My own writing

This is the Hurt that I’m Feeling

I didn’t plan on going into my thirties with a broken heart, but here I am. Life takes twists and turns all of the time, and sometimes they hurt. And no matter how right it is, it’s still painful.

I’m turning 30 tomorrow, and I’m not one to worry about age. I don’t really care about that number to be honest. What I care about is where I’m at this very moment. And right now that place is a bit unclear.

On my last birthday, someone very dear to me asked me to define my upcoming year as 29 with one word. The word I chose was “Experiences”. And it turned out that I chose my word well.

My year as 29 was filled with interesting and new experiences.

I stepped out of my comfort zone a lot.

I travelled to new places, and familiar places.

I learned new things, and found new passions.

I met some wonderful people, some I got to know really well. Some I had to say goodbye to.

I fell in love, and I got my heart broken. Not intentionally by that person, but sometimes love just doesn’t work out the way that we want to. And if there’s one thing that will always be the truth, it is that we can’t control who we love, or how much we love them. And every time we go through that, it’s another experience as well. And what I might be most grateful for right now, is the falling. To get to experience to fall completely in love with someone again, no matter how painful it turned out, it was a wonderful reminder. I got to feel something that I wasn’t sure was even possible anymore. And for that I’m utterly and completely grateful! And in time when the healing really sets in, I will be able to cherish that even more than I do right now.

This is the hurt that I’m feeling, but I am not the pain.

This will take time, but that doesn’t mean that time have to stand still.

This is where I’m broken, but the cracks are where the sun will shine through.

For a time now, the hurting and the healing will walk hand in hand, supporting each other when it’s needed. And although a broken heart is a clear sign of an ending, it is also the promise of new beginnings.

I’m going into my thirties with a chapter that has no beginning yet. And it’s time I start to write it. And I think I’m going to start with one word. I have not chosen my word for the next year yet, but I will in time for tomorrow.

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The Fall by Christina de Vries

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Don’t bite our heads off, please…

Over the years I’ve worked in quite a few different places within retail. Most days I love being around people. They give me so much food for thought. Even though I’ve had the pleasure to work with electronics (I love me some gadgets) and books (well you know how I feel about those), I have to say that working with glasses has so far been the one that I’ve enjoyed the most. I think the biggest reason for that is that my job is to actually help people that needs it. It’s not about selling a lot of things that people don’t need, It’s about helping them to actually see! I love it!

But this post was not supposed to be a gush of my love for the optical industry. It’s a plea to a few of you customers out there.

For the customer that yells at us when we ask when you’re born. For the ones who fumes and curses when they have to wait a few minutes to get help. For those who slam their fists on the counter when their product didn’t arrive on time. Those who curse and scream and threatens.

I get it! You have certain expectations, so do I. But sometimes it feels like the expectations that are set for serviceminded people in retail can be beyond ridiculous. Want to know a secret? We’re only humans, just like you.

We have our off days. We try our best to not let it show, but sometimes our best just doesn’t do the trick. Sometimes we falter in the areas that we normally succeed in. It’s life after all.

We get sick. So when you have to stand in line because there’s only one person working in the store, don’t forget that the person standing there could’ve already been working hours overtime trying to do the work usually done by two or more.

We are here to help you. Yes, that much I’m guessing you already knew. That however, does not mean that you can bully and boss us around. We genuinely want to help, and to give you the best experience possible, but we also expect to be treated like an equal. We put a lot of work and training into what we do, even though it is “just retail”.

The customer isn’t always right. I’m sorry to burst that bubble, but someone had to.

I’ve had customers screaming in my face when I tried (calmly) to tell them the rules of warranties and tax refunds. Rules that I could point out and show them, and still they yelled at me and told me I needed to learn to do my job better, just because I couldn’t give them the answer they wanted. I’ve had customers that said such cruel things to me (completely unprovoked) that I ended up crying afterwards. I’ve also had customers that felt it was okay to stare at my body instead of making eye contact while I was talking to them. I’ve gotten sexist jokes thrown my way more times than I can count.

Working in retail and with people can be overwhelming at times. And constantly being surrounded by strangers that demand your full attention can be hard.

So when you feel frustrated; Talk to us. Ask us your questions. Listen to the answers you’ll receive. Don’t bully, and don’t be rude.

Please, do not bite our heads off. Most likely, we are just trying to help.

To end this post on a more positive note; I want to mention how grateful I am to have received so many smiles, kind words, baked goods, flowers and hugs from customers over the years. Those are the moments that I choose to hold on to. I’ve learned so much about business, psychology, human behaviour, kindness, gratitude, and heard so many amazing stories from wonderful people. People I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with if it weren’t for my years being out on the floor in the business of retail.

