Almost a month

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I’ve been home for almost four weeks.

I’ve done a lot but it feels like I haven’t progressed at all in my mind. I got some odd jobs, keeping me busy. It drives me crazy to have nothing to do and a day spent home feels like a painful sting.

Yet, I’ve done quite a lot of driving. Even a small, tiny tiny road trip through the alps. Got myself into some roads I wouldn’t have dared go (but let’s be honest, in the mountains you can’t really decide to do a u-turn in a narrow, cliffy path. You just grind your teeth and go down, hoping there’ll be enough space when another car shows up in front of you). But it felt good. It felt good to see the mountains, to be in the driver seat (bye car-sickness in the Alps!) and to just sing along with a friend on a countryside road. My parents did a good job. They made me like driving and I’m appreciating the long drives in the region.

When I came back home, I was a bit anxious about driving alone and being the only one in the car. But my mom desacralized the process well and only one week after, when my parents were gone, I was using the car everyday for small trips in the region.

 

I have to say, this is a curious summer for me. I have nothing planned. No big country to go visit, no faraway trips or destinations. It feels less like a punition than last year where I was bitterly looking at acquaintances travelling the world while I was working. I’m working too this summer, but less intensely. Let’s say that this time, I’m the one welcoming people instead of the one going to places. Some friends are visiting in July and August, and they will be my pieces of holiday.

I’m trying to see it as my last long-stay in Lyon before I really lift off for somewhere else. So it’s maybe not a bad thing that I’m there all summer. For one last time (hopefully?).

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I don’t want to feed any feeling of inferiority that I cultivate when looking at my friends’ internet feed so I better convince myself well that I’m not wasting my time!

So this month, I’ve improved my driving and even came to like it. I made interesting encounters at work, found myself in crazy (and some boring) situations and it was worth it. I barely made any good money though, and the free time I have between each job is haunting me. Uuuugh, wasted time for nothing.

Other thing that I’ve done is work on my tanning. But the hours spent lying under the sun also feel like torture and just plain boredom. It’s true, I have some nice shades now (and some very very nice burns) but damn, can tanning be any less interesting? I can try to read a book, listen to podcasts or sleep, it just doesn’t feel rewarding.

 

To be honest, I think the one thing I’d like to do is travel around the region and make timelapses. So at least it feels like I’m doing something and I’m deserving all the views my Vimeo channel is getting on years-old videos. I want to be creative and I want to see amazing sights. I want to be challenged and not just look at another day passing being like “great, nothing happened”. Damn, I’m out of school for a good period of time, I should enjoy it before being forced to head back to useless essays!

 

So yeah. I know what I want to do. I just need to be doing it now. Tomorrow I’m working, 3 hours of driving to get to the working location being needed. Monday, some technical work needs to be done on the car (a driver-less car just collided with mine, you should have seen the scene, it was magical)(nothing bad happened, just esthetic damage) and then next working day is Wednesday. Better be doing something on Monday afternoon and Tuesday. Motivation motivation motivation!  Time to get ambitious.

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It’s getting better! And harder to bear

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Freckles are starting to show. Me gusta. 

Hey there,

Despite coming back in the South of France, the weather lately has been the same as the good old Netherlands and even though I boast in my old old swimming suit, I am freezing inside.

Today I wanted to talk about my skin and how it did get better. You could check the picture up there, but I’d have to warn you. It’s a lie. I’ve retouched it and removed the biggest scars. But it’s getting there.

And the funny thing with my skin getting better is that I can hardly tolerate the scars anymore.

 

It feels like since my face was basically the battle ground of a sebumic manifestation for years, I was used to have it look like shit and wouldn’t really care. But now that I see it getting better, I realize I have less tolerance for the scars and I just can’t wait for them to disappear out of my face (literally). Thing is, scars are gonna stick for a long, with no real guarantee they’ll go away. I can still more or less attenuate them under make up but let’s be honest, I am not living with foundation 24/24. Neither do I want to.

I wrote another post about selfies (not published yet) and how taking pictures allow you to create a bit of your reality in your self-image. Long story short, I’m trying to reconcile myself with what I look like and be an actor of my self-image. Constructing my appearance and having a say on how I’m seen; so I don’t feel like I’m just the poor victim of unflattering pictures taken once a year by other people (uh, pity of being the one who takes pictures, you won’t get a chance to have your picture taken as you’d take others).

Here’s the result then below. My skin doesn’t look that bad. But I can’t deal with letting the scars out there without raising the exposure or carefully attenuating them.
And it feels like cheating. I mean, make-up would have the same effect, but this ‘post-editing’ action guilts me.

