7 Things you don’t know about me

I have been blogging for almost four months. Since september I have been sharing stories about motherhood, breastfeeding and baby wearing, tips about pumping milk and pregnancy and posts about my favorite outfits, beauty products and food. I guess you have come to know me pretty well by now. I love that, along the way, I have also gotten to know a lot of you. I have met so many kind, caring, brave and smart mamas through blogging. It is an honor. I guess there will always be things you don’t know about me though. Either because I choose not to share them online or because life goes by way faster than I can type. But I decided to write down seven things I have not shared before on my blog. Some are pretty personal and close to my heart. Most are about my life before I became a mama. Some still hurt. Some are unfinished. If you want to get to know me a little better, keep on reading.

1. When we moved to Holland…

Port Marie…I had a hard time. I have mentioned before I am an Island girl. My Island is called Curacao and we lived there until I was fourteen years old. Then we moved to the Netherlands. Even though I was ready and excited to leave that beautiful but o so tiny rock in the Caribbean Sea, Holland was a huge culture shock. Even though I spoke Dutch, I didn’t speak the language. I didn’t know anything about how my peers grew up, what they liked, how they did things, who all the celebrities were, what the traffic rules were, how to dress against the cold and how to pronounce things in a way that didn’t make everybody laugh or look at me funny. I made sure I fit in. I lost my accent and made friends. But my schoolwork suffered and I lost sight of myself, because of all the adjusting. At the end of the first year in Holland we moved to another city and I had to start all over again. I made friends who, to this day, are still my best friends. But man, it was exhausting. This is why I tend to understand people who move here and have trouble adjusting. It’s not easy to make this country your home. It took me years and years.

2. My coming out story…

…is pretty boring. And I am so grateful for that! I was fifteen or sixteen and deeply in love with my first girlfriend. One afternoon, when she had spent the day at my house, my mom asked ‘Is she your girlfriend?’. I said ‘Yes’. And that was it. At school everybody thought it was kind of ‘cool’. No one ever made a nasty comment or treated us differently. I am very lucky to have this experience and am grateful for all the openminded, loving people in my life. Having said that there have definitely been times when I wished I was straight. I thought my life would be easier. It wasn’t. It was a gazillion times more complicated.

3. I used to play tennis six days a week…

…and was pretty good at it. I was alternately ranked number two or number three of the ABC Islands. Never number one. Nobody could beat Cindy. I traveled a couple of times, playing abroad. There are two boxes of prizes somewhere in my parents attic. I stopped playing when I moved to Holland.

4. I have three tattoo’s…

Tattoo….and they are very special to me. I got all of them on trips back home, in Curacao, so there is that. The first one says ‘Losing Love is like a Window in your Heart‘. It’s from the Paul Simon song ‘Graceland‘. My dad used to listen to that album a lot when we were younger. So I can always feel the trade winds, see the colorful houses and smell the unforgiving heat whenever I hear Paul Simon. The lyrics, to me, mean two things. First of all, whenever you are heartbroken or going through a difficult time, people can often tell and that can be a pretty hard thing to experience. It’s like your heart is an open window and everybody can just walk by and take a peek at the shameful mess. But the lyrics also made me think about how an open heart is something beautiful. Because with an open heart at least you are experiencing things. You are living life, feeling both love and pain. Not feeling is way worse.

That’s why I have my second tattoo, to remind me how important it is not to close my heart, even though I have been hurt. It’s a lyric from Katie Herzig: ‘Freedom is a Naked Heart that always dares to Give‘. It honors another heartbreak, but it was different that time, because I could see the beauty in the pain and therefor did not shut down.

My third tattoo says ‘HBLIV’ which means ‘Het Beloofde Land is Verboden‘ (The Promised Land is Forbidden). It’s from a Dutch poem by Rutger Kopland, one of my favorite poets. In the poem he says (I am translating from Dutch): ‘You can go wherever you want, but there is already so much return in every step you take and places of heartache can be found in every landscape.’ I have felt restless for many years, thinking I would be happier if I lived somewhere else, loved someone else, did something else. Now I know it doesn’t matter where I go, I am bringing myself along, so the restlessness is wherever I am. Once I figured that out I learned how to love my life just the way it is and accept Holland for what it is.

O and yes, I know exactly what I want for tattoo number four. But I want to wait and have it done on our next trip to Curacao.

5. I have a scar on my lip…

Scar…and I got it from a dog bite when I was ten. When we lived in Curacao we would often rescue animals from the ‘mondi‘. One of those rescues was a traumatized pup we named Chubi. One day he bit my upper lip in two and we had to go to the ER. I don’t know if it was due to my screaming, or because a piece was missing or because they just weren’t all that competent, but they stitched my lip rather randomly. So no more symmetric lips or red lipstick for me. I used to hate it, now I’m used to it. It’s part of who I am. I guess that’s what scars do.

6. I have a sleeping disorder…

…which has messed with my nights (and days) for ten years. I was eighteen or nineteen when it started and I have been dealing with insomnia ever since. There were months I didn’t sleep more than three hours a night and then there were weeks I could sleep relatively well, using medication. When I got pregnant I stopped using sleeping pills which triggered the insomnia. I have been blessed with a baby that is just as awake as her mama, so Isaya and I have been keeping each other company at night for the past seventeen months. It’s tough, but Isaya could not have picked a better mama because I learned how to live with sleep deprivation long before I had a baby.

7. I have a Cum Laude Bachelor in Art Therapy…

…but I don’t use it. I loved studying Art Therapy. I love art. And I think psychology is one of the most interesting things in the world. But right now I don’t feel like being anybody’s therapist. Maybe when I am older. When I am less needed at home. When I have slept a little.

Thanks for reading

0 thoughts on “7 Things you don’t know about me

Leave a Reply