There’s something about living in a foreign country that seems to challenge one’s patience. Be it the language barrier, the cultural differences, the weather, the little unknowns that seem so simple to people who grew up in the country…

These past months have been a struggle in patience for me. I like to think that every person (myself included) has patience but not everyone can be patient. Does that make any sense at all? Anyway, I know that I have patience, but I am not being patient. Not at all.

Not only have I been longing for better weather, warmth and sunshine (come on Luxembourg, it’s June already), I’ve also been (im)patiently awaiting the approval or denial of paperwork for my new job. Not knowing for nearly 4 months whether I’ll be working or not is making it challenging to plan ahead for the future.

Can I travel, can I get involved with volunteering, should I really start a blog, will I actually have time to focus on my art, networking…? Not only do thoughts like these tumble around in my head, but long-term decisions for the future as well. When I don’t know what these next 6 months will hold, how can I plan for a year, five years, from now?

While I’m bad at having goals, like most people I do have dreams and passions. So this not knowing is challenging in every way, because it seems like my dreams are put on hold. It’s impossible to know, to control what will happen. And it’s also that lack of knowing, of controlling that tries my patience every day.

But this is what life in Luxembourg has always been like. Always having to try to be patient; forced to wait twice as long because of one thing or another, usually due to the lack of citizen/permanent resident status, or not fully knowing this country or its system.

Granted, patience is a normal part of life, something I’ll always be faced with. However, trying to live in a foreign country can test the limits of any patience I might have to the breaking point. And it’s in those times that I force myself to take a break from the everyday, and I just walk. I walk the city streets, through the parks, around my home, up and down the Grund, through all of my favourite spots.

I do this because it’s a tangible reminder of why I choose to be challenged and pushed past my limits so often. Seeing the beauty around me, the people I pass, the cobblestone streets and the modern buildings, the old ruins and the flowers blooming; it encourages me. It whispers, ‘don’t give up just yet.. have a little more patience.’

your ginger xx

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