That person

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I never thought I’d be that person who wakes up early and does fitness exercises.
I never thought I’d be that person who meditates every day.
I never thought I’d be that person who spends a lot of time in nature.
I never thought I’d be that person who goes to festivals.
I never thought I’d be that person who cultivates many good friendships.
I never thought I’d be that person who travels to another continent to see a band.
I never thought I’d be that person who surrounds themselves with plants.
I never thought I’d be that person who skateboards.
I  never thought I’d be that person who improves their singing voice.
I never thought I’d be that person who says ‘yes’ to all tempting invitations.
I never thought I’d be that person who goes out dancing and stays until the end of the party.
I never thought I’d be that person who dates casually.
I never thought I’d be that person who goes to the beach on their own.
I never thought I’d be that person who fills up a whole sketchbook.
I never thought I’d be that person who travels with only a small backpack.
I never thought I’d be that person who works in an office, and actually enjoys the work.
I never thought I’d be that person who builds up a business on the side.
I never thought I’d be that person who often surprises themselves.
I never thought I’d be that person who happily embraces change and the possibility for growth.
I never thought I’d be that person who sees this as essential for living a good, full life.

Yet here I am, reveling in every minute of it.

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Lessons learned in a clothing distribution centre

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For the past five months I worked full-time in a clothing distribution centre of a fairly big Dutch clothing brand. I packaged orders at the webshop, threw products onto a conveyor belt, unpacked and put products in storage, etc. It wasn’t my first choice of jobs, but, you know, writers also have bills to pay.

I learned a lot from my experience there though. Here are some of the things I took away from it:

  • ANY job is better than no job. Even if all you do is sticker price tags all day, it’s still better than sitting at home useless and parasitically living off other people.
  • Any work can be fulfilling if you’re continually learning new things and getting better at it.
  • If you have nice, fun colleagues it vastly improves your general experience. They are invaluable in this kind of repetitive work.
  • Repetitive actions, like folding and storing clothes, can be meditative and calming; they also give you an excellent opportunity to come up with solutions to problems in your creative projects.
  • Any attempt to wear cute clothes and chunky jewellery when you do physical work is futile.
  • Learn from others who have been at the job longer. Try methods that you see others use, even if it seems illogical to you. It will help you in the long run.
  • Make tasks as easy on yourself as possible. Doing something the hard way won’t impress anyone.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask men for help for something that requires physical strength. You may think you’re strong and tough and can totally do all the things the boys can, but sometimes you’ll just unnecessarily injure yourself if you lift something that’s too heavy for you.
  • A lot more clothes can fit in a box than you expect. Sometimes, you’ll think no, it’s way too much, there’s too big a pile sticking out at the top, it’ll never fit. Just close the box; it’ll fit.
  • Always wash new clothes.
  • The best way to wake up on a work morning is by putting on some cheerful music and singing along loudly. At work, cheerful music is also great to keep motivated.
  • Speaking of music, what the Dutch call fout (‘wrong’, meaning something like guilty pleasure) music is significantly more enjoyable than the modern pop shit on the radio.
  • A positive mindset improves every experience (one of those lessons that you have to learn over and over again).

Picture by Jim Killock

Complacency

You know the feeling.

You think you have everything you want. You have a stable job, a stable relationship, a stable plan for your future. You go out and have fun often enough, at the same old places with the same old people. You’re comfortable and seemingly happy in your predictable life. It doesn’t even occur to you to do anything else than you’re doing right now.

Sure, you did have dreams about moving abroad and joining a band, but they have long faded into the dark corners of your mind. You still like the city where you’re currently living. You’re not that good at singing anyway. Why make any drastic changes?

You’re happy.

At least, that’s what you tell yourself.

You fail to notice how much you are limiting yourself and your experiences. You fail to notice how small your world has become. This is what’s necessary right now, this is what’s necessary right now. This is what it means to be a grown-up.

Jokes about committing suicide creep back in. Really, they’re just jokes. These are just tears of laughter.

