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Tag Archives: Holland
It’s so hard to understand why some Americans buy weapons for private use. Let alone for their kids!
“I really wanted to know what parents and kids thought about having the guns,” she tells Wired. “For me it was hard to understand because we don’t have a gun culture at all. The only people with guns [in the Netherlands] are the police.”
An-Sofie Kesteleyn approached the American families at gun ranges and asked to photograph their kids. Not surprisingly, in the three weeks she spent traveling the country, only 15 families said yes.
In this series “My First Rifle” An-Sofie Kesteleyn shows young children holding their child-sized and often brightly colored practice rifles in their bedrooms – a place Kesteleyn thought would remind us of their youth. She also had each child write down what they were most afraid of, something that they could use the gun to defend themselves against.
“Anton may be done with life, but life ain’t done with Anton. In his convincing decision to change his measly existence he discovers the real greatness of life.
‘Life is Beautiful’ is a 3D animation short made with support of Caviar Amsterdam, animation studio Fube, the dutch filmfund and the NTR.”
This extraordinary wooden staircase is found in this office lobby in the Dutch town of Hoofddorp. It’s created by Amsterdam architects Studioninedots.
They were challenged with renovating an entire 1970s office building. The architects began by removing an existing staircase and enlarging the space around it to create a void that visually connects a communal area on the ground floor with the levels above.
The staircase acts as the focal point of this large atrium and was made by cladding a steel structure in plywood sheets to create a series of bridges and access points to the various floors.
“The staircase as a tool for communication, lends the building a collective identity,” the architects says. “As a vertical lobby that offers views of all floors, it tells occupants that they are part of a larger world.”
The sky blue installation ‘Pretty Vacant’ encourages visitors to take a fresh look at the empty spaces of the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, Netherlands. The blue window literally and figuratively sheds a new light on the space and complements the architecture of this medieval chapel.
The window is based on the ‘negative spaces’ of RAAAF’s earlier installation Vacant NL, which was the Dutch submission for the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2010. The installation in the Gerrit Rietveld-designed pavilion in Venice showed the enormous potential of 10,000 disused public buildings in the Netherlands from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries.
MUTE is an animated short about a world populated by people born without a mouth. When a gory accident leads to the discovery they are able to create their own mouth by cutting themselves, this releases an enthusiastic chain reaction among the population.
This 4 minute cgi short has been created by Job, Joris & Marieke, a Dutch studio for animation, illustration, character design and music.
This is not only a great talk. It’s also very humorous!
One afternoon, Kees Moeliker got a research opportunity few ornithologists would wish for: A flying duck slammed into his glass office building, died, and then … what happened next would change his life.
The HotTug is the first wood-fired hot tub boat in the world.
The HotTug is a design by Supergoed - owned by Frank de Bruijn, who works on a barge in the port of Rotterdam. Frank has a soft spot for places where the natural and cultivated go hand in hand. His love of freedom, campfires, open water swimming and meals in the open air is expressed in many of his designs. “The feel of the outdoors is very important to me,” says De Bruijn. “Now the HotTug is expanding my work horizon to the water as well.”
Frank de Bruyn: “It’s much more than a boat, it’s a vessel with different options. When the tug is filled, there is only a narrow rim between you and the water, making you feel at one with your surroundings.”
Frank’s long experience of wood stoves while living and working on his own barge helped him to develop a wood-burning underwater stove. This is what heats the 2000 litres of water in the HotTug to a pleasant 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees F.) in a few hours.
The HotTug is available all around the world. Please contact them for a delivery quote to your address. Prices and details can be found here.
Het Arresthuis of Roermond, NL is an old jail that was originally around beginning in 1862 up all the way until 2007. Though there was a period of abandonment, this place was built to keep people in. Now, it has been refurbished into a luxury hotel with jail cells as rooms and there is even an upscale suite in the Warden’s quarters.
