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No Time

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When I think about how I live my life, I often catch myself saving things for later, putting them off, or having doubts about whether or not it’s the right time for them.
buddha timeStudying abroad has NOT been one of those instances. Just flying here was an obstacle for me, and I know that the person boarding the plane to the USA will have accomplished far more than the person who boarded the plane to Copenhagen. Since I’ve been here, I have been taking as many opportunities as I could, because I don’t know when, if ever, I will get another chance to come to Europe to learn, see, do, and love all that it has to offer.

With only TEN DAYS LEFT, I find myself thinking about a statement that Vince made recently: “This space in time is unique and will never be replicated.” Even if I were to come back to Copenhagen in the future (which I hope to do), I will not be living in this apartment in city center on Skindergade with fellow DIS students. Each moment we spend here is a chance to make a lasting memory, because those are the most important souvenirs. That said, my housemates in Skindy 14 have become much closer over the past few weeks, cooking family dinners, decorating the house, going out on weekends, and basically just spend time enjoying each others’ company for the last weeks of our time together.

For these last TEN DAYS, I will do everything in my power to give Copenhagen all the love it deserves, and show my appreciation to the beautiful city that will always occupy my memory as my European home. I will not waste this time, for I know I do not have it.

Much love.

Giving Thanks

This Thanksgiving started for me on Wednesday and ended on Friday (of course). I didn’t mean to make it happen, but I’ve had so much to be thankful for these past few days that I just had to extend the holiday.

On Wednesday night, we made our own Thanksgiving dinner at Mia’s house. There were 22 people in attendance, including everyone who lives in Mia’s house, me, and my friend Anna. The spearheads of this operation were Emily, Mia, and Aimee, who did most of the cooking and coordinated other contributions. Mine was home-made cranberry sauce. Jhon and I also whipped up some cinnamon butter and helped with the mashed taters (so yummy). It was SUCH a HYGGE night!! I am so thankful to have all these great friends!

Group shot of everyone (minus Jhon) in Mia’s house, my second home. LOVE THEM ALL!

My contribution: homemade cranberry sauce (since Denmark doesn’t have it)

this captures the moment well

Thankful for this girl ❤

Emily, Mia, and Aimee: the three moms with their pies

picture-perfect “hygge” (Danish concept of cozy)

 

 

 

Thursday, I woke up still full (typical Thanksgiving problems). It was kind of a rough day because I missed my family and friends on this American holiday, and everyone in Denmark was acting like nothing was happening. I know that Christmas decorations are up, and they look great, but it’s just not the same. Thanksgiving is a day to spend walking around the house in slippers, cooking with people you love, listening to “Alice’s Restaraunt” (Dad & Ben!), failing at pecan pie… and instead I was expected to be in class. EWW.

Luckily, I had pre-arranged a coffee date with Anders Larson, a man who teaches and works in Housing at DIS. I never would have done this, but Nancy strongly suggested that I meet him, as he was one of her favorite people here. Let me tell you, I’m SO glad I listened to her. Anders is the coolest! He’s super cute, so easy to talk to, and as a real Dane, he knows what’s up around Copenhagen. Even better, we met up with his friend and colleague Lauren Chaney, who is a Villanova alum and has been traveling the world since she graduated ten years ago! It was nice to spend time chatting with such cool people, and I was reminded that there are so many people I have yet to meet here. With only 22 days left, it’s easy to check out mentally, but I won’t do that yet. There is too much I’d miss out on!

Just to top off the night, we spent Thursday night as we would on Thanksgiving Eve in CT. My dancing shoes are a little worn out now, let’s just say.

Friday, I thought the festivities would be over… but I couldn’t have been more wrong! I got an email about a package, and had been expecting my mom to send me my favorite sweater. Instead, I got TWO HUGE PACKAGES!

