live slow, love nature, be adventurous

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pondering Gratitude: Sometimes there will be rough times

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Happy Wednesday everybody! I hope it is a good one for you. These last two days have been filled with many new experiences and a whole range of emotions, all of which where kickstarted yesterday morning when I my laptop broke. Rather than just unceremoniously dying, the lad chose to make a show out of it and quite literally went off in smoke. You should have seen the look on my face.

Luckily, the situation is under control and I am the proud owner of a MacBook now that I fully intend to keep around for the next couple of years. In the beginning, I was unsure whether it would be a good idea to purchase a new computer in Norway financially – after all, this is a notoriously expensive country. But some research quickly showed me that laptops here wouldn't be more expensive than in Germany, so I just went ahead.

What amazes me the most, though, is how calmly I stayed during this experience: Two weeks ago, I would probably have completely freaked out. But as I was wandering through town today, passing the lake in the Byparken, I was struck by how utterly content I suddenly felt.

I have mentioned it a bit on the blog before, but moving to Norway was hard for me. So hard in fact, that there were times in the beginning when I wanted to just leave and go back to my comfortable life in Germany again. Norway was gorgeous and I got to see so many sides of its natural beauty, but my heart wasn't open. I couldn't appreciate my surroundings.

But things have gotten better. I have gone out and thrown myself into building up a new social life. I have walked through the town and noticed the small things. I have stopped caring so much about what other people think. And most of all, I finally have the feeling that this city isn't so foreign anymore. I feel like I begin to know this place.

And for all of that I am very grateful.

I am grateful that I get to live in Norway. I am grateful that my family is always there for me, even if they're in another country. I am grateful for the days the sun is shining and grateful for the days when she's not, but I haven't forgotten to bring an umbrella. I am grateful for finding a great health food and a beautiful Asian store. I am grateful that I get to visit my boyfriend in London later this month.

There truly are so many things to be thankful for, but I know firsthand that it can be hard sometimes to see that. When we're feeling sad, we often don't see the whole picture. We choose to focus on the bad and forget that there's always light somewhere. Most of all, we forget that it won't always stay like this, that the times will change again.

Today, I realized that there will always be rough times. And that's okay. Life will never be all flowers and unicorns and sometimes we will feel bad. But having a sad day every once in a while doesn't mean that we can't leave a happy life. If you want your life to be bright sunshine every single day and think you cannot attain happiness unless that happens, you are setting yourself up to failure.

The art is to keep positive and Linking up with Erika  even if there are clouds on the horizon and to know – deep down in your heart – that you will experience the sun again. Sorry for the kitschy metaphors, but I couldn't just couldn't help myself. Accept life with its ups and downs and a feeling of content will start to grow in you.

Now that's something to be grateful for.

On a fully unrelated topic: I am going to attempt to restore files from my old laptop's hard drive over the next couple of days. I don't think (or rather I sincerely hope) the hard drive is broken, but all the pictures I took this summer are on there (and nowhere else...), so I feel kind of apprehensive. If they were gone, I would feel as if the summer was taken away from me – is that a crazy photographer feeling or normal?

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Linking up with Erika



  1. Love this! I'm glad you were able to navigate that whole process calmly. I hope the experience gave you a fresh pair of rose-tinted glasses :) I'm not sure if I would've been able to.. but we'll see tomorrow. Currently catching up on blogs in Heathrow!

    Michelle @ Mishfish13

    1. Thanks, Michelle! Hope you have an awesome time in France! :)

  2. Such a beautiful post! And you're right, if you think the only way to attain happiness is to be happy all of the time than you will fail! Life is full of different situations that bring on different emotions. Without experiencing every emotion, how can we say we've even lived a fulfilling life? My greatest learning experiences were from times something negative in my life happened.

  3. This is a great post and we should definitely all be more grateful of the ability to stay positive!
    I think that's amazing you didn't freak out about your laptop, I definitely would have! Enjoy your Mac, switching to one was the best decision I ever made!

    Kate -

  4. Aw I love this, positivity is definitely something I've realised one needs to WORK on, gratitude doesn't always just happen 'naturally'. And sorry about your laptop... what a dramatic end! I hope you can recover your photos, I'd feel the same as you! (But if you can't get them back, you can exaggerate your memories as much as you like and nobody can correct you ;) )

  5. Thank you sooo much Melanie for participating in GRAD-ITUDE 101, first of all! And secondly, for sharing such an open reflection of how you're feeling... authentic gratitude. I think you hit the nail on the head: with how it's okay to have sad days every once and a while.

    This is sort of a tangent but I was watching a TV show and one the characters said, "Some men aren't made to be happy. Some men are made to be GREAT." And it made me think about how sometimes happy isn't synonymous with being great or overcoming a challenge. Sometimes we don't need to be happy to be fulfilled and that's huge to remember. (That was an A-HA moment I just had in reading this post). I think we should strive to be happy (why not?) but realize there's nothing wrong with not being there 24/7 because there could be other positive things at work.

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Being an expat/studying abroad isn't easy (even if it's fun to fantasize about), but it definitely is a worthwhile experience. And you getting out of your comfort zone is inspiring me right now to be more happy and optimistic about getting out of mine (instead of being grumpy and dragging my feet about certain things, haha).

    I'm glad to see you are back and blogging more often! I missed your blog! :)



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