There are a lot of comparisons I can draw between 2013 and now. Smal ones and very big ones. But today I would like to start with a brief recount of what prompted me to start this blog. Back in 2013 I – and believe me, I had to think back real hard for this – I was still in high school. Or rather, I was in my last year of high school. A year I had to retake because I failed my year by 0.1 points. I was angry, hurt, and above all insecure that even my best wasn’t good enough. That year I learned that sometimes, even though you work really, really hard for something, things don’t always work out just because you put in the effort. That sometimes you just have to take a deep breath, take a step back and then go at it again. During that particular year (in March) I decided to start my own blog: a little piece of the big and unknown interwebs carved out for me, to share with you. And although I have been many things as a blogger; passionate, consistent, chaotic, struggling motivated, inconsistent, and more; starting this blog is a decision I will never regret.
Blogging Then vs Now: Differences
When I look back at the girl I was then, I see some things I still recognize in myself nowadays, but there are also some things that I lost along the way. As I am feeling a bit sentimental (blame it on all the hard work getting this blog GDPR proof) I really feel like sharing some with you.
Books were my everything. Let me clarify this. Back in 2013, I think reading was a way of escapism for me. I spent most of my time with my nose in a book, instead of going out and experiencing things for myself. I was really insecure and wanted to avoid situations that made me uncomfortable by simply reading about them (it is very easy not to get hurt or your ego bruised that way). But over the course of that initial year, I realized that I, like those characters, wanted more for myself. I wanted a career, experience an epic love story, have badass friends that I could count on, and, above all, be more daring. If you add checkboxes in front of that list, most of those would be checked off (except for that epic love story, maybe all those books have set the bar too high). Books still are a huge part of my life: I am aiming for a career in publishing and I still read a lot of books, but my life is no longer wholly made out of books.
I used to be a (somewhat) consistent blogger. Unfortunately, that is proving to be rather difficult for me nowadays. I am officially amongst the top 10 of most inconsistent bloggers… Which my inner control freak loathes, but I am grudgingly coming to the realization that this is just how it is at the moment. Frankly, I am quite happy I can still call myself a blogger. And who knows, maybe in another few years I’ll do another one of these posts and will be the amongst the top 10 of organized bloggers. (Probably right around the same time when hell freezes over…)
The sheer amount of books I read for my blog is another thing that has really changed. I used to read and review ANYTHING I could get my hands on. Boy, do I have respect for people who are able to do that for all this time! Looking back I also realize that I felt like I had to review everything as well. And I really just don’t have the heart or time to do that anymore. Some books I want to review and write about, and others I just don’t. So that’s what I do. Blogging should always remain fun, and in order to do this, I incorporated other types of posts. Now, amongst those bookish post, you’ll also be able to find a plethora of post dedicated to other subjects.
Blogging Then vs Now: Similarities
Aside from all those differences, there is one thing that will probably always remain the same: my love and gratefulness for blogging. For without blogging I would never have taken the step to study English Language and Culture. Without it, I would never have interned at not only one, but two publishing houses. Without it, my love for books would have probably been something that I would have kept to myself and I would never have gotten to meet so many other readers (and authors!) that share the same passion.
So, sorry – not sorry – for the sentimental downpour in this post, but I can’t help but come to the conclusion that, to me, blogging is and will forever be something to cherish. I might be terribly inconsistent and sometimes feel so uninspired that I want to bang my head on a table, but there has never been a moment that I have wanted to pull the plug. Because, in the end, blogging played a huge part in shaping the person I am today, and that person I am pretty damn proud of!
This post recaps my month: my personal life, the fun and not so fun; books I’ve read; movies/ tv shows I’ve watched; and all other things worth mentioning.
Whoops, this recap is long overdue… As in nine LONG days overdue. January has been very eventful (so is February, if you’re wondering, but more about that later). January was a month of changes and ALL OF THEM VERY GOOD! I promise all I have to tell you is going to be worth the ridiculous amount of capital letters.
