Bastiaan Reinink

Aug 122015
 

As I wrote in my previous post, I’m contemplating doing something different with my life.

Don't judge me!

Don’t judge me!

That brings two emotions with it: Excitement, but also dread!

Having been thinking about this for a bit, I’ve been torn between these two emotions for a while now. And I’ve come to realize something: Whereas excitement is quite concrete, dread (or fear) is very amorphous.

What I mean by that is that it’s clear to me what gets me excited: Doing this, working on that. My minds eye paints me a picture of what it is I want to create, what it will look like, how it will function. This is mostly in broad strokes, but it’s possible to zoom in, to go into the details, to create more of it in my mind. It’s there!

Dread on the other hand is completely opposite. It’s a very “gut” feeling, with lots of vague associations. I might fail! Or: People will think I’m silly for trying this.
What might fail? Fail in what way? Which people? What exactly is it that I would be trying?

Of course, things might not turn out to be exactly as I planned. In fact, I’m counting on it (prediction is hard, especially of the future). And even if at some point I have to give up, I’ll have the satisfaction of having tried and the knowledge and skills gained through it. I wouldn’t like it, but I’m not afraid of it.

“Nor dread nor hope attend a dying animal; a man awaits his end dreading and hoping all.”William Butler Yeats
And which people? My friends? I’m sure they’ll be rooting for me (or they can stop calling themselves my friends!). Random strangers? I don’t actually care that much about them to be honest… Again, being boo’d away isn’t fun, but something to fear?

By trying to make my fears concrete they dissipate. Not entirely, not forever, but a bit, right now.

That will only get more. Every step along the way, every action turns my dream a little bit more into something solid, something real.

Until it is real (one way or another).

And once it is done, it’s standing there, right in front of me, to be touched (and admired!), when I can walk around it, look at it from any angle, examine it in any way possible, I’m quite sure there is one thing I won’t find to be a part of it.

Dread.


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!

Aug 092015
 

When I first started university, it was awesome! Learning new things, meeting new people, a sense of freedom. Wow!

The old fades and something new grows in its place...

The old fades and something new grows in its place…

After six years however it had started to pale; classes got more convoluted and less useful, the city I was living in was getting smaller by the day (it seemed) and there was this lure of a something called a “job”, which though it had some definite downsides, it promised the possibility of being able to buy a beer the entire month (as opposed to only during the first 3 weeks, after which which I had only enough money left for food…)!

So I got a job. And it was awesome! New things to learn, new people to meet, enough money to buy as many beers as I wanted, no matter the date!

Until the downsides became apparent: Too much travel, working on stuff that was uninteresting, working in a culture that made me slightly nauseous.

Luckily, you’re allowed to trade in one job for the other. And I did. Again, it was awesome! The people were new, the challenges exciting. Until they weren’t; the projects became more-of-the-same, the people weren’t inspiring anymore.

After trying twice with a “normal” job, I thought I’d wisen up: I’d do something completely different! That is, I became a freelancer. Which was awesome! New skills to learn, new people to meet, new problems to tackle!

Three years in and the cracks are starting to show. New and different cracks than what I’d seen before, but they’re definitely there: Never being part of a team, spending my time pushing numbers back and forth (in an extremely complicated way, mind you), doing stuff that in the end doesn’t make a real difference on the world one way or another.

This is the first blog post in a long while. I have no real excuse for not writing, but then, I don’t really need any… Perhaps my interest waned temporarily, perhaps it’s more permanent. Either is fine. People change, interests come and fade… We’ll see what the future brings in this respect.
So, it’s time for something new. Something that gets my blood running a bit hotter than financial services. Something that, though it probably won’t be earth-shattering, at least matters a little bit. Not quite sure what it’s going to be, but I have some ideas. Maybe a startup (my own or someone else’s), maybe something with board games, maybe something with apps…

Now, I can see a pattern as well as anybody (especially after I laid it out so nicely in the paragraphs above): This too will become old at one point, and once more I’ll go looking for something new. But for now even just contemplating it, it’s exciting and scary!

The world changes, people change, permanence is an illusion. Sometimes you need to pour yourself into something new. My time is near. When is yours?


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!

