Nov 162014
 

I just got back from a week away to Portugal. And as much as I love to travel alone, I love to travel with someone special even more. Luckily, I met someone very special not so long ago…

Alone: Bleh, rain.  Together: Romantic, rain!

Alone: Bleh, rain.
Together: Romantic, rain!

In fact, it was only slightly more than a month ago that we first met. Booking a vacation together within a month of knowing each other was certainly a record for me (and for her as well). A few of her friends had kindly but urgently asked her whether it really was a good idea to head of with this random stranger she knew only for so little time (my own friends didn’t say a thing. Probably because they’re more used to me doing strange things (or perhaps it was the fact that I didn’t really ask anybody’s opinion on it…)).

Now I could write something about “true love”, “soul mates”, and “not a moment of doubt”. But that would most definitely not be in line with my thoughts.

Yes, I was worried about being “stuck” with someone I hardly knew for a whole week. What if our travel ideas were completely different? What if we got into a huge fight? What if…

But more than doubts and worries, I felt trust.

First, trust in her, that she was a good person. Human and thus bound to be imperfect (just like myself), but with a kind heart and willing to work to make the experience pleasant if not enjoyable for the both of us.

Second, trust in myself. That I would be able to indicate when something was bothering me, that I would listen to her when she voiced an opinion or idea.

And finally, trust in the both of us, that we would work things out if there was frustration. That we both wanted to make the other person happy, despite set-backs (did I mention we had heavy rain for all but one day?).

“A relationship without trust is like a phone with no service. What do you do with a phone with no service? You play games…”
It worked out. We did fun stuff, decided together to not bother with the awesome monestary that had a two-hour waiting line, had great (and not so great) dinners, slept late (both in stunningly romantic and stunningly un-romantic places (what self-respecting interior designer makes the toilet the same lime-green as the wall?!?) , hiked up to fairy-tale castles. And we talked. A lot. And through it all grew a lot closer together.

It could have worked out differently of course. We could have had that huge row. But even then, isn’t it better to know that as soon as possible, instead of finding out after having been together for a year (or more)?

Trust is fragile and precious. But that doesn’t mean you should hoard it, keep it safe to your chest. It means that you should give it quickly, so that it can either grow over time, or wither away quickly. The people who are not worthy of trust you cut out of your life, so that there is more space to keep the ones close that are.


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!

Oct 312014
 

”He walked into the room and her heart skipped a beat. Wordlessly he walked up to her and it felt as though his dark eyes pierced to the depths of her soul. Strong yet oh so gentle hands closed behind her back and she felt herself pressed against his broad chest. She closed her eyes, lost in the moment, lost for eternity when their lips met. She had kissed before, but it felt as though those had only been play, the little girl pretending to be a princess with the little boy as her knight. This was different…”

Muscled stranger, check. Fair maiden, check. Random and unimportant plot-twists, check. Unimaginative cover, check...

Muscled stranger, check. Fair maiden, check. Random and unimportant plot-twists, check. Unimaginative cover, check…

I’m not particularly well known when it comes to unashamed romance novels (a.k.a. porn for women). Luckily I have friends (ok, one) who know much more about them then I do. She was able to tell me that your average romance novel emphasizes three things: The woman heroine is beautiful but doesn’t know it. The man is silent and thus mysterious. The love between them is different.

The first so that a woman reading the book can identify with the heroine. The second so that she can portray her husband in the role of the charming stranger (most men are much more silent compared to women; how better to make that appealing than by making it mysterious?). And finally things have to be different, because your average housewife reading the literary equivalent of the McDonalds hamburger leads an all too predictable life.

But then, life is different when you’re in love, as I’ve been discovering very recently.

“Seduced by an angel”, “The maverick and the maiden”, A case for romance”, “Savage dreams”, “Prince of dreams”, “His wicked dream”, “More than a dream”. If those aren’t enough to melt any heart…?
The world has lost some of its beauty; where normally my head would turn at every beautiful woman, I find myself comparing and left feeling un-charmed. The world has gained beauty; sights made more spectacular for being shared (it’s amazing that that even works for the unadorned walls of your own bedroom…). I’m sleep-deprived but at the same bounce through life on a bubble of energy.

