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Sunday Summary (Special Edition)

(Week 48)

sunday_summary“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”Oscar Wilde

Happy Sunday everyone!

This week, I wanted to do something different, to create an alternative summary. Just because I can.

So instead of listing things I learned, I thought it’d be fun to come up with seven reasons why I am beautiful. I’ve always focused on bad stuff (my nose!), but was curious to see what I’d find if I actively looked for my good sides.

Choosing one thing each day summed up to these seven points:

  1. My personality. So typical: my intention was to focus on my looks, but the first thing I came up with when thinking of what makes me beautiful was my inner self. I am happy with the person I am. Of course there’s plenty of room for growth, but the core me is someone I wouldn’t want to change, ever. I am honest, loyal, kind and funny (I think), and even if someone takes advantage of me, I cannot be disrespectful towards them. It tires me sometimes, because it feels I always have to be the bigger person in every situation, but there simply isn’t an alternative: this is who I am. Relentless, stubborn, but with a good heart. I like that. I don’t want to be someone else, I’m fine being me.
  2. My eyes. This one surprised me, for I never liked my eyes! A little explanation is in order: I have two older sisters and they both inherited my dad’s bright blue eyes. Angelic blue, almost. I also have blue eyes, but mine lean more towards greyish blue, and I recently noticed I have green specks near my irises. Totally bummed out about this (I really like my dad’s eyes! And now my niece and nephew have that colour, too! Why not me!?), I told my mum about the bits of green in my matte-blue eyes, and hers lit up as she exclaimed: “I know! You have that from me! None of your sisters have it, I am so happy one of my kids does!”
    I instantly felt special. Let them all have my father’s eyes, I got mine from mum. Hah!
  3. My shoulders. This one is both literal and figurative as my shoulders have come to bear heavy burdens throughout the years, and working out has toned them nicely. So not only do they look strong, they are strong! All the hardship, all the drama and bad stuff, I carry it like a pro. Sometimes I feel like Atlas, who carried the world on his shoulders. I am confident mine could handle that, too, if I had to. They’re simply that awesome!
  4. My sense of responsibility. I am twenty-nine, which isn’t that old (right?), but I never walk away from my responsibilities. For instance, if I get into my car (or actually my mother’s car) I realise the importance of driving safely, for not only is my safety at stake, so is the safety of everyone else I encounter during my trip on the road. If I’m teaching a lesson at the gym, I fully understand the necessity of giving clear instructions and keeping an eye on everyone doing the work outs; if they strain a muscle it’s on me, because of bad teaching.
    The list goes on and on and ranges from big things (e.g. taking care of my ill mother), to small ones, such as throwing away garbage. You’ll never catch me littering, because I feel responsible for the planet we live on and I don’t want to take part in destroying it. My sense of responsibility keeps me on the right path, it withholds me from becoming a lazy or bad person, and that’s why this makes me beautiful.
  5. My hair! I can’t believe this isn’t the first item on my self-beauty-list! For the most part of my life, I considered my hair to be the only bit of beauty I had on me. Where I felt I got the wrong end of the deal eye-wise, I never once doubted I got all the good genes when it came down to my hair. I inherited the colour of my mother (although my father was blonde as well when he was young) and her natural waves, and the thickness of my father. Result: a full set of thick, naturally blonde, wavy hair. Even my hairdresser is jealous (she told me so herself)! Another plus is that it grows super quickly, which is why I was able to donate it twice over the course of five years, and that it looks good on me whether it’s long or short.
    Funny side-note: the hairs on my arms and legs are super blonde as well. So I never have to shave my arms and when I do my legs I practically have to use a magnifying glass to see if I’ve missed some.
    Yes, you can hate me 😉 My hair is so awesome, it’s allowed.
  6. My toes. According to this website I have Greek feet. Now, some of you may be grossed out about this, but apparently it’s a common foot/toes-type. Fun fact: I was in Rome with high school about eleven years ago, and we visited the Galleria Borghese where they have some of Bernini‘s most famous statues. Bernini was a brilliant artist and his sculptures are full of details. If you ever visit the Galleria Borghese (which you should!), take a good look at the toes of the characters depicted in Bernini’s statues.
    That’s right! They all have Greek feet! Why? Because in Greek mythology, if your second toe was larger than your big one, it was deemed a sign that the gods were with you (and Bernini was a perfectionist and a big fan of mythology).
    I have divine feet (pun intended)! What’s not to love about that?
  7. My soul. This one borders number one, but is slightly different. There’s a calm, warm energy stored deeply inside me. When I had trouble falling asleep a few nights ago, I first encountered this energy. It was delicious! So strong, so calm, so unconcerned and convinced everything will work out just fine. No troubles. No drama. No insecurities. Just a mellow river of delightful energy.
    I’m not really sure if this is my soul, but it sounds nice so I’m going with it. I reckon this is the real me, that this strong Samantha-energy will take over one day, that this is my blueprint. Like a seed growing into a tree: it loses a few branches here and there, but only to become it’s true self in the end.
    And now that I know it’s there, it might grow on me more quickly.
    At least this source of energy will help me fall asleep faster (it really calmed me down).

