Self-improvement fatigue

Deep ✨

It’s a new year again. And I love new beginnings. I always have goals and dreams for the future, and any type of clean slate makes me feel motivated to achieve them. However, in 2020 I started a self-improvement journey, including journalling and everything, that really excited me and gave me a strong sense of accomplishment that I haven’t been able to feel again.

It’s one of those things that really bugs me about life. You can never really have the same intense feelings as the very first time you felt them. And in the self-improvement area, this can be extra bugging and disappointing. Because the very thing that made you believe you can pretty much do anything is now missing, and this very same thing makes you feel like it’s your own fault.

It’s not like I don’t set or reach goals anymore. I still grow and learn everyday, both intentionally and ‘at random’. But there was something very satisfying in checking off to-do lists everyday, and have a moment of reflection at least once a week. I know how to do these things, and I could force myself to get back into the habit of it, but I’m simply not feeling it anymore. I don’t care for the lists, I don’t have energy for constant reflection – and yet I crave the rewarding feeling of it.

Which is weird, because I still set goals and reach them. I know I do – because I still check them off during the year, and reflect & plan at every end of the year. But somehow it doesn’t feel like it’s enough; I was able to see my progress (and feel good about myself!) almost daily when I was a lot more practical in my self-improvement journey. Somehow putting pen to paper and checking off things DAILY makes a huge difference in my mindset.

Maybe there is a way to get into it again, without being overwhelmed by endless moments of reflection, and the pressure to ‘do better’ every single day. Maybe there is a way to feel that sense of reward and accomplishment, without having to ‘manage’ and track your personal progress all the time.

Have you ever used a bullet journal, habit tracker or any type of journalling before? Did you lose motivation for it? Are there ‘easy on the self’ alternatives? I’d love to get your help.

xx Coco

5 Hard truths about moving abroad

Deep ✨, Expat/travel 🌍

It’s been eight months since my husband and I moved from The Netherlands to Dallas, Texas. We’re pretty lucky to go through this together, and the whole experience has been amazing so far. We didn’t run into any major problems or issues, and yet – life is pretty hard. There are some undeniably hard things about moving abroad that you can’t really work your way around. And most of them are surprisingly NOT practical things. Here’s five truths that I found since moving abroad.

1. Your solid foundation is instantly gone

We didn’t realize this before, but back in The Netherlands we had built a very solid base in our lives. You basically spend your whole life learning about a place, how everything works, and who you are in that place. You build friendships, relationships, habits, a career and a home. Moving abroad instantly makes the years and years of building disappear. And this is not something you can really prepare for, as you’ve always automatically had that base.

I’m not saying the foundation is shaken up a little bit or a little bit less stable, no: it’s completely gone. Especially if you move to another continent like we did. Everything is different, you have to figure out how everything works all over again. You have basically have to start from zero, and that makes me feel like I’m 18 again. Not only have I lost everything I knew and had gotten used to – I also lost who I was in that place. I basically have to reinvent my life and myself all over again.

2. Small moments of contact are the new normal

We travel back to The Netherlands every three months (on average), and try to see as many people as possible during those visits. However, spending only a few hours a year with your friends is not enough, or at least it doesn’t feel like it. It’s very hard on me to leave my friends and family again after only a few moments of quality time. And you can feel that this changes some of the relationships.

So online contact between those visits is key. In order to stay up to date on each others life and still invest time and energy, texting and (video)calling have become an important part of these relationships. Not everyone is good at planning this and keeping up with it, but the people who care about you will try and make that effort. Small things like checking in on health situations or sending a gift on birthdays have become more special and meaningful. Since there’s not a lot of real life contact, the small (online) moments are now crucial in still feeling close, validated and valued.

3. You will find out who actually cares

Since moving abroad did not only change your life, but also the lives of all your relationships back home, you will see that it also takes some adjustments on your friends and family’s part. Not everyone is capable of making the necessary changes, and this doesn’t have to be a big deal. For example, someone who is a little bit older and not good with technology, or someone that doesn’t fully get the differences in time zones etc. will need more effort and initiative on your part to keep in contact in order to still have good relationship.

