Hamburg: A Short Film

Well hello there friends, old and new! I recently spent a weekend in the city of Hamburg, Germany. Although Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, it doesn’t seem to receive as much attention or recognition as other german cities like Munich or Berlin. I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into the trip, a position I actually prefer, as it leaves room to be blown away. And Hamburg definitely blew my socks off! Now I’m determined to put Hamburg on the map and convince you of its greatness. I’m in the process of writing a post all about my trip, complete with three billion photos, but here is a little video I put together to tide you over until then. Enjoy!

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 6.16.48 PM.png

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Micah. She was your typical little girl- silly, energetic, curious. One day, someone asked her, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Smiling up at them, she replied without hesitation, “A Princess, of course!” The person laughed and patted her on the head. “Don’t we all,” they chuckled. In that moment, Micah’s dream of being a professional princess was shattered. Perhaps she would have to find something else to do when she grew up. But what?

As she grew older, her peers began letting go of their “princess dreams” and striving for new ones. Some wanted to be doctors, others teachers, lawyers, therapists. And while Micah eventually realized she too must relinquish her princess dream and replace it with a realistic career, she had no idea which one fit her.

Fast forward to high school graduation. Waiting in line before the ceremony processional, Micah hears fellow classmates chat excitedly about their plans: pre-med, art school, theater programs. Everyone seemed to have their major and corresponding career path figured out. In fear of being asked, what are your plans?, Micah hides under her over-sized graduation cap.

And now’s the part where I switch to first person. If you haven’t guessed, this story is about me! During my time here in Germany, I’ve often found myself thinking about my next two years of college and the future beyond. And while I am a notorious worrier, my recent thoughts on the subject have not been worries so much as questions. 

I’m almost grown up, but I still don’t know exactly what I want to be…what does that say about me?

I think it says a few things. First, the fact that I could never envision myself with a typical job title like doctor, teacher, or lawyer means I don’t want an already established career. I want a job title with multiple words, something that takes a bit of explanation, something like, “Creative Director of Content and Photography” or “Editor of Written Communication.” What the what do those even mean? Exactly.

Second, titles like that aren’t attained through a traditional career path. I see myself following a circuitous path, full of twists and turns and trial and errors. Some people love following a step by step path to their future career- first college, then graduate school, then training of some sort, and then work. But I’ve always been okay with uncertainty where my career is concerned. I like not knowing what my post-graduation plans. It is strangely liberating and exciting! It allows me space to be my creative, unique, crazy self.

Lastly, I don’t want to mold myself to fit a career. Sometime people change themselves to fit into the ‘doctor mold,’ for example, adjusting to what they think a doctor should be. But I want to be myself, and mold my career to fit me. Now I know that’s not always possible, or at least not right away. I will undoubtedly have to go through a few jobs that don’t quite fit until I reach the job that fits me like a glove. Sometime you have to figure out what you don’t want to do first before you can figure out what you do want to do. I’ve already checked quite a few options off the list, and continue narrowing it down with each new experience.

So, in conclusion to this ridiculously long post, I want to offer a few words of wisdom to my past self. Little Micah, it’s perfectly okay to have no idea what you want to do. You will likely spend the rest of your life figuring it out. But chances are, you won’t become a professional princess. That’s too conventional for you anyways.

Thanks for reading friends, have a great week!

A Happy (German) Birthday!

549361_10204742557105746_9001426591637117096_n.jpg
It’s official: I am no longer an angst-filled teenager, but rather a mature adult. Or at least I pretend to be. Sunday was my twentieth birthday, and I had the unique pleasure of celebrating it here in Germany. As the day slowly approached, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about being away from friends and family back home. While I’ve never been a big party person, I do enjoy the tradition of going out to dinner with my immediate family and a few close friends. I’m happy to report, I didn’t feel nearly as sad as I thought I would, because the day was filled with so much excitement and joy! Keep reading to experience my high-quality birthday through low-quality photos.

IMG_6931.JPG
When I walked out of my bedroom Sunday morning, I was greeted with this lovely sign by the talented three-year old in the family. “Gottes Segen” means God’s Blessing in German, and is a common birthday greeting. It is bad luck to wish someone happy birthday before their actual birthday in Germany, so this was the first I greeting I’d received thus far!

IMG_6918
Daria opening my birthday present- I didn’t mind, she was so cute! The bag played Happy Birthday every time you opened it, and you best believe she opened it at least fifty times.

