What is happiness?

Apparently, happiness is the feeling you had as a child, when everything was allowed and nothing was wrong.

But… I never felt that way. Or I can’t remember it, at least. There was always someone to take care of, feelings and emotions of adults to take into account. There were always adults to be considerate of.

I mean, I can remember that I was told to stop coughing when I had pneumonia. My grandfather worked shifts and wanted to relax watching Quincy or Columbo or something like that. And my coughing on the couch was considered a nuisance.

(I was 8 when I had acute bronchitis, and because it was not taken care of for a long while, it turned into pneumonia. I was not allowed to leave the bed or the couch for two weeks, and I remember that I had a high fever and that my chest hurt a lot… I read a lot during that time. A lifelong love for reading was born right there and then.)

I cannot remember a moment when I felt safe and carefree. Not until I was 31. And by that time I was married, mom of 3 kids and lived in a house, complete with a mortgage. I was always on the pursuit of happiness. And never really found it. Until that night in Brussels where a hug from a stranger put together some broken pieces in my soul.

When do I feel a sense of happiness?

For me, happiness is an hour of selfishly listening to music – preferably loud, singing along, and not having to take care of anything or anyone.

But, happiness for me also means looking at my kids and feeling proud of the young people they are becoming. I am proud because I lack role models in parenting, but my kids are awesome anyway. Sure, they could try tidying their rooms more. But they are kind and considerate, opinionated, and interested in the world. They are intelligent – we discuss a lot and speak about everything and anything. I would not be who I am now without those three young people who are only alive because I exist. Without women, there is no life on earth.

What is happiness for you?

I wonder if I am not looking in the right places or maybe, happiness is an emotion I cannot identify and label because I didn’t experience it in my formative years.

You see, today, children are taken out of families for less than the emotional neglect and abuse I suffered. And I consider myself lucky that I was able to grow up with my mom and grandma and my father who was at the periphery of my life too. And still, I cannot help but think that if a social worker had known or a teacher had cared, my life would have taken a different turn.

But… No regrets. I wouldn’t be who I am, and I would not think the way I do, if my past had been different.


Sunday morning song

This one was written this morning. The sun was shining through the window, and I was thinking about the past. Not dwelling on it, not missing it. Just remembering. It was nice—a serene moment.

I noticed that many people are negative these days. They are vile and feel like the victims. They are afraid someone is gossiping about them, and yet, they are doing the same. It happens online and in my daily life too. If people spent more time focussing on themselves and what they have instead of focussing on others and what they want, they would be more content.

Yesterday, I had a discussion about merch and art. I did not get the artist’s point; I did not understand it. The other party was trying to explain. And after some back and forth, I conceded that I misunderstood the artist’s intention. It was a discussion that was respectful and informative. And yet, I was worried that I had offended the other party and got in touch in the evening planning on apologising – if necessary. Obviously, I had not offended them, and that was due to the tone of the discussion.

I am confronted with so much negativity all the time that I noticed that I am walking on eggshells and always afraid to step on someone’s toes. It is exhausting. And it is surprising when someone is an adult about a discussion.

We could all do with some positive vibes these days.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Flash #12

Dear Stranger

It has been a while. Lots happened, and yet, nothing changed. A lot has changed. The way we are together has changed. As if there is a friendship building. Slowly. And apart from the dirty fantasies and sex calls. It feels comforting. There are no expectations and no pressure. Just there. A while ago, this would not have been possible. A normal, real conversation would have been unthinkable. But it is not anymore. And I am grateful for that. I am not in love; you aren’t either. But there is connection and affection tinting our brief chats. For years, I wanted you to see me. And now, now you do. It took a pandemic to make you see me. It shouldn’t be like this, but it matters. It is important for me that you see me, and I feel serene when you are near.

Forever yours,


Flash #3

And if I am falling? Who will pick me up? No one will because I don’t allow anyone close enough to see me fail – or succeed. I don’t have secrets; I just don’t tell everything. And if I am struggling in my tired mind, when my mind tells me sweet little lies? Then I’ll fight with myself. That’s how I do it. And it is the only way I know how to do it. If anyone wanted to support me, I would not allow it. Out of fear that my insecurities and failures are too ugly. Insecurities and self-sabotage are lonely friends feeding of lies they told in the darkest hours of the night.