It’s been a very interesting journey, and one that I’m still enjoying very much!

Be nice to one another. I guess that’s the message I’m trying to get through here.

Lots of love,

Christina ❤️

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He cried and I was so proud!

About a week ago, I was working on editing a video for YouTube while my nine year old son was watching videos on his laptop. After a little while I noticed that he was watching something that apparently had his undivided attention, and I got curious. I asked him what he was watching. He told me he was watching a documentary on NRK Super (a web/tv channel for kids) about a boy that was bullied.

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Some minutes passed and I could hear the story that this boy told in the background while I was working. It was heartbreaking to hear the cruelty that was done to him by his classmates. They had locked him inside of a classroom, and they’d beaten him up pretty bad. He was talking about how it all happened, how it felt afterwards, and how they eventually had to move and start a new life somewhere else because the bullying wouldn’t stop.

Being a victim of bullying as a teenager myself, I always find it hard to listen to stories like this. The cruelty of kids that don’t think their actions through makes my heart ache. I turned to Leander and saw that he was crying, and it warmed my aching heart.

How lucky am I to have a child that feels such empathy. To be able to watch someone else bare their struggles and pain, and through what he saw, he could feel it all. He could feel it so much that he couldn’t hold it in. It was beautiful to see an emotion so pure, brought forth by information that he himself had gone searching for.

It’s easy as a parent to focus on all of the things that we feel like we have done wrong, or could have done differently. But watching him have this kind of reaction, and talking about bullying with him afterwards, hearing his thoughts, that was a moment where I truly felt that I had done something right. Somewhere along the road, growing up to be the little man that he is, he’s learned to care for others. To love them for who they are and the life they choose live, even though he might not agree with all of it. He’s learned to respect others and to try not to judge them.

I will not take complete credit for this, but the amount of time we’ve used to talk about life, people and choices, I know that’s played an important part in this.

I’m so grateful that my son already is a seeker of knowledge, and I’ll keep on encouraging him. To try to give him as many tools as possible for him to be able to make the choices that will be right for him.

And maybe most importantly, it’s important for me that he knows that crying is not a sign of weakness. To be comfortable enough to show your emotions is a strength that should not be taken for granted. It’s a superpower!

 

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Did you know that my mom does magic?

I’m very lucky to have a mom that can do magic. Out of something quite small, she can create warmth, protection and love. She works her magic, sometimes for hours on end, and the result is something that no one can experience in the exact same way. Her hands work love into everything she creates. Not only does she do magic, but each crafted spell is a masterpiece and they each last for years. They are wrapped around you and keeps you warm. Whenever I need the warmth of her craft, it’s rarely far away from grasp. And every time I get a hold of it and wrap it around my soul’s shell, I feel a little more at home and a little more at peace. My smile gets a little wider, and any off day gets a little better! 

But my mom doesn’t do her craft just for me. She does it for everyone she loves and cares about. Sometimes she even does it for total strangers as well. But there’s only a few of us who will get the crafted spells with her special mark upon it. 

And whenever I look at it, I feel so grateful and so loved. Thank you mom, for knitting magic and masterpieces! 

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“Made by mom”

 

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Naked – POEM

I am naked

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Photo: Bjørn Hatling

To call out the voice of shame

Laugh in its face

Beat it at its own game

 

I am naked

To bare my very soul

What’s inside this flesh

Is what makes me whole

 

I shed my clothes

And fear screams of treason

But when I really listen

It’s clear that love is the only reason

 

I sit proudly

And let the wind touch me

Melt me into all that is and will be

Allowing this body to be free

 

I am naked

But not as an act of lust

I’ve shaken off the layers

In a personal sign of trust

 

I am bare

Like I once arrived into light

I push away unreal expectations

This is how I choose to fight

 

I am raw

            As I connect with all that is

            Get to know these eyes that see

            This soul that moves and lips that kiss

 

I am nature

            And all around is me

            I am naked

            Because I choose to be

 

©Christina de Vries

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It’s Changing!

Our lives are constantly changing, even though it may not seem like it all of the time. It might seem like everything is just the same, day after day. But even though you feel like you’re going through the motion in the same ship everyday, there’s so much going on underneath the surface that you’re not paying attention to. 

All those little things that just passes by as unimportant could easily add up to end up as some of the most important events of your life. 

Some changes are bigger though, and impossible to miss! I’m going through one of those changes right now. 

I’ve been working for Brilleland for little over a year now, and a while back I was approached by another chain of stores and they wanted to set up a meeting with me. The meeting happened and in a time where people struggle to get jobs I was lucky enough to be offered a new one. I’m very grateful! After thinking it over and going a bit back and forth I decided to take the offer. 

