Category: Journal

A Radical Change

Yesterday I announced to my team that after more than sixteen years of service to MBS, I am leaving the company. Some people were visibly unhappy with the announcement. During my time here I’ve seen others make the same announcement and noted that it was hard for them to say the words. While I certainly don’t think it was easy, I thought it was easier than expected.

I suspect that the people who were unhappy with the news are so partially because I’ve become their go-to guy, and partially because they might be fond of me. The latter I can’t help, but regarding the former, I’m sure that they’ll quickly find that everyone is replaceable. It might take a few days, but business will continue as usual.

Over the next few weeks I will be moving to Exeter. I’m arranging for Robin to live in and take care of my home here in Amsterdam, just in case the exit from the European Union by Great Britain will not go entirely smoothly or if things don’t work out well with the new job that I’ve found in Exeter. And then I’ll move. There is a lot to be arranged and a lot to be wrapped up, a lot of which isn’t entirely clear to me yet, so it will likely be a chaotic few weeks.

In the meantime, my pendulum swings between excited and terrified, between happy and sad, between confident and diffident.

Eleven Years

It’s hard for me to accept that I haven’t seen my mother in exactly eleven years. The sadness I used to feel is very different now. I find myself wondering what she would think of who I am now, how she would feel about my place in life. Whether she’d be proud and what she thinks I should improve.

Suicide, Mental Health and Gatekeeping

Someone in my family committed suicide a few days ago. It was quite unexpected, not just for me, but for a lot of people. Apparently, he had been quite unhappy for a long while with things stemming from childhood, things that he was addressing in therapy. I keep wondering what it is about one person that they can lead a life of misery, setbacks and struggle, without ever earnestly considering the thought of suicide, while another lives a relatively affluent life whose happiness was derailed during a formative period, who then decides to take their own life?

It makes me reevaluate existential pain and suffering. The human psyche is too complex to compare two situations. It makes me reevaluate a lot of the mental health gatekeeping which happens. Someone claims to have ptsd, and others jump on that person for suggesting that their pain and suffering is en par with the suffering of others who have a more “legitimate” form of ptsd, like soldiers. You simply can’t compare the two cases on such a superficial level.