Monday, February 25, 2013

Germany Week 3 - Adulthood at its Finest!

I didn't want to include a song/video this week, but this one really sets the mood. Press play and READ.
Listen to the whole song. It'll make you feel really good about yourself.

Saturday, February 23, 2013. 12:17 p.m. 

"Wait until 1," I thought. "Maybe it'll stop snowing by then. Wait until 1."

It was a long walk to the grocery store and it had been snowing all morning. All I wanted to do was stay in my pajamas and watch Seinfeld all day. But I needed to go to the grocery store. I was out of milk, bread, yogurt, fruit, peanut butter and was running low on cereal, bread and carrots. I couldn't NOT go to the store.

1:12 p.m. It did not stop snowing by 1. So, I (very reluctantly) left the warmth of my tiny basement apartment to go grocery shopping.

Walked two kilometers(ish) to the grocery store. "Do Germans not believe in salting their sidewalks on Saturdays or something?" I thought as I slipped and slid down the hills and streets to the store. My pants kept falling down. "Should have brought a belt to Germany after all."

1:37 p.m. Made it to the store. 11 containers of yogurt, two liters of milk, 6 apples, one loaf of bread, one box of cereal, one jar of peanut butter ("American. Yesssss."), one jar of blackberry jam and two bags of mini cookies later ("Wow, I got a lot for only 21 euro..."), I desperately hoped it had stopped snowing.

1:56 p.m. No dice. Still snowing.

2:07 p.m. I had to stop and rest about every 5 minutes. The strain of balancing my groceries, my umbrella and my iPod at the same time (whilst trying to keep my pants pulled up) and trudging my way through the snow was wearing on me. My feet hurt. I was wearing way too many layers.

2:11 p.m. "Remember yesterday when Stephan asked me what I liked about Frankfurt and I couldn't think of anything? It's because I. DON'T. LIKE. ANYTHING."

2:19 p.m. Drop grocery bags on the counter. Throw scarf, coat, keys and purse on floor. Sit down on the edge of the bathtub. Cry.

I've always felt strangely at home in grocery stores. I used to love going to the store with my parents when I was younger, and I worked at Albertson's for four summers and several Christmas breaks. So, the animosity I've felt toward grocery shopping here in Germany has been somewhat disconcerting to me. That mixed with the absolutely miserable experience I had walking home through the snow proved enough to snap my 19-day streak of NOT CRYING.

I had been doing so dang well.

2:26 p.m. Walk into the kitchen. Continue to cry. Stare at groceries on the counter. "They're not going to put themselves away, you know."

I began to neatly stack my yogurts in the fridge. "This is what it feels like to be an adult," I realized. "Being an adult means, sometimes, you have to drag your groceries uphill through the snow."

And then I realized something else. I could keep crying about having to carry my groceries through the snow, or I could get over it. It was up to me. I could act like a lost little girl and cry about all the things I dislike about Germany, or I could be an adult, shake it off and GET. OVER. IT.

So that's what I decided to do.

10:03 p.m. Board train in Bad Vilbel bound for home. Think about the great night of food, friends, games and laughter I just had. "Tonight was a good night."

10:32 p.m.Take the cute little jar containing exactly 117 gummy bears out of purse. Place on desk. "Tonight was a good night."

10:45 p.m. Log into Facebook. Chat with a friend from Germany. "Tonight was a good night."

11:07 p.m. Climb into bed. "Tonight was a good night."

11:14 p.m. "This is what it feels like to be an adult. Tonight was a good night."

As I laid there Saturday night, I realized that being an adult means that sometimes, you have to drag your groceries uphill through the snow. Sometimes your feet are blistered and sore, but you have no choice but to keep on walking. Sometimes you have to do your best to understand what's going on around you when nothing is in your native language. Sometimes you have to take public transportation everywhere you go and sometimes you have to sit by smelly old men on the train. Sometimes you feel lonely, sad, angry and inadequate. Sometimes you miss home.


Sometimes you meet really cool German people who want to be your friend. Sometimes you make friends who pull you out of the way of speeding buses and who take time out of their day to make sure you get on the right train. Sometimes you take a step outside of your comfort zone and realize things aren't as bad as you think they are. Sometimes you eat eight donuts in one night and are perfectly okay with it. Sometimes you experience more hospitality, generosity and love than you could have ever imagined. Sometimes you play bocce ball with a British guy and kick everyone else's butts. Sometimes you try new things, new foods, new adventures and you realize that the world is full of amazingly wonderful things, places and people.

Sometimes you learn that being an adult is about striving to do your best and to be happy on a daily basis. Even when you feel like you just can't carry those groceries uphill through the snow any longer.

And that, my friends, is what being an adult is all about. Finding happiness in every day, every experience, every moment. It's about being grateful you can afford those groceries you're dragging through the snow. It's about being grateful your feet are so sore, because you have the opportunity to go, do and see so many things, people and places. It's about being grateful there are so many wonderful people who care about your well-being. It's about making new friends, seeing new places and trying new things. It's about getting over all the things that suck and learning to be happy.

That's what Germany taught me this week. To suck it up and put a smile on. 
Because no one is going to do it for me.

Schoneck is such a happy little place when it's NOT snowing!


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