Interview with Ellen. Topic: “Time”. Ellen couldn’t have picked a better topic for the moment of transition she is currently going through in her life. Reading it back, she was very happy with the outcome. “Really nice and good” were her words. We agree and wish you a pleasant read.
In our pre-talk, you said that stability became more important for you after your adventurous life. Does this have to do with age and time?
Of course. Especially because I’m a woman, I think. I naturally feel like I want to settle and make babies. Not every woman, I don’t want to generalize, but I do.
Do you think that women have a different perception of time?
Generally, I think that everybody has their different perception of time. But nature pushes women in a way. At one point there is something happening naturally in every woman’s body. For the last two years, I’ve felt my body change due to my hormones. My doctor says that they are kind of overly happy and ready for nesting. It’s not even like I especially wanted kids, but my body is giving me signs. I could ignore them and decide that I don’t want to have children, but…
It seems like you are busy with it.
Now yes. I’m ready for nesting and reproducing (laughs).
Do you think it’s purely biological or does this time pressure also come through expectations from society?
I never had that…from the outside. In the past it was clear. From 18 you work, with 21 you should marry and have a baby. If with 30 you still didn’t, it would be a thing. That woman would be out and not accepted. But I think that now it’s different. I didn’t have that pressure or this need to fit in society. Like: „I’m almost 30, I need to make a baby“.
Does time play a role for you in that eventually?
Not at all. It’s more that I feel happy now with how my love situation is. So I feel the need to hold onto it. It’s good, it’s there, why should I wait even longer to wait or test if it’s real? I just really feel this thing inside me.
So in your case, it would be intuition over time?
Yes, however other factors are involved as well. Finances, we live in different countries. Maybe not really time, but I need to take the time to figure out where to live and how to feel stable first.
Are you a planner?
Yes (laughs). It’s weird because it’s contradictory. On one hand, I’m an artist and I would go to China, I would go to Capetown, go to Holland and sometimes traveling through two or three countries in a day just to do some dancing. In that sense, I don’t care about time and just go with it. On the other hand, when I went to bed, I always wanted to know what was going to happen the next day. Where I have to be and at what time. So in that sense, I’m very organized.
Do you think that planning and adventure go together?
They must because it’s me and I exist. I have many more of these contradictions within me. However, I’d say that I’m less of a planner now.
Earlier you said that you were going towards stability more and more. Doesn’t planning less mean that you’re actually going for more adventure in your life?
(Laughs). True, it’s very weird. In a way I wanna give in to both I think. I’ve had a very adventurous time in my life and I feel like I had so much adventure that it was enough for me to be adventurous and have a lot of good stories. Now I’d love some stability, a home, a little family. The problem with planning is that it makes you overdo everything so you cannot breathe. Even when I had two weeks off and thought; „Ok, I can go on adventure“ I’d plan the two weeks of adventure.
Are you hoping for slowness? You’ve been living at a very accelerated speed.
Yes. Also, I’m moving towards breathing more and being in the moment, I think. Since that’s not really in my nature, I need to take time for it. I understood that and that’s why now it’s easier for me to say no to things, to people and to jobs so I can have more time to be on my own, with my boyfriend and in the moment. Last week I had a moment in which I was about to plan every detail of my trip to Amsterdam, but then I thought: „Ooof! You’re still here, in the south of France!“
Does planning have to do with fear and wanting to fill all the time-slots that you have?
It’s the fear of time passing by and me not enjoying it and realizing what’s going on.
It’s interesting because it sounds like you’d like to simply perceive time and be aware of it. A wish that many people probably have.
Because we live too much ahead of ourselves. It’s draining energy and you’re always short on time.
Speaking of which. What do you think of the following quote: „No one is busy in this world, it’s only a matter of priorities“?
Priorities can depend on the moment. I have a very dear friend whose career is going very well at the moment. This morning we tried to fix a time to meet up today. She said: „ Wait, let me get my agenda“ and I felt already like „Ooof“. We had to plan a time to meet up that same day. However, it’s normal that her career is her priority at the moment.
What about your priorities?
My priorities are changing right now. Of course, they don’t change from one day to another. That’s why I’m in this weird time zone of transition. My priority would always be my dancing and doing better or getting into that one company. But I was so focused on this that I was not even enjoying what I was doing. And suddenly time passed, I’m six years further and I wonder: “What the fuck do I have? Nothing. Do I even remember what I did?” Because if I look at it on paper, it’s amazing all the things I did. But I cannot really feel them anymore. They’re kind of gone. It’s almost like they flew away and I have to dig into my memories to live them again. That’s why my priorities are shifting. I found love and a partner which made me live not only for myself suddenly. In the beginning that was very weird. Almost like „This is not right“, but it’s like that.
Place of birth: Wilwoorde (Belgium)
Parents: Father Eddy (civil engineer), mother Pascale (worked in HR and is currently out of work)
Siblings: Little brother Hannes, just moved to Australia for a postdoc
Study/ Learned profession: Professional dancer
Relationship status: In a relationship
Romantic or realistic? Very realistic
How many Facebook friends do you have? No idea
Adventure or Stability? It was always adventure, going for stability now.
Coffee/Tea: Coffee (black)
My favorite spot in Amsterdam: On my bike, always. And the Surinamese restaurants.
If I were a bitterbal I’d be filled with…cheese, the good one.