However, you will see that there are also some people who are perfectly capable of reaching out, but just don’t feel like it’s important enough or don’t prioritize finding the time for it. This is how you lose some friends after moving abroad. Luckily, many of my friends check in on my at least weekly, and tell me they miss me and want to catch up. Only a few people somehow seem to think ‘out of sight, out of mind’ or might feel some resentment in the way that they feel like I should take all the initiative, because I am the one who moved away. This is a sad unfolding of the relationship, but there’s not really something you can do about it. Take comfort in knowing that the people who do care, will always be there – even if you’re on the other side of the world!

4. You will never feel truly ‘at home’ again

If everything works out for you, it won’t take you too much time to feel at home in your new country. We felt like Dallas was our new home pretty quickly because we liked it so much, but it took us about six months to feel ‘homey’ in our new house, and to have figured out enough of our surroundings to feel comfortable and safe here. However, with that really nice ‘at home’ feeling came the realization that The Netherlands will never fully feel like home again – or at least not our only one. If we ever move back or move somewhere else, we will always miss a part of Dallas, just like we miss a part of The Netherlands right now.

While we suddenly appreciate things in The Netherlands that we didn’t even notice before, we also now see where The Netherlands kind of screws up because Texas does these things better. There’s pro’s and cons to every place, and while we were rationally aware of that fact, living this truth and still loving both these places adds a new depth to what you call ‘home’.

There’s a cruel paradox in seeing more of the world and allowing new places to capture your heart – as you will realize that there is no way to be in all the places you love at once, and there is no true home anymore. This is also true for the new foundation we are creating here: our house, our friends, our identity – eventually we will have to give it up, just like we did with our life in The Netherlands. Luckily, we can find that at home feeling in each other, so I guess we find comfort in the words ‘home is where the heart is’.

5. No one really knows what you’re going through

Luckily for us, we are still in good contact with our ‘old’ friends, and made new ones right away. And while this helps with not feeling super lonely and getting adjusted to a new place, no one really gets what we’re going through right now (apart from other expats maybe).

Our old friends don’t fully get what the USA or Texas is like, no matter how many stories we tell or videos we make. Even the ones that do visit us can’t fully understand what feels like to live here, to have your whole life in this place – to have to get accustomed to the culture and the rules – because they will go home in a few days and live their life like it always was. And our new friends don’t fully get why we are who we are, and what made us us. Because they don’t know anything about the Netherlands, our culture or our worldview. They weren’t there when the important parts of life happened that shaped us, and they will never fully understand our way of thinking – just like we will never fully comprehend theirs – because we grew up in completely different parts of the world.

But thing that makes me feel the most alone and frustrated sometimes, is the fact that none of our friends (old or new) can fully grasp what moving abroad feels like, how scary, complicated and lonely it can be – even if we are super happy and live a life younger me could only dream of. We will never be able to explain how the nitty gritty details of this country can sometimes shake us to our core, because our old friends are still comfortable at home and can’t really imagine having to compromise their solid foundation, and the new ones are so used to the shit that sometimes truly is Texas (or ‘Murica) that they don’t recognize it as shit anymore.

Now there are also a lot of things that are super fun, exciting, surprisingly easy and breezy about moving abroad, but I don’t think that’s interesting to get into here. These are the ones I wanted to share with you today, because even if you can’t really prepare for any of these things or feelings, it helps me to get them off my chest and maybe bring you some clarity on what moving continents is really like. As always, I do feel a need to assure you that I’m fine and happy here, because I do realize that my posts have gotten pretty dark lately. This is only because I use this platform as an outlet, and life just happens to be pretty hard sometimes – even when I love it and wouldn’t change a thing.

Happy December everyone!

xx Coco

How I lost myself in the US

Deep ✨, Expat/travel 🌍

When we moved to Dallas, I was not scared of forgetting who I was. I’ve been on a spiritual and self-development journey for years now, so it never crossed my mind that this move would be hard on my self image. I always knew it was going to be hard emotionally, physically and socially. But in the core, I know who I am. And I will always be fine, at any place, right? RIGHT?!

I guess I underestimated how much of an effect leaving my job, friends, family and pretty much everything familiar would have. And now I’m writing it down it feels like ‘duh, what else did you think?!’. But I actually thought that everything would be fine. That I’d always be fine. And I am.

But trying to make it as a Youtuber, adjusting to the Texan people and lifestyle, while staying true to myself and knowing my worth is harder than I thought. I know I’m trying to do a job that is wayyy out of my comfort zone at the same time. (Because no – Youtube is NOT easy. At all.) And while it’s only human to want to fit in with the locals, let me explain why the American culture makes it hard.


