… in life are what it is really all about.
Now back in the states for just over two weeks, I start working full time again today. for the month of May though, I was traveling, transitioning from place to place and country to country, catching up on reading, writing, reflecting and spending time with family and friends. In the two weeks since I have been back in the United States I have taken many walks and hikes through nature reserves, along the beach and up Mount Wachusett. I have found these moments where I am completely surrounded by nature and a few others who I am with or who also have taken the chance to embrace the natural beauty that surrounds us all, to be a great reminder of how it really is the little things in life that are the most important.
It is the quiet moments in between conversation with friends, a cup of tea after a busy day, a great book to read and get lost in, it’s hugs from that those matter most, it’s the looks that express what words cannot, it’s those walks that can be taken without a specific end destination, it’s meals shared together with those I love, it’s the innocent laughter of children, it’s the sunshine breaking through on a cloudy day or the soothing sound of rain as it hits the roof, it’s learning a new language and laughing along at the mistakes I make, it’s following my heart and letting life take me where it leads …
I feel particularly lucky to have traveled as much as I have. Since 2010 I have left my comfort zone and immersed myself in the language, food and culture of those in other countries. Intentionally leaving the tourist trap locations behind, (after checking some of them out, of course), I have had the chance to explore and learn what normal traditions are in the other countries and what daily life looks like for those living there. Throughout all this I have come to find that my desire to travel and experience all the cultures, different flavors and viewpoints that our amazing world holds are like an itch that I will never be able to fully scratch. …
The more I travel though, the more my belief is confirmed that it is the little things in life that are truly important. So I cherish them as I do every moment …
Today I start working again for adults who are handicapped and non-verbal, it is through the little movements, body language, and eye contact that we communicate… it is the little things that make a difference in my line of work … having the patience for the speed of others, believing in all that they can be… makes the world of difference… here’s to another summer on the job… full of moments of appreciation, humility, growth, love and learning.
let the events of life flow naturally… do not resist…
Of course this seems easier said than done, but the truth is that it takes more energy both emotionally and mentally for us to resist the changes that occur in our lives, than to allow them to be. Life itself is a journey of change from one journey/chapter of our life to the next… These changes whether they be positive or negative, are to be addressed in their own unique way. The above quote speaks so much truth, when we resist the natural changes of life, sorrow can follow, when we allow them to simply be, the changes of our lives are given the chance to surprise us, enlighten us, perhaps make us uncomfortable, teach us and most importantly provide us space to grow.
Looking back on my life, which I realize in years is not too much, but in experiences I feel that a lot has taken place; I have been able to see that the hardest times in my life were those when I resisted the changes that life was presenting me. Resistance is like friction, it is not smooth. Changes are not always smooth even when we do not resist them, so I have been thinking, why resist the changes of life, if that only adds to the activity that change involves?
Returning home from living in Germany for the past nine months definitely has me confronted by change. Change of pace of life, change of living situation, change of language, culture, food, scheduling, transportation and so much more. I personally do not believe that it would do me any good to focus on the differences of the two countries where I lived because each country is different as it should be. Comparing countries to me is like comparing apples to birds which are clearly two completely different and incomparable things. I have been back in the states for six days now. I have noticed the differences, I have felt the effects of change. At moments I have wanted to resist the change and by this I mean that I have had moments where I have wished I could deny the reality that my time living in Europe is over. Doing this though, would not help me or anyone. I believe it is best for one to embrace change, letting it play out and blossom into all that it can … I am back in the United States, a country different than Germany (as it should be), where the next chapter of my life is beginning to unfold… I look forward to seeing what it has in store. 🙂
Today, appears to a blogging day! Two weeks ago I moved out of my apartment that at first was so foreign, existing in a new land with a different language and that now was home to me with a language that had become strangely familiar. With a short trip to the Netherlands in between it all I am now at my aunt and uncle’s house in Germany until Thursday when I fly back to the United States. The United States, a country that I still call home along now with Germany. A country that was once so incredibly familiar, now feels a bit foreign… the transition back home will begin soon… just as we can change places, places can also change us as Berlin, Germany certainly has for me… Auf Weidersehen Berlin! until next time =)
“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Photo taken at Keukenhof in the Netherlands 🙂
The question of this week has been, “What will you miss most about Berlin?” To this question I feel like my answer is always insufficient because really here is my complete answer… Berlin, I will miss everything about you!
I titled this post as is because here I am in Berlin trying to live in the moment as best possible during my last days here after nine amazing months and so many people keep asking me, “what will you miss?”. This is a very valid question, but it is also one that I was feeling like I did not want to think much about yet. I am aware that once back state-side all that I will miss about Berlin may hit me hard. Massachusetts, while also a wonderful place to be, just simply is not Berlin.
I am thankful that people have asked me this question though. At first I felt like it was taking away from my “living in the moment”, but then I realized that is was doing the opposite by simply allowing me a chance to reflect on all that has taken place while I have been here and all that I have fallen in love with about this city and its people.
Instead of taking me away from the moment, I think that the question posed has in fact allowed me the chance to step more into the moment. It has done so by reminding me how amazing Berlin is to me and as can be seen from the people here, to many others too!
… Above is a photo that I took at Mauerpark two Sundays ago now. On Sundays at the park, which is located right next to a stretch of the Berlin wall (Mauer) that is still standing, artists spray paint the wall, others hula hoop, play basketball, picnic, sing, search for treasures at the flea market, kick it with friends and a beer or two, enjoy some good food and karaoke! Here in the photo I snapped you can see hundreds of people loving life as they listen to other people who are also loving life down on stage singing their hearts out! Whether great or not all the singers kill it on stage with their energy, enthusiasm and sheer happiness! Want to know one thing I will miss about Berlin?
Here it is… Sunday afternoons with friends at Mauer Park, a cold beer, good food, and fun music, what more could ya want? haha
“Twenty years from now, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines! Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, and discover.” -Mark Twain
“If I can dream, I can act and if I can act, I can become.” – Poh Yu Khing
— photo taken in Munich, Germany.
While cruising through the Bavarian country side yesterday, my dear friend Kerstin explained… “Oh! Looks like we are now in Austria”.
I started laughing because it all just seemed too simple to be true. What a fun surprise, not only did I explore Southern Germany this past weekend but I also got the chance to hop on over and have lunch in Austria. We ate at a restaurant that has a terrace overlooking the Alps. I swear the mountains were so close that I felt like if I just reached my hand out, then I could touch them. As we ate, soaking up the sun’s warm rays we had the chance to watch on as people para glided over the Alps. From where we sat, we could see snow still on the ground below us and capping the mountains, but from where we were it was too warm to even have a jacket on.
I have always imagined the Alps to be breathtaking, but I never could have imagined just how breathtaking they truly are! I felt alive with a renewed sense of energy as we sat there, eating, chatting, soaking up the warm and taking in all the wondrous natural beauty that surrounded us.
What a wonderful surprise it was to have driven on over into Austria!