2018 was a turbulent year, but 2019 promises even more developments. In the beginning of 2018 I was determined to make it ‘my year’, especially in connection with the recent ‘coming out’ as transgender (see this blog or this guestblog for Mark it Zero!). I was also determined I’d live in the wagon in April past year, and be traveling around in summer, including horses. Things have turned out slightly different as I had planned. How and why this happened?
This is a reflection on 2018, and a preview on 2019…
Looking back on 2018
Developments in the wagon
I always have the idea things go super slow when it comes to the wagon, thats how it feels. Of course this has a reason: I’d rather have it finished yesterday instead of today… Still, stuff happens. Below some pictures for comparison, what happened inside and out. Besides the quality of the pictures, lot of things have happened, in part because of that beautiful Anevay stove…
In 2018 I’ve been to 6 markets and have been able to deliver some beautiful pieces in request, to hopefully very happy customers. In the beginning of 2018 I’ve given some workshops at Padoes: on the 16th of March a workshop ’round felting’ (no clue how to call this in English, sorry), and on the 17th of March a basic workshop felting on request of Reconcep.
Such a nice afternoon. Clear, sense of humor, learned lots. Thanks.Dorinde (translation by Eelste)
The other workshops I wanted to organize appeared to have too few applicants, so I decided to focus my energy elsewhere. Like a separate Facebookpage for felt, which was online from February to September. Also this didn’t appear to be a succes: it was lots of extra work, there were just a few followers, and thus it didn’t seem to be worth the effort. Also, I shared often the same messages, as in the end, it is just one company. I decided to glue those two pages together again, and make the Tiny House facebookpage the main one. You see, I learn, every day a little bit…
For example, I’ve finally made a webshop (sorry only available on the Dutch page)! I’ve build this webpage all by myself, and to be fair, I had/have no clue of WordPress before, so I’m just fiddling on. Trying, failing, getting over that frustration, and trying again. Its that circle, again and again. This was no different for the webshop, which does make me quite proud now, to be honest. I haven’t added all my stuff yet, so I haven’t really promoted it neither, and only recently I’ve made some proper pictures of some of my stuff. Slowly it starts to look like something real. Imagine my surprise when I got my first order a few months ago, by somebody which I don’t think I know. What you can find in the webshop are for instance the new products of 2018: bags! I make them in request too, for instance as a shoulder bag, a laptop bag, a travel bag, etcetera. (Almost) everything is possible, and they’re even water-resistant, and super durable!
Besides working for my company I’ve also done some other jobs. Via my welfare I worked at Verkooppartner since January 2017, 4 days a week. End of January 2018 I stopped there, so I had more time for my own company.
Although I already had BBZ (special welfare for entrepreneurs without employees), this was set to 0 euro’s a month. Per February I had it raised, so I had the time and money needed for my business. The work at Verkooppartner did make sure I could give a workshop Cold Calling at Reconcep, which was super fun to do.
Further I’ve participated in a medicine trial. In 2017 I had participated and got super sick in a research about an antibiotic, but this didn’t stop me from trying again. So on the 15th of January I got the necessary physical exams to get permitted to a medicine trial about cystic fibrosis, which meant I was inside the clinic from the 29th of April till the 22nd of June. Not non-stop, luckily, but in total it was 30 days inside, quite enough! I was with a fun group of people, and there were games and such to play. There weren’t many side effects this time, except the boredom and some tiredness from being inside and in the bed so much…
By the way, if you’d like to participate (doesn’t matter if you come from Netherlands or no, everybody can participate, and I think it’s basically all over the world they do those tests), and you’d like to do that at PRA, do tell them you got the idea from me. In that way you’ll sponsor the wagon, because I’ll get 150 euros! If you got some questions, do let me know.
At the end of the year I’ve started working with paid work again, at PostNL (the national postal company). I’ve been a mailman before, and because you can only earn a certain maximum when in the BBZ, I should use least as possible BBZ those last 3 months. This means I’ve been handing out mail every Saturday (and in December a bit more due to xmas mail) in Gieten. And it also means I’ve been really tight on money, but hey, you got a dream, or you got a dream, right? End of January I should get the normal amount again, so then I can start building again.
Well yes, and there appears to be stuff happening around gender and such… For me rather important. 2018 started with my 2nd coming out, 10 years after the first (as lesbian), as non-binary trans masculine. I’d been busy with the topic for quite some time, in Sweden I was already identifying as non-binary (not male, neither female, just, without gender), but that I actually wanted a physical change, was something new. And it meant I had to actually tell people in the Netherlands about it. 12th of January I had the psychological researches, a necessary part in applying for the medical trajectory as transgender. On the 19th of July I could start with my hormones, which is actually rather fast, when you know about how long other people have to wait sometimes. On the 3th of January I’ll be on my 6th months, half a year, a magical moment. Well, it feels like that, because that’s when you can officially apply for mastectomy at the Gender Team in the hospital of Groningen. From 9 months onwards I can have my mastectomy, but unfortunately the waiting lists are full, and it will probably only be beginning of summer I’ll get a spot. But we’ll see.
In the beginning I felt a little guilty about requesting those hormones. I’d love to see a world where this isn’t necessary. I believed the world could change, that the ideal world was waiting around the corner, that I could separate my body and my soul in that ideal world. But my ideal world isn’t waiting around the corner. And from the first moment of applying those hormones, it felt right. Now, half a year later, it only feels better. When I look in the mirror I see myself, more and more, I recognize myself! Not completely yet, it doesn’t feel ‘finished’ yet, but the developments feel so super right. I can only wish I’d done this sooner, and wish that all changes are done already, the big changes. Just like the wagon, this is such a long process which I’d rather have finished already, even though I’ll never be able to stop the hormones again (unless I really wanted to).
