I’ve been living in Ulm for almost two months now. It’s hard to believe that the time has gone by so fast. You might remember my last post about this not-so-smooth transition. I had hit a low of too many changes in such a short amount of time. Changing your name, address, country, marital status, and daily language in just a few months can do that to you. Pile that on top of moving in with seven strangers in an apartment that my most recent visitor compared to living in a horror movie and you’ve got yourself a recipe for an emotional crisis.
I spent the first week doing exactly what you shouldn’t do, which was stay inside my tiny room and mope around. Then I got to leave for a week to go on a long-awaited girl’s trip to Prague with a few of my best friends. Traveling always lifts my spirit and so I started to feel better about this new opportunity.
Before you know it, I was signed up for a German class in the city. I was fairly nervous because I had tried to start a German class before and it was a disaster. The class environment was all wrong, it seemed like no one actually wanted to be there. Then the teacher laughed in my face when I said that German people were nice and she had the class join in and share why they don’t enjoy Germans. This was a deal breaker for me. I just won’t subject myself to a class where the teacher is willing to stereotype an entire people group in such an unfortunate and untrue way.
So I walked in timidly on the first day of a brand new class, unsure of what would happen. And much to my surprise, it was the opposite of my other class. I met people from all over the world, who actually wanted to be there. Of course there are also some who don’t, but that’s what happens when taking a German course is a Visa requirement. It gave me a renewed sense of hope and also helped me to start forming some friendships in the area.
I love languages, so waking up every day to learn is an ideal situation for me. I’m still looking forward to getting back to work, but for now I know that this is a necessary step that I need to take before I will find a job that I want here.
I’m certainly learning that while everyday brings a new challenge, it’s how you deal with the challenges that shapes your future and who you become. I’ve spent my fair share of time complaining or wishing things could be better, but that really got me nowhere. I had to force myself out the door and out of my comfort zone to get to a more positive place.
It’s funny how so often we want to stay in our safe place. We don’t want to move to a new town or city, make new friends, or learn a new language. All of that requires putting ourselves into awkward positions, making mistakes, and starting from scratch. We are so deep into our routines, that we forget how good it can feel to shake things up and start anew. I personally always forget how much I actually love change, because I find myself clinging to the past. And it’s not until I finally let go, that I realize how much I can gain from a new perspective.
Have you had any major changes in your life lately? What have you gained from your new experiences?