I really want to take a moment and wholeheartedly appreciate this life I am blessed to have. As I sit here at my kitchen table, a cool breeze accompanied by notes of blossoming perennials and spring awakening, is welcomed in through the open window, and I too, feel awakened. The birds perched up on the rooftops singing sweet songs, my honey whipping up eggs for breakfast, and our not so little puppy gallivanting throughout our happy home, I am grateful. Grateful to have the luxury of waking up at 10am on a Monday morning, happy and healthy. Grateful to be not obliged to do anything, drink my coffee and just take it all in. Life is good.
Now I’ll be honest; Germany had not been at the top of my favorite adventures list. We arrived to Germany, and all I could think, Toto, we’re not in Australia anymore... It’s NOTHING like Australia, it’s not a chill, laid back beach town, they don’t speak English too often, especially in our area, it’s more of a city outskirt, and all of it gives me anxiety like you wouldn’t believe. I legitimately shut down at the thought of going to the grocery store because the checkout is so rushed, they toss your items on the belt to bag up, crashing into one another, and while you’re in a full on panic to load your bags, you just happen to glance down the line to see eye rolls and impatient fidgeting, it’s the worst…and you think American’s are always in a rush. For a while, this lifestyle and just living here in general really stressed me out, but as we near the end of our time here, I naturally start to reflect on our journey and realize that it’s really not all that bad.
We live in a house with two flats, one for our landlord’s and one for us, there is a basement where we have the freezer, and the laundry room. The garden out back is quaint, our neighbors that we’ve met out there are kind, and inside our home is cozy. There are also these windows, I absolutely love these windows! They are completely common, and nothing special to the architecture in Europe, but it’s the little things right? Every morning I come into the kitchen, and open the window, it can either lean back just ventilating from the top, or it can open in a manner similar to a door. They have no screen, no small openings, just the beautiful fresh morning air, in a wide open space it’s one of my favorite things. And as I hear the clicking of Leila’s nails s nearing the kitchen, I slide the chair up against the wall under this window and she takes a running jump, up the chair to two paws in the window, equally appreciating the fresh air as I start making my coffee. Every day we do this, yet I fail to fully appreciate the beauty in all of its simplicity.
You would think when you’re visiting another country you would always be exploring and checking out cool places, but I’m not visiting, I’m living here, and so I sit, I sit in this house quite often, I mean yeah I go out and explore in the woods with Leila, it's peaceful there, but I don’t do much else. I haven’t made too many friends here, though I’ve made enough excuses to last a lifetime. I fear change, I fear the embarrassment of standing out, I fear being recognized as an American, and I fear being remembered that way. I sit here and reflect and realize that it really doesn’t matter. I am FREE! I have no obligations, no job that I have to get my ass up and go to every day. I’m a stay at home dog mom for crying out loud! I’m legit living the dream, yet I always feel like it’s not enough, and that’s the problem, failure to live in the moment.
I’m often too busy worrying too far ahead, or I’m not happy enough, that I fail to realize all the beauty in my present life. For example, I am undoubtedly most grateful for Donovon. He works his ass off everyday playing basketball so we can live this life. He has presented me with such a beautiful opportunity to explore the wonders of our immaculate planet, yet I’m too small mindedly filled with anxiety and fear to embrace it. We are LIVING IN EUROPE, wtf am I over here crying about. Sure things get tough, and that good old dose of homesickness kicks in from time to time, but I’m human and I have a wonderful life that’s being grossly underappreciated by its beholder.
Germany has been an awakening and exhilarating experience, and much more than I could have asked for. It’s not your standard, Instagram picture post worthy, type of life, as I’m on a different kind of journey. The exploration I have done is not solely that of the land around me, but rather within me. The window is a symbol of the beautiful simplicity of this life, and what we make of it. There is nothing to fear, but fear itself. I am in control of how I feel, and how others can make me feel. German’s are not always the kindest to American’s, this is just a fact, but the ones that are, they are all that matter. The window is my reminder to always adore and embrace all of the wondrous life around me, and to remember to just breathe in that sweet, fresh air when I feel that fear.
I quit my job, moved across the world and then moved to Europe, I’ve visited beautiful cities, and I’ve made long lasting relationships with incredible people along the way. I’ve had both friends and family venture out to see me and we got to travel together. I successfully cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner all by myself, for the first time, as well as hosted my first Thanksgiving and my first Christmas. All in all, I’ve stepped across numerous, memorable milestones throughout my time abroad, and each one has made me stronger than I’ve ever really appreciated.
I must admit, I may have lost myself for a bit while I’ve been here in Germany, but only to be found again stronger and wiser. I’ve breached my comfort zone, far and wide, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I have a fur-child that spends hours a day testing my patience, a supportive loving boyfriend that drives me up the wall and support system that is out of this world. I am grateful and I am blessed because this life is a beautiful life, be patient and be kind to others, no matter where they come from. Let go of grudges, say you’re sorry, and smile at a stranger today.
Remember to open up your mind, don’t let the negativity clutter your vision and hide your ability to see the light around you.
Thank you for reading!!