The clouds in the sky stand still. It’s been two days since I’ve seen the blue skies of Rotterdam above my head but today, they shine bright. Is it a gift from above on this special day? For now, the moment idles me in catharsis. Because six years ago today, everything changed.
It’s cliche to say that a move will change your life. But the evening of 30 December 2013 would begin a story I couldn’t have written. The day began bittersweet and ended in that same sentiment. My bags were packed, my childhood room was bare and check-in was complete. All that was left was to board that one-way flight to Amsterdam and the rest would be history.
And it is history. It’s six years later and I sometimes feel like that 20-something girl lost in the moment. Actually, that’s bullshit. I haven’t felt like that in a while. You see, a lot happened in these six years. But today, I reflect on it and enter a new decade with wisdom, grace and kindness.
My father’s abrupt death only 10 months after the big move set the dominoes to tumble. I lost myself. I had been in the process of losing myself. I gave up my life to care for him in his last year on this earth with no regrets. Moving to another country when your parent is struggling between heaven and earth is a fate I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Yet, the move was made. I started Graduate School that September and he passed away in October 2014.
The years to come would bring every stage of grief to its highest and lowest points.
Shock and Denial
Pain and Guilt
Anger and Barganing.
Depression. Depression. Depression.
The upward turn
Reconstruction and Working Through
Acceptance and Hope
From my minor in Psychology, I learned that the path through the stages of Grief aren’t linear. Where am I now? Perhaps the upward turn? I try to work through it and secure my life back. I will always feel guilt for feeling like the year I chose myself was the year my father left this earth.
In these six years, I lost myself and everything that came with it. Depression was the most difficult stage. Therapy and anti-depressants would help but time and kindness was quite possibly the remedy I needed most. MY support system, though small, was there for me. And now it grows with friends I’ve made this year that I treasure so much. There were up’s and down’s of course, in every way possible. My relationship struggled but became stronger. My weakness became my strength. My strength helped me to persevere. And perseverance led me to this point.
In 2018, I graduated with a Master’s degree in Media Studies after a small hiatus due to the personal circumstance. I’ve always been a writer and I’ve been writing for work, but not for pleasure. Today is the first day I write for me, for you, for what is to come.
I’m still looking for permanent work in The Netherlands. I proudly hold Permanent Residence and am working on my Dutch so I can obtain Citizenship. I freelance and spend my days with my cats; a gift from my now fiancée. He knew they would help me through my grief and they are now members of our little family.
There is so much more to say. So much more I want to share. Because I forgot that writing is not only a skill or a source of income. It’s also therapy. I started this website (Even the site itself has gone through a metamorphosis) using the space as a canvas for my creative thoughts and it will always be that.