A few years ago, I had an epiphany–I’m not done growing yet. Like all things at that time, ended up on the blog, in this introductory post (it has been edited a little to keep it current, but the essence is the same).
It’s four years later, and I’m still not done growing.
I don’t know about you, but it helps me breathe a little easier knowing that my growth journey isn’t complete and probably never will be. I guess one of my greatest fears is being stagnant–don’t ask me why. There’s something about the idea that I’ll reach a roof and be crushed against it that freaks me out. I don’t want to stop evolving. Ever.
Which is probably why my personal story has changed from when wrote the introductory post in the first place. I’ve evolved.
I’ve never actually introduced myself since moving to WordPress, so I want to use this opportunity as an excuse to do just that.
* Hi, I’m Yolandie. I’ve always tried to guide people through the pronunciation of that, but it still seems to confound the North American tongue. It’s you just like you think one should say you–lun as in fun–dee as in tea. Don’t get me started on my surname, just do with it what you will. 😀
* I’m married to the king of the geeks, a tech-wiz, and my best friend, Jan. He’s epic, if you couldn’t tell by the last sentence. We have an awesome, dinosaur-loving, science-crazy daughter, named Kayla. My little family is the best.
* We’ve immigrated twice. This is a fact about my life that keeps coming back to the narrative, because it’s changed me so completely. Leaving home to find home isn’t an easy thing. It’s tricky. Murky. There are moments so dark you doubt light ever existed, and moments of such intense elation you forget you’ve ever been sad.
We were isolated in Germany like I’ve never been isolated before. We couldn’t communicate well, didn’t know what to expect culturally, couldn’t always make sense of things people there saw as run-of-the-mill. This taught us a lot about ourselves. Both Jan and I had come from a background where we had an abundance of people who would help when we needed it, but immigration means giving that up. Facing things alone. We’re more independent of others than ever, but more dependent on each other at the same time.
* I still adore writing. No, I adore it more than ever. Making stories out of words is satisfying on a level so deep I don’t even know what to name it. If I never publish anything, if I never earn a cent with my words, writing them would still be enough. Does that make any sense at all? Step into my mind, it does in here. 🙂
* Art is life. I lost touch with my art-making somewhere in the saggy bits of immigration, but creating has breathed a new spark into my life. My current medium of choice is watercolour and graphite pencils. When anxiety and all the stuff gets too much, there is healing at the end of a paintbrush or pencil.
* I love nature. I never realised quite how much until we moved to picturesque Germany. I feel most at peace when I’m in the mountains, hiking through woods, or sitting at the edge of a lake. There’s something about the smell of dirt, the mustiness between clustered trees, softly lapping waves, or the rolling echoes in high places that makes me feel truly alive.
* I used to think I was an extrovert, but I’ve since learned I have many introverted tendencies, the most prominent of which is that I need solitude as much as I need people. I hate crowds. I’m totally uncomfortable in large groups, even if I know everyone in the group well. I prefer deep conversations on the side. Always a wallflower.
* Speaking of deep conversations, I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. I find as I get older I have less time for meaningless acquaintanceships. I want the kinds of friendships that will last forever, that will grow and evolve as the people involved do. Whether I’ve known you for a week or 20 years, if I consider you a friend, I’ll probably be your friend for the rest of our lives. I used to think this is loyalty, but I’m realising more and more it’s my obsessive nature. If you’re mine, I don’t share. Wow, that sounds creepy. 😛
* As another expansion of the point above, I get attached super quickly. I sometimes meet people and know instantly that I want to keep a person. Again, that sounds so much creepier than intended. Honestly though, commercials have broken my heart in the past. All it takes is thirty seconds and I’m invested.
This is one of the main reasons why I avoid standalone books, for example. Within two pages, I’ve become so attached to the characters that I never want to say goodbye. Same with series and movies. In fact, I prefer series over movies, because they usually last longer. I hate falling in love with someone on the silver screen, then having to deal with abandonment 90 minutes later.
* I’m still loud and dramatic, though not as much as I used to be. That time of isolation cost me some volume, some mock-overreactions. But I’ve learned that there’s merit in quiet moments too, and sometimes a sincere reaction can garner as much merriment as an overly dramatic one.
* One of my greatest fears is accidentally hurting someone’s feelings. I want to accommodate everyone at all times. This is great in that there’s not a lot of conflict, but it’s also not always possible. We all have ideas and opinions, and not everyone is always going to agree. Who’d have thunk it, right? Still, I always try to choose my words carefully–I don’t want other people to suffer because of something I said.
* I have a pathological need to be liked, which is why it’s become so important to me to have a few deep connections with people instead of a multitude of shallow ones. I’d rather be 100% Yolandie with a small group than go out of my way to impress many. It’s damn difficult, I tell you.
But it’s healthier. Navigating anxiety becomes doable when some of the pressure is removed. Also, there isn’t as much heartache when it turns out one of these shallow relationships was fake, because they don’t carry as much weight.
* I have major impostor syndrome, and tend to self-sabotage. Creative life, right? But through speaking about these things openly and honestly on the blog, I’ve learned that everyone struggles with something, and most of us feel not good enough at least once in our lives. So learning not to doubt every little thing I create is a work in progress, but I’ll get there eventually. Or maybe I’ll learn to live with it at least.
* I’m less impulsive than I used to be. Everything is considered a hundred times, whether it be a pair of shoes or a new sofa. Of course, this means loads of time deliberating, but at least there are fewer purchases of things that don’t really work.
* My taste is bland, both in dress and decor. This is one of those things that will probably stay the same for the rest of my life. I don’t like too much clutter, and most of our stuff is super plain. My clothing tends to be black or grey, and the only colours I wear are dark hues. Most of our furniture is grey too. Life in greyscale is beautiful, okay? 😛
* There’s more to me than one blog post can contain. I’m still learning and evolving, so maybe we’ll do this again in four years.
Thanks for reading.
2 responses to “I’m Yolandie – Revisited”
@Yolandie, I grew up always knowing you, but when I was still in school and you were getting married. I read your blog every now and then… this one caught my eye 🙂 I am so inspired by the beautiful metamorphoses that you’ve experienced, and I can totally say that you’ve become a woman that I aspire to follow two steps behind. I resonate with what you write!
So good to hear from you! Thank you, I appreciate this so much. You’ve always been a special one ❤