Street art and furniture in public places tends to be the last thing on the minds of public planners. Many artists have been branching out into more creative and innovative ways of putting inviting and interesting designs for the general public. Carmela Bogman and Rogier Martin of The Netherlands have come up with an interactive design for the people.
By utilizing a hydraulic system, users can determine which pieces to bring up and determine their own seated or standing heights to set the modular blocks at. There are three retractable pieces that come up to function as a lounge area, eating spot or meeting place – or just lower them all down to be flush with the cement to keep the flow of traffic moving.
I absolutely love this!
SNURK is a Dutch brand that sells cool and original duvet covers. Like this cool Astronaut cover! The suit printed on the cover is actually “real”, from the official European Space Agency, giving it a more realistic look.
You can buy it here for 59.95 euros.
Meet Tommy Carroll. He has been skating since he was ten, but has been blind since the age of two…
Video production: EyEFORcE
Director: Arthur Neumeier
Director of Photography/Editor: Rakhal Heijtel
Agency: The Odd Shop
Creative Directors: Niels de Wit, Robert van der Lans
Production: Josefien Homan
Music: ”Where The Heart Is”
Written by Marijn van der Meer and Jorrit Kleijnen
Performed by Marijn van der Meer
Produced by Alexander Reumers and Jorrit Kleijnen
Featured Guitarist: Lourens van Haaften
Client: VeiligheidNL, Perry Sport
For 4 weeks I’ve known that it was time to write my annual New Year’s blog post. The one where I look back on the past year – and write about my experiences and learnings, my ups and downs, my work, my family and my love. I’m always kind of torn between wanting to write it and not wanting to. It’s easier not doing it. It takes so much time! And so many thoughts.
But I also want to do it. For my own sake. For my personal development. And to share, which is so fundamental to me. But writing this is kind of like writing a diary – for a whole year. Let’s call it a “Yeary”. Seriously, it’s taken me more than 2 weeks to finish writing this. That’s why it always seems so hard when I have to get started …
To remind myself of what happened in my life in 2012, I took a look at all my Instagrams from that year. Apparently I shared 1,156 Instagrams in 2012. So giving myself the challenge of picking out 1 photo from each month was too hard. I chose to pick 2 from each month instead, which you can see in the post, when you scroll down.
I WENT TRAVELLING
It’s been a year with visits to quite a few places.
- In March I went to South By South West (SXSW) in Austin, Texas for the Interactive, Film and Music Festival with some friends. What I love about this place is, that all the digital rock stars are there. And they look just as informal as you wearing their sweatshirts or hoodies. You get to listen to their stories about their success, struggles, and what they learned. And you walk around in a place, having super interesting people to talk to from all over the world, no matter where you turn your head. Some of the awesome people I met were MC and Sabine from Relax In The Air, who asked me “What’s the next big thing”. I talked about this for more than an hour. So no wonder they cut down their video to only 40 minutes
New York City
- Then I went to New York City to revisit the city and stay with my good friend Philip. Unfortunately the air conditioning in Austin had made me awfully sick. So I actually ended up spending way more time in bed, than I wanted to.
Gibraltar and Málaga, Spain
- In May I went to Málaga, Spain and Gibraltar with my Dad, his girlfriend, her son and his family, and my brothers and sisters on my Dad’s side and their families. 15 people in total. My Dad invited us all to celebrate his retirement and how he got well through the clot he got in his heart the year before. It’s so rare that you travel with your whole family as an adult. But it’s an awesome way to spend time together with the people, you’ve known your whole life.
