When you’re not OK.



I’m back from LA and I’d like to say I’m back home, but as I’ve mentioned before; Utrecht has never been and will never feel like a home to me.

I knew I would be somewhat down when I got back, but it honestly hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would. That’s not because I’m not upset, but because this year hasn’t been the best anyway.

On social media, I always share the good stuff.

I show the highlights and things that make me genuinely happy. I like to look back at those moments for me, but it does make it seem like my life is pretty picture perfect.
This year was far from it.
Without sounding too dramatic, I would go as far as to say it was the worst year of my life up until now.
The reason I wanted to get into this, was because I had a talk with someone I haven’t really spoken to in a while. When I burst out in tears, she was shocked. Someone I consider close to me had zero clue that I was that upset, all because of what she assumed about what I put online.


I don’t agree with the whole Essena O’neill social media is fake stuff either, but I do feel like it’s necessary to remind people that I am human too. Just because I post some pretty pictures, it doesn’t mean my life is all bliss.

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So I’ll tell you a very condensed version of the sh*t that was 2016, and then how I dealt and still deal with it today.
I’m the youngest in my family, and because if that I’ve always felt babied and a little unimportant.
There wasn’t a whole lot of talking about your feelings going on in my family when I grew up, not even when my dad died. I felt just mentioning the word ‘dad’ would get me in trouble. This would later cause some issues, I had a complete disconnect with kids my age crying about their father going on business trips or about divorce. I was really harsh and I’d tell them to shut up and suck it up.
Puberty doesn’t help with that either, as I’m sure most of you will understand.
Can’t believe it, but my best friend put up with me through that

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetPicture by Eleina Jade Park (@BluntSeoul)
Edit by me.

I always thought my relationship with my mom was good though, despite never talking about any sort of emotions, but there was always something weird there. Like there were a lot of secrets I knew nothing about. As the baby, I never asked.

In the last few years, those issues with my mom really boiled to the surface.
I’m not too comfortable with the details on this, but it comes down to a combination of health issues, alcohol and really bad financial problems.

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 In February, I had enough and wanted to get away. It was clear my mom would have to move out of her house and I wanted to be as far away as I could from that situation. I needed a break with modelling as well, since that was going nowhere in the Netherlands.
Insert LA.

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For the first time in months, I felt like I had a new goal. Modelling was my little getaway.
My grades dropped when I got back and I went into therapy to try to help me regain my focus. I can’t say it did much, other than improve my horrible eating habits. I also learned to express how I feel, sounds so lame but it did help.
Hate to admit it.

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Deep fried PB&J

Just after my birthday, my mom basically got evicted from her house.
My siblings and I spent the entire weekend moving her and some of our stuff from that house into a storage unit. Seeing the things you grew up with, like the dining table you spent your childhood eating at, tucked away in a dark and dusty storage unit fucking sucks.
That fucking sucked hard.

Picture by Danilo (@Dan_Elow)

Meanwhile, this agency I was working with in the Netherlands made it super clear they didn’t want me. I’d hear conflicting stories about where I was going next and what jobs I’d do- then nothing.
The final straw was when I realized she never intended to send me to Asia, and I felt the weight of the world on me. That happened the week before my moms ‘move’. I also failed an exam that week, which was a beautiful little cherry on top of everything else.

Processed with VSCO with b5 presetPolaroid by Antoine Reekmans (@ReekmansAntoine)

I cried, sure. I felt like I wanted to die more times than I’m willing to admit, but I never acted on those feelings. Instead, I got really fucking angry.
This is not the life I intended for myself when I was a kid.

Belgium is one of my past homes, and Belgians are generally very kind and friendly people (shy and reserved, but kind). I signed with a Belgian agency, and slowly started trusting modelling agencies and agents again.

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The Broad

The agency suggested rebuilding my portfolio in LA, on my own expense, which I accepted.
LA is the only place where I’ve felt sortof happy these last few months, and the only place I would want to build a new home since I don’t have one anymore. I also got seriously pissed off and woke up every day at six to study for my exam, and I passed.
Screw you Middle Ages.

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LA wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows either, mind you. I got fired from my job just before I left and because of that, I’ll need to move soon.
I also got royally fucked over the first week I was there. That hurt, a lot, but I do what I always do in those situations.
Cry, feel the pain, go to the gym and get really angry.
Repeat until you feel better.

I’ve added; eat well

I have a nasty habit of not eating when I’m sad or feel alone.

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Oh baby did LA fix that.

The reason I wanted to share this is not for sympathy. If anything, people feeling sorry for me makes me feel weak and pathetic.
I’m also not angry at a particular person, even though I sometimes have a hard time conveying that to others.
Situations make me angry, I get angry at myself and that anger drives me to do better. That therapist wanted me to control my anger, but to me it’s a necessary part of who I am.

So if you are going through a situation and feel like you have no idea why you’re still here or feel like there is no reason to keep going, there always is. Make small goals for yourself leading to bigger ones and remind yourself that the world isn’t against you.
I promise you, people aren’t out to get you.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetPolaroids by Danilo (@Dan_Elow)
Main pic by me.

That brings me to this: even if you’ve gotten screwed over by a lot of people, learn to trust others again. I’ve come to realize in these last months that the connections we make in life with other people is what is most valuable. How you influence others’ lives even for a moment, can make a huge difference. A text message stopped me from making a really dumb mistake back in June.
It was completely meaningless to that person, but it meant everything to me.

Life has its ups and downs, but keep focussed on the good and keep moving in that direction.


I want to end this by saying I really am just fine. I wouldn’t be typing this if I wasn’t.
For some reason, everything seems to be working out since my second week in LA.
I’m on speaking terms with my mom again, I met the most amazing people I know I’ll be in touch with for years to come and have some really cool stuff planned for the New Year as well.
My best friend also proved to me once again why she is the most awesome person I’ve ever come to know. She listens to me every step of the way and never made any judgements.

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Chin up buttercup, it could always be worse 😉

As always, I’ll keep you updated.
I’m pretty sure it’s only up from here.

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If you’re really in a bad place right now, please do call someone.

You’re not a burden and you do belong in this world.

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