I have wanted to shout this news from the rooftops ever since I heard it, however, I’ve managed to keep myself somewhat in check and as a result, not a whole lot of people know about this -not so little- tidbit of information. A few months ago I applied for the MSc Publishing program at Edinburgh Napier University. I never made it a secret that I wanted to work in the field of publishing, and with my bachelor’s degree in the pocket (yes, really!) it is time for the next step. I applied and about a month later I was offered an unconditional offer, WHICH I ACCEPTED!! Starting September 2018 you will be able to find me in Edinburgh and I am wildly excited about the whole thing. I love Scotland and I love that I get to spend a full year there studying on a subject that I am passionate about. So if you have any recommendations regarding any activities, events, or whatnot in Edinburgh, feel free to tell me all about it!
Next, some of you might know I have been working on a research project for the past few months. I conducted research on the influence of marketing through book blogs, Bookstagram, and BookTube on the buying behavior of YA readers. A subject quite close to my heart as you might have guessed and I am really proud of the final result. I wrapped everything up and handed it in this month and received my grade a week later. Now for those of you that don’t know how the Dutch grading system works: grades vary from 1 to 10. 10 means you aced it and couldn’t have done any better and 1 pretty much means that the whole thing sucked. From 6 and onwards the grade is sufficient. My grade for my research project *drumroll please* is a 9,5. Yes, a NINE POINT FIVE on a scale of 1 to 10. I’d have to say I am pretty damn proud of myself, haha.
Nope, that is NOT all, because I have even more good news! The last two weeks of January I started my new internship at a Dutch YA publishing house! I am now a marketing intern at Blossom Books, the Dutch YA publishing house that publishes books by Tahereh Mafi, Marissa Meyer, Leigh Bardugo, Sara Holland and more. I have loved every moment of my last internship and I hope this one will be just at great.
I smuggled a bit and included two books started in December as well. January was ALL about finishing my Throne of Glass reread, only to realize that the final installment won’t be out until freaking October 2018 and then dying from sadness upon that discovery.
- Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas.
- Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas.
- Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas.
- Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas.
- Thanks, Obama by David Litt
- Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi (CURRENT READ)
Turns out I have become Lucifer crazed. I binge-watched that show like there as no tomorrow and LOVED every single second of it. Then the Designated Survivor craze got to me too… Give me one week off and I’ll go through Netflix like I haven’t been able to in months, haha.
The Gifted season 1, episode 9 – 10.
Hawaii 5-o, season 8, episode 9 – 10.
Lucifer, season 2, episode 1 – 18.
Lucifer, season 3, episode 1 – 11.
Designated Survivor, season 1, episode 1 – 22. THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD!
Designated Survivor, season 2, episode 1 – 10.
The Maze Runner. I just love these movies (which might have something to do with Dylan O’Brien).
Bad Moms. Rewatched this with a friend and it was just as hilarious as the first time around.
How did January treat you?
This post recaps my month: my personal life, the fun and not so fun; books I’ve read; movies/ tv shows I’ve watched; and all other things worth mentioning.
This post is embarrasingly late… As in half a month late, but you know what they say: better late than never! November was all about finding the balance between working and everything else. Little breakdowns, fun moments, excitement before the holidays: November had it all in spades!
Three months, that’s how long I’ve been doing my work placement already! I’d like to say it’s been all roses and sunshine, but I like to be real with you and I’ve been struggling a bit with balancing my work and ALL the rest. I’m really enjoying my time at Overamstel Publishers. My internship is fun and I’ve really settled into my work, but outside of work, it’s been an effort to fit other things in.
The thing I found hardest during November (and even the two months before, I now realize) is that I barely find the time to go running or do my workouts. Not even just that, when I get home from work I feel so tired that I barely have the energy to cook a decent meal… and I love cooking! I think the main problem is that when I leave from home it’s still dark outside and when I leave work the sun has set already. If I want to go running I have to run through the city center in order for it to be safe. I normally run in the park right behind my apartment building, but to run in a park while it is dark outside just isn’t safe and I hate the alternative. It’s busy in the city center and SO MANY TRAFFIC LIGHTS where I have to stop.
