“Sometimes I remind myself that I almost skipped the party, that I almost went to a different college, that the whim of a minute could have changed everything and everyone. Our lives, so settled, so specific, are built on happenstance.”
― Anna Quindlen, Every Last One
– The sunset by Cafe Nutid, tulips by my window, a run to the park! Store windows on the main shopping street, flowers at the cemetery –
Day 1 of my quest to eating better and exercising and just being generally healthier ever since Brussels where I ate my weight in chocolate and waffles, was a total bust. The Student House by DIS gives a special discount breakfast to DIS students that is 12 kr for coffee and a chocolate croissant. And 12 Kr for all that in Copenhagen is practically unheard of, so naturally I had to take advantage of that. Then, after biology class, I was starving, but I had class in an hour and a test to super cram for, so I decided to head to that bakery close by the train station where I needed to catch a train to the hospital (which is practically in Germany, it is so far away). The bakery though was operating on regular Danish prices – none of that silly student discount stuff here, no way – and so it was about a billion dollars for a sandwich. The cheapest/biggest thing I could find to get a least a little something substantial/be able to stay and work there, was an almond croissant for 21 kr. See where this is going?
– View from the conservatory patio, Glass market flowers, center and bottom left = Rosenborg Castle, Glass market cake –
So naturally, I ate my way through all the croissants in the greater Copenhagen area, and then got back and ate chocolate and cheese with friends while we planned trips for the next couple months, and Day 1 of being healthy was over. Then the day just felt so unaccomplished, so I went to the grocery store to get as many “healthy” things as I could find. I armed myself with some veggies, a package of salmon, and plain yogurt, and went back to make dinner. Remember the time that it took me a hundred years to cook dinner? The time that I labored over the salmon and cut all the veggies into tiny little pieces and boiled bulgur and stirred it lovingly every 3 minutes? And now remember the time that it took me approximately 2 seconds to eat it all? Ugh. This is why I just don’t cook for myself. Cereal forever.
– Middle upper picture = Brady! Lower right corner = the beach where we jumped into the water! –
On another note, my friend Brady and I did a crazy thing on Tuesday. We jumped off the dock into the freezing, freezing sea water at Svanemøllen beach! It was supposed to be a DIS organized event of sorts, and in the online invitation, it seemed like a lot of people were going to be there and the promise of hot chocolate afterwards was mentioned, and so Brady and I were totally game. But when we got there, all of 7 people had shown up, and had already jumped in, and they all looked miserable and like they super regretted it. So Brady and I looked at each other and shrugged, because we were already in our swim suits and well, we’re here, so we might as well – so we did it!
To be honest, it was colder standing outside in our swim suits, peering at the dark, dark unforgiving water, pondering jumping in, than it was to actually jump in. We just looked at each other, and counted to three, and oh – there’s that split second right after you have jumped and right before you hit the water that you wonder, what on earth am I doing? I have no idea what’s below me, and what am I even going to do once I hit the water? And then the water hit, and all I could think was swim to the top, swim to the top, and keep moving. Oh it was so cold. Like can’t feel your fingers anymore cold. Like numbing and prickly and Are-You-Insane cold. Like it feels as if your skin has tiny little icicles all over. Like eyelashes frozen shut cold. And I know, I know this is cliché – but it really does make you feel SO ALIVE. And SO GRATEFUL for the warmth of a towel and clothes and a coat.
Afterwards, the other group had already left, and we tried to get into the changing rooms, which were of course closed for the winter months, and so we walked all the way back to the train station and rode home and changed and went to get our own hot chocolate because the event totally lied when they said “hot chocolate to follow.” We found this really cute and cozy café in Nørrebro, nearby where we live. Brady ordered in Danish (what a show-off), and oh, you should have seen the face of the lady who worked there when he ordered. She lit up so much and started speaking Danish to him, and it was really sweet to see.
– A sweet little flower shop by the National Museum –
Today, my friend Alex and I met up with the intention of going to see this museum close by DIS, but we ended up just wandering around, getting food at the glass market, and finding a very hipster, fancy café by the National Museum, and just talking and talking. We wandered into a flower shop and saw some beautiful store windows, and it was such a good day – really idyllic. Some days are so wonderful – you just want them to last forever, to have the sun for a little bit longer, to hold onto moments that are so beautiful, they hurt. The time we jumped into the canal. The first Copenhagen Philharmonic concert we saw. The first time meeting people in the Kollegium who are starting to become some of my closest friends – the small talk and the awkward silences and the possibility and potential in those first conversations. I’m trying to keep all these memories close, because I know that the peace and the happiness won’t last forever. Already, reading the news every-day, my mind fills with worry and confusion and anxiety. Those events seem so far away from us, removed and distant, something we don’t have to worry or think about, until all of a sudden, they are happening to us. And all the security and peace is shattered. I know that this is a growing possibility (in fact, it has already happened to an extent with the events of just a couple weeks ago), and though my heart might reject the idea of it, my mind tells me otherwise.
– Copenhagen Street Food! –
And so I’m trying to embrace spontaneity, if only for a short time. Let’s take off to the mountains for an afternoon, just so we could catch the sunset on the way down from a hike. Let’s go for a walk out in the rain. Let’s climb to the rooftop of the parking garage and see the stars. Life, living, daydreams, sunshine through a window, the heat of noonday, the mug of coffee on the kitchen table, half-eaten bowls of cereal over long conversations, socks everywhere, never taking the trash out, runs in the park, red and crisp apples, arguments, laughter, moments.
This is the time to remember, the time to enjoy. It is for taking long walks with no destination in mind. It is for discovery and for uncovering the corners of the universe. It is for excitement and anticipation and hope. It is before too many worries – the time for simply asking the questions without needing to know the answers, before knowing where and when and how and why. This is a time to cherish; it moves so fast. I want to document all the moments – keep them in a corner of my heart, be able to file them in a structured way, to pull each memory out when I need it most, bring myself back to a beautiful time. But I’ve never been that organized, and memories come un-summoned, tinged with an unexpected nostalgia. I worry that I will forget them. So I try to breathe deep and slow, as if by magic, I can inhale the moments, and they can become me, down to my essence, down to my core, until I could never dream of forgetting a single ray of sunshine or the feel of grass beneath my feet or the raindrops staining the window. Hold them all, I tell my mind. Don’t forget.
– More Glass Market flowers, Kevin pondering Thai food in Nyhavn, Garrison Church at St. Anne’s Place, where my professor had a chamber music concert –