In 2006 I made a big decision to quit my lawyer job to leave to Ireland a few months later with only a guitar and a backpack to explore the unknown, knowing there should be more out there! I knew for sure I loved music as I was playing some local festivals already (see pics, Haagse Bos Summertime Festival 2006). A friend helped me with moving all my belongings into a storage space since I also had given up my apartment. Some belongings weren’t suitable to move into the storage, like my five guitars and two large plants, so I stalled them at friends’ houses. The friend who helped me moving at the time suddenly texted me a picture last week of the plant he still looks after! That one pic of the plant brought back so many memories of the packing up time and just going blindly for my passions. Like suddenly meeting the younger me again.
It’s mainly in our teens and twenties that we dare to take big steps without much thought. Gathering experiences we tend to think longer about everything, or we often reconsider decisions we already made. Even though I can still fall into the habit of searching for ‘serious’ jobs at times, I never ever regretted that decision to leave, It was the best experience ever. Second guessing ourselves (I love the word, we don’t have it in Dutch) can be a very bad habit and a sign of perfectionism. Trusting our gut feelings and daring to go with them often brings us into the best situations. That old plant of mine reminded me of that in many positive ways this week. And it’s even better that it’s a growing plant, and not just a thing….
What are the biggest decisions you have ever taken for your life course? And do you recognize the bad habit of second guessing your decisions? Even if you do sometimes: never give up believing in your dreams!
It being Valentine’s week and the air brimming with spring vibes, it would be strange not to dedicate a post to the topic of love. That’s what music is about for the larger part in the end.
My songwriting ‘career’ started at the age of 16, being madly in love with someone, leading to my first song with the most basic teenage lyrics: I’m crazy about you, so I’ll sing you a song. I love you forever, ’cause I love you the most.And some prophecies in one of the older tunes Last Time about same guy: Thousand years ahead this man will meet his wife, will he sing her that song that he sang for me? By the way, I still speak to this person. They tried to let it go, to run away from there, they tried to forget it all…
I’ve always loved this feeling of romantic love, where you can really long deeply for someone, without having to take immediate action. It’s probably because I’ve also always really enjoyed my own company. I love spending time alone and the complete freedom to fill in my time as I want. I’m picky and it’s rare enough, but when I fall in love, I really do, and that often leads to new inspiration. Untill it ends… I hear the falling pieces, pieces of goodbyes. I hear the echo turning, turning on the light (Echoes in the Night)
Speaking about lyrics, I also really enjoy listening to other artists’ song lyrics. I even keep a favourite song lines list! Which song lines are your favourites? I wish you a spring full of love!
Show me one man who knows his own heart To him I shall belong (Jewel, Kiss the Flame)
What do you want to become when you grow up? This question had been haunting me for many years. The ‘problem’ started with the situation pictured below. This seems very luxurious but it’s not as simple as that. I went to school at 5 years old being able to read, and graduated at 17, not having a clue what I wanted to do.
Was I born a musician? Ha! See the grades above! I do love learning, all subjects really, from maths and science to languages and music. School and studying (European Law & Language Studies, graduating in Dutch Law) allowed me plenty of time for hobby’s and other interests.
But then…work life started. This came as surprisingly huge challenge for me. Not being fully in charge of my own work load caused me stress and I was missing time for my other passions. After working as a lawyer in one of the bigger Dutch law firms for a while, I just felt like I wanted to press a big stop button, to earn back that much needed time to be creative! So that’s when quit my job and left to Ireland with just my guitar and backpack, where I started making money from playing gigs. It’s amazing how magic stuff always happens when you tap into your own flow.
Some trial and error later I know how I like to fill my days: either combining small parttime jobs with music or working independently fulltime. I’ve worked in a wide range of areas over the years: from lawyer, university lecturer, PA, train stewardess, sales person, PR officer to bar manager and more…You name it, I’ve done it!
The ongoing drive to create has always been the essence for me. Coming up with a crazy idea for a concert, tour, a story or a CD production and then realizing it is so rewarding! It’s like taking people on a tour to a different world. You know the little boy in the movie The Greatest Showman? That’s how I think and love to work…realizing my million dreams!
In nowadays society specialism is rewarded. Working parttime can be seen as laziness. Higher skilled jobs for 2/3 days are pretty rare to find. A pity for creatives like me who have a wide variety of interests. What are your thoughts on this? What drives you in life? How do you combine work with your passion? And what would be the soundtrack to your career?