The Pro

Tomorrow is the very last day at school. It’s actually where I’m supposed to be right now but my phone battery died overnight and I overslept. Since it was supposed to be a short day anyway, I didn’t bother hopping on a train for an hour just so I can be in time for lunch.

And thus, in a very anticlimactic fashion, it ended. Our last classes are about freelance work and how to use certain organizations to get the ball rolling. While paperwork couldn’t interest me if it were made from sex and pizza, I tried to pay close attention because apparently, there are some very interesting systems in place that could offer solutions for many of my employment problems, today. Their office is around the corner apparently, so I guess I’ll have to drop by some time.

Also a few points on the agenda as of late, were the feedback papers that needed filling in. The school is a very self-aware organization and makes communication its top priority through endless lists and scores- from every party, to every other party. So that means that not only I got to give our teachers a score (they all got a big fat zero for my wasted childhood) but I too received a pile of information on how good I am at sucking up. I’d like to quote the spokesperson here:

“I’ve been doing this job for a long time, perhaps even too long. And if there’s one thing I learned is that people like you… make it big. You completed the course flawlessly. We’ve had lots of students here, who weren’t as good as you, who now have very successful careers in showbiz and I’m convinced that you’ll only need to do as much as give your teachers a phone call, and they’ll gladly launch you into the business.”

No “buts” or “ifs”- This is to the letter what I was told, and it went on like that for a little while until it ended with congratulations and goodbye.
I felt a little conflicted as I walked home, for a few different reasons. First of all, it’s a little frustrating that I can pull off what will probably be the start of my career so easily, and still sort of limp behind on different things that matter just as much. Secondly, some people (though I think they’re dicks) have trouble dealing with my arrogance, and I don’t want this praise to go to my head.

If you’ll excuse me a minute, though:


First and foremost, I would like to thank myself. Thanks, Maarten, you old turtle, you newborn rat, you’re the fucking best. You’re the one who put his foot down and said, “Enough is enough.” You’re the one who recognized the need for radical change and sent my juvenile ass to boot camp. You’re the one, when I quit the army, who forced me to pick up that phone and introduced me as a motivated employee. You’re the one who woke me up every morning and sent me to work. Who nodded my head when I was asked to come work for nothing.
You made the decision to send me back to school, against all possible odds, and pushed me so far that I ditched work to show up there, dirty and tired, to look motivated and prepared even though I wasn’t. You were there every time I faced failure, pushing me through even when things were looking bad. You did something for me and I know you’ll continue doing so. I am glad I met you somewhere along the way.


I do of course owe a big thanks to friends and family as well, simply because I wouldn’t be here without them. I know I’m difficult to follow around or get a hold of, but they provided me with the distraction and warmth that I needed to find the confidence to get this far.

Enough sappy shit.

Next on my “to do” list (besides your mom) is the test that will provide me with a “proof of experience” as assistant stage technician. This will give me a strong edge when applying for a job. It’s on the 11th of July, which sucks hairy balls because on June 27th, I will be in Stockholm with no direct way to get home. I’ll have to cross northern Europe in 14 days if I want to make it back in time.
Immediately after that is the Gent Festival, where I will be sound tech for the stage at Baudelo Park. Anyone who knows Gent knows how big a fucking deal this is and frankly I think I’m in way over my head, but fuck that anyway: I’m doing it. Fingers crossed!

So now that school and internships, both of which have set my life’s pace for a long time, have ended, I’ve got a shitload of nothing waiting for me. It hasn’t been a day and the employment office is already sending me openings for factory jobs, threatening with robbing me of any income if I don’t respond with a meek “Yes, sir.” And yet, I’m not impressed- In fact I don’t think I have ever felt this confident about the future.

I’ve got several freelance jobs laid out for me and while they aren’t all paid, some of them are and that’s a big fucking novelty in Maartenland. Even the ones that aren’t, are part of my elaborate scheme to rule the market in two months time and the month after that… The world! I’ll get the opportunity to invest time and effort into a starting company that is planning to build domes using bamboo, and I’m hoping to find some work there once it kicks off.

With this as a nice example, I currently have several options open and I’ll continue to explore them and see which ones pay off the most and more importantly, are fun to do. I now have enough baggage concerning bureaucracy to know that they can’t force me to do anything for a decent period of time, so the government agencies can kindly go fuck themselves while I take my time to figure this out. I can fill the gaps with stage building (though I will have to set priorities there) and if I ever get a part-time job, I can go “freelance as secondary employment” or whatever, and that’s where the gold is. I’ll be able to make a (very) good living, do whatever the fuck I want without risking financial armageddon, and find new challenges while I’m at it.

My name is Maarten, I’m 26, and I’ve got life all figured out. Aw yeah.


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