Bastiaan Reinink

Sep 142014
 

A while back I wrote that I had nothing left to wish for. A while before that I wrote a piece about being careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

Under the bridge downtown, is where I drew some blood...  Under the bridge downtown, I could not get enough...

Under the bridge downtown, is where I drew some blood…
Under the bridge downtown, I could not get enough…

I’ve got something to wish for…

When I first came here it was for a 3 month contract. That has been extended for an additional 3 months (yay!). Having planned to be here for just month though I signed a lease agreement for my room for 3 months. And if I wanted to extend my current lease it would have had to sign up for an additional full year. Not so handy… So I decided not to. I mean, how hard could it be to find something in a place as dynamic as London?!?

Let me tell you: A lot harder than I had thought!

The first time round there were lots of places being offered, so many even that I got multiple messages on the add that put online (most of them completely unsuitable btw, but enough that did seem to be ok). In the end I had a choice of 2 that were both very suitable to my needs.

Now however it’s the beginning of the school year, meaning that lots of students are looking for rooms. And like me, they prefer to be some place central… Meaning that the pickings are slim, things gone well before I have a chance to reply, messages don’t get replied to and phones don’t get answered.

At moments like this I need to remind myself that you can’t have an adventure without some adversity…
I’ve always firmly believed there were two kinds of occurrences in life: Those that you could do something about and those that you couldn’t. The first you fixed, the latter you ignored. No need to stress.

Now however I’m stressed! This is something in between. Yes, I can do something about this (vigilantly scour the internet for something suitable), but for the most part it’s out of my hands. And the fact that I really do need a place to live doesn’t make this any better!

In the end it’ll work out. The universe will provide (perhaps the universe will provide an over-priced hotel room, but still…).

On the map I’ve been living underneath London Bridge. I hope I won’t literally have to live underneath London Bridge…


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.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Sep 072014
 

I would like to do things differently. I would like to not take on any assignments for a while, seclude myself in a Scottish hamlet (or more probably, my own house) and create.

Wouldn't it be better to go forward to work?

Wouldn’t it be better to go forward to work?

There is this book which has been sitting on my hard drive for quite a while now, softly whispering at night: “Finish me…”.

There is the idea of a model in the back of my head, something that just might be what the industry is looking for, that speaks to me in my daydreams: “Build me…

I could take a month or 2 off and not take on any assignments. Being a freelancer I’ve worked hard at building up a buffer for when I wouldn’t be able to get a new gig immediately, so I would survive a month or two without income. And as both projects might very well be profitable (ok, the model might be, the chances of the book actually making anything are very slim indeed), it could even be seen as a risky-but-worthwhile investment of time. So nothing to stop me really.

And yet…

It’s scary!

This month my personal challenge was to run every day. I’ve found that making this public helped a lot with actually doing it; yesterday night was a friend’s bachelor party and let’s just say I wasn’t really in the mood to go for a run in the morning. Pounding asphalt they call it. Into my head, it seemed.
Taking on a new assignment is the safe thing to do. Because what if I squander my two months with nothing really to show for it (a book that nobody in their right minds would pay for and a model that’s unusable) and then I’m not able to find anything for a year? What if instead I’d just said yes to that juicy job right after getting off of my current one instead? Also, what do I say to all those nice intermediaries that are working so hard just to find me something fun to do? “No”?!? I couldn’t do that!

Yes there’s a risk. I could be left without an assignment for long enough for me to starve (or worse, forced to get a normal job again!). But I also know myself well enough that I’ll manage. And as for the nice intermediaries, they’re just saleswomen, trying to push their latest gadget (though, if they’re selling me to a company, doesn’t that make them pimps?).

Fear is a bad advisor, but it’s hard not to listen to it. Come December (when my current gig finishes) and you see me walking around with my fingers in my ears, you’ll know what it is I’m not listening to.


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.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Sep 042014
 
  • Waking up while it’s light, getting home while it’s light
  • The invention of glasses (and contacts)
  • Cheese
  • Someone singing to themselves in the street (could be me…)
  • Here is to hoping that at least -someone- will get the reference

    Here is to hoping that at least -someone- will get the reference

  • A photograph of some place beautiful I went to
  • Remembering a time before the internet (yeah, I’m old…)
  • The fact that so many people feel the need to write a book (never shy for something to read)
  • A message from an old friend that you didn’t expect
  • People moving far away so I can come and visit them
  • Squirrels
  • Ties (mostly when taking them off)
  • The boomerang. Think about it, how cool is that?
  • Maps. And the implication of how much there is left to explore
  • Hearing Spanish in the street and almost understanding what is being said
  • Friends throwing parties
  • Getting lost and finding something unexpected that you never would have found otherwise
  • A meeting that gets canceled, so I can get some actual work done
  • Someone planning a meeting so I get a moment’s break from the boring work
  • The sun reflected on water. With a duck
  • The sound that freshly fallen snow makes when you walk on it
  • Finally getting it right
  • Quantum physics (I don’t see economists putting cats in boxes to proof their theories!)
  • Semi colons
  • Being too ill to go to work but not ill enough to feel really bad (don’t want to infect the others you see…)
  • Writing random things to be grateful for and have other people read them…
  • Hats
  • Hugs
  • Being the first to tell someone the good news

Take a moment. What random things are you grateful for?


