"What's on my mind" mini-series

Introduction

I had four hours to kill on my flight from Toronto to Calgary so I wrote 5 short stories about things that have been on my mind for the last few weeks. Over the last week, I published these stories on LinkedIn but I wanted to put them all together here. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts ✌️

What's on my mind (1/5)

Turning 20...

It’s fundamentally different than being 19, or 18 or 16...
Society really teaches us that. In your teens, you’re still playful, naive; you’re not afraid to try new things... But when you turn twenty, we really turn up the pressure. “Just figure you’re life out before you turn 30” they said. Find a city, a job, a wife/husband... Being twenty-something is the time you start thinking about what it is you want to do with your life, what kind of person you want to be, what you want to be known for, who you want to spend more time with...

But for me personally, it’s hard to know what life stage I’m in sometimes. After dropping out of high school six years ago, I’ve really struggled with this balance of still ‘trying‘ things vs. starting to get your life in order and settling down a little bit. Part of that confusion I have definitely comes from the fact that I skipped the ‘being a teenager’ part of life and grew up to fast. While sometimes I feel like I handle things immaturely... it’s a constant struggle, or it has been until I turned 20 and actually started to realize that I was... I’m officially past the teenage years now, and it is now my responsibility to take life into my own hands.

Louis De Keyser

What's on my mind (2/5)

“It’s gonna get worse before things get better”

Every time something ‘good’ happens, this thought pops up in my head. Overall, I’ve had some difficult times in my life, but I’ve never had something serious happen to me: I’ve never lost a loved one or family member, I’ve never been seriously ill, I’ve never, not had a roof above my head, I’ve never fully ran out of money, I’ve always had access to a shower and food... I’ve been very fortunate and I hope I’m wrong on this, but I think I have to go through something bad to unlock something great... I feel that I don’t have a ‘fair’ understanding of what life is, or a lack of perspective/experience with life (which might just be my age playing the part here). Idk, does this make any sense? I’d love your thoughts!

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What's on my mind (3/5)

“Doing the best for now”

... Is something my dad once told me in a time in my life that I really couldn’t understand it yet. Though over the years, I have started to understand what it means and I’ve been handling with this notion for way longer. For example: I’m not in Canada because I fucking looove Canada; I’m here because it’s the best I can do, FOR NOW, to bring me closer to achieving my goal of living in New York City. Life becomes a lot easier when you accept this fact. It allows you to make decisions much faster and better. Instead of wasting time on waiting for that perfect next opportunity to come knocking at your door, you just take that opportunity that looks best at that moment (while really keeping your ‘end’ goal in mind). Because you can never ever know what opportunities a new opportunity can open up for you until you’ve actually pursued it.

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What's on my mind (4/5)

Labeling...

“Ow, you’re the Tiny house guy right?” ... and the marketing guy, and the New York City guy, and the Woodworking guy... We are sooo good at labeling people. And I get it, our brains need something easy to remember a person, or to differentiate them from everyone else... Just remember that every person is more than just a label. What a person does is one thing (and probably also the most important if you really want to understand an individual), but people also have other interests you might not know about and believes and values; who might be very different than what you labeled them with...

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What's on my mind (5/5)

Accepting money from your parents...

I have a dream. A dream of starting a company in New York City (@UMSNY). And it’s an expansive dream (the $250,000 kind of expansive). While I am personally convinced this project is my life’s goal, my purpose, I have some doubts...

My parents have always supported whatever decision I’ve made in my life, which I’m increasingly grateful for. And I’ve also always known that if I get into trouble financially, they would be able to help in some way. Over the last two years, I’ve pretty much been self-supporting and I don’t want to bank on that idea of safety, but it does help to know it’s there... This post is about something entirely different though. My parents have also offered me to help with launching UMS. They would be willing to invest money into my idea to help it succeed (as I’m sure hey know University isn’t gonna happen for me anytime soon 😉).

They’re not offering the full $250,000 I would need, but they’re willing to pay quite a substantial amount that could really make things happen fast. I’ve just really been struggling with that thought though. I believe that the path I’ve chosen to take in life so far, is a path not a lot of people have chosen before. I want to show a different path than the paths we all know (school-university-work-partner-kids-house-...).

So it’s increasingly important to me to stay through to that path, to not get distracted or pushed a different way, and maybe accepting my parents' money will do that as I would miss out on the journey it would take me to get that kind of money myself. But if you put it in perspective, the average tuition for a university in the US is $48,000 x 3/5 years and we're talking about a way higher budget...

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I’d love to hear your thoughts 💭


About Louis De Keyser

Louis is a 20 year old, in the process of moving from Belgium to his dream city, New York. He was the founder and CEO of Tiny House Belgium, a Tiny House Design and Construction company that focused on promoting the idea of 'smaller living' and 'living life without a mortgage'. He sold his business in January 2017 to pursue his dream of moving to North-America. Right now, Louis lives in Toronto Canada. Stay up-to-date by signing up to my Messenger List!