Goodbye DBS

Today was my last day at DBS, the school where I’ve worked for the past year. German schools have Project Week the last week of school, where kids get into groups and create things or learn new skills. As a parting gift and project, I made a video about the week along with the help of students. Enjoy!

 

Spring has Sprung in Germany!

IMG_8432IMG_8436IMG_8415IMG_8435IMG_8421IMG_8468IMG_8471CC850842-7F4D-42BB-A71F-2B8CFF18B4B9f5dc5184-62b7-4831-b4f9-db68254db538Hello Spring, I thought you would never arrive! Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Did I say how happy I am that you’re here? It felt like you took your sweet time, but you were so worth the wait.

As you may have gathered, this winter was a bit rough for me. I like snow and reading and wool socks as much as the next girl, but by the end of March it was, well, let’s just say it was a bit much. Now that I can sleep with the windows open and show my pale legs to society, I am one happy lady.

Yesterday I went to Heidelberg to visit a dear friend. Everyone was out enjoying the warm sunshine. Live music wafted through the market square and I ate a ginormous gelato cone that later gave me a stomach ache from all the sugar but I didn’t even care. Spring in Germany is something special.

The tourists haven’t arrived, the towns are still waking up again from their long hibernations. This is our reward for surviving the last five months. Thank you God!

A Personal Note

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetI just want to say a little something. Before this year, I had never really struggled with depression or loneliness or hopelessness. I was always the motivated, ambitious girl with a smile on her face and a certainty that her future was bright. I hate to admit it, but when I used to encounter other people with problems like depression or anxiety, I would secretly think to myself, “Can’t they just shake it off?”

Well, never again.

This year has taught me so much about empathy. Over the last few months I have often felt like I just can’t connect deeply with people. They are all around me– on the train, in the coffee shop, at work– but I felt unable to reach out in any meaningful sense. This made me lonely in a new, profound way. And this loneliness led to depression. There were many other factors (ahem, bad winter weather, I’m looking at you!), but it was heavy. Really heavy.

I lost motivation for a long time. I struggled to do even little things like cook a healthy meal or send an important email. And if I could barely do those things, how could I possibly have a bright future?!  I deleted my Instagram because I didn’t know how to respond to people’s comments on my photos like “You’re living the dream! I’m so jealous!” when in reality I felt so bad. Then I would feel bad about feeling bad! It was a negative cycle.

Now that’s I’m feeling so so much better for a myriad of reasons, I just wanted to share this little piece of my story in the hopes that maybe it might help someone out there reading. I now have so much more empathy and compassion for

Foreigners

People who just moved to a new place

Refugees

Lonely people

Those who are going through a breakup of any kind

People who just started a new job

Recent graduates who are disoriented

Singles who just want someone to do fun things with

People struggling with depression, anxiety, chronic stress, etc.

People grieving

Language learners

The list goes on! It is so cliche to say that you can’t truly understand something until you’ve gone through it yourself. But in my case, I think the cliche holds true. I am sending love, encouragement and hope to anyone out there going through something heavy today. Thank you all for reading along this year. It means a lot to me.

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P.s. Photos from London, where I visited a friend 🙂

A Weekend in Belgium!

fullsizeoutput_54c9.jpgHey friends! How are you? I spent the weekend exploring Belgium for the first time. And believe me, I ate my fare share of waffles, french fries and chocolate. I was blown away by how beautiful Belgium is. The architecture is so whimsical and unique. Everywhere I turned there was a stunning cathedral or canal or courthouse. We went to Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp. I hadn’t heard that much about Ghent, but honestly it was one of my favorite cities I’ve ever been to. Every street is filled with adorable shops. The whole country smells like sugary waffle dough! Below are a few photos if you’d like to see.fullsizeoutput_54c8.jpgWe were lucky to get a few hours of glorious sunshine.fullsizeoutput_54bf.jpgfullsizeoutput_54c0.jpgfullsizeoutput_54c1.jpgThe main town square. Everyone rode bikes 🙂fullsizeoutput_54c2.jpgJust like Venice except less touristy and much cheaper!fullsizeoutput_54c3.jpgYou know I blew most of my budget on these bad boys 🙂fullsizeoutput_54c4.jpgfullsizeoutput_54ca.jpgfullsizeoutput_54cb.jpgThe view from the top of the castle!fullsizeoutput_54cc.jpgNext we went to the small, medieval town of Bruges, which blew my mind. Every street oozes with charm!fullsizeoutput_54cd.jpgfullsizeoutput_54ce.jpgfullsizeoutput_54cf.jpgfullsizeoutput_54d1.jpgfullsizeoutput_54d2.jpgfullsizeoutput_54d3.jpgfullsizeoutput_54d4.jpgOne last story. We were taking the train to Brussels, where we would switch stations and then take a bus home. I left my camera on the train. I was devastated when I realized about 20 minutes later as we walked to the other station. It is one of the only physical objects I own that really means something special to me. It is my hobby and creative outlet and I can’t afford another one right now. So I decided to go to the travel center at the station we were leaving from. Mind you, this was a different station than the one my train arrived into. And I asked just in case. The lady disappeared into the back and reappeared five minutes later WITH MY CAMERA. I almost cried. It was a modern day miracle. I thank God for the person who reported it and turned it in. It’s like God was saying, “Nope, I’m not going to let this happen to you today, Micah, because I know how much you love photography!”

Miracles do happen, people!!! I still smile every time I look at my camera now 🙂