Flash #2

It’s a battlefield. Inside. A knot of nerves. One too many butterflies. Too much of that tingling feeling in her belly. Clammy hands are gripping the steering wheel. Knuckles white. Itchy palms. And that smile on her lips? It leaves dimples in her cheeks. There are one hundred directions to go, but which one is right? She is not driving. Her foot is not pushing down on the pedal. She closes her eyes and remembers how he held her tight. One too many butterflies are doing summersaults in her belly. A knot of nerves. Inside. It’s a feeling a lot like love. Love is a battlefield.


I let the kindle slip off my lap and down to the couch. There are pins and needles in my left leg, and I shake it, moving my toes to make it feel normal again. Normal. That’s when you don’t feel anything at all. That’s normal. No discomfort, no pain – normal. Is that normal, though? What seems normal for some is anything but for others.

I used to take care of my mom when I was a child. Feeding, washing, soothing her – that was normal. Most people don’t experience anything like that until they or their parents are old. But for me, at age six, it was life and I didn’t know it any other way. She relied on me to do these things, because I am her child. I guess that is why I care about people so much. I was raised to believe that being kind and silent and denying my own self in favour of others means that I am loved. I guess that is why if I feel a connection, I equate that with making sure others are well and without worries. And if they are happy or content, I hope they feel some kind of friendship, affection, or even love toward me. But I know very well that it doesn’t work that way. Emotions are not bribery.

I cannot make you love or even like me. I cannot beg for friendship when there is none and there are no basic similarities between us. I cannot ask for you to remember the moments of unmistakable connection when you are ignoring what happened for the sake of your sanity.


I am human. And I feel. Everything. Deeply. And some days, I wished I was normal: not feeling anything at all.

Sunday Scribblings #38 – art

Written with Aaron’s weekly prompt in mind.

I wonder, am I allowed to call my scribblings art? My poetry and writings, are they art, or is that the wrong label for them? Last week I had a chat with a musician who was insistent that everyone who creates something is an artist in their own right and that we should claim that label for us again.

This is my latest piece of micro poetry as posted on my Instagram account

In my mind, I am not an artist. Musicians, photographers, painters, other writers… They are all artists, but not me. In my mind, there is a voice telling me that I am not good enough and that I am wasting time and space.

I feel as if I am pretending most of the time – which I am not, though. What you see is what you get; the only thing that is different in my daily life is that I am more open online and less timid. I am an introvert, after all.

I bet you don’t know what this is…

What I do know, though, is that art inspires art. And if I follow MrSteJ‘s words, then I am allowed to call myself an artist too. And if I continue with that train of thought, then I should admit that yes, my writing is always inspired by music, photography, or even the poetry of someone else.

Maybe, art is what we allow to be art? Maybe everything is art. Just like everything is energy.

I guess I need to think about this some more.


That dream again. I am at work sitting on the floor with the babies, playing. My phone rings. I often don’t take your calls; you know that. But this time, I am in a good mood. I just want to tell you to call later. I take the call while I walk outside of our little space. But it is not your voice that’s asking for me. It is your brother. I am confused at first, trying to understand how and why he is calling when you always said that I am your best-kept secret. “He passed away,” your brother says, and I nod as if he was seeing me. “We will issue a statement today, but I thought you should know. He talked about you. He loved you.” I nod again, say thank you, and drop my phone. It just slides out of my hand. I drop to my knees too. There is no sound. No strength, just tears and an unbearable pain that breaks my heart. My colleagues are concerned; they don’t know my emotional side, not like this. And I can’t speak. I just whisper your name. I wake up with a racing heart. There is no missed call. There is no statement on Facebook or any other social media. I take a deep breath and realise that I miss you. A lot. I am not ready to lose you.

73 questions (2021)

1. What’s your favorite movie
A few good men

2. Favorite movie in the past five years?
I am not sure, to be honest. I have seen so many films that I liked, it is hard to pick one.

