This weekend marked yet another birthday: my own. Seeing as I did a birthday post last week though, I’m going to take this one in a little bit of a different direction. Sure, I went out and had some wine, some good food, but to me, partying really isn’t that important anymore.
In Denmark, we are very big on “hygge”, a term that doesn’t translate to the English language or culture at all. Several people have tried to capture the true essence of the meaning of the word, but I found the most accurate description on VisitDenmark’s website: “…hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.” They also made a video, which was entertaining and somewhat enlightening, so if you guys aren’t fed up with Danish culture yet you should check it out.
I was delighted to share my birthday with people who understood that I don’t have a need to “turn up” and party like I’m a teenager all the time. For God’s sake, I’m 24 now, and I am happy to say that my birthday was very “hyggelig”. As I was enjoying myself with some of the people who’ve made their way into my heart these past 5 years, I couldn’t help but feel grateful, not just for their presence, but also for everyone who wasn’t there.
Although I’ve lived in New York for a while, most of my friends live elsewhere, and even though I didn’t get to see most of them, I was in contact with every single one throughout the day (and night, because the time-difference is kind of a pain in the butt). Every single text, snap, Instagram-photo and Facebook post made me light up inside and out, and I am truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.
Knowing that I have been able to stay in touch with people from back home gives me great confidence that I will be able to do the same with the wonderful friendships I’ve formed during my time in America. I’m leaving in exactly three weeks, and I’m excited to start this new chapter in my life, but it is going to be beyond difficult to say goodbye, just like it was for me 5 years back, when I was leaving Denmark to start this adventure.
And what an adventure it has been. From Cincinnati to Brooklyn (and countless of visits home in between), it has been a crazy ride. But you have all, Danes and Americans, provided me with a warm and loving atmosphere, and you have been the good, if not the best thing, in my life. You pretty much make up the definition of hygge.
In short, thank you, all of you, for being such wonderful human beings. Although I aspire to be a writer, written words can’t justify the impact you’ve had on my well-being. Whether it has been a lifetime or half a semester, know that you made a difference in my life. Thank you for being you.