Time

Time.

A concept that dates back to the beginning of everything.
To the beginning of time itself, as one would say.

Ever since I was a little girl, the concept of time kept me wondering.
When someone I dearly loved would die, people would often tell me that “it has been their time to go”.  Which I never quite understood.
I would visualise it for myself. We would all have some sort of… timer. It could be floating above us, or imprinted on our foreheads or such. No one would be able to see it, not even the person itself.

As I got older, I stuck with this… image that I had. That we all had a timer, and that some choices could effect that timer. If you were doing risky things and you weren’t being safe for example, you would have less time. If you would cross the street without looking, you would only have a few more minutes left on your timer, while if you would have looked and stopped, you might have had 30more years for example.

When I was a teen I fell in love with the music of the band Nickelback, especially with “savin’ me”. I loved the clip very much, because it does show how I’ve been looking at time almost my whole life. I’m sure that most people have seen the clip, but it shows my examples. In the clip, a young man gets saved from being hit by a bus by another man. From then on, he is able to see the time a person has left above their head. At one point -and this one really stuck with me- he sees an old woman being pushed into an ambulance, he sees her timer counting down until it reaches zero, meaning that she died…

 

I had a lot of people whom I loved dearly die… and had a very hard time coping with it. I couldn’t understand why they had to go. Why that young?  Why like that?

I got more and more mad about it, upset. Bitter. I thought of time as a thief, something evil. Just like we often say ‘we have too little time’ ‘time is short’ ‘the hands of time stop for no one’ and so forth…

But a few months, around May 2016, my vision completely changed.
As a few of you might remember, I am a huge Alice in Wonderland addict. I collect tons of stuff about it and love love love the book(s) and the movies, especially the Tim Burton ones. So in May/June I went to see the latest movie ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’, for those of you who haven’t seen it yet -shame on you by the way! 😉 – the story is that the Mad Hatter (played by Johnny Depp) is dying and all of his Underland friends are desperate, so they use the caterpillar to go and get Alice (played by Mia Wasikowska) and bring her back. She is the only one that can save him, but to do so she must go back in time, using the chromosphere. A device owned by Time (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) that allows you to travel through the ‘sea of time’, and thus go back in time.

I won’t tell any more about the movie since I don’t want to spoil it and encourage everyone to go see it yourselves (it’s on dvd!).
In the movie, at some point Time says to Alice: “You might not change the past, but you might learn something from it.” which is very true , if you ask me.
I see it in my personal life everyday. People saying they don’t want to end up like their parents, dreading it, fearing it most of all, and then doing exactly that.
People dwelling on the past , a mistake I often made too, instead of looking forward and seeing the brand new chances that you get every day. Make the most of the time you have left, however little that may be.

But what truly changed my view about time is something that Alice says when she says goodbye to Time. In the beginning and throughout the movie, Alice often shows how much she dislikes time. That time is a thief, and a villain.
But after she meets Time in Underland, as a half man, half clock, she changes her mind.
So when she says goodbye to Time she says:
“I used to think Time was a thief, stealing everything I loved. But I see now that you give before you take. And every day is a gift. Every hour, every minute, every second.”
This part actually left me in tears… because throughout the whole movie I knew exactly what she felt, since she already lost her dad when she was younger and now facing the possibility of losing her dearest friend Hatter… I think that many people can relate.

A more recent movie about -among other things- time is “Collateral Beauty”, with Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, … a truly heartbreaking beautiful movie with a great cast. In this movie , Will Smith’s character is coping with the loss of his little girl, and his business partners and close friends are worrying about his wellbeing. They find out that Will Smith writes letters, to Time, Death and Love. The rest of the movie I won’t spoil.

 

It’s the principe. Imagine that just like Alice and Will Smith’s character you would be able to talk to Time, that it would be some sort of person. What would you say?
Would you assault him/her? Would you cry? Would you plead? Would you hug? Would you forgive?

I ask myself that question from time to time.
Would I be able to forgive Time for all the hurt he has caused by taking my loved ones so soon from me? Or would I thank him for all the beautiful moments I’ve had? The long friends, the lovers?

I think I will never really know, not until I would be face to face with Time itself.

Like I’ve said, Time has caused me quite a lot of pain, but I also had a lot of beautiful moments.

All I’ve learnt from those stories, those movies, … is that none of us know how much or how little time we have left in this life, so I try to make the most out of it. By doing what I always try to do: move forward.

Although sometimes I stop and take some time to reflect. Am I happy doing what I do?  Do I still see my closest friends enough? Then after reflecting, I go back on moving forward.  And if I am going through a though time I always remember the words “this too shall pass”.

Time is fluid, and vivid. It’s always moving.

So to all my lovelies:
Cherish your special moments.
Take them in.
And make the most of the time you have left, because none of us know how much time we have.

– Britt

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Happiness Is Expensive

Happiness is expensive.

