31 December 2007, another year gone by. While newspapers and TV summarise last year`s wars, disasters and scandals, I prefer to spend my time finding out about people`s positive memories of 2007.
Thomas (24, photo) is satisfied with the completion of his internship, which means he will be able to graduate in 2008. His main achievement of 2007: `I have managed to be happy without worrying too much`. In five years time, he thinks he will think back of 2007 as a time when society was innocent. `Tolerance is evaporating. 2007 was still acceptable but it`s getting worse`, Thomas thinks.
`I have managed to stay mostly free of worries in 2007`
Mick (24) spent a big share of 2007 studying in Antwerp. `I learnt how much I love my mum and spent the best Christmas ever. Antwerp is nice, but my friends and family live here and I have missed them quite a bit. I do think I got to know myself better. There`s plenty of choices ahead but I feel more confident that I will have the right options and will make the right choice. Nico (27) proposed to his girlfriend and will get married with her next year. `We completed the refurbishing of our house and that`s about it for 2007`, he says.
Martin`s (32) most beautiful moment of 2007 was the birth of his first daughter. Second in line: `How Princess Mabel was caught modifying her reference in Wikipedia. Aprt from that, I changed jobs, have a better salary now. I am working as a state official now, which is quite different from the commercial environment I was used to. Life became a bit more stable and quiet in 2007. `
Jessica (28) met her new boy friend on what she calls her `Road Trip` of last summer: `I spend two and a half week travelings to Berlin, Frankfurt, Bern, Nice and Turin and had a wonderful time. Best news was the announcement of my sister`s wedding, which will take place in 2008. At work, I got a fixed contract and a salary increase. Life is good and 2007 has been a pleasant part of it. The worst thing that happened to me was turning 28. I wish I could have stayed 25 forever, but had to give up that idea a few years ago.`
Ricardo (21) has not much positive news, only the fact that he has started taking driving courses. Deborah (25) will also remember 2007 in a negative way. `My mother passed away and the company I worked for was forced to close down. I do have a new job now, which is actually a lot more interesting than the one I had before. But altogether 2007 was quite a sad year as well. Deborah`s boyfriend Yvar (25) tells that the job mess also meant that they had to cancel their summer holiday to Toscnay, `but we will try again next year`.
Jean (28) thinks 2007 was not very special, but he didn`t find it particularly annoying either. `It was nice to be in Paris and see the Eiffel Tower, back in February. I`ve been quite active with my three bands as well. My one-week hospital visit of last summer was not very pleasant, but it was at least a new experience.` When telling about his unlucky bike incident which broke his jaw, he remembers how he traveled back and forth to England a few times to see his girlfriend, another reason to think back of 2007 as a happy year. And how he has started a training program to become a bus driver.
The Dutch way of living and planning doesn`t always leave people a lot of time for reflection. It`s interesting to see how difficult it is to summarise one year in just a few major headlines.
Jean`s final conclusion about 2007 may be shared by those who take the time to think about it: `Maybe 2007 wasn`t such a bad year after all..`
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