Many people in Dallas have done plastic surgery, or at least botox and fillers. Many do expensive facials pretty frequently and have lash extensions, and pretty much all women have the long fake nails. And while I’m into beauty and taking care of my looks, I’m not into one of all those things. I don’t want to fall into the trap of spending a lot of money on looks while real beauty (and worth) is on the inside.

But it is really hard to try and do a job that focusses to much on your exterior (I mean, I am basically either filming or film-editing my own face all day every day) as a ‘natural’ 30-year old, while so many other girls in the business are in their twenties AND had a lot of work done. I’m truly trying to embrace my eye bags, starting wrinkles and not-so-plump lips, but that’s kind of a challenge when I don’t see anyone else (I admire) who also had them!

And this fakeness translates into conversations as well as looks. Americans seem very used to pretending to be more than they are. Showing what they have in hopes it assumes that they have even more. Many people spend all their money on luxuries while not even having savings or back-up plans. They are good at pluffing up a whole lot of nothing to fit in. Which I guess brings me to the next point.

What is succes?

Second of all, success is a really weird standard here in the USA. I guess it has something to do with the American dream, but it feels like I have found two ‘American truths’ so far that everyone is trying to live by. The first: You should be successful. Life is only worth living if you’re successful. You’re succes is in your own hands so why aren’t you successful? The second: Succes equals money and looks, okay. Nothing else.

And on one hand I admire the simpleness of that American way of living. At least we are all trying to work hard for our money and be pretty and healthy, right? But the downside to this is I guess what we more generally relate to the human condition. I mean: What’s up with happiness? Where does worthiness ‘no matter what you do or don’t do’ fit in? And what if I tried really hard to build a life where I can be ugly and lazy? Would that not count as succesful?

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I miss some individualistic diversity here. In Europe (or at least the Netherlands) we care a lot more about what YOU like to be and do, even if it’s not what I like to be and do. We care about your wellbeing, we care about your individual dreams. If you don’t want to make a lot of money, fine! If you want to sit on your ass and be fat, great! You do you. And if your life fits what you personally would describe as success, you’ve made it. Congratulations. Even if that means you’re not rich and pretty. And I miss that here.

You’re bound to fail

Last but not least, somehow all the systems here seem to be built on the large chance that you’ll fail. They are built on people’s ignorance, their inabilities, the great chances of the odds not being in their favor. The whole money system is built on the idea of loans and debts. The craziest part is: the ones with the most debt (while paying them all in time) have the most money to spend. The whole job system is built on the premise that you can be fired today if you do anything wrong at all.

The ideal is to make it as a successful and pretty person, and this is everybody’s drive to stay focused and work hard, while only 1% of humanity can actually live that life. The irony is that if 99% of the American people wouldn’t fail the way they are set up to (by having a lot of debt, losing their job quickly, or simply not having the privileges, etc.) the 1% could never be that rich OR pretty! The people that we all aspire to be, are the people that need that large group of ‘losers’ the most. Society is build by and for the rich and pretty, but is run and kept alive by the people who could never make it in.

And while I (being Dutch) can only observe this whole theater from a distance, and enjoy it on the moment the odds are in my favor – because, I am, one of the privileged people, I do realize – it weighs on me to see society work this way. I feel that it is built on the premise that I will fail. I feel that others are failing because of it.

How I will find myself again

I know that I am a Scorpio and I will have a rebirth very soon. I don’t even have to try and make that happen – it’s in my DNA to always transform and undergo whatever life throws at me. I can cry in the light and I can smile at darkness. Because in the hardship of life is where magic happens for me.

And I am kind of learning to be okay with not always knowing who I am, and not always fitting in. A lot of spiritual leaders would actually be very proud if they saw how fulfilled I am in this black box I now call my identity. In some ways, I identify with the American people. Because apart from what I painted above, they are very kind, empathetic, enthusiastic people with a true passion for life and pulling each other up. In other ways, I don’t relate to their way of living at all.

So I guess that makes for the sweet spot I’m living in today. I still have the morals and values that I had in the Netherlands, while learning from the perks the USA has to offer. And I’m not done learning from this country yet!

xx Coco

Life is NOT supposed to be comfortable

Deep ✨

As some of you know, I am moving to Dallas, Texas next month. While I am currently pretty excited, I could also be really scared and uncomfortable to leave my safe home in the Netherlands and start a new adventure. So why aren’t I?