The point of doing this was to help myself focus on my good sides, to create a more positive self-image. I always thought I’d never learn to love myself, had almost given up trying, but I guess I was already on my way 🙂

If there’s anyone out there who also struggles with their self-worth, I advice you to list your beauty aspects, too. It’s surprising and fun, and so much better for you than breaking yourself down!

I wish you all a happy new week, and let’s end this one with an old feel-good song. I couldn’t decide between two bads (Beautiful by Christina Aguilera or What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction), so I chose a different one instead.

Beauty is not looking like everyone else. Beauty is being you, doing your own thing and enjoying yourself while at it.


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“Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath, and a glass of wine”Thomas Aquinas

He forgot to name chocolate, though.

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Sunday Summary

(Week 47)

sunday_summary“To know, is to know you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge”Socrates

Woa, the weeks fly by! Which is only fine by me, as I’ve long ago decided this year’s just not it. Anyway, done with the negative stuff, on to the positive and knowledgeable moments of this week:

  1. Keep singing your own song, even if everyone else is humming a different tune. Sounds kind of deep, doesn’t it? I know, I’m proud of myself, too 🙂
    Apart from literally playing (and singing along to) music I like, despite what others think of my taste, there’s a figurative meaning to this as well: when you’re driving on a road with a speed limit of 80 kilometres an hour* and every other driver is flying by going at least 120 (and thus breaking the law), the key is to not give a crap and keep doing your own thing (which is going 80 kilometres an hour and singing along to Meghan Trainor).
    Although this story is anything but an analogy, this lesson is applicable to multiple situations in life. Think about any random rage you did not join in on, simply because you didn’t want to. That’s right: we don’t have to follow each other around every time. Instead, pick your own path and don’t be afraid to see where it leads!
    (*80 kilometres an hour is about 50 miles an hour)
  2. It feels good to let go. Coming from a true perfectionist, this is rich! But ever so true. Normally, I strive to outperform myself in anything I do, but lately I’ve been loosening up during Zumba. There’s this girl who doesn’t take the class seriously (and there’s only about seven of us in there each week). She keeps goofing around, and for some reason I can’t help but join in.
    I’m not sure the teacher is amused by us, but then again, we’re all there for fun. We’re not training to become professional Zumba-dancers, so why not let go of all the stiffness and laugh a little! Life’s too short to be serious all the time, anyway.
  3. When at war with an attic folding ladder, make sure you gently pull the lever. It will help get the ladder down much more easily than pulling it by force (aka grab it, aggressively shake it, then pull your feet up using all you body weight in an attempt to get the darn thing to unfold already!!). This needs a little extra explaining: I have never in my entire life had to unfold an attic ladder. Ever. So when a client of mine asked me to go up to her attic to check on her boiler (also something I’ve never done before – I trust it will be mentioned on next week’s summary), I had no idea how to get it down properly. And in my defence: neither did she. We pulled and shook it and I’m pretty sure I almost killed it, until we got to the point where she started up her laptop to google how to do it (sad, but true). The moment her laptop (almost as dead as her attic ladder) sprung to life, I found a teeny-tiny lever-like thingy clung to the ladder’s metalwork. I pulled it and… voila!
    Things can be so easy if you know how they work…

