Thank you 2012.
It has been an exciting year. I quit my job, packed my backpack took off to India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. I've seen poverty like I never seen povery before. Next to Nike-stores or big Audi's.
When I came home in spring the trees were green again. No job, no income. It was exciting and a little frightening but it never felt stressfull. I found myself a 7 euro job in a very posh hotel. I carried up clean towels, and brought dirty laundry down the stairs. The whole world worked in the basement-halls of that hotel: people from Ghana, Poland, Swiss, Ireland, France. It felt like India all over again: the filthy rich living besides the poor and both not minding eachother business. For me it was not easy to work in a place where it was perfectly normal for people to pay 500 euro for a hotelroom, while the one who cleans you room earns as little as 7 euro per hour (minus 3 euro lunch-money everyday that managment substracts from you wages).
Needless to say I did not last very long. (The limit was the 21 year old receptionist who looked at my when I asked her to call me when the Security-guy was around, and said:"No that is not part of my job...")
I decided to dive fullforce into my freelance adventure and was happy with every illustration, wedding-invitation or drawing that came my way. And I became resourceful: my house became a little B&B. The guests came from California, Swiss, Belgium and Canada. Another dream crept up to me: owning my little guesthouse while working as a part-time illustrator.
With gaining freedom I lost some money. But I loved spending time at the horses, at my voluntary job, at home, with my books, reading reading reading. All these things were gratuit or very cheap: I bought old books, ate my own potatoes and bought apples from a roadstand. What a lovely year it was. Thank you all for visiting, for telling your friends about me, for liking me or buying my work. THANK YOU. A scary step is a lot easier to take if you have people cheering for you.
For everybody: a happy and content 2013. Love Marike.
Ps: feel free to download the image and use to send to your friends&family