Why choose the unknown?!

I have talked about this subject with many friends and family, of course. And while many of them reacted very positive and called this a new adventure for us, some were also quite wary, or didn’t understand why we would choose to turn our comfortable life around for something unknown.

And of course, with a big life change like this one, you can expect the usual struggles. For example, I already know that there are going to be moments where I really miss my friends and family, get really annoyed with American things I probably will never understand, or just feel a plain regret for even moving there in the first place.

But right now, my main mindset about these moments is: they too shall pass. And life isn’t supposed to be comfortable a 100% of the time.

It makes us grow

Because stepping out of our comfort zone, taking chances, and sometimes even being blatantly unhappy makes us grow. These are probably the moments that will make me say ‘I’m so glad we did this’ in the future. Life is supposed to be hard sometimes. And this is no reason to refrain from making changes, or live the life that excites you.

Sometimes I feel like we are used to avoiding pain and discomfort, because we are so used to having the illusion of control. For example, I could stay in the Netherland because I am not willing to take the risk of being unhappy with my decision of moving abroad. But who says life here will stay safe and comfortable? I can become perfectly miserable at home as well! And even then: sometimes life is sitting in your sadness, crying it out, without trying to ‘fix’ it as quickly as possible.

I get it: it doesn’t feel nice. But life isn’t supposed to feel nice all the time. Life sometimes is supposed to feel really, really, shitty. And allowing it to feel that way.

Certain can be shit too

The idea of knowing what we have, but being uncertain about what we could gain is completely false. Or at least – only the second part is true. We indeed don’t know what we could gain by taking chances, but the bright side is: you will know after you try. However, we don’t what we have if we stay the same. Because we can stay the same, but life simply doesn’t.

The reasons you are so happy and comfortable with your current life can change in a heartbeat. What if that colleague you are so close with finds another job? What if your dream home has underlying flaws? I don’t want to scare you, but shit happens all the time in your life too. The main point of your happiness is how you deal with the highs and lows of life itself.

And small reminder: they can be dealt with literally in any place, anywhere, at any time.

xx Coco

New year, new goals

Deep ✨, Lifestyle 🏃🏼‍♀️

The year of 2022 has finally come. I’m a big fan of reflecting on the past year, and setting goals for the new one. I do it every year, and every year I’m surprised by how many of my goals I actually reach. What are my goals for 2022? I always set many (I actually have 16 this year), so I’ll tell you about the most important ones.

Going on solo (day)trips

I’m a very social person and I like to experience life with my friends, family and husband. But I’m also an only child, a scorpio and a very spiritual being – so I need my quiet time. Exploring new places or going into nature by myself is something I really enjoy, but don’t do too often.

It always humbles and excites me at the same time, so in 2022, I’m planning on doing more trips my myself. Even if it’s just for a day.

Dry January

My relationship with alcohol has always been a difficult one. I wouldn’t say my usage is problematic, but I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with it, and therefore find it hard to find that sweet spot or balance.

Last year, I tried dry January for the first time and I loved it. It was a very spiritual and powerful month for me, that I extended to six weeks. I learned a lot about myself and felt a lot healthier afterwards, so I’m looking forwards to the same benefits this year.

Reading at least six books

I know reading six books in a year doesn’t seem like a lot to some people. I’ve heard people say they wanted to read 20 or even 50 books this year. But I am not much of a reader, I don’t find it relaxing and I have not yet found the genre that I really love.

So my goal for 2022 is to at least read one book every two months. And even though this sounds doable, I know I will still have to try hard and commit as reading is not in my system yet. For Christmas, I got a Kindle so hopefully this helps me with my goal. If you have any tips on how to make reading more easy, let me know! 🙂

Making money online

I am quite hesitant to share this goal with you, as it seems like such a big goal and kind of ‘out there’ to me. Since I started this blog last year, I’ve been wanting to extent my entrepreneurial goals and actually make some money from online projects. As I want to keep this blog as pure and real as I can, I’m not actively striving to make money of off this blog.

I am, however, planning on two different projects for 2022. One has to do with meditation, and one has to do with making videos. But as Anna Bey taught me not to overshare before success, I’m going to say any more on this topic other than: stay tuned!

