Another week, another post…
They say it only takes five seconds of insane courage to change your life. I say it takes three. This week has been the ultimate test of that.
Monday was not a day to test my courage, but we did have the opportunity to get classes all sorted out and go to the gorgeous library to get student identification cards and enjoy little pieces of campus we had not yet seen.
Tuesday… I put my saying to the test. Jenna was sick in bed that day, so I went out to explore the world on my own. I was completely terrified and was decidedly comfortable staying in bed all day. Then I opened the curtains and saw just how stunning the day was. I counted to three and I was out the door. I found my feet carry me to a familiar place: Kristianstads Nation. I got to the door and officially signed the book, securing my place as a member for life. I was so happy. When I stepped out the door, there was a pool party happening and some fun volleyball. The people inside encouraged me to grab my swimsuit and hurry back. I counted to three and was heading back to my room to change.
I tried multiple times to talk myself out of it, but I would count to three and do something new. The pool party was fun, and I had the chance to meet a ton of new people and find a place that made me genuinely happy. A lot of Germans quizzed me on what it was like to be American. It was strange.
When Wednesday came around, I was still riding a confidence high after being around so many people. So Jenna and I invited new friends to hang out with us and go to the club together. It was a genuinely amazing experience. They are all Canadian… So for the sake of ease, I just refer to them as Team Canada.
Thursday. Talk about an early wake up call after being out all night with new friends. Nine o’clock I woke up to prepare my things for a trip to a lake with Team Canada and their mentors. Jenna and I almost missed the bus because of some very poor directions given to us by one of Team Canada, but I would rather think past that fun.
The lake was beautiful and the weather was gorgeous, so it’s hard to not say I had a ton of fun. The lake was surrounded by varying heights of cliffs, pushing you to try those three seconds of courage I have been talking about.
The first cliff was easy, Dimitri (one of Team Canada) and I jumped off our first cliff together. We jumped individually the first time, but the second time we ran off the cliff and into the icy water together, after a nice count of “uno, dos, tres!”
I enjoyed a nice swim after that, but wanted to try more. I went to the highest cliff and promptly left that location. I am not sure if the fear got to me, or it was the knowledge in my head that the jump was extremely unsafe. Maybe it was the “Warning: Deadly Drop” sign or the chorus of random people screaming “Don’t do it!” Whatever it was, I was okay with the knowledge that I did not do the dangerous jump.
Then we headed to a different location, one that was much safer, and still extremely high up. The person I was going around with jumped first, and with great ease I might add! Then it was my turn. All of my new friends watching and… I froze. I think I was teasing the idea for a solid fifteen minutes. Then I counted to three, screamed a curse word or two, and my feet left the rock. It was a blast. I landed oddly. I felt lame for being so afraid.
After enjoying some sun time, we went to another cliff and tested ourselves again. I jumped twice after a few seconds of heart racing fear.
Did those three seconds change my life? Am I allowed to say hell yes? Those moments convinced me to test my comfort zone. I learned that I am capable of a lot more than I give myself credit, but in those moments, I knew it.
Friday I bought a bike, but Jenna had to test ride it because I bruised my tail bone during cliff jumping. Sitting has been far too difficult.
Saturday and today are just days for relaxation and reflection. As I write this, I am eating Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce and some potatoes, and it feels like home. I will admit I have spent some nights wishing I was back with my parents, but slowly I am feeling like I may be okay here.
I just have to count to three.