Mistakes Are Just Life Lessons In Disguise. Seriously!

/Mistakes Are Just Life Lessons In Disguise. Seriously!

MistakesI’ve just started my brand new adventure of leaving my house, business career and friends & family behind to follow my (he)art, travel the world and make a documentary (or at least short character studies on video).

But…in these past weeks of preparation, every time anybody told me how amazingly brave it is of me to do this I couldn’t do more than nod and smile.

You know, like you do when you want to remain polite and acknowledge the compliment but you don’t really believe it.

And that’s what’s so odd about this, it’s not that I don’t believe it because I do feel it’s brave and exciting and adventurous for me to do this. And the attention and acknowledgment seeking little bitch that is my ego just loves getting admired for this, but…I can’t help but feel like a fraud whenever I hear the compliment…

And that’s because doing this just makes so much sense to me.

As in, doing anything else is literally not even an option to me…

It feels like every little bit in my life has been preparing me for this trip…

…For this documentary (or at least the attempt to make one). For sharing this vulnerable part of myself. For being exactly at this place and time.

And just so we’re clear, I by no means feel any bit enlightened or live in a continuous happy flow…in fact, I actually feel like I’ve lost my mojo somewhat and I’m suffering from a severe phase of impostor syndrome…but no worries…that’s okay…I’m okay…it’s all part of being a newbie at something!

So, to get back at it all making so much sense because everything in my life has prepared me for this…

It has!

For some reason, I always thought that I had to become a manager with a big house and shiny car in order for my life to be successful. There’s even an interview with me in the student special of a popular Dutch magazine where I say this. It’s in print, so it must be true!

For the longest time I did my thing in business, and learned, and made friends, and did all sorts of things that I really enjoyed. Until I didn’t. Until I realised that the fast tracked career, the beautiful house and spiffy car weren’t bringing me any meaningful fulfilment at all. And that the continuous power play and politics were really not for me. And that I couldn’t bear the emotional and lonely emptiness of so many people stuck in the corporate system. And most of all, I couldn’t bear my own growing detachment from myself whilst being part of that system.


This is how all that (internal) fighting felt…

But instead of being all Teflon like and let the bullshit simply slide off my shoulders…

…I fought. And kicked and screamed and twisted myself into impossible situations to do it right. To do business in a way that met my conditions and hopefully save as many poor souls along the way as I could. And though it was mainly an internal struggle, it didn’t limit itself to just on 1 occasion or employer but really extended throughout my career…(bare with me btw, I’m really going somewhere with this story).

And my Don Quichote like behaviour (you know, uselessly fighting windmills) stretched to my relationships too, romantically and otherwise. I would happily ignore any flashing red lights and jump into something that was doomed from the outset. And why? Well…because of the idea of being loved and seen and acknowledged of course. That, and the idea that I could help (change) the other person in some way. Ah, my ego just luuurves feeling needed…

Of course I failed miserably in both the business and relationship arena (not really actually, it just felt like that for me). And even worked myself into semi burn-outs and depressions because of it. And then kicked myself for doing so. For being the type of idiot who keeps on stepping into the same puddles of shit every single chance she gets. Yes, the ability to step into shit is strong within me!

But do you want to know what’s really great about continuously stepping into puddles of shit (aka making mistakes)?

That there comes a time where you’ll be able to smell the shit from far far away and navigate your way around them instead of plunging in them headfirst…it might take you 1000 plunges to get there, but you will!

The other thing you’ll learn is that it’s pretty useless to keep fighting the shit. That it makes no sense at all to keep going out there with your little poopscoop and continuously try to clean it all up whilst the rest of the world seems to only be adding to the pile.

I can’t tell you how liberating it is to have that tendency of fighting what is wrong (including your own ‘bad’ characteristics and tendencies) come to a halt and instead find the space and freedom in yourself to simply do what feels good for you.

From the outside, it’s just a subtle difference, but internally it makes all the difference. It means that there is room for positivity and growth. For new possibilities and opportunities. And mainly, there’s room for you!

And that’s where all the other life lessons and experiences come in! For me that’s my love of travel, creating ‘things’, meaningful interactions with people and the undying need to ever be learning and growing as a human being.

Because I want to know what’s around the corner of every little twist in my mind…

…and all other human minds for that matter. And I want to know what’s around pretty much every corner life offers me. Not from a sense of missing out (I think…), but mainly to see what dormant potential in myself and the world can be awakened if I don’t let myself stop me by the things that scare me…

So you see, the adventure I’m now embarking on is not a spur of the moment whim. Neither is it a means to not deal with real life (as traveling might have been for me in the past). But it’s also not something I’ve been planning for years…instead it just logically came into existence by accumulating all my life’s lessons and experiences and those things that bring me joy. And oddly enough, that includes my mistakes.

By learning all the lessons that I’ve learned throughout all my years. By being part of those not so nice relationships. By acknowledging facts about myself I’d rather didn’t. By doing all those things that shaped my life. By being open to myself and the world as a whole…

…I now feel more successful and more at home in myself than I’ve ever done (even with the temporary lack of mojo).

And that my dear friend, makes all the stupid mistakes I’ve ever made more than worth it!



  1. pidipiwo August 6, 2015 at 10:53 PM - Reply

    The beginning of this article rings a bell to me… When I left for my 1-year trip to Canada, everybody was calling me brave, saying that they wouldn’t be able to do what I was doing… And I kept nodding and smiling, but to me it felt so normal to go there, it made sense, as you say. I didn’t really feel brave at that time. Now that I am back in France, I do!

    Good luck on your journey, around the world and within yourself ! This is a noble task you’re starting 🙂 I enjoy following you

    • Linda August 7, 2015 at 10:46 AM - Reply

      Wow, 1 Year in Canada sounds fantastic, I’m curious what made you see you were indeed very brave to go on your trip!
      And thanks for sharing this with me; I’m always happy to hear that it’s ‘not just me’ 🙂

      • pidipiwo August 8, 2015 at 12:10 PM

        I know the feeling, since I’ve started my blog, every day brings a new ‘wow you feel that way too!” 🙂
        And Canada had been my dream for several years, so I just made it happen!

  2. Francis August 24, 2015 at 2:07 PM - Reply

    congrats on your passion and the willingness to follow up on it.

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