turning 24

It’s 23:46, August 16th, 2021. In fourteen minutes I will turn 24. I am sitting alone in my friend’s studio. They’re gone for the weekend, and I’m staying here so I can attend Amsterdam’s pride activities. I am drinking a glass of red wine in solitary celebration of the ongoing aging that got me to this anniversary. 24 years ago I started breathing air. 24 years ago I became a person.

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here I am

I should be transcribing right now, but here I am. Back to writing again. I’ve missed this: becoming hyperaware of the current moment as I try to capture it in words. Sitting in a room I haven’t written a blog post in before, even though it has been my room for six months now. The window doesn’t open much and doesn’t let any wind in. The hot summer day is still trapped here.

I am cooling my bare foot against the cold metal leg of my desk as I write this, trying to find relief from the heat pressing down on me. I am listening to Novo Amor. Through the open window, I can hear the occasional car pass by. Unknown drivers, driving to unknown destinations. The taste of Brazilian peach tea, surprisingly good, is heavy on my tongue. I have a headache, from lack of sleep, staring at my screen for too long, and not drinking enough water on a warm day.

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The Hidden Aspects of Coming Out

Starting a new job, moving into a new place, starting a new class… New beginnings are scary for everyone, no matter who you are. But if you’re queer, it can be extra stressful. Will it be safe to talk about your sexuality or gender? Will there be anyone who disagrees with who you are? Should you come out or just hide this part of yourself? What should you say when they ask you if you have a boyfriend?

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a letter to Copenhagen

Copenhagen,

As I sit here in a café in Nørrebro, I realise something.

I was too harsh on you. Focused on the hatred, fear and exclusion that poisons your environment, I forgot that you are more than what poisons you.

I saw you as a single simple city and judged you as a whole. But nothing in life is that simple.

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My Anthropology Brain – what is anthropology and why do I love it?

The past week I focused on getting more anthropology in my brain. And I think I have succeeded. Maybe a little too much.

The pandemic has made me feel a bit useless and anxious these past few weeks. So, I finally decided to change that and get back into the student life. I looked into anthropological communities, websites, blogs, books, journals… Anything I could find. My anthropology-starved mind drank it all in.

At this point my brain is pretty much drowning in anthropology.

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5 reasons I fail at personal projects (and 8 things I plan to do about it)

It’s one of those evenings. There is so much I want to do, that I end up doing nothing. I have some free time. Great! Maybe I can finally do some reading. Should I finish my physical book, or read an academic article? Or maybe just some down-time fictional stories to relax?

No, writing might be better, I haven’t written in a while. Let’s do a blogpost! But I also need to develop my academic writing skills… Maybe I should write a little on my fieldwork overview. Or perhaps I should finally get started on that personal academic project I’ve been thinking about for literally 2.5 years?

Anxiety knots in my chest. I have so much free time and I still feel stressed. I have 20 tabs open and I can barely breathe – overwhelmed with options and feeling unbelievably stuck. Why does this keep happening?

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Imposter Syndrome: How to Not Feel Like a Fraud

Do you feel like a fraud sometimes? Like you have no idea what you are doing, and like those who think you do just have not seen through you yet?

If you do, you are not the only one. Studies have shown that 70% of working adults have experienced Imposter Syndrome. I struggle with Imposter Syndrome all the time, and so do many of my friends.

Feeling like an imposter can have dire consequences. Not only does it make you feel bad about yourself, it also prevents you from taking opportunities in life as you doubt your ability to succeed in them. I know that I, for one, have definitely missed out on activities, opportunities and connections just because I felt I would not belong there. I felt I was not good enough.

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autumn dusk in a copenhagen bus

There is something about dusk during autumn. It is more than just the fading of the light. It is the surprise that comes with it; darkness filling the sky a little earlier than you expect every day.

I found myself in a bus during dusk today. Looking out of the window, Copenhagen and the lives of its inhabitants met my eyes, for short seconds at a time. Fractions of vision spanning into a 40-minute movie, Autumn Dusk from a Copenhagen Bus, with countless plots invisible to me.

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solo travel diaries pt.1: Lost in Kyiv

I have been on a few solo travels in my life, and used to write about my experiences in a travel journal or on my travel blog. In this series, I present some excerpts taken from those journal posts. You will read about my mini-adventures – from helpful Ukranian ladies to empty airport halls in Beijingwritten shortly after the experience.

In this part, I was flying on my own for the first time. I was 18 years old, and flew from Amsterdam to Helsinki with a 21-hour layover in Kyiv. I had never been to a ‘big city’ on my own and was a little nervous, but excited. I stayed in a hostel overnight, and wrote this journal entry when I was back at the airport, waiting for the plane to Helsinki.

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pessimism, optimism and the future: a view from 2020

A few days ago I finished reading The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. A short, compelling story, providing much food for thought. In the story a man (aptly named Time Traveller) recounts his trip to the year 802.701. Published in 1895, the story is an interesting look at how a Victorian Englishman envisioned the future. Interestingly, Wells actually criticizes his optimistic and progressive contemporaries by presenting a rather pessimistic view of the future. In his story, future humans are divided in two separate races (one consuming the other), and all traces of intellectualism are lost.

I could write several posts interpreting the story and its themes, but that is not what this post is about. Instead, I want to focus on the notion of how the time and place we grow up in shapes how we see the future. Specifically, how do I, as a Millennial/Gen Z European in 2020, see the future?

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