It didn’t feel right anymore.

Black male wearing blue and pink/red stripy tshirt, a silver necklace. Facial expression has one eyebrow raised, squinting.
Black male wearing blue and pink/red stripy tshirt, a silver necklace. Facial expression has one eyebrow raised, squinting.
How I might look when I hear that phrase — Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

Heads up Medium: here’s the feminist in me speaking.

For years I had viewed the greeting “hey guys” as innocent. Its Dutch variant “Hey jongens” is also normalised as a term used to address a mixed-gender group. I never thought about it twice, until I was introduced to a different way.

“Beta subjects are for boys, languages are for girls”

Choosing a specialisation in high school I was told that “the boys are usually better at maths and beta subjects, while the girls are usually better at languages”. …


Don’t postpone that dream or idea for sometime in the future.

Female with short dark brown hair sitting in field in hilled area with sunset in the background.
Female with short dark brown hair sitting in field in hilled area with sunset in the background.
Photo: Edu Grande/Unsplash

I was twenty. The median age was seventeen. Many of the dancers were even younger. I had wanted to explore this sport much earlier, but I was afraid of sucking through the initial stage of picking up a new hobby.

At twenty, a classmate from one of my project groups in uni helped me muster up the courage to start taking dance lessons. Even then, I felt behind. Purely because of my age. In comparison, I did start “late”. Many dancers started years earlier, sometimes as young as six, and most of the instructors were younger than I.

A few…


Use this Google Sheets Editorial Calendar 2021 template to plan Social Media posts across all your Social Media channels.

Screenshot of the template showing the Jan ’21 tab with random dummy data.
Screenshot of the template showing the Jan ’21 tab with random dummy data.
The Social Media Editorial Calendar 2021 with some dummy content.

Table of Contents

· Why this template was created
· Use cases
· How to get your free template
· How to customize your template
· Downsides

Why this template was created

As just one person, it can feel challenging to be present in many places at the same time in the glorious online landscape. Through creating a few core pieces of content, and repurposing these for different Social Media channels, post planning, batch creation, and scheduling, it can be done. I just hadn’t yet figured out how.

Drowning like a kitten that accidentally fell in the family pool and hadn’t yet learned how to swim, I scooped…


Writer, spreadsheet & tooling nerd, amateur filmmaker, personal development junkie (aren’t we all), language lover, introvert.

Gracia Kleijnen in Prague
Gracia Kleijnen in Prague
Image of the author in Prague, Czech Republic (long before Covid) — Taken by a friendly stranger

My name is Gracia Kleijnen, and I came here to write *aggressively chugs down a cup of coffee and slams it on the table while placing fingers back on the home row*.

Professionally, I freelance in copywriting. That implies I write a lot. And the production of streams of words does not end there.

I’m an introvert with a lively inner world. The results of taking the Myers-Briggs test yearly confirm this. Heck, it only got worse. Here, I retrieve past experiences, and evaluate them through the lens of the current me. …


Improve the experience for yourself and anyone you come across.

Character sticking its tongue out, wearing a backpack, an adventurer’s hat and a map.
Character sticking its tongue out, wearing a backpack, an adventurer’s hat and a map.
Image illustrated by author

Traveling alone is far from boring. I find it the best way to truly experience the country or city you are visiting. It makes it much easier to engage in conversations with locals without feeling pushed for time by a third-wheeler. You can move around at your own pace for as short or long as you want.

Doing this alone can make you more susceptible to unwanted encounters or situations you’d want to prevent. I also like to keep in mind the following points. They’ll make that solo trip safer and will improve the experience for anyone you come across.


Satire

I did it using nothing more than my common sense

Background photo of Venice Beach in Los Angeles: Close up of a road with the yellow stripe in the middle. On the left some palm trees. On the right some buildings. The illustrations consist of a red Ferrari on the left, and the mascotte character on the right. The character is wearing a white hat adorned with $100 bills, thin white squared sunglasses, an orange Guccy shirt, and holding more $100 bills in both hands.
Background photo of Venice Beach in Los Angeles: Close up of a road with the yellow stripe in the middle. On the left some palm trees. On the right some buildings. The illustrations consist of a red Ferrari on the left, and the mascotte character on the right. The character is wearing a white hat adorned with $100 bills, thin white squared sunglasses, an orange Guccy shirt, and holding more $100 bills in both hands.
Venice photo by Viviana Rishe on Unsplash, dollar bills by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash, illustrations by the author

One day, I got tired of being poor. So I decided to do something about it.