    Behold the area of the tiny mechanism. You don’t see it either, do you!? (NOTE: this is not at my client’s house, but a picture of a random similar ladder)
  4. It’s hard to say sorry to others, but it’s even harder to say it to yourself. They say if something is worth having, it’s worth fighting for. Being nice to yourself is so hard sometimes, at least it can be for me. And I wanted so many apologies from a lot of people, I forgot that mostly I needed a sorry from myself. So as silly as it may sound, I went to a mirror and literally said sorry to my reflection for everything I’ve ever done to myself that bothered me and kept me from becoming stronger.It’s hard enough knowing there’s people out there who will never respect you, the least you can do is learn to respect yourself. Admitting you did something wrong to yourself is always the first step. Do it. You’ll feel great afterwards.
  5. Here’s some more TV-wisdom for you all: there are three different kinds of snakes in the Netherlands. All my life, I always thought we only had one: the adder. Turns out we have two other indigenous species: the smooth snake and the grass snake. Seriously never knew that…
  6. Everything is fake. Before our king became our king, and even before he got married, there was an incident in which he had said something he probably shouldn’t have. It’s a bit dramatic and long to tell, but it was a royal blunder (pun intended). When being interviewed about their engagement this blunder was brought up, and our then crown prince’s future wife Máxima said he had been “a little dumb.” She spoke with a cute accent and made everyone laugh, and that was the very moment I think my entire nation fell in love with her.
    This week I learned even that innocent moment, that almost childlike remark, was scripted. It was a set-up and had been rehearsed several times before being filmed! Who can we really trust? If something as simple as this is fake, then everything else we see on TV must be fake, too…

  7. Some wisdom from my “Best Wishes”-box: Making a choice is being where you are. Riiiight… Okay, so I didn’t make this one up, I only picked it from a selection of rolled up pieces of paper. I guess it means that when you make a rational decision, you’re being “in the moment” with your head, and you cannot be anywhere else. Like when I decided to quit my job, I decided it then and there, at that moment, and thus that’s where I was: in that moment.

And so the circle is round: I opened with some deep words of wisdom, and I ended with some as well.

I hope you all had a good week. I’ve used quite a few extra media files, but here’s one more in case you’re curious about this weeks Earworm Of The Week (it’s a good one! Even if I hear it all day long, it won’t bore me one second).

Take care!


Hurdle (aka There’s Only So Many Tattoos You Can Have On Your Forehead)

Pronunciation: /hur-dl/

“Affliction comes to us not to make us sad, but sober. Not to make us sorry, but wise”H. G. Wells

For quite a while during my life, “sorry” seemed to be my stop-word, ending almost every sentence I started. I came to realise this because at one point a co-worker pointed it out to me. She said: “You always apologise for everything, why do you do that? I’m not calling you out on a mistake, I am only informing you what jobs need to be done. There’s no reason to say you’re sorry all the time when you haven’t done anything wrong!”

So I guess in my case, Sir Elton John was partly right: I did not find it problematic at all to use the s-word.

He was right about others, though. Apparently sorry seems to be the hardest word for many people in my environment, especially if it concerns me. I suppose “sorry” is too much of a hurdle for most people to take.

It’s no secret I was bullied extremely all throughout high school, by as much as basically the entire school at one point (at least it felt like that). With the people in my class being the worst, I remember bumping into one of them at college one day. She had dyed her hair, so I didn’t recognise her straight away. Plus, as she noticed me, she smiled at me a warm smile and kindly nodded as if to say hello.