Our house in Sweden and the isle of Bornholm, Denmark
- Summer was spent with good friends in my family’s house in Sweden. And then a visit to my childhood home in Bornholm. Normally, when I get home from vacations, I pick out some photos and make a blog post with them. Not really writing much about the vacation, but letting the photos tell the story. I still have a sticky on my computer saying: “Do blog post about Sweden and Bornholm”. And then one month later I added “and Amsterdam and Hamburg too”. I even chose the photos from some of the destinations. But I never made the posts, because I was too busy. I don’t like that I never made them. So I might make the posts this year
- I invited my youngest brother with me to Amsterdam, Holland in September. I hadn’t seen the city for 20 years! So I wanted to go back – and man, do I ever love this city! So incredibly beautiful. Full of interesting architecture and history and people. Two years ago, on Instagram, I got a friend from Amsterdam called Lieke. I actually mentioned her in last year’s New Year’s blog post as well. Since she’d be out of town for a week anyway, my brother and I stayed in her apartment for 5 days. Thank you so much, Lieke! I’m deeply grateful. Borrowing your two bikes was just as awesome. Everyone should go to Amsterdam and bike around the city!
- The week after going to Amsterdam, I went on a girl’s trip to Hamburg, Germany with 4 friends. We were only there for a weekend. But Hamburg has so much to offer. So I have to go back! I didn’t get to see everything in their extraordinary harbor and I never saw their art exhibitions either.
New Instagram friends around the world
Hamburg made me think about, how I always get new, cool Instagram friends from the cities, I visit, after I’ve been there. Or when I’m about to go home. Checking my Instagram stats, I can see, that I location tag 92% of my photos, which means local people find them. Sometimes I wish I got to know these people before I went there, so I could meet them for beer or coffee and get the cool local recommendations.
In 2012 I became a Partner and Creative Director in the digital agency Contentcube. Up until this time Contentcube was known as a great subcontractor for the ad agencies when they needed awesome code for their digital solutions. But they’d started working directly with the clients, not needing the ad agencies. To do this better, I got on the team. And we started a journey on truly becoming a digital agency, which not only delivered killer ass code. But also strategy and creative development.
It’s been lots and lots of hard work. It still is. But I love my colleagues. We have fun with work! And we make solutions that we are now proud of. One of the things that I truly love about us is, that we value the well-being of our people. I do work too much. But I take time off when I need it too. We’re very much aware of how we are doing. Always trying to create what’s best for the individual person.
My dad moved away
During 2012 my dad moved to Jutland – about 4 hours away from Copenhagen. For Danish standards this is far! I was really torn about this. My mind understood why. He’d been in a long distance relationship with his girlfriend for 10 whole years! She lived in Jutland. He’s from Jutland originally. His girlfriend’s son and his family live there. My big sister and her family live there. And since they decided to find a house in the same town as my sister, I was really happy for them – and for my 3 nieces.
But in my heart I was sad. I felt as if I lost my dad. After all these years in Copenhagen having him close by, I was used to having the opportunity! The opportunity of seeing him. When I needed to talk to him, needed his help or advice, or when I just wanted to share an experience with him like going to an art exhibition, movie or dinner. It even made me sad, that he would be so far away, when I have kids one day. I was sad that they wouldn’t get a close relationship to him, since he now lived too far away. Selfishly I was even sad to loose the opportunity of him taking care of them, when they got sick, and I had to work. I don’t even have any kids yet! But still I thought this way.
What is it with brothers? Pull yourself together
At one point this year I got extremely tired of having so many brothers. My brothers, especially the two oldest, are really bad at taking initiatives. They don’t phone you. Not just me, but any of the family members. They receive phone calls, text messages, and invites. They don’t make them themselves. So if you want to see them, you have to act yourself. Not that they don’t want to see you. They just never get around to take the initiative. And sometimes they don’t even answer my calls and texts, which I had to tell them, made me feel as if they took me for granted, and sometimes made me not invite them at all! Because this way I saved myself from getting annoyed with not receiving a simple “Thanks, Sis. I’d love to!” or “Sorry, babe. No can’t do. How about next week?”.
My sisters are not like this. Just the boys. But I decided I was sick of always having to be the including big sister – even to my older brother. It couldn’t be my problem, if they missed out. But it still made me sad. Because I wanted to see them! My brothers and sisters are some of the people I laugh with the most. We often cry from laughing so hard. Also with our parents. All of our many parents I still want this. I just don’t want to carry all the responsibility and need to remind them to answer the invitation I was so nice to send.
