Categories for My story

A good day in the garden and a lovely pot luck!

The title says it all. Yesterday i made some soup with celeriac and cauliflower and leeks and onions and cavolo nero and chard and the little hot peppers from the garden. Then of course meatballs! Because i wasn’t thinking of today and the pot luck. I did bring the soup though, and some non-vegetarian people liked it. I liked it too!

So that is it for now. Going to bed, watching Expedition Robinson. A guilty pleasure. No way in the world i would ever join it myself. Not that i will be asked of course. See you tomorrow. I hope you have a good day today. Salute!

Published on November 25, 2019 at 6:00 by

Choices

Last week i had a talk with a friend. She told me some things don’t register until they happen. You may know they will happen. But only when you are in the midst of it you can think and act on it. That is similar to how i feel right now. Two years ago i sold my house. I knew then i could only live in it for two more years. I knew time would move fast. But still, it feels like it is not real. It feels like it won’t happen. But it will.

I have talked about it here on ellenpronk.com, my sledgehammer moment. Five years ago, i felt like i was hit. Hit hard.

WAKE UP! WORK! WORK HARD!

I started working on my website again. Then lfs.nl. Now ellenpronk.com. My work. My thoughts, my photographs, my walks, my work in the garden, my homemade skincare. Five updates a week. I never missed one. My work.

Crazy. Foolish. Giving up everything i have. Selling my house. Giving up paid work. Insane. Strange. This world we live in wants you to work, make your own money, pay for your own living. It is senseless to fight it. This is the way the world functions. Stupid woman. Stupid stupid woman.

That is me talking to myself. Sometimes I do cave in. The pressure i sometimes feel is too big. There is a reason i gave myself two years of living in my old home with enough money to not worry about anything. A time-out. Free space. A sabbatical. Time to think about me and this world. This time is rapidly coming to an end. I do hope i am finding the courage to continue living my life the way i want and let my voice be heard in a clear manner.

This is a difficult time. I am aware that every single thing i do has unexpected ramifications. It is so easy to stick to the easy ways. To stay safe. Secure. Protected. Not what i want. Absolutely not. Yes, i am scared. But until now i will not let that prevent me from growing and learning and enjoying life. With friends. Smiling at the people i meet on the streets. Smiling at the children i see on the streets. Happy.

Every single day everybody makes choices. This way or that way. Go with the flow. Go against the flow. Make it easy. Make it hard. Talk. Be quiet. Most choices are not conscious. You do not think about them. And so we all live in this world with its history and its ways and customs and its future. Most people go with the flow. Some people fall out.

This is it. This is the way of the world.

Is it?

I am sitting here behind my computer with tears in my eyes. I don’t have any answers. I do have lots of questions. About what people do and say all over the world. About what the future could bring. About what has shaped the world to be as it is today. About globalization, the internet, money, business, the rainforest, Europe, Brexit, Trump.

It is difficult to keep myself together. My mind is full of thoughts and images and sounds. I watch youtube, television, movies. I read. I listen to music. I dance. I sing. I work in the garden. I am not letting it go. I am not caving in. I am not admitting defeat. I am standing still. I am trying to keep my peace, look outside and figure out what is there.

We all live on this world together. Right here, right now. On this seemingly little insignificant pinpoint of a planet falling through the universe.

We all make choices every single day, every single moment. I have made so many mistakes, so many wrong turns. The main mistake is the absence of choice. Simply let the society you live in make a decision for you. Do this. Do that. Live like this. Or like that. Do whatever comes in our mind. Listen to us. We know better.

I stand still. Not sure which way to go. Trying to find a clear thought. Trying to make sense of it all.

I am of course mad as hell. Livid. Furious, deep down, below the surface of a gentle woman.

I hope, i trust i can make some right choices in the nearby future.

Published on November 22, 2019 at 6:00 by

Failures

The past few days i’ve had some talks with friends about some things on my mind. Some things happening in the past, some things only a few weeks ago. Later on i realized i was wrong. Wrong in telling the stories like i did. Wrong i what i said. Damn. I do my best, but it is difficult. I make mistakes. Every single day.

