of being.

ilikeitalot.gif

Speaking about connecting to people. Some freaky shit happened these past couple of days. Things I could only describe to be: big time sign posts.

It all happened when I stayed at Alain (Celine’s dad)’s place in Toronto. He’s a chef with some big¬†catering company in the city. But he’s also a Reiki master. It’s not something he talks about. If Celine wouldn’t have casually mentioned, I wouldn’t have known. But I knew from the first time I spoke to him, that there was this kind of centeredness about him. And he’s super fit. He’s pushing 70 but still hasn’t got one grey hair on his head and still takes his backpack out to go to Mexico and Belize by himself.¬†His place looks like it’s almost falling apart but everything is harmonized according to the principles of Feng Shui.¬†He has these spiritual proverbs hanging on his walls and a ton of books filled with wisdom and knowledge. I couldn’t help but grab one that was on the table. It looked like some kind of astrology almanac. He saw me pick out the book and gently¬†took it from me asking me what day I was born.

He looked and looked and looked as if he was digging through the layers of years.

Alain: “Ah, here it is. October 19 1988. Aquarius Moon. Mh.”

Me: “‘Mh’? What does ‘Mh’ mean? Is that good or..”

Alain kept his eyes on the page and replied with another grunt. He even added a pair of raised eyebrows to it. Not really clearing anything up for me.

Me: “What’s Aquarius moon??”

Alain: “Well, it’s good. It means you’re a warrior.”

Me:

surprised.gif

A warrior?

I went to check what else it said:

  • You are likely to be a unique and somewhat progressive individual. There may be something about you that somehow ‚Äúseparates‚ÄĚ you from everybody else;
  • When an Aquarian Moon individual has a clear idea, they are unlikely to easily change it.
  • Your position as someone already ‚Äėon the outside‚Äô gives you the ability to interpret the world around you from an often unique point of view.
  • With the Moon here, you may also tend to operate as an outsider or lone wolf, preferring to maintain a detached view that is only possible from the outskirts.
  • Often, this born with the Moon feel very different from the environment in which they grow up. The outsider experience is felt at a very early age. Accordingly, you may be so aware of your unique qualities that you tend to instinctively keep yourself separate from others.
  • Others will find you refreshing to be around because your ability to remain calm and civil can be especially sort out. Your vision and imagination is collective rather than personal, and you may be instinctively attuned to the future, able to sense what is on the horizon through reading the mood of the status-quo.
  • This position can also suggest a degree of eccentricity, and you may be highly original in some way. If you have creative interests then this placement can give a very unorthodox way of seeing the world.
  • Aquarius is also a sign associated with radical change, and you may find that you have a need to rebel or break away from situations you perceive as being stagnant. Your need for freedom can manifest in many ways, and you are likely to best in relationship with others who understand the need to give you space.
  • As the Moon can also describe how you experience home, you may tend to move around a lot. This position can suggest a person who needs to experience constant change and fluctuation in the regular circumstances of their life. You are likely to prefer light and airy places that give you an overall view.
  • At its best, Aquarius is an egalitarian and freedom-loving sign.
  • Born with the Moon here, you are likely to have an innate need to establish space and equality in your own and others lives.
  • Your sense of objectivity is your best asset, and your ability to connect with others is based mostly on your capacity to simply see others for who they are.
  • As a civilized being, you thrive in situations that bring people and conversation together. Though at times you may feel the outsider, life will always go best for you when you find your own like-minded group.
  • Deeply original, you will have a flair for independent analysis and thinking outside the box. You can be a great friend and supportive colleague through your ability to see the human condition in all its myriad and amazing forms.¬†¬†
kungfupanda.gif

“FINALLY!”

This is so empowering. Most of the time I felt¬†I was¬†making a chaos out of my life but everything I do is just textbook¬†ME. The constant moving from one place to another, the freedom seeking, breaking¬†away from things that are stagnant, the thinking outside of the box, daring to be expressive and eccentric, having pure values like equality, objectivity, filtering out bad ego, … Wauw!

suprised

“Feed me more knowledge!”

Unfortunately Alain had to scram, leaving¬†for Ottawa to stay at Celine’s house so me and her could stay at his place and explore Toronto together.

picture-2017-01-05-om-05-07-03

I stayed at his apartment for three days being in ultimate peace. Everywhere I looked I felt inspired by words surrounding me. Every book or box I opened spoke to me. Like the box of tarot cards I opened with the first card being the angel Gabriel suggesting me to keep a diary and to write shit down. The book of happiness I found in the bathroom suggesting me to keep a healthy ego and to choose transcendence over desire. The apartment was right on the corner of the Lucky Coin laundromat. I grew up in a street with a laundromat on my corner. It was all so very familiar and so interstellar. As if there were patterns everywhere.

On our last night in Toronto, right before Celine and I would leave for Ottawa and stay at her place, we had one last supper at the New Ho King, a Chinese restaurant. At the end of our meal we received a platter with fortune cookies. Each of us took a random cookie and we opened it simultaneously.

Celine’s cookie stated: “You are sympathetic to the problems of others.”

My cookie stated: “The time is right to make new friends.”

