Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why you shouldn't be jealous of people who are doing well for themselves // a little personal note about a personal battle

All right. I have thought about it over and over again and realize this is also a part of me that needs to be addressed. I know the internet is a happy place and as a designer my words should be inspirational and motivating people. Just don't read any further then. This is not much of a happy piece. There are so many interviews I am having nowadays and so many questions I need to answer. But there is never a time to get real about this part of my life. I love what I do, I love to be a designer. And the interviews are a way to make this all look like an amazing fairy tale which it is, it can be as well. The way I can earn my living now is simply the best way for me but it is not all a choice. I am so happy to work with people from all over the world, working night hours and weekends, flexible hours they would say. But for me this is a necessity too.

Drawing was my greatest passion even when I was a little girl. But I loved to do athletics, horse back riding and all sorts of other active things. What a lot of people do not realize is that I had to give up a lot of those things. When I was 8 I had trouble walking and holding my pencils, by the age of 15 my doctors told be not to move and let my joints rest for an entire summer. I had to give up a lot to sit still, all by myself, in a house that did not feel like home, while my friends went out enjoying summer. I started drawing again. But more than an hour was impossible. My fingers just could not hold a pencil any longer than that. And I realized I would never compromise that much ever again.

Three years ago, working for a company here in The Hague, work during office hours was impossible, the pain was driving me crazy and the stress caused me to lose a lot of weight. (Strangely enough people kept telling me I looked good at that time, losing weight and all… That was even more painful) I tried to look into what was wrong with my body and why I was stuck in this cycle of pain. My doctor advised me to just start working again even though I still was not able to sit down for more than an hour. Then I realized, my body does not meet this system, 9 to 5, it does not work for me, I can not sit for 8 hours straight each day. I had to make a choice; either be held captive in 'how I should work' in this business structure of ours with pain driving me up against the walls or take matters into my own hands. So I quit my job and started on my own.

At this moment, using my keyboard, typing hurts. The weather is changing and my body feels like one piece of concrete. What is your biggest inspiration they ask me time after time. There is another reason for me traveling as much as possible. A warmer dry climate keeps away the pain in my joints & muscles, lets me do all those things I can not do here in Holland. Taking a long walk for instance. Or enjoy long warm nights outside with friends without this pain in my body the next day.

Today is a bad day. I got up at 11AM. Most people would call it being 'lazy.' People that know me would never in the world call me a lazy person. But for my work this is very difficult. How can people I work with respect that, not having any insight about who I am. I can not blame people around me not taking it serious. But I simply cannot move my body until it moves. People can not see a broken leg or arm. My pain is hidden and I try not to let my life be ruled by what I cannot do. But I have limitations. And I will have to keep them in mind and be creative with that.

So I carry on working long hours during summer time when I can stretch my body to the limit to make a living and provide for myself. Hoping it will pay off during fall and winter when pain will increase. It is not all that easy as it seems.

All though I do things that are worth the pain sometimes: I skip the summer festival's and try to let it not bother me, I can not sleep in a tent and celebrate these summer days outside with my friends. I would love to be part of that but I have to let some things go. And it is so hard to tell them over and over again I am just not up for it because I do want to share those moments so bad. A depressing thought that really hurts, but not as much as my body will after the fact. I have to think about the bigger picture. My mind can cope, better than my body.

Don't be jealous of people who are doing well for themselves. They have to fight for it, they all fight there own battles you don't have any notion about. Jealousy is only a destraction to not have to change things yourself.

I deliberately did not add the 'physical 'box' i checked.' Every experience is a different one.