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Wing Chun Und Sprachschule

When I first left Stuttgart, I was very nervous for many reasons. What if my next au pair family didn't work out? What if I didn't like my new class as much as I loved my old classes? Would I be able to find friends and a church so easily again? Would I even enjoy the rest of my time? 
These are such silly worries, I know. But looking back, I realize I was more stressed than I let myself acknowledge. And my health was not good at all. I've never had a problem finding things to do and people to do them with. And yet the first two months in Germany really upturned my confidence for a time. 
That was good, by the way. It's wonderful learning and growing, especially once the pain is gone.  I didn't even fully realize how poor my health had become until I saw this picture taken with my new German classmates. I had become very quiet and reserved, with little motivation to share with others. I told myself it was because I felt so much peace. Which was true. I was so at peace…
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Roots And Threads

//What, How, Why, Who, and Where// What is up and down, but life  going through moods that matter  nothing once they are through?  πŸŒΈπŸƒπŸŒΈ  How might I abound, but strife  release its horrid clatter  o'er my every move?  πŸŒΈπŸƒπŸŒΈ  Why is my ev'ry sound, but rife  with pointless, mundane chatter  designed for naught anew?  πŸŒΈπŸƒπŸŒΈ  Who am I to amount, but fife  through this unwanted platter  painted only to behoove?  πŸŒΈπŸƒπŸŒΈ  Where's my final mound? But life  remains in a ruined shatter  with my torn roots askew? //More Than Myself// I am a thread in a quilt,  Clinging to the unraveled fibers around me.  They say, "Pull free, be your own thread!"  🌳🌼🌳  Though I break, I will not split  For though faded, those shredding threads are what ground me;  And without seams, I'd be dead.  πŸƒπŸ₯€πŸƒ  I have roots, spread far and wide  Under soil malnourished and sparse of flowers.  And yet, there's no place to transplant me.  🌱🌻🌱  The world screams, "You must divide Yourself from them."  Don…

Dust In The Wind

"All we are is dust in the wind."
I don't know why this thought came to me, except that I felt I must stand against it. Even though it's from a fairly new song written by Kansas, the idea that we are nothing but dust struck me as something that must be as true and old as a proverb, perhaps even scriptural. 
I asked my mother, "Is the idea that we are nothing but dust in the wind biblical?"
"I think maybe."
"It can't be," I said. "It is totally wrong."
My mother turned to me. "Now be careful what you say."
"But it can't be. God wouldn't ever say that we are worthless."
And that's when I realized the full extent of why this bothered me. Surely, it wasn't in the Bible. Surely there would be no justification to the idea that we are nothing, meant for nothing, and to be nothing forevermore. God is a God of purpose, order, and beauty. Nothing, or rather, nihilism, seems to be against His very nature. 

Deleted

We live in a culture that promotes self-idolizing and cutting out anything that is toxic for self, including and especially other fellow humans.
A huge part of this culture thrives on Facebook, and their activities involve a lot of self-protective actions such as deleting or blocking or unfollowing anyone that disturbs their self-centered bubble. Of course, the way to guarantee one stays blocked is to usually let them know ;) 
Not always, mind you, just often. 
Because revenge is sweeter when the other person's face turns sour. 
Some of you may be shocked to find out I have been part of the "toxic" rubbish that had to be deleted out of some people's bubbles. Others of you will be like, "Yeah, I'm not surprised. Actually, been thinking of deleting you myself."
Thank you to both sides of that spectrum, because you all bring a smile to my face ... with the first type of people, I smile out of encouragement and joy, with the second I smile because you are …

Kinder Haben Rechte

In Germany, many people told me, "We worry about our children here." As if Americans don't worry about and love their children. 
Yet, there is a sense of truth to their words. In a paranoid sort of way. The parents of Germany are so obsessed with doing the right thing by their children that they are burdened by their self-inflicted laws. 
And it's taking a toll on all of them.  But the ones that will pay the highest price are the children themselves.  As an au pair, and comparing stories with my au pair friends, I saw a very, very common trend:
Children who were so ingrained with the knowledge of their rights that they had become entitled and lost all sense of what it meant to respect another individual, especially adults.  Because adults are basically there to ensure children's rights and desires.
The au pairs would tell me they had never seen children like these before. Yes, the au pairs were from Indonesia, Mexico, Columbia, and various other places where the cultur…

Their Lives Matter, Too

Because Earth is currently impaired, I clean houses only about one or two days a week rather than my normal full five-plus ten-hour days. One such day, I returned home after cleaning three houses and collapsed on the couch. 
"You busy tomorrow?" My dad asked. 
"I have one house, but I can move it around. What's up?"
"I'm organizing a protest in town. The Health Department is trying to pass a mandatory face-mask law, and you can get a misdemeanor for not complying."
I postponed my house for the following day, woke at 5am on May 28th, then drove myself and some of my siblings to join our dad at the courthouse. Now, this might surprise some of you, but I don't really like protests. I have to be really feeling it to participate. Like, it has to be for an extremely good cause. I've yet to attend a protest that I felt I could put all my passion in. So, I let my dad and siblings hold signs and shout, and I went in to see if I could get into the actua…

How To Be Sick Abroad

I try to live my life in such a way that I never spend money as if I am poor so that when I really want or need something I can easily spend without making myself truly poor. Because of this, I can travel. 
But going to Germany I knew was still going to be a huge test for me. To be honest, when I'm not tired or stretched for time, I still love shopping and buying new-to-me things, especially dusty books and floral dresses. 
But the money wouldn't be my only problem. I also had the matter of space to think about. I brought one suitcase and backpack with me, which meant if I didn't want to spend more money for checked-in luggage on my return flight, I could bring only an additional duffel bag on my return flight. 
To save space, I brought the bare minimum that would make me feel like I still had a variety to wear for six months. To save money, I also brought bulk items I might need while in Germany, including razor blades, two tubes of Young Living toothpaste, three bamboo …