Thursday 5 April, somewhere in a small village in the Netherlands, the 3rd and final training session was taking place in a rebuilt farm, overlooking a lake with a little yacht marina. The trainer, a woman in her end 30s, is listening to me talking about my wishes for the future and encourages making choices. Me, girl in her end 20s, is thinking out loud that she can take more out of life than advising people.
Me: “I do write, I even created a blog. I’m trying it out. I didn’t write much, but I’m now joining this challenge in which I write something every day on my health, during this April month.”
Trainer: “Very well. There are 3 words that come back in pretty much everything you have told us so far. You create, then you try it out and then you’re determinedly going for it. Sounds like a great personality description for you. And a business.”
Me: Dropped silent. Tear in my right eye and my cheeks are red. She’s right. Don’t know what to say.
Friday 6 April, around 6 pm. A close friend for over 12 years, rings me on my mobile when I’m almost done at work and ready to go home. Standing in my office with my jacket on, I’m taking the call.
Close friend: “I was sorry to hear that your application didn’t work out. How do you feel about it?”
Me: “It was a pity, as it would have been an amazing job. But probably they had about 500 people applying, as it was an amazing job.”
Close friend: “I’m sure, something else comes up again. Something that’s right for you and you’re the best for.”
Saturday 7 April, in the afternoon. I’m sitting at home and my friend from the other end of the world gives me a ring. A friend who I missed speaking to for nearly 6 months as we only e-mailed because of the time difference. She’s enjoying maternity leave, and spending her time with her little son.
Friend on other end of the world: “Sometimes, I think I don’t appreciate all this luxurious free time, going to playgrounds, having coffee with friend and spending my days with my 1-year old and husband in the night.”
Me: “Why not? We can work for more than 40 years, so one year to spend solely with your family is a gift. And far more important, and with better memories, than spending your whole life in an office, trying to make a career.”
Friend of other end of the world: “True. We’re so young. You’re so young. You can do anything you want, and should take pleasure out of it.”
Me: “It took us 5 years of working, to figure out the elements in our jobs we love and we hate, and a career isn't everything.”
Friend of other end of the world: “We don’t need to become CEOs, and we don’t need to become interns again either. Something, which gives us pleasure in life, ticks all the right boxes as a career”.