Done. Dusted. Finished. Klaar. The year 2010 has finally drawn to a close and that, Dear Readers, was about bloody time.
It has been a roller coaster of a year, that I can say for sure. Look, work wise things went extremely well – especially when compared to its recession and crisis dominated predecessor (during which many publications were forced to put freelance contributions on hold). 2009 was a bitch fro hell, which resulted me doing all sorts of brain dead jobs instead of focussing on my passion, journalism, in order to make ends meet.
Last year, things went much better indeed. I gained access to quite a few more publications, including Mining Magazine, Leadership in HIV, Black Business Quarterly, and Energy Forecast – among others. No, 2010 was definitely a winner work-wise. The 2010 World Cup obviously contributed to that. For six weeks I worked flat out, and did assignments for Panorama Magazine (Netherlands), De Stentor newspaper (Netherlands), Spits (Dutch newspaper), Het Financieele Dagblad (The Netherlands), Demotix (Photo agency), News Pictures, and others.
The 2010 World Cup in general was a genuine highlight of 2010, and not just from a mere professional point of view. It is difficult to express in words how it felt to be in South Africa over this particular period of time. The sense of unity was mind-blowing, and so was seeing South Africans from all backgrounds putting their best foot forward to ensure the 2010 Football World Cup would end up in the history books as one of the best ones that ever took place. When ever I hear Waka Waka, I get goosebumps. I am, despite all the challenges facing South Africa, proud to be part of this country.
From a personal point of view, things were more hectic. In the first quarter of this year I decided to end a long term relationship because I had my suspicions things ‘were not right’. This proved to be the best decision I have ever made in my entire life. To keep a long and painful story short: the person was not whom I thought he was. I basically had to wade through gazillions of lies, that had been piling up over a period of 1.5 years in order, to find out that the relationship had been a utter lie. I will spare you the details, but I can assure you that it has been a rather unpleasant experience. Eventually I came out stronger and I have, most importantly, learned to always always trust on my instincts. I am furthermore sure Karma will take care of business in a suitable manner.
After the World Cup, I met someone else – a wonderful guy who made me feel warm inside. For the first time in ages I felt alive again. Unfortunately this relationship came crashing down like a ton of bricks. Then there was a long-term friend who for some reason cut all ties with myself and another mutual friend. Friends to me are family, thus therefore I took this ‘breakup’ very very hard. To this day I have no idea why she cut all ties and why my / our friendship had to be thrown out with the garbage. Regardless of that, I wish her well and hope she is/ will be happy in life, love and all the other stuff.
And much more happened, but I am not going to bore you guys with my personal little soap opera.
Some good things did happen in 2o10 and that was meeting some great people in 2010. Together with my existing friends they have been simply amazing. They have been the people who helped/dragged/drank/pulled me through the madness of 2010. Thank you guys. I owe you. Big time!
Bottomline of this blog is that whatever happened in the previous year: 2011 is going to be better. Way better. I feel it in my bones. I am, for starters, planning to move from Cape Town’s city center to Muizenberg or Kalk Bay. I love that part of the Cape Peninsula and after having lived in the City centre for the past 6 years, I think it is time for a change of scenery. I love my friends dearly and my plans by no means mean I have had enough of them. On the contrary. I simply want to broaden my horizons and live near the ocean – preferably with more space around me. That – more space and perhaps even a small garden – is unaffordable in the CBD.
So, finally, I plan to kick some serious ass in what I am doing at the moment: journalism and photography. I want to find new challenges. When I came to South Africa in 2004, it was my dream to become a foreign correspondent. I have fulfilled that dream, a bit faster than I initially expected. I also wanted to lots of travel writing. That too has ben accomplished. I also wanted to break into the South African market and expand my list of tapped-in publications. That too worked out well.
As we speak, I have published stories and photographs in over 30 different publications: Spits, Metro, Het Financieele Dagblad, Open Skies, Portfolio, De Gazet van Antwerpen, De Stentor, Panorama, Black Business Quarterly, Energy Forecast, Leadership in HIV, Leadership, Mail & Guardian, Mining Magazine, I-Net Bridge, Business Day, Cape Community Newspapers, Cape Times, De Telegraaf, BBC World’s website, Cape Town Magazine, Publico Newspaper, Southern Times (Namibia), Detail Magazine, various annual reports including the one by the Danish Development Organisation DANIDA, All Africa, The Luxury List, Mobility Magazine, Productivity SA, Moue Magazine, Imagine Magazine, …
Without bragging and sugar-coating myself in 100% pure arrogance: I am proud of what I have accomplished over the past years and I am determined to continue to build on that.
Apart from that, I am determined to grow as a person, to be there for my friends, to be more in contact with ‘my people’ in The Netherlands and to perhaps even to find a nice trustworthy guy who has the stamina to put up with me, and does not want me to be someone I am not. Oh, and last but not least: no to try to ninja chop my way around the lounge when spotting a cockroach.
But first things first. And that is to get back to work! It has been a while, as I just came back from a fantastic holiday in Nature’s Valley.
All I can say now is: Bring on 2011 and I hope the next 350-odd days will be nice to you!