Happy birthday to… ME!

Happy birthday to… ME!

Today just a short and quick note as today is my birthday! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

I was born on 6 July 1984, which makes me a whooping 30 years old. Yikes, I’m getting old! Or like a good friend of mine decided to put it when she turned 30: I’m 29.95 including shipping & handling. Luckily for me, most people think I’m a lot younger so I can still get away with doing silly things. Because when push comes to shove, I’m still young at heart.

And to celebrate the fact that I’ve been on this planet for 30 years, here’s 30 random fact about me. One for each year of my life. Enjoy your day!

  1. I spent the first year of my life bald and unable to walk. I was late with almost everything haha. I did move house when I was 9 months old, but obviously I don’t remember that.
  2. My brother was born!
  3. Earliest memory: believing I could run, jump into the air and fly. Kids have such wild imagination.
  4. First song I remember liking was Jackie Wilson’s Reet Petite. Oh and I was afraid of the Young Ones.
  5. Nothing too specific pops up, apart from the fact that my mom cut my hair short just before my 5th birthday.
  6. My love for dresses started at an early age. I wore a tulip printed dress on my 6th birthday. My mom made it for me and I remember loving every minute of it, as long as I got to twirl around in circles.
  7. I spent my childhood summers going mostly on day trips with my family. One summer entailed going to the zoo, an amusement part and a visit to the beach. Best memories ever.
  8. The year I became a ‘dansmarieke’ (type of cheerleader) for the local Carnaval society.
  9. When I was 9, my parents bought a house on the other side of town. I changed schools and still remember painting parts of the house and picking out what wallpaper would go onto my wall.
  10. The first time I attended a wedding which I actually remember. Oh and I had a major performance with my dance school where everyone was taught the same Rock N Roll themed routine.
  11. Thinking I was super hip and cool while sporting black shorts, a black gilet with a colored shirt and wearing my hair in pony tails off the side of my head. Fashion has always been a thing.
  12. Start of high school and my love for all things Backstreet Boys. I also distinctly remember going to see Michael Jackson with my mom and liking to paint my nails in all colors of the rainbow.
  13. Because I changed schools when I was 9, I also ended up changing dance schools when I went to high school. It was part of the gymnastics club and they had a yearly summer camp. I went for years on a row and have especially fond memories of the times I went in my early teens.
  14. Getting braces. I was born with a huge overbite due to a small, narrow jaw. I ended up needing surgery 2x and 5 different braces to fix my teeth. And I cut my hair short.
  15. Seeing Backstreet Boys live for the second time in the Amsterdam Arena. 50,000 screaming girls and I was one of them. Nuff said.
  16. Meeting my best friend in Biology class.
  17. The start of my clubbing days and my first forays into make up. I still have a Bourjois eyeshadow from those days. Ah the memories.
  18. Moving to Leiden, 2 hours away from everything and everyone I had ever known to start university. The first couple of days were rough, but I quickly met some people, joined a student society and had the time of my life.
  19. Going on vacation for the first time by myself. I went to London with my mom the year before, but I found another lull in my student schedule, saved up and got on a plane to New York in January 2004.
  20. A year later I would spend one semester at College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia as an exchange student. I lived my life in US college dorms, ate at cafeterias, made tons of new friends and visited Chicago, Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s house), Norfolk, Washington DC, other places closer to where I stayed and ended up going to New York again.
  21. I got my first teaching job teaching NT2 at Direct Dutch in The Hague and wrote articles for the university paper. By now I’ve been a teacher for 8.5 years.
  22. Having made tons of friends through the online Backstreet Boys community, I spent some time visiting Paris, Munich and other random places to see them. Plenty of people also came over to stay at my place.
  23. I took courses in journalism, did an internship at a Dutch TV station, graduated for my Master’s degree in English language & culture, started my teaching degree and took on a teaching job at a secondary school.
  24. Graduated for my teaching degree, fell in and out of love, went on a round trip of the US and had my first burn out. Started immunotherapy to help with my allergies.
  25. Landed a job in higher education and took my time reading books and taking it easy. Enjoying my working life.
  26. Got bored and so I started a Research Master’s degree in Communication & Information sciences. Started this blog!
  27. Focused on combining my studies with my job while still maintaining a social life. I became more serious about working out and sticking to a healthy diet.
  28. I got let go at my job and found a job as a teacher trainer education in Amsterdam. Found out I’m wheat intolerant.
  29. Graduated for the Communication & Information sciences degree. Enter burn out no. 2.
  30. I’m starting my 30th year of living with an uncertain job situation (my contract is not being renewed and I may have something lined up yet when my contract ends later this month, but nothing is set in stone yet.), but with a tremendously rich experience in my pocket (as we speak I’m on a 3 week solo train trip across Europe).
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Tag: What makes me truly happy?

Tag: What makes me truly happy?

Time for another personal note! It seems that people are enjoying these little peeks into my life and into me, so I would like to continue doing them. Leave me a comment below and let me know which tag you would like to see me do next. For now, enjoy your Thursday: only one more day until the weekend! Now on to the tag.