I have had major failures in my life. I messed up a lot. From way back when i was eight or ten or twelve or fourteen or whenever. Some are still clear signs. My working in London. A failure in one sense. Halfway decent in another. My breaking up with friends. Also a major failure. Several times in my life too.

I am getting a bit better in controlling myself and how i behave with other people. I like to listen. Give ti time. Let people talk about what is on their mind. Listen carefully. With attention. I still fail at it, at times. But it does work sometimes.

I know. I have to let it go. I have to accept myself. Accept the world for what it is. Accept my life for what it has become. Fight for change. Ask questions, sure. Stay close to me.

Find some peace.

Published on November 4, 2019 at 6:00 by

A bit down

Today i felt bit down. Like a heavy feeling inside, pulling me towards it. It is of course about the imminent changes in my life. They scare me. But i simply can not let go. It is not always like this. Some days i have things to do which distract me.

I’m looking around in my house and see it is all temporary. It will all fade away.I question myself: why? Why do i let it come to this? Am i crazy? I might just well be. There is such a small chance that i will find something to make my life worth living. On the other hand, i have found so much! The gardens, the trees, the veggies, the people, the flowers, the worms, the insects. So many things, right here in the middle of Rotterdam.

I do hope with all my heart i can turn my life around. With all my heart.

Published on October 22, 2019 at 6:00 by

Happiness

Earlier this week i got an idea for today’s post: health. I was thinking about my personal history with my diabetes. How i first not thought about it that much. Simply took the medicine. I did drink a bit less, no longer a bottle of wine each day. I did loose some weight, around ten to fifteen kilos. This morning, thinking about this period nine years ago, i suddenly felt tears in my eyes.

I never thought about this time as being unhappy. I knew i wasn’t terribly happy, but no, not very unhappy. Now i realize i was exactly that. Unhappy. Terribly. Feeling so unhappy with my life. Nothing i imagined had come true. I worked and played warcraft. That was it.

At that time i didn’t think about this. I didn’t feel it. I didn’t cry. I just went on. And on.

Now, i am in a much more precarious position. But i am happy! Finally. I enjoy my life. I don’t even feel that much fear about the future. I am curious, excited even. I don’t know what will happen, but i want to find out. I trust myself. I am strong. Stronger than ever before.

So yes, today i feel a bit off. I feel heavy. But this is all old pain i am feeling. And it will pass.

Enjoy your weekend! Salute!

Published on October 18, 2019 at 6:00 by

16

So Lonely

Roxanne

Next To You

Can’t Stand Losing You

Message In A Bottle

Walking On The Moon

Don’t Stand So Close To Me

De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da

Published on October 15, 2019 at 6:00 by

Left and right

I am raised in a leftist family. My father worked in the Rotterdam harbour, cleaning the big oil tanks. We had the VARA tv guide. The VARA was a leftist tv company. This was part of the Dutch pillarisation system, the politico-denominational segregation of the Dutch society in the 50s, 60s and 70s. On Saturdays we listened to In de Rooie Haan on the radio, also a VARA program. Our newspaper was Het Vrije Volk, a social-democratic newspaper. The last number of this newspaper was in 1991. On Sunday evening we watched the VPRO, aimed at educated and creative people. In the 70s and early 80s we watched All in the Family and Van Kooten en De Bie. A typical leftist Dutch family in the mid to late 20th century in the Netherlands.

I first voted when i was eighteen years old, in 1982. I voted for the Dutch Communistic Party. Firmly in favor of dividing everything equally amongst all people living. Of course. I wasn’t thinking of Russia or China. I liked Marcus Bakker. I didn’t think about it that much.

In 1981 and 1982 i had the Vrouwenagenda (Women’s Agenda) as my agenda in school. A feminist left-wing agenda. Since i went to the VWO (preparatory scientific education) i went to the Technical University – then called the Technical Highschool, still a university though. I didn’t really think about it that much either. My sister’s boyfriend was a chemistry teacher, so i went for that. After two weeks i sat home crying i didn’t want to do it anymore. Not terribly bright it appears. Not knowing what i wanted to do.

