Just an update

I guess I should welcome myself back to my own blog. My last post was a while ago. A lot has happened in the past year. It is ridiculous how much a person can grow and develop in just a year. I feel like I received an in-game overpowered buff. I guess all people who are dedicated to their craft and got their planning right do have this powerful feeling.

Let me sum up some events that occurred during last year:

  • My neighbors became temporary homeless and so did I
  • Did I already tell you that I do live in Almere?
  • Great how everybody got a little bit closer
  • Social activities are something I should keep doing
  • I am way more confident than before (how to not give a fuck)
  • School is going great (Quarter 4)
  • Balance in life

My neighbors became homeless and so did I

Sunday 31st of March started as a lovely day. First I had a nice gym workout, followed by a visit to the library, working on school, a school assignment with Python. The day was just going fine as usual. All of a sudden everybody got an emergency notification on their phone. It was a warning message that stated: “A big factory in Almere nearby burned down, keep your windows shut.”

I had a small talk about it with strangers (and we talked about their upcoming exam week), they studied both in Utrecht but lived in Almere. We went on with our work. I was really tired trying to figure out how to get some graphs working with Python. I called a good friend Quincy and asked him to support me with the database assignment. Another friend Desley joined too. Both are classmates.

The library was closing so we went to my home. A great evening, we finished the deadlines and I just submitted my assignment, great. Now it’s time to party!

The guys left and I was about to go to bed. I watched my phone one time before sleeping and a good friend asked me: “Hey, you at home?”, I replied and she told me she wasn’t feeling that well. Alright no problem, I’ll stop by. I came back home and it was time to sleep… I thought…

I was just laying for about ten minutes with my in-ear plugs and suddenly I heard a lot of noise from outside. I was wondering, is the party getting started without me? The sound became a bit more clear, it sounds like a fire.. I quickly opened the door, put some clothes on and made my way out of the house. Forgot my socks, shoes and jacket tho. Luckily some neighbors I knew from the other block brought me these. All my neighbors were hysterical, there was a lot of panic. I tried to think as fast as I could; in which way can I be helpful for anyone.

Everybody evacuated and the police and the fire brigade did a great job, they were really quick on the location. I saw a friend trying to escape from the top floor, he was asking us: “who is gonna catch my phone?” and I yelled: “Throw the fucking phone down and climb out of your window, NOW!”, LOL. It’s crazy how people have so much value on materialism over their own lives. He couldn’t go through the front door because of the fire that expanded at that side. So he climbed out of his window and waited for the fire brigade to help him with a ladder.

It was hectic but at the end we all ended up in the police office to make sure everybody is secure. Everybody was save. A big flame destroyed 11 houses from the outside, 36 students including me had to evacuate their home in the middle of the night. My phone and all my material things were home, but luckily I’ve got friends where I could just knock on the door at 4 A.M. to sleep at. I had no adrenaline whatsover, I was just calm and in peace. At first I thought a cat of my neighbor died, luckily they could save her, her name is Dushi. That was the only worry I had.

Did I already tell that I live in Almere?

So I moved to the centre Almere, the environment is great. I live here since August 2018. I moved to here because of my study. I came from Amsterdam and people call me crazy for moving away from there. I know more friends who moved from Amsterdam to Almere. There are a lot of benefits to this place. There are not a lot of tourists, lots of beautiful parks, the city center is nice and modern. The community here is nice and there are a lot of facilities to go to.

Great how everybody got a little bit closer to each other

During and after the fire the whole neighborhood got a little bit closer. It was great to see. Everybody helped each other, one week later lots of new connections were made between people. Unfortunately, a lot of my neighbors got a traumatic experience from the disaster. For myself it is a bit different. My home is intact and I just don’t have a home for two months. I can return back by the end of May. I’m living as a nomad at the moment. It’s no big deal actually. I sleep at a lot of different places of friends and I get free food! Haha!

At the moment I’m sleeping at a girlfriends home while she is visiting her parents. This is my nomad schedule so far:

First day:
I knocked at a girlfriends place, this was the evening of the fire accident. She is my neighbor at the moment, living one door next to me from the place I sleep at now. The next day I gave her a healthy juice from the super market, since she is a #fitgirl

Second day for 3 or 4 days:
I slept on a really comfy couch at a lovely couples place. They had an awesome Google Home device which I talked to everyday to turn the lights off/on or to turn the television off. We watched the movie “22 July”, insane. I gave them a letter as a thank you.

Fifth day until day 10:
I slept at a girlfriends place. She had to look after the cats of her brother and sister in law. The fun part is, I know her via her brother. He was my old neighbor, now she is my neighbor. The less fun part was that when she came back her dad was in the hospital. She wasn’t in a good mood. I left the thank you letter on the table for her.

