Life lately

Do any of you ever feel stuck? I do. Not necessarily being stuck in a particular place, but more being stuck in a mindset. I wrote my last post in July, when I was visiting my boyfriend and his family in Finland. It was a much needed getaway and I was sure to be refreshed and motivated for the new school year.

The next school year came around and this did not happen. At all. The subjects are difficult and even though I have more time for hobbies and schoolwork, I don’t find myself dedicated to any of it. In Denmark they’ve coined the expression “skoletræt” which means “school tired”. I am quite literally tired of school. The subjects don’t interest me, I’m demotivated and I’m ready to start something that does interest me. Not too long until I graduate now, and then it’ll be on to something new.

While this has all been going on, my boyfriend got into university to study psychology and here’s the kicker.. He’s now studying in the Netherlands. My entire family and now my boyfriend live in the Netherlands! How ironic! It does make family visits a lot easier though! I actually just came back from a family visit and it was lovely. I enjoyed spending time with my loved ones and seeing where my boyfriend settled in.

I’ve changed my wardrobe too! I’ve always been into the more vintage aesthetics, the 30s, 40s and 50s in particular. I finally decided to take the plunge and I don’t remember ever feeling this confident. I’ll definitely be writing about that too, so stay tuned for that.

And as some of you may have noticed, the name change! I felt like it needed to be shorter and something that fit me, hence Madamoiselle Vagabond (I’m aware it’s actually spelled mademoiselle, but that did not work 😦 ). I haven’t been feeling very rooted. I always kind of wander from place to place. As soon as school is out for the holidays I’m off to somewhere else, staying with different people and yeah.. This is what my life is right now. I felt that it was fitting.

I’m going to change my content up a bit, less of the diary type of stuff and more things related to perhaps lifestyle and fashion. I’m really excited about this new journey, and I hope you guys are with me along the ride!

Your home should tell the story of who you are and be a collection of what you love.

Sorry I didn’t write on here sooner, but it has been a busy couple of days I guess! With a math midterm and reading up on some of the things I’ve missed while I was away to see my family and trying to get enough sleep in, it was hard for me to find a moment to just sit down and write. Today was nice and quiet, so here I am!

On Monday I came back from a lovely couple of days in the Netherlands that I’ve spent with my family and love. In a previous post I wrote about how hard it is for me to go back and how the days leading up to it always end up being incredibly anxiety inducing for me. However, whenever I’m there, it feels like coming home, truly. We spent most of the time at my sister’s, as she lives close to Schiphol Airport and the rest of Amsterdam and since my boyfriend has never been in the Netherlands before, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to be a tourist in my own country and show him around a bit. We had a blast. Amsterdam really is a special place.

We also celebrated my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, which took place in my hometown, so we decided to also spend a night at their place, so I could show him where I’m from and where I grew up. This idea in particular scared me at first, as I’ve only gone back there two or three times ever since my mother passed away. But I felt like it was the right thing to do. I showed him the houses I grew up in, the schools I went to, my poem that ended up winning a competition and actually ended up being put down in tiles on this big square in my neighbourhood and lots of other things. It was quite something.

It was special to me, because to me it felt as if I was walking through a photo book as I was reminiscing all of these memories. But it also made me think.. I realised that for the most part of my adult life, I’ve been running away from my old life back in the Netherlands, just trying to get ahead and create something new. Ever since I’ve moved to Denmark, I’ve been doing something. Be it learning the language, getting to know new people, getting a job or studying, I have always made sure to do something, so I wouldn’t have to doubt anything or be sad about the life I no longer have.. This trip however made me feel weird inside. I felt homesick, truly homesick for the first time in well… ever? It was just eyeopening how the conversations I had with my grandparents, father, sister and other family members made me feel less empty in a way. I wouldn’t say I’m this super unhappy person in general, but my struggle with depression makes me feel very empty inside. But whenever I’m with them, the feeling disappears. I know the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it never is actually, but it does make me wonder whether I’d be happier over there or not.

For shits and giggles I actually decided to sign up for a bachelors degree in Biology and Medical Research over there and see if I get in. I want to give myself a year to figure out if I’ll feel better and if my situation will change, but if not, I might just go back home. That would also mean that I’d have to give up my dream of getting into vet school and I’m not quite sure if I’m ready for that yet, so we will see. The idea of researching a cure for cancer, especially since my mom died from it and I know a lot of people who have been sick from it, sounds like a very exciting thing to do. But at this point it’s still all out in the open. I guess that’s the fun thing about life, the uncertainty of it all.

