Where do you live? – I live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Originally from another part of the country, Amsterdam has been my home for seven years now and I absolutely love it. I’ve moved around a few times and have gotten to experience many different aspects of the city. There are just so many beautiful things that surround you every day… The fact that I got to watch the sunset from a boat on the canals yesterday evening makes me very much appreciate that I get to live here.
How old are you? – I recently turned 27 and it feels excellent!
What are you really proud of yourself for? – I lost my job about four months ago, while I was in the midst of recovering from eye surgery. I knew it was coming so I had prepared myself, but it was nevertheless stressful and somewhat scary. Not sure what to do, I decided the one thing I was best off not doing was panic and take just any job in fear of financial difficulties. I had a little bit of savings and went on (the Dutch equivalent of) welfare. It felt uncomfortable at first and I spent many hours working through vacancies in search of a fitting job, until I realized I was putting too much pressure on it. I was exhausting myself. The surgery had left me with a complete new way of using my eyes and seeing the world, which was very intense both physically and mentally, and I really needed some time to get used to it. So I took the job hunt to a minimum and got a career coach instead (for free! thank you volunteering professionals!) in order to get some perspective on what I have done so far, what skills and qualities I developed from that and how I would like to use them in a future job.
I don’t have one just yet, but I am really proud of myself for listening to my gut feeling, for not panicking under very stressful circumstances and for taking the time to heal and find some balance in my life again. In fact, in finding that balance I unexpectedly discovered a few weeks ago what I really want to do with my life and for a living: I want to become a health coach! It’s a complete 180 from where I came from (I studied Media & Cultural Studies, majored in Film and minored in International Development Studies) and it is going to take time, money and effort to get the proper education and experience, but it feels absolutely right and I’m very excited
The story of my cake picture: To celebrate my 27th, one of my closest friends took me to a movie – Magic Mike, ideal for birthdays – and we went for cake and bubbles afterwards. Lemon Merengue pie for me and two cupcakes for him. I usually go for chocolate-y things, lots of icing and, when appropriate, whipped cream too, but it was just too hot for the heavy stuff that day.
What’s your favorite movie right now? - I’m such a movie buff and will watch just about anything, so it’s hard to pick. But the film museum here in Amsterdam is currently running a Stanley Kubrick retrospective, including showings of all his films, and recent viewings I enjoyed include 2001: A Space Odessey (so cool on the big screen!), Eyes Wide Shut (strange as ever) and Lolita (unexpectedly funny!). But most of all, the movie I really enjoyed this summer was Magic Mike. Awesome. I saw it twice and can’t wait for the DVD (bonus material please!).
Do you have a body image/beauty story to share? – I’m pretty tall (190 cm/ nearly 6’3″) so I stand out and get attention wherever I am and whatever day I’m having. Not always fun. My entire family has height and my parents did everything to make me stand tall and proud so it never was a really big deal. But you can’t escape the fact that the world is catered to people who are much shorter than you. And with big height come big numbers: clothing sizes, weight, etc. Just the stuff that can make any girl very self-conscious… I remember one time when I was about 17, Oprah did one of her shows on weight loss or something and she mentioned what size clothing she wore. I wore the exact same size. Yet, of course, I looked completely different; I was over 8 inches taller then her! I think from that moment on it slowly but surely starting sinking in that numbers are just numbers, you shouldn’t value them to be something you base your self-worth on. I stopped using a scale, because even if I knew that my height meant that the number would be higher than all of my friends’, it would still be a high number and I think we have all been programmed to fear and loathe high numbers when in comes to our bodies. I figured, and still do, if I really gain weight I will be able to tell by the way my clothes fit and by the way I look in the mirror. And trust me, I found out the truth in that. I started getting heavier as soon as I left for university and struggled for about 8 years to find the right way for me to feel fit and healthy. But it seems I might have gotten there and I have not used a scale to tell me that for nearly a decade!
What’s your unroast for today? – Today I love the way my sun-kissed skin pops against the boldly patterned long summer dress I’m wearing. I tend not to wear bold patterns as I don’t really need to make an effort to stand out…
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Good luck with your new career, Rosanne! I am so impressed by you and loved every moment of this little interview. I STILL haven’t seen Magic Mike. Damn it.
People– if you have a cake pic and a story to tell and want to answer my random questions in the cake eaters series, you know where to find me! (firstname.lastname@example.org) (in case you forgot for a second where to find me)