July 15, 2014 by Sera
Oh, I know, it’s been a while. I’m sorry. I really am and I won’t even use my chronic fatigue (officially diagnosed now wooohooo!) as an excuse.
I admit I was lazy and uninspired and I’m not sure I’m inspired now but I figured it might be time for some randomness again.
So here I am, randomly rambling about…
Eh, the football world cup maybe?
Yeah, Germany won the damn title 24 years after the last one and being German I am pretty damn happy with that and I don’t even really like football!
I think the fact that for (at least) a week I am allowed to be proud of being German (believe me, there are still so many people who think it’s not OK to do so) and that I watched the semi finals in Germany with a huge crowd, feeling like I belong somewhere, may have made a difference in my enthusiasm for the sport.
I know this may be difficult to understand for a lot of people but being able to stand there with hundreds of my country men, singing our national anthem and all of us cheering for the same team, hoping for the same thing and then seeing one goal after another happening…it felt great, it felt like home and it made me happy, really happy.
Don’t get me wrong, I like living in the Netherlands for the most part and I don’t plan on moving back to Germany but sometimes (and especially during big football events) the constant “teasing” I have to endure because I’m German gets a bit too much.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I never felt like I could build real friendships with my Dutch circle of acquaintances.
Or maybe it’s just what most other expats say, it’s difficult to get into their circle of trust, mostly because they have loads of friends already who they’ve known since childhood and don’t need any more new friends.
Whatever the reason, it made my life here a bit lonely at times and the fact that I had a few trust issues myself from past experiences didn’t really help either.
Anyway, that’s hopefully a thing of the past now because in March I decided to get over myself and put myself out there and make some connections.
It took weeks of me looking at local meetups and trying to tell myself that the worst thing that could happen would be me getting out of the house for an afternoon and spend it with actual people.
I’ve been a bit of a recluse over the winter, so not much of a social life at that point and being so damn tired, always, wasn’t exactly making it easier.
So, eventually I found a meetup for international girls in Amsterdam and decided to go.
To give you an impression of how nervous I was, being a bit of an introvert, I circled the block where the café was 3!!! times before daring to go in.
I don’t know why but I find going on dates way easier than doing this LOL
Going into the café, finally, I ran into a few first-timers right at the entrance and I think all of them were a little nervous too.
Phew, not just me then!
We introduced ourselves, ordered drinks and found a place to sit and from that point on things got a lot easier.
I spent the next 3 hours talking to and connecting with girls from the US, France, China, Korea, Japan and Germany and got invited to one girls house warming party two weeks later.
If you’re a slightly socially awkward introvert and have ever done something like that, you’ll know how amazing it felt to have done this.
I haven’t regretted going for one moment because since then I’ve gotten together with a group of these girls regularly, enjoying it every time and have, essentially, gotten my social life back.
The best thing is, these girls are like me, away from the countries of their birth, discovering what else the world has to offer and so wonderfully open minded that I never, not for one moment, feel like it’s not OK to be who I am.
Last Sunday then, I met up with one of my new friends to watch the world cup final in an Irish pub and when the final whistle came and the whole pub (mostly Dutchies and Germans) was cheering and celebrating, I was honestly close to tears.
In part because, yes, Germany finally won the world cup again but also because I was happy to just be there. Out and about, having a beer, watching the game with others, instead of being home alone where I have been watching the German football matches ever since moving to the Netherlands.
So, what am I saying with all of this randomness?
I’ve decided 2014 is my year!
My health and home situation may still be shit and I’ve still got a lot to figure out and a lot to overcome, especially my own insecurities but I won’t hide behind them anymore and…just do things anyway.