Vixxie’s year of glory has arrived

Vixxie’s year of glory has arrived

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Farewell 2016. You will not be missed.

It has not exactly been the most cheerful year in existence. Endless streams of desperate refugees. Continued financial crisis all around the globe. Islamitic State’s sinister regime of terror which also struck in the heart of my country. We said goodbye to way too many pillars of pop music and good actors. There was Brexit. And then there was Trump, just when I thought I had seen it all…

Somehow I’m impressed that I’m still sitting here writing on my Bumblebee (tablet), in my old jogging pants and favourite worn-out sweater full of cat hair. I could have been bombed away by a terrorist suicide-bomber in the airport, on the way to one of my city trips. I could have been blown up in the public transport, on my way to work. I could have been shot by an automatic machine-gun while enjoying some metal music in the concert hall. I could also just have been murdered for writing brutally honest blog posts or drawing some funny cartoons about everything that is wrong with this world. I could have been mown off the road by a truck while minding my own business on the Christmas market. EACH AND EVERY single one of those situations and places, are things that I regularly do, visit or get involved with.

So honestly, in between those wonderful highs I loved writing about this year, 2016 has also been a year of many fears and wondering if there is life on Mars. Those “good” old days where war only happened in third tier countries, a show only seen on tv far faraway from your doorstep… yeah.. err.. not so much any more. And that has been the root of much anxiety. There’s been too many days of camping the sofa with cheap pizza and self-pity, reluctant to go outside. There’s been moments I really wished I wasn’t forced to live in this world being destroyed by utter madness. I’ve cried reading news articles on PC. I’ve been depressed and I’ve had nightmares. I’ve gone to sleep many nights being terrified to wake up the morning without a family, a boyfriend or a roof over my head just because some radicalised douchebag wants to mark his passage on earth like a stray cat and piss on established society in the name of a god that doesn’t exist.

But at the end of the day, we were all born to cope. Humans are strong creatures and struggle on, no matter what. All those victims of war with nothing left but their dreams, all those children growing up in battlefields of debris or millions of US citizens being led into destruction by a shark with seriously creepy hair…. it all has a way of putting my feet back on solid ground and it gives me perspective on the sheltered life I am STILL living here.

That’s why in 2017, I will be brave and won’t let fear rule my life. I refuse to step into the plane with an upset stomach, anxious of being hit by a stray rocket from either Gaza or Syria. I refuse reconsidering and missing out on travelling the globe because of some extremist jackasses. I will still be walking the streets without being extra discriminative towards religion or ethnic origin, even if I am the last person with white privilege in Antwerp (lmao). Just kidding. Kind of. I don’t want my world to become even smaller than it already is and I don’t want to say “no” to memorable moments just because something may or may not happen. Fear is a bad consultant anyway.

One a smaller scale though, what my personal timeline is concerned, 2016 hasn’t been remarkable in any way, positive nor negative, except that I turned 35. It’s been pretty gray (with some colourful highlights here and there). There’s been a lot of searching but not finding and a lot of small steps back to prepare for a bigger jump. There’s been the realisation that I need to seriously take back control of the rampant growing frustro-tantrums, as I like to call them. Overall, it’s not been the year of great discoveries (except the little gem which is Tel Aviv). It’s however also been a year of very little regret. I’ve missed a few mandatory turns left and right, crashed my metaphorical car into the wall once or twice but in retrospect, there wasn’t anything that couldn’t be solved with some easy fixing vixxing and that’s a good thing. And no, I still didn’t get a driver’s license. 

Enough about last year’s mutton chops. 2016 can kiss my arse, hello 2017 !

2017 is going to be nothing short of majestic.

Firstly, because I will be 35 years old for the full length of 2017 minus 13 days. And 35 is a milestone, a truly ancient milestone. Secondly because 2017 is the year of the Rooster in Chinese astrology, and I’m a golden rooster, born in 1981.

You would think that during this year, your luck would get a boost of at least twenty percent, right? EEEEERP. Wrong. According to the Chinese, the year of one’s birth sign is the most unlucky year in the 12-year cycle. In the year of your sign, fortune in all aspects of your life will plummet. Good thing I’ve stopped reading bogus horoscopes fifteen years ago. Gulp.

