Emma in Amsterdam

Personal Growth | “January 6th 2020, I decided it has been enough. A void on the inside that I wasn’t able to fill for over two years.”

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January 6th 2020, I decided it has been enough. A void on the inside that I wasn’t able to fill for over two years. Was there something wrong with me? Aren’t more people experiencing this? Is happiness that hard to find?

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Jokingly telling family and friends I must be experiencing a quarter life crisis if they asked me how I was doing. To distract myself from the fact that that must’ve been the reason why I have been feeling this way for a while I even purchased ‘F*ck the quarterlife crisis’ by Femke Kamps. I even started reading it, which is maybe even the funniest part.

Crying is something I don’t (admit I) do. But January 6th I couldn’t hold it in anymore. After a tough day at work, the 3th fight this week with my best friend and the void I was still feeling on the inside I decided it was enough. I just broke down. It had been a tough year adjusting to the city, the friends I was trying to make and trying to feel ‘like home’. As soon as I put my bag on the floor and threw my keys in the drawer, the tears started to flow as if I had been holding them in for years. I couldn’t stop and went on for hours on end. As I nearly stopped and tried to pull myself together and deciding if I should ignore what just happened, I remembered a conversation I had in a café near work with a friend of mine. I told him about the void I was feeling inside, and the fact that I just could not be happy. ‘well, if you ever need a shoulder. You can lean on mine, I have been through it all already’. So I picked up the phone and told him what was going on. ‘do you need me to come over now?’ he asked. Again, I felt the hesitation of either downplaying my emotions like I was used to do or being honest. Not knowing that was one of the most important decision I have ever made. I did the right thing. ‘yes, I actually really need you to come over’ I said.

After a long talk I felt as relieved as I could be. But knew I had a big journey ahead. I needed to choose ‘me’, personal growth was the new way to go.

The time I had been living in Amsterdam I have been struggling with calling the place my ‘home’. Going partying every week (several times a week) was not necessarily the way to fill a void of not feeling comfortable living the life I was currently living. I was mostly distracting myself.

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When I visited a dear friend in New York in 2018 I read the infamous book ‘the subtle art of not giving a fuck’ by Mark Manson. ‘life is essentially an endless series of problems. The solution to one problem is merely the creation of another’. Which for me basically meant that I have to choose my battles. Seeing the difference between good and bad problems. Because there IS a difference.

Finding the motivation to make a change, there was no room left to feel sorry for myself. And that was something I was not ever going to allow myself to do ever again.

I started judging people on their intentions and not their actions, I only surrounded myself with people who wanted the best for me. Resulting in a zero tolerance policy for people who weren’t good for me. I stopped taking the people who loved me the most for granted and started working on relationships that have been dearest to me.

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I am still in the process of recognizing bad days and good days and whenever I have a bad day instead of looking for distraction, I just accept them for what they are, because why fight against something you can’t change? Being appreciative of the good days and being grateful, because having a good mental health is something I may not take for granted.

Looking forward to, gratefulness, discovering what life has to offer me. Meeting more beautiful people, Looking forward to the falling down and get back up again but most importantly: having to not do it alone. Because no one has to.

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