You can’t blame me for being confused there! She had never ever been nice to me! Not once. For six years straight, she was the main antagonist in my life. She only acknowledged my existence so she could make my life a living hell, and if she ever produced more than one nice syllable to be used for my good, it’s a lot!

I knew she had gone to a different city than me to carry on her education, and I never imagined seeing her face ever again. Until that very day during my senior year, when I walked to the elevators after class (Academic Writing in English for the Social Sciences, I’ll never forget. I came up with quite a few new English terms to describe my former tormentor, heh). The doors opened and as she came out I walked in. We nearly bumped and she smiled at me. Kindly smiled at me. Like we were old friends.

But before the elevator doors had closed, my brains had worked their memory-magic and my mouth shouted, just a little too loudly so she could hear: “Ohhh, that was that b**** from high school!”

I really hope she heard that. I really hope it made her heart jump a little with misery. How dare she be nice to me all of a sudden? Like nothing happened.

The thing is, she hurt me and never said sorry for that. She just kept on living her life, never once looking back, never once accepting that what she did to me for so many years was not cool. Never once apologising. Instead she forgot, and expected me to do so, too.

I’m okay with people moving on, but I can’t stand injustice. Don’t go all demonic on someone only to pretend nothing’s ever happened afterwards. Don’t hide behind lame excuses to cover up for your mistakes. Don’t erase yourself from someone’s life without telling them why. And don’t go on making someone else’s life a total misery, only because you’re not enjoying your own.

Part of why 2015 has been such a bad year is because I made it so. For myself.

I am still hung up over my aunt’s death and its aftermath. I find myself to be so extremely angry at my sister for cutting us out of her life, it literally makes me nauseous sometimes.
And then there’s the idiot who kept flirting with me only to ignore me for months the second he got a girlfriend. He contacted me and tried to reconnect (but only after his relationship didn’t work out, obviously). I said my piece and it felt so good for a while, but it’s secretly still bugging me endlessly.

Why can’t I let this all go? Because in every case I just described, nobody had the guts to tell me they were sorry. Not even in the case of the guy who was trying to regain my affection. You’d think that was the most logical thing to do: step one: apologise. But nothing. Not a peep. Only excuses and accusations (“you didn’t show up for the New Year’s party, although I consistently tried to get you to come”).

I don’t care if people don’t like me. I don’t care if they never want to see me again. All I care is for a little respect. You can grant me that, can’t you? Because if I do something wrong, I’ll be the first to admit.

I once cut someone out of my life because he told me he fancied me and I couldn’t deal with that. I completely freaked out and thought there was only one way out: destroying every form of contact with him.

Of course I was wrong, but it took me a while to get there. I asked myself how I’d feel if I was him, and then there was only one clear solution: I had done him wrong, terribly wrong, and I needed to say I was sorry. Even if it meant I was to grovel and get my knees dirty, I had to go deep and apologise. It didn’t matter if he would forgive me or not, he still needed to know I was sorry. That I knew I had been in the wrong.

Often I feel as if I have something tattooed on my forehead. Things such as: “Please be rude to me, I am a young woman so you’re allowed to”, or: “I am blonde and look innocent, so go ahead and assume I’m stupid.”
Ever since high school, though, I felt that whenever someone looked at me they saw written on my face: “Please hurt me, I’d really like that. I may resemble a human being, but I am most definitely not. I am a robot and I don’t have feelings.”

But I do have feelings. And they do get hurt. Just like yours.

The only difference, the only thing that separates me from most people, is that I have the guts to say it out loud. I am brave enough to say that what I did was wrong, and to apologise. I am willing to take that hurdle and admit I was wrong.

So this one is from me to me: I am sorry for making this year extra hard for you. I am sorry to keep telling you you’re not good enough. I am sorry I keep bothering you with bad memories and impossible high expectations. And I am sorry I ask so much of you and so little of others.

Admitting you’re wrong is difficult, yes. But not impossible. Don’t let your pride get in the way of jumping that hurdle and doing the right thing.

And if you never get a much-needed apology, don’t fret. Just be sorry for them instead.

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“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”Martin Luther King, Jr.