wanderings of the mind: owning up to our stories.

A while back I read the book ‘The Gift of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are’ by BrenĂ© Brown. She talks about the power of vulnerability, and owning up to our stories – that is, the painful ones that might be seen as imperfections in this world of ours – to reach happiness in your life and with yourself, which she beautifully describes as Wholehearted living. As someone who is constantly striving for happiness, while in a constant battle with my imperfections, this book seemed as if it were written for me. It also made me realized something.. Going out and striving for happiness by setting (unattainable) goals, doing activities, buying things (and god knows this hasn’t really been working for me either lately) doesn’t work if there is a whole story behind all that, that keeps you from being happy with yourself in the first place. Hiding your stories almost starts to feel like you're living a lie. Yes, life is wonderful. But sometimes, it just isn't.

At the same time, it sounds like the scariest thing ever. I just happened to come across this post, from which this sentence struck me like lightning: ...but your biggest fear will be that people will see you the way you see yourself. As someone who is constantly preoccupied with what other people think of my - although I'd wish I wouldn't be - I couldn't have said it better myself. The idea of sharing my stories has been stuck in my mind for a while though, since all of these stories make up the person that I am, but also keep me from accepting that. And I guess, if I really really really want to be happy, i have to start doing that, right?

Hello, my name is Cheyenne, and I am a perfectionist. I have an extreme fear of failing. I get anxiety attacks. I have a difficult relationship with food. My self-esteem tends to fail me from time to time. I have an ever-lasting feeling of guilt. I have gotten my heart broken into little pieces, and I can't let things go.

I want to share some of my stories over here, because it fits with the idea I had in mind when starting this blog as a documentation of my road to happiness. In my case, when wanting to reach the good, you've got to deal with the bad as well - how scary that might be (I've never found it so hard to push the publish-button). And if it in some way would help one person out there, well.. That would make me very happy, too.


currently: when though times, hard work and living abroad meet

Sometimes, life just doesn't go as you planned. Life doesn't consider all the things you must do, all the work you have. It just goes on and on and on. At the moment, it seems that I'm stuck in this 'life going on' and being behind on every single aspect. The research seminar abroad, some personal troubles, illness and family matters have set me back, especially study-wise. I'm trying to work my way through it, to get back on track, but new things just keep on happening. It feels like a never-ending marathon, which I keep running and running, without actually making it to the finish. And I have so many things planned for this blog, but I just can't find the time! Tell me, am I the only one endlessly running? Six more weeks, and then I have my first free weekend since February, really looking forward to that.

However - as a good hapiness-searcher ought - there are some highlights to share as well! I found a great temporary job: I'm currently working as a stand assistant at TEFAF, Europe's largest fine art fair! I'm on day three now (out of eleven), and let me tell you, what a crazy world of dealers, collectors, museum and such. It is eleven days in a row, eight exhausting hours a day - but I definitely don't mind dressing up in my prettiest dresses for work!

And next to that, a big announcement: I'm moving abroad! This September I'll be moving to Munich for my mandatory internship abroad and will be working at the Neue Pinakothek! I flew out there last week for an internship interview (another one of those 'life just goes on' moments) and I've actually gotten the opportunity to make my very own exhibition. Scary! The whole moves has me completely scared and exited at the same time, but I still have some time left to get used to the idea. I'm actually going to wander off.. Guess I can check this from my bucket list!


Comfort food: one-pot pasta

All right, lets talk comfort food. Urban Dictionary defines it as 'food that is not only comforting to the taste buds, but all the other senses'. Also as '(n.)High in fat and carbohydrate, comfort foods are eaten by lazy gluttons to help them forget their woes.', but lets forget about that for a second. Food that not only comforts the taste buds, but all other senses. Is there anything better? When things are a bit on the down-side, not going as they should go, nothing beats a big old plate of your favorite comfort food to cheer yourself up. For me, pasta works like a charm. I like it quick, easy and simple - but delicious. Of course, nothing beats my mom's spaghetti bolognese, but so far pasta pesto with garlic tomatoes and lots and lots and lots of mozzarella. However, today I finally tried a recipe that has been floating around blog land for a while, and might bump the pasta pesto from its throne: one-pot pasta.


sick, sicker, sick days

Since Saturday I've been chained to the bed and/or couch, the flu got me! Nausea, cramps, headaches, bad sight, general pain, you name it & I got it. At first I was beating myself up, since this is not the right moment to get sick (I see you lurking at me, deadlines. I see you). But then I realized.. stressing about being sick actually made me more sick. So I decided to embrace my ill health and enjoy my sick days to the fullest. I remember how much I 'enjoyed' my sick days at home with my mom. She would prepare a little bed for me on the couch in our living room where I'd sleep and watch movies on and off, all day long, while eating toast with butter and salty sticks and drinking ginger ale and tea.


diary, week four five six

While I'm lying here on the couch, floored by the flu, it's fun to look back through my pictures of the last few weeks! the first three I was away in Italy, where I made surprisingly few pictures! Once I was back, I had many, many deadlines awaiting me (still do, not the best time to be sick), so here is what else I've been up to the past few weeks!


baking makes a happy girl: blueberry & pecan banana bread

When life gives you lemons... Go buy some banana's and make banana bread? Sometimes, things don't go they way you wanted or had hoped they would. Sometimes, life just leaves you all stressed out. My personal remedy? Baking. The one thing that keeps me busy and my mind off of things, fills my house with delicious smells in the early morning and of which the outcome is just pure deliciousness, what's not to love? I've been on the look-out for some healthy backing recipes (says the girl who ate half a container of Ben & Jerry's Clever Cookie last weekend), and this one found on Annemerel.com is just perfect! Searching for a healthy snack to munch on during your breaks? Look no further!


movie challenge: january

A new year, a new challenge! I love challenges, for me they are the perfect way to get back into the habit of enjoying small things. I used to watch a million movies a year - okay, exaggerating here, but you catch my drift. I kind of lost the ability to enjoy things that are 'just for fun', such as watching movies for hours and hours. This year, I'm going for the 150! Each month I'll give you an overview of my favorites of that month. Since I've been traveling for most of January, I haven't done very good with movie-watching, so these are actually all the movies I have seen. Better luck this month!

♥ ♥ ♥ / 5. Gangster Squad, a movie about a special police force set up to take down ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen. This movie has a lot of things: love, action, emotions and great acting (though sometimes on the verge of cliche, given). It's not a kind of movie I usually watch, but I love the 1940s and, well. I just love Ryan Gosling. Who's a cliche now!