When I was eight years old, I wrote my first short story. It was handwritten and five pages long. Between the ink stains I described a camping trip with my parents and sister. Hardly high brow literature, of course. But it clearly revealed my love for words, language and writing from a young age. Besides that, I was inquisitive. Or as my kindergarten teacher once wrote in my school report: ‘Marlies is interested in the world around her and can already write nice eloquent stories about it’.
A one-way ticket abroad
It was a logical step to study journalism and a brilliant career as a journalist awaited. However, things turned out differently. My interest in the world was substantial, and I was extremely impatient. I thought to myself: ‘that career can wait; first I want to know what else is going on in the world! So after I graduated – with the ink on my diploma still wet – I left on a one-way ticket abroad.
In the next 17 years, I lived, worked and studied in various places around the world, including Brazil, Suriname, South Africa, England, Chile, Argentina, the US, Palestine and Portugal. Along the way, I interacted with a wide range of cultures, people and situations – brilliant sources of inspiration for stories, so I kept writing.
My mission as a common thread
In the meantime, a variety of job opportunities crossed my path (check LinkedIn) and, true to my exploratory nature, I tried (almost) everything. A traditional career would have never been my thing anyway. Yet, one logical common thread wove itself through all of these various jobs: my mission to create a connection through communication.
I was always trying to understand how to best create that connection. In my work and personal life. I wanted to understand communication. To explain the how and why of the different ways of communicating in a connective way. To learn the mystery of speaking and listening. And to know how to effectively, engagingly, and clearly get my message across. So I immersed myself in storytelling, different communication styles, intercultural communication, non-violent communication, inclusive communication, systemic work, advisory techniques, identity and representation, personal motives, and so on.
And it was based on that passion and interest that I founded Magpie Communications (read here why I chose this name) – the perfect place to share my mission and knowledge as a trainer and writer.
I live my life as minimalistic as possible. I like to run (and dance) to the beats of drum ‘n bass, and I usually read about six books at a time. My superpower is jumping double-unders – where the skipping rope spins around me twice in one jump. I can do 58 nonstop.
My most annoying trait? I have loads of energy. If you’re not a morning person (and I’m talking really early!) I recommend scheduling our meetings in the afternoon.
Do you believe in the power of communication and curious to see what I can do for you? Cool! Let’s grab a (virtual) coffee!
Positive & dynamic – I am passionate and enthusiastic about my work, and I thrive on the positive dynamics that result from bringing the right people together. Why? Because I genuinely believe we need each other to get things done.
Adventurous & purposeful – ‘Can’t be done’? Not on my watch! I see possibilities everywhere and absobloodylutely never shy away from a challenge.
No-nonsense & straightforward – Don’t expect fancy suits and blah blah. I’m a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of woman. I work straight from the heart, based on trust. Bullshit-free and easy going.