Tag Archives: living abroad

day fifty six

5 Oct

today was an interesting day, to say the least. first day of wandering the streets crying in germany – which happened many times in barcelona the first year. so, i suppose i should have expected it.

me and christin during the first week in barcelona

1. the opportunity to live in a foreign country

it is a fantastic opportunity. it is a fantastic opportunity. it is a fantastic opportunity. it could be worse. it could be worse. it could be worse.

i have to keep telling myself these things. and they really ARE true: it is a great opportunity. i learned so much from my time in spain, least of all spanish and now having lived in spain and germany – how many people can say that? and get to travel like i do? and meet the interesting people that i do?

it is a fantastic opportunity and it definitely could be worse.

2. i am a strong, powerful woman

not only am i grateful for the opportunities i’ve had, specifically as i’ve mentioned of living in spain and germany, but i also acknowledge that i make these opportunities for myself. i realized that i needed something more in my life and got up off my butt, sold all my stuff and moved across the world to a country i’d never been to before and where i knew absolutely no one. i met a fabulous man who is responsible and loving and created a great opportunity for us here in germany and i supported him in that and chose to pick up and move again. at least i’d been here once before. but still, i’m pretty awesome. and the life we’re creating, while difficult, is pretty wonderful.

3. crappy movies and chocolate cake

i’m pretty sure i was already grateful for my chocolate cake yesterday (you’d think i’d remember), but after my crap day of dealing with german i don’t understand still and getting fined 40€ for not having my ticket on the metro (even though i had it, i just forgot to punch it because they put the small box in one tiny little corner of the station and it’s really easy to forget), the best thing in the world is to get home and just be able to lie on the couch, eat chocolate cake and watch movies. and yes, i did watch enchanted again because it is just that good.

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day forty nine

28 Sep

1. baby blanket

i finally finished it! my friend had her baby two months ago, and i’ve been lagging on this blanket for the past few months. i don’t know what my problem is, because i do have a lot of time on my hands, but somehow, it just didn’t get done. but lately, i’ve knuckled down and the result: fantastic. and frankly, i’m so grateful. i think a small project or an interesting/difficult project next. this one got a little boring towards the end. after all, it was just squares of knit 5/purl 5 over and over and then vice versa. however, it looks very cool and i really think my friend will like it, and after all, i’m grateful for the opportunity to do something like this to show her how grateful i am for her friendship!

** i’ll add a photo tomorrow – it’s late and i’ve got to work early and i just can’t be bothered.

2. flip-flops

i haven’t worn my flip-flops practically at all this summer – as we haven’t really had a summer (seriously, it’s been raining non-stop since june) and i really missed them! this week has been sunny, warm and beautiful and today, i wore flip-flops all day and i even had that weird sensation between my toes that you get those first days of summer after wearing them after a winter of closed toed shoes.

it was lovely, albeit a little sad as i know it’s coming to an end shortly. however, i’m still grateful for the chance now.

3. people who speak english

today i had to make an important doctor’s appointment and as i don’t speak the language, it can be really difficult. i called a few offices, only to have a very strange conversation with me sort of trying to speak german and them just babbling away, until i finally just said thanks and hung up. so, when i finally got someone who spoke english and made an appointment, i was very pleased. sometimes living in another country is really difficult, but there’s always a few people who speak english and are happy to do so that make it easier.

day thirty nine

18 Sep

not a very pretty presentation, but hey...

1. made fish for the first time ever

i started eating fish about six years ago, but i don’t do it very often. in fact, i really only eat sushi. which confuses a lot of people – why is raw fish ok but cooked fish is too fishy? well, i don’t know. but it is. so i rarely eat fish. but now that i’m committed to my new diet and eating healthy in general, i think fish is an important part of that. so, i made fish. yay!

however, i couldn’t finish it. and i made my husband open the window because the smell was making me sick. maybe salmon wasn’t the best start.

this is what makes me think about eating chicken and turkey. i think they are “milder” than fish and still a good, lean protein. but, having never eaten meat before, i get a bit freaked out about it, and so constantly go back and forth. i don’t have a problem with eating animals, as long as it’s done sustainably and responsibly (as in, no kfc [sorry, hubbie]), but the texture and the very idea of it is so new, it’s like it’s not in the “food” category in my head.

anyway, this is veering away from what i’m grateful for and becoming a different blog. so, what i am thankful for is that i am experimenting, both with fish and my diet in general, and also that i am really committed to finding a great diet that suits me.

