Thursday, January 26, 2017

Where I've been

It has been a while indeed. It feels very awkward, coming back to the place where my memories dwell, where I was sharing so much yet never enough, where I left so many hints and clues for no one to discover.
I've been living in a sort of limbo for the last year. Always struggling with studies and pushing aside everything else. My social anxiety has been driving me mad and I stopped taking portraits. For some reason I've been unable to put my feelings and experiences into words and I haven't been writing either . Even now it's difficult. I feel trapped in my head. There is so much that I want to share but I keep failing at doing it. I keep staring at this eternal white page unable to fill it with anything. This feels horrible. This makes me feel paralyzed. This makes me feel stupid and superficial. Can it be that I just don't have anything to share but fool myself into believing that I do? This thought scares me a lot. But then I don't really understand... Why would a person who doesn't have anything to share get this constant urge to write? This is pretty cruel.
Well, anyway. Why not focus on some brighter stuff. Because no matter how tedious routines are and no matter how stupid and lonely I feel, some quite awesome things have happened recently and not so recently. Now let's see...
I wrote my last blog post more than a year ago when I was in Sweden. I do remember writing it in my room late at night, in my bed. It was probably a clear winter night and I bet the stars were shining incredibly bright, because that's what they do in Sweden. See, the stars are always brighter on the other side. But seriously though. I will forever remember opening my window into a starry cold night and not feeling the cold because I was so high on my happiness.
So, I awkwardly poured my soul into that one blog post and in the end of December I came back to St.Petersburg. There were, of course, some tears involved but the only thing I could do about coming back to my old life was to move on. And there was a lot to do. Life certainly kept me thoroughly busy with studying, exams and doing twice as much work as I was really capable of during the next several  months. It definitely wasn't all fun and games. Luckily, there was another girl in my group who was going through exactly the same thing and, as we know,  there is nothing more satisfying for a student than to know that someone else is having it hard as well. And you know what, having a hard time brings people together. The point is, I think I've finally made a friend, which still amazes me every time I think about it. Very grateful for having this person in my life.
Well, somehow I managed to pass exams and hand in a research paper. Don't even get me started on this research paper. Writing it was sheer hell. Not to mention that I've written three of these this year. Don't get me wrong, I love studying linguistics but... research papers are a freaking torture. Honestly. They are.
Alright, anyway, after all those dreadful exams I did the craziest thing ever, at least according to my definition of craziness. I got on a plane to Sweden and went to an organic farm to volunteer there. Basically, I spent two weeks weeding, eating my weight in peanut butter and freshly baked bread ( because weeding makes you hella hungry), walking lots and talking to wonderful people from so many countries. It was honestly a dream come true, tough and challenging at times but such a fantastic experience. And I finally got to use my English, woohoo. That felt good. More on my volunteering experience coming, I promise.
In August I got to visit Greece. Went there with my mom and we had the best time. It is incredible how being by the sea makes you so grateful for your entire existence. The connection that we, humans, feel with water is so powerful, it's truly amazing. We also met a couple of the cutest little doggies ever and having to leave them there totally broke my heart (Can I, please, adopt every single dog on this planet?)
So, then September rolled in and it was one crazy month for sure. I had school teaching practice, which meant teaching English to a bunch of teenagers. Luckily, it was quite a decent school and they were not much of a trouble. But I was freaking out daily anyway. Because, you know... people, talking, getting out of my comfort zone and stuff. Oh, and preparing teaching plans. It was pretty much a nightmare and somehow I ended up extremely sleep-deprived. But, guess what, I really came to like teaching. Maybe because I got to speak English so often. But I think I could totally do it as a job (not in this country though). 
And once I was done with teaching, a new semester started and brought new challenges. As usual, there was too much stuff to be done and too little time and even less energy. I had a goal though: not to fall behind with my weekly assignments. This worked well. But I still made my usual mistake of ignoring all other subjects and having Swedish as my top priority. Not that it isn't my priority, but, you know... ignoring stuff isn't of much help when it comes to exams. 
In October I went on another quite crazy trip, this time with my dad and his colleagues. I kept saying I couldn't go and miss several days of classes but then I told my annoying inner voice to shut up and embraced this wonderful opportunity. We flew to Prague and then drove all the way to Dusseldorf to attend a huge plastics fair. It was very overwhelming. I got to be an interpreter and apply some of the theoretical knowledge that I had acquired at the university. Needless to say I was high on my emotions for about a week, feeling important and worthwhile. Then I slowly got back into my usual routine of feeling sad and lonely and life was back to normal, hehe. 
It felt kind of surreal but in November I flew to Sweden again. It was a study tour and I was traveling with a dozen of other students who learn Swedish. My comfort zone was left far behind. We had quite a strict schedule, were staying at a hostel and there was a lot of socializing involved. Basically, everything that I dislike when it comes to traveling was involved. But. I had a friend by my side and we were in Stockholm, the city of freedom and dreams, totally having the time of our lives. Honestly, every minute of this trip was magical and amazing. I may have become way too attached to some of the memories. Sigh. Hashtag take-me-back. 
Well. When we came back we got to study really hard, work on our research papers and die a little in the process (why is it always such a nightmare?) but, as miraculous as it always seems, we somehow passed everything and made it into a new year. 
I got a truly extraordinary start to the new year. I was asked to do interpreting again and this time flew to Denmark on January 2. Now I would like to make one thing clear. All these trips feel surreal to me. I honestly have no idea what I've done to deserve it all and I am filled with gratitude to the brim. So so happy to get all these opportunities. Anyway, got to visit both Odense and Copenhagen (loved it) and got me meet really nice people. 
Interpreting is fun. You don't have to come up with anything to say, you just do your job transferring someone else's message. Perfect for someone like me who still hasn't mastered the art of keeping a conversation alive. 
When I came back I had to pass a couple of other exams, nothing too difficult but it's always stressful anyway. And these days I'm having a well-deserved break from studying and pretty much everything else. I've been watching movies, listening to podcasts, sewing and... I think that's it. Living the life of a sloth. But I've been also trying to get just a tiny little bit more social and show more attention to the people who I appreciate in my life. Had a coffee date yesterday and it went wonderful. Visited a school friend a couple of days ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Me, the girl who never knows what to say. I'm impressed. Also, planning a photoshoot soon and getting out of this dark hole of fears and creative stagnation. 

Hmm, this is it, I guess. A quick overview of recent events in my life. Not that anyone is interested, but it was nice to put all this into words. What else has happened? Oh, I finally went fully vegan and have been for more than a year now. That was one important change for sure. Also, I've been taking driving lessons, very exciting. What else... Oh, I have been in the process of rediscovering my love for dolls and sewing. No, I'm not too old for that.

I think this will do for now. It's good to be back and even seeing the whole Blogger layout makes me feel nostalgic and excited. I will not promise to post more often because apparently I always fail at it. We'll see what happens. If you are not me but have read this to the very end, thank you! 

Oh, wait. We need pictures. And cat pictures are always the way to go, right? 

There you go, haha.