maandag 1 januari 2018

New Year, New Me?

Dear all,

It has been a very long time since I took the time to write a blog post. I see the last time I wrote here was after my tonsillectomy. Dear lord, I have much to tell... I honestly don't know where to begin... I'm writing to you now with a huge hangover from the night before, New Year's Eve in Amsterdam.. Which was great, but I've seen better days.. Okay, so, here goes, my life of the past year:

Alright, so... Pretty soon after my last post, I got back together with my ex. This went on until he had to go to New Zealand for 3 months in February 2017. He broke up with me again, because, in short, he didn't think we were in a stable relationship and he wouldn't be able to maintain the relationship in a healthy way while in New Zealand. This hurt me a lot. This was a guy I loved more than I have ever loved any man.

But on the bright side: I got an internship at the International Court of Justice in the Hague for 3 months starting at the end of April! My first internship ever! I was over the moon about this. I remember how nervous I was on my first day. But everyone at the ICJ made me feel at home straightaway. My time there has been very enjoyable and interesting.

Time passed and my ex boyfriend came back from New Zealand at the end of May. He wrote me an email saying he missed me. I needed a lot of time to think... In this period I was also applying for a Master's program in Groningen, where he lives. So I figured, I would see him anyway when I would come to live there. I decided to tell him that I couldn't see him, but maybe in the future, when I would be settled down in Groningen and have my own friends there.

As fate would have it, things went a little different than I had imagined. I had applied for a traineeship at the European Parliament but I never expected to get selected. In July however, I got an email saying I was on the shortlist for a traineeship at the European Parliament. I had to send my documents to them, and within 3 days after sending them my documents I got an email saying I was selected for a traineeship at the EP in Brussels!! I was so unbelievably happy and excited! Living in Brussels and working for the EU had always been my dream since I studied European Studies. At that moment though... I had already been in contact with my ex again because I really wanted to see him. I missed him terribly every day. And now I had to tell him I wouldn't be moving to Groningen anytime soon..

A lot of things needed to be decided. I had to cancel the room I had found in Groningen, I had to sort things out with the coordinator of the Master I had been selected for in Groningen. It was the Master Clinical Forensic Psychology and Victimology at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen which I really really wanted to do. I didn't want to risk losing my place in the Master, as it was a selective Master. So I talked to the coordinator and study advisors of the Master and we decided I would stay signed up for the Master and wouldn't lose my place, but that I would only follow courses from March 2018 on, so the Master would take me 1,5 years. Furthermore, I needed to find a room in Brussels. Fortunately, this didn't take much time and I'm very happy with my landlady who offered me the room and whom I live with in Brussels. I also got a temporary job as an administrative assistant at the ICJ in August to earn some money, before I would leave for Belgium. And oh, did I mention, I told my ex face to face that I would be leaving for Brussels in October and we got back together, as we just couldn't stay away from each other. Until he left me again in September, mostly because of Brussels.

For privacy reasons, I will leave out most of my feelings about this last thing. I know what a lot of people are thinking and I know a lot of people think I was naive and stupid to get back with him. To these people I'd like to say: What do you know about me or my life? What do you know about the relationship we had? What do you know about our 5 years on and off together? What do you know about real love? You have no right to judge me. People look at the facts they know of and judge, without knowing anything about the moments we were together, the things we said and did, our memories together. People assume we were miserable together or a really bad match, just because we have broken up a couple of times. That's not the case. We've been super happy together at times. No relationship has ever made me as happy as this one has. We often had so much fun together. Sometimes I felt like I was in paradise. I had nowhere else I'd rather be and no one else I'd rather be with. Love is a drug. It's beautiful, passionate and horrible, but at least it makes you feel like you're alive. And only real love like this can hurt as bad as it does and make you take unwise decisions. Only real love can break your heart. Saying 'no' to someone I love is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

This was a dark rainy cloud that hung over my time in Brussels. After breaking up, I had to move to Brussels within a few weeks. There wasn't a lot of time for mourning my failed relationship. This in combination with the long days full of work and social activities at the European Parliament plus the thesis on Srebrenica that I'm writing, gave me a lot of stress. Brussels is wonderful, inspiring, international and exciting. Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of time to make friends, because I was writing my thesis in the evenings and on the weekends, or at least, attempting to. And friends were just what I needed in this period of my life.

