Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Life in Amsterdam:

Friends from way back in the day (meaning my university life)–are currently visiting me here in Amsterdam. Sometimes I forget who I am. Or the life I had before I moved to Holland. It’s quite easy to do actually, forget about your past that is. Of course there are pictures, and of course I’ll always, forever, replay memories and past experiences over and over in my mind. Those thoughts I’ll have forever–and will always hold tightly. Sometimes I have to hold them even tighter. With my American friends being here, it just makes me realize how quickly my past is ‘disappearing’, in a sense. In a way, I don’t mind. I moved to Holland to create a new life, and have succeeded in fulfilling most of my dreams to this point. Which is a big hard to read on ‘paper’. But also reassuring. I have fulfilled the dreams that I have so far dreamt up, at this point in my life. Why is that so hard to accept? Above all, I sometimes forget I’m in a country other than my own. And unlike European expats living in Holland, sadly my home country isn’t just a TGV train ride away (Paris), a quick hour flight (almost all of Western Europe)–and it’s not possible to pop back to my previous life for the weekend. It’s gone. That can only happen in my mind, and by looking through pictures. But the good news is I’m pretty good with the visuals in my head. I’m usually always happy. But it’s always nice to know, that at any given time, I can leave and walk away form my life here in Holland. Not that I ever would, but it’s nice to know I posses a ‘push in-case of emergency’ button. One that will whisk me away from Europe and the Euro for as long as I wish. I love it here in the land of Tiny. But I think I should allow myself a wee bit of leg room for mistakes–or less anxiety on my part. As I’ve annotated before, I’m always too hard on myself. The world is too big. I really do forget I’m in another country almost always. Of course I pay in Euros, and sometimes speak Dutch, but AMS is just like any other city I could live in. I imagine that I’m creating a life here and it’s a bit much to realize and process that. My days of studying are over–this is life. I have invoices to pay. And a salary. Most often I would say that a typical ‘drip’ coffee maker is just a cleverly disguised bong–it is. But it’s the connotations that go along with each of those items that make the coffee maker socially expectable, and the bong, not. Maybe sometimes, no matter how much it doesn’t make sense in my mind, it’s better to go with the flow of society–rather than question everything. But there comes a point where you must ask: When do you stop being yourself, and just conforming? If ever. In a way, I can’t help but think that my life has been a bit too rushed. I’m on 23. Yet somehow I can’t help but feel as if I’ve experienced too much for my age. I feel as if I’m 23 going on 30–and it’s a bit hard.