It’s a thought I often had and still have from time to time.
When I am sad and thinking about what I can do to make things better.
Most of the time I’m stressed, exhausted, …
The best solution I can come up with then is : “I need some time off. Take a break from work, from school and just get my love and go on a little vacation, even if just for a weekend.”
Then I eagerly start to look up trips that are fitting to what I need, sadly, trips cost money.
And when you don’t work -at least at my current job-, you don’t get paid.
It often makes me sad and then I say to my love “That we are to poor to be truly happy, because we can’t go anywhere or buy things that make us happy”.

I let it sink and then I realise: happiness doesn’t cost a thing.
It’s not taking a trip that can only make you happy, or buying expensive things.

Happiness, at least for me, is spending the evening with friends and their little children -as we are going to do tonight-.
Happiness is having a movie night with either one of our younger brothers, or both.
Happiness is going out with friends, having drinks or something to eat.
Happiness is lying on the couch with your lover behind you, his arms wrapped around you, his breath in your neck, watching a show and softly falling asleep, together.
Happiness is coming home to a cat meowing frantically , happy that you are home.
Happiness is a little bunny jumping up and down his bench when he sees or hears you coming home, or coming downstairs in the morning.

Happiness can be whatever you want it to be.
When you let it, the small things become big ones.

Happiness is everywhere, if you just let it.

I am tired of looking at what I don’t have, instead I learn myself to focus on what I do have.
I appreciate what I have, and who I have.
The lover by my side
The friends.

Happiness is a choice.
And I choose to be happy.

– Britt

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Bright Future Ahead

Today I had an oral exam early in the morning.
I got up on time, with my love, and we drove to my school – a drive of about half an hour , give or take-.
I was very nervous getting in, but was able to calm myself.
At the end of the exam I had a “really? that was it?”-feeling.
I went to the reception to collect my exam results from my second and third exam. They were less than I imagined, and one of them I flunked.
I was kind of disappointed at first but then remembered:
I haven’t had much time to study for those exams, no time to make summaries, didn’t even get to read the whole book for one of the two, so in fact, I didn’t do that bad.
It alsof felt quite nice that I didn’t have to tell my results to parents at home now, knowing that I would get a lot of bad, negative, mean comments about it. That I would get punished. That I would feel even worse. Like a failure.

No, this time, it was different. Because this time I’m not studying for anyone else, or because someone else wants me to. This time, I’m doing this for me.
Because I want to graduate and have a bachelor degree. Because I want to be able to give myself a better future, and my family.
Because I want myself and my future husband to have a better future, to give my future children more chances.
I want to be able to improve my life, and in the meantime those of others as well.

I am doing this for me.
And even though I’m keeping up high standards for myself, I sometimes need to pat myself on the shoulder. Because I know that I work hard, doing my utter best to balance work, my relationship, my household, friends, family, planning a wedding and a few others things at the same time.
It’s crazy at times, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
So if I look at all that, it’s no disgrace really to have to do some exams again this summer.
I only failed 1 out of 3 this far, so that’s not bad at all.
Also because the one I failed, is one that almost everybody failed, there have been a lot of complaints to the principal about the unfairness of the exam, and my grades aren’t final until the end of June, so a lot can happen in the meantime.

It feels good to realise that finally, I have my life in my own hands.
That I can make my own choices.
That there’s no one yelling and calling me names behind my back, forcing me to do things I don’t want to.
I feel so free whenever I realise that.
And my love is by my side, supporting me. Not pushing me.

I feel so free, so mature.
Making my own choices, paving my own path.
For the first time in my life, I see good things ahead, and I couldn’t be happier.

– Britt

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To All My Lovelies

Ever since I started this blog a few years back I have written a lot of things, some personal, some rather distant.
Some fiction, other non-fiction.
Every now and then there have been readers/followers that have recognised themselves in some of my texts.
Some answer in a comment and tell me a part of their story, others don’t.
I understand that some of you might think as you are reading “hey, I’ve been through that too! I understand what she means!” but are afraid to comment because of the fact that everyone else can see their comment. It makes you feel vulnerable.

I understand that, because for me it’s also a big step to comment on other people’s posts, reacting with my own story, my own experience.

This is also the reason that ever since my blog was mocked in my hometown and made fun of, I have been resistant to write any more personal things… To be completely honest even now, I’m still scared that someone with bad intentions that knows me in my daily life -even if from a distance- will read all of this and mock me.

But like they said in the movie “A Cinderella Story” – the one with Hilary Duff- “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”.

I still love my blog, I miss my blog.
And in the past days I have written about 4 posts, and it’s a relief.
It feels good to be back.

I am still me, and helping people is still one of my greatest passions.
I know that I am just a group of words, written on a computer screen.
But if for some people I can be of help, a support, a shoulder to cry on ; I would like that.

So if any of you have thoughts, stories or anything else to tell me…
Now you can, without commenting on here.

I have made a special e-mail account where readers/followers/friends from this blog can contact me on.

You can tell me a funny story, share a poem, put your heart out, give suggestions for the blog, ask to publish something of yours … anything is possible.

