I’ve been writing new year’s posts since forever on this page! Excited. 2016 has been an odd year, politically horrible, personally instable. But! Whenever I do my Old Year’s Conclusions – which I like much better and find far less stressful than New Year’s Resolutions (all in Significant capital letters) I think about the year that has gone by and make up my mind. What did I learn in 2016? What could it mean for 2017? Obviously, not that much, since a year is not actually a set period of time inbetween fences, but for my big old brain that likes rules, it does feel that way. So, for 2016, I concluded: primary needs are more important than you’d think, and the year was a nice beginning.
Yes. As much as I’d like to think of myself as a cool nomad, travelling inbetween homes and adapting as I go, that feeling unfortunately doesn’t last long. A year was enough. A year was too much. Travelling is only fun when you don’t feel absolutely excruciated about going home because you don’t have a real place for yourself. Just as surviving on savings makes you think ‘oh, I don’t actually need anything but food and a roof, really’ for about 3 months. After that, it’s sad. I was a spaghetti. My limbs were spaghettis and my mind was on constant STOP ANY NEW INPUT mode.
This happens to the brain when I don’t have basic needs like a job and a room of my own: I block out any new thoughts that aren’t to do with arranging a job and a room of my own. Creative things like writing? PLEASE. No. Get them away. Inventing is bigass torture. I watched my favourite comfort shows on repeat – hi Gilmore Girls – and ate only easy foods. Or no food for hours. The only thoughts I had space for were my own clingy, attentionseeking ones. In 2016 I needed all the comfort and looked for them in the quickest places. Quick comfort is like fast food: it’s only real for about ten minutes, and then it just makes you feel hollow. At the end of all that horrible decisionmaking I managed to somehow finish my manuscript. Let’s say it was a day of extreme emotions. I don’t know whether it helped, but it’s been done.
Luckily, after Maarten left for Scotland and I had a few months of complete meltdown slash really good Sunday walks with incredibly kind and non-judgmental friends. Cats do not like to move to new places. They pee on things. Things that aren’t even yours. I say luckily because I think these autumn months were quite good for piecing truths together. I decided I wasn’t going to pressure myself to be creatively awesome before actually finding a home. And however stressful that was, I did find one. In November, I moved to Rotterdam! YES!
Only one thing
As far as I’ve learned about the importance of basic needs 2016 was a great schooling. I can lounge on my new mattress in my small bedroom, look at the skies of Rotterdam and think about inventing again. During all of my Sunday meanderings and talks with the great philosophers in my life, I discovered that I do not necessarily want to finish writing my first book. There’s only one thing I want to write. One story that feels urgent enough at the moment, pressing on my brain, filling me with excitement and good worries. Like jumping off a very high diving board, that one is. And with the beginning of my Adult Life this year, getting some stability, some of that pretty dough on the side, I can start working on the things I WANT in 2017.
I want I want I want
Travelling! I’m almost too embarrassed to say but I’m going to Australia in Feb & March to see my best Anna and then in August I’m going to Colombia to see all my dear Colombians! I can’t believe these are going to happen. I’m very easily impressed and in awe in life, so these, these are too big to comprehend.
Writing! No fear. Did I tell you about my book? Yes I did. And there will probably be many more half-finished projects to lie awake over and to put pressure on myself for and I’m never going to be a chill person but I’m going to DO THEM ALL.
Love! Making time for all of the kindhearted in my life as I’ve been doing forever. I love you. And of course, it will be extra special this year as I’ll be seeing ALL of my Bath people. Attachments.
Food! I’m trying to cook like a proper person again. I made ugly Portugese custard tarts and they’re fucking delicious.
Real time! Will this finally be the year I throw out Facebook?? What a massive cliffhanger! Find out in 3,2,1…