This is starting to seem bleak and hopeless. But there is good news! You are not alone in this world. There are many people out there who refuse to settle for complacency. Unconventional, adventurous, loving, inspiring, ecstatic, encouraging, hilarious, creative, optimistic, free-spirited people. People committed to living life to its fullest. Like stars whizzing through space. And if their stardust touches you, you’ll never be the same.

2015 recap

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before we head into the new year, i thought i’d do a little recap of 2015 here. this has been a pretty big year for me. i think i have put down enough of a foundation down to make 2016 my biggest yet. so much that can, & is bound to, happen… but for now, 2015.

some goals i had for 2015 were to improve my singing, learn more about (making) music, learn to write lyrics, make more art in general, make more videos, read more & save money. i think, overall, i have done well. with a lot of hard work, my singing has greatly improved. i still wouldn’t call it ‘good’, but i have reached a point that it is not unpleasant to hear. you should know that i have no natural talent for melodic singing whatsoever. later in the year i have also been working on more aggressive vocals. i think that i am much better at that.

this year i also learned to play the guitar! something i never thought i could do. i had lessons in the first half of the year & then just kept practicing on my own, & with my brother. i also tried to learn some musical theory, but that ended up being a disaster, haha.

as for other arts, i did a bit of sewing, drawing, & painting. i ended up mostly writing. in november i spontaneously participated in nanowrimo again & succeeded in writing a novel of 50,000 words. i wrote some short stories too. & even some poems, which could also be lyrics.

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i didn’t make as many videos or read as many books as i planned, because i honestly wasn’t as interested in it as i expected to be. & my last goal of saving money…. hahahahaha. what a spectacular fail. it was an educative fail though.

but enough of the boring goal stuff. i also did a lot of fun things this past year. some of my biggest highlights were my trip to england to see frank iero & later the wgt festival in germany with one of my favourite people in the world. i went to a lot of parties & other events with people i adore. of course i also went to a lot of concerts. i saw quite a few amazing bands more than once. even sort of befriended some of them. big highlight there is every time i die, who i will see again, at least three times, next year.

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i traveled around a lot more than i had expected this year, which was fantastic. budapest, brighton, oxford, around germany & just new places in the netherlands. this year i have really come to realize how happy traveling can make me. compared to that, all the material shit that i usually spend my money on means nothing.

speaking of material shit, this year i have been put off materialism and capitalism like i never have before. while i have also become obsessed with lolita fashion. oh, the contradiction. but especially later in the year, i really have become less materialistic. while i did spend a hell of a lot of money this year, i don’t think i bought that much (compared to previous years). a major reason for this is music. i am listening to stray from the path’s black friday as i’m typing this. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve heard TOO MANY PEOPLE BUY TOO MANY THINGS THEY DON’T EVEN NEED in my head as i was contemplating some essentially useless purchase. stray from the path has been one of my biggest musical obsessions this year. along with bands like cancer bats, counterparts, letlive. & rolo tomassi. it’s like i’ve fallen in love with hardcore & hardcore-related music in general all over again. more than ever it felt like that is where i belong.

yes, this has been a good year. of course, there were also some less pleasant things, but they are so small compared to the rest. i am so grateful for the many nice experiences i’ve had & the things that i’ve learned. thank you to everyone who was a part of it!

some honourable mentions: ♥ growing my hair out & dying it green ♥ turning 25 ♥ that crazy weekend around my birthday ♥ confirming my eye surgery ♥ comic books ♥ gala darling providing endless inspiration ♥ getting back into games ♥ successfully finishing the second year of my study ♥ being secretary of my study association, with a wonderful team around me ♥ anime ♥ meeting so many fantastic new people ♥ including online friends & acquaintances ♥ wearing my same favourite clothes over & over again ♥ knitting ♥ the shows penny dreadful, vikings, & gilmore girls ♥ re-reading all the harry potter books ♥ scents ♥ the elf fantasy fair ♥ pop punk ♥ making a 2015 playlist on spotify ♥ minimalism ♥ having a decent hardcore festival in my old local town ♥ shamelessly indulging in my girliest side ♥ re-discovering old favourite things ♥ enjoying a subscription to rock sound ♥ visiting libraries for fun again ♥ wandering around new cities without any plan ♥ honesty ♥