Resident of Love

This week does not really have that up-lifting vibes at all. The weather is really crappy the whole week, raining, cold and grey. And my work seems so dull because I have to deal with administrative tasks a lot these days. Oh well..what am I complaining for? I am healthy, I have a job and go to work every day..so it has been a normal week for me. I even have the time to go to the gym !

Only one thing which is not a part of my routine. This week I will start completing paper works for my indefinite residence permit application! I never wrote this, but it would be nice to write about my story of how I end up in this country in a nutshell.

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I came to the Netherlands for the first time in 2006, for vacation. I was still living in Germany that time. I was looking for a homestay and instead I got a family where I could babysit their daughter and lived in as Au Pair. Then I went back to Germany to sort out the paper works and was really sad because my initial plan did not go well. My initial plan was I wanted to go to Uni in Dortmund but they were not so helpful and I was running out of time and money due to my visa. Thus, I decided if the family in the Netherlands was nice I could stay there for a couple of months or maybe a year to seek any opportunities, before heading back to Indonesia to continue with further study. Well, the family in NL was really great and warm when I came there and they were really serious in having me in their house. So, a couple of months later I moved in to this young and loving family’s abode in the suburb of Amsterdam.

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Apparently, God had another plans. After a while, I met a guy, who is now my husband 🙂 A very wonderful guy I thought I would never ever meet in my life. Sadly, the work relationship between the host family and I did not come out  as smoothly as I had imagined. Maybe I had enough living together with a host family. I was then very young and maybe I really needed my freedom/privacy, a life as a live-in Au Pair was not suitable for me anymore. Later on, I moved out but kept babysitting for their daughter (and later on their baby boy) and started freelancing as a babysitter for more families. I think during my babysitting “tenure” I found out that I was really good with handling children, and they seemed to reciprocate my affection for them 🙂

A couple of months later I came back to Indonesia..did not know what to do with my life. I felt as it was hard to go back to my “normal”  life after 2 years living abroad and had to experience another kind of life struggles. Life was so easy back home compared to what I had been through while I was living abroad. I thought I was not cut out for this kind of life style anymore. What I really mean with the last sentence is; a life style where people’s opinion matters to your own life, where you cannot really be yourself when you are young, always listen to your surroundings (read:family). Yes, I became a very independent young woman after I got back from Europe.

And I missed my lovely boyfriend terribly.

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{ Lagos – Portugal }

 

Besides that, the relationship between me and my then boyfriend was getting really serious.. and I really wanted to give it a chance. In addition, I was doubtful if I could just move on with my life in Indonesia. After 2 months in Jakarta, I decided that the Netherlands was the right place to be at this moment. Thus, I went back for the second time to the Netherlands and tried to start a new life. I enrolled in a prep-year program for foreign students at a Uni in Amsterdam. I was really happy I could be together with my beau and also doing things I liked like volunteering at an information center for expats. The way to get where I am no was very difficult and rocky. I think the first 3 years were the hardest for me. In my first year, I lived in Amsterdam (Helmersbuurt) and shortly after that I moved to Amstelveen, and… Whoaa! I felt so lonesome, I had no relatives who could console me nor had friends who could cheer me up. My friends were expats or foreign students who came and went whenever they wanted. Thank God, my boyfriend’s parents were always there for me, they were amazing and were always there for me and always checked in to see if I were OK. They’re still doing this bytheway 🙂 .. They helped me a lot to get through the difficult times. Things got a bit easier and stable when I finally got real steady jobs (not temp jobs from outsourcing agencies) and real friends (who lived in NL permanently), but still I missed supports from my own parents. They were still a bit disappointed that I chose to live abroad and pursued my dreams. Living abroad did not mean everything was sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. There were times when I compared how easy things were back in Indonesia and here was completely bullshit. In that particular moment, I wanted to go back so badly.

