Walking a Tightrope

Watch out world, I’m joining the circus. 

No, not really. I’m not thattttt skilled with when it comes to balance.

I am talented enough to stand on one foot and throw a ball up and down, but I am not super skilled at keeping my life in a state of balance.

This lack of balance is like me walking on ice – me, power walking to a destination, talking to friends or bopping to music, taking in the scenery, thinking to myself, then (suddenly) falling in slow motion right at the climax of my journey when there is no time for a bruised tailbone.

Those who know me from home can attest to my desire to keep busy and be involved. I often overcommit myself wanting to passionately engage in current commitments while also wanting to explore new ones. 

I figured being abroad would give me the opportunity to find balance. I would be away from my school activities (more organizations than can be counted on one hand). I would have a real home/house/family to go back to (providing a separation between home and school). And, I would be taking all courses related to what I am interested in pursuing in life (public health).  

What hit me hard these past two weeks, is that finding life balance is still challenging abroad. In some ways, it is even more challenging for me here, than while at home because I know my semester is limited. 

I want to be a good student (yes…I have to take tests, write papers, and give presentations). I want to be a good family member in my homestay (family dinners and game nights are the best). I want to be a good family member to my home family (keeping mom, dad, and my sister in the loop of abroad adventures). I want to be a good friend (strengthening relationships with DIS friends, Swedish friends, other international friends, and my back home friends). I want to be a good tourist (one who travels and explores). And…I want to be good to myself (providing balance in these things, getting sleep, and having “me time”). 

As I mentioned earlier, my balance is like me on ice. I was doing well, bopping along, until these past two weeks…I slipped hard. But, this slip has served as a reminder – time moves fast, yet, it is also slow. I don’t need to fit every desire in now. I can’t possibly see, do, and excel with everything. I need to relax and remember that time is continuous and being in a healthy state of mind and body is better than pushing myself to “do it all.” 

Nearly halfway through my time in Sweden, the popular Swedish concept of Lagom is becoming my mantra. The term means “the perfect amount.” My goal is to find the perfect amount of school, home, and adventure – balancing like a figure skater leaping and landing on ice. I know I will be successful. 

Me getting some balance in the Arctic Circle.

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