Anti-bucket list

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While doing my Year Compass, I at one point started to freak out because “There’s still SO MUCH I need to do!!!” Freaking out like this is not new to me, it of course ties in with everything I wrote about last week. Let’s just call it a hard habit to break. At some point, I decided to write an anti-bucket list, a list of things that I at least didn’t have to do. And while I’m afraid that I’m the only person who thinks my list is hilarious, I’ll post it anyway.

The top 12 things that I, LP, will not be doing in the coming year:

  1. Backpacking (because a top three nightmare way to travel);
  2. Camping, not even to Texel (a Dutch island I’ve been wanting to visit for 33 year, but not in a tent. No tents ever);
  3. Start a housing corporation (because oh boy drama);
  4. Become friends with my upstairs neighbour of 20 years (because [redacted due to mean – ed.]);
  5. Skydive, bungee jump, climb the Kilimanjaro or stand on anything higher than an IKEA Bekväm (because fear of hights):
  6. Go to Nijmegen (because me and Nijmegen, we don’t vibe – Oh, unless the Zooz do a club show there, then I’ll reconsider);
  7. Listen to Africa by Toto (never again!);
  8. Buy Maison Martin Margiela tabi boots (because leather and also costing 2 – 3 times my rent);
  9. Get an extra cat (because Willa is the best cat ever);
  10. Walk in stilletto heels (because still limping around with a cane, more on that next week);
  11. Participate in stupid challenges where you blindfold yourself and do the Kiki dance next to a driving car on the high way or whatever the challenge du jour is (needs no explanation);
  12. And especially for the people who’ve been following me for a long long time: I also won’t be going to Lowlands this year. Like every year.

And because no utterance on the internet is complete without a call to action: dear reader, what will you NOT be doing this year? I am actually really curious!

New Year, New You

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Like every year in January, the slogan “New Year, new you!” was everywhere. Every time I read it, my first thought was “Nah, New Year, exactly the same you”, because we all know that the whole “changing everything that you are from one day to the next”-nonsense is just that: nonsense. I – deadline misser extraordinaire – presented proof of this as recent as yesterday, by letting the deadline of this post fly by like a comet.

But then there’s this little voice deep inside that goes: “But maybe this time it’s different?” Because being an Anxious Person, I of course am the ideal candidate for this type of magical thinking.

During some of the not so great times in my life, my entire existence was an obsessive quest for (self) improvement. My life was ruled by to do lists and productivity, improving myself by any (self help) means necessary. I did this to try and curb my fears, and it worked in the short term. I ticked off boxes and felt better about myself because I was “being productive”, which made me feel like I was worthy. In the long run however, it made things worse. I was never done “perfecting” things, instead my to do list grew with things that I could optimise about my home, my work flow and my personality. With the growing to do list my stress levels and fear level increased. A fear reduction strategy that ends up making you more anxious than you were before: how counterproductive can it get?

On top of that, I have this constant urge to reinvent myself. Part of it is the nature of the beast: I have an easily bored, creative mind that does not get enough artistic freedom and/or stimulation in my current life, so I just change my hair colour a lot instead. And I was of course also heavily influenced by Bowie and Madonna at an impressionable age.

So I understand the attraction of “New Year, new you” like no other. The belief in the illusion that you can completely determine and change everything that you are at all times, the conviction that you can turn yourself into something that you’re not, because you are convinced that if only you were different, you wouldn’t [insert thing here], is a perfect escape. While you dream about what your life would be like once you, magically and all of a sudden from one moment to the next, are completely different from who you are now, you don’t have to occupy yourself with actual change. The type of change that takes work, like therapy, working out, cleaning up your crap, taking a class, working on your projects or finally taking control of your career. The type of change that takes time, energy and might even cost money, and that doesn’t come with a success guarantee, but that is a lot more tangible than quietly dreaming about waking up as one of those cool fashion/music/diy/bullet journal YouTubers with 75k followers on Insta one Thursday morning. While not even having a YouTube channel to begin with. I am definitely not refering to myself here. No way. Not at all.

2019!

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First of all: happy 2019! Hopefully nobody reading this lost any limbs, pets and/or housemates during the end of year celebrations. Everybody who now thinks “Isn’t that a tad exaggerated?” obviously doesn’t live in the Netherlands: this is our fireworks policy. Yes, there’s a petition you can sign to put an end to this batshittery.

Since you should never fix what ain’t broken, things will not change much around here on Featured Mag. I’m keeping the same categories, and will again be updating once a week – on Thursday this year. This mostly because it meant that I didn’t have to change all the dates on my editorial calendar. Similar to last year, each month I will be interviewing a person who wants to be interviewed. I still have a couple of interviews lined up, but if you’re reading this and decide that you want to be interviewed, hit me up: you can leave a comment on this post, DM me on Instagram or send me an email at info [at] featuredmag.nl and I’ll get to work on the questions.

Next week, you can expect a post about New Year’s resolutions, FOMO and bucket lists. I still have to write this post, so I too am very curious what my conclusion on the matters will be.

Let me close this post off with some excellent advice from Bill and Ted:

See you next week!

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