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{ Reunion with my besties; Kate and Leni in Germany.. I miss you girls!! }

 

In my 4th years in the Netherlands, in early 2011, I got really sick and had to rest from work for a couple of days.. I was sooo desperately looking for a new job because I was really unhappy at my work. Really unhappy. I think I could shoot myself at that time. My career was stuck. My salary was a joke.. I had no motivation at all to continue working for that company.  It was a time bomb for me.. From a couple of days of sick leave I got sick again and this time it became a two-week sick leave. My body gave up after such a long time of stress endurance, and after my sick leave I started to work again (part-time) by building up the working hours slowly…yeah it was such a stressful time. Thankfully, I left that place in time, I got contacted by a recruiter and she offered me an interview at my current company..Oh my really it was a miracle. Two weeks after that interview I got the job! And that year my boyfriend proposed me during our summer holiday in Algarve, Portugal. It was my year.. Things got better and better. We got an apartment in the suburb of Amsterdam, we renovated the apartment together (with much help of in-laws and friends too!) and adopted another cat (Rooie) which was a perfect start of our new life together.

A year later we got married. My parents came to visit us and we had a very wonderful small wedding attended by closest friends and family.

I am so relieved that my parents finally give their blessings to what I do, and to us now as a wedded couple.

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And then here I am now, a year later..applying for an indefinite residence permit after 5.5 years living in this beautiful country. Things could go another way during those years. Our relationship could go wrong, my career could go worse and maybe if I did not get my current job I could be still sick and .. pffhh I do not want to imagine it! But, it is not. I am really grateful for that, really grateful.

There are some thing that have changed in me for sure. I have more faith in myself now, because I have experienced quite some barriers but I still manage to jump over those barriers. I do not make a fuss over small things or at least try not to be fussy over nothing, because it is not worth wasting my energy over silly things. I am constantly trying to always be true to myself and to stay humble. I let my life go as it goes, and I do not like any negativity interferes my life but of course, sometimes it is inevitable. C’est la vie. I do not let people tell me how I should live my life. I follow my heart for what I believe in and for what it’s worth.

There you go..it is not really easy to write my 5+ years of life journey in a nutshell but hey, maybe this is the first and the last post about the story behind how I end up living in NL… I hope this application process does not take too much time and hassle like my first application back then in 2007. And I hope, my residency here in NL will give me more of (kick-ass) life lessons and great chances.

Wish me luck, friends!

XOXO

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26 thoughts on “Resident of Love

  1. Love your story! I can’t believe you are going to be a resident of the Netherlands! Best of luck dear! I must plan a trip back soon! Miss you!!

    • What a nice surprise to read your comment my liebe Kate! yep I will be soon a permanent resident of the Netherlands. Thank you so much, and definitely you must come back soon and stay at Casa Stuurman!! greets for the Blackburns and your beau. Love you heaps xx

  2. Your life in a nutshell! Semoga sukses semuanya Oppie, untuk perkawinan kalian berdua, pekerjaan, pertemanan dan perkembangan diri. Only you yourself are entitled of your own life not others. About living abroad: home is where the loved ones are. And life is about making choices. Veel succes met de aanvraag voor onbepaalde tijd verblijfsvergunning.

    • Erg bedankt mbak yoyen..it means a lot for me 🙂 The words you chose were absolutely true, so true..udah pernah merasakan betapa tersiksanya hidup yg harus ndengerin omongan/ocehan orang2. There is also another quote I like about life: “Choosing to live your life by your own choice is the greatest freedom you will ever have.”

      Btw..it is also a very nice privilege to have 2 homes, no? 🙂 Fijn weekend he!

      • Memang kultur mendengarkan omongan orang atau memperhitungkan pandangan orang kekita itu khas untuk daerah yang menganut We culture. Kalo daerah yang menganut I culture seperti Belanda ya orang-orangnya ngga peduli sama orang lain, individualistis. Ada pro & kontranya sih menurut gw, tergantung kita cocoknya sama yang mana. Imigrants always have 2 homes: the home country and adopted country.