So yesterday I had my last day at Brilleland and on Monday I’m moving on to a new chain, new store and new colleagues. It’s very exciting and also a bit scary. I’ve had my share of jobs over the years and the butterflies in the stomach feeling always shows up whenever I’m on the brink of starting something new. 

It’s a feeling I welcome! It’s another way of pushing myself and getting out of my comfort zone. A wonderful way of learning and growing. 

So this weekend I’m going to take it easy, meditate on what was and get ready for what’s coming! 

Wish me luck!

And I wish you all a wonderful weekend! 

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Ocean Dreams – POEM

Like a rock out of its place

The waves of life

Tossed her back and forth

Hitting obstacles, cracking open

And then moving on

Until one day she landed here

Embraced by the mountain

So stable and predictable

The waves still came 

But in the crevice she found

Comfort in rolling around

It felt safe to stay there 

As the waves washed over her

Again and again

The mountain and her got

Shaped into something new

A collective shape of comfort. 

She rolled deeper as her edges and cracks

Smoothed over and the crevice

It grew deeper and deeper

But where she first found comfort

Turned into darkness

As she rolled into him

Herself eroded away 

Into an unfamiliar shape

The crevice got so deep that she

Could no longer see the light over the edges

The cracks that should have defined her

Was scrubbed away

And the perfectly smooth and polished shape

Was one she she couldn’t recognise 

She ached for skipping across the water

To once again be a part of 

The unpredictable roll of the ocean

She wanted to be tossed around and hit sharp edges

Crack open again and see what was inside

Learn about her very center

But time had rolled her out of water’s reach now

And so she waits

For the wanderer that will one day 

Catch a glimpse of a smooth rock

Unable to resist 

To pick it up and send it flying 

On the ripples of waves

To the next unknown adventure.

***

©Christina de Vries

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Never Know – POEM

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 There was a genuine fear

Of the unknown

He pushed with one hand

And held tight with the other

Afraid to miss out

Too scared to give in

He wanted answers

That no one could give

He wanted promises

Where none could be made

She kissed the hand

That held on

Opened up his fingers

And slipped away 

When he wasn’t looking

All that was left

Was her whispered words

Now you will never know

                                                                                                                   **

©Christina de Vries

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If Only We Could Replace Your Face

When I was about 14 years old, I had a crush on a guy that was my friend. We had som pretty long conversations over the phone, and I could always count on him being honest with me. I don’t remember much from all of the late night conversations we had, but there’s one conversation in particular that I will never forget. It’s the one who broke down my already battered self esteem.

I don’t remember how we got into the subject, but for some reason he told me that he’d overheard some of the guys talk about me. I asked him what they said, and at first he was reluctant to tell me. He did eventually tell me though, and in hindsight I wish he never had.

“The guys think you have a really good looking body, they just wish that they could replace your face.”

My whole life crumbled at that moment. The little self esteem a bullied 14 year old me had vanished. I remember crying in my room after my mom and the rest of the family went to bed. Sobbing as quietly as I could.

For years I only saw myself as “a body”. When I looked in the mirror I could appreciate my shape, but there were so many things I wanted to change when it came to my face. I got into modelling when I turned 18, and that made it even worse after a while. After seeing the photographers photoshop my nose smaller again and again, the complex I already had for my nose grew into a giant monster that was constantly sitting on my shoulders, whispering about how wrong my face was and how I should probably think about doing something about it.

It got to the point where I actually had booked a consultation with a plastic surgeon, but when the day came I just couldn’t bring myself to go.

I was determined to fix it one day though. For years it felt like something I really needed to do sooner or later.

Kids can be so cruel, but often they don’t know the impact their cruelty can have. And I really want to believe that they don’t know that their bullying can change peoples lives for years. The media business is a whole other story for another day.

I feel lucky that I’ve grown to love myself and the way I look. That I’ve learned to appreciate the things that makes me look different. Knowing that I wouldn’t want to live in a world where everyone looked exactly the same.

Do I still have moments where I don’t like what I see? Yes, that monster sometimes returns at weak moments and whispers things when I’m having a bad day.

Do I still want to do something about my nose? No, I have no plans of going through with rhinoplasty. This is the nose that my parents gave me, and this is who I’m supposed to be.

Self love is something that’s very important to me, and something that I’ve written and talked about several times. It’s something we all need to practice more and help each other out with. Self love can be a tough exercise, but we all need to do it and do it more often!

I’m currently taking notes for a few self love videos that I’m hoping to make this fall. I’m excited to be working on something that’s so important to me, and I look forward to sharing it with you guys!

Love yourself and share your love!

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Categories: Beauty, I was thinking about, My own writing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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