What are some of your goals for 2022? I’m curious to know. 🙂

xx Coco

My favorite ‘poem’

Deep ✨

Only the passion that touches its abyss can light the tinder of your utmost truth.
Only to him who loses his whole self will self be given.
For only by catching fire will you learn to know the world deep inside you.
Only where mystery works does life begin.

A while ago, I heard this poem in the movie A Promise. The rest of the movie, I haven’t remembered and didn’t bother me at all. But this poem somehow stuck with me, and I have felt the need to share it multiple times since.

In the movie, it is read to an audience by a pastor (or something) in a church. I assume it’s supposed to be Christian, or at least religious. And yes, I do read God somewhere in there. But more so, it is an exceptional metaphor of life to me.

These lines somehow contain the real depth of life to me. They explain how I experience the mere fact of living, but also the secret to why this living is worthwhile and meaningful. There’s an essential paradox in every single one of these lines, that each explain an essential lesson. The messages are very similar but have subtle nuances, which makes it hard for me to pick a favorite. I’ll try to explain line by line:

My interpretation

Only the passion that touches its abyss can light the tinder of your utmost truth.
My translation: Only when you see the end and darkness of every joy, you can see real truths.

Only to him who loses his whole self will self be given.
My translation: Only when you completely give up your ego and surrender to a higher purpose, will you know who you really are.

For only by catching fire will you learn to know the world deep inside you.
My translation: Only when you’ve been through hardship and have surrendered to pain and chaos, will you know what you truly have to offer (to yourself and the world).

Only where mystery works does life begin.
My translation: Only when you accept that there are many things you will never know, and you surrender these things to a higher power, can you really live the way you’re supposed to.

I don’t know if I interpret these lines the way they were intended, and I don’t know if that really matters. I recently received a poetry collection by Rumi, and I was told that many of his poems are actually mistranslated. When I told my friend about this, she rightly said: ‘Who cares? I think Rumi would be very happy with any mistranslation that helps you or makes you feel good.’ And I think that makes sense.

The lines from A Promise remind me of Meister Eckhart’s interpretation of Gelassenheit. He says that only when you’ve completely emptied yourself of any hope, identity, longing, expectation and ideas, you can receive and love God.

This idea reminds me of meditation in general, but especially the words of dr. Joe Dispenza, who says that you have to become ‘no oneno thing, no where and in no time’ in order to ‘unfold as pure consciousness into the unified field’. And I know this sounds kinda woo woo, but maybe this experience could be what Meister Eckhart meant by receiving God. And what I mean by all the processes described above.

Just something to think about. Thanks for reading!

xx Coco

The only way out is in

Deep ✨

A few days ago I posted a quote on my Instagram saying: ‘The only way out is in’, and how this was true for many situations. Today I will explain you what I mean by these words.

Happiness isn’t external

Spreading this word is kind of my life-mission. I really believe that happiness can only be found inside of yourself, and cannot be provided by anything or anyone external. 

Of course, there are people and material things that can bring you joy, comfort, safety or health that can add to your happiness. And they can provide you with a higher or deeper level of happiness, as opposed to what you can bring yourself.

Think of meaningful relationships or valuable insights that you simply can’t manifest all by yourself.

But at the bottom of this all needs to be an established sense of happiness that can only be found and manifested by ourselves. A kind of happiness that is independent of any external factors, and that cannot be shook by time and space. 

This kind of happiness is hard to find (in the conceptual and spiritual sense), but once found cannot be lost. If you’re still searching, I advise you to start a journey of self love (from worthiness, not ego) and spirituality.

Escaping reality 

And it is worth finding this happiness. Because a few months ago, I realised that once you have found inner happiness (in life) and peace (through meditation and the like), there is really nothing that can be taken from you to make you unhappy.

In that sense, whatever in your life is compromised, you can always escape your situation. There is always a way out, by going in. And then there is actually a lot that can be taken from you, without your happiness being compromised.

And of course, there is an exception for situations in which you are suffering so badly that there is no internal consolation. In some situations, you actually have to practically get out in order to be released from them.

But I would argue that in most cases, the actual confinement (and thus freedom) is internal. I hope you know the story about the man in prison who was truly unhappy for being locked-up, until he read a spiritual book of some sorts (I don’t remember the guru) and his whole mind opened up. From that moment, he had a way to happiness and freedom, even within just a few square meters. 

