Suck the marrow out of life

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
Henry David Thoreau

I watched Dead Poets Society the other day and it resonated (it’s really good and everyone should watch it). In it, they hit hard on the idea of Carpe diem. Nutze den Tag in German and a mantra I need to start remembering.

I love the German language, people, and the culture a lot, but my story’s not the most typical expat story – though I’m finding more and more awesome people out there with stories like mine. It didn’t develop organically or over many many years. I didn’t always know I’d live in Germany some day or dream of an apartment in Berlin. My love of the country came from falling in love with my boyfriend. And my move here ultimately came from the same place.

Back in April, I sat in my German professor’s office asking him for his advice on my upcoming move to Germany. I already had the most fundamental and pressing necessities covered, luckily, but he made sure to impress upon me the importance of creating my own life, even if I was basically moving into my boyfriend’s. This was something I took to heart at the time, not wanting to waste any of my time there being lazy.

Living with F is wonderful/helpful/fun/comforting. It’s perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. Having him with me is a motivator, and it pushes me to really learn German (mostly so I can talk to his mom and have her really love me) and to transition to German life. But at the same time, I’ve found myself becoming more and more reliant on him. Instead of taking risks and doing something that makes me uncomfortable, I’ll avoid a situation, which usually ends with me feeling lonely. This is the feeling I swore to avoid and why I created this blog in the first place, to hold me accountable hence this. I want to live Germany deep and deliberately and suck the marrow from life.

F and I sat down yesterday and had a much-needed talk about this very topic, which, ultimately, got me out of the house for a little adventure today. With no idea where I was going, I found myself staring up at a peculiar staircase hidden across from Elizabethkirche. Upon deciding to follow it, I was happy to find the sweet, little Michelchen and the best view of Marburg I’ve found thus far – proving I really don’t know Marburg all that well and that I’m a pretty good explorer. I’ve got to start wandering more. The hour-and-a-half that I spent wandering the cobblestone streets of Marburg today made me feel excited, determined, and eager for Germany, even more so because German classes start in less than a month and I can’t wait. So my goal for myself is to find something new every day – weather permitting since it’s Germany.

To you fellow expats out there, do you ever feel yourself getting lazy and taking the easy way? How do you keep yourself living life to the fullest? I’d love your advice.


2 thoughts on “Suck the marrow out of life

  1. “Instead of taking risks and doing something that makes me uncomfortable, I’ll avoid a situation, which usually ends with me feeling lonely.” That definitely resonated with me. I still refuse to do a lot of things on my own, and I use my German boyfriend as a safety net just in case I cannot express myself properly in German. Seeing myself as an independent woman, this ultimately makes feel pretty crappy about myself.

    It does get better over time, but it is something you really have to work toward (which it sounds like you are). Starting my Master’s program (in German, nonetheless) in about 1 month, I will be faced with a sink or swim situation real soon here.


    • The struggle is so real. But it’s so nice to know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel that I should keep moving towards…even if I can’t see it yet. Making really good friends (of my own) has been really hard, probably the most difficult part for me. I chalk it up to the language barrier. Even if we’re speaking English, I feel like I’m not really translating. Or that my personality is just unappealing to Germans haha.. Hopefully that changes with time.

      And I’m so excited for you! It’ll be difficult (Master’s are hard in any language), but if you’re already in it your German is great and you’ll definitely swim. You’re an American-expat-in-Germany success story and that’s why I love reading your blog! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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