A cool housewive to be

Let me tell you something: the smell of mint tea can be one of the best things ever. Whatever the hour is, or wherever you are – mint tea never gets old. It smells like peace and quiet. We used to have our own mint in the garden, and then we would have real fresh mint tea. That was great.

Good, so far the philosophical rant on tea. You know, time really flies when you are trying to make your life work out. I’ve been here for two weeks now, which is not all that long. The past week I finally bought myself a desk lamp, for when I will actually start to do homework. So far I haven’t had too many classes yet, so not so much homework. So far, that is. I also bought coat hangers. These details, as it seems, can make your life be more like your life, and not like some kind of temporarily state. Because it is for four months. Everything here should feel like it belongs to me when I leave. The city as well. But for someone with my sense of orientation I’m doing a good job, I think! Maybe this is just an easy city or something.

Living here is not bad at all. It already feels quite comfortable. I don’t mind doing things on my own, I don’t even mind not becoming friends with all of my classmates immediately. Maybe that’s because I think it’s very cool that I do this, living abroad like this. It gives me some sort of strong feeling. I’m really doing this! I’m really cooking for myself everyday, I’m doing the dishes, the laundry, I even sewed the broken pocket of my winter coat. All of this sounds like I’m turning into a housewive, but somehow I find myself really cool for just doing it. And for talking Polish and Russian! However slowly it happens to be, I can talk to the people here, I can order food and drinks and I can aks for information. I even follow courses in Polish. Which is very hard and sometimes overwhelming, but still, I’m really doing it. Which is cool.

I start to take great pride in the fact that I speak six languages. Well, that’s exaggerated, because I’m not fluent in six language, but if I have to, I can talk in six languages. And however stupid and discouraging it can be, it proves itself worth it completely.

So me is doing well here 🙂 How are you guys?

A Matter of Pride

For some reason there seem to be two approaches to the word ‘pride’. You can be a) proud because you did something well or b) proud and arrogant, because you think yourself better than others. When searching for appropriate quotes, I found among others this one:

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Apparently, pride is a bad thing. Being pride means being stuck-up. But why? There is also the good part about pride after all. You are very right to be pride when you get your diploma for example. Why is this word such an ambiguous one?

You see, there is also this quote:

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Well, this still doesn’t point out whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it sounds a lot better. Maybe we can be proud and find God at the same time. Yay!

For me, pride means that I get out of bed, dress up and straighten my back. It means not thinking myself less than others. And the strangest thing about it, is that it only grows stronger. After having been hurt so badly by That Guy, my trust was broken, my self-esteem was dented, but my pride appeared and took over. I have never had a straighter back and a more royal way of walking than in that twilight zone, when I was hurt and didn’t know why. It killed something on the inside, but the hole that was left, got filled up with big fat pride. It even surprised me how strong that one was. You would think that a sad self-esteem level would lead to a general tendency to think you’re not good, right?

That didn’t happen. I was sad, but I wouldn’t want it to show. Maybe this pride boost had a lot to do with my  desire for revenge. When That Guy and I would run into each other, he shouldn’t see a sad, broken girl. He should see a strong, proud young woman. Both of these lived in me, but I wanted to show only the strong side. The side that wouldn’t let anyone mess with her. How can you be strong if you’re not proud of what you are and what you do? At least for a part?

During July I worked in a kitchen as a holiday job. I was very happy to have a job, despite the fact that in theory I couldn’t wear makeup and jewelry and I had to wear a shapeless white shirt and such a hygiene cap. Not very sexy. Taking away the ‘dress up, makeup, jewelry’ part feels like taking away a part of my personality. So I had to make up for that by having a good attitude. A straight back, a kind smile, elegant walk (although I had to wear shoes that looked like clogs). It was a good training in maintaining a proud attitude despite the lack of scenery such as earrings.

Pride is not a bad thing. For me it means strength, not letting people hurt you. It means not immediately assuming you are not as good as others. It means revenge, because it’s the thing you will not let them break.

So can we all please stop stating pride is something to run away from?

“Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it.”
Bryce Courtenay