Living with my sister turned out to be a Masterclass

 I lived together with my sister for a year in a nice apartment in the middle of city Arnhem, 2 years ago.

My sister Maartje: A very successful business woman, a passionate hotel manager. She makes music and sings at weddings, parties, parks, cafe’s etc. She has almost every day a coffee/lunch/diner date with a friend or businesspartner and most weekends you’ll find her at concerts. Her agenda is always filled to the brim. Busy, busy, busy.

She lived with her ex-boyfriend in Arnhem, but when they broke up I moved in. I was looking for a place to live, because I was tired of living like a Nomad what I did for a cuple months. So it was perfect. We always had a good relationship, but because we are so different we didn’t pay that much attention to each others lives. We had lunch or went out for a concert once in a while, but that was it. 

The first months we lived together wasn’t so easy for both of us. Her lifestyle was different than mine. I questioned how she did it all. She was never at home and when she was, she often was still working or burned out watching television.

I was pretty much the opposite. My agenda wasn’t full, in fact, I go crazy when my week is totally planned already. I worked for 2 days as a physical therapist nd some evenings as a bootcamp instructor, just
enough to pay the bills. I used the rest of the time to be free, have fun and to figure out what it is I want in life. I spend a lot of time in nature and on the rooftop terrace we had, what I adopted as my bedroom in the summer months. Reading books, meditating, dancing, planning new trips and working on new ideas kept me ‘busy’. I saw friends spontaneously and loved to have space for spontaneous plans that came up in the moment.

Her lifestyle drove me crazy. My lifestyle drove her crazy. We judged each other a lot for the things we did or didn’t do. I was bordered by her trying to manage everything and by thinking in terms of black and white. She was annoyed that I only did what I felt like doing, not taking responsibility and doing nothing ‘serious’. Meditation and my philosophy of life was not something she was interested in.

This led to some ‘breakpoints’ the first months. Fighting over little things or we turned the avoiding mode on. Nothing to crazy, but no funny either. After a couple times of bumping into each other, we sat down and talked. We opened up. Vulnerable and honest. We judged, but we never knew each others perspectives and how we truly felt. To know each others points of view and perspectives helped a lot in understanding one another. Most of the time tears where flowing down our cheeks.

More evenings we spend together, talking for hours on our big rooftop terrace with a glass of wine or a thee, or chilling in front of the television with ice-cream watching a movie. Going to festivals, concerts and jogging together happend more frequently. Our new way of living helped us grow. The crystal clear mirror right in front of our face. She was my mirror. Everything I didn’t want to see in myself, was what she reflected back to me and visa versa. This allowed us to discover more of ourselves.

We where holding the keys for each other. I learned so much of her organizing skills, her ‘giving a shit about what others think’, her straight forward way of communicating and her endless enjoyable work and drama stories. A storyteller at heart what never gets boring. The longer we lived together, the more we appreciated our differences. ‘Bumping into each other’ became opportunities to grow and to be honest with ourselves. We both changed a lot that year! I believe that family members are one of the biggest mirror we can look in. Challenging, but transformative.

It doesn’t matter what we think, believe or do. When we are open and let go of our judgement, no matter what, we can just be ourselves. Appreciating and honoring the other for who they are, just as they are. Differences disappear, by discovering that we exactly like each other. That we are all the same on a seemingly different journey.


Maartje, I love you, admire you and appreciate you for who you are.
A multitalented super woman, who inspires me so much.
She isn’t just my sister, she became one of my best friends. 

And by the way…. She gave meditation and yoga a try, and fell in love with it. She even went to a yoga/meditation retreat last summer and a couple months ago she called me and said “You are not going to believe this, but I went to a workshop of a ‘spiritual’ dude and he said a lot of stuf you are talking about. It all kind of start to makes sense to me now”.  #HILARIOUS! #masterclass #sisters #friends #superwomen

As I said, Maartje makes music. She is a wonderful singer. Listen to this video of a little living room concert. In this video with her 2 guitarists, but you find her in all kinds of different formations. Like her Facebook page. And if you throw a party, get married or…… Book her!

Facebook: Maartje covers (with guitarists) 
Facebook: Maartje Unplugged  (with pianist) Website: 


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