Monthly Archives: August 2018

Why, I do believe I will, thank you…

Right now, I can apply that to so many things that are happening. It’s Sunday afternoon, just before dog dinner time and I grabbed myself a cup of coffee and sat down to type despite the four eyes looking up at me and hoping an exception would me made to the clock. πŸ˜‰

For starters, I’ll answer the kind invitation from Immigration and Naturalization to accept the conversion of my work related over visa to a new visa to stay for the next five years! The invitation came Friday afternoon while I was on the phone with the Tax Ministry – for the company. I didn’t expect the decision so soon so I figured it was a message telling me I needed another four forms in triplicate to vouch for the fact that I am not GG’s mail order bride. Imagine my surprise that the decision came in 25 days, far faster than the 90 days they told me when I applied!

I had another coaching session this morning with Wub the Wonder Horse. This time it was about the future and what might be standing in my way (including myself). It was a pretty intense hour and Wub called “Horse shit” on me a couple of times when I wasn’t digging deep enough. What is standing in my way is something that I need to take action to claim, to accept. So, I will say yes to that as well. Wub and I worked so hard that we got past the 9 month goal and already to the 1 year benchmarks. Overachievers πŸ˜‰

Early this morning, I decided I would bother Little C on a Sunday. Not because she’s really church going or anything but more because I feel awkward sometimes making contact with friends to do something – like I feel like I might be bothering them or intruding. I am working on this, sometimes with more progress than other times. On my way to Wub, I sent her a text and asked if she wanted to hang out after. So, we did, we went for lunch in Het Twiske – which is kind of a nature area – complete with nudist facilities. Β It seems like every outdoor thing I do with Little C, there are nudist facilities near by!

Due to the proximity of all the wasps, we felt it was wiser to eat and drink fully clothed πŸ˜‰

I also will gratefully be moving in a little over a month. The next door neighbor, that has way too much free time, pushed a note through the mailbox this afternoon, about cleaning up my yard. She has a thing against leaves and I have a tree that I refuse to cut down – completely not on her side. Β I have turned down her offers to cut it down for me numerous times. This time it was about dog poop – and there’s actually none in the yard. I didn’t react other than to roll my eyes and think to myself “Can’t wait to move”.


Mambo number five…

Okay, this really is the worst guilty pleasure song… that must be why I am listening to it on the headphones and bopping around in my desk chair. I suddenly thought of it as the title for tonight, given that things are going so fast, I now have 5 people who are part of the new company. Number 5 said “Hell, Yes” yesterday!

When I started with this idea, I had no idea it would go so fast. I thought I would take the steps in a ritualistic order while I waited out until my contract ended. However, once I started, I couldn’t slow down. Ask GG about the fact that sometimes I am up til 230 futzing around with yet one more solution or proposal!

While there are still things to finish on the company side, like the website and some other things, I’ve already committed to and built our first partnership initiative. We’re starting the first run of the Future Skills Lab on 1 October! This was faster than I could have hoped for and am so excited to be part of!

I think I’ve also made my peace with the organization that I am leaving. Over the past week, through a series of encounters with people and process, I realized that I really did try my best to make it all work – and it never would have. This was a relief. You know I am the person that asks myself 57 times “Is there something else I could have tried? Would there have been a different outcome if I had done X?” Well, let’s just say that the interactions over the past week made it pretty clear that I’m way less than 50% of the problem πŸ˜‰

I’ve heard that a couple of times in the past few days, that I look so relaxed. Hahaha, and it’s not because I have been sleeping alot, so it must be the peace of detachment!

This morning, I cycled three times around where I needed to be (overthinking it) and spent the morning working with a very interesting group of actors. I had volunteered to be part of a project to help them expand their audience reach while respecting the qualities that made them unique. I also wanted to shift the way they were described – by circumstances. As if circumstances are the way to label people! I had sent some questions to them via their director and this morning I was at their practice. No sitting in a chair and observing, it was 100% participation.

