Some time ago I became a year older. Since the first day I lived on my own to now about eight years passed. Some goals were achieved and some goals were not. Some experiences came as surprises and taught me more about life than “Holy Books” and preachers combined. Life happened and I changed.
When I was 17 I felt I had to leave the house. After finishing some higher level education and graduating I worked to save some money. 20 years old, money with some plans and dreams I left the house. The first year was tough but valuable for me. Disappointment and luck often crossed my path and when I was not studying I had to time for hobbies and work.
In fact after one and a half-year of university I started working full-time because I found work more enjoyable. Academic studies are a great way into becoming good at something. You simply have to dedicate yourself to the academics or do something else. When you do not enjoy your studies, there is no point in pushing yourself.
In Amsterdam I went from university to working in hospitality. Hospitality is rough. In the beginning when you are new you are expected to make some mistakes. After a while you have to be able to work without mistake. I was a temp hired by an agency available on one call. Temps or temporary workers are hired per job and paid by the hour. When you do not learn quick enough you lose opportunities to work and make a living.
Amsterdam itself is a city full of challenges. Hang around long enough and you see the village inside the city. Hang around long enough and you learn that living there is a balancing act. Between standards and chaos you have to improvise and become flexible enough. I use the word “standards” here on purpose because after while it is kind of assumed you understand how certain things work in Amsterdam. For instance it is standard to know the main routes to certain parts of the city on bicycle or moped. Not having that knowledge puts you in a disadvantage.
Through work I met my previous girl friend. She was smart and stubborn and knew how to make things work. Because of her I went back to school. I never expected that to happen. In 2013 I went back to school, some higher education study for international management. That was a big change because switching from work-mode to study-mode was hard. Even worse was that my years of work made me extra annoyed when dealing with lazy partners in school projects.
My previous girl friend helped me through many difficult situations. Because of her I learnt what it really means to be happy with someone in a relationship. We somehow stayed together for a bit over a year. Making a relationship work is one of the toughest things to learn. When you get it right it is great because then both of your are happy. It was worth it though just for making her smile.
Issues with school management led to difficult situations and I switched schools. Until June 2015 I was a student. After that I was broke and unemployed until September 2015. I had plans but resources and revenues were running out. In November I found fixed employment and found some stability again. Stability was difficult to attain but so easy to get used to.
Then there are the two F’s that can make or break all your hopes and dreams. Family and finances to be more precise. Throughout my life I have always had an uneasy relationship with my family. The last two years did away with the noun “relationship.” I no longer consider my blood relatives to be my family as I no longer trust them.
Additionally finances enable what you can and cannot do. No money, no resources so nothing to achieve. In a terrible fashion family got involved. Certain people made some administrative choices, transactions followed and my student days were over. Family and finances are a matter of trust and when that trust is betrayed you have to make choices.
Since July 2015 I have been preparing and planning how to get my life back. It was a rough year as many things changed. The switch from being a student to being an employee was sometimes hard. With a help of a good friend I was able to find solutions and get back on my feet. To have some peace of mind and to not have to worry about paying your bills is quite pleasant.
Now I am doing my thing again. Finally I am able to enjoy life on my own terms. I work a lot and my life is very consistent. Consistency is a good thing even if it makes life more predictable. I am learning to become more versatile and more effective with less time and resources. Becoming more effective is important.
I am 28 now and I am enjoying life again. That feels good…