In my ultimate search for happiness, yes a quality of my generation I dig, we question things, also please keep telling us we cannot do things because reverse psychology seems to work on us as pointed out by an awesome friend to me, she is bonkers smart, I have come to a stage where I am becoming more and more conscious about the fact that bigger is not better.
I am coming from a show off culture well at least half of me, the Turkish half. The other Dutch half can get quite unimpressed by the material world. Balance is essential, I am not striving to become more Dutch, let’s make that clear and I am not saying all Turks are crazy about showing off (well 95% of Turkey for sure is in my opinion) but status does mean something there.
From the moment you start considering studies to apply to, your family members will tell you to choose a job that will make you money. Because obviously money can buy happiness, right(!)
Having an ostentatious lifestyle is what we are indoctrinated to strive for.
It is quite the American Dream kind of mindset surrounded by a safe choice Chinese wall kinda construction. Yup I just reread that sentence and I am pretty sure that most of you are going to be like what the fuck is she talking about …well… I didn’t say that it was an easy to understand culture so bare with me because on the other hand, through Muslim values we are taught to be humble, selfless, and helpful to the less fortunate.
Within this culture I have been taught in a very subtle implicit propaganda way that money equals happiness and love. Through this you can also help others. Well guess what, during my first year in the Netherlands the culture clash and shock ran a reality check on me by slapping me hard in the face with a chair.
I had to do a complete inspection of my values…
To this day, I find myself conflicted at times but I did a challenge in the past month.
I noted down all the moments when I caught myself with a smile of gratitude and happiness and I have bullet pointed the shit out of it. Enjoy these organized thoughts because this is the most organized it will get:
- While traveling through Netherlands with the train, the endless fields put a smile on my face, the flatness of this country makes me happy, the horizon is beautiful,
- When I go on adventures with friends on the weekend, the moment I step out of my door, the fresh and crisp air waking me up makes me feel good,
- My man giving me his glasses when we are out, I am stubborn enough not to put mine on and we both cannot see far, so I can read a sign as well warms my heart,
- A stranger helping me for no reason is goals,
- The bus or metro arriving the moment I arrive at the stop while my ass is so slow is so satisfying,
- Owning up to my responsibilities and even paying a random grown up bill is just a proud moment,
- Every time my flights touch the ground safely, amen,
- Spotting dogs and especially when they choose me and I can pet them – simply the best,
- Entering my house after a long day and crashing on my couch, yaaas,
- Looking forward to sitting on the floor of my mother’s living room, enjoying food, watching TV, and giggling with my mom in a month,
- Looking forward to working out with my dad in a month,
- Last but not least, looking at myself in the mirror and feeling like a bombshell just because!
In these moments, my head goes ‘cute’ voiced over by Jonathan van Ness. These are my balance moments.
I hope you find yours as well because zen is much needed until then as the great man Kendrick Lamar himself said, Bitch, be humble (hol’ up, bitch) Sit down (hol’ up, lil’, hol’ up, lil’ bitch) ….