I just find it funny how this trip opened up a whole new can of worms for me. I didn’t expect to end up not feeling like going back to Denmark, but luckily for me I have a lot of kind people over here as well. In the end, home isn’t really a place for me. It’s the people that fill up that space. It could be at the other side of the world, but as long as they’ll be there, I would be okay. It would be home.

Where do you guys feel at home?

I would love to hear about it!

– Naiyee

Hearts are wild creatures, that’s why our ribs are cages..

So this week I’m up to something pretty big! I’ll be going back to the Netherlands for the first time in over a year to celebrate my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. It always ends up being pretty awesome whenever I’m down there to visit family, but the time leading up to those trips are always pretty stressful for me.

For those of you that don’t know me that well, my mother passed away only a couple of months after I moved to Denmark in 2014 and basically right after I moved here, I had to go back to be there with her. The weeks leading up to it was grueling, because she was very sick, and I knew that nothing would be the same way as I left it. But then she passed away and suddenly it felt as if my home was taken away from me. Even though I still have all of my family and friends over there, it feels as if I no longer belong. Part of me is probably also just nervous about receiving bad news again, the same way as it did back in 2014. Now I know that that is absolutely irrational and I have nothing to worry about, but still. Going back is hard for me, because it’s a constant reminder of the life I once had. A life I once took for granted. My friends moved away, our dogs have been adopted, my entire family lives in different parts spread out over the country and well.. the house I grew up in is no longer ours.

I remember walking around my hometown last year with my Opa and my sister and even though everything looked the same, the feeling was gone. It was like a familiar painting, but without the warm colours..

Whenever I do go down there to see everyone, it feels like a warm bath. It’s lovely to be surrounded by my family and friends and sometimes I really do wonder if moving abroad was the right decision, but then I look at how much I have grown and the little life I’ve established here and it made me realise that I did something right. But there are moments where I really hate being so far away from everyone I love. It makes me wish that sometimes I wasn’t so adventurous and found contentment in a simpler life, closer to the ones I love. But then I think about a quote my mom once sent me:

”Hearts are wild creatures, that’s why our ribs are cages”.

I see where she was getting at.. I used to ALWAYS follow my head and play it safe, but it also made me very unhappy. The one moment I decided to follow my heart was the decision to move countries, something lots of people in my direct circle never expected of someone like me. But I still try to protect my heart from things that may hurt it, so I keep it tucked deep within me, within my ribs. Isolating myself is a bad coping mechanism I’ve created over the years and I am not very proud of it, but it has always worked. Now that I live so far away from my loved ones it’s even easier, although I try not to. Staying away from the place that confronts me; my own bloody home, is easy, but it’s not a solution. It’s bittersweet really, because this longing for being with my family comes with this fear, this sense of anxiety of returning to my home, because of the events that have occurred there 4 years ago, not even to mention that this month marks the fourth year since my mother has passed.

So in a way, this upcoming trip has given me a lot of sleepless nights too. I procrastinated booking my flight and letting my family know if I’d be there, because of this tug-of-war in my head. However, I knew I couldn’t stay away. This is a milestone in my grandparents’ lives and they had already considered holding it off, since my mother couldn’t be there too. And I can relate to this feeling, because I’ve been there too. I didn’t want to marry or have kids if she wouldn’t be there to experience it, but in the end, life doesn’t stop because her life ended. So I’m proud of my grandparents for deciding that they’d celebrate anyway. I couldn’t say no when they asked me if I’d come too, knowing that they’d already have one empty chair at that table. I didn’t want them to have to look at yet another empty chair at that dining table. And I’m happy that I get to see them again. Spending time with them is fun. They’re amazing people and I am so grateful to still have them.

Life is strange. It’s incredible how much impact the loss of ONE person can have on so many lives. My mother’s death may have caused us to be far apart from one another, but our bond is closer than ever. I only get to spend 4 days in the Netherlands, not very long, but my loss also taught me to cherish those moments, as big or as little as they may seem.

As my favourite Disney character once said:

”This is my family. It’s little and broken, but still good.
Yeah, still good”

To all of you reading this,

Hug your loved ones a little tighter today. You never for how much longer you’ll have them..

– Naiyee

Love is a source of bliss and infinity..

