A letter to 2016

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sweet two thousand and sixteen,

I want to thank you for all that you've given me. 
You have brought me joy and laughter,
pain and sorrow,
new adventures, friendships and love. 
But most importantly a new outlook on life.

Right after new years I had to make a really difficult decision and to this day I still do not know if it was the right one. I guess I'll never find out. I was never brave enough to talk to someone about it. By the time I confessed everything to my mom it did not matter anymore, it had already happened. The build up of all my emotions that I had held in caused a outburst of tears. I think I cried for a good half an hour. And you can trust me on my word when I say that I do not cry easily, only with exceptionally good movies or songs. However it did learn me a lesson, talk to people about your problems. Some people actually do know life stuff and can help you with things like that.

During my time still in high school I learned that no good things ever come easy. Always work hard and do your best for everything that you want to accomplish, that is how I eventually graduated. When I was done with school I got a lot of free time. By that time I had worked at my local supermarket for a while and a felt like I was doing-, learning nothing new besides earning money. Although I didn't know it than, it thought me a significant and crucial life lesson. Do what you love, because you have to do it for the rest of your life.

After graduation I went on holiday with my friends. We had planned it in the Christmas break and were undoubtedly very excited. We had a end of exams party until 12 or so and after it we went directly to the airport. Our flight was at 4 so we could get as much out of the week as possible. Our destination was Albu Feira in Portugal, and gosh what was it beautiful. We didn't do a lot of sightseeing though, mainly we just partied. It is one of those trips that you can let go of all responsibilities and just do what you want. I loved it. Although it did shock me what a free me was okay with and I learned that being free is totally fine but being careless is not.

Nobody likes to be judged, nobody. Some might not care what others say about them if there wrong, but when there right it always hurts. A friend once told me that when she first saw me she perceived me as arrogant, and that she later found out that I wasn't. Bother me it did not but it did make me think about how I want to be viewed by others. Also I wouldn't judge people on their first appearance as I knew I myself didn't want to. "Treat others like you want to be treated yourself". Who knew that this globally known and very wise saying was actually true..

In the short period of time that I've been on this lonesome journey away from all that I call home I have learned a lot. For one thing you learn who your real friends are and who aren't. I found out which ones actually care and which ones I truly want to be friends with. Furthermore I figured out that it is not important how many friends you have, it does not matter who you sit with at lunch or how many likes you got on your new Instagram post. In the end it is way more important that you're loved deeply instead of loved widely.

Yours Faithfully,


New Years in New York #NYCLife16

Saturday, January 14, 2017

It felt weird to not spent every day with my other half, literally something was missing. Although I had to get used to that my day was still a lot of fun! I met a girl in class whom I shared lot of the same interests with , therefore we decided we should plan a trip. We both liked vegan food and photography so we decided to visit some hip food counters and restaurants to explore all that there was there to taste in the plant-based cuisine. Our trip started in Bushwick a very populair neighborhood in Brooklyn, it was already late in the morning when we arrived and we were famished. Amanda had heard of a good doughnut place so we decided to hit it up while we waited for a place in the diner. We went for a simple vanilla one with chocolate sprinkles. Although our choice wasn't the most adventures one it did not disappoint. After having shared only one doughnut we were still feeling empty bellied which was good since we had still our 'official' breakfast to go. As we walked into the diner I was surprised by how free all the people in there were dressed and it felt good to know that it didn't matter who you where or what you looked like, you would be appreciated anyway.
It was cold outside, like glacial Siberian cold. Even for Amanda, who is Finnish, it was pretty chilly. The plan was to take some good pictures, which we did anyway but it wasn't without a little suffering. We walked trough the all the cute streets and posed before some cool graffit, soon I was so cold that I couldn't feel me feet anymore.


In Manhattan we checked some more places of our list. First of we went to cinnamon snail, it was located near Fulton's station, somewhere I had never been before which was rather exciting. We visited peacefood next, where we shared one of the most accurate of veggie burgers I've ever had te pleasure of tasting. Walked some more, than visited double zero pizza. I was stuffed and drained at the end of the day of all that walking, talking and eating.  But happy, yes all of it made me very happy.

It came, the last day of 2016 was (finally) upon us, and together with a full planned schedule and a reappeared Renee it was bound to be a good day. The twin tower memorial is definitely a must see when coming to New York, even tough I had seen it during my vacation to the big apple a couple of years ago it still brings up a lot of emotion in me. It is almost impossible to imagine the immense noice that the collapse had to have made, all the lives it took with it and all the terrifying, horrible feelings it arose.

