NICE TO MEET YOU
My name is Margreet Otto.
I call this name my ‘birthname’ because it is the full name my parents gave to me when I was born. For introduction I would love to elaborate on my name a little bit further. Is that okay with you?
It is because my name has become important to me, and I have named this website after it! By the way, as I’m Dutch, this website is also in
MY FIRST- AND SUR NAME
I would love to mention that ‘Margreet’ is the only first name I’ve got. I have no middle names. And my surname ‘Otto’ is my maiden name. This stems from my father’s surname. My father’s full name is:
Anton Hendrik Otto.
My mothers birthname is
Bieuwkjen Jozina Maria Wilschut.
NAME GIVING BY SOCIETY
In this day and age, it has become standarized in the western world that newborns get their last name from their father’s last name.
This is not the case however in some cultures around the world. And it wasn’t like this overhere in the past either.
So in a way, contemplating on this, my last name is also given to me because of institutionalisation of name giving in our society.
MY SECOND SURNAME
So why did I emphasize my name? When I was 18, I officially changed my surname ‘Otto’, into my mother’s maiden name ‘Wilschut’. So till now writing this, most people know me with that last name.
I had my surname changed because my parents divorced when I was four years old. I lived with my mother from then on. Also the contact with my father was not that close.
Back then to have your surname changed, one had to ask permission from the king/queen and also pay a large sum of money for it.
RAISED WITHOUT FATHER
I was raised without my father, but I re-established contact with him around 12 years after I had my last name altered. And the contact went reasonably well until he passed away in 2021. So in a way his last name now continues through mine.
But what is it like to go through life with two surnames? On the one hand I feel more familiar with the surname Wilschut as I feel more connected to my mother and my mother’s side of the family.
Also I carry my mother’s last name the longest during my life.
THE NAME EXERCISE
On the other hand, I have learned to integrate my maiden surname back into my life through ‘The Name Exercise’.
That’s how I learned that the birth name matters because it most resonates with ones life.
Through the name-exercise I learned to associate my surname Otto not only with my father, but with myself! It is my maiden name after all!
So my last name is mine too, and I had to learn to make my last name my own again.
PROUD OF BOTH
I also felt often insecure about myself and had to learn to love myself more. So naming the url of this website after my birthname was still a big step for me.
But slowly I grew towards it, because by accepting ones birthname, and wearing it consciously, it is also one’s most powerful ally, so to speak. And now I’m proud of both my surnames!
Time permitting, I’ll dedicate some blogposts to the name-exercise, because it’s interesting for sure!
SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
What is there more to tell about me? You can often find me writing about things that inspire me, such as nature.
For example, I love the sound of the waves in the surf and the smell of the earth after rain!
I also enjoy walking in a pine forest or the sweet taste of sun-ripened berries.
And of course I prefer to spend time with the ones I love!
COHERENCE OF THINGS
My love for nature, the Earth and humanity has prompted me to present a number of already existing ideas of others, in a new inter-relationship.
From my own wealth of ideas I have added a few things. This has more or less led to a new mindset or ideology! On the next pages you can read more about these new train of thoughts.
On my blog page I have written articles about -among other things- nature, my ancestors and the consequences of a medical treatment I have undergone with RadioActive Iodine.
THE RAI SERIES
I got this medical treatment 22 years ago when I lived in America. (The RAI series).
Due to the treatment with RAI, my metabolism has suffered damage to several organs and tissues, and I have been heavily burdened with major health problems all those years after the thyroid treatment (ablation). This has repeatedly led to life-threatening situations and even near-death experiences.
This is because of the very complicated medical condition that has arisen as a result, for which I have not received official recognition from doctors. So I had to save my own life several times. It is in itself not only a miracle that this has been achieved so far with the help of others, but also because of my own research seeking the right treatment (but still not optimal).
However, my medical situation is largely invisible to the outside world. Moreover, there is no medical treatment protocol for people with injury from radiation (!), which I usually struggle with alone, and which has seriously limited my life.
The education I’ve got is called ‘HBO’ in Dutch, a ‘High Professonal Education’ in Graphic Design, which stands for a Masters from the Academy of Visual Arts in Utrecht. This was only the beginning of the computer age however. When I see what graphic artists can design on computers nowadays, I’m only in kindergarten.
On my CV are also several courses, including in the field of environmental education. However, I have not worked professionally in either of these fields. This was largely because of chronic illness, but also because of my life’s course, in which, among other things, I have moved about twenty times.
I have also live abroad (from the Netherlands) in Switserland, America and short stays in Singapore.
For the reasons mentioned above and previously, I have often done ‘volunteer work’ for various organizations. Often not getting paid for the work one does.
This has always brought me insights and I was happy to do work that I loved, but financially the combination of the aforementioned- and other factors, led to a bit of a poverty trap. Looking back, I’m thankful that I’ve gotten through it so far reasonably well.
LONELY AND DISPLACED?
With everything that is going on in the world right now, there are many people who feel anxious, lonely or sometimes even displaced. I sometimes have. But then I always tell myself that happiness often lies in small things and that in the end, everything will be allright in our world.
And even if in my life I have already given up hope a thousand times, then I think that the trick is to rise again for that thousand-and-one time.
And maybe that also applies to you? So please let us care about each other and be tolerant.
After all, we never know for sure what is really going on deep inside another person. And together we can do so much more!
HOME IS WHERE THE
A number of nature-photos on this site I made myself. Often it is a choice of flowers, plants and trees that I want to plant on my own future estate.
I select these for aesthetic value as well as for practicality. For instance, ‘food-bearing’ or ‘evergreen’.
Like a walnut tree, it isn’t evergreen but it has beautiful foliage in summer, and also produces walnuts.
Or a pine tree, which is evergreen and produces edible pineseeds as well.
WHO WRITES WILL STAY
That is a Dutch expression. Thus I also write blogs in both Dutch and English on this and my other websites. Writing requires no physical or mental effort. Although, sometimes I write half slumped in my desk chair when I have less energy to sit up. But then I remind myself that when I finally check out of this planet, I hope to have left it more beautiful and better by contributing to the bigger picture. Then I would have reached my goal. Thats why I have converted my lingering dreams in a plan.
Margreet Otto Wilschut
Continue Reading: A PLAN