I need people to care for me too
Recently I needed to tell one of my brothers about something that made me sad. Him and I are super close. He’s been through a lot – and from time to time I’ve had an extra eye on him so to speak. Being more aware of him. Caring for him. And helping him with the things, that troubled him. During 2012 he got a new wonderful girlfriend, which was amazing for them both! This lead to the classic silence, that you as a friend or family member often experience, when your close ones finds new love. I still phoned and texted him, like I used to. But he didn’t have time to see me, and didn’t get in touch with me for a whole month – which is long in our case.
That exact same month I went through lots and lots of work. And an emotional roller coaster love wise, even though it was super short. So when my brother finally wrote me, I got quite provoked. Because I felt as if: “Well, sis – now I need you again. I have no clue, what you’ve been through. But now I need you”. So my response to him was being quite annoyed. And honest. This made him become silent for two more weeks actually. I didn’t have time to bother. And I didn’t care, because I knew, that I hadn’t been unfair. And then he started to act as if nothing happened.
This thing is, I was hurt. I’ve grown up as a big sister. Taking care of others, often more than myself. I’m one of these women, that people call “strong and independent”. One who always gets through things, and gets up, no matter how far down she goes. BUT! This doesn’t mean, that you shouldn’t ask me, how I am doing! This doesn’t mean, that I don’t need people to be there for me too. Just because I’m there for them.
I think, the reason why I am able to be strong and get through things, is because I’ve always let people in to my life. My experiences, thoughts, and emotions. I never deal with stuff completely by myself. I always open up. I talk about it. Honestly. And always daring to be vulnerable. Actually because I don’t not how not to.
I told my brother about this. Which made him realize something he’d never thought about. He just saw me as his strong big sister, who was always there, when he needed me. So he got sad by the fact that he didn’t even ask, when I needed him to. Even if I’d had the most amazing month ever, I still needed him to ask! I need for people to show that they’ll take care of me too.
I thought about death. And life!
During 2012 my cousin, who’s only 2 years older than me, got cancer. Fortunately it was the “best” kind of cancer, you can get as a man. Because more than 99% with this type of cancer are cured. But you still have to go through chemo therapy. And this made me sad. 2 month before this, he’d become a father to his first-born. So having to go through chemo, would mean time away from being the dad and husband and man, he would like to be – for at least 8 months.
This made me think about my life. What I still want to do, achieve – and love. Who I want in my life. What I want. And I made my bank lady fix my insurances. She did straight away – and sent me papers… which I still haven’t taken the time to read and sign.
Did you actually read this far? Or did you just scroll down to this chapter?
I just noticed that I could almost just copy and paste the chapter about Men from last years New Year’s post. Because I basically experienced the same things:
- I didn’t fall in love in 2012
- I said no to so many dates (and stuff), because my focus was elsewhere and I wasn’t curious enough
- And most of the men, who did get me interested, where already in a relationship
The difference between the single man and the one in a relationship
During summer I suddenly saw this strong pattern in my way of meeting men. For months and months and months I hadn’t really been interested in dating. I really had to feel curious about a man to even consider having a coffee with him. Or even continue the talk, when I was out at night.
I find it very easy to get sex. But sex is not interesting enough in itself. Not where I’m at. It’s not that I can’t enjoy a man just for the night. I’ve always been able to. But I want way more than just sex. So I noticed, that I instinctively thought: “Would I want to meet this man again on Tuesday?”, when I met someone. And if I couldn’t feel this curiosity – this lust for more. To get to know him even better – then no thanks. During single times in my 20’s, I would have dealt with this completely different. But I’m at another place in my life now. And seriously; I didn’t want to bother with the fact that he possibly would want more afterwards. So it was easier to just say no. And not get involved at all. I didn’t need it. And the compliment of knowing, that I easily could, was enough.
