The hidden beauty of Rejection

If you’re a go-getter you have probably heard and read about all the steps you have to take in order to achieve your goals. But let us be honest, sometimes it feels like all your effort and dedication don’t seem to pay off, especially when it comes to long-term goals such as a career. We can work hard towards our goals, but we can’t avoid rejection.

Rejection is something we face multiple times throughout our lives, but it can affect us badly everytime it strikes. I don’t think I’m only speaking for myself if I say that rejection can make one feel insecure about one’s capability. Questions like: “Why am I not capable enough?”, “What did I do wrong?”, “Will I ever be enough?” are quick to pop in our minds. Don’t get me wrong.. I think that self-reflection is very important in order to grow as a person. But most of the time rejection is connected to circumstances which are beyond our control.

I think that rejection is one of the thoughest hurdles that is completely beyond our control, but affects us so immensely. That’s why I want to share the following analogy that Tamera Mowry-Housley (Sister, Siter co-star) quoted about rejection she has faced throughout her career:

“If you take a really nice chair and put it in another home, it may not fit. But that doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful or a great chair. It just doesn’t fit in that home.”

This chair analogy literally has changed my perspective on rejection and it has helped me cope with it much better. I am a firm believer that things are meant to happen when the time is right. On the other hand I also believe that rejection can sometimes be our blessing in disguise. Sometimes the thing that seems to be your destiny is actually holding you back from your greatness! So the next time you get rejected, please keep this analogy in mind and remind yourself that you are worthy and capable. Your greatness will truly flourish in an environment you fit in!

Love,

Carol

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Purpose

Can you imagine? Waking up everyday without something to look forward to, something you know will give you a feeling of fulfillment at the end of the day. Waking up without a purpose?

Without being conscious of it we set up small goals everyday. Setting up a great method to study for the upcoming exams or writing a killer thesis, planning a family trip so we can catch up with each other after a busy period or planning a charity event. These examples are all small goals we set up for ourselves everyday so our lives can be organized and pleasant.

About 2 years ago my brother and I had a very interesting conversation about life. During that beautiful conversation he dropped a very unexpected question. He asked me what my purpose was in life. I was a little overwhelmed by his question, because I did not have the answer to it right away. I realized that at that particular moment I did not really know what my purpose in life was. He comforted me by saying that it was not a bad thing that I did not know my purpose, but it surely was something I needed to think about. I didn’t have the answer to his question the next week, nor the next month.

After a while I came to the conclusion that I always knew what my purpose in life was, I had just lost sight of it. As a young girl I always knew I wanted to offer a helping hand where needed and encourage and inspire people, especially young ones and the people I love dearly.

I believe that everyone has a purpose in life. Some discover it when they are teenagers, others when they are adults. Our purpose does not only help us to become a better person, but is most of the time also connected to other people.Some people want to be a outstanding artist, an inspiring motivational speaker, a phenomenal doctor, a great teacher or a devoted husband/wife and parent. Although these purposes differ so much, they all have one thing in common: all of them can change other people their lives for the better and have the ability to make this world a better place to live in.

I believe your purpose in life is the thing that gives you the extra drive and the feeling of fulfillment. It depends on ourselves to discover the small goals which are necessary into reaching our ultimate purpose in life!

Love,

Carol

A Christmas to remember

Most of us are very busy preparing for Christmas. As a child I always looked forward to Christmas. I was beyond excited for the presents I was about to the receive. One of the most memorable Christmases was my  vacation in the Netherlands. Although I didn’t experience snow, I was very impressed by the typical winter Christmas weather I experienced for the first time.

This year I decided that I wanted to do something special and meaningful for Christmas, besides spending it with my family. In my mind the most logical way to accomplish this, was to donate to charity or another institution who could also use the money for good purposes. I hadn’t made up my mind yet, until one of my best friends mentioned to me that she was going to volunteer at a Christmas celebration organized by a non-profit foundation. This was a great opportunity for me to make one of my Christmas wishes come through. At this event almost 250 young people from different children’s homes were entertained, given presents, delicious food and snacks. I have never in my life seen so many happy and grateful children. Seeing them so happy and enjoying themselves to the fullest really melted my heart and it was amazing to be a part of it.

