Hi there, can I talk to you on something rather heart-crushing today? I have to remind myself that I’ve made progress and that I’m doing my best. Last week was a tough week for a lot of people, just as tough as any other week I presume. Kate Spade, the little sister of our queen (of the Netherlands) and Anthony Bourdain took their own life last week. I do not know these people personally. Yet, it was yet another heartbreaking reminder that things like money, success, fame, and opportunity do not change what is happening in your head. A reminder that we need to take care of our mind, just as much as our body. We need to throw out the “what do you have to be depressed about” mindset in ourselves and our society.

Hear me out, I do not want to talk about mental illness right now. I never want to glorify mental illness. I never want to tone down the severity of mental illness. And I do not want to explain more about my own mental state in this post. Right now I am not quite sure how to put into words how I feel about this personally. Heck, I feel like there is hardly any need for me to add words to all this so maybe I shouldn’t. But I hope the grim public stories remind you that there are so many more sad stories that don’t make the headlines. Please, please, please (!) be kind to yourself and the people around you. Be watchful of those you love, including yourself. You never know what people are going through.

That being said, I do really want to talk about doing the things that make you feel alive, and like you’re in touch with yourself — in a really good sense. I want to discuss that when whatever is getting to you… there’s ways to deal. Even though you don’t feel like that. For me, a big one (next to therapy, medication and thoughtful friends and family members) was books. Oh books! Glorious, glorious books!!

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May… I wonder, May might be my favourite month of the year — May is one of those ‘life-in-technicolor!!’-kind of months. It’s full of hope and potential. There’s lots of national holidays, great weather and pretty flowers in bloom. It feels like a great diversion from what’s getting to us in our daily lives. Or maybe, lovely motivation to try and change the things we want to change. Somehow spring is a wonderful reminder of how beautiful change can be.

It’s these monthly recaps that make me realise how fast time goes by… but let’s not get all doom-and-gloom now and go on to the fun stuff! It’s a mess this time, but then… so is life, right? Life is life is life, eh?

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