I’m a pretty proud and ardent feminist, and I’m very rawr-rawr-rawr about the fact that I don’t need no man, that I’m an independent woman who won’t wait around on no one, penis or otherwise. But then cut to earlier this month, with B slipping out the door at 6am on a week-long trip to Switzerland and me lying in bed crying my heart out, and you may start to question my independence.
It’s safe to say that I wasn’t looking forward to a week on my own. The daytime and sunlight are no problem for me; I’m at work most of the day and when I return home I’m pretty beat. It’s when it comes to going to bed that I start to overthink and panic myself. We live in a neighbourhood that doesn’t have the best reputation (but is widely tipped to be the next up-and-coming area in Amsterdam, so watch out kids!), so there’s lots of music, bangs and sirens at night which leads to a lonely old me lying rigid in bed at 1am, heart thumping and sheets sticky with sweat. Without a B there to calm me down and reassure me these are all normal sounds, my imagination runs unbounded. And that never leads anywhere good.
So, the plan was born to get busy. Not in a Sean Paul way (yes, I had to google that), but rather I resolved to say yes to every invitation that floated my way. I have a tendency to reject most invitations due to my pretty severe social anxiety, but I knew that sitting at home alone whilst thinking about the fun I could be having was not the way to go. So here’s a mini selection of what I got up to:
- Sunday: July 3rd party. Some of our friends over here hail from the States, so they weren’t going to let Independence Day go uncelebrated. With their apartment decked out in red, white and blue and the most amazing homemade blueberry and apple pies, I was a very proud honorary American for the day. I was the only one at the party who came alone so it was a pretty stressful affair – I may have had a little cry afterwards – but I’m pretty proud of myself for going, sticking it out and meeting some very interesting people.
- Wednesday: dinner, wine and catch ups. I hadn’t seen my friend since she moved jobs, so it was high time for a catch up. We met up at Cafe Kierbert for a drink which then turned into drinks which then turned into dinner. Chatting long into the night on the banks of a canal with a delicious plate of piri piri prawns and wonderful company, this was a truly lovely evening.
- Thursday: foodhallen. It’s been a very stressful 6 weeks or so at work, so we decided that it was about time that we had a team dinner to blow off some steam. Our location of choice was one of my favourite spots in Amsterdam, the Foodhallen, where you can pretty much get any kind of food you can think of, all at the same time. Example: that evening I had spring rolls, steak sandwich, fries and flammkuch (I shared with people, don’t worry). Oh, and wine. Lots and lots of wine. There were some green faces in the office the next morning, but it was worth it to spend some hours with some great people, and to see France win in the Euros semi-finals against Germany.
All in all, it was actually a pretty fun week. Maybe one of my favourites in Amsterdam so far, in fact. I got to spend a lot of time with people I don’t see nearly enough as it is, and I proved to myself that I can survive a week in a strange city by myself. Although it was more than wonderful to have B back, I’m now resolved to put myself out there more and not rely on him so much. World, you are my oyster.