For four years I’ve had a desk in Vooruit. I was asked for an internship when I was still studying. I knew nothing about Vooruit, but I took the challenge and went for it. An internship became a job. Vooruit was responsible for the first money on my bank account. For the first work experiences. The first conferences. And obviously the first failures too.
There on the third floor with the great view, many brilliant ideas got explored. Eye-opening research was done. Compelling content created. Big online communities were set-up. New sites designed & managed. Award winning campaigns created. Like that time we almost won the Conga Award with our 3000 euro campaign, beating a 20 000 euro MasterCard campaign.
My colleagues were the best. And I am pretty sure you think the same about yours, but believe me, mine were thé best.
They cared for me like I was their own blood. They hugged me for more than 6 seconds, because you only have an emotional connection after that amount of time. They laughed with my humor, if you hear my jokes you’d understand it’s less obvious than it seems. They didn’t care when I turned their desk upside down when they were on a holiday. Or when I messed up their computers when they didn’t look. My colleagues and me, we shared Wodka together. In one of the many kitchens in Vooruit. Until we fell over. We shared parties. We shared rice waffles. We shared good ideas & bad ideas. But most of all: we shared so many laughs.
No wonder Vooruit became my second home. Like that time I lost my keys and I decided to look for a bed in Vooruit. Where I discovered one of my colleagues was still at the office & hugged me because it was late at night and I was desperate to find my keys. And I did, on my desk.
Speaking of homes; my first home was always to be found in Ghent. The city I loved so much. The city of friendly people. Like Gustaf (who’s name is not Gustaf but Xavier). The city of amazing buildings . The city that welcomes anyones and even West-Flemish people! The city where bikers don’t have to give right. The city where parties start late but continue until sunrise. Especially during the Ghent Festival. The city where you can be who you are and people salute you even if they don’t know you. The city where I knew the woman of the bakery.
I’ve laughed, I’ve learned, I’ve loved. In Ghent. In Vooruit.
But the more I went to Los Angeles. The more pieces of my heart I left there and didn’t bring back home. The enthusiasm of people, the endless possibilities, the excitement, the warm climate, the cutest guy in the world.. Every time I came home, I looked around me and it felt less and less as a home.
In July I was staring at all the drunk people in the streets during the Ghent Festival, and I didn’t feel a thing anymore. The warmth I once felt, was gone. And that’s the moment I knew; it’s time to move on.
It took me a whole lot of courage but I decided I wanted it more than I was afraid of it.
So I’ve quit my job and I said goodbye to Ghent.
In January I am closing the door of Vooruit and my flat in Ghent for a last time and I am opening a new door.
The door of a plane. A plane that will carry me to Los Angeles. Where I can open a new front door: the one of my boyfriend’s place.
And what happens next, is still a mystery. But a mystery I am really excited for. Because whatever happens, good or bad, these questions will be answered: what if you give up everything you know and chose for the unknown? What if you give up the good to go for the great?
Au revoir Vooruit. Au revoir Ghent. You were very kind to me!
Hello Los Angeles!
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”
― Hugh Laurie