This is an extreme example, but it can inspire us to trust that our internal happiness can be something sacred and eternal. Self-reliant. Independent of what our actual daily life looks like. 

The only way is through AND inward 

Even when it comes to trauma, (mental) health issues or more practical life problems – in order to fix the situation, you have to deal with it. In modern times, we are very used to ‘quick fixes’ through medicine, delegation or distraction. 

However, not dealing with a problem only makes it bigger, or at least stick around. Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.  This can either be a very conscious (sad feelings, stress) or subconscious (long term health issues) case. Long story short: the only real way is through.

And I have an even more radical, and more spiritual view on dealing with problems. Because working through a problem is not always sufficient in living a happy and healthy life. Sometimes, a situation also requires us to work on ourselves, or in other words: go in.

Remember my blog on the three different worlds? Especially when your problem exists not only in the real world (1) but also in the emotional (2) and conceptual (3) world, going in to deal with a problem can be a real life changer. So do the shadow work. Deal with your soul as well as your body and mind.

If you wonder how, I invite you again to start your own self love + spiritual journey by reading my blogs (or do a simple Google-search 😉 )

xx Coco

Is there more for you?

Deep ✨

I don’t want to put a modern-day pressure on you – the pressure to have an amazing life, to always be super happy, to be successful on a very young age. These things are super circumstantial and the desire for it varies from person to person. I’m not trying to make you feel bad for being relaxed, have moderate life expectations or live in the now instead of the future. But if (and only if!) deep inside of you there’s a small voice asking: ‘Is this it? Is this all life has to offer?’ – please keep reading.

Because I think that voice is very important. We often confuse it for external pressure, maybe even think it stems from peer pressure, and when it’s negatieve and demeaning, it probably is. But when what that voice is asking or telling you actually excites you, or makes you wonder about life; that voice is probably you. Or the most optimal, higher version of you. And it wants you to thrive.

Intuition or higher self?

It could also feel like your intuition. And the older I get, the more I realise that truth: the same voice that wants you to follow your gut and trust your own judgement, if the same voice that wants you to follow your dreams and passions, and therefore align you with your purpose.

Because your intuition is your higher self. That little voice in your head that you try to ignore, because ‘it’s just a random thought’ is the optimal version of you.

And I want you to follow that voice. It can be hard at first, but as with many things in life, it gets easier the more often you do it. And lucky us – this voice gets louder in time. At first it might just be a little whisper. But as you learn to listen to it more often, it becomes a deafening roar in the best possible way.

Your passions aren’t random

Because your interests, what excites you, and the questions you ask about life are not coincidental. They are not random. They are you, and arise from who you are and what you’re here to do. So when following that voice becomes more natural to you, it will lead you to your ultimate purpose.

Or as my favourite quote ever explains so gently: be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. And: that dream was planted in your heart for a reason.

So if you ever hear or feel that voice again, asking: is this all there is? The answer is probably no. There is more for you. And your higher self wants to you explore those options. So follow your intuition. Listen to that voice. And say yes to whatever it is that excites you.

You don’t need to listen to external pressure or be driven by the exciting life of others. Because deep inside you, there’s already a version of you that knows exactly what you want and where you need to chase it. Just, listen.

xx Coco

Why I love growing older

Deep ✨

When I was younger, like in my teens ’till mid-twenties, I used to think that it was the best time of my life. I was always scared of turning 30 years old one day, and I had insane expectations for myself about what I wanted to achieve before that age. And now, the time has come. I’m turning 30 years old in a few months and have actually come to the last Q of my roaring twenties.

Why life doesn’t peak before 30

The past few years have been really good, but I wouldn’t say I’ve been through the highlight of my life yet. Actually, in the past years my life has gradually become better and better. Since the beginning of high school until this year, I have surprised myself at how much better life became each year.

I’m actually laughing at the fact that I thought high school was going to be the best time of my life, because it clearly wasn’t. And neither were my student years, I mean – how could they have been? They were an absolute blessing, but I was still young then. And therefore I was insecure, still had to figure myself out, had to do a lot of things I really didn’t want to do, and was broke, hungover and stressed over deadlines a large part of my time.

