For the last months I have been trying to find the words for this post. I missed blogging but I was spent. When you are unhappy with your life it can seriously stop you from being creative. Well since May I have been preparing on to resume again. My last post was in February this year. Thinking back to 6 months ago life has changed though. The short version of events is less than a 10 words:
I left Amsterdam behind.
The past months went so fast I hardly noticed how much changed from now to past before I could react. Maybe that happens when you get older, you become more aware of the time you have and the time you have left. Either way I shall spare you the Marcus Aurelius meditations.
In 2018 I became 30. If numbers have a meaning, you need to find the context. 30 years of walking around and not dying, is too cynical here. I live in the Netherlands, life can be comfortable here. You simply adapt to society, pay your bills and taxes and nobody cares in general. The system here can cost you and benefit you. You simply adapt and try to enjoy your existence. There is no use in complaining, play the game and try to overcome the obstacles.
Living and working in Amsterdam can be one of most enjoyable things ever, if you succeed at it. In 2018 I almost secured an apartment and was preparing to make more happen. Income was decent, cash-flow was decent and I was saving and planning. Then I lost the apartment and had to move out. Amsterdam is becoming expensive, even when you have a good salary. You can complain about it but in the end you have to meet demands and sometimes you simply do not make it. I moved away from Amsterdam and later on I found a job in a different city.
Amsterdam will always have its charm but gentrification, tourism, over-development and continuous traffic put a heavy burden on that city. Locals and local entrepreneurs are disappearing because the costs of living keep increasing. It is a fun place to be, when you know the right people and places. The fun stops when you see it become a partial amusement park without character.
Starting 2019 I became increasingly unhappy with my job. Sure on auto-pilot I could continue doing my job but at the end of the day my doubts increased. In April my limit was reached and I gave myself 2 months to get out. It took 1 month. When your work environment promotes certain behaviour you have to make choices.
In June I started at my new job and I am much happier these days. It is not comparable to new-toy syndrome. This job is close to a dream job for me and there possibilities for growth. All I have to do is prove myself and I can become an asset to the organisation.
I left high school at 19 (longer academic path). After graduating I worked to save up and left at 20 to study at the university. I went from a sleepy town to Amsterdam. Some things worked out and some things did not work out. I did survive though and eventually found my way. Those years were a great time to learn and make mistakes.
Then it happens, 29 passes and you think about your achievements up to that moment. You look at your résumé, degrees, certificates money on the bank and where your career is taking you. 365 days later you enter the 30-ties and there is no turning back. Even if you do not want it you compare yourself to your direct peers. People tell you that you should not do that, yet you do it. You want to know if you at least accomplished something that gets you ahead in life.
The worst part is that even if you accomplished something you realise that it is not enough. You have about 35 years to not end up broke and break the cycle of poverty. Yes, you have to increase your revenues and decrease your expenses. Add the looming student debt which can endanger your financial future (try buying a house with too much or any debt at all). Millennials are easy targets now, but think about their financial positions in 10 to 20 years. Debt can really put a downer on the economy. You do not have much money to spend if your debts keep chasing your wallet.
I am a happier person these days. Too old to be stupid and twenty-something yet too young to complain of old age. There are still many chances to make something of my life. Being 31 years old I still have options to build a career.
All I can do nowadays is to keep working on the projects I believe in. Once you become good enough at something to demonstrate it and implement it effectively, you can make it your job. Busy times ahead, more writing too.