I don’t really know what to do in the end. I don’t feel comfortable publishing this ‘corrected’ version of the picture. Or only accompanied with a long-ass justification as to why I did so.

Gotta love and cherish this ‘stay true to yourself’ and ‘be natural’ shitty mantra that doesn’t really work in these cases.

Nope, not gonna love the scars and nope, not gonna let them be a part of me. I see myself without them and this is the identity I want to convey. A face where freckles override the scars.

 

 

 

Putting some trust in myself

I need to take myself seriously. I’m now back and I’ve spent my week running everywhere. Yet, I can assure you it doesn’t feel like it and my mind highlights aggressively the moments I was sitting down. In addition to that, I’m back in an environment where food is low and noticed I haven’t been eating enough. It’s great for losing weight but going under 1200 calories just leaves me dizzy with no energy left. That’s how I felt yesterday and today; legs heavy, the mind disconnected. I just wanted to take a nap, and I did, I just felt even worse.

I need to get at least 1200 calories in that body. Doesn’t matter the weight I want to lose, I need fuel to do stuff.

 

And there’s things that I want to do. A whole lot of them. Ideas are big, now it’s up to me to do it or not. Luckily, it really doesn’t require anyone else and I can do most of the things on my own. So it’ll depend on if I get the guts to take the car for hours trip, bike/hike and then come back. It’s doable. I just really don’t want to mess up the car part. There’s no reasons but I want to be careful.

 

So I’m making sure I can have a reliable body which will not leave me energy-less, and maybe a good weather. This week is crappy for that, it’s gonna be storms only. But I’m still gonna try to go in between the rain. If I let the weather be an excuse, then I’ll never do anything. At least, it’s not cold, so it should be fine.

 

So yes, things are planned. I hope the body will follow the mind and will allow me to do what I want.

 

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Me studying

3:56 p.m.

Ok, I’ll start at 4 past.

4:01 p.m.

Ok, let just make it 4:30.

4:31 p.m.

Shit too late, it’s fine I’ll start at 5.

5:00 p.m.

Opens book.

5:02 p.m.

Okay, I’m done. Phew, hard work today.

Day 341 (written in 2015)

Rumours are ugly lies, yet sometimes they come with a hint of truth.

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Heard some rumours recently, interwoven with some facts. Crazy how fast information goes, how fast it gets distorted and yet, how much importance is given to it. I’m the first one to raise an eyebrow though, and ingest the piece of news it contains. Because I feel like even if it’s been a bit transformed, it may not be totally wrong. As good as it it not to believe rumours right away and give your soul to it, it’s also good not to ignore them.

So yeah, learned some stuff recently and more than one eyebrow was being raised.

Let’s talk about this phenomena that I thought would be behind me when I left junior high school -even high school didn’t have them-. These wide circles of popularity, with its core of essential people, in order to make an event valuable. These core pieces of persons that make the situation ‘more interesting’ and worth being seen at. The same people whose voice is being heard, accentuated and supported by the silent majority. The same people you want to be friend with because, “let’s be honest, they’re the cool ones and it looks good to hang out with them”. What they don’t tell you is how unstable and temporary they are. And how little you can get out of it.

The good thing of these popularity circle in university is that no one is naive enough to believe they actually work. We know it’s an illusion and even people inside of it are in the permanent effort of maintaining something that doesn’t exist.

I admit I was naive and really thought it was thing, without ever wanting to be part of it (I fear drama way too much and did my part of experience in the past, I’m good now thanks).

I’m also seeing all these good looking guys and gals, looking successful, smart and intelligent and I discover how jackasses they are and how motherfuckers they can be in their behaviours. Who knew the most model students are the ones cheating at exams? Who knew this well-respected person is the first one to spit on anyone’s back? But god knows they maintain their image, god knows they spread online all sorts of signals that they are untouchable.

Yet, rumours still end up emerging and stain everyone’s background every once in a while.

Rumours are ugly lies, yet sometimes they come with a hint of truth.

Being 20 in Europe in 2016

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January 7th, 2015

Violence. So much violence.

And I’m afraid it’s not over. Some hide, some stay at home and don’t want to go out anymore.

I am not one of them. I continue my life because they won’t stop me and they shouldn’t.
What happened is discussing. January 7th 2015. A deadly date.

 

November 13th, 2015

As I was writing, I just learned that there were attacks in Paris. Again. And I just stood there, in front of my computer, refreshing the page. 10 dead. 18. 26. A whole concert room taken into hostage. More than 3 attacks at the same time.