Catch the joke: we were sitting there with Celine’s friends Mel (yeah, the one with the pot) and Erin, just having had a wonderful dinner with really meaningful, funny and positive conversations. And they too had just opened¬†a tailor made fortune cookie!

fb_img_1483000036132

This was all sooooo nice. And the next day, when I randomly took a newspaper in a coffee shop and bumped into my horoscope it read:

¬†‘The self in exile remains the self, as a bell unstruck for years is still a bell’, writes poet Jane Hirshfield.¬†I suspect that these words are important for you to hear as you prepare for 2017. My sense is that in the past few moths your true self has been making its way back to the heart of life after a time of wandering on the outskirts. Any day now, a long-silent bell will start ringing to herald your full return. Welcome home!”

‚̧

After a 6 hour train ride, I was so happy to be reunited with Alain and Celine’s family once we arrived at Ottawa, two days before the end of the year. Even Audrey, our Kung Fu friend who’s also from Canada, came to have a sleepover. After 8 months the¬†Kung Fu Angels were reunited.

kungfuangels

We had a nice dinner, watched a movie and the next morning we had breakfast and Audrey left for Montreal.

In the afternoon Alain and I had picked up the wonderful idea to go snowshoeing in the forest. We both looked at it as a way to finish the last day of the year on a high note. We had never snowshoed before. But we figured we’d manage, since we’re both backpackers and all.

20161231_140930

Hot date with Celine’s dad.

Funny thing: his daughters never¬†call him ‘dad’. They always address him with his first name. But when they do, it sounds like Frau Farbissina, the right hand of Dr. Evil in Austin Powers, when she orders¬†to send in the clones.

fraufarbissina

“ALAIN!”

I had a first¬†walk with Alain in the snow on Christmas day. It’s nice to pick his brain,¬†but I also enjoy to quietly¬†be in his presence. And just let our energy fields play like arctic wolves in the snow.

Alain: “This is awesome. I will definitely add this to my bucket list.”

Me: “Oh yeah definitely!”

… “Wait, whut? Did you say add?”

Alain: “Yeah, I think it’s better to add than to remove.”

Me:

mindblown

Mind => blown

How deep, yet so simple. Alain just made my universe explode to expansion.

20161231_142358

Following in big footsteps here. Also literally.

While I was still recovering from my mind being blown, Alain suddenly paused in front of me and turned towards me as if he was going to release something ponderous onto the world.

Alain: “It’s time to make a snow angel!”

He let his body¬†fall into the snow as if he would plump down into a big bean bag. He didn’t really make the wings. The imprint looked more like a fat cherub, but the timing¬†was very amusing.

As we made our way back through this thick, ever spreading blanket of snow, with our big snow shoes on, I had a big deja vu.

picture-2017-01-02-om-00-49-00

Not that I had been here before but I definitely experienced something similar. Two years ago I rang in the New Year in Dubai. Exactly this time of year I was walking in the vast desert. Over endless hills of sand.

received_10204674111485723

Now I was doing the same in the snow.¬†On January 2nd 2015 I went to a water amusement park and tubed¬†down a huge water slide. January 2nd 2017 I went tubing in the snow. And I didn’t plan any of those activities, they just got handed to me by chance. Maybe by faith.

received_10204674113205766

I even visited a liminal space between life and death when I was in the UAE. Disguised as an art expo. 

I don’t know if this is all just a big coincidence or if history just has a way of repeating itself or wanting to be understood. Or¬†predicted even. But I’m¬†sure there is some spiritual analogy to it. Some hidden message I’m not ready to see yet. As if I can’t get¬†in tune with the universe because¬†of some bad reception or something. Something blocking the message.

reception

“Hello?”

Well since I have this newly found trust in the universe, I know I will get the message when I’m ready. But I will sleep with one eye open. I wouldn’t want to miss the rise¬†of the aquarius moon. Or the awaited ringing of the long-silent bell.

I’m ready for my¬†return.distanceyourselffromthenegative

emma-stone-nodding_lgcni4

That, and I would also like to add I won’t let anyone poo, pee¬†or even fart on me in 2017. That would be my new year’s resolution.

Just sayin’.

emma-stone-nodding_lgcni4

Enter narrator’s voice:¬†

And that’s how …

You: “Evvy, wait!”

Narrator: “How rude…”

You: “Did you take the red or the blue jelly bean?”

# ‘Narrator.007’ has left this conversation #

Me: “Neither. My stomach got all queazy so I switched to chocolate chip cookies. Don’t know what their metaphor was but they sure tasted nice! Don’t forget to write down what you want to create for yourself in 2017! Make it work like a charm!”

Nama-stay real y’all!¬†

XO

 

The cycling of life

Writing January 2015. My editor gives me the look. The look he gives everyone who comes up with a lousy idea in a bid to try something new, edgy and different for the paper.

lane-smith-lois-clark-adventures-superman-photo-gc

Editor: “Look Evelien, I admire your… ahm… creativity? But we’re not gonna turn you into a cross cyclist. Why the heck did you came up with that idea anyway?”

Me being deadly serious over here: “Because I want to challenge myself, write about every detail and make people think, push them to step out of their comfort zones. In which ever way they want to.”

lane-smith-my-cousin-vinny-movie-photo-gc

Editor: “(shakes his head with a big male chauvinist grin on his face) Let’s not, okay?”