I settled for the PvdA, the Dutch labour party. I voted for them for years. Sometimes i didn’t vote, i confess. A left centric party. I didn’t think about it that much. I was working, living my own life, i had a house, i had my main hobby – maintaining my website lfs.nl. I wasn’t thinking about politics that much. I wasn’t thinking about the world that much.

This changed in 2014. After an eight year long break of working online i got back into it. I started walking, writing, photographing, drawing, singing and filming. I found a garden in which i could work, only five minutes walking away from my house. I met new people there. It changed my life.

Over the last five years i have written a couple of posts about my thoughts about the world and its people. My first posts showed people who were imported to me. I enjoyed picking out the photos and pasting them on the world.

I am a creative person. I like to think about things going on. I always thought of myself as being a left oriented person. But things are changing.

Take abortion. This is a feminist issue, fought over by women all over the world. In the USA in some states the laws are reversed and legal abortion will soon be criminalized, in Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia and most recently Louisiana on May 30, 2019. I do feel happy i never had to think about having this performed on myself at all. The only thing i ever did was taking a Morning After pill in 1993. Right now i’m actually a bit confused about this thing. Of course i don’t know if i was pregnant at the time. I took this pill within days after the sex i had, in which the condom tore apart. I didn’t have sex after that time, so i never had to think about it. It is tough, i know. You have an idea of how your life will run its course. A baby is a huge obstacle, taking a lot of money and lots of time to take care of. So i can imagine a woman not wanting this. On the other hand, even though a foetus is not recognized as an independent person, to me it is still the start of a new life, with its possibilities and chances. I’m not saying women should never be allowed to have an abortion, no no. But to me, this is a difficult subject with many delicate areas. I’m not sure that the state should have the latest word in this matter. To me, the state has too many responsibilities all together.

Today’s ecological issues are difficult to grasp. On the one hand i live in the Netherlands in West Europe. Yes, it is warmer generally. But life still goes on as before. The main affected areas are way more south and close to the seas with no dikes. Pollution is everywhere. In the oceans, in the air, in the ground. The way we live on this planet, the amount of land we occupy with industrial-agrarian uses leads to the extinction of species and loss of biodiversity. These are only parts of the current problems. Many people are aware of these things, many people work at things to make it better. But more people are living in ignorance, self chosen or chosen for them. Many people still buy all the clothes they want, all the furniture they want, all the food they want. In our atomic individualized western world what we want is most important. It defines who we are. Who we like to think who we are. Who we like to believe who we are.

I am still thinking about all these things. I don’t have definitive answers. There are of course the simple things: buy less stuff, cook your own food, more vegetable gardens would be great. It is difficult.

I’m still a left oriented person. But i do not think this divide makes sense in our current world with people have shouting matches about who is to blame. It doesn’t solve anything. We have to work together to make things a bit better. Everybody.

Published on October 4, 2019 at 6:00 by

Vanity

Watching the movie which was made of the people working in the gardens, i did have some difficulty recognizing myself as me. I saw an older woman, chubby. I saw her saying things which were humorous at times. I saw her sighing when she sat down.

The people siting sround me were laughing at times. Me too. Some moments were funny.

But i didn’t recognize me. I have an inner idea of myself as being younger. Prettier. Serious. Artistic. Very different from the person i saw.

Everybody else did recognize me. Because it was me. The way i am in my daily life. The way i talk. The way i move. The way i look. Everybody else sees me from the outside. The one way i don’t see myself in. I see myself from the inside.

So this is partly vanity. Sure. But this is also how everybody else feels in his or her own skin. Very different from how they are seen from the outside. The beautiful people. The bright people. The young people. The ugly people. The stupid people. The old people.

I would like to get myself loose from this thinking. This feeling. Not sure i will be able to. Not sure at all.

It does make me wanna loose weight even more though. Which is good for my diabetes. But also good for me and how i feel about myself.

Published on October 1, 2019 at 6:00 by

Masturbation

In the silent period in my life i spend time living and working offline and gaming. I remember leaving my work in 2011 and starting as a freelancer. I remember when the diagnosis for diabetes was made in 2011. I remember not thinking about the diabetes that much. I remember i stopped drinking alcohol every single day. I remember i stopped smoking January 2008. I lost around ten kilo body weight. I remember playing World of Warcraft a lot. Making friends, raiding together. Having fun.

