Dank farrik! Pixar gave me a life lesson on living just in time for the new year!

Right upon the finish line of this widely unpopular year 2020, a year with very few breakaways, lots of steep climbs and bone breaking descents -yes, I’m using cycling metaphors like I know what I’m talking about. A year where we travelled back and forth in our heads, picked up every stone of the past, analysed our history, our memories, our life paths, … where we did a round-up of our lives and arbitrarily and quite brutally decided to give it a thumbs….

Right in time for that finish line, Pixar gave us a much needed life lesson in…well… living.

The simple, yet underestimated act of living, to be more precise.

Now, I’ve always been a fan of the perfectly narrated wisdom behind the child like animations of Pixar, but this new movie, ‘Soul‘, is everything I ever wanted to see. More than a breath of fresh air, it is…

the kiss of life…

You: “Been hitting the Christmas brandy hard, haven’t you Evvy?”

Me: “No you fool, I’m blood sober! As a matter of fact, I’m thinking crystal clear here.”

You: “More like ‘Cristal’ if you ask me…”

Insert: the famous ‘Cristal champagne’ scene in the much recommended New year’s eve movie ‘Four Rooms’.

Me: “Just hear me out here for a sec!”

You:

Me: “Potentially more than this pandemic already has been to us, we have been ridiculously hard on ourselves this year. We have been scrutinising and condemning our only mission in life: to live.”

At least I know I have! I’ve been giving myself a hard time on whatever my purpose in life is, however I’m gonna make it to my retirement, what the funk it is I’m doing with this precious and short time on earth, how I will prevent gravity from pulling my face down and how I’m ever gonna achieve a comfortable state of just being at peace without having to actually go flatline.

Now, there were times in my life that I have felt enlightened, true followers were able to read about those moments in this very blog, but I’m only human, and so there have been moments that I have felt defeated and down and downright awful about myself. This year was a trialling year like that. The few moments I found peace and zen were, the next day, disrupted by a general discontent about how I had spent my life until now, the life choices I had made and sometimes I felt like I had gone all wrong about it. At times I developed a deep nostalgia for more innocent times. Times I would be at my parents’ place, filling my free time watching tv, playing video games with my brother or basket ball outside in the court yard with my dad.

It’s safe to say I have always had these moments of intense grief over my childhood and teenage years being over, but this year I guess I have generally felt more unfulfilled than other years. And this for absolutely no good reason.

This entire year I thought this pandemic was raising the demons in my head, that it was bringing me down, while it was merely forcing me to face some kind of other bad here: me!!

I’m the master of puppets. I give air and oxygen to things that are long gone and should have been long buried. I have been obsessed with holding on to the past and past glories and past achievements and past heart aches that I have been way out of focus of where I am going today, tomorrow, even the day after that.

I have been obsessed with things that made me disconnected from life.

I always thought I needed to have a defined purpose in life to be able to be truly alive. To be able to enjoy being alive, even to be worthy of being alive!

Like Buffy is the slayer or Luke is a Jedi.

Their purpose is the reason why they are alive and continue to be alive, right? Without that purpose, you’re just a lost soul. Roaming the memories of the past, where everything was still innocent fun and where adulthood hadn’t yet poisoned this mortal experience.

Well no!

That’s not the way to go, dank farrik!

Like the movie ‘Soul‘ beautifully explains: purpose is not your spark. It is not what makes this life worth living. It’s being awake. It’s about living life eyes wide open and generally being a good person!

You: “You’re severely catholically damaged, aren’t you? What’s next? You’re gonna tell us how to be good samaritans from now on?”

Me: “Okay, enough with the irony here!”

All I’m saying is, 2020 is not to be blamed for you feeling shit. 2020 was probably just trying to make you see how to live life regardless of dramatic plot twists.

