Winter Blues

Time slips through my hands and suddenly I can say it’s February 2015. Time feels slightly empty lately. I study what I find most interesting and I have nice people around me, yet my self doesn’t seem to notice the blessings. I try but smiles have a hard time appearing on me, in me. Once more I realize that better periods don’t mean it will be better forever. There are high hills and low dales inside of me. Irony is that it is not standing still and holding tight that keeps you high on this metaphor of the mountain, but going on steadily – I just haven’t figured out yet what to do with the valleys. Do I let myself run into them, resolute, not afraid to fall?Kröller-Müller & MMK Arnhem 071

At new beginnings I feel good and I wondered if a new chapter might have begun when I started university. Now I realize that all the newness is just distraction and not a cure nor a solution, just like traveling in order to find yourself is actually running away from certain parts of yourself or your life. Eventually these will turn up again, wherever you are and whatever you do, and if it’s not on the road it is upon return. In valleys certain questions that are always and always have been by my side, come to the surface while they become heavier and of utmost importance. Normally I succeed to ignore them, but in these times I need to know the answers, the answers that I don’t have, because without them everything feels so damn incomprehensible and pointless. I know that there will come a moment in which I suddenly feel myself slip from underneath the dark veil again, but it is the not knowing when that makes me feel first desperate and then hopeless. When I look at others I feel childish and irresponsible for not sharing the same lightness and ease.

The valleys always appear with the days getting shorter and the sunshine getting scarce, but I’ll be honest and tell you that I doubt whether it is Winter Blues. Yet we all know that it is comfortable to give the thing a name to hide behind. To tell myself that I have to wait for summer, ignoring the fact that after summer the brothers of fall and winter show up again.

I assume that people think, and I do too, that this is who I am, that this is me. Is it me? Is it circumstances? Is it twisted relationships?

“Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn’t you. That isn’t you at all.”        ~ Leila Sales, This Song Will Save Your Life

That is something that I need to remember, together with a lot of other things. I define myself, and if I want to be undefined, then let me be undefined. Don’t hold tight on the images that you make of the whole you, but based on only parts of you. Don’t let those parts become so important, so defining, that they keep you from being the person you really and wholly are – the person you are in your day dreams? And above all, don’t give a damn about the images you think other people have formed of you. Because it is not you. Not at all.

Yet it is me. In a way. Partly. Eventually. The mountains and the valleys. The valleys.


Little Update + Gratefulness

Kröller-Müller & MMK Arnhem 170 I won’t deny it: I have been busy these months and my mind was with other things than blogging and the like. Big changes have occurred and I’m trying to find a new rhythm, a new balance, a new pace in this new way of life. University life has started, from now on I’m a student focusing on the field of international development. I move between two places that feel like different lives and I try to combine the two into one, dealing with my wanderlust at the same time. Good things happen. New friends and interesting people introduce themselves, I discover a new area of the country, I go to Amnesty movie nights and yoga classes and magazine commission meetings in an attempt to shape myself into the person I want to become, finally having the space for that. I can feel myself growing.

Though,                                                                                                                               “Even under the best circumstances, there’s just something so damn tragic about growing up.” (Jonathan Tropper)

I have two homes now, one old and one new, the first feeling different than before and the latter feeling exciting but still strange. I find myself wondering, is my real home within me? The need to express my feelings through all sorts of media has grown bigger over the last year, and I’m happy that my gap year gave me all the space I wished for. After struggling through high school freedom was what I needed. I discovered myself. Among other things, I painted, wrote, made music and I wonder how I can keep doing all of this now busy life has started again. Though I’m a determined person, as a dear friend of mine said. I will find my way, and I’m lucky that my study isn’t the most hardest, busiest of all. I just have to find a new rhythm, a new balance, that is all. If there is one thing I’m sure of, it is this: although I decided not to go into arts, I will never allow myself to become the serious, boring, ‘proper’ adult that fits in.

“I am half child, half ancient.” (Björk)

Over the last half a year I have been keeping a gratitude journal. Every day before I went to sleep I wrote down the things I had been thankful for. I hope this will keep my eyes and heart open for beauty and inspiration, even when the focus in my life is on more serious things for a while. This week’s gratefulness:

1. Mulberry vanilla raw chocolate

2. ‘Desert Flower’ by Waris Dirie, which I’m reading, and the fact that I’m, thankgod, not circumcised

3. Chai latte @ Bagels & Beans with a friend

4. A girl that guarantees good laughs and serious talks, and the feeling of being understood

5. An evening spent watching tv on the couch with my family

6. Late summer days

Lastly, if you’d like to you can follow me on Instagram from now on. I see my posts on there as the things I’m thankful for, too.



It’s easy to lose yourself – in your own world, in the hectic world around you, in the past, in thoughts. “Remember to write,” I told in a note to myself a few days ago, “Write, draw, paint.” “Listen to music,” I would like to add now, and “hear the silence”, as well. I always have short periods of creativeness followed by a sort of nothingness, but now I’m succeeding in this pretty well and to my delight for a few days already. As a result thoughts, ideas and creativeness start flowing. I know I lose myself when I don’t do these things.

So this is what my days are looking like in pictures:


I painted the bird a few days ago, after one I saw in Kenya. The cosmic painting is a fast one from last night: “Still believe in magic? Yes, I do. Of course, I do.” (Coldplay) The photo on the left reminds me of that magic. Enoch and Joseph are the wonderful boys on the picture on the right.


Four days ago I started reading “Eat, pray, love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and I feel like I’m in Italy since. Together with the beautiful sunny and warm weather it makes that I feel passionate again, not in the last place about searching for new recipes and making delicious, healthy summer food.

P1100026 This is a bad picture of today’s gypsy outfit of mine. Walking around barefoot in house and garden. Feeling content and free.

Try to inspire yourselves!



In My Happy Place // Sketching

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janna 009My room definitely is my sacred space. I always sigh a breath of relief when I enter it, no matter what I did or where I was before. It’s the place where I can totally be myself and where I feel embraced the most. In my room I have surrounded myself with inspirational illustrations, my own paintings and drawings, books, small things I collected in the course of time, lovely clothes and other fabrics, a little blackboard for quotes to remember, but most of all the colors that I love the most. I feel loved and thankful when I’m in my room, and I think it is very important to have a space like that!