But at least my work in the Parliament was very interesting and exciting. I am a trainee at DG Communication and I work for the Dutch sector of the Visits and Seminars Unit. This means that I give presentations/briefings to Dutch and Flemish visitors about the EU and the Parliament. I also help out with administrative work. I email and call people who want to come visit and I book the visits sometimes. I also help out with organizing seminars. In my free time at work, I go to conferences, lectures, parliamentary committee meetings, workshops, plenary sessions sometimes and meetings with other trainees. I also give Dutch lessons to other trainees and I am in the Language Cafe committee, the Meet & Greet Subcommittee of the Career Committee and the Euroball Committee. I know, it is a lot and there aren't a lot of free moments in my day. When I get home from work, I usually already go to bed at 10 PM. The stress can be so exhausting, that I sometimes don't have the energy to go out in the weekends. And don't get me started on the Place Lux evenings on Thursdays. Every Thursday evening lots of people who work at the EU institutions come to have a drink at Place du Luxembourg and I drag myself to these cafes at some Thursdays after work..

Fortunately, I did meet some very nice people in Brussels as time passed on, not thanks to my thesis. In December, I had to defend the first version of my Master's thesis in Amsterdam, and miraculously, I passed for my defense!! Later on in December, we went to Strasbourg for 4 days for the Parliament's monthly plenary session in Strasbourg. I had been excited for this trip for months. But of course, knowing me, I became ill the very moment we left for Strasbourg. The first 2 days I felt bad but I was able to work, so I kept going to work, walking a lot in those huge buildings and participating in all social activities. But on Tuesday evening I went to a dinner that lasted just too long, and late in the evening I felt feverish. I decided to stay in bed the next day and sleep.. a lot. So I missed the Sakharov seminar and the Sakharov prize ceremony, the human rights award I was so much looking forward to. On Thursday we drove back to Brussels, and I'm sorry Strasbourg, but I didn't see a lot of you.. Next time I will.

Christmas holidays came and it was really time. Although I need to write the last version of my thesis, it is just an amazing feeling to finally have no work obligations other than my thesis and to be able to sleep in if I want and to see all my friends in the Netherlands again. I celebrated Christmas with my parents and sister and New Year's in Amsterdam with friends.

It is time for New Year's resolutions now.

Well, I'm gonna be realistic. I know I'm not perfect. I know I'm not gonna stick to resolutions when I make them. So I'll try to be as realistic as I can be:

- I want to speak my mind more and stand up for myself, without being afraid of losing people as my friends or lovers.

- I want to be myself more in front of friends, but also acquaintances.

- I want to spend more time on physical exercise and sports.

- I want to spend more time on some of my hobbies, like this one :)

- I want to study and read more.

- I want to eat more healthily.

- I'd like to meditate more.

- I want to only be with the people who make me feel happy and confident.

- I want to be less afraid of what people might think of me.

- I want to only be in a relationship with someone who loves the real me, with all my flaws.

- I want to do the best I can for my traineeship the remaining two months. My traineeship ends at the end of February.

- I want to try and keep a good balance between studying, seeing friends and work.

- I want to minimise my stress by avoiding stress factors and by beginning my work on time.

- I'd like to not freak out about becoming 27 in May!!

So, what's the plan for this year?

Well, my traineeship ends at the end of February. In March I will hopefully move to Groningen and follow some courses there. Maybe, just maybe, I will return to Brussels in May for an internship at a law firm, but that's not at all certain yet. Furthermore, maybe, just maybe, I will return to work at the ICJ in the Hague for a few days per week starting in March. I was asked for my availability. After the summer, I will stay studying in Groningen and I will at some point write my thesis for my second master (Clinical Forensic Psychology and Victimology) and do another internship. I really can't wait for this master!! Also.. I hope to save enough money for a trip to the US this summer, but we have to wait and see... That would be so awesome!

The only thing really sad is that I won't live in Amsterdam the coming years. I love Amsterdam. It's one of my favorite cities and I've been living there since I was 18. It's the city I know and where most of my friends live. In Groningen I'll be further away from my parents and friends, which is also an adventure of course.

I don't know how to finish this long post. My plan for the coming days is to write a good final version of my thesis and keep exercising and working out. Then, on Sunday my holidays will end unfortunately and I'll be travelling back to Brussels.

I wish you all a very happy new year, a year full of great adventures, wisdom, health, love and happiness!!



Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten