Aug 102014
 

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As you might have deduced from the fact I only mentioned I was going to Thailand 3 times in almost a year – once on Twitter, once on Instagram when I got my vaccinations and once on my blog bitching about advice I did not ask for- I’m not that big on the travelz.

I mean, I like it fine but I don’t get all starry-eyed and moony about traveling a vacation, and I think “finding yourself” while traveling is bullshit. You can “find yourself” on the fucking couch as long as you take the time and make some effort. I’m a big believer in the saying “wherever you go, there you are.”

Well, guess what?

Along with all the Pad Thai and sticky rice, I would be eating my words. All of them.

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Jul 232014
 

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All the way in Thailand (oh yes by the way I’m on vacation sorry I never tell you anything), my boyfriend and I were following the news on the MH17 crash quite intently. A plane disaster with so many victims is one of those terrible things that lodges itself right into your brain and affects you.

It had been a main topic of conversation for us from the moment we first heard about it. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, whether or not you know someone who was on that plane, you are stricken by this tragedy.

All the way in Chiang Rai, Will and I talked about it. We discussed our opinions on Russia and Putin, the implications of this terrible event, the consequences we did or did not expect to occur. We talked about the horrors that were already taking place in Ukraine before the plane crash — as well as all the other places in the world where horrible things are happening: once you are on that topic of conversation you can go on forever.

And then we came back to the guest house after dinner and before bed, I received an email from work. I was informed my coworker and office roommate had been on that plane.

He was a very intelligent, hardworking and sweet PhD student from Malaysia.

We had shared an office for six months now. I didn’t see him every day and we weren’t close, but I saw him often and we were friendly. He was polite and super smart. I made him laugh with the occasional YouTube video. We chatted about his research and my job and our countries. The last conversation we ever had was about our upcoming vacations.

He was going to be with his family for a few weeks and I would visit Thailand. I told him I’d never been to Asia, he told me he was happy to see his family again. What I remember most distinctly is that we said we’d tell each other all about our vacations when we get back.

But we’re not going to do that. Because he died in a plane crash. He is not going to come back to work, to his research. He never even got to see his family again.

I cried a lot for him, while I didn’t feel I have the right to. Although we were friendly, he was “just” a coworker. I cannot even imagine the pain of the family and friends of the victims, especially with this horrifying aftermath.

But it was in my thoughts, even as we tried to get our minds off it. At night our bed turned into a newsroom with international papers spread on the sheets and  Twitter feeds of journalists on the scene on our phone.  I even checked the passenger list once I found it, with some sort of bizarre hope we had all been wrong.

We were consumed by it. Selfishly, we are now trying to slightly move away from it, because I feel sick every time I see something from the crash site and Will gets enraged by every bit of news of Russia being outrageously offensive.

It’s been a long time since I used my blog as a venting machine, as a place to process of just be vulnerable. I’m doing it now, because I can’t seem to let it go. I keep thinking about it.

This tragedy made me hyper-aware of two things: One, the world is full of suffering and pain. Which I always know, but never truly allow myself to feel, you know? It’s too much. And I don’t know what to do about it.

And second, you always think you’re going to see someone again, until you don’t.  We take our safety and health for granted, especially in our country where there is no war, poverty or power struggle.

Although constantly being aware of the hurt in the world is not a constructive way to live, and always being afraid for the lives of your loved ones isn’t either, I can see the lessons here. I am still trying to figure out how to put both these things to good use; because at this point that is pretty much all you can do.

Today, I will think of everyone on that plane, everyone who lost someone and everyone else who is affected. I will write a card for my coworker’s family to let them know their son was appreciated and will be missed.

I will hold my boyfriend’s hand and together we hope for respect for the victims and justice to be served in their honor. For better times ahead for Ukraine after this, but also for Gaza and any other place in the world where people suffer. And because thinking only does so much, I will think of ways to contribute to a better world.

And also, I love you. I appreciate your presence. I hope you’re safe and happy. Take care.

Namaste (my light honors your light) babies.

Jun 152014
 

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Sooooo, I was invited to the Miss Publicity Bloggers on Board event!

Miss Publicity invited a bunch of bloggers onto their bright pink boat: to hang out with each other while Miss P (as Lin calls it) had the opportunity to introduce some new brands to us.

If you want to read an excellent blog post about it I recommend Sophie’s.

If you want me to see me make a mess of things as I usually do, read on ahead.

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May 242014
 

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 (Apart from the seagulls in Finding Nemo, this shark has got to be the most hilarious flying thing I’ve ever seen)

Hi kids! Are you ready for a tale of two fair maidens and their journey to a land far far away with their knights? Put in other words: Do you want to read how Lin and I spent a weekend in Oostende (Belgium) with our boyfriends? An Oostende weekend away?

We were invited by VVV Oostende to spent a night in Oostende and check out the town.

And this…is our story.

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Apr 222014
 

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Okay, don’t panic. (Or do panic, but if you do please take a selfie of it and tweet it to me with #selfhelphipsterhiatus.)