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.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Sep 012014
 

I’ve got a bit of the blues. As I wrote before, things are going my a bit too much.

If the goal is running, is getting back then the goal of your goal?

If the goal is running, is getting back then the goal of your goal?

Having thought this over a bit further I came to the conclusion that I needed a goal. Something to work towards. Something that would challenge me in a new (and perhaps) scary way.

It’s not that I didn’t know what I would want, I have some pretty good ideas about interesting goals I would happily work towards. Interplanetary (interstellar!) travel would be a good one. An end to corruption a good second.

Lofty goals.

A bit too lofty, as I haven’t got the faintest clue as to where to start and the chances of actually fulfilling this are well, slim, to say the least. And thus as real goals they don’t really work, they don’t inspire, they just paralyze.

Last night, lying awake for a while, mulling this (and many other things) over in the back of my head a few of my favorite philosophical one-liners (ok, one is a one-liner, the second a two-liner) came to mind:

”If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
And:
There is no perfect first step. It’s more important to take a step and to correct your course when you see where you are after taking it.”

I don’t know what to do. I’m not happy with my current situation. But it’s obvious that doing nothing isn’t going to solve anything either.

So I’ll make a change. Something. Anything really. Anything that’s different from what I’m doing now. Something that changes my life in some positive way.

And I realized what would be perfect. I don’t cycle anymore (bad plan in London). I do some sports, but as much as I like sword-fighting, it doesn’t really tire me out. Thus, I’ll pick up my old hobby / nemesis: I’ll start running again.

As it’s (almost) the beginning of a new month, this fits perfectly well with my monthly challenge. So for September, I’ll run every day!

I’ve been reading a very interesting book on the formation of habits. That’s basically what I’m trying to do here, get it engrained in my system that I will always go for a run, try to build up a very healthy habit this way. Let’s see how that goes a few months further into the future…
I will do this right after coming home from work, or on days that I don’t go to work, I’ll do it right after getting up. It doesn’t matter how long I go running, as long as I do it (once the habit takes hold, I know myself well enough that I will start pushing myself to do more).

Perhaps however every day slightly too much of a good thing, so I’ll allow myself a single day in September in which I don’t do this.

And as I’ve been failing miserable at my last few months of challenge (I can’t even really remember anymore what it was for this month, except that it was the second month I was going to do it. Oops…) I’ll add a bit of spice to this to make sure that I’ll stick to it: If I skip more than a single day of running this month I’ll donate a thousand Euro to a to-be-specified good cause.

I’ll let you know next month how it went!


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.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Aug 272014
 

What’s the worst mistake you made in your life? Or, if you could go back in time to change one thing (in your own life), what would it be?

Ok, probably she would've been scared out of her panties (hehe) if I had this in store for her...

Ok, probably she would’ve been scared out of her panties (hehe) if I had this in store for her…

I like thought experiments like this, the “alternate history”. What path might my live have taken if I had kissed that girl (I was 16 and way too shy)…?

Two things.

First: I’m happy with my life (well, mostly) and I wouldn’t want to run the risk of ruining what I have now by changing the course of history in such a way that I end up somewhere completely different (those who have seen “The butterfly effect” or “Sliding doors” should know what I mean).

Second: When is something a mistake? If you look back on an action (and it’s subsequent string of reactions) and you’re not happy with the outcome? But that’s too easy, as everybody can predict the past.

Given the information you had at the point of deciding, would it have been logical / reasonable to have made a different decision? If so, then yes, it was a (very stupid!) mistake. But most of the time, it’s not. You take the information you have and you do what you think is best at that moment. It doesn’t always come out the way you expected (much less hoped for), but does that make it a mistake? Personally, I think not. It’s just the unpredictability of the universe making itself felt (which is a good thing too, imagine that the future was perfectly predictable. How boring!). You learn from it and you move on.

It does happen though that you make a decision you know is not in your best interest. I should have kissed that girl and I knew at the time that I should and I did regret not doing so. My emotions hijacked me from doing the “right” thing (fear in this case).

Would you change anything from your past if you could? And if so, what?
But even here we deserve some lee-way. Fighting against your own fear (or other emotions) sounds very nice on paper, but is extremely difficult in practice. Who has never stood there in front of a beautiful girl (or guy, if you’re so inclined), knowing what you wanted (and quite sure what she (he) wanted), yet did nothing? Should you beat yourself up over your stupid mistake?

I think it’s better to take this as anything else that the universe throws you that doesn’t go quite your way: Learn from it and move on.

I did learn. Not too long after, this horrible mistake still fresh in my memory I had another chance and (after due courage-finding) I took it. A kiss never tasted sweeter…


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.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!