maandag 5 oktober 2015

My brother, from our Supermother


If you know me in real life, and most of you do, you know that family is very important to me. I've always been close to my parents, slept at my grandparents places a lot, played around in the garden with my cousins, went to the zoo with my aunts, and so on. The last couple of years, I've been validating my family even more. On April 29th, 2010, I lost my dear mother. There'll definitely be a blogpost about her, but I'm saving that for later. Ever since that moment, my family has been so incredibly important. My mother's best friend, is family to me, as well.
Apart from the aunts, uncles, stepmothers and -fathers, cousins and everything out there, there's been one person in my life, who's been very, very close to me, all the time. I'm talking about my brother, who's almost two years younger than me. I asked him if I could write a blogpost about him, and he agreed. Because this lovely guy, he really deserves it.

The first memories that I have, are from dressing up, together with him. We played around a little, being stupid. I was a real 'girly-girl', so I loved to dress up like a princess. My brother was Aladdin or something, and sometimes, he even wore my clothes. I can't really remember that we were in fights a lot. My father also told me that, when my brother was born, I was caring and loving towards him. No envy or anything. I'm glad to hear that, although it's funny to hear you were a jealous bitch, when you were younger, as well. Even in those early memories, we were together a lot.
At the age of 4/5, all the girls were in love with him. I'm serious, he was admired by the ladies. From time to time, we bring this up in our family. I'm sure that nothing has changed; we just don't know about it anymore. Because I think that my little bro is very handsome, and yes - that's from an objective perspective.


As we grew older, our parents were divorced, and we moved a lot in little time. Both our mama and papa got a new partner, which we had to get used to. Looking back, I don't think it was too difficult for us, because our parents did a really good job taking care of us. We got some new family members; he got closer to our stepbrother and I was around my stepsister, a lot. But, in both of our 'new' families, in every situation, we always felt the brother-sister connection.
At that time, we fought a little bit more (verbally, can you imagine me fighting physically? Right), but nothing too bad. I just remember one time, when we were screaming at each other, my mom ran out of the shower, being very angry. She told us to stop, and ever since that moment, I think we were calmed down even more.
Apart from being my buddy in the families, and being handsome, he's a really smart guy. He did the 3rd and 4th year of elementary school in one year, which made him go to my stepbrothers class and year. We actually all ended up in the same class for two years in total; our classes were mixed, so I was one year higher. My brother was younger than the rest, but still got good results and was pretty social, too.

A funny thing is, when he was around the age of 7, my brother wanted to play football. My stepsister and -brother already did. We were being a little skeptical about it: Abe, football? No, that's not his kind of sports. But it turned out that he liked it a lot. I went to see him play quite often, talked to other brothers, sisters and parents. Later on, I started as well. My brother became more serious, every year. He improved, started to play on higher levels. But it was not only on the field; getting to know football facts, history and teams, was his favourite hobby. At world championships, when you could get those little football player cards at the supermarket, he knew every single player. He knew the number of the sticker, the player's weight, height, football club, birth of date - everything. I mean, you could ask: 'What's the BMI of player number 143 in the book?", and he would easily calculate it, because he had all the facts filed up in his little brain. My father is exactly like this, and it's beautiful to see that similarity. Now, he's such a fanatic when it comes to the Dutch football competition. Feyenoord, of course <3. Football is Abe and Abe is football. But of course, he's more than that.


The thing that makes our relationship so special, is the way we talk to each other. We both have our privacy and little secrets, but I tell him almost everything. In many ways, we think the same. We get annoyed by the same things, people and behaviour. We've got the same humour. We like the same kind of music (most of the time). We want to say the same things, at the same time. We don't have to finish our sentences, or even talk at all. One look is enough. It's always been really good, the way we connected. But the last five years, we went through a lot, together.
When I was not doing good at all, he got me through it - with other lovely people. He never let me down, even though I've not been very nice to him, at times. It's also the other way around. When he's not doing well, I want to help him. I want to be his big sister, that he can come to for a really big hug or some advice. I hope I can give him at least a fraction of our mother; let him feel like she's around, a little bit. And I know did this, because he gave me the rose that he had to give to a special person, the day he graduated from high school. He made me so happy by doing that. I'd never felt that proud before. Proud of him, proud of us together.
He calls/called me 'bunny', because I always wear a bun on the top of my head, that looks like a bunny-bun. Not for other reasons, people! In high school, we always went to each other's room, to have some small talk, before we went to sleep. Share our thoughts, frustrations, achievements, insecurities, happiness... Now I live in Eindhoven and everything's busy, but it was nice to do, back then. I miss those times.

I could tell so many more stories about my brother, because he's been there almost my entire life. He's the one who lived with me the most, we have so many crazy and stupid memories. But I think it's okay for now. If there are any more questions, you can always ask them.


Dear Abe, I know that you're not always aware of the fact that you're such a great person, so I wanted to tell you another time in this way. I'll keep saying it, because it's true. I thank you for everything you've done, your patience, you honesty. I'm so incredibly glad that I've got you as my brother and I'll never take you for granted. You're definitely one of the most important people in my entire life; you'll always be. I love you, little bro, I love you a lot.