3. Favorite Hitchcock film?
Never seen a Hitchcock film

4. A book you plan on reading? There is nothing on my reading list right now

5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?
On n’est pas sérieux quand on a dix-sept ans by Barbara Samson (English title: Being seventeen)

6. Favorite TV show that’s currently on?
A Handmaid’s Tale

7. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now?
If One is bad and Ten is super excited, I am a 7

8. iPhone or Android?
Android. Never had and never will own an iPhone

9. Twitter or Instagram?

10. Who should EVERYONE be following right now?
Whoever empowers them in a positive way. Right now, I find Russell Brand’s IG account quite interesting, but my enthusiasm for it comes and goes…

11. What’s your favorite food?
Spinach with garlic

12. Least favorite food?
Brussel sprouts

13. What do you love on your pizza?
Spinach, seafood, eggs

14. Favorite drink?
Gin & Tonic with fruits (raspberries, strawberries, mango) or simply water. I like drinking water.

15. Favorite dessert?
Mousse au Chocolat

16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Milk Chocolate

17. Coffee or tea?
Depends on my mood

18. What’s the hardest part about being a mum?
Managing the chaos and remembering everyone’s schedules, while working, and making sure everyone has enough clean clothes in their cupboard to last two days

19. What’s your favorite band?
I don’t have a favourite band anymore. Some I like a lot are Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, Anathema, the Cure…

20. Favorite solo artist?
Sivert Høyem

21. Favorite song?
Running up that hill by Kate Bush
Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

22. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?
James Morrison (please don’t stop the rain), not because I like to listen to that kind of music a lot, but because I think our voices would be good together.

23. If you could master one instrument, what would it be?

24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?
Left lower arm

25. To be or not to be?
To be

26. Dogs or cats?
Neither, but if I had to choose: dogs

27. Bird-watching or whale-watching?

28. Best gift you’ve ever received?
A personal song sung especially for me from a musician I once admired

29. Best gift you’ve ever given?
Personalized jewelry. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but I took great care in choosing it, and the person was really happy and is wearing it a lot

30. Last gift you gave a friend?

31. What’s your favorite board game?

32. What’s your favorite country to visit?
France is nice

33. What’s the last country you visited?

34. What country do you wish to visit?
UK (especially Scotland and Wales)

35. What’s your favorite color?

36. Least favorite color?

37. Diamonds or pearls?

38. Heels or flats?

39. Pilates or yoga?

40. Jogging or swimming?

41. Best way to de-stress?
Drinking Maté and listening to music. A bath helps too.

42. If you had one superpower, what would it be?

43. What’s the weirdest word in the English language?
Acknowledgement, awkward, jealous

44. What’s your favorite flower?
Calla Lilies

45. When was the last time you cried?
A couple of days ago while watching a TV show called Years and Years

46. Do you like your handwriting?

47. Do you bake?

48. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
I lack self-confidence

49. What is your most favorite thing about yourself?
My eyes, my ass, my boobs, my humour, my wit, my empathy

50. Who do you miss most?
I can think of a few people who I miss equally.

51. What are you listening to right now?
Right this moment, I am listening to a British artist called Ben Montague

52. Favorite smell?
My perfume and the way it smells on my skin (Jean-Paul Gaultier pour Femme)

53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
A colleague from work – Bianca

54. Who was the last person you sent a text to?

55. A sport you wish you could play?

56. Hair color?

57. Eye color?

58. Scary film or happy endings?
Happy Ending

59. Favorite season?

60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
Keanu Reeves, Emma Thompson, my grandma

61. Hugs or kisses?
Hugs and Kisses

62. Rolling Stones or the Beatles?
The Beatles (duh!!)

63. Where were you born?
Luxembourg city

64. What is the farthest you have been from home?
Djerba (Tunisia)

65. Sweet or savory?

66. Lipstick or lip gloss?

67. What book have you read again and again?
None. There are books I read twice, but usually, I only read them once.

68. Favorite bedtime story?

69. What would be the title of your autobiography?
In search of a balanced mind – the story of a troubled soul

70. Favorite sound?
Thunderstorm and rain outside while I am inside

71. Favorite animal?

72. Who is your girl crush?
Winona Ryder

73. Last photograph you took?

This tree is very close to my house (I live down the street). It is said to be over 100 years old.

The first edition of this post was taken in July 2018. Some answers stayed the same; others changed… Have fun…


Let love in

One day you will wake up and a wound that has always itched and that has always hurt – even if it was in a dull, almost imperceptible way, will have healed.

You will be surprised and it will be scary at first. You will try to get that feeling back – after all, it has been a part of you and your being for such a long time. But, let it go. You don’t need it anymore. And the hollow it left will be filled with something new. Something good.

(Repost/rewrite/adapted from January 2018)