Nowadays Christmas has become so commercialized that too often the true meaning of Christmas (celebrating the birth of Jesus) is forgotten. Volunteering at the event reminded me of what I like the most about Christmas; Love and Togetherness! Everybody who contributed to the success of this event did it from the bottom of their hearts and had much fun doing it! Spoiling our loved ones on Christmas has become such a tradition, nevertheless we should not lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas; which is the celebration of the incredible love that God has for us. You can celebrate this through the smallest acts of kindness. You can visit a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a long time, bring a home-cooked meal or even a present for someone who we can’t afford it. It is also a great time to reflect on all the blessings you have received over the past year!

I hope you receive the best gifts I could ever imagine: Love in your heart and Togetherness.

Merry Christmas!

Love,

Carol

Photo credits: Shaïr Simons

The depth of Friendships

It’s fun, isn’t it? Having friends to go out with and have a great time! But when was the last time you sat down or talked on the phone with a good friend about life, goals and your deepest feelings. Most people set out certain criteria for a good partner in a romantic relationship. But how many of us do the same for friendships? I think that having healthy friendships is just as important as having a healthy (romantic) relationship. Our friends have a considerable influence on us, often more than we think. Sometimes we remain friends with certain people, simply because it has been that way for a very long time. This, despite the fact that we don’t like how they treat us or how they make us feel.

Have you ever been friends with someone, but the person gives off a certain unexplainable vibe? This often happens in the form of constantly making unnecessary “stupid” jokes about you, making unpleasant comments about how you look or even about your lifestyle. And when they decide to give you a compliment, it’s often followed by an insult. You certainly don’t expect your friend to mean any harm, but in the back of your mind your confused as to whether his or hers intentions are good. It wasn’t until recently, when I found out that there was a reason we could sense certain vibes when we are around people. Studies have shown that we can actually smell emotions. And the interesting part is that these emotions are automatically activated by our brain when smelling them. Imagine what happens when you associate with someone only a daily basis, whose intentions towards you are not good. Without being conscious of it, you take up negative energy that doesn’t contribute to your well-being.

This should be more than a awareness of how picky we should be about who we choose to be amongst. Too often we continue unhealthy friendships, because we don’t want to have less friends or even be friendless. The thing is.. having a lot of friends (being surrounded by many people) doesn’t automatically mean your life will be more fun. Teenagers and young adults often are too focused on being liked by others. This results in choosing to associate with people, even when the friendship is superficial. What we should actually be focusing on is having healthy relationships with people and working on ourselves to establish this. Developing healthy relationships starts in our immediate surroundings. You can start by finding a friend in a parent, a sibling, a cousin, an aunt or uncle. 

As I was maturing, I began to realize the importance of having great relationships with people. People who make you feel comfortable, who support and who trigger you to reach your full potential, but also point out your mistakes without insulting you. I can’t imagine overcoming certain phases without people who supported and inspired me to be better! Happiness comes from within, but it’s helps a lot when you’re surrounded by people who remind you of your greatness and remind you that you deserve happiness. It’s really the little, yet so thoughtful, things friends do that make you realize how special your bond with them is. There is no formula for a  great friendship, but great things happen when people uplift each other and try to learn from one another. You shouldn’t expect perfection from people, but if a friendship makes you unhappy or uncomfortable it’s probably not meant to be! 

Love,
Carol

Braamspunt in Suriname displaying the endless friendship between the sea and shore.

Photo credit: Fadiel R. Baksoellah (https: //www.facebook.com/FadielBaksoellah/)

A master’s degree in Life lessons?

From a very young age I was determined about what I wanted in life. I was always a good student and I didn’t play about my education! I always knew I wanted to become independent at a very young age (my early 20s). When I was in high school I set a goal. I was going to get my bachelor’s degree and a decent job at the age of 21, have my masters degree at 23 and eventually settle down. I was very certain about my study choice and I looked forward going to college!

I had a really great time during my bachelor course and liked studying. My “21-23-Miss Independent” goal really kept me motivated, which made everything much easier. Everything was going perfect, so how can I not reach my goal?!!

