Bring it, Winter! I am ready for snow. Holiday markets. Camp. New Year’s Eve. Travels. And adventurous nights. It’s nearly midway through December and classes are officially finished. I had that realisation last night that I no longer have classes… strange thought. I have three exams left to go, two Estonian ones and one Russian one. Christmas related events are popping up all over the place and I have no idea how busy I want to be.
For any of you out there are preparing to study abroad, keep one thing in mind. Nothing works on a schedule in other parts of the world. Never make concrete plans to do things and don’t over commit to things you want to do. You will wear yourself out. No lie. One of the most beautiful life changes I have experienced here is not planning out my days and allowing things to simply happen. Meaning that when someone invites me somewhere that day, I usually say yes because that leads to adventures I would have never thought would happen. For example: last night I agreed to go to an Estonian home group for no real reason and ended up in a car, exploring the edges of Tartu at midnight. Fun!
Pace yourself. School is one thing but that’s not something that lasts forever. Let’s say some part of the world is hit by something nuclear related (go watch Threads if you want to truly understand the depths of this idea I am presenting…) and so all that’s left is what? People. And not many of those either so I advise you to dedicate your time to spending it with people you enjoy being around. Don’t allow school work to consume your life or anything that could be destroyed in a matter of minutes (I realise people can be destroyed but… whatever. Not the point). People, people, people! Focus on those relationships!
I have also noticed that if I really focus on how much school work I have to do or exams I need to study for, I end up stressed out and not prepared anyway. Whereas, if I allow myself to actually live, the studying and the homework gets done on it’s own. And I still get to enjoy myself.
There are a series of questions that come up a lot in class: “What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies? What do you usually do?” In the US, I could have quickly answered those questions. Fun: dance around in my room to music playing too loudly, stretch, goof off with Jasmine. Hobbies: crafts, discovering music. Usual day: school, studying, church stuff of some sort, music. But here, there is no “usual” day and I don’t have anything that I do regularly enough to call it a hobby or to define it as fun. Yes, it is really hard for people to understand me when I say that I don’t have hobbies and that there is nothing in particular I do for fun. But I still have fun, that’s what matters. My life is a bit chaotic in the sense that it doesn’t follow a timetable but also this is the least bit stressed out I have ever been. Sure, I still have bad days or weeks or there are certain events that put me on edge but overall, I’m not as uptight as I was.
I challenge you to fast from something, and not a traditional fast where you eliminate something for 24 hours or a week. Fast from something that consumes your time. Don’t eliminate it but focus on something else (LIKE PEOPLE!) and watch how the work gets done on it’s own anyway. Simple life, as Mart would put it.