For example: if you’ve somewhat discovered this year that you think you’re a pathetic loser just because you have a fancy diploma but not the -according to society’s standards- ‘right’ job to go with that, then that’s on you, not on 2020. You could choose to be perfectly happy with that ‘run-of-the-mill’ job because maybe the ‘right’ job could be wearing you out, could be extremely stressful, could be not the right match for you, could dominate your entire life, hold you hostage, numb you, just for the sake of being able to call yourself ‘accomplished’.

Don’t let society’s standards rip out your soul!

Why do so many people reach for the stars, but feel so unfulfilled once they’ve got it all?

Because all of that is NOT what makes you spark.

It is the good old act of living that does. It is discovering beauty and wellbeing in every day things, even in a locked down world, there is beauty to be found.

Nature is still out there, take care of it.

Your friends are still out there, reach out to them.

Your spark is not going anywhere, just because the clubs are closed or you can’t make a trip around the world.

If 2020 should have given us anything, it is the basic understanding of that. The gift of finding joy in the tiniest of corners.

Stop looking for what defines you and just start enjoying life regardless of the given context.

Jazz is about improvising and about going with the flow, right?

So just let your hair down. And let your…

Now go outside and count your blessings and the birds!

But no processed foods for the birds, cuz that might kill them.

…And potentially you too.

Only good wholesome (and preferably vegan) food.

Also for thought!

Merry Holidays.

XO

And here’s a banger for you to go wild on today:

A Big Blönde & Clueless Blessed Berlin Birthday Bash Baby! And something with a Book …

Yesterday was my BIRTHDAY Blonde & Clueless’ers!

I had a great time waking up early, bumping my toe against the chair, stumbling over the wire of my hair straightener almost landing my face against the door.  #Blöd&Clueless

You: “So Evvy, did you get a lot of prezzies?”

Me: “Ahm no, we’re not in Bavaria…”

lloydcough

You: “I mean presents…”

Nope.

But that’s not what birthdays are about once you turn 29. It’s about enjoying the company of your loved ones, friends, having a little wine, …

wine

What rhymes with 29? A big ass glass o’ wine! 

But I am very excited about one present I got.

And it happens to be the present I gave to myself…

Yesterday morning I went to the print shop around the corner to print….

MY VERY OWN BOOK!

That’s right. I have written a book. My debut as an author. And probably the only one I will write since it’s my poor little life story until now.

Well partly…

Well 90%…

Or at least 40%.

I should reconsider my PR before I make this official. Some parts are rather… shocking.

Anyway back to my memoires. Knowing me a little you probably assume it’s chick lit right? NOPE! No ‘Sex And The City’ or ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’. I wish I had the brain to write such bestsellers. I would be filthy rich.

mileymouth

My story turned out a little bit more complex and therefor I will never earn big ass $$$$

“No no no, positive thoughts Evvy!” What you reflect to the mirrors of the Universe, you will get back tenfold!

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So I am happy to tell you it’s THE BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN! Move over J.K. Rowling. I’m taking over your throne with a BANG!

bangbang

You: “So Evvy, what’s it about exact-ly?”

Well, it’s a feminist manifesto, disguised as a tragic love story.
(Oh right that reminds me: #metoo )

It’s a ball of wisdom disguised as a naïve narrative. 

It’s a BESTSELLER disguised as a BOOK! 

Ok, that last thing was maybe a little exaggerated. But I am pretty sure I have written the new Bible. This is some Ultra New Testament shit fo sho.

You: “Has it got anything to do with the blog?”

OMG yes! How did you know? I am so proud of you You-San! I taught you well. Yes, that is exactly right. The story I have told on this blog, referring to the Australia-China-Japan-France-Canada-Berlin bit, is basically the chronology. So it is very much about traveling for wisdom and a lot of references to spiritual and paragnostic pickings, the Universe, religion, philosophy, etc. But it is also a touching love story of which you don’t know the depths because I never mentioned that on the blog. Truth revealed: The blog isn’t even half the story.

Anyway, I think it’s super cool, I am very happy with it unregarded of what will happen to it now. My options being:

  • publishing it
  • handing it out for free
  • burning it
  • passing it on to my (grand)kids… Or cats
  • keeping it under my mattress…
  • … more suggestions welcome!

