Author Archives for Ellen

Overnight thinking

A few nights ago i was lying awake in the middle of the night. Thoughts raced through my mind. I was writing a post. Mad as hell! I will remember this, i thought. I will write this up. It is important.

The only thing i remember now is the title. Mad as hell. I sort of know i could recall more, if i do my best. If i really think about it, if i try to get it back.

But no, i won’t do that. I have learned over the years that i need to give some things time to develop, to grow into fruition. If i need to do something, i simply need to give it time. It will come to me when it wants to. No need to force it.

This morning i got the thought of this post i’m writing now. Thinking about this process. I like it!

The rest of the day i will work on my drawing. This afternoon i will go to the Harvest Market on the Wilgenplantsoen. Tomorrow i will finish my drawing and post it. Four months! And even this week i got some new ideas to put into it. And some old ideas i finally drew in.

I am happy with it. Truly happy.

Published on September 24, 2020 at 6:00 by

Simple thoughts

Chance determines a large part of our lives. Chance gives us the families we are born in, the country we are born in. Chance determines our initial position and setup. Chance gives each person in this world a different environment to grow up in. If you are lucky. Sometimes chance makes you terminally ill. Sometimes chance prevents a person from being born at all.

Each life brings its own challenges, troubles, hurdles and boundaries. Some determined by chance, others determined by actions taken earlier in life. The older you get, the more your life seems set, determined by decisions made earlier. Whether you have a partner, children, a job, money, a house, family, friends. Most people make the big decisions in their late twenties and early thirties. Partner and children most of the time.

This is not a golden rule though. To me personally, i still feel freedom. I still love to let my mind run free. Let my thoughts roam around, trying to find something to think about. I still dream, fantasize. I can still cry over what my mind brings up to me. Like i did today, while i listen to music and fantasize over dancing and singing away in front of an audience.

I’m not saying i am the only one living like this. I do think it takes a conscious effort to keep this feeling of freedom and dreaming and fantasizing intact over the course of your life. And i can only speak for myself. I strive to keep this feeling alive and well. It makes life very enjoyable. Apart from all the hassles 🙂

Published on September 21, 2020 at 6:00 by

Making mistakes

Over the past few years i felt i was working towards something. Something good. Battling for myself. Striving towards a life worth living. Something different. Different from now.

I slowly start to realize that this will not be possible. I am learning, sure. But i still make mistakes. Sometimes i apologize. Sometimes not. My life simply continues. On and on.

I am learning to think before i speak, but i can not overthink everything i do. There is still room for the unexpected, the unrehearsed. The spontaneous. I remember a couple of moments in my life in which this occurred. Not many, no. But they did.

So now, when i think about my future, i think of a difficult life. Having things to think about. Having meetings to think about. Not knowing which way to go. Not knowing what to say. Not knowing.

I know i could continue with my life as it is right now. Safe. Easy. Undemanding.

What do i want? What do i really really want? Really really really?

I want the life that fits me. But what is that life? Am i not already living that life? With the upcoming money troubles, within a year or so, if i continue living as i do? Something i need to deal with. I know that. I know.

Can i keep quiet, think about what happens to me and take a course? Is that what i am doing right now?

I hope. I really hope.

Published on September 16, 2020 at 6:00 by

Open up

It is all about now. The present. This very moment. Very hard to grasp. Very hard to present to the world. Now.

Not right now. Not yet. Still half a day away.

I leave you with this lovely Dutch windmill with cosmos flowers and sunflowers in front of it. photographed yesterday while i made a walk around the Bergse Voorplas. You can see this mill from 3:00 in the clip below.

Published on September 15, 2020 at 6:00 by

I’m 19 and I’ve lost my sparkle for life

I read this article called I’m 19 and I’ve lost my sparkle for life. How will I ever get it back? on the Guardian Sunday morning. It brought tears to my eyes. Lots of truths in the answer.

I also watched a video about integrating your shadow side in your life. This article actually reminds me a bit of this. Happiness, excitement is not something you strive for. It is a bonus. I am still struggling with my own life. Still not sure which way to go. Still half believe i life in a fantasy. It still does not feel real to me. I do hope reality will come to me soon. I do hope my life will turn out to be difficult and challenging. But i also hope it will be happy and productive.

I hope it is ok if i post the article here.

I’m 19 and I’ve lost my sparkle for life. How will I ever get it back?
Your privileges aren’t necessarily a route to joy, says Mariella Frostrup. But finding your own purpose in life is

The dilemma I’m a girl, I’m 19 and I never get excited about anything. It’s been years since I’ve felt that sparkle, even though I’ve done things and been to places that I really liked and that changed me in a positive way.

