The Truth Behind My Choices

Posted on November 5, 2012


So here we are, almost 3 months into my big blogging adventure and I feel that it’s time I reveal a bit more about myself. I want this blog to reflect my personality, something that would be impossible without shedding some light on my story. Understanding my present means you need to know about my past, and you need to see where I’ve come from in order to know where I’m going.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” -Harriet Tubman

The early beginnings:
Apart from travel, music has always been one of the most important things in my life and I’ve been dreaming of becoming a singer ever since I was a little girl, when I was using a deodorant spray as a pretend microphone, singing along to Mariah Carey up in my room. My apologies to my old neighbors.

Me as a teenager

Quite the awkward teenager.

Growing up, I was like any average teenage girl: I was insecure and shy. My dreams of singing on big stages, traveling the world and reaching my goals just seemed silly to me, so I never had the courage to chase them. After high school I quickly found work and within a few years I landed a job at a big media company, which I would live and breathe for the following 2.5 years.

All I did was work, eat, sleep and repeat. I’d occasionally go on vacation, I would be too tired to enjoy it, spending my days in resorts, falling asleep on the beach. One day, the light just went off. I could neither eat nor sleep anymore, I started getting panic attacks and my mind couldn’t process any more information. I was utterly exhausted, the company doctor told me I was burnt out and shouldn’t get back to work anytime soon. This was the turning point in my early adult life.

It took me a year to get back on track, during which I followed therapy and did everything I could to become myself again. I was forced to think and question everything about my life. “Did that office job really make me happy?” “Am I doing the things I want to do?” “If I were to die tomorrow, would I have had a fulfilling life?” The answer to all of these questions was a firm no.

I realized the only one who had the power to change all of this was me. That year of introspection was confronting, but made me a stronger and better person. I came out being more secure and for the first time in my life, I believed in myself. I decided it was time I’d start chasing my dreams.


Rising from the ashes

Me and Michael Buble

Just backing up my story…

I applied for music school, got invited to audition and, against my expectations, got accepted! It was exactly the confirmation I needed and I knew I was on the right path when I noticed I was happier than I had ever been at my old job. I was doing what I’ve always wanted, I had formed a band behind me, started playing gigs and writing my own songs. Shortly after I finished the first year, a friend of mine encouraged me to sign up for season 2 of Holland’s most popular talent show; The Voice Of Holland.

What started off as a joke (I never liked talent shows) ended up as a roller coaster ride that took me all the way to the quarter finals. Completely unprepared, I was launched into a life that I never really adjusted to. Suddenly, my childhood dreams were becoming reality at the speed of a freight train. I got to sing on big stages, star in a music video (at Disneyland!) and I even got to perform with Michael Bublé (big shout out to him, he’s awesome)! People recognized me on the streets, wanted to take pictures with me and even asked for my autograph, something I’ve never quite gotten used to.

I could have had it all…

The ride definitely took its toll, however; by the time the show ended I was completely exhausted. I was well aware that after I gained momentum, now was the time I should be reaping the benefits and pursuing my career, but something inside of me was holding me back. Though I was still playing plenty of gigs, my heart just wasn’t in it. I couldn’t wait for the hype to be over, to be anonymous again. I had realized my childhood dreams only to find they were not my dreams anymore, and though it had been a lot of fun, the time had come to move on.

What now?

One happy camper in Spain

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years it’s that anything is possible as long as you’re willing to work hard. Even though my career in music turned out to be short-lived, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it for the world. I got to do so many cool things that other people can only dream of, things that I could only dream of myself, just a few years prior. I’ve learned that not only am I capable of achieving my goals, I’m also capable of getting back up after I fall down, of picking up the pieces and that I have the ability to move on to bigger and better things if I want to. I’ve always wanted to travel more, so I’ve spent all the money I earned with singing and have been abroad 9 times this year alone. Those trips have reminded me that there’s so much more out there. I remember sitting alone at a café in a remote village in Spain, thinking to myself that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Just because I’m not in music anymore, doesn’t mean I stopped being creative. Where one dream vanished, others came crawling back to the surface; I’ve always wanted to write and now that’s exactly what I’m doing. I may not be writing any novels yet, but maintaining this blog and posting on a regular basis is already something to be proud of. It’s a step forward, which is what counts.

As for travel, my upcoming trip to South East Asia is the perfect way of dipping my toe in the water. Though I would love to book a one way ticket and live a nomadic life, for now I have unfinished business on Dutch soil, not to mention a very cute boyfriend that I’ simply refuse to leave.

Why I wrote this

Do what you love

Image: Wikimedia Commons

As I explained before, I want this blog to reflect my personality. But that’s not the only reason. I wrote this because I want to show you that you too can follow your dreams. Life has taught me that you can accomplish anything, just as long as you’re willing to work hard for it. It’s not always easy, but nothing worth having ever is and besides; Life hands us nothing we can’t handle. To me, happiness is not a destination, it’s the journey. Ask yourself; “Am I really doing what I love?” If the answer is no, you owe it to yourself to start making some changes. I’m not asking you to uproot your entire life, you could start by doing something small. Take more walks, bake more cakes, take more pictures or start painting, anything! Do what you love, cause life is too beautiful to just let it pass you by. 

I know what it’s like to be stuck in life, but I also know what it’s like to be moving forward at high speed. For now, I’m staying in the middle, moving a couple steps forward every single day.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney

So now it’s your turn: Tell me about your dreams!