Which people in your environment make you happy?

Everyone who’s close to me always makes me happy. But I am also one of those people who loves meeting new people and gaining interesting insights from them. Be it students, colleagues or new acquaintances. I’m simply a people’s person. So in a way: people make me happy. 🙂

What make up product makes you happy?

A rad eyeshadow palette. I literally could not contain my joy when I got my hands on the Urban Decay Vice Palette last winter, or the 15th anniversary palette the year before, or any of my Sleek palettes, or gathering some monos and turning them into my own palette. Eyeshadow is simply my favorite make up product and I can’t get enough of it. A gorgeous eyeshadow palette, whether it is neutrals, colors, pastels or mattes: my heart always starts beating a little bit faster. Especially once I get my hands on the prettiness and can actually start using it.

Which movie(s) make you happy?

Animated movies are very high on the list here. I adore the feel good vibe of most of them, even though some of them are quite sad sometimes as well. It really depends on the movie. My favorites are Finding Nemo, Despicable Me and The Sword in the Stone. 500 Days of Summer will do that for me in a live action movie. I’m not one for romcom (or comedy) for that matter and I generally dislike feel good girlie movies. There is one exception though: if I feel a little down and out I simply watch Legally Blonde and forget about everything.

What music makes you happy?

You want a list? Music makes me happy. Period. Even a sad song can put a smile on my face, given the right mood and moment. That’s the beauty of music to me. Depending on how you’re feeling, music will always be there to underscore or contradict your mood. Ultimate happy songs include: Django Django – Default, Pete & The Pirates – Come to the Bar, Toro Y Moi – New Beat, Marvin Gaye – Ain’t That Peculiar, Bobby Hebb – Sunny, Hall & Oates – You Make My Dreams Come True. Google them: you won’t regret it.

What food(s) makes you happy?

Again, food in general makes me happy. I love food. I love experimenting with food and trying new things. If it wouldn’t be so bad for my waistline I would probably be eating all day haha. My favorite food is sushi, but what makes me happiest is chocolate. If you want to give me a true treat all you need is to buy a good piece of chocolate and I’m a happy bunny.

Which moment(s) make you happy?

Reaching mile stones in my life (such as graduating or getting a new job), but also every day things make me happy. I can enjoy the sun shining into my room, having a seat on the train, or nailing a recipe. I’m probably happiest when I just cleaned my house and everything is neat and fresh. I’m also one of those people who sleeps best in a freshly made bed, with clean, unslept sheets and a fresh set of pjs and then knowing that you can sleep in the day after: ultimate bliss. Other moments make me more proud than happy, like seeing students succeed at things they find difficult and struggled with before. My ultimate happy moments are those where you know you can talk to someone for hours and you both have nowhere else to go. That’s why I can’t wait for it to be summer as that’s when the most spontaneous and random meetings of this kind happen for me.

Which hobby makes you happy?

I have so many hobbies that it often makes me dizzy. But there is one hobby that I cannot live without: dancing. You can take everything away from me, but if I can’t dance anymore, I would seriously become depressed. If I don’t dance, I’ll eventually start doing it anyway. It makes me feel free and I am often surprised at myself that I can do the things I do. Plus it keeps me sane as it allows me to not thing of anything for a while and just be one with the music and move. That, to me, is the best feeling in the world.

Tag questions translated from this blog.

Happy song

Happy song

Don’t you just love songs that make you happy? You know the ones that just put a smile on your face? Yep, those are the ones I’m talking about. The song that currently does this for me is Don McLean’s American Pie.

I know that this song is about death and an by gone era of when music was actually good. The referral to the death of Buddy Holly as the day music died to me isn’t actually a negative per se. Yes the song is about those never returning anymore and that no matter how hard we try music will never be as good again, but there is also this ring to it of hope. Hope that as long as we keep trying to make things better, even though it is futile, that that is what will keep us going.

Now this song has a many interpretations as there are people, but the reason why this song makes me smile in the first place is because it is so catchy! I love the way the song is built up: starting slow, then picking up, only to slow down again to pick right back up. The chorus is super easy to remember and has a great hook that will have you singing along in seconds. So for me, it’s not necessarily the meaning of the song, but it’s the music and the overall vibe of the song. Because really: although this song is about death, it still carries a very happy tune.

What would your interpretation be of this song? To help you I posted the lyrics underneath.

A long long time ago
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while
But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step
I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

So bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singing this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?
Well, I know that you’re in love with him
’cause I saw you dancing in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues
I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died
I started singing

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singing this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Now, for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rolling stone
But that’s not how it used to be
When the Jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me
Oh and while the king was looking down
The Jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned
And while Lenin read a book on Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died
We were singing

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singing this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
Landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the Jester on the sidelines in a cast
Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
‘Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?
We started singing

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singing this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend
And as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in hell
Could break that Satan’s spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died
He was singing

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singing this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play
And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
And they were singing

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singing this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die
they were singing

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singing this’ll be the day that I die