I was really surprised by how much it brought up in me. I left there with a much stronger sense of their troupe and their goals – and how to describe them! It was challenging and fun. Coming soon to an amateur stage near you perhaps! GG and I went to De Parade last night to see “The Sound of Mucus” about the very musical family (13 children) Franssen from Eindhoven. I really enjoyed it, especially as it had alot to do with their very strict mother. I was reminded of mine, particularly when one of her children came home after three days of hiding and she said to him “I didn’t even know you were gone”. I had to think about the story Cedric tells about my mom reminding him to pack socks when he threatened to run away from home. πŸ™‚

We’ll go back to De Parade next week for the full experience with Marianne. Practice sitting under a tree with a good bottle of wine (or two) and checking out the various theatre pieces. That to me is summer in Amsterdam πŸ™‚

Weekend in Rotterdam

So, here I am, spending the weekend at the Startup Academy. I came here Friday night with the intention of absorbing as much information as I could. It’s Sunday afternoon, my prototype is built, my presentation is done and now I am sitting here wishing I could take a nap. πŸ˜‰

It has been an intense experience! Not just here in the academy but also the challenges of getting to and from. Friday night as I got out of the tram, the skies positively opened up and what should have been an 8 minute walk took 30 minutes and included a complimentary face plant on a brick path right into a mud puddle. Yep, think Creature of the Black Lagoon style. I only realized this morning that my forearm is black and blue from elbow to wrist. Like any true nerd, while I was lying there face down in the mud lake, my first thought was “Oh God, I hope didn’t break my laptop in my backpack.” Technically impossible as I landed face down and the backpack was still safely on my back. πŸ˜‰

Luckily, that was the last of the bad weather. Yesterday and today I borrowed GG’s bike and cycled back and forth. Which was faster than Friday even with my unintentional detours…

Seriously, I started to feel like someone who had never been to the big city… but I am much better now. It’s a good thing too since this will be our new environment when we move in October. We’re moving next door to Rotterdam so this knowledge will come in handy!

It will be nice to go home tonight – my brain is super full. I spent the weekend working on a platform for inclusive finance – which was more of a long term focus (2+ years away) but now I think it might be earlier than that.


Wub part two

This morning, I was at the stable at 928AM for my second round with Wub the Wonder Horse. On my bike to Astrid (in the parking garage) and on the way to Haarlem, I was really going back and forth between subjects for today. I thought I was going to work on part two of my compassion and empathy project. Yet there was a much bigger wave of feeling pushing behind that. I stopped thinking to see if I could just feel and properly submerge it under the list of practical topics πŸ˜‰ I realized it was missing my Mom. Random and heavy.

I took that with me to Wub and we had quite an adventure today. In between learning what happens when you keep letting a horse chew on your hand because you are not paying attention to your boundaries, I realized why I am missing Mom so much. It’s all these transitions. I really wish she was here to tease me, to give me a hard time and to yell “Towanda!”.

You know, it’s a big deal to name your company after something your Mom said. In one way, it’s a reminder every day of her and her ideas. And in the other way, it’s a reminder that every day, she is not here any more. I have to find a balance with that. Not only for practical reasons (the paperwork is already filed) but because I really believe in the name and I believe in what she said.

She’s my inspiration. It’s because of her that I feel so strongly about people being able to get ahead. It’s because of her that I think that it’s mighty fine to be a rebel. It’s because of her I can go from compassion to action in six seconds regardless of the circumstances surrounding me. She was my greatest challenger – “why not a PhD in nanotechnology?” πŸ˜‰

Wub and I reached an understanding today. He took the four cones I had in the ring, representing 4 specific topics and put two of them right out of commission. Interestingly enough, they were the cone for what happens when my greatest strength is the only thing I use and allow in my life and the cone for the complete opposite of my greatest strength and what I am most afraid of becoming. He left me with the cones for my greatest strength and how I want to cultivate it.

I have some homework over the next two weeks before I see Wub again. In addition, there’s all the work to get ready for the move. I am pleased to say that the house is emptier by a few loads of donations. There’s alot of empty space in the closet now. Feels good. πŸ™‚