“Now, let’s ‘cycle’ (ha-ha)

1

back to the daily reality guys. There’s been a murder 40K away from here. The wife apparently stabbed her husband with a pair of scissors and then tried to commit suicide but failed. She is now in the hospital where … ” His voice blurred into the background where it eventually muted. I was in my head. My silent bubble. My turmoil.

wonder-woman-bik

Dreamer.

My choice for becoming a cross cyclist came forward out of frustrated ambitions, melancholy and heartache.

I wanted to rise above myself. Reinvent myself. Be proud of something I achieved.

I felt so damn ordinary.

ordinary

Stuck in a daily routine. One where no one seemed to allow me to break free.

Not on my terms at least…

I was a woman shouting in the desert.

The idea was so pure and simple. And many times commercialized throughout my childhood years.¬†I’m a kid from the MTV generation. And all I wanted was to be Made.

MTV_Made_600.jpg

But nobody seemed to listen.

I gave in. I decided it maybe wasn’t the time or place to become something else. That maybe they were right, and I should just go back to being normal. “Being normal is already crazy enough.”

… They should just execute people who dare to say¬†that out loud.

A couple of months later I crashed. Hard.

Picture 2016-02-06 om 04.45.04

I had become so restless, I just couldn’t walk away from it any more. It was the big elephant in the room. Stampeding. I was looking for so much more. But I didn’t know what exactly. Or¬†where to begin at all. I was scared as fuck.

It’s like jumping into the deep blue without knowing you can swim. Or end up piranha bait.

piranijos-3dd-51ed4269d7a69.jpeg

Worst.Movie.Ever.

So -as you loyal readers of the blog already know- I quit my job and bought a ticket out of here. The furthest place I could imagine. Australia. And see from there.

vicharb3

<Seeing from there>

People blamed me I was running away from things. As if it was a bad thing.

But there are two ways to look at the picture here. What does an athlete do? Does he run away from the start? Or does he run towards the finish line?

ed2f6bd5-98e6-4117-a0dd-acae8e754c0f

“Touch√©”

In my head, yes, I was running away from something.

To run towards something else.

That made sense to me. And that’s all that mattered. No matter how tired I got of explaining myself to family, friends and coworkers.

i-quit

On my travels I adapted a minimal lifestyle. I shared a shed with deadly spiders, slept in the passenger’s seat of a car, drove around the Sunshine Coast in a Mini Moke,¬†kept the social encounters to a bare minimum, threw away clothes, insecurities and comfort zones. I let go. Trusted.

wild-reese-witherspoon

I read somewhere that people who trust things to faith are happier.

I ended up in China in a Kung Fu school to gain more self confidence and defensibility. Better reflexes too. I reached Japan and realized I was out of money. I worked with what I had. And the universe helped me out with the rest. My long travels brought me back to cycling this summer. I was back in the circus where I got hooked on adventure and fell in love with bicycles two years ago while I was working as a one-time Tour de France reporter. The cycle of life…

And the idea grew back on me.

picture-2016-09-19-om-09-26-48

TDF 2016

I want to ride my bicycle.

And participate in amateur road races.

Starting now my life will be concentrated to two wheels. Almost two years too late. But better late than never.

The greatest ticket to freedom, excitement, endurance, self knowledge, and the occasional fall on the face.

A metaphor for life.

“You make every tomorrow faster by acting today. So even if you aren’t at the same level as everyone else, there’s only one way to get there and it’s by staying optimistic and giving it a go.”
(Ella Cycling Tips)

Let’s not kiss the asphalt on the first date. Nor the hood of a car. Or the side mirror of a big truck.

Note to self:

Stay real.

Stay alive.

Stay on your bike.

XO

BIG SALE / 

COMFORT ZONES

They’re all out of fashion guys. I’ve stepped out of mine.¬†People are stepping out of theirs.¬†(Have you checked out srprs.me? It is the best invention ever!!! Well… Since the wheel, obviously. People are purchasing¬†holidays without knowing where they’re going. I think I will treat myself to a surprise trip for my birthday this¬†month!)

Why do we build up comfort zones? Materialistic ones and psychological ones?

american-beauty-stuff

Just think about all the junk you could get rid of. And how much you could actually gain from it.

Namasté all the way!

XO

You: Ahm Evyy?… Aren’t you forgetting something?

Me: Ehh…What?

You: Weren’t you supposed to tell us all about your¬†new boyfriend you referred to on Facebook?

Me: … I just told you all about him.

You: (…) Is … Is your bike your new bf…?

Me: … Mmyes.

You: giphy-4

To be continued.

Se7en

Following my latest blog post, I started thinking about relationships. And why we’re in them.

Not only is a vast majority of people I know reproducing, …

sheldon-cooper-spray-can

… there are also couples breaking up before my eyes. Good friends of mine who turn to me for relationship advice and who are just battered and bruised from the process of desperately trying to stay together.

Hence the question: Why are we in relationships?

We get brought up with the idea we’re half a coin. A Yin without a Yang. Someday you have to find someone, your missing puzzle piece. This idea is forced upon us by media, advertising, religion, parents, …It is such an obvious thing that we forget to ask ourselves: Why?

