In Dei Nomine Feliciter “ Happily in God’s name”



My time at university wasn’t flawless.  I was not a cum laude student. I didn’t learn everything instantly. Better yet:  I had to write my bachelor paper four times. Four times before the university council approved it. Actually, what happened was: I hired the official university writing expert to help me write my bachelor paper 3 times, but it wasn’t good enough according to the council. They told me I didn’t belong there and perhaps I should be doing something else.

I was confused, my councillor was confused. I panicked. But I persisted. On judgement day I passed with a solid 7 out of 10….. My teacher was confused, the committee was confused, but I was victorious: don’t ever let other people tell you who you are.

My parents were seriously burned 3 months after I obtained my Bachelor degree when their car caught on fire, caused by a technical flaw in the engine. Apparently my father heard a noise during their trip, pulled over to the side of the road and checked the bottom of the car, which then suddenly caught on fire. My parents got caught in the blast. They survived, but they would be scarred for life. Everything felt so meaningless after their accident. I decided to spent that year taking care of my parents and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life.

During this time I decided to chase the thing I thought was unobtainable, and be a costume designer. Since the age of twelve I had been scribbling designs on napkins, some of them looking like molten pieces of plastic, never really convinced that I could recreate what was in my mind. It was not a trade you learned at school, nobody had heard of it, and there was no mapped out road to reach it. Nobody took you seriously when you described it, and because of that, I didn’t take myself seriously. I felt at that time the only people who believed in me, in my abilities, were my parents.

Thinking back on my younger years, they always gave me paint, paper, and pencils for my birthday. They gifted me “organic fantasy” books and music by Roger Dean, Mike Oldfield and the Dark Crystal soundtrack. My mother taught me how to sew. At first it was very difficult for me to comprehend how fabric worked. But slowly I began to understand how you could manipulate fabric to form a desirable shape.

Through my work, I slowly regained my strength, my confidence, my life. Even when my parents were seriously hurt, they encouraged me to be the best and truestperson I could be. Even if they didn’t know who that person might be. I have and always will design for my parents, to make them feel proud, to make their fairy-tale world come true, to create things they never ever imagined to see. Because they believed inme.

In this world where, time and time again, people make one another invisible by not acknowledging each other and ignoring or disrespecting each other, their belief is by far the greatest gift my parents gave to me.

Victori in Dei nomine feliciter

Jolien Klaassen