10th day until 17th:
Sleeping at my homie, slept there for a whole week. We both were unfortunately really busy so we lived a little bit past each other. Some evenings we had some deep convo’s, that was nice. I cooked for him and did his dishes some times after his long working day.
He did appreciate that a lot 😀

18th day until 22:
Sleeping in the guest room at my parents home. Unfortunately the room was noisy and too hot. It was a blessing to wake-up in the morning and have breakfast to take away to school. Always lovely waking up like that. I gave them a painting that I received from an other girlfriend.

22th day until now:
Sleeping at a girlfriends place who is celebrating her easter days with her parents. Really nice to have a place where you can just sit and work on your stuff without any distractions around you. Today I leave this place, I got some flowers for her, they are now on the table staring at me.

For the upcoming weeks l still got some options to sleep at:

Lots of friends asked to sleep at their place. One of the most important things for me is that I have a room where I can focus.

Now I have a dilemma between three offers. They are all in Almere (nearby school).

  1. One which is in a villa with a nice guest room. I could focus there. It’s with a friend of me and with his parents. As long as I get an apart room, I’m fine.
  2. A classmate of me: his parents are gone for three weeks, he already suggested to sleep over there. Why not, we are in the same project group. We then can work and chill together.
  3. At the parents of a friend who suggested it. It’s also in Almere, they are open-minded and I like the thought of meeting new people in a random home.

Living the nomad live is cool. How often do people really integrate with other people’s lives? You really get a taste of how others communicate with each other. I like to see how other families live together and to just embrace the experience.

There are a few areas in which I can split my connections in Almere

School friends

At school there are lots of developers who are as passionate or even more passionate about programming than me. This is awesome because it is inspiring and keeps my tech-spirit alive. Everybody knows each other. Often my schedule is overwhelming, at 12 o’ clock the break starts until 1 o’ clock. That is my little timeframe during school to relax and have fun.

Friends from the neighborhood

In the neighborhood there are nice people. Often, we skate with our longboards, hang at their place, go grab some drinks, sport, game or just have fun together. The nice part is that everybody from the neighborhood is also a student. They “know” the struggle of being busy and having homework. But knowing is sometimes not enough, the attempt of making it done is. I think some of them are partying just a little bit too much.

I took a small break during this article, went to my neighbor and arranged to have diner together tonight. She replied that she also got a lot of work to do so it can’t be for hours. Same counts for me, so we got a arrangement. =)

My computer

Next to the hours of hanging out with friends during the week. Work has to be done. Today is a day I choose to work. This weekend, I did spend with my classmates. We did some work, but also unexpectedly had a really active weekend. We biked, walked and skated through the park, we picnicked, we watched the news, movies and series. We also ate together and drank together in the evening in the backyard.

They lived their whole life in Almere but they actually knew a lot less places than me. I told them: “There is a upside to that, you sit more behind your computer and get better at programming”. We laughed. They responded with: “Yeah there should be a balance in that too”. I agree.

Next to this we worked on a mobile application. It was a fun combination.

Social activities is something I should keep doing

Energy comes and flows. I believe we are social beings. Some people get isolated and lock themselves up and away from others (I did so too when I was younger). Sometimes this is because of their history with for example their family or because they got bullied. Also, a lot of people sitting behind their computer or on their smartphone got this issue. Most of the times these guys are the “lone wolves”. I get told many times that I am a “social beast”, extraversion is something I got in me. It’s a useful asset that I have. It’s really useful in the world we live in. Therefore, I try to plan my activities so that there is always room for social activities and relax moments next to the (geek) programming life.

I am really confident

Being confident and knowing you can achieve a lot when you put your mind to it is a good thing. I easily make decisions myself or for a group and can also be a good listener. In team meetings I try to be the guy who let everybody speak and tell their opinion. Everybody should understand each other. At the same time there should be structure, guidance and flow. This is where I am for.

School is going great (Quarter 4)

I did pitch an idea to one of my teachers. It’s about a vision I have based on a sportplatform that I want to build with React Native (mobile) and React (web). The teacher was excited and told me I could do this project with my current schoolproject team. The upcoming weeks I am busy with prototyping this idea.

Balance in life

After all it is important to balance life. (A well known interview of hero Jocko Willink is: “Why Discipline Equals Freedom”. Watch it here.)

Only working hard is not the thing that will make you happy. Next to this it is important to also have deeper bonds and have fun (in your own way). To do those things you got to have discipline to create the freedom. Because by discipline (in your planning) you create more time for the fun things in life.

If you are winning again and again, that will be a continues flow. This is something I experience at the moment. So keep on going until nobody can’t stop you no more. Don’t feel sorry for others, feel sorry for yourself if you don’t choose for yourself. If you are working on yourself, then you got more to offer to others. Keep working on yourself.

Schedule for this evening:

  • Eating with a girlfriend
  • Learning ReactJS and GraphQL
  • Completing a SWOT-analysis
  • Adding more backlog items to the backlog together with the product owner
  • Have a call with a client(s) and my business companion

Don’t forget. Keep eating your veggies, cause a healthy life is a happy life.

If you did like reading the story above, I would love to hear from you in the comments or just in real-life!