Josie

donderdag 1 oktober 2015

October goals

TU Eindhoven - Wednesday September 30th, 2015

Lately, everything has been a little bit chaotic. I just came back from my holidays in Málaga, went straight to some introduction days, directly traveled to Ghent, had more introduction days and then started my studies. I moved from Utrecht to Eindhoven, as well. Because I wasn't really living a healthy life during summer holidays, I felt tired and just... Blugh. I think the studies are pretty difficult for me at this moment, too. It's all okay, I just thought that I had to get a little bit more structure in my life right now. So I quit rowing, to save some time every week. I've also been setting up some goals for the upcoming month: October. I can't believe we're in the last quarter of 2015, already! It's fall time, and the leaves are turning yellow, orange and red. I love this so much; I think it looks amazing, especially with the nice weather now. Anyways, let's move on to my October goals:

1. More planning


Oh dear, I started off this year in such a messed up way. I had no clue what to do and where to go, didn't have an overview of all of the things I needed to do. Actually, the planning part is improving already. I try to make a daily overview, for a week, and adjust it every day, so it'll stay realistic. Something I've learnt from Masha is: 
1) Write down everything that you need to do
2) Think about the time you'll need for each task
3) Divide your time into those tasks, including breaks, going to the supermarket, etc.
4) After you've finished, mark it with a bright marker

This helps me so much, and you also get more insight on how well your estimation of the time needed is. The only thing that I should do now, is keep doing this, haha.


2. Working out



As I told you before, the last couple of months were not that sporty and full of running, for me. This is one of the reasons why I felt blugh, I couldn't get rid of the tension in my body, couldn't run away the stress. Rowing wasn't satisfying to me, and I didn't like it that much either. I'm really glad that I bought my running shoes. This Monday I ran for the first time, with a girl from uni. She's so lovely and we actually had a pretty good run together. The shoes felt like heaven, of course. Then the day after, I went to the gym that belongs to my university, for a group session of BBB. In Dutch, this is: Buik, Benen, Billen, which means: Stomach/belly, Legs, Butt.  This morning, I went for a run again (took the photo after I finished). So I started off this week quite well, considering sports! The motivation is definitely there; I hope it will release me from some stress, as well.


3. More sleep



I've always been a bad sleeper. I can't sleep on trains, planes, in cars, etc. I need it to be dark and silent. I like to stay up late and can't sleep in very well (except for in Málaga, I know, Norah!). Especially now I've bought a good laptop, it's so tempting to watch an extra episode of a stupid/funny/exciting/whatever series. In my gap year, it wasn't that big of a problem, but being a student at the TU, I need so much more energy. My entire tan from Málaga faded, I look like my old Dutch self again (please take me back to Spain - ugh <3). That's all fine, but I can tell that I lack some sleep.


The goal within this goal is trying to use less social media, especially at night. Oh, I can spend hours on youtube and Instagram at night. Or having a lovely late night conversation on WhatsApp; those are the best... But I miss reading books sometimes. I think I'll sleep a lot better if I read at night, instead of watching videos of cats throwing glasses on the floor or compilations of Obama singing "Can't Feel My Face", by The Weeknd. What do you think? So: more books, especially "La sombra del viento" - Carlos Ruiz Zafón, in Spanish, yes! Less Facebook. We'll see how that goes.


4. One line a day



When I left The Netherlands for three months, to learn Spanish in Málaga, I had a goodbye high tea with my friends. Some of them gave me a lovely little book: 5 years, one line a day. So for five years, you write down a line, a word, or a summary of the day, which reminds me of something you did that day. In this way, you can see what you did, exactly one, two, three, four, five years ago at that day. I think it's amazing. Unfortunately, I've been a little bit lazy keeping it up, so I wrote down a lot on my phone and I'm trying to remember the rest of the days that are missing. After I've updated all of it, I'll try to write something, every night, before I go to sleep. It's also something you could give to your children, when you have them. I love it, so I really need to use it again, properly!


5. Record a song



As some of you may know, I like to sing. In the shower, in my room, in the club, on my bicycle; anywhere and anytime. Until half a year ago, I went to singing classes, as well. It's a bit too expensive for me now, but I still keep on singing. My stepfather and I make music together sometimes; he's playing the guitar and I'll sing with it. We've had plans to record a song together for a while now, but we haven't done it yet. For myself, I use Garageband, to sing along with an instrumental version of a song. In any way, I'd love to record a song this month. Of course, I'll upload it on my YouTube channel. I'm definitely going to do some other videos, too - whenever I've got the time. Stay tuned, people! 


Apart from these goals, I'm going to try to pass my exams, at the end of October. I'd also like to paint my nails more often, start doing my make up differently, at times (I love lipstick and eyeshadow, just don't wear it that much, nowadays). Perhaps I'll find more things to work on, but those can be used for the next month. Don't ask yourself too much at one time!

Lots of love,
Josie