It feels numb. It’s just like January, standing there and refreshing the news, looking at the media ready to get any part of information they can. It’s a mess. It feels like a bad joke.

I’m reading things on Facebook and comments and this is already annoying me. Accusations are gonna be made, fear is going to be fed, this is just going to be another two weeks of pure gold for extreme parties. I’m reading that some of my friends want to cancel their trips in Paris and it makes me so angry. What difference will it make? Next week is not today, and if you’re not going out of fear, then they won and they got what they wanted! Continue living your life and prove them wrong, don’t let yourself be affected by it. Don’t be afraid.

Update: six attacks.

Live streams are a terrible invention, I’m just staring at it and refreshing the page. The 21st century found a way to share joy and terror in a matter of seconds.

March 22th, 2016 

Today Tuesday 22th, Brussels was attacked too. The airport and the metro were targeted, a rough estimate of 30 people died and hundreds of injured.

Dutch people will have to be ready because the threat hits closer to home every time.We are not protected by our Western bubble anymore and it’s gonna become our daily life.

I’m sad for Turkish people and the attacks they are going through. It’s not just ISIS, it’s also extremists Kurds.
I’m sad for Belgium. I’m sad for Europe who might crumble easily under the weight of such attacks.

I’m sad for the world, anywhere, may it be in Nigeria, Lebanon, Indonesia, Turkey etc… I am amazed and horrified to see that the new strategy for a man to create damage is to blow himself up.

I was thinking how we need to stay strong and still go outside and go on with our normal lives. It’s easy for me to say that, I’ve never been in a position where my life was in danger because of a suicide bomb. I’m afraid that the day I will, all of my brave ideas of resistance will fade away. The thing is, if you ever see one of these guys one day, what can you do? They blow themselves up. You cannot threaten them with loosing their lives, they’re already on the verge of taking theirs to create casualties.

It feels like a ticking bomb you’re bound to watch, powerless.

When saying we have to get used to these events happening more and more, I’m afraid it also means we’ll have to add up the deaths without doing anything. What can we do? Just stand there. See people die, get strong again until the next ones will fall.

I am also not entitled to tell people to be strong. How can you tell victims to stand up when you have no experience of what they went through?

I’m not gonna say please make it stop. Because who am I asking to really? If there was a god, he messed up real bad. He messed up and continues to do so by looking from afar all the mess it created.

I don’t think anyone can stop that for us. Action must come from within. But how to answer that? Unity, kindness, compassion, solidarity of course. But how many dead will it take to make it stop?

 

 

 

The bitter truth of team work

So there’s this thing that I helped with. I didn’t really help because I was super interested into it but more because it was a way to support the person who started it.

I won’t go as to say that it had no interest at all, it did have some, but I could have spend my time of the semester doing other things and saved myself some stress. But I didn’t, I went on with this project and started working in a team.

 

I did the job that was behind the light, the kind of support no one really sees and I didn’t think much of it. I was there to help, not to shine or take credit for it.

 

But it got to a point, where I involved myself at a certain level, and got absolutely no acknowledgment for it. It got worse when the team-partner got the praise and acclamations for stuff I did, or helped in majority with.

 

To me, it just sends back to the fact that I do not know how to value myself and ‘sell a positive image’. I am always the first to brush compliments out of “modesty” and minimize what I did. And people started to accept it and go with it.

And that just leaves me with a spoiled image of self, where whatever I do isn’t enough or worth mentioning. It contributes to this self-abashment I’m cultivating really well and polishing every day.

I’ve read articles saying you should listen to how you ‘talk to yourself’ or rather ‘deal with yourself’. The words I use to describe me can be so violent at times and I would never call someone like that. And yet I’m ready to use harsh words and undermine anything that I do. I have such a low-esteem for myself, it’s heart-breaking.

 

And the world is vast, people are numerous. No one has the time to care for someone else, so if you don’t even care for yourself to start with, who will? It feels like I’m left with little support, knowing I’m the first one to go and criticize who I am. It leaves me with the feeling of an empty shell that I just keep on trying to break, along with everyone arounds me when they ignore the stuff that I’ve done because I encourage them to.

 

 

Yes, liking others start by liking yourself. I can’t do the first part, and it strains my relationships. I get mad for the acknowledgment my team-partner gets. It just squeezes my heart and I’m left with a painful sensation in my chest for the rest of the day. I just feel sick.

 

 

It’s a tough circle to break.

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Being stable in a changing environment

I have many ideas and yet, I don’t know what to write about. All that comes into my mind gets either too personal or too hard to put in words.

