Column: Corona taught me to look at life differently

Credits: @cindyvandyck

While the world gradually stood still in the early 2020s, I was just forced to keep going. Once repatriated from the Dominican Republic and in self-quarantine for several weeks, I realized there was no money in the account. Traveling for my job was fun. But the reality quickly dawned on me: it wasn’t paying off.

The first few weeks were fun, despite the fact that of course I had to return from the Caribbean two weeks earlier than expected. But I could finally take the time to work on my new plans: At that point it was just an online magazine, because after 10 years of blogging I wanted something new. Today we’ve already grown into a successful Branding Agency and have more than 200 assignments under our belt.

Fortunately, I took that time! Because two years of full-time travel was intense: it brought unforgettable moments and experiences that I will never experience again. But it also had a downside. This I realized fortunately in time.

After two weeks in self-quarantine, I went to take an inventory of the past years for my accounting since all assignments had been cancelled and traveling would not be possible for a while. And what did I see? An account that was as good as empty. I was rich in my mind because of the experiences and the discovery of the different cultures and lifestyles in the other countries. But of course I was not going to pay my bills with that.

It was time for a change, for the better

Soon I took action to change my income and decided to group all my knowledge from the past years. I contacted my best friend Angelo, who at that time was the only person besides my parents I had seen before we had to quarantine. And our decision was made: together we were going to make 2020 the most successful year ever. We put our ideas and experiences together, looked at the needs of Blogzine’s customers, and our Creator’s Studio was born. Today, that decision is the reason we run our Branding Agency and the brand new Blogzine Academy.

But what else changed?

Being unable to travel at any time I wished, I was faced with the facts. Not only financially, but also that it was really too good to be true. More than once people sent me messages saying, “You have a dream life! But nothing was further from the truth. Household-wise nothing was right. Cooking had not been an activity for me for years, let alone cleaning or organizing my house.

And I was lost. Suddenly I found myself in a world where I had to learn to love the little things again: like the phone calls with my parents, making lunch and cooking dinner, having mindfulness activities like reading a book or taking the time to hear how my friends were doing. And on top of that: giving my body a rest. Something I never had time for in the rush of life and traveling. And realizing that has been a liberation for me as I saw again the essences of life.

Being myself, that’s what I had to learn

Since my teenage years I have been in daily battle with my self-image and of course, the bad relationships with narcissists did not help with that. For years, I looked in the mirror and only named the negative things when I saw myself.

My insecurity also included my clothing style. Often I get the comment that it’s too special or too flashy. Especially on dating apps (I should ban them). And unconsciously I started to adapt to the people around me and to take their thoughts into account. But because I now only saw myself at home, I found myself again.

I gradually started to replenish my closet with pieces that I would never have worn, out of fear for other people’s opinions. Taking enough time to rest and give my body the love it needed, my self-confidence also started to rise again and today I share on my Instagram, and also wear, the outfits I always wanted to wear. And do you think it’s “too much”? Then you are probably “too basic” for me.

This year has been a lesson

After the first lockdown, I was determined: never again would I impulsively accept all trips. Never again would I put myself in a position where I let myself get so carried away by life that I forgot the basics and the most important things.

Since June I have been working super hard every day to make my career successful. Growing Blogzine to help even more brands on a daily basis. And as soon as we get to travel again I’m definitely going to do that. Although for now I will do it for myself, with my savings and at the pace I choose. Thanks to corona I have my life back in my hands and under control. Thanks to this eventful year, I turned my passion into my career. And thanks to this year I took the time to love myself. Thank you 2020!

Of course, 2020 was a year where many really had to fight for their future. In which I too had to fight daily to be happy and make the most of it. But I’m also honest; if it wasn’t for this, I would never have had both feet back on the ground and I would most likely still be an insecure woman who was traveling full-time. And who knows where I would have ended up during a setback with no money in my account….

This article has been written by @CINDY VAN DYCK

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