I just had THAT MOMENT. I got smacked in the face with the huge hand of reality, and it stings.
We all know that I’ve been taking this trip in an awestruck, I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening manner. Although I am generally down to earth and realistic, this trip has brought so much newness into my realm of thinking that it has been difficult to process. Think of my mind as an empty laundry chute that suddenly got stuffed with a week’s worth of laundry. It’s going to take a while to unclog the chute and wash all that laundry! In the same way, my brain has been on overload since I got here, trying to digest, appreciate, and share all the things I’m learning and seeing and doing! Basically, I’ve been living in vacation mode thus far, half expecting someone to tap me any minute tell me I have to go home now.
FINALLY, After exactly 3 weeks and 3 days of amazing, ridiculous, unexpected moments, I got hit with THAT MOMENT. My do-it-all, see-it-all mindset had me snowballing down a giant hill of expectations, taking down everything in its path–including my bank account. Thank God I had the common sense to keep a log of everything I spend, and continuously check my online statements, or else I would literally be bankrupt by now. In this moment when I saw the cold, hard numbers, I realized that I am living a real life here. This is not Disney, I am certainly not a princess, and no one will be Bippidy-boppidy-booing me to all the places I seem to think I’m travelling to this semester. So, in response to my previously travel-happy self: STOP. BREATHE. LOOK AROUND. AND STOP SPENDING MONEY!!!
Instead of booking trips to faraway lands with all my new friends, I plan to reevaluate my schedule and plan some Copenhagen time. Enjoying the city that I live in is important because if I am going to tell people that I lived here, it needs to have felt like home first. For me, that means I need to form lasting relationships, become attached to my surroundings, learn something intriguing and provocative, and make some truly special memories. Then–and only then–will Copenhagen join Northford, CT, and Villanova, PA , on my list of places I can call home.
Now, as with every reality check that comes to me in my life, I like to look back on the past and appreciate what I have. Close friends, a great job, a strong family, an intricately woven support system–the list goes on. Ever since I can remember, I have always been loved and taken care of. Now that I am alone across the ocean, I know that I must venture further into the realm of independence and adulthood. Thank you to everyone who I know will catch me if I fall. It is really comforting to know that even when Copenhagen doesn’t seem like a home, and all I want to do is leave, you will be thinking of me and cheering me on from the bleachers 4,000 miles away. In this reality, I have it pretty good, if you ask me…
Even when it stings.