The Flemish say: “Having an eye for opportunity”. The Dutch shout: “I’m going for it!” Seize opportunities as they come along. For they do not come by every day and possibly never again. Brussels was such an opportunity and once I was there, a couple more came along. The question is: what does one do with them? That is what this chapter is about: seizing on opportunities but also missing out on some. You can sit in a corner and sob or you can learn and get up again, to eventually emerge stronger. Turn your loss into a strength. During my early years in Brussels, this came in handy because I had to lobby a lot, including for myself. This chapter is called “From North to South”. But it could have also been “From Calvinism to Hedonism”, or “From Cold to Mediterranean”. This makes it sound like it was a good choice. Which in the end it most certainly was, but nonetheless, the impact of this transition was significant.
Every new start is difficult and especially in the beginning, I was severely longing for the protection of the old nest while the new one was not ready yet. This is what I could have called it as well: “From comfort zone to uncharted territory.” In short, Brussels gave me a good dose of culture shock. But also a new and exciting life.
I left my comfort zone and went for it, from North to South. Bruxelles, j’arrive!