Softly, gently, friend

I met Chloe Marie Reeler (née Joustra) about 8 years ago. It was move-in day at our university residence and we ended up placed just across from the corridor from each other.

Both our mothers helped us move in that day as we were wide-eyed and trying to act cool and confident. Our moms took a liking to each other and semi-forced us to stick together (our veil of confidence wasn’t quite as strong as we thought).

From there we just clicked – I guess mother knows best. We ate together, studied together, partied together and grew into pretty decent adults together.

Chloe’s defining feature is her softness, both in her appearance and personality. Her Dutch heritage has gifted her porcelain skin, silky strawberry blond hair and delicate features. Even her body is kissed with lightness, no angular edges or shapes out of proportion.

Personality-wise that softness extends into an extremely kind and sensitive human being. Her general temperament is that of a fresh spring day – light and airy. When she is mad, it is with a gentle grace.

Chloe is a classically trained flutist (not surprising for it to be a typically soft and gentle instrument). After completing her degree she became an English teacher – unfortunately classical flutists aren’t high in demand.

She is steadfast in keeping music as much in her life as possible, however. She and her husband Mat (a video editor with a love of piano) are speaking about starting a band together.

“The flute is an ensemble instrument,” she says pointedly. They don’t want to perform for the world, but rather as a bit of fun for themselves. Mat wants Chloe to expand her skills towards the more popular jazz-flute. Since Chloe isn’t quite ready to leave the classical domain, the band is on ice.

Her main source of music at the moment is the choir she is part of, Vox. As a working professional, it has become an almost full-time commitment that includes rehearsals and performances late into the night and over weekends. “It’s my only source of music in my life right now, I can’t stop,” she sighs. Until she and Mat can agree on a musical genre, her weekends will have to wait.

Although she has a burning love for English and loves her job as a teacher, she’s not sure it’ll remain her calling forever. In the past few months she’s started looking into making a career shift to become a doula. “I want to help people,” she explains.

Recently however she’s not so sure anymore. “When we have kids I don’t want them to have two freelancers for parents. What if I get pulled into a job late at night? Birth doesn’t always come at convenient times …”

Mat and Chloe don’t have any kids or are planning to have them in the immediate future. But that’s just Chloe, already worrying about how her current decisions might affect her theoretical children.

Cape Town – Vancouver


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