When I decided to start this blog, I immediately had doubts, would I stick to it? Would anyone read it? Would I completely regret it and feel embarrassed by it in a few months? I didn’t have answers for these questions but somewhere deep down I knew this was the right path for me. I honestly didn’t care if anyone read my blog posts and was even surprised when I got texts from friends and family telling me they read them and congratulating me.
I called this blog How I’m Copen, a play on words due to the fact I was in Copenhagen, and a nugget of the creative genius my friend Jessica Hendley possesses. But really I told myself that this would be a good way of recording how I am coping with the ups and downs of life away from home.
But then came the difficult part, writing about How I’m Copen’ when life on Erasmus becomes hard. It’s easy to share the happy experiences, what I got up to the weekend with my friends, or holidays. But what about the days where I find it hard to get out of bed, or when I have to force myself to have a shower, when the negative voices in my head are telling me that everyone at home have forgotten about me? This is just as much a part of my life as the happy side. My ups and downs are great and vast and most of the time I spend my time somewhere in the middle. But when I go to high, like on an amazing holiday to Russia, the comedown is a lot worse.
I have an amazing mask, it’s my defence, my protection and often the strength I need to tell everyone else I’m feeling great. If I tell them enough times, I might believe it and it might be true. But in all honestly, Erasmus is hard. It’s difficult being away from all things familiar, it’s tough not having the comfort of going home at the weekend to escape the trials, tribulations and drama after drunken words have been spoken on a college night out. It’s lonely being in an apartment by yourself, it’s frustrating not having enough money to go buy a coffee to escape the same four walls you’ve been staring at all day. It can get demotivating going for a walk around the same loop every day while having to be back before it gets too dark, AT 4 O’ CLOCK.
I am so grateful for this experience of living abroad, I know I am gaining life skills and growing up and learning things about myself. But sometimes I need to let the guard down and say I’m Not Copen’ that well this week. And that in itself is one of the most difficult things I have to admit.
2018 has been one difficult year for me, the craziest rollercoaster I have even been on, with numerous highs and devastating lows I didn’t think I’d get past. I’ve lost people I thought would be around forever and I’ve learnt that grief is a daily battle that takes longer to overcome than I thought.
Writing this blog has become my therapy, which is why I don’t mind if people don’t read it. I am still on a journey to self-love and self-acceptance and I know that this will take time. Sometimes just admitting to the fact that life is proving difficult is enough to feel a little bit better.
For the past few days I’ve been in a low. I don’t want people to think Erasmus is like this all the time, but as I said with the up days, comes the down days and that’s okay. I’m not saying I spend every single day in a bedroom not wanting to get out of bed, but there are moments over here when the idea of not leaving the cocoon of my duvet sounds ideal.
But now it’s time to get back on track, I’ve identified the feeling and now I’m in control again. Eating right, getting fresh air, exercise and meeting up with a friend are all ways I can get past this slump. I just need to dig down and find the strength I know I have to go out there and do it. While feeling down may be a part of this experience, it certainly hasn’t been or is going to be the dictator that decides how the rest of my time here is going to go. There’s simply too many things I still have yet to see.
I promise the Russia blog is coming soon,
How I’m Copen: 4/10
‘Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarted than you think.’ – Christopher Robin