Aren’t we all complete persons already? And isn’t it possible that having a +1 could potentially devaluate our coin? You could be a gold medal trading it in for silver or bronze. Or tin.

Why are people so scared of ending up alone?

loveorloneliness

I haven’t been in a relationship for two years now. Only recently I feel like I am ready to potentially start a new one. I had my time to catch up with myself, put my own needs up front for a while, and now I feel I’m ready to walk the road with someone next to me. But I’m not forcing anything. The right relationship will come around when the time is right.

And that’s what some people just don’t have the patience for.

I feel like a lot of people settle just to settle.

1. For some it’s the outlook of unlimited sex.

2. For others the warranty of reproduction. Caused by unlimited sex.

3. For others it’s a sense of security/safety because they’re scared of being alone.

Usually things go well for a certain amount of time, but when that relationship comes under siege, it’s very hard to keep the ship afloat.

shipcan'tsink

ludes.gif

I have a friend who’s holding on to the cracks in her boat in order to keep the water out. She’s putting in all her effort and energy eventhough she knows the ship is going to sink. And the orchestra is already playing their final tune.

Then there is another friend who’s married and has kids. Her husband also has a second girlfriend. She knows, and he has promised to leave the other woman many times, but he still hasn’t, and they just stay together for the sake of staying together.

When it comes to relationships, is it sensible to bend not break? Or should we just stay true to ourselves and take the high road?

sinking minion

12-The-Wolf-of-Wall-Street-quotes

In my opinion there are 4 distinct types of relationships:

1. the full on romantic relationship (this one is all about soulmates and true love and is very rare to be seen in real life),

Picture 2016-08-09 om 13.42.43

2. transitioning relationship (band-aids to heal from a previous ‘full on romantic relationship’, aka ‘rebound’. Usually one focusses only on physical characteristics and compatibility and refuses to build a deeper connection with the person),

hair

3. the forced relationship (forced onto people by family, environment, themselves),

Picture 2016-08-09 om 13.41.14.jpg

4. the professional agreement (love is replaced by money and the relationship is merely a status symbol)

Leo

For me, option 1 is always the goal. I would really love to find that one true puzzle piece. To fall madly in love, to share the rest of my life with one person. But is that thought realistic? Maybe love is a losing game and we should all stop believing in fairy tales.

cinderalla

The older I get, I can’t help but thinking true love is something that died with Shakespeare. Monogamy is a hoax and ‘Till death do us part’ is just a metaphor for : ‘When I found someone better and leave you behind’.

Even the best things get boring after a while.

french fries

Why do we try so hard to ignore the equation if we already know the outcome?

Roses die.

You either make potpourri and appreciate it for the little scent it spreads or you throw them out and get fresh ones every once and a while.

Your loyalty towards someone changes when your needs change. And in that opinion we are living in a time where everything and everyone is easily replaced.

For instance: Why invest in a quality razor if you can shave almost equally good with throwables? You don’t have to worry about maintenance, customs, and the possibility of accidentally leaving it somewhere.

Maybe true love is more like true friendship. You respect each other. Adore each other. But stay individual persons with individual needs. Love is replaced with lust. Lust is to be find in different places. But you stay true to a friendship.

sandy

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big fan of the idea either. I’m just putting some observations out there, since ‘open relationships’ are all the rage these days.

But as far as I’m concerned a good relationship is all about simplifying things. Toning down expectations and putting things into perspective.

girls

Whenever I would meet someone I would always try to envision a future with that person and then decide if it would be someone I would want to invest in.
That’s silly, of course you cannot know from the very beginning. You’re only sabotaging yourself by creating these high standards, cause no way you will ever achieve them. And you will end up only disappointing yourself.

In that mind set I tried the concept of a summer love. It wasn’t a well thought plan or anything. It just happened here in Ibiza. He’s from Argentina and -at this moment- he makes me feel good about myself and I enjoy my time with him.

I don’t envision a future with him. And that’s the first time I’ve ever done that. It’s a bit weird at the beginning. But it’s all part of living life in the moment. And following your gut instead of your brain.

 

Knowing that, I finally gave up on the idea of ‘saving myself’ for mister right. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. This stays between you and me okay? I have had a total of 6 bed partners in my life. Now, I’m not proud of it, if it were me I would have only sticked to one but life pushes you to make some mistakes along the way in order to find what you are really looking for. Anyway, there was something about number 7 I didn’t want to give up to just anyone. So I saved myself. And lived like a nun while traveling Australia, China and Japan.

Friend: “Maybe you should drop the whole magic number nonsense. I already reached seven when I was 14!”

Well, now I can say… I finally reached seventh heaven ūüėÄ

seven

You: Gee Ev, you have to kiss a lot of frogs not f*** them!

happymonica.gif

And especially for this occasion. Music maestro!

XO

The mirrors are coming *

(* caution: this is a long one)

A friend recently stated: “The first month of traveling on your own, you’re going to be like a sponge. You’re gonna soak in every experience and get loads of energy from it. The second month you’re going to feel the first signs of homesickness. The third month the mirror comes. And you will be confronted with yourself in an often not so pleasant way.”

I think I have jumped straight to the mirror phase.