I guess in a way, especially in the workout department, November disappointed me. I feel like I lost my dedication to running and working out, not even necessarily my dedication, it’s more like I lost all energy to do so and that gets to me. I want December to be different in that department.
Now, reading-wise life is pretty damn awesome. I talked a bit about it in my previous post: how working at a publishing house has developed my reading habits and the type of books I read. I read a LOT in November and an awesomely weird mix of books as well: I read some fantasy, an essay type non-fiction book, a memoir, a retelling. I love the reading I’ve done and I’m seriously hoping December will be just as awesome (just, you know, with some more workouts thrown in).
I have also been really active on Instagram and have been loving every second of it. I truly love photography and the more I do it the more I find myself developing my style even further. I am hoping to experiment some more photography wise in December. I even purchased a backdrop, which is a pretty big deal, considering I normally take all my pictures outside, haha.
I’ve been pretty horrid at keeping up with my own statistics, but as the books I’ve read (and the movies and tv-series I watched) have been pretty memorable I think I can provide you with a pretty good account.
- The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine. (4/5). Review. If you’re into fairytales this one is a must read!
- Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. (3/5). I had some pretty mixed feelings about this book, watch out for my review to find out what I thought!)
- Hunted by Meagan Spooner. (4/5). Beautifully crafted tale!
- Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. (5/5). Reread… If possible I ended up loving it even more!
- Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas. (5/5). I FINALLY READ THIS, WHY DID I NOT READ THIS SOONER?!
I continued rereading the ENTIRE Throne of Glass series and am pretty pleased to say that I have finished them all and am currently halfway into Tower of Dawn.
Shooter season 2, episode 5 – 8. I still love this show and *cough* the lead actor *cough*
The Gifted season 1, episode 1 – 8. This show is so good! Can’t wait for the next episodes (and the season finale!)
Hawaii 5-o, season 8, episode 1 – 8. I’m starting to think I have a thing for the number eighth, haha.
A Christmas Prince. And guys, it was bad… so bad… I ended up laughing so hard because the entire movie was just so ridiculous.
Wonder Woman. Because I needed to watch this again to be reminded of the awesomeness that is this movie. IT WAS STILL GLORIOUS!
How did November treat you?
This post recaps my month: my personal life, the fun and not so fun; books I’ve read; movies/ tv-shows I’ve watched; and all other things worth mentioning.
June, what a month you were! All the last bits to meet all the requirements for my BA diploma and then unexpectedly adapting my plan for next year to do something scary, new, and exciting! Stressful, but really exciting things went down this month, and I can’t wait to share it all with you!
The beginning of the June I was extremely stressed for my Strategic Management & Leadership resit. I studied hard and long for that test, imagine my relief (and happiness) when I got my grade last week and saw I scored a 7 out of 10! I had to make some changes to my bachelor thesis as well and after my resit that is what I focussed on. I am still waiting on the results of one essay and my BA thesis, but I am hoping to receive those before I leave on holiday to Scotland next week.
Then, on to the exciting stuff! I had no idea what MA I wanted to pursue next year. I got declined for the one I had enrolled for, so I had to make some sudden changes (because, obviously, I need something to do next year). So I started applying for internship positions at various publishing houses. I got invited for three and before I had the third meeting I got offered two. I never did any type of solicitation before, so for me to get offered two is a really big deal for me! I even got to pick my favorite and I am so excited to start at the end of August!
June 28th was my sister’s birthday, her 21st birthday, and we celebrated in style! We had dinner at the Euromast in Rotterdam. For those of you that don’t know what the Euromast is, it is an observation tower and you can see the entire skyline of Rotterdam from on top. Tens of thousands of lights from the city of Rotterdam below form the backdrop during dinner while you see the changing colors of the sky as the sun goes down.Seriously, it is beautiful and quite magical. We chose a three-course ‘surprise’ dinner and it was SO GOOD!
Reading wise, I bought some books (yay!) but read very few (boo!). I blame the stress of the past few months because every time I sat down to read I found myself unable to and just watched an episode of House instead… I’m hoping that will change when I go on holiday!