 

I’m trying to put myself into an organized lifestyle. I try to get 8 hours of sleep, I try to plan my meals accordingly, and it works. Except for special occasions, which unfortunately happen fairly often. Then I binge-eat, don’t sleep enough and end up feeling like crap and I look back at how easy it was to crush my previous efforts.

 

I just don’t know how I can hold that type of lifestyle on the long-run. From now on to next year, May 2017, I will have moved at least 4 times, in 3 different countries. And even though this idea pleases me a lot, I don’t know how I’ll maintain all the things I’ve learned.

I know adaption is the key and I’ll have to apply the patterns I’ve developed on different contexts. It’s doable. People’ve done it before, why not me?

 

I will publish all the drafts I’ve written so far progressively. It’s aimless to wait until I word my thoughts perfectly because it never happens. As drafted as it’ll look, at least I’ll put my thoughts out there.

It can be hard to write. I have a lot of drafts started, some on complicated topics. I’m not very good at putting my ideas together in an organized manner. It makes sense when I explain them but putting them in order for someone else is another story.

 

How have I been doing lately? Not much happened in April. I had plans to travel again but the weather kind of put me down and forced me home. I made a bit of peace with myself, at least food-wise. It’s interesting how sometimes, I feel like the efforts I’m making aren’t worth a dime and it just takes too long to see any rewards. But then I look back and I see it’s already been weeks. Months technically if you look back at February, when I started trying to control my cravings.

There have been up and downs. Downs that have taken me deep, but ups that have been able to put the median above average in the end. It hasn’t been too bad. It’s already the end of the semester, the end of my second year of university. I am kind of glad for that.

I am glad to be coming home soon and stay for a while. It means I’ll be able to see my friends and family, and actually enjoy being around. I haven’t got the chance to do that in now two years I’d say? So yeah, I’m looking forward to that. I just have to run the last miles that separate me from that moment, and I need to run them well. Like a marathon, it’s not the distance that matters but the steady pace.

 

So I know what lays in front of me, at least for the next three months. It’s doable. I just need to keep my head up and bite through the bitter moments.

C0032

Back there again

Some weeks ago I was travelling everywhere, anywhere that wasn’t my quotidien, and now I’m back. I’m back in a terribly morose place.

 

I don’t know if it’s the physical displacement that made me feel good, if it was the people I went with or the people I met there, but I feel like crap here. I feel like energy is drained from my body from the moment I wake up. I go for 50km bike rides and I have the feeling of being both bored and tired. It’s just like if doing anything required twice the normal effort and as a consequence, I’m just a living corpse trying to find my way during the day.

I find it a success when in a day I cooked for myself, and did nothing else. Just the fact that ‘domestically’, I got the work done, makes it an ok-day. Forget the rest such as university, bank, important stuff related. I didn’t touch any of that. But I got out of bed, made myself food and cleaned the house. And just that felt huge already.

 

I don’t know where my energy has gone. Is it mood-related, is it something else? Am I depressed? If so, why now and not before? Because I can think of many time where I was feeling worse than that, and yet all of my energy wasn’t gone somewhere random.

 

So here I am, stuck with my old self. Trying to make some changes could be useful, may it be to hurt a bit the stagnant daily life. I go for walks, I bike, I try to eat differently. Maybe that’s the eating part that’s screwing me up. But from eating cakes to low-carbs alimentation, I end up feeling like crap with both.

My attitude then? I should perhaps change that. This is what makes all the difference in the world after all, or at least what I want to believe. I want to believe that no matter what shit is thrown at you, if you have the good attitude, you’ll be fine.

 

I don’t know if I’ve reached my quota of taking care of other people’s problems. I am reaching an emotional burn-out perhaps? Where I really can’t take anyone’s problems, mine included?

 

It really is up to myself eventually. Only I can fix it. It’s both a blessing and a curse. It feels like I’m trying and constantly failing but it isn’t something new to humankind. How many sayings are there on ‘the road to success is paved with failure’, ‘fall down seven times, stand up eight’ or even ‘only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.’ You can browse, it’s all over the internet.

 

 

I need to keep in my mind that things are temporary. They only become fixed once you stopped trying to change them. And again, life is a fight. It’d be too easy if you just wake up and everything falls right from the start.

 

So it’s fine, I’m feeling down. It does feel like I’m often feeling down, but maybe I’m not acknowledging the times everything is going right. Proof is, I won’t write when things are going right.

 

I guess I’ll clench my teeth and keep trying. Need to persevere.