July 17, 2017

Days Like This

There have been days when I wonder and question my sanity with:

|| How did I ever end up living here in the Netherlands?||

HOW?!

I mean, of course I know how I ended up here! It’s all Silver Bullet’s fault. HE wanted to come home and I was crazy enough to merely bless the move when I threw caution in the air because we’ve had it with Thailand.

That wasn’t the point I was trying to make, though.

What I’m trying to say is that somehow, the sudden thought of the question hit me hard. It almost felt like a hard slap had landed on my face, followed by the chilliest gust of cold wind punching in my cheeks. It’s that sudden feeling of being abruptly woken up from a deep slumber and then trying to figure out where you actually are.  

Usually those feeling creep up to me and it would hit me at the very same spot whenever I take the train at Amsterdam Central Station. It is that stretch of walkway between the brick walls and to the footpath outside followed by that distinct route of the escalator and towards the metro.

I don’t know what it is or why that is.

Towards Amsterdam Centraal Station
The path to the metro

There’s just something about the whole set up that triggers it all, bringing the shudders down to my spine. Sometimes I feel creeped-out and I’d be getting goose bumps. Know those feelings? 

And I don’t mean in a “I’m-being-stalked-or-followed-by-a-lunatic-murderer” kind of way since this occurs in broad daylight. It’s really just the big HOW feels like a rude awakening. 

Ask me 15 years ago and I’d tell you that living in the Netherlands and working near Amsterdam or anywhere in Europe for that matter, would not have crossed my mind.

Not in a million years.

It was not my reality.

I mean, I was once only a tourist. I travelled solo and staying put at one place was never a plan. I move, I go places and I remember things. Sometimes random things kind of get stuck somewhere deep in my mind for no reason at all. Much like those old walls at the Amsterdam Central Station.

Then only in the last decade has the Netherlands become an annual place to visit for family reasons.

HOW I ended up living in this country, tucked in a suburbia of a place,  struggling to understand the language and then having to figure out what’s normal in a corporate culture I have no affinity with, has baffled the bejesus out of me.

Some days I can’t help but feel a little misplaced. Kind of off-balance. Somewhat surreal, but familiar.

These sentiments lead to more pondering, questioning and having internal dialogues where I would question the reason of being. MY reason for being. I question the meaning of life, the loyalty of family and the true value of friends.

There have been days and many a day when I question my competency; feeling like an impostor despite the years of experience I have under my belt in the work that I do. Often, I’ve never felt skilled enough or knowledgeable enough to claim that even after all these years, I am an expert in my field.

There’s always much to learn. There’s never enough knowledge. There’s no one true PhD to navigate life.

Often, it is days of pondering like this that humbles me. It jolts me to take stock of where I have been, where I am and where I am going. I get lost in my own thoughts; not being able to think straight what life could have been had I not taken the route I took. 

Granted, things could have been worse.

But for all that’s worth, I’m thankful for the HOWS and the WHYS of life and the helping hands that came in packages of little blessings, often when I’m not looking or expecting. They had one way or another made our life a tad easier and the inconveniences a little more tolerable.

Like those brown walls, despite their aged looks, they are still standing strong amidst the changing landscape. The pillars are comforting. Just what anyone would need to navigate the journey of life. 


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Comments
  1. Robbie Cheadle

    I can imagine that it is hard to transplant your life especially to a country where you don’t speak the language that well. You are doing really well though so keep it up.

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