Being Back in The Netherlands

Hi guys!

So, I am back in The Netherlands after having had an amazing time in New York City these last few months. I arrived Tuesday morning after a long flight. It was great to see my family again! Being back has been a lot harder than I could have ever expected. Beside dealing with a terrible jet lag, I have to get adjusted to a country that could not feel more foreign. After living by myself for four months, it is a big adjustment to live with my parents and siblings again. Also, I can see now how much I have grown and changed these past four months.

There are so many thing I need to take in and I am going to try to take my time to work through it all. One thing that is very important to me is that I stay true to myself and to who I am. I see now that I have always been more myself than I thought I was, but the past few months I have consciously gotten to known that person. I want to hold on to that and I want to continue exploring who I am.

I also noticed that new situations and/or surroundings give me energy and make me happy. My tattoo is not only a reminder of my time in New York, but also a reminder to never stop exploring. I need to challenge myself and I am going to try to do that by visiting new places and doing new things. I am not sure what that is going to look like, because I don’t live in a big city anymore, but I will figure it out.

It feels weird to say “I’m home”, because it feels like I am visiting and my home is in New York. My room looks different than what I remember, yet it looks completely the same. The thing is, it does not feel like mine anymore. It is not only my room that looks different, but also my house. It feels strange to write down my house, because it doesn’t feel like it is mine, it doesn’t feel like home yet.

Then there is the country I returned to. There have always been things I hated about The Netherlands and the culture here. A lot of those things I did not see or experience in New York, but being back here makes me realize that even more. The thing I hate the most is the judgement; here, people will look you up and down and give you a disapproving look if they don’t like what they see, but in New York City you can be whoever you want and nobody cares. That is one of the things I loved the most about New York.

In addition to that, New York is a lot more diverse than The Netherlands. That’s no surprise, because New York is one of the biggest melting pots on the planet, but it shocked me how little diversity there actually is. When I was in high school, I noticed that everyone kind of looked the same. A lot of the girls had blond straight hair, they had similar clothing styles and talked the same. I think it is because of the ever-present judgement. Everyone wants to fit in. Scratch that. Everyone needs to fit in, because otherwise you are an outcast. I haven’t even mentioned the diversity in cultural background yet. I think there were only about five kids in a group of over sixty who were of color.

One of the strangest things about being back in The Netherlands, is that people are talking Dutch. Speaking Dutch myself feels kind of weird, but hearing people on the streets speak Dutch is something I haven’t gotten used to yet. It takes time, like all the other things I have mentioned above. I am going to take my time to figure out as much as possible.

That means I also have to figure out what I am going to do with my blog. I do want to continue My Blue Striped Life, but I am not sure what kind of things I want to talk about, because I can’t share my amazing experience of living in an exciting city like New York anymore. I will keep you updated.

Love!

Merel

 

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