I must say, I have been avoiding mirrors until now. Or better: mirrors have been avoiding me. At the farm there was one little one in the bathroom. You could just see your face and a little bit of your neck and chest if you stood on your toes right. On the way to Melbourne the only mirror I had was the little make up mirror in the passengers seat of Pierre’s car. Sometimes even the rear-view mirror would do to put in my contacts or throw on a little bit of mascara. When we would go shower in public rest areas, or just pull over to go to the toilet, I always found it odd there weren’t any mirrors there. It’s weird, but the first day I was in the Tasmanian mountains with Helmut, he asked me to accompany him on a roadtrip to Hobart. To pick up a new wardrobe closet. And a full length mirror…

Picture 2016-03-04 om 04.23.48

It had just spent my first night in the woods. It was lovely. I woke up with the most amazing view from the caravan and saw the wallabies grazing on the lawn. My day started wonderfully.

“Haa, there you are finally”, Helmut shouted when I entered the house with my toiletries piled up in my arms. We would spend 6 hours in the car together that day. I reckoned that should give us some time to get to know each other. And maybe he could already hammer some wisdom into me. “We gotta get going if we want to make it to Hobart in time. Come, have breakfast.”

Me: “Err, I was thinking of having a shower first…”

Helmut: “A shaaaauwwer? (very German) Why do you need a shaaaaaauwer for?”

Me: “To wash my hair…And all…”

Helmut: “Don’t even think about using a hair dryer, i’m running this place on solar power.”

(Me rolling over the floor with laughter. Followed by an uncomfortable staring competition)

Helmut: “Well I ain’t laughing. Yesterday Maryam tried it and I had to tell her to never do that again. The voltage is way too high. You can wash your hair tomorrow and let it dry during the day. Come, sit down, I’m making you breakfast and I want you to follow closely.”

What I witnessed next was chemist lab level.¬†Helmut dug up two big empty breakfast bowls, put some chia seeds in there and poured it over with hot water. While he was letting it sink in, he dived¬†up heaps of giant white plastic pots. One with some green alkalizing powder, some with what supposed to be ‘pea powder from Belgium’ (never heard of this), another with beetroot powder, another with garlic powder, spirulina, raisins, almonds, …

Picture 2016-03-04 om 04.27.24

He poured it over with the oats he had boiled on the stove, added a big spoon of greek yoghurt, some berries and a nice teaspoon of Leatherwood honey. That was not only a 20 dollar breakfast sitting there. That was also enough food to get you through the entire week!

Picture 2016-03-04 om 04.27.34

Helmut: “Eat.”

I took a first spoon and I was… delighted. This felt like a great, healthy start to our day of bonding.

Helmut: “Alright, pack up your gear, we’re heading to Hobart.”

Once we were in the car, an old Mazda pick up truck which was rambling and shaking from every angle, I decided to give it to him straight up.

Me: “So seriously Helmut, why did you give me such a hard time coming here?”

Helmut: “Well because of the things I told you yesterday. I thought you were a glamour girl. But from the moment I started talking to you, I soon found out we would get along.”

“So tell me what do you wanna know?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Helmut: “Well most of you young females want to come live with an old guy like me because they wanna learn stuff. So tell me, what do you wanna know?”

Me: “Err…”

Helmut: “Well, I will give you a piece of advice to start with. From now on you will live by the four agreements, alright?”

1) Be impeccable with your word;

2) Don’t take anything personally;

3) Don’t make assumptions;

4) Always do your best.

And I’ll throw in a fifth one in for you: Change your posture, it’s horrible!

Me: “Pardon??”

Helmut: “You hunch. It’s from being curled up over your computer (he means my phone) all the time. Sit up straight. Your back will thank me later.”

The landscapes flew by. From the green meadows, to the nice coastlines leading up to the harbor of Hobart two and a half hours later. Not one minute we spent not talking. Me and Helmut were on the way to bonding alright.¬†We spent the entire time laughing, talking about life and filling each other in on our history and background. Turns out Helmut has had a very turbulent life so far. He got married 3 times and he could have died about 8 times. He ended up in a ditch with his Subaru, almost died in two motorcycle accidents, a skydive almost ended up on the wrong side of the tunnel, …¬†And when he talks about his grandchildren he’s just miles away from that grumpy Tasmanian Devil he likes people to believe he is.

Once I found out he has kids and grandchildren, I wasn’t afraid of him eating me anymore.

not_afraid_anymore_home_alone

(Weird shizzle: Helmut gave me the exact same jumper after cleaning out his old wardrobe closet. Yikes! What a coincidence!)

On the way back we stopped for ice cream. The shop was owned by a Belgian woman. It was the first time I spoke Dutch in a long time. It sounded funny. She kind of gave me a weird look once she found out I was living with a 73 year old guy who wasn’t my grandpa, nor any other family member. But I guess I better get used to that. The next day we went hiking in Freycinet National Park and I met Susan. A nice, fit looking lady. I couldn’t believe she was 50. She was tighter than me! Turns out she joined the army a few years ago. And she was very sporty as a kid as well. Muscle memory. Mine suffers from early dementia, by the look of it.

