It’s been a while. I know I shouldn’t have kept you waiting, but I’m here now.
Who am I kidding? I know I cannot fool you, Life! But even if those words aren’t mine, they seem appropriate to open this long overdue letter.
Plans, Life. Plans!
Let’s talk about them.
How come I have tons of them, but hardly ever one seems to lead to accomplishment?
Is this the reason why my head is full? That I experience problems falling asleep?
Are they the reason I wake up at 5:19 am every morning?
Is my insomnia better at realising plans than my conscious self?!
If only it was up to my head, Life, you’d look completely different for me.
Although I wonder if that’s a good thing…
Plans are nothing, planning is everything
Dwight D. Eisenhower
For instance, take the Dutch weather lately, (which has been exactly what we always complain about: cold and wet).
I have never used my winter jacket for as long as I have this year, and the weather’s only picked up since a day or two…
What I mean is: if us humans, or at the very least us Dutchies, could plan the weather, we’d never see another droplet of rain. Our farm fields would go to waste, all the water we’re so proud of conquering would dry up and we’d be even more miserable than we imagine we are right now.
You poorly combine with making plans, Life. Because you always seem to give me something else to deal with first, before doing what I feel I must to accomplish what I want.
Be it frustration or surprise, perhaps it’s not all that bad when you don’t give me what I want.
Because in the end, you always give me what I need. And that is, albeit unplanned, more valuable.
So thank you.
For being mine the way you are.
The origin of the opening words:
How do you go about planning your life? Does it work for you? Let me know in a comment ↓
“Insomnia is a vertiginous lucidity that can convert paradise itself into a place of torture” – Emil Cioran
Well, that writing challenge sure was over sooner than I thought… It’s been put on my list of things to do one day, yet I suppose we all know that’s code for probably never.
And I’m not even sorry about it.
For the past 29 days I have not really been sorry about anything. Like not working on my business – not sorry.
Neglecting my appearance – not sorry.
Not working out – not even going to try and be sorry about this one.
The thing is: I have insomnia. Don’t ask me what keeps me up at night, please, because I don’t know. I know it’s more than 1 thing, or else I’d be able to answer that question.
I know the English equivalent is about a camel and a straw, but in Dutch we say “it’s the droplet that makes the bucket spill”.
I feel as if I am the bucket, and I was doing okay, then all of a sudden all these small, seemingly irrelevant little things happened all at once and now I’m spilling over as if it’s the only thing I’m left knowing how to do.
Things as my eldest sister turning evil and trying to feed me cherry pie. Like, really? I’ve hated cherries all my life, never even as much as eaten half a one, and you dare ask me if I’m sure I “don’t want just a small piece?” – talk about crap acting, too. She “did not get anything else as a treat for her 41st”, because she “assumed everyone would enjoy the cherry pie.” Imagine the whole family munching away and me sitting there with nothing.
And no, it’s not the cake. I couldn’t care less. It’s being excluded that hurt. Deliberately excluded. So there was that.
Then there was a series of happenings involving a series of ex-classmates. One of them started her own business, and even if she’s doing something completely different than me, she got double the Facebook likes in one week than I’ve managed to collect in two years. It makes me feel as if everyone sees it, you know, The Secret To Running A Successful Business, but me. I’m definitely missing something here, and it’s more than Facebook likes (which is funny, because I hate Facebook and normally don’t care too much for likes of any kind, anywhere. It’s just the thought of me doing something wrong and not knowing what).
About a month ago I’m driving my car and what do I see when about to hit a roundabout? A giant blown-up face of another ex-classmate who’s running for a local government office position (I don’t even know where to begin trying to explain this, so just picture a massive head on a poster and a terrible slogan to accompany it). It scared me. Not just the face (he is actually younger than me yet looks about 10 years older!), but the fact that he’s the main face of a big political local party and I am… where in my life, exactly?
Then my birthday comes along and I am not even allowed to take revenge on Evil Sister, because I live with my parents and, well, they just love to see their grandchildren munch away at home-made apple pie. So there you have it: my own sister treats me like sh*t, won’t talk about what’s bothering her and instead decides to go full passive aggressive on my butt, and I cannot even strike back because of her children. It’s like they’re her shield to avert attacks from outside. Yuck.