  3. Semoga lancar ya Pie.. Btw kalo mau dapet PR di NL itu harus nunggu 5 tahun ya? Haiks, i got it easy here in Sweden dong kalo gt.. >___< 5 tahun udah bisa ganti passport kl mau.. Hihihi

    • Tack be 🙂 Iya jeng bebe disini harus nunggu 6 thn ( after 1 thn permit + 5 thn permit ) baru bisa apply for PR. Nah udah bisa juga apply for a passport/kewarganegaraan cumaaaann..ga bisa 2 passport harus milih salah satu. Cemen bgt yak indonesah >,<

      • O ya, untuk dual citizenship baik dari pemerintah Belanda maupun dari pemerintah Indonesia ngga bisa. Peraturan ini mulai efektif di Belanda sejak 4 tahun lalu sementara di Indonesia ngga pernah boleh wraga negara ganda. Perkecualian: anak dari pasangan kawin campur RI & warga negara asing boleh dual citizenship sampai si anak berumur 18 tahun.

  4. Wooowww….. Happy ending!!
    Pertama, gw suka foto wedding lo! Abis! Yang sepatu itu… keren banget.
    Kedua, eh walopun lo belom PR, tapi lo bisa kerja ga sih disana? Soalnya ditempat gw kalo gak PR ya ga bisa kerja full time. Bisa kesenengan gw kalo disuruh nganggur 5 taun hihihihi^^
    Ketiga, embeeeeerrr… (ini ralated to your reply on Bebe’s women), indo cemen banget!! Bikin susah orang ajaaa… huhuhu…

    • Pas ngambil foto itu padahal cm lg iseng si fotografer nya hehehe. Makasiih!! Disini udah bisa kerja langsung untungnya pas dapet permit yg pertama (1 thn). Kalo gak gitu gimana imigran kayak gua bisa makan hihihi. Jadi ga harus PR untuk bisa kerja. Emang yah indonesia tuh ih pengen gw plintiirr..kyk pengen ke UK aja dari NL kan tinggal loncat itu gara2 masih WNI musti kudu bikin visa (mahal pulak) 😦

  5. Oppieeee!!!
    Now I get ittt!
    Now I get it why you told me you understand my story. Nggak kebayang lo masih semuda itu mesti tinggal sama Au pair yang notabene was a stranger. But you did it Pie, you did it!!
    It’s true that things get better. It is.
    You had an amazing 5 (+1) years in NL and there will be more 5 years to come and will be even more amazing! =D
    You know what, Can you imagine how your life turned out to be if you weren’t that brave to take the step out from Indonesia? =)

    • Iya dengan modal nekat bok, heuheu. Kadang2 gw jg mikir gitu May, dih gw kok dulu pede amat yak ke jerman & ke nl sorangan bae..mana ga da temen palagi sodara gitu..hahaha!! Betul, things get better you just have to have a faith in it. Thanks May for your kind words 🙂

    • Makasih ya non :)Tau ga non nyari sepatu itu susaaahh bgt, ke luar kota, keluar masuk toko, hmm semua nya biasa aja..eehh pas sm mertua ke pasar ngeliat sepatu ini langsung jatuh cintrong..murah pulak..hihihi…iya ya kamu kemaren sama sama ungu juga!!

      • Alahhh non gak laahh biasa aja. Biasanya orang klo udah tau apa yg dia mau & kefefet, pasti motivasi nya kuat & bisa kewujud apa yg dipengenin…simpel sebenernya non.

  6. Wow…hebat banget ya lo, bearti masih muda banget far far away from home, secara materi pas pas-an pulak…
    Kemaren2x (mungkin) ngasah elu jadi ‘berlian’ pe 🙂
    A very best luck for you and your little family…

  7. Dag dappere dochter, wat heb je het goed gedaan allemaal,veel moed en doorzettingsvermogen getoond. Dank je wel voor de lieve woorden over ons.
    Mam en Pap

    • Dag mijn allerliefste moeder,ik kan niet beshcrijven hoeveel jullie mij hebben geholpen tijdens leuke en zware tijden..wat ben ik een bofkontje hehe!

      Dikke kusjes xx

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