“I seek balance. I seek for life to make sense in the best way possible. For beautiful opportunities to develop and for me to use these opportunities accordingly. But of course, to also work on creating these opportunities, for myself and for as many people as I can help. We’re confronted with many choices and many decisions to make, leaving us confused, uncertain and puzzled. In this chaotic and dynamic world, we tend to hide away from the confrontation. So many choices, so much responsibility, so much pressure. But so little focus, so little rest. No balance…

I seek to embrace the adventure and to create balance. To feed the hunger for wonder and growth. Balance in the social respect, physical balance, balance in family relationships, financial balance, goal-driven balance etc. I don’t believe there is a ‘clear division’. It’s not like a video game where an info-graphic could display your current ‘balance’. It’s more a perceptional thing. You feel whether things are right and whether you’re developing and growing as a human. It’s like being a football player who wants to get better at his game. You can’t perfectly measure your current status but you want to grow. To become better and step up your game and for you as a player to be well balanced at the elements that matter. But instead of a balanced football player who wants to be a better athlete, I want to be a better human.

And this project is one of the ways I worked on myself, developed and grow. After having spoken to a 100 random strangers (okay, maybe not all completely random strangers), I strongly broadened my perspective and learned to respect one another more. To not rely on stereotypes and judge less (quickly). That everybody has a story deep inside and that one way or another, there is a stranger inside all of us. It got me even more interested in the everyday stranger and strengthened my empathy.

Nobody ever reaches a perfect balance. But it’s worth seeking and working towards as more often than not, it’s more about the journey than the destination. And I enjoyed the journey. The warm moments with the random strangers. The deep stories, awkward secrets, random laughs and passionate connections that were shared all represent exactly why the Declenimo project started and what it stands for: moments full of goodness.”

– Nour, the guy behind the Declenimo project and also me. What can I say about myself? I’m not much more than an ordinary guy. I talk to a stranger sometimes and blog it here. It took me 2 years to collect the 100 stories and I know it seems like a long time for just a 100 stories. In the meanwhile there were 2 internships, a thesis, a lot of working, a graduation and working on my own startup.

The website might not be amazing, I don’t have the most professional camera and there are thousands of people out there who are probably better than me at storytelling. But everything considered, I’m proud of the project. I’ve grown and developed and in the end I can look back at beautiful memories.

So what now? Perhaps I’ll turn the project into a book. Perhaps I’ll start another similar project asking a different question. We’ll see. Time will tell. For now I thank you for joining me on the journey.




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