I want to thank my awesome friends and roommates here in Berlin for speeding up the process. My main goal to come to Berlin was to write this book. I needed to remove myself from my comfort zone and close myself off somewhere else. As in a creative bubble or fever cabin to sweat this story out. I gave myself until the end of the year to write it but I started 18th of August and finished 18th of October. Right in time for my birthday.

workworkwork

My new room worked it’s magic on me. Ever since I left Prenzlauer Berg and moved to Wedding the writing process shifted into a higher gear. I want to thank Amos for letting me stay in his room and leaving his creative AMOSPHERE! Also for wishing me good luck on the writing while he was away. By the way, check out his record label Index:records he’s a real mean music maestro.

And of course my in house roomie Addison who will become world’s most famous music producer one day. You can check out his COSMIC COMPOSITIONS on Facebook, Instagram, the whole shebang. And give the pages a like when you’re there alright? Very creative house here!

I am sad I will be leaving this place tomorrow but luckily I already have a new room to move to and thus the story continues!

Well the story of my life, that is. The book is already printed and I don’t want to make any more adjustments 🙂

So for  now I say good bye. Until next time. Let me know if you would like to read my book. Any suggestions on what I should do with it next are very welcome.

By the way spanks a lot for the mad birthday wishes y’all! ❤ 

Tschüssie! 

pretzel

XO

 

Fire

(! Caution: this read could cause altitude sickness. And could contain traces of drugs, nuts and nudity.)

I touch the fire and it freezes me.
I look into it and it’s black. 

Why can’t I feel?
My skin should crack and peel.
I want the fire back.

(-Once More, with Feeling
episode 7, season 6, 
Buffy the Vampire Slayer-)

People: “How do you do it? I’m already working my 6th consecutive Sunday in order to pay my bills. Damn girl, you’re living the life. How silly are we.”

People: “So you’ve traveled half the globe, went directly to the Tour de France and are now living the bohemian life in Ibiza. What’s next on the agenda, Ev?”

Me: “Worrying. Potentially with the outlook of living in a box for a while.”
People: “Sure. Since you live such a hard life party . LOL”.

Reality catches up on you like an FBI agent wanting you to comply to the rules everybody has to comply to.

mranderson
And it seems it’s time to go back to every day life.

That cruel, pitiless place that is nothing like the colorful sketch we see in romantic comedies or read about in novels.

It looks like I will stay in Antwerp for some time to come, to recalculate and find a temporary job to pass time. And top up my finances. (Since tax payers don’t pay for sabbaticals anymore.)

Money makes the world go round. And makes me go around that world. And since I’m not a gay dancer receiving 500 euro tips from Arabic bobos in Ibiza night clubs, I have to find a real job and walk the line for a while. The production line.

shes-all-that-laney-falafel-hat-job

It didn’t help splurging all my ‘Tour de France’ money in Ibiza. But that’s all part of living in the moment and leaving the worrying for after.

Err…Yeah, I didn’t really succeed in doing that last part either.

The idea sounds simple. Just living in the moment, sand between my toes, sun bathing, shutting down the hard drive, recharging the batteries, hakuna matata.

But, the truth is, I have always been a terrible in the moment liver…

fatty-liver

Due to some serious binge-traveling I knew I would be left with a financial and possibly emotional hangover. It was immanent. The thought was everywhere I went. While I was standing on the dance floor. While I was sitting on the back of the scooter clinging on to my best friend Cedric like grabbing on to life. While I was lying on the beach… Everywhere I looked I saw people enjoying a hard earned holiday. When I flew over me, I saw escapism. Topless escapism.

Picture 2016-08-18 om 17.18.02
Somebody who escaped everyday life in order to live in a dream bubble for a while -with unsupported breasts!- but soon that bubble would explode like Cinderella’s carriage that would turn back into an ugly pumpkin. And she would be left in the gutter. With one shoe. And saggy tits.

My head was under attack with these thoughts. At first I thought I was just PMS-ing.