So, I spent my autumn holiday in Finland to be with some of my favourite people. Autumn is my favourite season and well.. spring and summer in Finland have been amazing so far, so with all those trees, autumn must be spectacular right? Well, it was!! So. Many. Colours.

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A sight for sore eyes; I definitely wasn’t mad about having to endure a long car ride with all the pretty colours!

I’ve always been a bit of a forest dweller. My opa ( the name we Dutchies have for grandpa) was born and raised in the forest and he always took my mom and my uncle to the forest to go on adventures as well! Growing up I spent a lot of my holidays and weekends playing in the forest with my opa, mom and sister, so I guess you could say that it’s a part of my roots.. Ha-ha get it? 😉 But being raised with this love for nature, fresh air, swimming in lakes and then moving to a city in Denmark, really made me miss being close to nature. Now don’t get me wrong, Denmark is a stunning country, if you go to the right places and the same goes for the Netherlands. Both are relatively small countries with a bunch of people. Denmark only has about 5,5 million people, but the Netherlands is roughly the same size with about 17,5!!!!! million people. I live close to the capital here in Denmark, which means more people and with that, less nature. My mom always used to tell me that the trees tell stories and up till this day, the sound of leaves rustling in the wind make me feel warm inside.

I needed me some Finland, so the autumn holiday couldn’t start soon enough. I just needed to get away from all the hustle and bustle for a while. So when October 13th came around I was hyped! I was stoked to see my boyfriend and his family and getting to be amongst the vast nature and the trees again.

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Even simple walks with the dog around here are pretty! How in the world is that even possible?

My boyfriend was wondering if I would liked to walk the hiking trail in the nature reserve in Punkaharju and I obviously did not decline that offer. I’ve heard a lot about Punkaharju and its beauty, so naturally I wanted to go and check it out.

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The views did not disappoint! It was more beautiful than I even dared to imagine!

It was absolutely stunning. I honestly had no idea what to expect, because despite the things people share on social media, you never really know what it looks like in real life! The tranquility the area holds is so good for the soul. The way the lakes shimmered in between the pine trees made me feel at ease.

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I love spending time around these lakes. The water is so clear and the sounds of the waves make me forget about the stress that goes on in my life. For a moment, there’s just nothing there but me, my love and this little place of heaven on earth.

We spent quite a bit of time at the Punkaharju Esker Ridge and I’ll definitely be back. It’s a relatively small area, but it’s such a nice place to be at.

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And of course I had to sneak in a lil’ yoga pose! Having to hold a pose like this with all those waves rolling around was TOUGH. I may look chill on the picture, but trust me, I was dying inside!

I could honestly write a book about how amazing and beautiful Punkaharju is, but I did some other things too! Finding food in nature has always been something I loved doing as a kid. I’d often spend afternoons foraging chestnuts and blueberries with opa and I hadn’t done anything like it for years! I wonder why that is.. It’s not like the chestnut trees and berry bushes just disappeared, but I guess it just kind of happens when you grow up? My love and I ended up talking about finding mushrooms and I told him I had never eaten chanterelles before, since they’re expensive and not that easy to find over here. So we ended up on the hunt for some of those nice, nice shrooms.

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Running around in the forest is something I’ll never get tired of, honestly.

Looking for those mushrooms made me feel like a child again, but most importantly, it made me realise how much food can still be found out in nature if we’re just willing to go out looking for it a little. That is definitely something I’d want to get into more, once my situation will allow me to do so. But it was a lot of fun! It’s something I look back to with a smile on my face as I’m writing this.

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And yes! We found a bunch of chanterelles too. We used them in a creamy sauce and it was delicious!

I also spent a lot of time indoors, when the weather wasn’t too great. I don’t mind rain at all and the smell of petrichor is something I am absolutely in love with. But autumn for me has always been the season to cuddle up with family and friends, watching movies, lighting candles and bake things! In the Netherlands we call it ”gezelligheid” and here in Denmark it’s called ”hygge”. Those are the words I live by and well, this holiday was the definition of it. We spent a lot of time cooking, laughing and baking too!

As soon as the weather allowed it, we decided to go to Koli National Park. The past months I’ve just been talking about it non stop and I think my boyfriend, at times, may have even gotten tired of me mentioning it! But he took me there and WOW!!! It was magnificent in ways I can’t even explain.

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It made me feel so small..

It was like nothing I had ever seen before. Trees and lakes as far as the eye could see and rock formations created in the ice age made me really think about how ancient this land is. When you grow up in and around modern buildings, with most of the forests being man made or just removed, you kind of lose touch.