I noticed during the summer, that I easily got very tired of single men trying to catch me up in bars, on Facebook, or elsewhere. They seemed so hungry, that it made them uninteresting to me. They tried too hard. They didn’t relax. And lots of them focused too much on how sexy they thought I was. I’m aware that this is a major compliment. And of course, I like hearing this. But fact is, that it’s a compliment you want from certain people. Not everyone. And if a man tells you, that he thinks you’re hot 3 times within the first 7 minutes, you talk, you really get a feeling, that all he wants is your body. Every now and then I’ve questioned men about this, and told them, that this is how you easily can perceive it. They’ve all given me the answer, that if they weren’t as fascinated by my personality too, they wouldn’t be as interested in my body either. I think I’ll stick to their answer. I, also, become way more attracted to personalities wrapped nicely. Way more than just the hot wrapping.
But what it all came down to, really, with all these single men, was that they were so eager, that I didn’t get time to get to know them. I could just pick them up as I felt. It was so easy. And I truly don’t believe, that it has to be hard. I absolutely hate it, when people play hard to get. But what I was interested in was getting to know them. Not just f*** them. This was probably why I kept on running into men, who were in a relationship. They’d flirt and talk and be interested in getting to know me. And since they weren’t allowed to pick me up, I’d actually have a chance to get to know them too. And become curious. And get that far in the conversation, that you suddenly start to put 2 and 2 together and find out, that they have a girlfriend. Which then is the reason for you to face them with reality and honesty, when they start sending you Facebook mails continuously in the time after. I cannot use a man, who has someone else. Why on earth would I waste time on that?
The bike ride home from a friend
It wasn’t until August 2012 that I felt, that now I’d really like to meet someone. My focus all year had been on building up the company. But now I felt like meeting someone interesting and getting involved. The feeling – or readiness – didn’t make me meet more men, who got me curious though. But I became aware of giving things a shot. Taking a chance. And not be as “Naaah, why bother”, as I had been all through spring and summer.
I remember riding my bike home from my good friend Tobias, thinking: “Here I ride. I’m at a good age. I don’t have any hard baggage or major issues that I deal with. I have an interesting personality. I feel attractive. I look attractive. And even though I have lots and lots of people, that I care for, I still have love to give! But I haven’t found the one to give my love”. And then I laughed, when my thought continued with: “Hey! A man would be lucky to have me!”. When I told Tobias about this though, he agreed. Yay! And I remembered, how two male friends of mine, Jesper and Sune, had called me a “catch” earlier this year. I’m very aware, that I am just human. With faults and oddness and specialties and imperfectness. This creates my personality and makes me aware of what to learn, improve, and work on. But I’m still one h*** of a human catch
The talk about what I needed
One of my friends, Henrik, was talking about his crew of guy friends and this trip they went on. I heard myself saying: “Hey, by the way – don’t you have a great friend, that I should meet”, thinking that if I know this many super great guys, they must know someone – or have a cousin – who I haven’t met or gotten to know yet, who could possibly be super interesting to me. But in this case my friend answered: “No, heck no, Laura – you’re way to good to my friends. You have so much personality and so much edge yourself, that you need someone extraordinaire”.
I felt so misunderstood. Because what I really want is normal. Of course, the man, that attracts me, has personality and edge. And of course, he’s extraordinary – to me! He’s not plain and boring. But I’m not looking for a character. I’m looking for a match. I just want normal. What’s normal to me.
I’d forgotten about this feeling
During the fall I met someone, who became the very first man in 2012 that I’d felt like seeing twice! That was kind of big to me. Because when I’d been out with someone earlier this year, my curiosity disappeared after that one date. And since I couldn’t feel any urge to ‘get to know him better’, I simply didn’t. I wouldn’t want to waste our time, when the interest just wasn’t there.