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Picture 2016-08-20 om 12.33.06

But it was something much worse.

I got hit by melancholy.

anchorman

Wiki: Melancholy or nostalgia is a state of mind that tends towards depression and is characterized by a sad look on the past or an unfulfilled desire.

Somebody else puts it this way:

I think the eternal melancholy of grown ups is: the desire for deep tenderness. Tenderness that goes so deep there is no worldly problem that can come between that. Giving everything. Receiving everything. Always receiving. It sounds immature but I think the base of melancholy is the lack of maturity. The desire for eternal protection.”

(Goosebumps, ammiright?)

It’s about 15 years ago I first came in contact with the word ‘melancholy’. (…) During an episode of Dawson’s Creek.

1997 The cast of "Dawson's Creek." From left to right: Katie Holmes (Joey Potter), James Van Der Bee

I was too busy with the superficial love story and was just waiting for Joey and Pacey to finally kiss that I didn’t really give a lot of attention to Dawson’s obvious teenage depression. I just thought he was a big nag really.

first world problem
Only now: it seems I’ve come down with the Dawson syndrome myself. THE WORST PMS EVER!

According to the internet:
Melancholic
people are emotionally sensitive, perfectionistic introverts.

No shit! I am emotionally sensitive and a big time perfectionist. Otherwise I wouldn’t have given up ‘the perfect job’, ‘the perfect relationship’ for some more meaningful life I know is just out there somewhere.
Reality is my biggest (fr)enemy. I want my dreams to be reality. But reality doesn’t domesticate that easy. And the introvert part? Well I don’t like people that much so I live in my own head a lot. Thinking, dreaming, worrying, … Worry if I will ever make it in this life. If I will find a balance between providing for a future while not forgetting to live and breathe and enjoy the ride.

carrie-bradshaw-annoying5

You: “Then why didn’t you just stay a newspaper journalist with a stable life and a fix income. Do you know how much people would kill to be what you were?”

Well I couldn’t.
Exactly one year ago, Angelo started a fire in me.

20150807 Angelo Valkenborgh - Mokri Potok
Deep in the Slovenian woods he taught me there is more to life than working your head off, paying bills and being a slave to society. “If you don’t like where you’re at in life, change the decor. If you don’t like the road that’s laid out for you, pave your own. If you don’t like the future that’s ahead of you. Draw a new one. The secret of leading a rich life is to let go. And find wealth in less.”

I was spoilt to land a job like that at such a young age. My golden ticket was handed to me, just like that. But I felt I was achieving for someone else. I was not living for me. So I went to confront, challenge and comfort myself. Comfort myself with the thought I stayed true to my gut. And dared to be me. Free. Instead of trying to be someone I was not. Caged.

But that morning in Ibiza. I was mourning.

IMG_2016-08-05 12-08-44

The fire Angelo ignited was slowly dying. Like somebody took a piss on it.

It was only later I discovered the new moon had poisoned me…

You: ??

Apparently there was a new moon rising. And apparently ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, ets.) take control during a new moon. New moon night is a golden opportunity for the ghosts to cause distress to man. It’s only since meeting Helmut in Tasmania and studying some Chinese philosophy in China I started to pay attention to the moon. And it being a carrier of human emotions.

My thoughts churning: “I’m alone. Alone with my responsibilities. And I’m tired. I’ve traveled so far. I have gained. And I have lost. Was it all worth it? I would love to be carried on a meandering river. Like baby Moses. Knowing I will reach a destination. Instead of taking this thorny road*.”

* Remembering a passage in ‘The Art of Learning’, a book I was reading, by Josh Waitzkin:

“To walk a thorny road, we may cover its every inch with leather. Or we can make sandals.”  (Indian parable)
Picture 2016-08-19 om 14.40.28

goose_with_sandals

Make sandals. Got it. 

Some people admire me for making the decision. Throwing away securities to dig deeper, find a deeper meaning, savoring life to the fullest.