It feels as if I am still the doormat I have been trying so hard not to be. “Take the punches, but don’t ever think of hitting back or else I’ll keep the kids away from mom and dad and it will be your fault” – that’s what I hear, in my head. It’s quite possibly not entirely fair, but Evil Sister has once said: “Maybe I shouldn’t come home for a year and then they’ll respect me more, too” (referring to our other sister’s one-year disappearance act), so I am not keen on proving my theory either right or wrong…
And of course, my business is doing sh*t as well, and no, it’s not just COVID, it’s me! I have no *** idea what I am doing, and even if I am convinced I am a super coach (I actually really do believe I am great at coaching!), I lack in the Getting Clients department.
What also doesn’t help is that the person I hired to teach me all that jazz, a) has postponed the programme I enrolled in due to personal matters and b) possibly doesn’t understand me.
I am not like other people. You say things as social media following and I don’t get excited, I shiver. And what the heck would I do with email addresses if people were to sign up for my blog or website!? Why should I pester anyone with “special offers” when I’m really more into attracting people who already know they want a coach?
I’ve had coaching clients in the past. None of them signed up for any list, downloaded any free email clickbait or decided they should follow my persona because I am “so cool”.
I reckon it worked fine for all of us, really, but now all I hear is how building a list of emails is a must to be a self-employed coach (or anything else).
Al I am trying to say is that I don’t get it, the whole entrepeneuring-thing. To me, following what everyone else does because it works feels… fake. If there’s only one way of becoming a successful self-employed coach, wouldn’t that mean we’re all essentially doing (and being) the same? The same motives, the same techniques, the same methods, the same websites, the same stories, all over and over. Endlessly repeated like we’re The A-Team reruns on TV. How can you stand out when you’re only ever copying others?
There has got to be a different way, surely? But… I haven’t found it yet and so far it’s kept me from having had any clients in 2020. So, do I relent or do I keep fighting?
Anyway, to sum it all up: my life feels like a joke. And it’s a feeling that’s been simmering in the background, but has come to a boil due to all these separate events that quickly followed one another.
Have I mentioned yet that what keeps me up at night is my head spinning? As if I can’t turn it off, no matter how tired I am (and I am tired!! So, so tired!). My heart often beats so loud it’s as if it’s trying to come out of my chest, and every time I am about to fall asleep, I am immediately jerked back to sleeplessness by a panic attack or two, that increase in waves and force as the night lingers on.
My doctor (who is finally retiring!! BEST NEWS OF 2020!!) prescribed me highly-addictive sleeping pills that work – sometimes. Sometimes they don’t.
At least they’ve given me a goal for 2021: detoxing.
December 3rd is my date with – irony inserted here – a GP-linked coach.
In five days I am going to talk about my issues with a man who has the job I want.
Who knows, maybe he can give me a hint or two.
This post is growing much longer than I’d imagined… Perhaps I have more on my mind than I thought, after all – and this is just the tip of the iceberg, really.
Anyway, that’s why I’ve been even more silent than I normally am: I don’t sleep. I am exhausted all day long, yet when it is time to close my eyes and drift off, all I do is panic.
And I wish I could say I am not sorry about that, but I am. Very much.
I refuse to give up, though. So what if I am different and it’s hitting me harder than it’s ever done before? I’ve had a long walk and talk with a good friend yesterday, and it’s helped me clear some things up.
And then there’s this last song, of course. My personal anthem, if you will. I don’t give up. I don’t run. Not from panic attacks, not from Evil Sisters and surely not from really scary giant old-looking men’s heads on posters (although when encountered in real life, I’d definitely run!).
You don’t get me down. I know, you keep me up.
But you also give me plenty of time to overthink my strategy.
Luctor et emergo.
I struggle and overcome – again and again and again. And again.
Here’s to everyone suffering from anxiety, stress, insomnia or all of the above:
We might not sleep. But we don’t run away from our problems, either.
“My moods are like a roller coaster. It’s hard for me to just feel one way all the time” – Tierra Whack
This week, my To Do List topped: Strangle my gynaecologist.
I am not an aggressive person and I don’t believe in using violence to solve a problem, but I can honestly say that if I had seen that woman sometime during last Monday or the days following, she would have had an incredibly hard time getting away from me without a scratch. Or two.