Wanting to get to know someone better, reminded me of a feeling, that hadn’t felt all year! This specific insecurity that you suddenly feel, when you want more of something – or someone – you don’t know if you can have. Because right of a sudden, you’re not the only one to decide. You’re completely dependent on the fact, that he feels the same. And wants the same. And has the same great timing, and so forth. The awareness of being able to loose what you just found! At first I got really annoyed with this feeling. Because we never really enjoy this feeling, right. But I was actually happy, that I was reminded about it. Because it meant, that I found something – and felt this “wanting to get to know better” – again. And that’s a positive thing – and a great first step! Even though the relation, which had reminded me of this feeling, stopped after seeing each other only these two times.
FraekFredag has been part of the blog since the beginning. But during 2012 I created a FraekFredag board on Pinterest too, that was way more packed than my Friday posts. I was more large with what I pinned, than what I blogged. The very best and most edgy stuff went on the blog. Pinterest was an over all mood board. Until Pinterest had their major (strict American) clean up – and they deleted it without a warning. They even blocked my whole blog as a source of pinning, because OMG! What if people pinned nudity from my blog. Fact was, that people pinned way more design, architecture and quotes from my blog than nude people. So I got really pissed with Pinterest. And I’ve found myself using their platform less and less since their clean up stunt. I wasn’t the only one getting my artistic soft porn board deleted. So Pinterest now lacks edge so must, that there really isn’t must interesting stuff to go there for, in my opinion. Neat Do It Yourself stuff and great looking food tends to look the same after a while.
Am I into women, just because I know who’s hot?
“Laura, are you into women too?”, is a question I sometimes get because of FraekFredag. Only from men though. When I raise my eyebrows along with the thought of: “Really??!!”, the man will continue his wonder: “… but how else can it be, that you are able to pick out exactly those women, that makes me turned on?”.
I have to admit, that I always loose a slightly bit of respect of the person, when I get this question. Because being able to see beauty, art, edge, and sexuality in a human being is so not the same as getting attracted by it. And if you truly think that, I’ll think of you as being shallow, and not relaxed about what sexuality is.
I’m not turned on by women. I’m not into women in any sexual way. But I think that women can look extremely hot and sexy and awesome. And that the female body can look like the finest piece of art – with its form and shape and landscape. But they don’t turn me on. And they don’t make my fantasies run wild. I’m happy to be a woman myself!
Men turn me on. Big time! Always have. Sex turn me on as well. Sometimes, when I see a hot man while looking for FraekFredag’s content, my mind wanders off. My dear colleague Mads said to me at lunch one day: “Laura, I’ve noticed that the men on your blog have a lot of hair!” Haha! That’s really funny. And true. I’m not into these baby face kind of guys. But instead; men that aren’t as clean and metro sexual as the fashion industry wanted them to be a few years back.
There’s still more women than men on my blog. It’s so super hard to find the good stuff. Seriously; I probably look through 600 photos to find 8 useful ones. Which means I’ve seen so much awful, boring, and gross stuff. And also stuff, I could live without having ever seen! Finding great stuff with men is even harder! Nude material with men easily becomes way too gay or way too porn and vulgar for my taste! But every now and then I find something, that’s so edgy, that it’s awesome – but simply too much for the blog. Like this other day, when I found a close up photo of a penis being licked by 2 men at the same time, but you could only see their mouths. And that one mouth was surrounded by a brown beard, and the other mouth was surrounded by a red one. Such a awesome photo, because it made you look twice, just to figure out how many people this actually involved! But the photo was too porn for the blog. So instead of going to waste, I showed it to half of my colleagues instead. All guys I had a good laugh.
