One of my favourite pastimes is to walk around a city and browse through all the different bookstores. Firstly, because it is an interesting way to get to know a place and secondly, because it is a more special experience to buy a hard copy book as opposed to buying online from sites such as Amazon, Bookdepository and Bol.com. It can also be much more rewarding to find a book that reaches out to you when you’re scouring the shelves – and a big, international city like Amsterdam holds a wide array of bookstores, each with a different character and supply. There are huge bookstores with an endless amount of books and smaller bookstores that are more minimalist. I will take you around and recommend a few of my favourites.Continue reading “Megan’s Bookstore Tour”
I have identified as a feminist since I was sixteen, and although I feel passionate about the movement and its causes, I had never participated in any kind of demonstration before. One of my resolutions for this year was to change that, so this year, I joined the 2019 Women’s March in Amsterdam. Full of excitement, me, my friends and 15000 others gathered at Dam Square to make our voices be heard. Because I had never been to a demonstration like this before, it felt overwhelming to see the crowd, but in a very positive and empowering way. Everywhere I looked I could see amazing, handcrafted signs, with provoking and passionate slogans concerning female empowerment, dissolution of the gender binary and the thirst for universal rights. There was an incredible sense of spirit and solidarity in the air, funded by the thrill of the communal goal. The energy of the crowd was lifted even further by a few short speeches the organisers and a few selected activists gave before we started marching.
I found out about An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green from watching his channel ‘The Vlogbrothers’ on YouTube, made up of him and his brother, John Green. Because I have followed their channel for years and have been a fan of his brother’s writing as well, I was well excited to read Hank’s debut novel. It turned out to be one of the most interesting books I have read in 2018. I finished reading it in two days, which is pretty fast for me. In fact, I feel like I could have finished it in one day, had it not been for the need of eating and sleeping. So without further ado, I will try to convince you to read it as well, hopefully without spoiling the story too much.
Sometimes when I’m at my lowest I feel like I will never be able to achieve anything in my in life. I feel worthless, insecure and like there is no point in even trying my best. I even felt like that while writing this article. These feelings nestle in my body and give me a sinking sensation in my stomach, weighing me down. These feeling comes from the thought: “I am not good enough”. Although it sometimes feels like it, I am not the only one who has this thought. In 2016, a youtuber named Nathan Zedd uploaded a video entitled: “You’re not good enough”. In his video he explains that the thought of not being the best stops him from making videos and being creative and has stopped him from taking other opportunities in the past. His video exemplifies how crippling it can be to suffer from self-doubt and insecurity. However, he also motivates people to work past these feelings and to just make things regardless of their doubt. Because this message resonated with many people who watched it, myself included, Nathan received a lot of support and praise. He decided to give something back and released his own merchandise, namely t-shirts with the slogan: “Good Enough”. They sold out almost immediately and still do every time he releases a new batch. The fact that these shirts sells so well shows that people really need and like to have a small affirmation that they are worthwhile. Perhaps you do not identify with the thoughts and feelings I described above. If you do, however, I will try to give you some more tips to build your confidence and to be kind to yourself. Continue reading “When You Don’t Feel Good Enough”
Every time I go back to Ireland, it feels like a homecoming. Each time I get that first glimpse of the Emerald Isle from the plane window, my heart skips a beat from excitement. This is not only because of my double Dutch/Irish identity. The main reason for this ‘heartbeat skipping’ is because I am seeing my Irish family again. Another part of this excitement stems from being back in the country I have partly grown up in. Along with the homely atmosphere I always love going on roadtrips and visiting different sights with my family and taking in the landscape, which is, to say the least, very different from the flat polders of The Netherlands. In comparison, the Irish landscape is mystically wild and untouched, mountainous. It gives you this daunting feeling of living in a Harry Potter story. It seems as if all the houses and roads have been built around the dramatic nature instead of the other way around. Apart from my general love for the land, I am intrigued by its history. Of course I was never taught Irish history in school due to my Dutch education. So I am setting out to become an autodidact on this subject. Continue reading “Hidden History – Woodlawn House”