I started by setting a deadline. After all, a goal without a deadline is nothing more than a dream. Deadlines increase urgency and make me work harder to get what I want. Or smarter. And I am smart.

Matt Lillywhite opened my eyes to the endless possibilities. Or was it Rick Post a.k.a Matt Daisywhite? I don’t remember.

In Lillywhite's rich to richer story he explains how he binged passive income videos. He did it in a day. I don’t want to waste that…


And what I’m doing to get back to being more of a “human”.

A passed out character laying on its side with the arms up beside the head. The right arm is holding an email with a notification icon on it saying there are 12 new messages. The letter is inside a circle. At the end of the circle, a green monster is peeking over to the character.
A passed out character laying on its side with the arms up beside the head. The right arm is holding an email with a notification icon on it saying there are 12 new messages. The letter is inside a circle. At the end of the circle, a green monster is peeking over to the character.
The dreaded inbox and the horror of bleeping notifications — Image by author

The pandemic gave me a legit excuse to avoid social gatherings and say no to in-person events, no questions asked. Work-wise, nothing changed. I was still sitting at home in front of the screen, trying to build my future by working my butt off in the present.

The pandemic did uncover some minor mental health obstacles I had thus far been ignoring. I call them minor because I’m able to get by. I always have been. They are, however, in the way of moving past “surviving” and getting closer towards “thriving”.

The challenge of dealing with humans in everyday situations

The night before a scheduled call, I can barely…


From the perspective of a freelancer who’s been working from home since early 2019.

Top left: two characters, where one is following the sounds of laughter from a coworker at a desk and raises their eyebrow. Bottom left: One character sighs as it observes the other character at the desk laughing because they’re watching Netflix. Top right: Character holding a brown poodle saying “Leggo! I’m borrowing you”. Bottom right: Speaker box blasting “Hit me baby one more time”. The character thinks “Ah. It must be Friday.”
Top left: two characters, where one is following the sounds of laughter from a coworker at a desk and raises their eyebrow. Bottom left: One character sighs as it observes the other character at the desk laughing because they’re watching Netflix. Top right: Character holding a brown poodle saying “Leggo! I’m borrowing you”. Bottom right: Speaker box blasting “Hit me baby one more time”. The character thinks “Ah. It must be Friday.”
Office memories — Image illustrated by the author

People are often complaining about wanting to quit their jobs to follow their dreams. Instead of continuing to complain, I did just that in pursuit of something else.

As a freelancer, one can work from anywhere. In theory, I could apply the more wanted label “digital nomad”. In reality, I sit in front of my computer at my makeshift home office all day, where I type words in documents and spreadsheets in exchange for rent money.

If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past two years, it’s that freelancing can be a lonely venture. …


The ideas are not what’s lacking.

An illustrated character standing in the supermarket “Ideas” aisle. Boxed ideas: Etsy, blogging, copywriting, dog walking, dropshipping, uber, Airbnb
An illustrated character standing in the supermarket “Ideas” aisle. Boxed ideas: Etsy, blogging, copywriting, dog walking, dropshipping, uber, Airbnb
Ideas, ideas everywhere — Image by author

I get it. Lists with such headlines tend to do well. People are always looking for ways to earn more money, whether out of ambition or necessity. I often scroll through articles with side hustles ideas myself. There might be an idea in there I could execute on right now with little effort, one I have so far overlooked.

To start a copywriting or blogging side hustle, “all” you need is your laptop. For dropshipping, “all” you need is an online store. Sell your services on Fiverr, tonight. Poof! Your side hustle magically caught up with the income you get…


I know I’m not the only one.

Character fading into the bushes and slowly moving out of sight, just like the Homer Simpson meme.
Character fading into the bushes and slowly moving out of sight, just like the Homer Simpson meme.
Inspired by The Simpsons — illustrated by the author

I’m your typical introvert. One of those who gets overshadowed by the loudest shouter in group settings. The calm one who prefers staying in over going out. Whose idea of fun is reading a book or learning a new language in the comfort of her own home.

Some things I do as an introvert might seem abnormal to you. Unless you are one and do these things too:

  1. Quietly wait behind my front door if I hear the neighbor stepping outside. I stay silent, listen to them locking their front door, and wait until their footsteps fade away in the…

Gracia Kleijnen

Writing my way to progress. Topics: personal growth, life lessons, tooling & (failed) ventures. Owner: Google Sheets Geeks pub. https://lnk.bio/9m81

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