My bucket list in life is very long and full of diverse activities and trips, but I never seem to enjoy that much when I’m doing it. I usually only realise how good it was afterwards, and I feel lucky about what I had experienced, but my heart never beats fast.

Friends get excited over small and silly things (and God knows it’s healthy, I am not judging) while I keep getting bigger chances than them and never feel that good. I do realise I’m lucky to have a supportive and wealthy family, and many friends. I am even good looking.

I’ve been depressed last year, and even though I am much better now, it seems to me that the only thing missing is the step from “glad” to “excited”.

Will I ever feel the sparkle again? If I don’t now, will I when I am old?

Mariella replies Even before! And you don’t need to sit around twiddling your thumbs and waiting for divine intervention; you can get cracking on reviving that sparkle right now. This is a common problem, increasingly so among younger people, and although it can often be linked with clinical depression it’s also perfectly possible that you’ve just lost sight of the things that make you happy.

For the clinically depressed or terminally myopic it can be hard to separate the challenges faced by others from our own near-the-knuckle woes. When you wake up in the morning and find you’re not moved by birdsong, or moved to tears by the sight of an old couple holding hands, or a kid touching sand for the first time, it’s a good thing to start looking for what’s afflicting you.

I’m so sorry to hear that your capacity for pleasure is so depleted, but you need to understand that what you describe as being lucky isn’t the pass to happiness you assume it to be. There’s nothing wrong with failing to use your privilege as a weapon against joylessness: the two are closer linked than you might imagine.

You say your parents are wealthy, and perhaps that’s an issue here. I’ve always wondered how my work imperative and, through it my enjoyment of life, would have fared if I hadn’t needed to make a living and step far beyond my comfort zone in order to do so. There’s a frisson of danger that you can’t easily conjure up when jeopardy is not a paycheck away.

First, though let’s talk about that depression which can’t be discounted as a considerable contributing factor for your malaise. You don’t tell me whether you’ve been treated for it, but I would strongly recommend that you do talk to a professional – contact your GP, or Mind ( and make sure you have a support system in place. Depression is an epidemic that recognises no socio-economic borders and no matter how #blessed you feel it can seize you in its grip.

That said, as I mature (disconcertingly speedily) and become an irritating know-all, I’m increasingly conscious of the failure of my generation to instil resilience in our children. Don’t get me wrong, my friends, acquaintances and colleagues have offered spectacular opportunities to their offspring: helicopter-parented them through exams; filled in their college forms; scrimped and saved to supply a deposit for their first flat; and endeavoured to be there for them through every pitfall and passion project, every friendship failure and broken heart. And guess what? It could be that we’re causing equivalent damage with our goodwill as was inflicted by the neglect and ignorance of previous generations’ parenting.

It seems to me that because we parents haven’t got a clue, we’re frequently over-compensating for a perceived absence of care in our own pasts that may actually have been a blessing. I wonder if my generation’s sustained efforts to bring our children up in the protective circle of our embrace has left too many kids, like you, struggling to work out how to find their own pleasure in the world.

There’s one good reason to seek joy in life and that’s simply because you are lucky to be alive – and the challenge is what best purpose to put your time to. Look around, step beyond your comfort zone, delve deep into issues you might not have thought about engaging with and don’t imagine that just because you’re surrounded by privilege you are churlish for not being happy!

When you find your own priorities in life you’ll understand how subjective they are. Life will always have its ups and downs so when you lose sight of the sparkle it’s time to change your perspective and look further afield for inspiration. There’s a big, wide world out there that you can make an impact on, but right now small steps towards discovering your purpose are all you need to worry about.

Published on September 14, 2020 at 6:00 by

Out of home

It’s been almost seven months since i moved out of my old home. I still miss it, but it is getting less. It doesn’t hurt as much, not anymore.

This week i took up a little vacation. I am not working in the garden. Thinking about it right now. Is it what i want to do? For the rest of my life. Well, partly. I’d love to have my own garden. Have flowers, veggies, shrubs, fruit trees, roses, zinnia’s, nasturtium and cosmos in there. But gardening is not the most important thing to me. My drawing is. The most important.

My drawing goes slowly. But it does progress. Hopefully i can publish it in a few weeks. The end of September, beginning of October. It is still a new development for me. Been only drawing like this for less than a year. I do hope i will make it good for me. A good drawing, in which i am able to express some of my feelings about this world we live in.

Salute! Have a nice weekend.

Published on September 11, 2020 at 6:00 by