A part of Renee her family came to visit and wanted to see the memorial museum, I didn't know what to expect but it turned out to be pretty insightful. Afterwards we decided to go to Bryant Park to give ice skating a shot. I grew up with going to the ice skating hall every Sunday with my parents and lived in a part of The Netherlands where you are pretty much surround by water. My house is near a lake so I could almost literally walk outside and go ice skating, but because of climate change and a busy school schedule I hadn't stood on skates for over 5 years. That's bad, especially if your Frishian (google it). My first 'steps' on the ice were pretty scary but after a few minutes I regained back my self-assurance. The floor was bad, it had a lot of gaps and holes in it but we dealt with it. We probably were on the rink for a solid 30 minutes which felt good, it brought back a lot of good memories.
The plan was to experience new years on the Empire, yet we didn't because we found out it closed at eleven. That sad fact didn't stop us though we still went up all 86 floors and I got the change to take some okay photographs. Shortly after I got annoyed with myself and my camera, plus the wind was howling terribly outside which soon drove me inside. I looked out of the window some more, gosh this city is beautiful in its own disgusting way.
New Years I spent on the Brooklyn Bridge along with hundreds of New Yorkers. Despite the lack of fireworks it was still a special 12 o'clock. Renee was there along with her brother and mother, but mine were not. It was my first time being away from home for new years and it felt weird. Almost like it wasn't even to be celebrated, whatever I just made the most of the situation and that made it great.

I am happy that a new 365 days are here and although I did not make any resolutions I plan on making everyday worth living.

Yours Faithfully,


A day in Central Park #NYCLife15

Friday, January 6, 2017

It was the day after Christmas but we had no intention of taking it easy. Renee and I didn't sleep that well but we had decided to go to the gym anyway. I didn't do as much as usual but I still got a solid ten minute run in and some ab workouts, it actually felt pretty good to get a morning workout in. We ate breakfast and headed to the city.  Our schedule was perfectly planed and the weather was wonderfully warm for the this time of year. We came up with the idea to go on a stroll in central park, as apparently many others. It was packed with people but I did not let it bother me. We took some awesome shots; walked over the many bridges; sat down to listed to a talented violinist and enjoyed the winter sun next to a little pool. It was amazing, it made me realize how important nature is. Central Park is one of the only places in New York you can truly relax and come to peace with yourself. The mellifluous sound of all the music being made me incredibly happy. 

Renee and I wanted to have dinner at the butchers daughter cafe. We had never been there before, so we first had to figure our how to get there. It turned out to be in a kind of sketchy part China town. The cafe  itself however was very cute and the food was healthy and delicious. On our way to go to dyker heights, which took us about thirty minutes, I just stared out of the subway window realizing that this is in actually my life. It's weird sometimes to think about stuff like that, you know, who you are and how you got here? Is there such a thing as faith. I couldn't figure it out I still have a lot more subway rides to go before I find that answer. When we arrived, we felt out of place. There weren't a lot of people, but there definitely was a lot of garbage laying on the streets and most buildings looked abandoned. The walk to get to all the christmas lights was still twenty minutes so we decided, because we are pussies, to go back. Like the total white girls that we are we decided to get starbucks and a cookie to celebrate that we didn't die. OK that is a bit extreme, but trust me it wasn't the nicest of neighborhoods we ended up in. The cookie sucked, but the surrounding and most definitely the company did not. Renee and I just sat there talking for a while until it got to cold. It was despite of some let's say vague places still a beautiful day. 

Like I previously had addressed we were pretty exhausted. Therefore staying in our beds the next day was just what we needed. I got to catch up with some sleep and series, and as a bonus got some work done. Although our bunk bed was warm and comfy, laying in there all they wasn't the best idea. Outside the temperature had totally turned around, it was cold with a very icy wind. Renee and I went to Sweetgrass again since we enjoyed it so much last time, and again it was good. After dinner we decided to walk a bit trough the streets of Tarrytown because all the Christmas lights were still up. We past the Fire department and must have looked very interested or just nosy as an old man who worked there immediately invited us in. Both of us got to sit in the fire truck and got a plastic helmet as a souvenir. The old man was lovely and we had a welcoming conversation about some serieus shit. Global warming and all that. Yeah something most certainly had to change in the world. Well let's talk about that some other time shall we. Have a good one, I'll enlighten you with more random things I do later.

Yours Faithfully,


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