Usually, I easily find words for what I want to express. But this part of my life journey is so challenging and is taking up so much attention that this time I struggle to write down what is going through my mind. With this blog I intended to motivate myself to share my experiences and thoughts. However, I barely have the energy to write this article. But I am doing it! So that’s at least something.
The Past is Catching Up With Me
The past weeks, a lot of memories and feelings from my past have caught up with me, joyful and hurtful ones. They demand to be remembered, and they demand to be felt. I am showing up to tend to these memories but I am struggling.
“It makes me feel guilty not to be able to fully appreciate this experience.”
Right now, I am studying Development Studies in a semester abroad in Hoi An, Vietnam. While I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to participate in this study abroad program, it is hard for me to be present here, take the opportunities and concentrate on this stay. It makes me feel guilty not to be able to fully appreciate this experience. At the same time, I am trying to accept this as part of my journey.
Since I am in an unknown country with a language I do not speak, people I do not know and surroundings that do not always make me feel safe, it is hard for me to fully care for myself.
Life Challenges Make It Hard Be Alive Sometimes
Some days I feel like all my strength has been sucked out of me. Staying in bed longer than I usually would and going to bed earlier is one of my strategies to shorten the days because sometimes I feel like I do not have the energy to face this day.
“Every day that has gone by seems like a small wonder to me.”
While I know it would be wise to fully face whatever is going on inside of me, I am trying to distract myself with Netflix and YouTube counting the hours until the day is finally over. Every day that has gone by seems like a small wonder to me. Even the things that used to be fun like writing, reading, yoga, cooking, good food and taking walks have lost their taste … All my creativity seems to be gone.
Why is it so hard to be alive sometimes?
Practicing Gratitude Even in Dark Times
The scary thing is that is really does not matter much what you have reached in life. The past catches up with everyone. Everybody has to suffer sometime. It’s part of the process of life. It’s part of the growing and discovering who we really are. That is why life is challenging us.
“Likewise, I strongly believe that everything right now is happening for a reason. You are never given anything you cannot handle, so I know I am strong enough.”
Therefore, I am thankful for everything that has happened, is happening and will be happening to me. Life has given much to me, and even the darkest times have always turned out to have a reason. Likewise, I strongly believe that everything right now is happening for a reason. Life is constantly challenging us. You are never given anything you cannot handle, so I know I am strong enough. Yet, it is humbling and intimidating.
I am thankful for this experience abroad, for my family, for my friends, for my support system … However, right now it feels like all of this is far away.
Accepting The Fate I Have Chosen For Myself
I am isolating myself because I do not have the energy to build any friendships here, and I cannot function for anyone right now. In this sense, it is good to be out of my routine and structures and out of my circle of family and friends. Nevertheless, I feel lonely and weak. I just want to be home and safe. I want to roll up on the sofa with a blanket and a hot chocolate, looking out into the beautiful autumn forest.
“Nevertheless, I feel lonely and weak. I just want to be home and safe. “
Of course, the key to all this is acceptance and letting go. In my head, I am either distracting myself with media, or I am traveling home. I am not present, and I am running away from this. Still, I have chosen this for myself. I want life to challenge me.
The Power of the Ocean Will Reflect Your Own Power
Eventually, acceptance and letting go will come because life is like that. The tide is building up in front up you. The force of the ocean is pulling you down as the wave is crawling higher and higher until it hides the sun away from you. Your heart is beating fast and your breath failing you. You are staring up at this monster threatening to crush down on you with all its power.
“The wave will break, and it will consume you. But once you are inside the water, everything goes silent.”
But no matter how fast your heart is beating or how long you can hold your breath. The wave will break, and it will consume you. But once you are inside the water, everything goes silent. And this first breath you will take when you have reached the surface will feel like a miracle to you. The adrenaline will rush through you and make you feel more alive than ever. With its power, the ocean will have reflected your own power to you.
Life is challenging you to show you just how strong you are on the inside.
I am staring up at this wave right now. I am scared of its force because it’s a gigantic wave. But I know I won’t drown because life has taught me several time just how long you can hold your breath if you have to.