THANK YOU SO MUCH MOM AND ANNE!!! Opening these boxes seriously felt like Christmas and took away any lingering sadness I had that I was missing out on Black Friday shopping, another HUGE family tradition. I got a little taste of the wardrobe I miss at home, since my mom got me a million sweaters and legwarmers, an Alex & Ani (the teacher apple), and other stuff. Thanks Mom! And Anne got me a ridiculous amount of great American stuff, including A WHOLE JAR OF PEANUTBUTTER, DUNKIN COFFEE, AND HOMEMADE BROWNIES!! I haven’t smelled a brownie in months. THANK YOU SO MUCH ANNE!!

Really, it all comes back to being thankful. I have never before in my life had so many reasons to be thankful. It hits me just about every day, even when I’m sad or missing home. I am thankful for my wonderful, supportive family, my absolutely amazing friends, and of course, this experience. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Much love.

Here Comes a Miz Post

Today was just one of those days.

I was actually almost convinced that every day of European life is a good one in some way… but I was wrong. Today was the third day that half of my friends here (including Mia) were gone on their short study tours, where DIS takes you around Western Denmark and houses you at hostels & the whole 9. But the other half of us are kind of like, wait… what do I do now? Routine has been established for the past two weeks and suddenly half of the people in the program are whisked away. Thanks, DIS, for keeping it interesting, but right now I think a good dose of Routine on the Rocks would have been better for me than this.

So tonight, finally, everyone came back. Regardless of the fact that I was exhausted from attempting to write a research paper all day, and just generally mopey, I went to go make dinner at Mia’s. On the way, there’s a right turn that I have to make, from asphalt road to cobblestone, in between two outdoor restaurants. SO OF COURSE I FALL OFF MY BIKE! This is not one of those graceful hiccups, either. It’s a straight up, full speed face plant. Wearing a backpack. The 25 people watching me gasped all at once, and I just got up and shrugged. It would have been hilarious if I was in a good mood, but since I was already miz, I was not a good sport.

Instead of cooking dinner like the usual Euro-dieters that we are, we went to Nordic Noodle and got some takeout Chinese. Then we sat down with all her (basically our, since I love them) housemates, a communal box of chocolate granola, and our computers. Our goal: book the flights for the second travel break.

We got all the way through Scotland, and almost to Paris, WHEN SUDDENLY MY CARD GOT DECLINED! Now, I am seriously being the most money-conscious student travelers anyone has ever known, so when I saw this, I immediately knew there had to be a problem. Sure enough, unauthorized charges all over my online statement. ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME. After 45 minutes on the phone with Wells Fargo, I have a new debit card in the mail, which will get here in TWO WEEKS. Looks like I’ll be eating notebook paper till then.

All this, and all I want is a hug from someone I know well. 4,000 miles is too much distance between this sad little lady and her big old support group.

I guess I learned that not every day in Copenhagen is taken out of a fairytale, but if it wasn’t for days like these, I would not truly appreciate the magical ones.

Goodnight, readers. I hope tomorrow is a better day in paradise.

Stop the Small Talk

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Although it may seem late, the reality of leaving has finally arrived.

People have been small-talking me about studying abroad for a solid month now, but what’s making it real is that even the people who don’t need to small talk are starting to talk about it. The fact that I am leaving is becoming prevalent enough in other people’s minds that they are bringing it up in conversation, even when there are other things we could be talking about. Like today at work, instead of only talking about the kids, and our plans for tomorrow’s luau, every other teacher made sure to get all the info they could from me about Denmark. While I appreciate everyone’s thoughtfulness and curiosity, there is a part of me that wants to scream

MAKE IT STOP!

Truthfully, as much as I will miss the company of all my networks of supporters and entertainment here at home, again I find myself looking forward to that plane ride, when everything will fall silent–at least, I will be out of touch with most of the voices I have been hearing. This will free up some space in my brain for my own digestion of my current plate: Copenhagen, the psychology program, my independence…the whole package of thoughts that I have been to preoccupied to process. Up till now, my only thoughts have been those that others put in my head. Excitement, apprehension, enthusiasm, and curiosity float around inside my head, presenting themselves depending on who I’m talking with. This won’t do. I have to think for myself about this experience before I dig in.

Airplane solitude, here I come.

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