But that morning in bed, I couldn’t help but ask myself:

Is it nobel to live according to your ideals? Or is it just dumb, self-destructive and naive?

Is this the time I wake up, lose my innocence and change into the pessimist everybody else has already become?

joker

error

I mean how stubborn can you keep holding on to something?

I just wanted to crawl into a big sweater. One that fits my knees, curl up and whisper: “Life be gentle on me. Don’t drown me. In regret, financial debt or other heart ache. Life be gentle on me. Don’t drown me. In regret, financial debt or other heart ache. Life be gentle on me. Don’t …”

unsupported

 

Argentinian summer love*: “Hey Ev, wanna watch the meteor shower tonight?”
(*For those who don’t know, I had an Argentinian summer love in Ibiza. See previous post!)

Me: “M…meteor shower? Yeah, sounds great.”

“…Do I have to wear a bra?”

Argentinian summer love: “Err..no…”

That night at dinner, I turned to the Argentinian for a piece of advice. Since he studied Psychology.

Yes…:

mygirl

And sexually…

Anyway.

He’s a big realist. The opposite of the big dreamy drama queen I can be. And a Fire sign. Exactly what I needed.

lostintranslationlostintranslation1

To him, life is just life. You don’t have to have it together always. You just have to always live. (…) And if you fail to do so, take some drugs, it will lift your spirits right up and get rid of your anxiety.

firetrip

Me: “Err, that’s not really my cup of tea. I mean, I thought about taking a pill in Ibiza, like that Mike Posner song suggests, but I changed my mind. I don’t do drugs. I’ll just stick to this bottle of wine.”

Argentinian: “Alcohol is potentially the worst drug out there. It’s just because it’s accepted and drugs aren’t that people think it’s okay. Coke is a natural plant. In the 19th century cocaine was to be considered a panacea for everything from headaches to indigestion to aches and pains. For instance, it helps against altitude sickness. I chewed some coca leaves while I was climbing Machu Picchu.”

Me: “Uhu.”

Argentinian: “A lot of brilliant scientist and geniuses established their best work under the influence of drugs. Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was an avid cocaine fan. The guy who discovered the double helix structure of DNA was under influence of LSD. Same goes for Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and The Beatles.”

“You think you’re healthy cause you don’t take drugs? There are enough bad chemicals in food and pharmacies. Society has each and every one of us medicated and drugged. And it’s often worse than we think. Relax, I’m not saying we should all shoot heroin.”

Me thinking: “I’d rather have you shoot me with your loaded gun.”

loaded gun.gif

Argentinian: “I’ve seen you worrying. You’re absent. You live in your mind too much. Let me just tell you: the future is not here yet. No matter what you choose, there are no bad choices. Whether you choose to leave or stay, it is going to be good.”

Me: “Okay cut the psychobabble bullshit, Freud. Let’s watch the stars and touch each other!”

I don’t know if it was the wine or the meteor chemistry above our heads but I was slowly starting to come… alive again. One scooter ride later we were on the roof of our Spanish hacienda. It was pitch dark. Only the sky was lit in an emerald glow and every 5 meters street lights were stitching the sky deck to the earth. While the bright celestial fire balls were bravely sliding down the atmosphere, something changed inside me. I felt a flow. -No, not my period.- I was feng shui-ing again. The bad demons of the new moon had left the building and I was released from evil spirits. (…) And pants.

That night on the roof, …

I got the fire back.

XO

People: “Gee Ev, you talk so openly about your intimate… thoughts. Aren’t you ever embarrassed to show yourself this naked? Or afraid of what your parents might say?”

Me: “Err no, my parents raised me this way and I don’t take myself seriously. At all. I am a free spirit. I’m breaking down my barriers, releasing my inhibitions. And spreading the word of self-love, self-development, self-reflection and self-deprecation.

 

 

When life gives you lemons…

lemons

be creative.

 

Same goes for watermelons.

watermelons

Let’s just all embrace our blonde/cluelessness together! 

cable-guy-jim-carrey-visits-matthew-broderick-in-jail-review

Peace out.