The feeling of being stuck

Crazy how life sometimes gets in the way of everything isn’t it? I keep promising myself to write more, but then school and a lack of sleep happens. This semester is a busy one and it is a humbling experience to say the least. I often find myself wondering if this is what I really want. Becoming a vet is something I’ve wanted since I was little, but I’ve always been aware of the fact that this will be an incredibly tough journey. Biology and chemistry I have always found interesting but math and physics are a struggle. I have never been a genius at the science related subjects, but I am strong with languages and working with people.

This raised the question on whether or not I should be doing this. My degree as a vet tech can’t really be used to get into a university of applied sciences here in Denmark, unfortunately, but it can in the Netherlands and Finland. Returning to the Netherlands wouldn’t be as easy as it may sound, since we lost our home when my mom died, I can’t just move in with a family member or a friend and I don’t feel like racking up a ton of debt before the age of 30. One also doesn’t just casually to Finland without taking all of the risks into consideration either. It’s almost like trying to solve a complicated puzzle.

I’ve been looking around at different educations a lot, and currently Adventure Tourism and perhaps a degree in Business sound the most exciting to me. But then the ”what if” thought pops up. What if I quit what I am doing now, only to find out that I could have easily passed through this GED course and gotten into vet school? Or what if I get into vet school, but my love and I won’t be able to close the distance for another decade or so? Am I wanting to spend another 10 years struggling or do I choose something that fits my strengths best and pursue that? Tough decisions and no one to help me but myself.

As I’m getting older, I realise that there are many different things out there, exciting things and that vet school may not be the end all be all in life. I used to really have my eyes on the prize, become successful and be respected, but lately my mood has shifted a lot. Be it because I’ve been following my heart more now than ever, but I’ve come to realise that being successful isn’t always what makes you happy. And the art of being successful – what does it even mean? Does it mean having a lot of money in the bank, a big house, having people respect you because of your academia or is it just as simple as being at peace and happy?

In the end, being successful is a very subjective thing, since it isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of thing. For some it is wealth and I guess that I’m still trying to figure it all out.

For as long as I can remember I have been seeking for happiness and I still haven’t gotten there just quite yet. I guess obtaining it means making tough decisions and maybe even breaking some hearts and hurting some feelings on the way. But I have gotten to a point where I feel stuck. I want to be unapologetically myself, but it’s easier to keep up the appearance that people have gotten from me over the years. Eventually I will figure it out, I hope, but for now I feel stuck. And it sucks.

Have any of you out there ever felt stuck and if you did, how did you break free? I could use some tips..

– Naiyee

 

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How yoga saved my life

Lately I haven’t been feeling very grounded. With school, exams coming up, trying to keep a social life and visiting family I have been nothing but busy. All of those long days and days away from home I have really not been able to practise yoga the way I want to. Not just in the physical sense, but also mentally. For the past three years I’ve been keeping my practise (somewhat) consistent, but this year has been really difficult!

I started my practise back in 2015, only a couple of months after my mother passed away. I felt very lost and as if my life had lost all of its meaning, so I decided to look for something to do.. I had been flirting with the idea of yoga years prior, but had never seriously considered it. I only saw the physical aspect of it, but never the mental aspects. The thought that I wasn’t flexible enough or skinny enough went through my mind a lot. But the more I thought about it, the more the idea of Yoga pulled me in. So I bought a cheap yoga mat and started following along with video’s on YouTube. At first it was only 15 minutes a day, but I could immediately sense how calm it made me feel.

During that period of my life my mind was racing. Thoughts about how much I missed my mother and my family back home, but also thoughts that were much, much darker. I felt the need to be in control of my life, since I couldn’t be in control of my mother’s fate.  I was yearning to find some peace in my life. Starting with yoga was scary to me. I was very insecure, having been overweight and bad with any type of ”exercise”, so this was a challenge. But I decided to face it head on and so I did. Soon I found myself on my mat ever. single. day. My practise started on my mat, but soon expanded itself into everything I do. I focus on how I breathe, how I speak to other people and take time to meditate a little, even if it is just for a minute or two. But it also made my relationships with other people better. I feel as if I have a deeper understanding of why people do what they do or say the things they say.. Before I used to be very quick to judge, not really paying people any time of the day and just living on the fast lane.

