- So you never get sick of hearing your own voice in your head?
I don’t actually hear my own voice in my head…
- Are you sure? Whatever – whenever – you think, you use your voice. To shape the words in your mind, right?
I guess so… but whenever I hear it on tape it just sounds so different from what I hear in my head.
It’s just so crazy to realise that your whole reality is shaped by the concepts that are available in the language you speak.
- Fuck yeah.
That’s why you don’t know what you’re feeling until you read it in the book on your bedside table.
That’s why this is not really the same as:
“Als de wereld niet zou zuigen, dan vielen we er allemaal van af.”
That’s why you didn’t feel saudades, until you learned about them on Wikipedia.
So you’re crouched in front of the fridge pulling out the 3-week-old celery and blackening mushrooms and suppressing a wailing moan emerging from the innermost depths of your body – your coccyx [new word! new word!] to be more precise – because last night you got really drunk and somehow managed to sit down beside rather than on your chair, and it was still hurting when you woke up way too early with a slight headache on top of everything, but you pulled yourself out of bed anyway to – hold your horses – prune your rose bushes.
And as you were then trying to stuff the pruned branches down the garden waste bin you were getting pricked all over, but somehow you didn’t care, because you were too distracted by that fucking throbbing coccyx, fortunately no longer with a headache but unfortunately with bad cramps jamming down the left leg too. Hence by the time you’ve finally actually managed to stuff those thorned branches down the bin, it’s about lunchtime and you are crouched in front of the fridge pulling out the 3-week-old celery and blackening mushrooms and suppressing a wailing moan.
And then everything changes.
You marvel at the fucking awesome colour of these purple carrots that you bought yesterday at the farmers’ market, and you realise just in time that the missing ingredient is indeed some cinnamon, and half an hour later you’re stuffing your face with cumin-leeks potatoes and a smashing Moroccan-flavoured lentil curry – which indeed has the 3-week-old celery and blackening mushrooms in it and actually also some recently expired tomato sauce – and you know that, today, you fucking win.
And the tiger balm makes your ass smell like magic.
2011 taught me an important lesson. I finally understood that life is quite vicious and cruel, which is not a lesson schematically drawn on a blackboard. Instead it comes smacked in the face, slap after slap until the walls of naivité built around everything believed in finally start to crumble.
I can hear your thoughts all the way here. ‘Coming from someone who’s trotting around the planet as if life is a never-ending vacation.’ But let me tell you: I am not happier than you are. And you are not particularly happy. If you tell me that you are, you are probably lying. I may coarsely be persuaded to believe that you find yourself in a certain state of contentment, but it is way more likely that you chose not to think too much about your life and hence not to feel too much about it either. Or, you are telling yourself over and over that you have nothing to be unhappy about, until you actually believe that you are not-unhappy, therefore happy. Or, perhaps you are convinced that you are on your way to your happiness, and you can already see it shining on the horizon. All you need is a better job. Or some more money. Or a child. Or a lover. Then you’ll finally get there, destination happiness.
Wrong. You’re chasing rainbows.
I am not happier than you are. But, just like you, I refuse to settle. I consciously and willingly choose to battle. For every nanosecond of pure bliss. Shooting right up to the stars, way beyond the fucking rainbow. This war is not about winning. It’s about fighting and getting up over and over again. For all the small victories of joy, laughter and pleasure. Bear the pain. Suck it up. This is life. For everyone.
Rolling back and forth in crystal clear emerald waves, following the tides from here, where I am, to there, where you are
I can taste its saltiness on your cheeks.
I have been living my life long enough now to somewhat understand its structure and functioning. It kinda works like this:
I learn something.
It fascinates me.
I want to know more.
I get involved.
I get in over my head.
I try to finish (but I don’t always succeed in doing that properly as more often than not, a new project arises before the last one has come to an end).
But not this time! Because this time, I took my time to transition. Transition started by me arriving in Kuala Lumpur, the city where my life always seems to stop -
and pivot to a different direction.
Once there, my life as I knew it literally vanished*. As a matter of fact, the constellation that is ‘me’ disintegrated into free-floating energy, disconnected from any time and space. I fled the city, fell back into habits from the past, and landed into the arms of old friends. In transition, I relived the times when we were still hungry and full of hope and anticipation for life to come.
Upon returning to Kuala Lumpur, a wave of consciousness took me under once again. My body ached to get out. Out of transition and into life. Apparently, I still existed.
Now, I slowly get reconnected to new smells, new sounds and a new quality of daylight.
I can recommend you all to transition at some point. It makes you hungry. And everything simply tastes better when you’re hungry.
*This may partly be attributed to excessive intake of an alcoholic herbal drink known to most of you as Jägermeister.
I’ve entered a new phase in life ever since my graduation. One of my friends described it as follows, ‘from now on our decisions actually matter. They translate into reality.’ That includes certain expectations, projections and directions. It’s quite scary for someone like me – a being without great desires, grand schemes or big dreams. The options seem endless. As most of you already know, from all those options I chose to soon leave Belgium once again and return to the opposite side of the planet to continue my quest for a way of life which does not make me feel guilty or depressed for major parts of the day. Occasionally I panic though. What if I am about to make the biggest mistake in my life? And right when the fear is about to fixate me in immobile indecisiveness…
…I get saved. I get saved by no one less than a pastry chef. He pats me on the knee with a friendly yet firm hand, looks me straight in the eye and says,
‘It’s actually quite simple. Life is nothing but the baking of a cake. You can bake a cake right? However, which kind of cake you want to bake is entirely up to you. That’s the freedom you get in this baking exercise called life. You can quickly throw stuff together and hope for a good outcome. Or you can pick and choose your ingredients, weigh them and think them over thoroughly. You can go for a tested-and-tried classic or follow your intuition for something entirely new. You can be inspired by other peoples’ cakes and no one stops you from asking how they made it. There is no shame in that whatsoever. And most importantly, you need to create your cake with love. People will immediately notice. They’ll say, whoa… your cake looks really nice.’
I’ll be making my own recipe of course, whaddayathink.
I just need some dark chocolate.
And macadamia nuts too, please.