Friday, May 20. On the go. A few hours later than planned and overexcited. Going on a trip I have been dreaming of for months. Hamburg it is. Why? Just following my heart. What I don’t know yet, is that half a day later I would be feeling sad and lonely. Hamburg is bringing back memories; sad memories.

From unlimited happiness to lonely pain

All the way to Hamburg I am full of happiness. I have a crush on my car and when I’m not singing out loud the love songs that the speakers shout, plans keep popping up. I’m full of creativity and the ride gives me a crazy amount of energy. But then it hits me, it hits me when I call the hotel in Hamburg to ask where to park. Unexpected and unexpectedly hard: a feeling of sadness. And realizing it, it even hits harder. I feel lonely and miserable.

In a sad state of mind and friends can’t change it

I check in at the Curio Reichshof, put my stuff in my room and decide to go to the lobby to have a G&T (two to be honest). I see people checking in and others checking out. There’s a lot of dynamic in the hotel, which usually adds to my energy level. But this time it doesn’t work, it seems that my sadness only increases every 10 minutes. The kind text messages I receive from curious friends about my first love trip, don’t make a difference. Even a message from the DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station that they want to contribute to my first love experience, doesn’t change the mood I’m in. I’m feeling lonely!

A G&T (or two) in the lobby at the Curio Reichshof Hamburg.
A G&T (or two) in the lobby at the Curio Reichshof Hamburg, Germany

Do you trust happy singles

When people tell me they are ‘happy single’, I get a bit suspicious. It’s maybe in their voice. Or maybe it’s because of those who shout the loudest about being so happy and single, are the ones that suffer the most from their finger injuries swiping Tinder. Once I was single. (For those who want to know, I never used an adjective such as happy to my single-status. By the way, I don’t have a Tinder-account either.) As a single I probably explained over a thousand times that being single or alone is not the same as being lonely. Actually I never thought of myself as a lonely person. But one can be mistaken. Being in Hamburg all out of a sudden I realize how lonely I once was. It was the time I was living in Berlin many years ago. I definitely wasn’t what you call a happy single at that time, though the unhappy part had nothing to do with the single-status.

A broken heart in the way

Whereas it was my plan to use my weekend in Hamburg to study love by reading books, observing people and talking to them, I was by no means able to connect. My broken Berlin-heart was unexpectedly standing in the way. I realized that to be able to connect, I had to connect with my unprocessed feelings. Emotions I actually wasn’t even aware of. I had to heel myself.

Loving yourself

Time to practice what I preach. To practice what I preach on stage and use to challenge companies to start working from the heart. Time to love myself. The kind of love that’s needed to be loved by someone else. Which makes me think of two things. The first thing is long ago. A boyfriend, uhh – actually my boyfriend at that time, cheated on me. Yes, it did hurt. I got rid of the guy and decided not to fall in love for at least one year. My heart was broken and needed healing. Somehow I managed in only a few weeks to get over the whole thing. What happened next? I guess I never experienced so much flirting as I did in the next 11 months. ‘Love myself’ was probably written all over me and apparently a very attractive message. The second thing is the message I got from a quaning experience about a year ago. Quaning is a tool to reach your goals. I only ever did one session. Just to experience. The take-away was to practice what I preach. I never did get the message. Guess what? Now I do!

How does that ‘love yourself’ thing work

Gary Chapman, he’s the Oprah Winfrey of love, preaches the 5 language of love to connect. Those messages are quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service and physical touch. I use Gary’s love language in my work. In Hamburg I decided to use them for myself. My prefered love language is quality time. So the first thing I did? To get rid of my original plan. No love studying or interviewing for me this weekend. Just Nicoline-time. 100% quality time for myself. After that I considered a massage as a present and to address the physical touch, but somehow I didn’t want to take the risk of a German touching me. The pain of the unprocessed emotions are still too fresh. I convinced myself that this was perfectly fine. Those words of affirmation worked. Following I asked myself what my Don Juan would do in this case to bring comfort. That’s when I decided to go for a walk to the lake in Hamburg. Because for me as a fire-sign nothing brings me more comfort than being close to the water. It worked!

towel hotelroom
Doing those things for myself that my Don Juan would do for me, such as making a towel bridge from bed to bathroom as I hate to walk on somebody else’s carpet

12-hours of sleep

It worked perfectly well. I slept for the first time in years 12 hours in a row. I woke up, had breakfast and went for a walk. The sun was shining. I experienced how my heart started to beat again. I treated myself at the end of the day with rooftop cocktails and decided to have dinner in the most standard restaurant ever. Didn’t want to experience anything fancy, but myself. Again I had a good night of sleep. Waking up on Sunday I went for a run at the Alster Lake and had breakfast in the beautiful restaurant that’s part of the hotel (how come I didn’t notice this before). After breakfast ready to go home. Realizing that I experienced a weekend full of love! And falling all over in love again with that new Porsche 911.

Thanks to Porsche Nederland and DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station for making my dream come true.