Seriously though, please don’t worry. I’m totally fine. There’s no crisis, there’s no drama, I’m not even (that) stressed out right now. I’m just out here in the world doing my thing: Kicking ass, taking names, forgetting my keys and drinking lots of coffee.

I want to take some time off from writing online. I want to work on some personal and professional projects for a few weeks while I think about what I want to do with my website.

Innovation, authenticity and quality of content and writing are really important to me. I want to think about these things without simultaneously writing and publishing content.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

  • MISS ME? Browse the archive, dummy. I wrote a lot of fluffy stuff!
  • WANNA HANG OUT? There is a workshop planned for Saturday the 7th of June. Details are the same as last time. You can email me if you want to join info[a]theselfhelphipster.com

I always come and go as I please (as I like it), but this time I figured I’d share so that you know why I’m gone and so you know when to expect me back.

I totally love you, I will miss you and I will see you in a month. If you need me you can reach me through Twitter and email.

OK BYE!

Mar 302014
 

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DISCLAIMER This is a promotion blog post featuring my new favorite Etsy shop. After my first order, one that I placed myself, I love the shirts I received. I asked the owner if she wanted to be promoted on my blog. She did, and that’s how I received two shirts free of charge. 

Can we move on to the fun part now? Because I found a fucking cool Etsy store and want to share it with you. Sheesh.

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Feb 012014
 

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Aaaaaaand it’s February. I’m on the couch with coffee and Dexter episodes right now and since I am not good for anything else tonight, I’d figure I’d try and write a Month in Review thing.

Why? Let’s see if I can do it without boring you to death. Also, I figured that if I want to do a year recap at the end of the year I can just link back to all the different months. My creativity to be lazy knows no bounds. Ok let’s go.

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NEW YEAR Started out with my babe Lin and our boyfriends and a lot of champagne. Accidentally shattered a champagne glass (and was more concerned with the fact that there was less champagne to drink than with the fact there was glass on the floor. Priorities, people.)

The next day, this heartfelt connection with alcohol turned into a nasty divorce. With custody battles over my mental health and several of my organs. I spent it on the couch in recovery-mode, watching Marvel movies with Manfriend, indulging in my hang-over cure: Eating ALL the foods.

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YOGA Second best hang-over cure? Exercise. On January 2nd I drove to the yoga studio and did a very easy-going class. It was then that I decided to do the Girl Does Yoga series in order to rebalance and normalize my yoga practice.

It’s not always easy. I sometimes find myself unnecessarily procrastinating on getting my ass to the studio, but it is getting better. Once said ass is in said yoga studio, everything is great. It’s about showing up, and I’m learning how to show up in the good way.

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PILATES Discovered Pilates Place Rotterdam and Pilates, exercise more focused on training strength and your core while simultaneously stretching. I’m going to take a Reformer class there every once in a while because I find it a really fun and challenging work-out, that lasts only 50 minutes and that is 5 minutes away from work. Practical and saves time.

WORK Finding my way around my new duties and responsibilities, while slowly moving away from my regular tasks. It’s going pretty well. I am going to miss my students for a while, but I still can’t believe I get to do what I’m doing, because it combines everything I love. Which is also terrifying because what if I mess something up oh God oh God be right back nervous breakdown.

BOOKS Within the first chapter I was completely captivated by Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It’s been a long time since I actually stayed up to read, but for this book I totally did. Very heavy but brilliant and surprising. I’ve also finished Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (weird but good) and a collection of his short stories, but I’m still working on the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins — Not really a light read, that one.

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(My grandmother baked me cookies and if that’s not the cutest effing thing then I don’t know what is) 

MISCELLANEOUS

  • SOMEBODY STOLE MY MUG AT WORK. Which is not a big deal, but I did really want it back. After all it fits an ocean of tea and it is mine. After being on the look-out for two days (aka staring creepily into other people’s offices) I FOUND IT. Then this happened.
  • I was obsessed with blue cheese for two weeks straight and had it every single day during that time.

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  • Drank a lot of Celestian Seasoning’s Lemon Green Tea and Sleepytime Peach Tea. These were sent to me for a review and although I LOVE them and I’ve been guzzling the stuff like a dehydrated camel, I’m still working up the guts to dedicate one post entirely to reviewing…tea. Lord knows I can’t do it as good as Iris did. So if anyone knows any alternatives for “This tea is great” that’d be super.
  • Went to FortyDegrees and had lunch with Huub after. Having lunch with your old yoga teacher who is equal parts awesome, interesting and intimidating? Highly recommended.
  • I had a massage at TensionTamers yesterday, which was great and very relaxing. BUT, while I was getting massaged I thought about Monica from Friends getting massaged and I was trying really hard not to laugh, so OBVIOUSLY next thing I knew I was thinking of EVERYTHING funny that EVER happened in the history of the world. Long story short at one point I fucking LOST IT. Michiel probably thinks I’m completely insane. Oh well. It’s always easier to get that revelation out of the way early.

I’m very excited for February.

I get to go to Paris with Lin and EAT/DRINK EVERYTHING, do a lot of yoga, work a lot and write when I can. Oh, and go read the Fault in Our Stars when I’m ready for my next emotional breakdown over literature. All in good time.

Have a great weekend!