If I can only help one person, or make just one person smile again.
I would be a very happy girl.

So for all my lovelies:
bittersweetromance@hotmail.com (without the x that is in the name of the blog!)

is the e-mail you can contact me on.
I hope I won’t get mails from people with bad intentions or dirty pictures or that kind of stuff, but if I do: I will delete them immediately.

but for the ones that want to talk:

bittersweetromance@hotmail.com

I’ll talk to you soon my lovelies

for now: all my love

– Britt

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Facebook

Lately I’ve been having a hard time being on Facebook.
Suddenly it all occurred to me that it’s really fake, and not at all what it used to be.
Several years ago I made a Facebook account to stay in touch with my foster family from my school trip to England. Along the way I got to know new people from all over the world via IMVU for example.
Friends in high school started to use Facebook as well and eventually I got all the people I cared about together in one spot, since MSN Messenger was more and more outdated …

In the beginning, that was what Facebook was to me: a way to stay in touch.
But over the years it kind of turned into a trophy channel: you have to impress each and every Facebook friend with heartwarming, smart, fun, … statuses. Post as many as possible pictures of yourself. Your relationship had to seem perfect, and straight out of a fairytale book. Bouquets with the most beautiful flowers in it, dinner dates, concerts, …
Followed by a string of pictures from exotic vacations in far away magical beautiful countries…

That seems to be what Facebook has become now:
A way to make sure that everyone believes that your life is perfect.
That you are feeling great.

And the truth is: It’s fake really.
And it’s exhausting as well to be competing all the time, convincing everyone that everything is perfect.
It’s not.
It’s fake.

Couples fight every once in a while, it’s normal.
So maybe the girlfriend got a bouquet because the boyfriend screwed up big time, or because they had a big fight the night before and this is his way to make it up to her.

I know I have a great, true relationship.
Like every normal relationship we have had our ups and our big downs, but we make it through.
And the best moments with my love, I don’t share online. Because those moments are intimate and very personal.

I am even thinking about deleting my Facebook account.
It’s either that or deleting most of my Facebook friends.
I am spending less time on Facebook, and when I do I just react to things other people post. I mostly post articles I like, I find interesting, …

I think it’s important to not let life pass you by.
Live life offline, not online.
Spend more time with your real friends, your boyfriend/girlfriend, family…

Cherish the special moments.
And if you do so , you might realise that life is way too beautiful and inspiring to live spend behind a computer or a cellphone.

Life is out there, go experience it.

– Britt

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Being Nice

Being nice.
It’s something few people do, but still everyone I know seems to think that it comes naturally. That it’s just how someone is. “That’s just who she is, she is always nice” is an example of that.
But as someone that is often seen that way as well -thankfully- I can assure you: it doesn’t always come easily.
There are times that when I am scrolling through Facebook for example, I come across a really unflattering picture, or an annoying status, … when even I think to myself “well.. that doesn’t look good at all.” or “that hairstyle is not flattering at all” for example. But instead of writing those things in a comment, I CHOOSE to stay positive, and say something nice about it instead.
Some people that I told this to said that it isn’t nice of me to do that at all, that it’s lying.
I don’t agree: Lying would be when I don’t like the hairstyle for example, and tell her that it suits her very well.
It’s not lying when I say that “it’s something else, it’s special” for example.

I don’t lie.
I try to find something positive in what the other person said, how they looked, what they wrote…
Because let’s be honest: everybody knows that you can achieve more by giving someone a compliment than by bringing them down.
Most people need a compliment and positivity every once in a while as well.

So if I can make someone happy by saying something nice, instead of something mean or embarrassing, I guess I’ll just keep “lying”

– Britt
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Sometimes I wonder… 

Sometimes I spend my days wondering, worrying.  Trying to understand why it seems that bad things always seem to happen to good people. From time to time it really baffles me.

I know of so many couples that always did and do their best to be there for everyone, always share the little things they had, were always there when anyone needed them, lived humble, work(ed) hard,…  and yet bad things keep happening.

To be more personal, my fiancé and I are in the same situation.

We both work hard, I combine working and studying at a university -which, I’m not going to lie, is really hard- to give us a better future, to give future children of ours a better future. I do my own household, try to cook on a daily basis, be a good daughter, daughter-in-law, granddaughter,… but my days just seem to flash by without me even realizing what happened. My days seem to be too short for all the things that need to be done.

And then my fiancé got fired from his job… he has been sitting at home since the  15th of December….

meanwhile other things have happened, unexpected costs, and we are trying our very best to plan a budget friendly wedding, seeing what we can do ourselves,…

But to be honest… it’s a really hard time. It has been even before my love lost his job…

I’m doing my very best, we both are but sometimes it all just seems to slip through my fingers and everything seems so unfair.

Even though this whole post might seem sad, I remain hopeful. Things will get better. I’m confident in that.

It’s only a matter of time, and effort. But I can do this, we can do this. We will get through this.

– Britt