The story behind the chickpeas.


I think it was late 2016 when I was scribbling down ideas for a blogger name. As I waited until mid March ’17 to eventually execute it. The art of perfectionism and overthinking, beautiful. The ideas were there, but so was my never ending list of interests for popular blogging niches.. Writing, words, lyrics, rhymes, poems or in whatever order and context you prefer to place a few letters, it’s magical to me. The thin line between misinterpretation and perfectly being understood. It’s so fragile, isn’t it? I was 4 years old when I first started to write. Or actually, my sister helped me out, since I couldn’t write myself at that moment. I asked her recently if she still remembers the story I’m about to share, unfortunately not. But luckily I, the writer in the family, will always remember the tiniest (and maybe useless) details. Until I start writing of course, then it’s the details that bring those stories to life. I’ll get back to explaining how the names The Revitalized Chick Pea and The Chick Pea’s Cuisine where created, this story is just the detail that I have to share.

So anyway, I was four years old, in my second years of kindergarten and crushing heavenly for the first time. For the sake of convenience, and of course copyright in this matter, let’s call him AJ. Not my personal favourite when it comes to names. But to see if it’s short for awful jackass or awesome junior, you’ll just have to continue reading I guess. AJ and I could get along perfectly fine in class. We shared our crayons while colouring. Played hide and seek during playtime outside. And trusted each other to take care of our personal belongs when he went off to play ’policeman’ or when I was dancing on The Spice Girls in the gym. And after a while I realised; I liked him. Thing is, I’m an introvert-extrovert. So as much as I love to talk about any giving subject I truly care about, I often rely on the power of words, meaning I rather write it down instead of sharing whatever I think openly and blunt. Even though that has changed a bit through the years creating awfully interesting situations, but that’s a story for another time.

So yeah, four years old, no idea how to say it out loud, so I asked my sister to write a letter with me. While we were working on that letter, I found out that there was a twist happening in this story that would change the meaning of the letter, that being another girl. Another girl was interested in AJ, and AJ was interested in us both.

Looking back I would say; ‘oh girl, grab your crayons and pencils and continue to write your own story elsewhere’. But no, at four years old I decided to make a shortlist with sharing why I was freaking awesome and in that case the better match. I wish I remembered the moment when I gave the letter, but sadly I don’t. Yet what didn’t slip my mind is that he was giving an ultimatum for 24 hours on who he was going to choose, since us girls got stuff to do and such. 

Maybe it was then when the seed filled with fascination for the emotional side of writing was planted. How you can scribble down something so negatively, letting out all your thoughts, regardless how depressing it may sound. And afterwards continue your day and live happily ever after. At least, until something else happens of course, as I will turn to writing time and time again. To get stronger, to not be torn apart by whatever emotion I am experiencing, to somehow be imbued with new life and vitality. Revitalized that being. ‘Cause yeah, AJ picked the other girl, she was more fun to play with. I don’t know if I was really bothered by it back then, since kids can so easily switch between subjects and emotions, but I find it fascinating to know I still remember that situation so clearly. For the following years I continued writing stories. I wrote so many that I’m not sure I ever even finished one. But that’s life isn’t it, a never-ending story. 

As I grew older, my interested in the English vocabulary started to grow, or as I wrote it down on in my portfolio;

“Somewhere around 10 years old, my interest in the English language started to grow and so did writing in that same language unfold. So I learned the language by listening to music, feeling the tones of the pronunciation and let it grow into a skill packed with energy and compassion like a tulip. I remember my mom used to listen to this radio station that played music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s for about 99% of the time. Something I have been able to appreciate like a good bottle of whiskey, grooving on the songs till this day on, while writing this rhyme. But back then I found it weird to know, that in the late 90’s, that there was no Spice Girls, Boys2men, nor Britney Spears playing on that same radio station. I’ve let it arise into a voluminous solid appreciation, my widely music foundation..oh those childhood memories.”

Fast forward, it’s early 2017. I’m 24 years old, determined to become a millionaire with my writing skills. Especially after finding out at the age of 12 that musicians use songwriters to assist them with, or simply write lyrics for them, as I choose my blogger name while baking another banana bread. Steadfast to spread my love for the vegan lifestyle, I find myself getting more comfortable with being who I am while living my life around Amsterdam. As if I am renewed, with finding more answers to why life is life, while powered by plants. Which brings me to explaining the last part of the blog titles. Because it’s not only due to the fact that I’m fond of chickpeas, but I like to bend the writing rules a little every once in a while. Which is why chickpea is spelled ‘Chick Pea’ in both of my blogger names. Since I, forever and always, be that Chick behind the stories, the recipes and the writing ideas. Apart from my awesome tribe of guest bloggers of course.

After 3 years of blogging, I decided to split my two main niche interests into two. The Revitalized Chick Pea, Renewed in Amsterdam forms from now on a blogger-writer platform. The Chick Pea’s Cuisine, Powered by Plants is dedicated to share all the recipes and cooking tips I have collected throughout the years. Only 5 days are left before celebrating my 28th birthday and while writing this piece, I catch myself feeling delighted with whatever I am doing more and more. While these past few weeks were controlled by our silent enemy, Corona, I spent all this time working on myself, learning and planning my next step in my own writing history. While renewing my blogger-websites, creating a Creative Agency called Amsterdam Linked with my future business partner in crime Melanie Peggy, and really getting back to old school studying to gain the knowledge to decently grow my businesses in the future, I am happy.

As incomplete my life has been and forever will be, since too much is and has been missing. I learned how to cope with it. With whatever was handed to me through the years, I dealt with it. I learned, I failed and I continued nevertheless. And that determination has created the mindset to follow my own dreams, in my own pace, eventually getting me where I’m supposed to be. Being a millionaire will never be an end goal, but this strong desire to proof you don’t need endless years of formal education to get rich and successful will be something I will proof before my 30th birthday. With or without my first Grammy collaboration. With or without my first million in my bank account. I still be the richest one out there.

I accepted life as it is, created a group of diverse like minded international individuals around me that show me that family isn’t always related by blood and most importantly, finding joy in learning when you want to. Not because you have to. Knowledge is everything. But it only becomes valuable once you’re able to put it into words and explain your why in your own story.

Michelle Braakhuis, that ‘Chick’ behind the chickpeas.

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