Stream of Consciousness

I love thinking. I love planning, and organizing, looking at the big picture, and giving advice. When it comes to actually sitting down and doing something, it’s hard for me. In the current world, getting work done at all is getting progressively harder. Even with “Productivity” applications filling the app store, actual work is declining. Work ethic is constantly drained as notifications, music and other distractions pull at our attention. How can I be productive with so many things vying for my eyes and mind? It’s gotten harder to write without a prompt, or even with one. Attention spans shorten dramatically if we are not doing something that demands our undivided attention without stop. To work productively, I have to take five minutes now to clear my head of distractions, other people included.

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Turmoil

Being completely alone. Just me, my thoughts, and God.This calming atmosphere clears my mind. it allows me to slow my thoughts to a manageable rate.

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Calm

Writing in particular has gotten harder, as it requires creative thoughts, something becoming increasingly rate in our media saturated culture, trying to consume as much as possible, pulling us away from ourselves, and more towards following the crowd and fitting in. Original, off-the-wall thoughts that don’t fit in with culture’s ideals are discarded as “not cool”, and if something’s not cool, people shy away from doing it. Procrastination and putting things off is also so much easier nowadays. Staying on subject, and having solid goals is hard. I know I have changed my main focus on multiple occasions. What is truly important then? The grass will always be greener where you water it. Where will I water mine? What will I put my focus on?

Thank you for bearing with me. I have been writing down my thoughts, as soon as I think them, and I have found that it is erratic, and disjointed. There is a main theme behind it though. I’ll explain in my next post. Hope you enjoyed!

-Birdboyblue

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8,000 Words

A picture is worth 1000 words, right? Well, I’m posting a photo from each month so far, so that should be worth about 8,000. If you want to know the story behind one of them, just message me. I’m more than glad to share!

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October

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November

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December

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January

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February

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March

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April

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Today

-Birdboy

Thank You

Thank you Mom. You have always been behind me, guiding me,  being my support, and someone there when I’m just confused about life. You have been one of the biggest influences in my life, and this past year has been no different. For the past seven months now, whenever I’ve had a question, or even just needed to talk, you were there. You’ve also been one of my greatest motivators. I can’t count the number of deadlines you’ve reminded me of, times you’ve told me to just focus on my work, or times you’ve given me advice on what I should do next with my life or where to go next this year. I know I am truly blessed to have you as a mother, and I couldn’t ask for anyone better. Thank you for always being there for me, I can’t wait to see you again!

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Mom Knows...

-Birdboy

200

It’s been 200 days now, since I left the states, almost seven months on the other side of the world. It’s been a hard journey physically, mentally, and spiritually, but has also been one of the best learning experiences in my life.

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Dutch Homes

Physically, I’ve visited six countries in Europe, spent two days in four countries (twice!), visited the three biggest cities in France, and taken a week to Montréal. I’ve also traveled by train, bus, plane, boat, metro, bike, and simply by foot. This travel has taught me to pack light (which I didn’t do), always stay calm, and keep track of time.

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German double-house

Mentally, I’ve grown to see worldviews radically different that my own, appreciate and understand foreign cultures, and finally view my own country through new eyes. Being able to live in Europe has allowed me to see not only how people live there, but also see how they perceive my mindset, and my home country in general.

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Swiss Homes

Spiritually, this has been the most challenging half year of my life, as well as the most eye-opening. Starting out with no immediate spiritual support was alright, as my faith was quite strong, but after a few months it started to wear on me. It was only when I went to a Christmas caroling service in Lyon though, that I realized what I had been missing. I began to long for a community of believers to be around and worship with. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a place close enough for me to get to reliably. I had a spiritual recharge in Germany, being able to go to a small group worth friends of mine in Frankfurt, and church in Hildesheim,  Germany, but it wasn’t until now that I have found a church family. It has grown my faith, and really opened my eyes to how secular Europe is at the same time.

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House in French Alps

In hindsight, these past 200 days have been the biggest blessing I could ask for, as well as the biggest learning experience I’ve had yet. I’ve loved every moment, and am looking to finishing out the last days strong.

-Birdboy

P.S
Thank you to all of you following me, it’s been a pleasure sharing my adventure so far

Take me to church

I have been to three church services in the past six months. I attended my fourth this past Sunday. It was a great service, even if I didn’t understand half of what was said. I enjoyed singing for the first time in who knows how long, and was even invited to sit by someone. The best part though, was what happened once the service was over. Once we finished, everyone headed to the back of the church where there were hot coffee and tea waiting for us. We spent the next 20 minutes or so just enjoying the warmth of both drinks and company. This experience was a wonderful spiritual refresh, and I think I have found my church home for the next few months.

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On a sunnier day

As great as it may have been, it was no cakewalk to get there. When I got up Sunday morning, I had lost my bike key, and it was raining just enough for me to need my second jacket which was conveniently at the second house I’m living at. By the time I had the key and coat I was ready to go straight there without further delay. Unfortunately I ended up taking three wrong turns, causing me to drag my bike across a dead end wire fence, retrace my route for seven minutes, and trek through 20 yards of muddy grass, all in the pouring rain. By the time I made it to the church I was soaked and frozen to the bone. Considering what came next though, it was completely worth the trouble. I am glad I found this place, and am looking forward to spending my Sundays here for the next two months.

-Birdboy Blue

Homes sweet Homes

I have finally settled in here in the Netherlands, or at least as much as I can. I’m currently living in three homes, which is quite a new experience for me. I’ve gotten accustomed to moving around and keeping my things organized so that I don’t lose anything in the transitions, but for the most part I’ve been staying in one spot.

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Home

At the moment the three houses I’m in are my Oma’s, uncle’s, and aunt’s. I’ve switched every few days, which was kind of disorienting at first, but I’m quickly getting used to it. I’ve come to see a home as wherever there are people to welcome me. Whether that be be my cousins and uncle, my Oma, close friends, distant relatives, or even people I’ve only met once.

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Home

The only thing that truly matters is that I’m going where I need to go. I know he has a plan for me and all I need to do is follow. As long as he is with me, it doesn’t matter where in the world I go. There will always be a home waiting for me.

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Home

-Birdboy

Last Stop

After almost six months of travel I have finally made it to my last destination: the Netherlands. I’m here to work at my uncle’s architecture firm as an intern for three months, then I’ll be headed back home. I just finished my first week on the job, and it’s been awesome.

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Hallway

Everyone in the offices is really friendly, and there’s just a great atmosphere. I think the most striking thing for me was that they all pitch in a few euros and always have lunch together at the office. It creates a community feeling which I’m loving. As for motivation, everyone here is loves what they do, and works hard.

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Stairway

As soon as I got to the office Tuesday morning I was put to work as well, reviewing the basics of ArchiCad, the main modeling software they use. I progressed through the week, and by Friday had finished a rough draft for a project concept by one of the architects there (the one who is officially my boss), so I would say I’ve progressed pretty well for just four days. We’ll that’s about it for my first work experience. I’ll let you guys know how my second week went this Friday!

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Walkway

– Birdboy