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Humans of Amsterdam

”I spent most of my twenties traveling the world by myself. I would always avoid winter and chase the sun. Just as I avoided my depression, I avoided the discomfort of winter and the cold. While traveling, I certainly had beautiful moments, but deep down, I was miserable. At the beginning of this year, I moved back to Amsterdam. This time I decided to stay. I’m no longer running away from my pain. For the first time in my life, I’m in therapy. There are tough days, but I’m no longer ashamed of it. Like yesterday, I wasn’t feeling too well, but I still went to visit my friends. A few years ago, I would have locked myself up in my room, but now, I allow myself to be there, even if I’m having a bad day. I wear my pain with me on my chest, and I allow it to exist. This year, I learned that in life, you should not avoid the dark winter days. They have a purpose; to make you grow.” The post appeared first on Humans of Amsterdam.

“Although my grades were much higher than my older brothers, he was the one who got to go to university. Back in the sixties, girls often got married at a young age, so it was seen as a waste of money to send girls to university. I wanted to study psychology, but my father wouldn’t let me. I ended becoming a social worker. I thought that was a beautiful profession, but my ambition to study did not disappear. For five years, I worked at the child protection services. My supervisor at work was a female psychologist. I learned a lot from her. She inspired me to quit my job and study psychology. My mother completely disagreed with my choice. To calm her down, I promised that I would only study for one year. In the back of my mind, I knew that was a lie. I was too old to qualify for a scholarship, so I sold my car. I loved studying. I was doing so well that the university decided to offer me a scholarship after all. I had a good career as a professor at a university. I never wanted to get married or have children. That was just not for me. I have experienced so much freedom in my life. Besides, life has blessed me with twelve nieces and nephews. I am the happiest aunt on this planet. “ The post appeared first on Humans of Amsterdam.

“I was at my aunt’s house when we received a phone call that my dad had passed away. I was living in Suriname with my mother at the time. My dad lived here. Despite the distance, he tried to visit me as much as possible. He would always bring expensive clothing from The Netherlands, which made me the coolest kid in my street. The last time I saw my father, I was nine years old. During his last visit, he took me to all these different places and told me a lot about his life. It was as if he knew that it would be the last time we would see each other. My father got buried in The Netherlands. I was supposed to stay only a few months until after the funeral, but my mother thought I would have a better future here in The Netherlands. My mother went back to Suriname, and I stayed with some relatives. Growing up without your parents is difficult. As a kid, I didn’t know how to express my emotions. Anger became a way of expressing my pain. My outlook on life changed when I turned eighteen. I would hang out a lot with my friends on the street. One day, a man from my neighborhood came up to me and said: If we are lucky, we have a few people who take care of us in this life. I have been watching you. You are not taking good care of yourself. After he said that, I realized that I needed to take better care of myself and deal with my emotions. His words hit home because he actually noticed me.” The post appeared first on Humans of Amsterdam.