My Adventuresome Self, or What I’ve Been Doing in the Past Week

Quite a few things have happened since my last blog post, but I haven’t had time (this is code for: I was too lazy to use my time wisely) to update my blog! To make it easier to read, I will make a list of all the fun adventures I’ve had!

1) I got a drastic  haircut!

The day after this, my friend Katie and I decided it would be fun to do an impromptu “photo shoot” that was incredibly difficult for me, because I wasn’t allowed to smile.  It’s okay though, because a few giggles still escaped!  Luckily, she let me man the camera most of the time- I am really, really bad at being the subject of pictures.  Imagine my usual awkwardness (which results in clumsily falling into people on a daily basis) then multiply it by five times when you point a camera lens at me.  Regardless of my complete absence of coordination, it was a great way to spend an afternoon.  The best part is that it was an activity which required zero money!  This allowed us to finish off the day with a scoop of ice cream; the perfect amount of indulgence.

2) I had my first cello lesson.

Most of you are probably aware that I’ve been suffering from tendinitis for the past two or three years.  As a result, I was nervous about taking cello lessons in a new country.  However, I think that it might be the best thing that could have happened; my teacher is really knowledgeable and willing to work with me on completely changing my style of playing!  I spent my lesson discussing what I do wrong, how to fix it, and learning how to produce a natural sound without forcing anything, creating any tension, and keeping my body safe.  Of course, this meant that I played the open G string for about an hour.  I was amazed at the progress I made!  (I mean this sincerely.  Although it might not be obvious to an outside observer, not only did I feel very natural playing cello, my tone changed and became more open.)  It got challenging when I added my left (fingerboard) hand, though.  I also don’t currently have access to a cello, so my practice regime is to sit on my bed, think about my lesson, and pretend that my pencil is actually a bow.  It works for now!  If everything goes well, I’ll be able to rent one of the cellos from the Music Academy in Sarajevo.  If it goes really well, I’ll be able to rent one very soon!

3) I worked out, swam, and enjoyed a short sauna with my friend Imana.

Imana goes to Prva Gimnazija and invited me to go to Hotel Central with her this Sunday.  Her mom had gotten a coupon that lets two people use the ridiculously nice facilities.  Some of her other friends were going to come as well, but . . . sometimes people just need to sleep.  So the two of us used the ellipticals, the treadmills, and the bikes and then went to the pool to cool off.  We also sat in the “Finska Sauna,” which reminded me of the U.P.  Who knew that I would associate the smell of cedar with my grandparent’s house?  They didn’t even have a sauna, it was the neighbor’s!  Overall, it was the perfect way to de-stress, and it was great to spend time with someone from a different school.

4) I did some thinking about life…

I’ve concluded that it is in my power to make my life as successful, enjoyable, and fulfilling as I desire.  It is also my responsibility, and not anyone else’s.  Therefore, tomorrow will have great weather because I love the rain, I will get high marks in my classes because I study for them, and I will be happy because I am blessed with opportunity, resources, and the love of family and friends.
As for what is happening in the Big Wide World, I also thought a lot about the trials which are ongoing in The Hague, but I will discuss that on a later date.  For the time being, I will leave you with this quote from A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, because I’ve been reading that sort of what-not lately and because I completely relate to it.
“If there ever is tomorrow when we are not together, there is something you must always remember: you’re brave than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.  But the important thing is, even when we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.” ~Christopher Robin to his Silly Old Bear

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