When I look in the mirror I see myself, more and more, I recognize myself!
This is actually the reason I decided to make a newyear-blog. Now, not in 2018. Because at New Years Eve it felt so definitive. I looked at myself in the mirror with pity (I literally fell into 2019 because of a slipper on the stairs on New Years Eve morning…), and realized how much I’m done with being a woman. How much it fits, what is happening. How happy I am with my voice finally searching the depths… There is some frustration about how other people dress me, but this actually has more to do with the feeling of not being taken seriously by the people I care about. More and more the way of addressing actually matters (even though I’d love to hear people say ‘them’ – in Dutch its ‘hen’ – instead of he or she), and I feel more and more at peace in my body. When this epiphany came? When I was head banging in the showers with the in Netherlands famous Top 2000 (best 2000 songs of all times), with the song below…….
Preview on 2019
That 2019 is gonna be an exciting year, is clear to me. So much should happen. Business-wise as well as personally. Many things have been put in motion and will come to bloom upcoming year. Or at least start to grow.
People love to hear a planning. Last year I’ve written that I’ll be finished in April 2018…. Well, I did obviously not make that. So, I’ll not be giving a planning this year. I do say to everybody who wants to hear it that the wagon is almost finished, but I do say that from the beginning already, which is in part to keep myself motivated. By pretending the project is almost finished, the finish seems closer. I don’t do running, but I can imagine this works the same for runners.
This means that the wagon will be finished whenever it is finished, but it définitely should be ready to be lived in by summer. Let’s say that this is my first good intention…
This means that the wagon will be finished whenever it is finished, but it définitely should be ready to be lived in by summer. Let’s say that this is my first good intention…The reason it doesn’t go very fast is mainly the money: every bit of money means a step forward, but it doesn’t really come in like water, so the steps go rather slowly. I did start with a proper businessplan, some of you might have seen the research I did. From the few forms which were filled in I did an unpleasant discovery: people may be super enthusiastic about the project, they aren’t as enthusiastic about booking and paying…. The amount they’re ready to pay, is by far not enough to survive.
I do have to sort this out yet, but it is my second good intention for 2019: start an education to become professional coach.
This made my brains start working again, and via a tip I got the idea to follow a course to become professional coach. I do have to sort this out yet, but it is my second good intention for 2019: start an education to become professional coach. There are many coaches in the Netherlands, as literally everybody may call themselves coach, but only a few have a proper training. Especially the holistic coaching is very appealing to me, which means you don’t only look at the mental aspect, but also at the energetic aspect, the physical aspect, and all other things which make a human. The plan is to offer intensive coachings in the wagon to individuals or couples, which may take a day, but can also be a weekend or week. I’d love to work together with for instance psychotherapists or other coaches, so people aren’t completely alone when they go back home.
When it comes to the felting I do also have proper plans. It’s still very much in the stage of ideas, and lots has to be figured out yet, but I’m talking with a potential businesspartner. Together (with a few other entrepreneurs) we’d like to start a cooperation for (small) craftsmen and idealists, with a shop in the center of Assen. What this has to do with felt? Well, in part this cooperation will be a re-integration working space, and those re-integration people can – amongst other things – make my felt. The focus will be bags: big bags, small bags…. (this reminds me of a Dutch song, which actually isn’t about bags, but about doing the laundry)
Sorry, that just came up, had to add that here…
Besides the ideas for the cooperation, the last markets have given me some people who are interested in a workshop felting, so maybe I can arrange another workshop this year. I also hope to go to lots of new markets, for instance on the festival Oerol! I should be able to get my driving license this year, so I’ll be a bit less dependent on the willingness of my mom to drive me somewhere. So, if you got a cool market I should be, do let me know 🙂
As if the turbulence business-wise wasn’t enough already, quite a lot is waiting for me when it comes to my personal live. On the 3th of January I’m on my half year, so I can officially apply for mastectomy. The waiting list for this is rather long (I think, other think differently…), but I think it should be max half a year. I’d rather have it sooner of course, but I can’t arrange everything my way. This means I’ll be able to be operated in the beginning of summer, and no, this doesn’t frighten me. Like written above, I’d rather have it done already, but because of the operation, but because the discomfort with my body is growing. I can see my female body is beautiful, that people might think its a pity, I’m not blind. But it’s not my body, it’s not who I am.
At the border control I’ll be searched by a man suddenly. Hmm, maybe I should’t change it? 😉
I can change my passport already, but for me this is just a bureaucratic evil. Necessary, because I travel lots and it’s rather useful to have a passport fitting my appearance, but its just stupid paperwork. That’s why I’ve decided to do this only when I’ll have the operation, or just had it, but it means that this is on the agenda for this year! Unfortunately the state still thinks its rather important to be able to call you sir or madam, to ‘know’ what’s in your pants (lol, doesn’t work for me!), so I have to choose something. This means I’ll be celebrating next New Years eve as a man. Still, quite funny. Unfortunately this also means I have to change all other paperwork, change changing rooms, toilets (?), and whatever else will turn up once I change that one small letter in my passport. At the border control I’ll be searched by a man suddenly. Hmm, maybe I should’t change it? 😉
To finish it up
An exciting year is ahead. And hopefully a fun year, I like to have a bit of excitement. It keeps life fun. I hope I can experience upcoming year together with you, that I can welcome you for a house-warming, or maybe before, for my 29th birthday, maybe I’ll organize a post-op party! However, via internet or in real life, the support and the reactions motivate me to keep going. And yes, sometimes I need that, after 2,5 years of building… So keep going! Would you like to let me know what you think, got ideas, or just want to react? Do it below or follow me on Insta or FB 🙂
All the best wishes for you in 2019, hope it will be a beautiful year, where dreams may be lived and you can feel happy and good.