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Sights like these make me think a lot about our world and how we treat it. It’s a crazy thought that it’s been here millennia before us and will be here long after we’ve gone.

It was bizarre to walk around in the pictures I had been looking at for so long. But what made it even more special is the fact that I got to experience it with someone I really love. The way he shows me his country is so cool and to see it through his eyes is amazing to me.

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I had to sneak a picture in of my man doing what he loves. I was great seeing him enjoy this landscape.

We hiked for quite a bit and even though my body was exhausted, my mind wasn’t. My mind felt at peace. I could’ve stayed there forever.

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What was really awesome to me was the fact that you could see the trees breathe. It’s something we all know trees do, photosynthesis and all that, but to be that high up, looking over the forest and see that happen was cool!

All in all that was an awesome day to me, but it’s about to get a little crazy. The day I arrived, hunting season on moose started in Finland and my boyfriend’s dad has basically been hunting every day I was there. I told him that I had never seen a moose before, to their shock, and he told me that he’d let us know if they caught one. Well, that happened. I was exhausted after our hike at Koli, but love said it was close by, so we decided to check it out. Upon arriving at the site they told us to go, some other hunters arrived with a pick up truck, a quad and a trailer. They got the quad off the trailer, attached the trailer to the quad and told us to hop in the trailer. Uhhhh… okay? We hopped in and drove into the forest and it was a bumpy ride to say the least. After that bumpy ride it was still about a 100 metres into the forest by foot, because the quad couldn’t get there. It was rougher terrain and we had to jump over two creeks. My shoes completely ruined by this point, but whatever I guess! We got to where we needed to be et voila! I saw my first moose. Dead. But okay, a moose nevertheless. Then we had to go the same route back and at this point I was frustrated, it was getting dark, I was wet, shoes destroyed and twisted my ankle. My boyfriend felt bad for me and wanted to make it up to me, even offered to but me new shoes, but I definitely didn’t want him to do any of that. I was just happy to get home after a busy day and honestly, it was very comical. I’m laughing as I’m writing this, because it just was that silly! The two days after love spoiled me rotten, despite me telling him not to, but if he insists, I won’t fight it.. 😉

And just like that, the trip came to an end. Time flew by, but so many amazing memories were made and I honestly didn’t even have everything included, but that’ll be some other time maybe.

How did you guys spend your autumn holiday?

I’d love to hear about it!

-Naiyee

Evolving

Holy cow, it’s been months since I’ve last written anything on here! But I have reasons, trust me!

During my exam period my grandparents and sister came to visit me here in Denmark, which was amazing. I didn’t do too well with my exam in Danish, however my History exam I totally aced. It went so well, and to be honest, it was a huge confidence booster. After my exams were done, I went to Roskilde Festival for some much needed concerts and hanging out with friends. Those past months had been tough on me, so I needed a break. But not just a break from school. I wanted to get away. So I went to Finland again.

There is a reason I go to Finland so frequently though.. My relationship ended quite abruptly, but there are no hard feelings between us at all. We still care about each other deeply and are still the best of friends. We decided to stay roommates and that works pretty darn good, I’d say! But yes, back to why I visit Finland often. After my ex and I broke up I got together with someone who I’ve known for years and who has always had my back through things, despite living so far away. He came to visit Denmark when we were still friends and something happened between us that I still can’t quite put my finger on. However, when he left our friendship grew into something more and I decided to jump into the deep end and visit him. That first trip confirmed it for me that I made the right choice. He is my twin flame in a way. I went back to finish my exams, go to the festival etc. but I knew I couldn’t go without seeing him for months again, so I booked a plane ticket to go see him again in July. This trip was different. He was working a lot, but it gave me a good opportunity to bond with his family and bonding we did alright. His mom and I especially hit it off really well and I kept in touch with his sister quite a lot, who was working abroad at the time. Leaving back to Denmark was tough. Mainly because I now felt as if I gained another family and more people I care really deeply about. I have never really connected to a significant other’s family in that way and because his family was so similar to mine, it felt like I came home. And I didn’t want to leave. But soon after he came to visit me here in Denmark, we rented an Airbnb and it was awesome. But I missed Finland. So last week I took the plane up north again and it was like coming home again. I loved every moment of it, and I look forward to going back. In two weeks he’ll be coming to the Netherlands with me to meet my family, and I am beyond excited to show him where I grew up.