Susan tagged along with us that day. She came all the way from Launceston to accompany us on our hike. I reckoned she was an old friend of Helmuts. Later I found out she actually was a woman he met through an internet dating website and me and Maryam were actually witnessing their first date! That’s why Helmut was in such a fit mood that day. And why he was peacocking so much.

Picture 2016-03-04 om 04.37.10

You should see him go up that Mount Amos. I must say, that mountain was tough! A very steep climb over and through big boulders. No paths. No rails. Pure on muscle power. And -in Helmut’s case- a¬†walking stick. But then again, he got up there seemingly effortless. I was impressed.

mtamosblog

The way down was a little less impressing. We just had lunch on top of the mountain, made some photos and sailed down in a too confident mood. Me and Helmut kind of evoked the reckless kid in each other. And we were marching¬†down the mountain, acting stupid. While we were taking the steep walk down, Helmut suddenly slipped away, landing on his bum, sliding down faster than my eyes could follow. I panicked, since the rocks were so steep and slippery and dived in behind him to stop him. As I did, I slipped as well, smacked hard on my back and tailbone and slid down with him to -only meters later- be stopped by a big¬†branch that was sticking out of the rocks. Helmut and I looked at each other with big eyes welling up with tears of laughter. He was mostly laughing with me and my lousy attempt to save his ass. Mine was hurting pretty bad that night, while he didn’t have a scratch on him. Lucky bastard¬†with his nine lives…

The next two days at the house were gloomy. The weather had changed and the sun didn’t come out at all. It was raining. Instead of seeing actual showers, it looked like the landscapes were vaporizing, sweating. Mist surrounded the house and the temperature dropped. We even had to fire up the fire place. The first day I came down with a cold. I had experienced a thermo crash of about 20 degrees coming from Melbourne to Tasmania. My throat was sore, my nose stuffed. I wasn’t feeling it at all that day. In the afternoon I disappeared into the caravan and slept for more than three hours. I had a bite to eat and slept for another 9 hours.

Picture 2016-03-04 om 04.01.49

View from the house

The day after we were again locked up inside. The breathtaking view of the coastline from the house was nowhere to be seen. Helmut put on a little Neil Young, after he found out I liked it, and Maryam and I started baking cakes with everything we could find in the cupboard. The place smelt of carrot cake and chocolate fudge, mixed together with the odor of burnt cake mixture dripping on the base of the oven due to the lack of self raising flower. After one hour the cakes looked worse for wear. Maryam’s one was way too liquid and mine way too salty. I accidentally pinched in one teaspoon of salt instead of half a spoon. That does make a difference, alright. But they turned out looking amazing after we tweaked it a little and let them rest for another 30 minutes. They made a pretty good lunch the day after when the sun came back full power. Finally. First thing we did was hit the beach. White sandy beaches, turquoise clear water, … I felt in tropical heaven. Nobody told me Tasmania is such paradise!

Picture 2016-03-04 om 04.03.16

Bay of Fires

Picture 2016-03-04 om 04.03.08

Afterwards Helmut drove us up to one of the biggest waterfalls in Tassie. I took in the moment and decided I had made the most of my time in Tasmania. I could return to the mainland.

You: “Wait, whut? Didn’t you say you wanted to learn all about life and pick Helmut’s brain?”

Well, while spending six days with Helmut (and Maryam) I did learn a lot… But I didn’t get the answers I was hoping for.¬†Truth is, I’ve put way too much expectation on Helmut’s shoulders. I was looking for an oracle. Someone to explain me all about life in layman’s¬†terms since I’m looking so much for answers, directions, guidelines, … . I pictured Helmut to be the right fit. A big German dictator, who would hammer an iron clad Law of Life into my brain.¬†But that was wishful thinking.

That sunny beach day I encountered my first big mirror. I got out of bed that morning, very much excited about the sun making her long awaited return. During breakfast Maryam started talking about Iran, her home country. About the history, and how far her people have come. How far she has come as a person. And how rare her travel is for a woman from her background. Coming from a country where women only possess half the rights of men. To top that her mother is really ill so she’s juggling quite a lot of emotional things here. But she never ceases to keep enjoying life. I very much admire that in her. And at the same time she makes me feel uncomfortable because my struggles that are such big and powerful obstacles in my head -mostly caused by lovesickness- seem very trivial compared to her. I’m healthy, my loved ones are fine, I have loving friends and I’m doing great by myself… I shouldn’t have a care in the world.

My attention was drawn to a saying that was hanging on Helmut’s wall.

Faith of consciousness is freedom,

Faith of feeling is weakness,

Faith of body is stupidity.

Love of consciousness evokes the same in response,

Love of feeling evokes the opposite,

Love of body depends only on type and polarity.

Hope of consciousness is strength,

Hope of feeling is slavery,

Hope of body is disease.

I understood the words without really understanding them so I turned to Helmut for a little help. Layman’s terms, remember.

At first he started hammering the fact that all life is non-permanent and that we all DIE. There’s nothing we can do about it, DIE we will. Since nothing is permanent, we all must suffer. Since every enjoyable thing in life is ending. BUT, the ‘good news’ is, that too shall pass. Since nothing is permanent…

Then he started explaining that all feelings like love are mostly driven by lust and believing to find a soulmate is basically weak and stupid.