Jul 252015
 

A week back I was in France with a group of friends, for a hiking vacation. We hiked part of the coast of Brittany, climbing over rock outcroppings, being astounded by the tides (a 6 meter difference!), seeing menhirs. And after the hike there was of course time for playing a game, having great food (awesome mussels!) and just relaxing. In all, the perfect vacation!

While hiking you've got to keep some rocks up at times as well...

While hiking you’ve got to keep some rocks up at times as well…

Though I do my very best to stay in contact with my friends, living on the other side of a sea (even if it’s a tiny one like the North Sea) makes that somewhat more complicated. So the first two days of the hike were spent catching up with everybody, sharing stories, learning what they had been up to, exchanging a bit of gossip.

After those two days I was basically “up to speed”. And I found that it was harder to keep the conversation flowing. Sure, we’d get into something personal a bit more in dept. Or we’d talk about the world, politics, the economy, etc. But there were quite a few silences as well.

As a student I would absolutely abhor silences; I would start to prattle just to have some sound around, much to the amusement of my friends. I’m not quite at that level anymore, but silence still can make me uncomfortable.

What I really enjoy about hiking as well is that it allows a lot of thoughts to be processed in the back of the mind. It seems the legs work perfectly as pistons for the mental machinery…
I think it took another 2 days, but then that feeling changed quite radically. The awkwardness disappeared and instead the silence became amiable: “We are both walking here. We enjoy looking around, moving through this landscape. And the fact that I get to do that with you by my side, makes this an even better experience.”

My friends are my friends because I like them (and I’m assuming they like me back). Having a good conversation most certainly is a part of that, but it’s actually just a small part. Being together, spending time, forging mutual memories, all of that goes towards a beautiful and dense tapestry of trust, understanding and a feeling of belonging.

Hiking with friends is the best! :- )


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!

Jul 092015
 

It’s 8 o’clock as I’m writing this. I’ve done my day of work, I had a bite to eat. My girlfriend is out (of the country, to be exact).

Indeed. Time for a walk outside!

Indeed. Time for a walk outside!

I have 2 to 3 hours to fill before I need to be asleep. 2 to 3 hours to do whatever I want.

But what do I want?

A very big part of me wants to “sit back and relax”. Which basically means watch a series or movie, browse the internet or play a computer game.

And those are perfectly reasonable options. It’s nice to do nothing for a bit, to immerse myself in some alternate world, forget about the real one for a while. And it’s a very easy choice. The laptop is right there (well actually, right here, as I’m currently typing on it), bringing all of that to my finger tips.

I’ll spend 2 or 3 hours at a mild distance of reality. And at the end of those hours I will have lost or gained exactly nothing.

And the question is, is that good enough? I know I don’t need to be productive all the time, time for relaxation is very important.

But I tend to make that choice a lot. To always go for the easy option, the lazy entertainment.

Somehow starting work is so much easier. It helps when there is someone holding you responsible?
And as a result the things that are important to me don’t get done. I haven’t written my book for ages, haven’t been to the gym for well over a month, haven’t taken an evening stroll for way too long, have barely been able to write a single blog post per week. And I’m not happy with that.

Even sitting here now, for the first time in over a week producing a blog post, already makes me feel a whole lot happier than I would have been with a series or some random browsing. And I know that. I know that doing something makes me feel so much better than doing “nothing”. I feel better after the activity, I feel better during the activity.

There is only one moment where doing nothing feels better than doing something. Right before you start.

There is always a hurdle you have to take, an investment of energy, effort, to start. And without a start, there is no middle and no end…

This evening I’ve made my start with being productive. After this I’ll take a nice evening stroll, which will bring me to the gym. This evening will be fine.

Now if only there was a way of making starting easier…


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!

Jul 012015
 

Maybe I shouldn't complain too quickly, at least I'll never get -this- hot.

Maybe I shouldn’t complain too quickly, at least I’ll never get -this- hot.

On the tube home I happened to catch part of the newspaper of the lady sitting next to me: “Temperature in London underground higher than would be allowed for cattle transport.”

I’m not a cow, so I generally get to make my own choices. Including to get on a tube with an ambient temperature hotter than my own blood.

As sweat trickled in a small river off of my forehead I was seriously doubting the wisdom of that particular free choice. Of course, not getting home isn’t fun either (or walking for three hours through the heat outside. At least underground there was no sun)… So how much choice do you have in the end?

Maybe being a cow isn’t so bad after all…


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!