FraekFredag touches people around the world
I often receive mails from people from around the world, who thank me for doing my blog and for inspiring them in their daily lives. This makes me really happy. It’s so nice to put a name or some facts and feelings on the many people, who are just numbers in my statistics if I don’t hear from them. Sometimes I have material sent to me for FraekFredag. Only from men though. I’ve never received anything from women. But I’ve never received something, that was good enough for the blog. Yet. I’d really rather for the great photographers and filmmakers to sent me their stuff, than the “normal” ones I also receive great compliments from my blog readers about FraekFredag. I love the fact that I can receive an e-mail from a Canadian woman, presenting herself as 49-year-old, pointing out: “I love your blog, especially on Fridays” – and later that same day receive a mail from a young French gay man, complimenting the fact that I have great taste in men, and respecting me for showing gay photos of men kissing men. This is what FraekFredag is really about: Gathering people in lust and hot energy and make us feel alive!
Oh. And by the way… In 2012 I put myself on FraekFredag for the very first time – in a costume, I had made myself and called The Raven from Allan Edgar Poe, which I wore at my friend Daniel’s Halloween party.
FACING SOME NEVER-ENDING CHALLENGES
As I entered New Year’s I became aware, that I still have to deal with some of my personal qualities – that sometimes turn into challenges; my lack of patience and my straightforwardness. I was, yet again, faced with the fact that people sometimes misunderstand me – even though I am extremely honest and straightforward. It can seem so strange to be misunderstood when being straightforward. But it happens because people over interpret what I actually say – or what they think my intentions are. Instead of just listening to the words I say. They are simply not used to people speaking their true mind and being good at putting thoughts and feelings in to exact words. Instead they mix my words with their own fears – or their own hopes. Which sometimes creates completely unnecessary troubles.
The other day I discussed my honesty and straightforwardness with a good colleague of mine, Rasmus N. We talked about the fact that I am often misunderstood for being like this. When I give a man a compliment for his cool shirt or beautiful beard, that really suits him, he sometimes understands this as if I was saying: “You look hot. I am interested in getting to know you”. And that wasn’t what I said. I give compliments to women too. Like the other day, when I complemented two young women – working in a clothing store – for their extremely beautiful hair. This made them both so happy. And it even made the lady next to me agree out loud and ask, if they were sisters. Then all four of us got aroused by this heart warm energy that spread instantly. In this case I wasn’t misunderstood. I was seen as me. I think I’ve only been misunderstood once in my life, from giving a compliment to a woman. This was when I complimented the green dress of a somewhat famous singer in Denmark, who’s a good friend of my friend Fabian. She acted so protective as if I said: “Hey girl, want to be my new BFF?”. I feel sad, when people misunderstand my intention, just because I let them know, that I see them – and the effort they do.
I think it’s because women in my country are quite bad at giving compliments to men. And when they do, it’s because they want something – so they sometimes have a purpose with saying it. This goes for men too! But what if we all started to say the nice things, that we do think, out loud… way more often?! What if we weren’t so afraid of how people perceived it. Or what they thought about us. What if we made them smile and feel good about themselves?
What happens when I keep it to myself
Every now and then I keep a compliment to myself. Something nice or beautiful that I think or feel about someone. Sometimes because I think it will be misunderstood if said out loud. Or that we’re not in the right place or situation. But I always instantly get this feeling of delusion, which makes me feel bad. As if I’m not true to myself. I don’t know why it’s so important for me to share it with the person, who it matters. But I think it’s because I know, that in the end the other person can use this way more than me. And if I don’t say it out loud, it’s as if it doesn’t exists. And this is a lie. Because I thought it – or felt it. So it did actually exist in me.
Recently this beautiful man looked at me with wonder and curiosity and asked: “Are you always listening this much to your intuition?”. I remember getting surprised, because I felt as if: “What else could I listen to?”. Even though my thoughts can play tricks with me and fool me into feeling fear or worry, my intuition is always stronger than them. Something that I can’t put aside. I feel intuition. And when I’m true to myself I always act out of heart and body. Not out of head and thoughts. When I’m not true to myself, like when I allow fear or worries to take over for more than just a quick thought, I act stupid. So whenever I notice, that my energy has started to move from my body towards my head, I try to use this awareness to cut off my head and bring the energy down in my body again. Where it belongs. Where I am true. And the person I like better.
