• Arjanna van der Plas


5 years ago, I l was a different person. I was doing yoga every single day, would compliment complete strangers on their haircut, and wouldn’t even blink an eye when seeing my neighbor whose outfit of choice was a tiny golden sock that sort-of-covered his genitals.

I was living in the Castro (the gay village of San Francisco) at the time, and was surrounded by ultra-healthy extraverted, liberal, genderbending hippies. And of course that influenced the way I looked (more about that here), acted and thought.

Living abroad taught me how flexible our identity is, and how much of it is shaped in response to our environment. I have come to embrace it, and enjoy observing what emerges in me in a new place.

Now, in Switzerland, different parts of me show up. I am much more career focused, my signature outfit is a dress instead of yoga pants and a fanny pack, and my yoga routine is replaced with online fitness classes (join me here if you speak Dutch).

It was easy for me to go with the flow and allow myself to show up differently in a new environment, but I know it’s a lot harder for people who want to make a radical shift while staying in the same environment.

What will people think of my big dream to open a bridal shop / date a girl that’s 15 years older than me / eat vegan / become a shaman?

It’s hard to believe that you can make a shift like that if your environment isn’t supportive of the ‘new you’.

Luckily, I have a little hack for that.

Continue reading here, and sign up for my semi biweekly two-minute treat here!

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

On a warm day in April 2013, my husband-then-boyfriend introduced me to Henk. I knew right away that Henk wasn’t exactly friendship material. He is the superficial type, only interested in status and

When I moved to San Francisco in 2015, I was completely shocked by the immense number of unhoused people on the streets of this beautiful city. The people around me were often complaining about the ho

The days I was ashamed to cry in public are long gone. At the WOMEN’S HUB DAY last Saturday, I cried at least five times, because I was so touched by the stories women shared on our stage. For me, exp