This year has been crazy so far. I’ve gotten out of a long and committed relationship and started something new without knowing what’s ahead of me, I turned 24, started studying, and the year isn’t even over yet. So far it has been fantastic.

The funny thing is though, that ever since my mom died, I’ve been a bit of a controlfreak. I’d obsess over my exercise, my diet, my relationship and it was around New Years Eve last year that I decided to let go and see what happens. And as soon as I let go, good things started happening. It might be coincidental, but for me it really showed that going with the flow is a good thing. I’m kind of proud of myself in a way, because of how far I’ve come.

But that was it for now. I’ll write a bit more about my trip to Finland later this week.

If there’s anybody out there reading this right now..

Thank you for your time. It really means a lot.

– Nen

It’s been a while

Whoa, it’s been a while since I’ve last written something on here. It has multiple reasons, which I might write about at some point in the future. Since the death of Hayley, my life has been a rollercoaster in terms of mental health, relationship and school. Let’s just say some big changes have occurred.

So as I’m sitting here in an empty classroom, I started thinking. My mind has been doing it a lot lately, to the point where I’d be lucky if I get 4 hours of sleep a night. Today, on May 4th, my mom would’ve turned 45. It’s still an insane idea to me that she was so young when she passed away. I’ve been holding up fine so far, but I can sense the big black wolf that is depression looming over my shoulder. I honestly don’t even know if I can manage to stay concentrated, or even make it through the day at school today, which would suck, considering I already missed 2 days this week, but at least this is a valid reason. At least I’ve tried if I end up breaking down, right? 🙂

My exams are rolling around, and in 2 weeks classes will officially be over. I decided to be selfish and go away to Finland for a week, because I’ve been feeling very stressed. I need a break, and I think it’ll be good for me. I also found out that the school I’m currently attending doesn’t offer all of the courses I’d need to get into vet school, so I decided to meet up with a counselor at a new school, closer to where I live, which would make things a lot easier if I end up getting in. I’d still be graduating around the same time as at my current school, so it’s no big deal really. Usually I’d be anxious about my exams coming up. I have crippling exam anxiety, but I’ve been pretty numb to it, probably because of all of the changes going on in my life as of lately. Let’s just say I’m happy that I have a great therapist, because otherwise I don’t think I could’ve made it through.

Funnily enough though, I’m quite happy, despite the uncertainties in my life at this point. Life is this weird, fragile and exciting thing. I used to just be living, waiting for the end to happen, but lately I’ve been looking forward to the things yet to come.

Today is just a bad day, but it’s not a bad life. Not at all.

– Nen

Reading, reading and more reading

This past week I’ve been spending a lot of my time reading. Main reason being that I had a book review for my Danish class due, but I have to admit that I really enjoyed using some time on that. I love reading, and I used to do it all the time, but with schoolwork, fitness, yoga, dogs, cooking, boyfriend etc. it really is hard to find a bit of spare time to just sit down and read.

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Reading in Danish used to be such an intimidating concept to me, anything Danish in general, really. But it seems as if it gets easier as the weeks go by.. I used to be terrified to even speak Danish to my parents-in-law, but that just comes naturally too now. Pretty proud of that progress, if I may say so myself.  But now that I’ve finished reading this novel ( it’s a great one called ”You disappear” by Christian Jungersen, I can most definitely recommend it!), I’m looking for more books to read, in English, Dutch or, of course, in Danish! Any recommendations are very welcome! I’m not picky when it comes to books, so the genre doesn’t really matter either! I noticed that the more I read, especially in Danish, the more of an expansion I see in my vocabulary. There’s just something beautiful about language. I love trying to figure out different synonyms for different words. I don’t like overusing words when I’m writing, or speaking for that matter!

So as I’m sitting here, writing this post, I’m thinking about which next book to read. I have far too many that I haven’t even touched yet, because I have this horrible habit of going into bookshops, find a bunch of books that I definitely do not need, and then add them to the ever growing stack of unread books I already have. I’m considering reading the Bhagavad Gita next, since I am serious in my yoga practise and could probably learn some valuable lessons reading it.. Decisions, decisions.. Oh well. I’ll probably update about which book I pick in my next post. 😉 At least I’ve got the weekend off, so lots of time to get my reading on!

Any other bookworms out there that want to share their favourite books with me? I’d love to hear about them!

* Nen