In terms of working out, I’m still not on top of my game, but I am back to running! I have two running events in September, which I see as a huge motivation to keep training and get back in shape. Running with my sister is also a huge motivation! Her holiday has started, so she’s at my parents’ house as well, which means we can train together! And let’s be honest, running together is so much more fun than alone!
Reading: this is so painful…
- Cora Carmack – Roar. 5/5. (Review)
- Jennifer Armentrout – The Problem with Forever. 5/5. (Review)
House season 1, episode 1 – 24. I am watching this with my sister, who is a med student, from the very beginning and it so good!
Grimm season 5, episode 14 – 22. Fun!
Grimm season 6, episode 1 – 13. Sad this was the end, but glad it ended in a satisfying, albeit weird, way.
Brave Enough: Lindsey Stirling (Documentary). This was so beautiful! Really recommend it!
Hidden Figures. Such a good movie!
Wonder Woman. THIS WAS EVERYTHING!
How did June treat you?
As my active lifestyle is a big part of this blog I think it’s important to share the highs as well as the lows with you. So today I want to share what’s going on workout-wise lately, or rather, how it hasn’t been working out for me the past month. As many of you might know, I pride myself on being active, on being a runner, and on my workouts in general because I enjoy them and they’re a big stress reliever. I even give the advice to people that when life get’s busy to keep making effort to do your workouts, because it helps deal with stress. I tell most people that, but when push comes to shove I guess I am crap at following my own advice… And you know what: that’s okay.
My workouts have NOT been working out for me the past two months. I still run, but you could call it sporadically at best, and my gym-time has pretty much cut back to zero hours a week. The cause? Three things: exams, deadlines, and life. I am currently finishing up my third year of university, and will, hopefully, graduate this year. The deadlines, my thesis, the finals… they had, and still have, me in its grip. Then, life got rough for me. I won’t bore you with the details, that’s not what this post is about, but let’s just keep it at the fact that I had a really hard time dealing with everything this past semester. With everything going on, and the added stress of deadlines and finals approaching had me increasingly stressed. My workouts went down the drain in no time.
As much as I loved working out, I did not have the time nor energy to spare. And, as I’ve slowly come to realize, that’s okay. It’s okay not to be superwoman. Sometimes you simply don’t have the time or energy to spare for workouts when there’s so much going on around you. I don’t have to be able to lift all the weight of what’s been happening on my shoulders while getting good results at university and have the time and energy to spare for working out three to four (or five) times a week. It took me a while to come to this conclusion. And truly, it is so important to realize that I shouldn’t feel guilty for taking a step back, nor is it ‘bad’ that I wasn’t as active in the gym as I normally am. Working out should, above all, be fun. Not a must. Not something to feel guilty about when you skip a day or two (or a month). You do it for you and nobody else.
It took me a while to come to this conclusion. And truly, it is so important to realize that I shouldn’t feel guilty for taking a step back, nor is it ‘bad’ that I wasn’t as active in the gym as I normally am. Working out should, above all, be fun. Not a must. Not something to feel guilty about when you skip a day or two (or a month). You do it for you and nobody else. So yeah, maybe I have been a slacker workout-wise, but hey, if slacking allowed me to keep up my grades while dealing with all that was happening around be then I am glad to have been one!
So far I have mentioned what has been going on, but what about what is going on. Well, luckily, I am doing a bit better. I made the deadlines (only a few left) and I had my last exam yesterday. Life is still not back to normal, but it is slowly getting there. I am planning on picking on my run training again today (starting with a comfortable 5k run) and might pick up HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) again because it goes very well in combination with running.
The good news is that I’m back to working out now! My sister joins me on my runs a lot and, as you can see, we have fun while doing it. If you learn anything from this post I hope that It’ll be that having fun is most important when it comes to working out. If it starts being anything but fun, if it becomes a must instead of a want, something has to change. This wasn’t the most upbeat most, but I want to keep it real on this blog. It might seem like working out comes easy to me, but it takes time and dedication, and sometimes this can be hard to find and there’s no shame in that.