WHAT I SAID A YEAR AGO
If you look at last year’s blog post, you’ll see, that I had some thoughts and hopes for 2012. Now I can answer, whether this happened or not.
“I think my blog will change its appearance during 2012”
I actually really hoped, that 2012 would be the year where my blog got a new web design. But it wasn’t. I didn’t have time to even take one single step further in this direction. I hope I’ll prioritize it this year.
“I have to spend more time with myself. With no plans. With one-way entertainment, where I am the one receiving. So I can be there for me.”
I did become better at this! I used my iPad to watch tv-series at least 3 times a week. And at least 20-40 minutes. This is so important to me, because it gives me some time, where I can only be. I don’t have to use my head. I’m just entertained. I don’t share it. I don’t talk about it. It doesn’t make me smarter, and it really doesn’t inspire me. I can’t use it. I can just watch and laugh. Then my head relaxes. I still need to focus on this.
“These are the things, I had too little of in 2011. So more of these things in 2012:
TV. Sleep. Teaching. Butterflies.”
TV – on the iPad, was really the only thing I improved during 2012. I definitely didn’t get much sleep! And neither teaching or butterflies. I think for 2013 I’ll focus on keeping it up with the TV watching on my iPad, trying to get more sleep – which is kind of ironic to write, when in fact it’s 1:48 AM right now… and I’m still at work – and getting to know those butterflies again! Some new ones. The ones that come out of this complete sense of “This is right. This is just how it was always meant to be. I feel like I’ve known you always – but just found you now”. That’s what I will go for.
THANK YOU SO MUCH
As some of you know, I’ve never blogged to get clicks or likes. I think I was just born with this sharing chromosome I’ve always shared. My thoughts, my ideas, my insights and learning… through dialogue, letters, e-mails, social platforms and this blog. I think I’ve always been like “What’s the deal with keeping things to myself, that can give something to others too? I won’t make a difference to this world, if I keep things to myself”. But even though I don’t blog for clicks and visits… if I did, you’d find completely different content here… I’m still really happy when I look at my blog statistics. The high numbers lets me know, that you are there! And that what I find and share, does something to other people than just me. And this makes me happy.
But what I like way more, is when people like, retweet, or share. This let’s me know, that what I found made such an impact – like a smile or a new thought – that you feel like paying this forward. And even better; sometimes it turns anonymous numbers in the statistics in to real people. Which I’m way more interested in than numbers! I’ve never really understood why some people are so stingy with their likes. What’s there to loose?
So I want to thank you all for following and taking an interest in me and my blog. Thank you so much for paying it forward, whenever a blog post does something good to you. And thank you for all your e-mails with compliments, thoughts or great finds of your own. Your comments and e-mails make me smile and feel happy and appreciated. And I love to get to know you a bit better through the dialogue.
May your 2013 be fun, brave, honest, and full of love.
These are my chosen Instagrams from my 2012:
The Villa Rotterdam is an amazing reconversion project by Dutch architecture studio Ooze. Located in a green neighbourhood, this detached house has been extended several times over the years, and the owners wanted to recycle the soul of the house by transforming it in an unusual way. As a result, they wrapped a faceted skin over the building which mixes green roofs with black wooden planks, and also creates new spaces for inhabitation. Inside, the transition between the new and the old is subtle and gradual as you go up, creating a variety of spaces that enriches the life within the house.
Dutch Design Week 2012 of course aimed to impress as usual, but one piece of art that stood out among the other installations happened to be an outdoor, Eindhoven city immersed hot air balloon by Lucas Maassen. Titled “Skyline Bump – baked architecture” this piece is a glowing piece of joy within the dull city architecture.
As a part of the “Unexpected Interactions” exhibit, Maassen set out to create a bold visual feature depicting something between a peeking sun and a cheerful living dome within the dutch city – giving the Dutch people an extra 30 minutes of light each evening with the 22 meter in diameter balloon.