Yoga has taught me in times of stress to take a step back, reflect and ask myself: ”What is this teaching me?”. If something doesn’t serve me, I let it go. If I can’t control something, I let it happen. It has also taught me a lot about my own body too. Asana is one of the 8 limbs of yoga and asana means posture. It is what you see people do on their mats. Asana humbled me beyond belief. I used to see a pose and think: ”Wow!! I want to do it too, I’m totally ready for that!” even though I wasn’t. In the beginning that made a dent in my ego. Not being able to do a handstand or a middle split within 3 months bugged the living daylights out of me and even made me want to stop at times, but as my practise progressed, I realised that it really doesn’t matter. Sure, it is a fun goal to have, but that’s the thing. You should enjoy the journey towards those goals instead of only focus on the destination.

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This pose in particular I started practising about 2 years ago and I still struggle with it! Such a humbling experience every time I try it.

That lesson I could also apply to my real life. You see, after my mom died, I was waiting to die myself as well. I didn’t see any point in living anymore if she wasn’t there to see me do the crazy stuff I do today. I then realised that I am going to be around for a long time still, if I’m lucky. So why would I wait for that final destination, the day I die, while beating myself up about so much stuff that is not my hands? That final destination will happen, whether I like it or not, so I might as well enjoy the time I still have left. And that is how yoga saved me. It saved me from a life filled with emptyness and misery.

I might not have time or energy to practise asana every day, but you better believe I try to practise the other 7 limbs from the moment I wake up until the moment I hit the hay. And that’s the beauty of it. You are completely in charge of the way you want to practise as long as you are not forcing it.

Have you ever tried yoga?

-Naiyee

Your home should tell the story of who you are and be a collection of what you love.

Sorry I didn’t write on here sooner, but it has been a busy couple of days I guess! With a math midterm and reading up on some of the things I’ve missed while I was away to see my family and trying to get enough sleep in, it was hard for me to find a moment to just sit down and write. Today was nice and quiet, so here I am!

On Monday I came back from a lovely couple of days in the Netherlands that I’ve spent with my family and love. In a previous post I wrote about how hard it is for me to go back and how the days leading up to it always end up being incredibly anxiety inducing for me. However, whenever I’m there, it feels like coming home, truly. We spent most of the time at my sister’s, as she lives close to Schiphol Airport and the rest of Amsterdam and since my boyfriend has never been in the Netherlands before, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to be a tourist in my own country and show him around a bit. We had a blast. Amsterdam really is a special place.

We also celebrated my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, which took place in my hometown, so we decided to also spend a night at their place, so I could show him where I’m from and where I grew up. This idea in particular scared me at first, as I’ve only gone back there two or three times ever since my mother passed away. But I felt like it was the right thing to do. I showed him the houses I grew up in, the schools I went to, my poem that ended up winning a competition and actually ended up being put down in tiles on this big square in my neighbourhood and lots of other things. It was quite something.

It was special to me, because to me it felt as if I was walking through a photo book as I was reminiscing all of these memories. But it also made me think.. I realised that for the most part of my adult life, I’ve been running away from my old life back in the Netherlands, just trying to get ahead and create something new. Ever since I’ve moved to Denmark, I’ve been doing something. Be it learning the language, getting to know new people, getting a job or studying, I have always made sure to do something, so I wouldn’t have to doubt anything or be sad about the life I no longer have.. This trip however made me feel weird inside. I felt homesick, truly homesick for the first time in well… ever? It was just eyeopening how the conversations I had with my grandparents, father, sister and other family members made me feel less empty in a way. I wouldn’t say I’m this super unhappy person in general, but my struggle with depression makes me feel very empty inside. But whenever I’m with them, the feeling disappears. I know the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it never is actually, but it does make me wonder whether I’d be happier over there or not.

For shits and giggles I actually decided to sign up for a bachelors degree in Biology and Medical Research over there and see if I get in. I want to give myself a year to figure out if I’ll feel better and if my situation will change, but if not, I might just go back home. That would also mean that I’d have to give up my dream of getting into vet school and I’m not quite sure if I’m ready for that yet, so we will see. The idea of researching a cure for cancer, especially since my mom died from it and I know a lot of people who have been sick from it, sounds like a very exciting thing to do. But at this point it’s still all out in the open. I guess that’s the fun thing about life, the uncertainty of it all.

I just find it funny how this trip opened up a whole new can of worms for me. I didn’t expect to end up not feeling like going back to Denmark, but luckily for me I have a lot of kind people over here as well. In the end, home isn’t really a place for me. It’s the people that fill up that space. It could be at the other side of the world, but as long as they’ll be there, I would be okay. It would be home.

Where do you guys feel at home?

I would love to hear about it!

– Naiyee

Hearts are wild creatures, that’s why our ribs are cages..