Why life is a blast after 30

And as I grew older, like between 25 and 29, all these problems seemed to solve themselves almost automatically. As I finished my studies and started working fulltime, I actually learned more about myself and what kind of life I wanted. I also grew more confident as I felt more sense of accomplishment and pride through my work and building my character.

As for the other hardships; growing older fixed these too. Of course not all 30-ish year-olds have the same life, but at least most of them have something of a stable income, know who they are and what they want, and have the tools and resources to build the life that they want. Another mayor thing for me is: I can live by my own rules now.

Because when you are younger, you have to live by rules others made for you – and legitimately so. You have to make deadlines for school, have to proof that you’re not stupid all the time, and have to listen to your parents because you still rely on them for a large part. I really appreciate the freedom of not having to do anything I don’t want anymore, and not try to do things I’m not good at all the time.

I feel like for a large part, I have proven to be capable and smart at this age. I can avoid situations I don’t want to be in, and for all I know if I want to, I can sleep in as long as I want, drink alcohol on weekdays, and take a walk in the middle of the night. Yes, 30 is pretty flirty and thriving. Actually.

xx Coco

My comfort zone sweet spot

Deep ✨

Since I learned how to feel really good, and that I can manipulate myself into feeling THAT good, I have thought about the ‘feel good sweet spot’. For me, it is a place just outside of my comfort zone, but not too far from it. Let me tell you about it.

In what mental space or place in your life you feel your best, varies from person to person. But I think we all have a ‘sweet spot’ where we feel really good, and feel like we’re thriving in life. This might be just a phase in your life, or certain moments. But many people (like myself) have learned how to stay in this spot for a longer time, by choice.

Find your sweet spot

Let’s start by figuring out under which conditions you get that ‘thriving’ feeling. Is it when everything in your life is calm and quiet, or when challenges come up? Is it when you’re surrounded by people you handle easily, or by people who make you second guess yourself and the way you live life?

What I’m actually saying is: many people love life the most when they have good mix of rest and accomplishment. Of course, it is nice when life is easy and everything goes your way. But most humans need some form of challenge to feel proud of themselves now and then, and to raise their own standards.

Think of a moment in your life when your balance between peace and provocation was just perfect. Do you want things to be quiet, more than you want them to be exiting? Then you’re probably more happy in or close to your comfort zone. Do you like life more when you can develop and prove yourself wrong? Then your sweet spot is probably far out of your comfort zone. Most people though, are somewhere in between.

Take your job for example. Of course, it is nice to know everything about whatever tasks you should be doing. But if you never learn new stuff, or run into new situations and people, it is quite hard to find excitement in your work. Or think about friends: it’s really good to be loyal and surround yourself with like-minded people. But if you never reach out to someone who has an opposite life or opinions – you are never challenged in your beliefs. That is not what most people would call life with a capital L.

Just slightly uncomfortable

For me, my sweet spot is right outside my comfort zone. Not too far away, just slightly over the edge. I love knowing what I’m going to get, and I wouldn’t say I’m adventurous at all. But I do like to dream big, and in order to reach your dreams, you have to stay in (almost) constant motion. And you guessed it – there is hardly any movement inside the comfort zone.

So I like to be comfortable most of the time. I prefer watching movies that I’ve seen before, and going to restaurants and countries that I know I like. I don’t like to be disappointed after putting in time and energy (which is probably why I don’t like cooking), so I prefer to take the paths walked before. But when it comes to my career, my hobbies and my friends – I do like to challenge myself a little.

Because I also like to learn and expand my capabilities. I think the main reason for this is that I like the sense of accomplishment. I hardly ever fail when I try new things (also because I don’t try things that I’m probably gonna fail at), but proving yourself that you can do something you’ve never done before is a really good feeling.

Other than that, I really believe in taking chances. When some good opportunity comes my way, I usually take it. And these are often the moments when I’m out of my comfort zone. In that sense, I don’t like to ‘struggle’ to reach my goals. But when life offers them to you on a plate – you better take it, no matter the costs. Then I choose to close my eyes and jump.

Because I really do believe in going with the flow, and not swimming against the stream out of fear, comfort or habit. And the stream sometimes takes you out of your comfort zone, but that’s where the big things happen for me. And when I feel my best!

I would like to leave you with a quote I heard on a podcast (about death, ironically) recently: Life is for us to receive, to learn and to love. Now ask yourself how much of these you can do on either side of your comfort zone.

xx Coco