2018 started in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, under the fireworks, by the sea, drinking warm beer. Then, it started when I landed back in Holland, under medication, proud of being able to take flights and staying in airports by myself after suffering in a recent past.
It started when I got the news I wouldn't have a job anymore. It started when I went to a workshop from a group called Puck Creations and the Fabulous Freelancers of the Netherlands. When I started meeting people a bit like me, living in this country as well. It started again when I worked in the entrance of the World Press Photo Festival as a volunteer and discovered I was closer to recovery, after so many months.
The year started on my first day as an unemployed, as I sent my CV to restaurants and bars in Tilburg, receiving unemployment insurance. It started when I went to a Foo Fighters concert at a 3-day festival, where I went by myself, walked for miles, camped and had the time of my life while proving to myself I could still do things.
It started in the middle of a train commute to a Roger Waters concert, when I had the first glimpse of an idea that would become, within less than a week, The Better Achiever project. It started when I shared the idea with the world for the first time.
The year started when I flew to Brasil. It started when I walked those same streets, three years later, for the first time, without panicking. 2018 started when I collaborated with Colin and Nadia Roberto. When I started writing a book.
The year started when I saw my name on Spotify as a podcaster (twice!). When I summoned all my courage and applied to speak at a TEDx.
The perception of time is a funny thing. People say that, as we grow older, the years go by faster and faster. I dare to disagree with this thesis - at least right now. Time flies when we're distracted. When we fail to give meaning to the things that happen to us, and to the things we do. When we don't freeze a moment, lift it to our highest consciousness, and say to our brains, "pay attention to what's happening right now, and keep this in there forever".
It's okay that time flies sometimes. It's okay that days, weeks, months may go by in the blink of an eye. But now, I want it to last.
I want to see you going slowly and steady, 2019. Don't rush. Take your time.
I won't ask anything of you. I won't try to predict anything (despite all the detailed plans I have on my desk). I will be thankful to whatever comes my way. I will always do my best, be true and keep on smiling.
Just promise me you won't go by in the blink of an eye.