I remember i masturbated a couple of times in those years. But it felt quite obligatory to be honest. I felt a desire for a relief. It never really happened. I wasn’t thinking of anyone. I wasn’t in love. My life felt empty.

I remember that feeling of that sledgehammer hitting me sometime in October 2014. I remember sitting or standing in the train with my mind racing and my thoughts blowing through me. I remember leaving the temporary job i had in the middle of the country. I remember one of the last days there, when i climbed all the way up to the roof of the high building i was working in, discovering the cleaners sitting there and having something to eat, walking up to the roof and looking out over the Netherlands in this hazy landscape.

I remember my first thoughts: i need to get back to work. I remember the feeling of haste, of NOW! NOW! NOW! Desperately. I remember falling in love. Strangely. Falling out of love. The sadness i felt around Christmas time. It will not happen. Of course not. Silly girl. Stupid silly girl.

I didn’t give up. That time i worked on the about page of lfs.nl and i realised that was going to be the last page of it. Thinking about it for a week. Yes.

I remember starting ellenpronk.com. Which i had for a couple of years. Which i used for work, for the email. For which i had vague plans to make a website for. Of course not!

Hell no. For me, for my own work. Of course!

I was mad. Crazy. My head full.

I still am.

I did masturbate a lot in those early days. Sometimes two or three times a day. I felt this need. This desire. I didn’t have sex with a real person. I did meet some nice men. Thoughts did play through my mind. This one? Or that one? Maybe? But there was always something or someone holding me back. I have learned to control myself a bit. A little bit.

I felt i needed to get somewhere. I needed to look at myself in this world. This crazy crazy world. Much crazier than i am myself. Insane. This jumble of people expressing anything coming in their minds. Strange. Weird.

I did find friends. In the garden. I love working in it, talking with the other people visiting and working there. Looking outside. Sometimes waving to the people walking by, looking in. My peace and quiet. Mostly. I love to cook. This Sunday it is time for the Harvest Feast. I will bake tarts and cookies. Thoroughly enjoy it.

I do think i have grown up. A bit. I hope so. I feel stronger. More aware. Not that i have my story completely ready, no. But still, more of an adult.

I still would love to meet somebody nice. Creative. Someone to talk with. Play chess with. Cook for. Cuddle with. Have sex with. Of course. But my life is my own.

I feel quiet. Over the past few weeks thoughts about this post went through my mind. Sometimes thoughts rushed through me. But now, i feel quiet. And ready. For whatever life will bring to me.

Source: Jean Fautrier drawings for the book L’Alleluiah by Georges Batailles.

Published on September 27, 2019 at 6:00 by

The psychiatrist

It was around 2004 or 2005 that i thought there was something really wrong with me. Nothing seemed to work for me. I had fallen in love with somebody who clearly said to me he wasn’t in love with me. My work was only half satisfying me. So i went to the Riagg, the institute for ambulant mental healthcare. This institute doesn’t exist anymore. They referred me to a psychiatrist.

I went there and we talked. Truly, i don’t remember that much about what we talked about. A few things he said to me i do remember. Once he said to me that i was continuously wearing the same clothes. At another point he said to me my mother might be a bigger issue to me that i thought. We did talk about my father, who i hadn’t seen for around fifteen years at the time. At both points i felt he had a point. My clothes, hmm, not a big point really. I still wear similar clothes during the week. At home i wear my home clothes, that are comfortable and easy. To the garden i wear other clothes. When i go shopping i wear a dress or pants and a t-shirt. Very basic.

I love my mother. But she is part of a life behind me. My father is somebody i don’t think about too much really. A part of a life way behind me.

I think i went to this psychiatrist for around a year. When i left he said to me i could come back if i wanted to. I never did. Nor want to.

I left with the feeling i should be a bit more nicer to myself. More forgiving for all the mistakes i make. No, i’m not perfect. I do not need to be.

Looking back on it, i really do not think i needed to go to the psychiatrist. There wasn’t much wrong with me. Still, it is not wrong i went at the time.

Published on September 10, 2019 at 6:00 by