So this week I’m up to something pretty big! I’ll be going back to the Netherlands for the first time in over a year to celebrate my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. It always ends up being pretty awesome whenever I’m down there to visit family, but the time leading up to those trips are always pretty stressful for me.

For those of you that don’t know me that well, my mother passed away only a couple of months after I moved to Denmark in 2014 and basically right after I moved here, I had to go back to be there with her. The weeks leading up to it was grueling, because she was very sick, and I knew that nothing would be the same way as I left it. But then she passed away and suddenly it felt as if my home was taken away from me. Even though I still have all of my family and friends over there, it feels as if I no longer belong. Part of me is probably also just nervous about receiving bad news again, the same way as it did back in 2014. Now I know that that is absolutely irrational and I have nothing to worry about, but still. Going back is hard for me, because it’s a constant reminder of the life I once had. A life I once took for granted. My friends moved away, our dogs have been adopted, my entire family lives in different parts spread out over the country and well.. the house I grew up in is no longer ours.

I remember walking around my hometown last year with my Opa and my sister and even though everything looked the same, the feeling was gone. It was like a familiar painting, but without the warm colours..

Whenever I do go down there to see everyone, it feels like a warm bath. It’s lovely to be surrounded by my family and friends and sometimes I really do wonder if moving abroad was the right decision, but then I look at how much I have grown and the little life I’ve established here and it made me realise that I did something right. But there are moments where I really hate being so far away from everyone I love. It makes me wish that sometimes I wasn’t so adventurous and found contentment in a simpler life, closer to the ones I love. But then I think about a quote my mom once sent me:

”Hearts are wild creatures, that’s why our ribs are cages”.

I see where she was getting at.. I used to ALWAYS follow my head and play it safe, but it also made me very unhappy. The one moment I decided to follow my heart was the decision to move countries, something lots of people in my direct circle never expected of someone like me. But I still try to protect my heart from things that may hurt it, so I keep it tucked deep within me, within my ribs. Isolating myself is a bad coping mechanism I’ve created over the years and I am not very proud of it, but it has always worked. Now that I live so far away from my loved ones it’s even easier, although I try not to. Staying away from the place that confronts me; my own bloody home, is easy, but it’s not a solution. It’s bittersweet really, because this longing for being with my family comes with this fear, this sense of anxiety of returning to my home, because of the events that have occurred there 4 years ago, not even to mention that this month marks the fourth year since my mother has passed.

So in a way, this upcoming trip has given me a lot of sleepless nights too. I procrastinated booking my flight and letting my family know if I’d be there, because of this tug-of-war in my head. However, I knew I couldn’t stay away. This is a milestone in my grandparents’ lives and they had already considered holding it off, since my mother couldn’t be there too. And I can relate to this feeling, because I’ve been there too. I didn’t want to marry or have kids if she wouldn’t be there to experience it, but in the end, life doesn’t stop because her life ended. So I’m proud of my grandparents for deciding that they’d celebrate anyway. I couldn’t say no when they asked me if I’d come too, knowing that they’d already have one empty chair at that table. I didn’t want them to have to look at yet another empty chair at that dining table. And I’m happy that I get to see them again. Spending time with them is fun. They’re amazing people and I am so grateful to still have them.

Life is strange. It’s incredible how much impact the loss of ONE person can have on so many lives. My mother’s death may have caused us to be far apart from one another, but our bond is closer than ever. I only get to spend 4 days in the Netherlands, not very long, but my loss also taught me to cherish those moments, as big or as little as they may seem.

As my favourite Disney character once said:

”This is my family. It’s little and broken, but still good.
Yeah, still good”

To all of you reading this,

Hug your loved ones a little tighter today. You never for how much longer you’ll have them..

– Naiyee

New names, new beginnings and such..

So.. A couple of days ago I decided to change the name of the blog. Main reason being that I don’t feel like I’m just living a Danish adventure anymore, but it has gotten way bigger and more exciting.

The people who have known or followed me for a while know that I moved to Denmark because of love and that was a huge adventure in and of itself. But my life has changed so much during these four years. My ex and I split up and I’ve found love in yet ANOTHER country! I’ve lost people and new people made their way into my life. My life is a bit crazy and complicated at this point and I felt like my blog needed to reflect that. So yeah, that’s why I made the decision to go from ”Nen’s Danish Adventure” to ”This Crazy Complicated Life of Mine”.

Would you like to come along with me on this journey called life?

– Naiyee

Attitude of gratitude..