I’m a great believer in Luck: The harder I work, the more luck I have. Especially the financial kind. Now we all know that people make their own fortune in this world. So unless you’re that one in a billion motherfucker who wins the Euromillions, we all know that success in life has a linear increase parallel to motivation and effort. And that just happens to be the #one thing this year, I will enjoy the fruits of: my hard work in 2016.
It also happens to be the thing Chinese chickens are known for: Hard-working, resourceful, courageous and multi-talented. Roosters are more motivated than other animals in the Chinese zodiac, making their careers a priority in their lives. Even more determined and with more perseverance, if you’re a golden rooster born in 1921 or 1981.

Last year, I’ve been doing some serious foundation works. Just like when you’re planning on drinking alcohol all night, you make sure you’re prepared by layering your stomach with a lot of cheese or fat foods.

So it may look like I’ve made no substantial improvements to my life in 2016, but in the past few months I’ve been restructuring some aspects in my life.

1) I’ve finally found what direction I want to go with my freelance design business. I’ve figured out most of the paper mill associated with freelance work without being skinned alive by the Belgian tax system. I’ve been rewiring the engineering room of my portfolio website and spent a lot of time copywriting and storytelling my creative agency. I’ve finished the “inspirational” phase of my identity, and I’ve made the first steps towards setting a couple of corporate decisions in stone. All of these structural works will allow me to FINALLY publish my new website and reveal my new identity. Ready to show off my newly acquired skillset while (still) powering through my Art Director education. I’ve found some fabulous new clients and I’m lining them up properly for when the chapter at my fulltime day-job comes to an end. This year may just bring that fresh breath of wind to my professional life.

2) The relationship that me and N. are in, has taken an interesting turn this year. After a couple of years of fiddling around each other and trying to figure out this strange attraction but lack of compatibility and distance issues, we’ve seemed to have come to a road we can walk together without causing too much debris. For a while there it looked like our locomotive ran out of steam but things picked up and I’m so positive about the outcome of our journey, that I’m starting to believe that I may actually get past 4rth base for the first time in my life.

3) In 2017, for the 30th+ time in my life, I’m taking charge of my health. I don’t actually believe that this time will be different from any other previous attempts but if not for weight loss or health, perhaps just because it is fun. I’ve wrapped up a foot spa under the Yule tree this year and some claws-and-paws accessories. I’m probably going to renew my HelloFresh subscription or at least try to stick more closely to their weekly recipes. I’ve bought some new kitchen apparel that I’ve been ogling for so long, that will allow me to go ham with sugar-free smoothies, juices and vegetable punches. And oh-em-gee I can  make hummus in a blender now that manages to crush chickpeas ! I bought a Brita water filter can as well (I LOVE IT!!), so now I have fresh mineral water available at all times (no more dragging bottles all around town) instead of diet soda and hopefully it will work well with my soda stream.

And THAT, is how this rooster is going to climb all the way to the top in 2017 !

By the way, in February, I’ll participate in Tournée Mineral ( https://tourneeminerale.be/nl ). But Vixxie you don’t drink alcohol anyway ! Yeah, so it will be extra easy! No seriously, I will take the name literally and I will ban ALL soda from my life for one month. I will drink only mineral water and derivates like tea. And occasionally a coffee because I somehow need to get through the day. Sounds good? Join me! Or sponsor me for 1 euro per (successful) day. All the money goes integrally to Kankerfonds (cancer fund). 

I’ve not made any New Year’s Resolutions. I’m a girl of many traditions. Every January, I make the same three: Stop snacking at 11pm, stop wasting time gaming too much and for the love of all things holy, stop eating so much cheese. And every year in February, I conclude that New Year’s Resolutions just aren’t my thing. I still get hungry at 11pm and I still play games way too late at night. I once actually managed to cut down on the cheese, but then I met my N. and he may be the only person in this world with a cheese addiction worse than mine. Goodbye effort!

All of that aside, here’s a few bits of advice for you that I picked up last year: Keep reminding yourself what you work for and don’t get lost on the way to the success because it really is The Road of Many Temptations. Don’t work too hard, work smart instead. Be productive instead of busy. Don’t forget that you can achieve more with empathy and respect. Last but not least: ALLOW yourself to simply be happy.

Other than that, my crystal ball has predicted that 2017 will be spent solving conflicts and moving a few steps closer to world peace. It’ll be a year with a lot of public fuck-it responses but also one full of solidarity and loving each other just that little bit more. #IAmHappy will replace #JeSuisCharlie at the top of the solidarity Twitter charts. Ow, and 2017 will be the year Trump turns out to be a woman.

Bring it on !

Also… I loooooove Chinese painting art!

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