For those of you who don’t know me (too) well: I’ve been having severe weekly nausea attacks combined with all kinds of physical craziness for the unhappy period of about nine months, ever since I stopped taking the pill. For the full story I suggest you browse older posts as I am done with that chapter of my life.
Anyway, the gynaecologist already mentioned concluded my cries for help with: “it’s definitely not the hormones”, that it was “all in my head” and that I should go and “talk to someone about it.”
Very long story very short: I talked to someone about it. It’s not in my head. And last Monday I found out my physical maladies ARE 100% hormonal!
AND THERE IS A REMEDY!
Thank goodness for Google being brilliant and my low blood pressure being persistent, because the combination of the latter with PMS in the almighty search box gave me what I’ve secretly been craving for nine months: a possible cure.
Vitex agnus castus (monk’s pepper) is a homeopathical supplement that is used to help women balance out their hormones.
Can you imagine how upset I was to learn I’ve been sick more on than off for three quarters of a year while this stuff was out there already, making women like me feel better every day!?
That, basically, I’ve been sick for no reason? That my physical problems could have been prevented?
I fully realise that a homeopathic supplement is a “natural remedy,” which are hardly ever recognised by regular health care. And that even if it works wonders on countless women worldwide, it might not do anything for me, personally.
But I still went and bought two bottles of it right away!
The reason why Monday made me angry enough to want to strangle my gynaecologist is mostly because I was so relieved to find this possible remedy. To me, it was proof that I am not crazy and this is a real thing!
Then the sadness hit me because I started counting back the nine months since I got sick, all which might have been prevented if only I’d known about this sooner…
And I have been really sick. Despite no longer grounding me to my bed or returning weekly, the nausea attacks still creep up on me regularly and drain my energy in total. So yes, sadness for all that’s happened.
But… if Monday was a dark roller-coaster, Tuesday left no doubt in what I felt: happiness, because my package arrived within 24 hours of ordering Monk’s Pepper, and hopefulness that mine, too, will turn into a success story!
To Do List: Strangle my gynaecologist Tackle my hormones once and for all.
What was on your To Do List this week? How did you go about that?
I accidentally-yet-happily stumbled upon this gem recently. I think it was a song we had to learn in music class 100 years ago in high school, but I am not sure. What I am sure about, is that I completely forgot about its existence until I saw it mentioned somewhere (was it a Google prompt? I forgot).
My head is so full with old doubts it’s hard to remember new things. My heart is (strangely) at ease, yet there’s a thin layer of sadness covering it. But when I hear this song I feel 100% alive.
Today would have been my niece’s 3rd birthday. Her name was another flower. Seems only right to share this rosy one with you here ❤ ❤ ❤
“What comes up, must come down. But you and me, we’re floating above the ground” – Mika (from: Stay High)
After months of looking forward to it, February 13th was finally there: Mika’s concert in the Netherlands!
I can’t say I am a huge fan, Life, because you and me both know I am too lazy practical to spend a whole lot of time figuring this man’s life out (nor do I really care that much), but I do very much appreciate his music and live shows.
His latest album had been living inside my CD player for months, which was my most active attempt at getting his new songs down in time before the gig.
It’s just a little disappointing that I lost my voice a day before. But I reckon squealing along is better than sitting at home crying.
Mika’s show ended up teaching me a valuable lesson (or two) as well:
First, Life, I did not know it was humanly possible to have so much fun. Or maybe I forgot. People from all ages, cultural backgrounds and social statuses came together to have a blast – which we did. For one night, for a few hours, none of it mattered. We were all alike. Problem-, worry-, and hate-free.
Second, after searching the web for pictures of the show afterwards (I am always too lazy busy singing and dancing to take any myself), I accidentally found out Mika’s mother is ill. Very ill. Not-sure-she’s-going-to-make-it-ill.
If I was amazed at his performances before, I’m even more so now. For I can slightly imagine the horrors he must be facing, since my mother’s been there, too.
Which is exactly why I closed off my internet immediately, ran to my mum and held her.
She’s here still. I have her. I’ll lose her one day, but not today.
Enjoy yourself, but never take anything for granted ❤