I was on track and I could finally do my research in order to graduate. I was pretty sure what kind of research I wanted to do. The disappointment began when I found out that my plan was not going to work out like I thought. But I was not about to give up on my perfect plan I had set up for myself. I was so focused on a certain research that I did not take the time to explore other options. Eventually I did try other things, without any result. It really made me sad that I didn’t make any progress whatsoever. I really started to feel like all my hard work didn’t pay off in the end and for the first time in my life I felt like a failure. After some time I began to realize that I needed to do something else other than waiting for the perfect opportunity. So I applied for a few part-time jobs. One day, I told my mom I was so tired of waiting and I was done stressing about my future and I told her that I would give all my worries to God. God knows what’s best for me and I had faith that He would take care of me.

One or two days later I got a phone call from one of the places I had applied for a job and they wanted to know if I was still interested! I started working the next day! Two days after I started working, I was offered two researches. I was so mind-blown…I could not believe that after such a long time I could finally make some steps towards my goal. I had to make a good choice between the two researches, in order to maintain a balance between work and school.

I began to regain my confidence and I started to be happy again. At work I met and communicated with a lot of people. I was pretty shy back then, so I could really use this as a way to develop my social skills. This job really helped me to improve myself. This would not be possible if my “21/23-Miss Independent” goal worked out. 

Setting goals and having dreams is great, but way too often we are so hard on ourselves when things don’t go as expected. Now and then its necessary for you to get out of your comfort zone in order for you to grow! I got my bachelor’s degree at the age of 23, almost 2 years later than I thought I would, but I have never been more proud of myself! It’s not about the destination, but about the journey. God has blessings with your name on them and he is going to hand them over to you when you need them the most! 

Love,

Carol

Welcome to my blog!

Dear reader, welcome to my blog!

My name is Carol and I’m an ambitious 23 year old woman who loves challenges and likes to improve herself. I was born and raised in Suriname, which lies in the northeastern part of South America. Suriname is mostly known for its multicultural diversity. When I’m all by myself I’m mainly busy with music. Being born to parents who love music, it was pretty obvious I would develop a certain interest in it. I learned to play the piano at the age of 8 and later on I began to sing more frequently. Offering a helping hand is something I will always do. In this blog I’ll talk about the things that drove me to blogging. 

Purpose

In my teenage years I began to write poems. I had no knowledge at all about writing poems and I never took the time to learn the rules of poetry. Through the years I begin to write down my feelings whenever something I had experienced or something that I saw, lingered on my mind. After writing down my feelings I felt much better. It wasn’t until last year (2016) when I really started to experience the impact that writing had on me. I had difficulty reaching an important goal, due to circumstances beyond my control. This experience left me sad and uninspired. The mind shift happened when I started to watch (motivational) speakers such as Heather Lindsey. To my surprise I could really relate to their stories. I would also draw my strength from reading bible verses. I also felt better after long and deep conversations with my loved ones. 

And finally I was making some progress into reaching my goal… It was then when I realized that this rough period was not my downfall, but a life lesson that would develop me into the woman I am today. I plan to write a comprehensive blog about this great life lesson. I really tried my best to stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Whenever I went through a rough time I would write down a (mostly comprehensive) motivational quote expressing exactly how I feel. I realized that writing down my own motivational quote about the way felt at that moment, would inspire me and help me to keep on going. Sometimes I would post these quotes on facebook. You can really get inspired by others, but sometimes even by yourself. I decided that I would begin a blog after I graduated in August this year. This weekend I decided that I would finally start my blog, after I watched motivational speeches for almost 3 hours. Simon Sinek (author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant) really stood out to me. What can I say…I suddenly felt so inspired to do so many things and starting this blog was one of them. The main purpose for my blog is to inspire people, just like I was inspired!

What you can expect 

Although my native langauge is Dutch, I will write my blogs in English in order to reach a bigger audience. Only in exceptional cases I will write in Dutch. I’ll mostly post my ideas, thoughts and experiences about certain issues the average young person deals with. I’ll also write about how I found my purpose in life, how I improved myself as a person and how I think we can help each other to do so. I’ll share some of my own experiences which shaped me and things I’ve learned from others. I intend to blog at least once a week, probably in the weekend.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog and I’m looking forward to writing more!

Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section!

Love,

Carol