That’s where my mirror broke.

My eyes welled up. I reckon Helmut noticed, since he invited me outside to take the washing out and hang it up to dry. I was walking in front of him.

Helmut: “Why the tears?”

I turned around, stared into the big blue eyes with which he had looked three women in the eye when saying ‘I do’, and broke down. “If love doesn’t exist then what’s the point of living anyway?” (snif, snif)

leeloo

He gave me a big bear hug and I cried on his shoulder for a firm minute. It was a cleanse. And a realization:

I don’t have to agree with Helmut.¬†It’s not because he has experienced a couple of rough rides in ‘the love & relationship department’ that the same goes for me.¬†I am a person that is very much looking for love.¬†If I can’t give and receive love in this life, then there’s no point for me.¬†No matter how many heartbreaks I suffer -and I had my fair share-¬†I will never stop hoping. I will never stop having faith. In myself, relationships or life in general.¬†That depressed girl in Melbourne got something right. She IS worth of finding someone and being loved. Don’t let any nonbeliever or cynic ever change that thought, girl!

carrie.gif

From there on everything fell into place: I shouldn’t rely on others to spell everything out for me.¬†I am responsible for my own lessons, my own happiness and the best way of getting the answers I’m looking for is by experiencing and discovering by myself. I suddenly remembered a beautiful sentence Susan randomly flickered at me while hiking down Mount Amos.

“Go travel, the best way of finding yourself is losing yourself.”

The next day I packed my bag, booked a ticket to Brisbane and flew out there like the wind. Helmut probably didn’t get much of a Helpx out of me, but hopefully I kicked some wisdom into that cranium too. To go easy on the judgement.

I don’t know if it were Helmut’s poor washing skills but my jumper felt smaller that day. “You must have grown, he laughed.”¬†I guess I must have. I felt so much more confident after that little breakdown I suffered. I realized I have a lot of power inside me. And a very strong will. I just need to start trusting my gut more -it has never let me down so far- and not follow guidelines or recipes¬†so much. I didn’t follow any recipe¬†while I was baking that chocolate cake and guess what? I like my life very much like how that cake tasted.¬†With a pinch too much of salt.

Let’s hit the road, blondie. It’s gonna be me and you from now on. Whatever mirrors we encounter¬†on our way, we will try to conquer them together. In an ergonomically correct¬†way, of course: with a straight back.¬†But if we want to get rid of some subordinate feelings, let’s start with losing some of that excess baggage first. I decided to bring some of the clothes I had been dragging with me to the second hand shop. There were some great memories attached to some of those shirts and trousers, but the fact that my backpack felt lighter, already brought me so much more joy and freedom. Good tip: the first thing every self-made traveler should do is to learn how to live without comfort zones. (And Lonely Planets, DON’T BRING THEM.)¬†You’ll be surprised how damn comfortable that actually feels.

Picture 2016-03-04 om 05.17.59

Goodbye caravan I called ‘home’ for a week!

XO

PS: This => Picture 2016-03-04 om 03.39.12

brought me so much pleasure today: to read that my views are¬†booming! Thank you for reading the blog and for relating to it. I’m currently waiting on my plane to Brisbane. I had lunch in a caf√© and the guy at the counter had to charge me 4 dollars less due to a mistake with the cash register. “You’re winning today”, he laughed. Damn right! Two hours earlier I bought an orange juice at a local truck stop. I took a sip and spat it right back out again, to notice the date has expired with over a week. I went back in and asked (politely) if I could have a new one. I got double the size! That morning I had made breakfast for Helmut and Maryam. Something my mom always used to make on the first day of school: ‘Winning bread’, we call it. Because it’s old bread you ‘win’ by creating a new dish with it instead of throwing it out. I guess I set the tone right there. So thanks for reading! I hope you guys keep enjoying it!

Wanderlost

I got to thinking the other day. I wonder how you people experience my travels… You probably think I’m doing only fun stuff, that every day is a Saturday and that I’m living in a dream bubble that will make me unable to ever fit into everyday society again.

Well I must disappoint you.

I’m not just traveling. I’m struggeling. Hurting. Pushing myself to my limits. Every day.

I’m not taking a gap year to run away from things. I’m taking a personal year to run right into things. Face challenges. Asking reality to punch me in the face.

2015-05-25 11.37.23

You raising your eyebrows: “Well if you’re hurting, then why do we only see happy travel pics on your Instagram Ev?”

2015-06-20 02.33.06

Well, first of all, Instagram is built for these kinds of pics. You just present things in the nicest way possible. It’s fun to play around with it. To build a network. Getting to know other travelers who are as wanderlust as you through breath taking pictures. It’s meant to inspire. It is meant to be liked. If I post a pic of myself, comment ‘bad day, FML, everybody go to hell’. Then who’s gonna paint that little heart in that loving shade of red?¬†‚̧

If you want to look behind ‘the scenes’ of colorful Instagram posts and perfect filters. Go check out the blog. That’s where I like to put the genuine emotions into words.