 

2. online presence/shelfari

today i discovered shelfari (through the freshly pressed blog by insatiable booksluts, of which i am one [a book slut, not one of their authors]). shelfari is an online book community sponsored by amazon. it seems nice in and of itself, but the reason i joined is because after reading their blog and then the “about me” section, i saw that they had an online book club. i saw that it was exclusive. and i wanted in.

so, in true crazy style, i created a profile just so i could join this club. the thing is, i’ve not yet found my true book club, and i feel like they are out there. and though i don’t think that ultimately online is the venue for me (i’m thinking iron chef style dinner parties and wine in large goblets), i think it all is moving towards a specific future me – one that isn’t afraid of making comments and one that has community everywhere.

to be honest, now that i’m in my second foreign country in the pat five years and in another five years, we could be somewhere else, i’m starting to realize that i need something that’s mine and that is permanent.

i’ve been a bit trepidacious (not a word, but i’m going with it) about my online presence. facebook hasn’t really worked for me and twitter was just too much. though i struggle a bit here with my blog, i feel more commited to it and frankly, what is “me” about it is the struggle: the bits i don’t really like about myself come out. but, that’s real and that’s lasting.

again, getting a little wordy here but i’m really grateful for the development of that presence online and how it’s helping me in my real presence in this new country. and i’m excited to see how this book club works out for me, and what it leads to in terms of furthering my community online.

 

3. project runway

i feel pathetic for constantly having tv shows and food on here. seriously, i can see now what my diet problem is – i’ve mentioned glee, enchanted and various other tv shows/movies as well as pizza multiple times. sigh.

anyway, last year my dear friend christopher (as pictured in my previous post) was on project runway and so, of course, i watched every episode. and now, i can’t believe i never watched it before. while this season isn’t as fabulous because christopher isn’t on it and i’m not as personally invested, it’s still a lot of fun and a great show. and i’m so happy that my husband downloaded them for me.

beyond the tv show bit, i think shows that inspire and feature creativity are really important, especially now, when you never see the words “tv” and “quality” in the same sentence.

day thirty five

14 Sep

1. yoga, yoga, yoga!

no, unfortunately i didn’t actually go to yoga today, but i found a studio that has classes in english (and it’s the ONLY website [surprisingly] that i’ve seen in english here) and i’ve heard that it’s a great studio.

i’ve been thinking a lot about my job, you know, now that i have one, and though i’m so grateful to have gotten good offers here, i was a bit let down after my first day. i didn’t love it. and, i suppose i knew that, having left barcelona feeling burnt out and uninspired after four years of doing it.

but i’ve also been thinking about the environment that i create for myself and being responsible for my own happiness. yoga makes me happy. it’s that simple. every time i go, i feel so clean and clear and peaceful after. and it’s the one thing that even at my worst moments in the past year, i could get out of bed to do. because i crave that feeling, because yoga is such an excellent workout and also because it connects me with a part of myself that i’ve been really closed off from for years.

i realized suddenly, after thinking of both of these things separately, that if i became a yoga instructor, problem solved! so, today i am grateful for yoga and also for my own realization and new-found sense of direction.

2. new friends

today i went to the welcome back brunch, expecting to just hang with the ladies i’ve already met at thursday coffeetime, but to my surprise there were a few younger gals walking around! they were all newbies to germany as well and seemed really nice and quite into the idea of having a younger member dinner & drinks meet up, which i am excited about. not, of course, that age matters so much in friendship, but it’s still nice to have met some new folks.

me, sashi, elle & lisa

3. all my friends are safe, healthy and happy

this morning, at around 6:30 am (which is EARLY to me), i was woken up by a phone call from my close friend’s husband. and then it hung up. and i lay there, trying to go back to sleep, but there was this little thought wriggling its way from the back of my mind: what if something’s wrong?

now, if there were an emergency, i sincerely doubt he would call me. i am, after all, a continent, an ocean and a couple of countries away, so there isn’t much i could do. but still, there was that doubt. so, of course, i couldn’t sleep.

and about half an hour later, i got a text from her saying that he had just been showing her mom ‘skype’ and had called me on accident and, though it didn’t make me go back to sleep (unfortunately), i was so relieved.

being away from my friends is rather difficult at times. knowing they are where they are, happily living their lives and becoming even more amazing than they already are, makes it just a little bit better. i’m so grateful that i have them in my life. i often wish that they were closer, or i were, but at the same time, i see bits of them everywhere, in every part of my life. and i’m grateful for everything i’ve learned from them.