Next, we headed off to church. I am so glad my birthday landed on a Sunday, because church is an instant, pre-planned party! I love the community I’ve found at church, and there’s no other group of people I’d rather share my day with. I brought a carrot cake and peanut butter chocolate cookies I’d baked the day before to enjoy after the service. Now you know I hate to brag, but they were pretty dang delicious!

FullSizeRender
^I wished for three more wishes. Obviously.IMG_6947
After church, we headed home because my ‘host mom’ had kindly offered to cook me one of my favorite German dishes- Käse Spaetzle! This is basically classy Mac n’ Cheese- thick flour noodles with melted white cheese and a creamy mushroom sauce. I ate three bowls full, and keep in mind this is after the two three slices of birthday cake. No regret.

Like I said, the quality of these photos does in no way reflect the quality of these experiences.

After an afternoon nap/food-induced coma, I set off by bike to meet a few friends from church for dinner at a local Italian restaurant. The evening was so light hearted, funny, and affirming. I am proud of the people I surround myself with, they are always building me up.

10402555_10204742557665760_4403229809948673085_n
The evening culminated in a Skype call with my family, the four people who have walked beside me every day of this journey.

Thanks friends for reliving my special day with me. I missed you dearly, but I can’t thank you enough for all the support and love you’ve given me these past twenty years. I can’t wait to see what year twenty has in store! Have a great week, see you back here before we know it.

A Happy List

IMG_6127.jpg

Hello again friends, and happy Thursday! I can’t believe I’ve already been in Hildesheim for two and a half weeks. I’m now able to successfully navigate my way around town, and even have a few ‘favorite hang out spots’ to frequent. Over the past year, I’ve developed a little practice where I make a “Happy List.” That is, a list of all the small, seemingly insignificant things in my life that add up to make me one happy girl. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or cranky, I can look back on these lists and remember how blessed I truly am. You can read a past Happy List here, or keep scrolling down to read my latest list, sprinkled throughout a few recent pictures of Hildesheim in bloom!

IMG_5347.JPG
1. The fact that the sun doesn’t set until 9:30pm these days.
2. When I learn a new German word and then successfully use it in conversation.
3. My ritual morning cup of coffee.
4. The lilac bushes in full bloom around town.
5. Long telephone conversations with my dad.
6. The colorful doors scattered around Hildesheim. I have a thing for doors.
7. Being able to walk/ride my bike everywhere.
8. Sleeping in way longer than necessary.
9. Warm showers before bed.
10. Fresh flowers on the table.
11. Journaling.
12. Starting a new book.
13. Binge watching Gilmore Girls (I don’t have a problem, I could stop anytime).
14. All German bread. They do bread right.
15. Playing silly games with little kids.
16. Chillin’ with Tazan, my host’s cat.
17. Breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day, after all.
18. Snuggling up under a fuzzy blanket.
19. Having no where to be and nothing important to do.
20. Checking tasks off your to-do list.
21. Crawling into bed after a long day.
22. Church potlucks.
23. Wasting time in coffee shops.
24. Listening to a really interesting podcast.
25. Messing around on the guitar or piano.

IMG_5404.jpg
26. ^Finding my family’s name carved above an old German door frame. When can I move in?!
27. Experiencing spring slowly turn into summer. This is my first time really experiencing seasons, and it’s blowing my mind!
28. Traveling to new destinations.
29. Writing of any sort- blog posts, short stories, essays, poems, you name it!
30. Home cooked meals.
31. Warm fuzzy socks.
32. Learning about German traditions.
33. Shoe shopping.
34. Practicing my photography and becoming more familiar with my camera.
35. Family vacations.

IMG_5376.JPG
36. Colorful buildings and attention to detail.
37. Movie nights.
38. Cider. It’s not just for New Years Eve anymore!
39. Painting with watercolor.
40. Perusing my favorite blogs.
41. Peonies- my favorite flower of all time!
42. Experimenting with new hairstyles.
43. Listening to people talk about something they are obviously passionate about.
44. Card games.
45. Memorable late night conversations.
46. Becoming a regular somewhere.
47. Weekly bible study.
48. DIY crafts and decorations
49. This blog!
50. My lovely readers (that’s you, wink wink :))

IMG_5419.jpgIMG_5377.jpg