I’ve been clear from the beginning that this is an honest blog about traveling and finding a destination in life. Well, I can inform you that¬†I had a first meltdown. In Melbourne. As you know, I’m traveling alone from now. And it’s not because I’m now flying solo I suddenly hit a low. It was just the first time, after being around a lot of people at the farm and all, I got a chance to realize some stuff. Since there is no one other than me, myself and I to distract me. I’ve realized I’m not only wanderlust. I’m pretty damn¬†wanderlost.¬†I wander this place not knowing where I’m going.

You raising your eyebrows again: “I thought that was kinda the point Evvy?”

2015-07-08 23.19.52

Well yeah, of course, but only now I realize: This is not the right way.

To be honest.¬†I hate these hostels. I hate it has all these people in them. And I hate the posters on the walls promoting these stupid binge drinking cruises. ‘This is your ticket to party and travel!’ I hate this shallow lifestyle and I hate being part of it.

2015-06-21 15.29.46

You adding a sigh (and maybe some alcohol) to those¬†highly raised eyebrows: “Well do you wanna go home??”

Benedict-Cumberbatch-kicks-off-the-Oscars-with-a-drink

Me: “Hell no!”

I’m glad I’m away. I’d rather feel ‘depressed’ (I’m trying to look for a less heavy loaded word) at the other side of the world, where it’s 40 degrees, rather than sit in that stupid country I call home.¬†But I need to get of the beaten track ASAP! Once you’re in the backpacker scene you kind of get pushed into a direction that expects you to hop from¬†one touristic hotspot to another. But actually, I don’t want this at all. I don’t want to spend heaps of money experiencing mind numbing tours and day trips that thousands, probably even millions of people have done before me just because travel agencies advise it as a ‘Must See’. Remember what happened on the Great Ocean Road? The Great Ocean Let Down is what it was to me. It just doesn’t fulfill me. And it is not the goal of my journey to begin with.¬†I strive to look for meaningful experiences, here.¬†The added value, you know?¬†I see this trip as a way to explore, experience different things in order to find my destination in life. I want to be challenged and I am willing to suffer. I’m shaking so much while I’m typing this since I just traveled all the way to the airport with 30 kilo’s strapped around my body. I could have just taken the tram to the bus station before coming to the airport, but sometimes, I just prefer the hard way. I think it’s all part of the trip. Pushing limits, see how far your mind and body can go. Stepping out of the safe waters and taking a plunge into the unknown.

I’m browsing every street, every corner, looking for something. Anything to feed my soul. I’ve noticed I’ve started looking for schools and stuff. I just really feel the need to learn and develop myself. That’s why I did some martial arts training while in Melbourne. That’s why I reached out to this guy in Tasmania, the so called cannibal who’s going to eat me for dinner. He calls himself a traveler in life. He has had a long one so far -he’s 70 or something- with lots of different directions and he is very much into zen. I just know I can learn so much from this person but I must say I am having some difficulties trying to convince him. Once he found out I was in Melbourne, he sent me an email asking me to reconsider coming over. Since his place is super secluded. And there’s nothing there but trees, mountains and animals – yes, also brown snakes and redbacks. Well, I felt really sad after this email. I am one thousand, one million!, percent sure I want to go there. I am dying to find a place away from these hostels, this busy road, to finally experience something real, and here he is writing me off as some shallow backpacker, who is looking for shallow thrills and nightly hookups. Don’t tell me what’s good or not good for me, the only person who knows what’s good or not good for me is me. I have been living with ME for 27 years. And here you are thinking you only need 27 seconds to pin me down. I’m much more than what meets the eye, mister. I just want to pick your brain.

1_2629_indianajones

That particular meltdown day in Melbourne I sat on my bunk and stared into the big nothingness for a while. When I got up I looked in the mirror and told myself to give us a smile. After all I have nothing to not smile about. While my eyes looked down, they spotted a booklet on the chair. ‘The Answers are Blowing in The Wind’, the cover whispered to me. It belonged to the British girl I’m sharing the room with who wasn’t in at the moment. I thought it was an actual book, so I was triggered to open it, but soon I found out it was some kind of diary. I didn’t mean to read it, but my eye caught a couple of bullet points on what seemed a ‘to do list for 2016’.

* Go to therapy (…)

* Try living by yourself (…)

* Go on a date. Be convinced you are worth of meeting someone and deserve to be loved.

* Eat with your hands without being afraid of germs.

* …

It was only then I saw there were wet anti-bacterial wipes lying next to it…

And it suddenly became more clear to me why she popped pills in the middle of the night. Maybe she’s on some meds to fight against depression or something…

Then it dawned on me. Maybe I’m not the only one who feels a little out of place here. Maybe we are¬†all pretty damn wanderlost. We all carry our backpack on a road that is mostly to be defined while walking it. Life is a journey and it is no¬†shame to be honest about this to yourself. A booklet. Or a blog.

With these comforting thoughts I went outside. And booked myself a boxing class for the next morning. I figured I needed to punch some negativity out of my knuckles before my zen retreat in the Tasmanian mountains. I don’t know when I will meet up with Helmut. But if he doesn’t want me I will knock on his door either way, look him in the eye and convince him that I’m worth his time and effort.

(Please still remember to send a heli over St Mary’s if you don’t hear from me in more than a week. I am still a little worried I might end up on his plate with a nice side of homegrown veggies)

XO