It’s easy now. I’m in love. But having been through the mill of love ample times, I know that those feelings don’t last forever. But I do believe that it is possible to keep those feelings for a long time. Especially with some help from romance novels:

  • She is beautiful (charming, funny, smart, sweet), be the one that sees that
  • It’s ok to be silent. As long as you continue to create a bit of mystery
  • Do something different with some regularity. Yes it takes energy, but it gives it back many times over

Happy loving (and reading!)!


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!

Oct 212014
 

What is more addictive than cocaine? What gives a worse hangover than cheap whiskey? What is the subject of just about every song, book and movie ever sung, written, directed? What costs a fortune yet leaves you empty-handed? What takes more brainpower than putting a man on the moon, but results in no more than scribbled hearts on a napkin?

All is fair in love and war. Which makes no sense at all! Who would use tanks or gunships in their lovemaking?!?

All is fair in love and war. Which makes no sense at all! Who would use tanks or gunships in their lovemaking?!?

Love

It’s nature’s way of making sure that we stick around after procreating, as well as the reason for the most famous war in history (the Trojan one, in case you were wondering).

Why this sudden interest in it, you might ask?

Well, there was this girl… Who seemed just a bit more interesting than the rest of them. And it seems that she felt the same way about me…

This blog however is not a cheap romance novel (it’s free after all), so I won’t bother you with how “his eyes met hers and her heart skipped a beat. She stood as though nailed to the floor, her breath becoming quick and shallow. Just a a few paces away, but he might have well have been on the other side of the world…” I’ll just skip to the end of it: They (we!) got together. Which is where in general the book (or movie) stops. And where real life begins.

Though very much enjoyable, being in love makes it so much harder to keep up a reasonable writing schedule. Sorry for not posting for a while!
And really, this isn’t a story for a book (let alone a movie). There was no seemingly insurmountable difference in background that did get surmounted, no being-forced-to-spend-time-together-even-though-we-seem-to-hate-each-other’s-guts that turned into true love.

There was attraction, plain and simple. There was shared laughter (and Prosecco). Backgrounds were different, but outlook in life very similar. There was little to be surmounted, perhaps only the tiniest bit of shyness and some logistical problems (date two was a two-hour train-ride away).

Life isn’t a movie. Love doesn’t work like in a love song. It is something far more real!

So if you need me, I’ll be enjoying reality.


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 242014
 

This past weekend I was in the Netherlands to celebrate two very good friends getting married. And I didn’t just get to celebrate, I got to be a very intimate part of it, as they had asked me to be master of ceremonies (luckily together with four other lovely people)!

I'm not really the marrying kind, but throwing a party like that must be awesome!

I’m not really the marrying kind, but throwing a party like that must be awesome!

Seeing a wedding “from the inside” is definitely something! So far I’ve only had to enjoy the occasion, drink my beer, have some cake, congratulate the bride and groom, hand over some gifts (and get them handed back, to be dropped at the ubiquitous “presents table”) and then go back to drinking beer, talking to old friends and having a dance.

Don’t worry, I got to do all of the above. But in between I was helping to drag big flower pots back and forth, hanging decoration, greeting guests that were early to arrive, directing guests to the right location when they were late to arrive, making sure that people knew they got to go on a picture with the happy couple, announcing speeches, announcing funny songs, helping to set up dinner, getting the bride a glass to drink, pointing, directing, helping.

At the end of the day I was feeling just a tad tired. But when I finally got to crash down on my air mattress (because why wouldn’t you go camping after a nice wedding?!), I couldn’t sleep. Too many things still dripping through my subconscious to let my consciousness get the rest it deserved.

One of the things that came to me was: “I’m happy!”

Happy that my friends had a beautiful day and that they had announced to the world that they loved each other. Happy to have been a part of it, to have helped with it. Even if it’s not your turn in the limelight, it’s still awesome to be directing the beam!

And something that had been at the back of my head for some time came to the fore: To be happy you have to do something.

The downside of never getting married: You don’t get a bachelor party either!
Helping to organize a wedding is a lot of work and especially at the moment you have to start it, it feels like a burden. Yet during all the time I was busy with it, I enjoyed myself immensely. Afterwards I felt very good indeed.

I have a tendency to be tired after a long day (like everybody?) and I make the easy choices; to surf the web or watch a series, instead of doing something that may cost some energy but in the end will make me feel so much better. To go out for a walk (however small). Or to write. And I find that when I do do something, energy comes flowing back very quickly.

I’m not sure whether I’m going to be helping anybody organize their wedding anytime soon though… 🙂


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!