Monday, September 10, 2012

(the) Weekend:

This past weekend was a fabulous weekend here in Amsterdam. After what has seemed like a summer full of rain, the skies opened and the clouds drifted... well, to be honest I do not know where they drifted... but they left Amsterdam's sky and in doing so painted it a shade of blue it hasn't seen in some time: a stunningly refreshing and crisp blue that begs you come outside and play in the summer sun.

Now that we've pondered the weather, it's time to get to business. This little publication is slowly evolving, as am I, and it's always insightful to pour through the older entries of it and revisit the subjects that were, at times, so consuming of my thoughts during the past few years. The general narrative goes something like this: Amsterdam is beautiful; I love it here; Growing up is more challenging in a non-native environment; Growing up also entails countless doors of opportunities (if you aren't afraid to look for, and open, them); Speaking Dutch comes with time and intense studying (and not solely setting foot on Dutch soil); I couldn't be more happy to be where I am, at this moment in time.

That's a damn good narrative; sprinkled with lots of pretty photos of this city, other cities, and general landscapes and daily scenes that make me smile. Steven Heller said it best when he proclaimed, 'Everybody has a story to tell... if you can figure out how to make it work in any kind of medium, you may have a product.' Transcribing my thoughts, and reshaping them over and over again, until those thoughts resonate in words, is one of my passions. And I want to continue building and improving upon my passions, with time. And time, is so precious.

Earlier this year I made a large decision that has propelled my life forward. It was totally a 'crossroads' moment, and I chose left. Now while I am right-handed person, in this instance left seemed best–at the time–and so far that's proven to be true. Another large life-event happened earlier this year, also, during my trip to Scandinavia, whilst watching over the waters just beyond Denmark's shores, with Sweden in the distance. It was magic. Two life stepping-stones this year, already stepped across; options I've chosen that will certainly direct my future in unseen ways. Exciting.

My Dutch lessons have begun (again) and I'm scheduled to take my super-big-official test. After which after I will be considered a B1 Dutch speaker by the Dutch government. I was originally going for the B2 level of communication in Dutch, but slowly discovered that while I am driven in my desire to learn Dutch, there's no rush to get to a 'near-native' of comprehension. There's time for that. So, Dutch lessons until December.

I'm no longer at the point where I live in Europe and am, just smitten with Europe. It's a continent. But yes; it is really magical and overflowing with history. I always make it a point throughout my day to pause, listen, smell, see, hear, touch, and appreciate the small moments that make my life so worth living. More often than not, these mini-breaks (each lasting only a few seconds, or minutes, at most) happen when a particular moment creates the framework for a scene within my field of vision to become glamorized in all its romantic-Amsterdam-ness. Almost always these scenes include a gable, canal, or brick-paved street. What can I say? I feel at home in Amsterdam, amongst it timeless layers and within its abundant enveloping offerings.