Basically since the start of this year I have been trying to manifest this attitude of gratitude. It started out as an assignment my therapist gave me. I had to list three things that I am grateful for every day. In the beginning this seemed to be near impossible to me, as I have been feeling negative and low for the majority of my life, having struggled with clinical depression and anxiety for a good decade or so. But the more I made this little list, either in my head or on paper, I really started noticing a difference.

I started seeing the positive things in life again, but I also realised that the world wasn’t against me or that everyone was out to get me. When you’ve been so pessimistic all you life it’s really difficult to look at the little things and get happiness out of it. After the death of my mother back in 2014 I grew numb and cold to everything around me. I lived my life on autopilot, without any sort of goals and dreams ahead of me anymore. Breaking a pattern like that seemed like a huge mountain to climb and it still isn’t easy at times. It’s ups and downs, falling and getting up.

But after having made this little, tiny and seemingly insignificant list every single day, my life did improve. I opened myself up for good things to happen again, realising that I’m only 24, and being alive, just waiting to die, isn’t a life I want to live. I know for a fact that my mom wouldn’t have wanted that either. So I made the promise to myself and to my late mother that I’d start living again. And so I did. I had forgotten what it is like to live again or what it’s like to genuinely be happy. But I’m getting there. And I am pretty darn proud of myself.

So today I’m grateful for:

*The fact that I got to sleep an hour longer
* The fact that I actually understood things in my math class. I am not a mathematical genius, so every time I manage to solve equations or put into words why I solved something the way I did is a win in my book!
* The fact that I get to meet up with one of my best friends today.

Manifesting this grateful attitude is one of the hardest things I had to do to improve my mental health, but also one of the most rewarding. So if you, like me, are also struggling with depression or just a pessimistic outlook on life, I’d definitely recommend you’d give it a try!

Thank you so much for reading.

What are three things you grateful for today?

– Naiyee

Evolving

Holy cow, it’s been months since I’ve last written anything on here! But I have reasons, trust me!

During my exam period my grandparents and sister came to visit me here in Denmark, which was amazing. I didn’t do too well with my exam in Danish, however my History exam I totally aced. It went so well, and to be honest, it was a huge confidence booster. After my exams were done, I went to Roskilde Festival for some much needed concerts and hanging out with friends. Those past months had been tough on me, so I needed a break. But not just a break from school. I wanted to get away. So I went to Finland again.

There is a reason I go to Finland so frequently though.. My relationship ended quite abruptly, but there are no hard feelings between us at all. We still care about each other deeply and are still the best of friends. We decided to stay roommates and that works pretty darn good, I’d say! But yes, back to why I visit Finland often. After my ex and I broke up I got together with someone who I’ve known for years and who has always had my back through things, despite living so far away. He came to visit Denmark when we were still friends and something happened between us that I still can’t quite put my finger on. However, when he left our friendship grew into something more and I decided to jump into the deep end and visit him. That first trip confirmed it for me that I made the right choice. He is my twin flame in a way. I went back to finish my exams, go to the festival etc. but I knew I couldn’t go without seeing him for months again, so I booked a plane ticket to go see him again in July. This trip was different. He was working a lot, but it gave me a good opportunity to bond with his family and bonding we did alright. His mom and I especially hit it off really well and I kept in touch with his sister quite a lot, who was working abroad at the time. Leaving back to Denmark was tough. Mainly because I now felt as if I gained another family and more people I care really deeply about. I have never really connected to a significant other’s family in that way and because his family was so similar to mine, it felt like I came home. And I didn’t want to leave. But soon after he came to visit me here in Denmark, we rented an Airbnb and it was awesome. But I missed Finland. So last week I took the plane up north again and it was like coming home again. I loved every moment of it, and I look forward to going back. In two weeks he’ll be coming to the Netherlands with me to meet my family, and I am beyond excited to show him where I grew up.

This year has been crazy so far. I’ve gotten out of a long and committed relationship and started something new without knowing what’s ahead of me, I turned 24, started studying, and the year isn’t even over yet. So far it has been fantastic.

The funny thing is though, that ever since my mom died, I’ve been a bit of a controlfreak. I’d obsess over my exercise, my diet, my relationship and it was around New Years Eve last year that I decided to let go and see what happens. And as soon as I let go, good things started happening. It might be coincidental, but for me it really showed that going with the flow is a good thing. I’m kind of proud of myself in a way, because of how far I’ve come.

But that was it for now. I’ll write a bit more about my trip to Finland later this week.

If there’s anybody out there reading this right now..

Thank you for your time. It really means a lot.

– Nen