I have tagged 2 blog posts with balance:

Dancing the Delicate Dance: Balancing Career and Relationships amid a World in Flux

A man at a desk, juggling a heart and a briefcase, with a Gaza news article in the background.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, November 3, 2023, 08:57

I glanced outside the frost-fringed train window as the morning chill seeped in, marking the day's temperature at a stark 3°C. It's in these undisturbed moments - sandwiched between the comforting familiarity of home and the pulsating rhythm of Oslo - that I find solace. Today, I want to dwell on the balancing act we all play out each day – juggling the weights of personal relationships with a career.

As I settle into my usual spot on the train and start to pen down these thoughts, I realize just how crucial this equilibrium is and how grateful I am to be able to maintain it. A delicate blend of love, empathy, ambition, and determination, this seemingly unassuming tract of balance can sometimes feel like an intricate dance of instincts and desires.

Personal relationships nourish the soul – they are the heartbeat in the chest of our life. Our bonds, whether familial, romantic or platonic, form the bracing structure where our experiences and emotions find sanction. They are our ray of sunshine on a damp day, reminding us that we matter, that we are loved.

On the other hand, our career satisfies a different kind of hunger. It stokes the fire in our bellies, moulding our identity and giving shape to our passions and dreams. It seeks to answer that age-old question: how can we make a difference? How can we construct a viable, rewarding dimension in a world filled with such diverse narratives?

It is easy to view these two aspects as competing forces, pulling us in opposing directions. But, I believe they can coexist, supplementing and strengthening each other. Our relationships can serve as the quiet harbour, steadying us in the face of career storms. Meanwhile, our professional aspirations can inject purpose and meaning into our personal interactions.

As my thoughts churn, I catch a glimpse of a news article about the conflict in Gaza. The stark realities painted in stark black and white highlight just how precious peace is - something we often take for granted. Weighing the cascading tragedies of displacement, death, and despair against the backdrop of our daily struggles, each dilemma suddenly seems minuscule, each triumph, a blessing.

From our cozy homes to the train carriages whisking us to our dreams, from the food on our tables to the rights we unabashedly exercise; all of it seems to glitter a bit more when seen from the lens of a world stained by suffering. And amidst this, much like the world leaders tirelessly striving for peace, we too, are tasked with finding harmony, in our own lives, in our own ways.

Today, as the train meanders its way to Oslo, I am reminded to be profoundly grateful. Grateful for the people who offer me their love, making each day a little easier. Grateful for the opportunity to build a career that fuels my aspirations. Grateful for the privilege of going on this journey, of striking a balance, of dancing this dance.

Let's always remember, in the grand scheme of things, our problems are but tiny specks in an infinite universe. May we continue to weave our career path while maintaining our treasured relationships, for it is in this balance that life blooms in all its splendor.

Tags: personal relationships career balance

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Juggling Journalism and Joy: The Ebb and Flow of Student Life

A student juggling books, a coffee, and a laptop, as friends beckon her from afar.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, October 17, 2023, 08:15

As my journey starts by fleeing my warm, cosy home, a wave of grey dewy daylight greets me. The sleepy skies hint at the calm chill of 8 degrees Celsius. I find myself reflecting on the rough pendulum swing that is my student life. Between studies and the need for social interaction lies a fragile balance.

One end of the string holds the emblem of heavy books, research papers and dates with my laptop late into the night. I am bound by the beauty of journalism, my passport to the uncertainties of the world. My heart finds solace in stories, in voices often unheard. Between understanding and writing about societal issues, world crises and local narratives, my academic life leaves little or no time for a conventional social life.

Yet, on the other end of the swing, a firm voice reminds me of the need for a social life. The joy of laughter shared in old halls, midnight cups of bitter coffee in the company of friends, the thrill of last-minute travel plans, they form a vital part of my being. In these memories, I find the fertile soil where the seeds of my creativity sprout.

Lighting them both without scorching either is but a battle. As I pen down these thoughts, nestled comfortably in my train seat, the brouhaha of the world fades away. Assignments, deadlines, social gatherings, they all seem small as I watch the world pass by.

It’s here, in these minutes of quiet, I find my balance. These moments of solitude that miraculously seem to bond my contradicting lives. A battery pack at my side, I am reminded of the power of preparation and the fortune of foresight. Its continuous surge of energy is my metaphorical reminder of the need to keep going, to keep juggling.

Yet, my heartstrings are strummed with a melancholy tune as I glance at the morning news. An unfortunate incident in Belgium snatches two young lives. Lives that had travelled in hope of witnessing a thrilling football match. Their dreams and aspirations, abruptly halted, reminding me of the unpredictable whims of the world.

These moments bring forth a new perspective on life and its delicate balance. A gulp of reality washes over me – reminding me to treasure every conversation, every shared smile, and every fleeting moment of solitude.

As I descend from the train, the chill of the morning gets replaced by a strange warmth. A reassured heart braces itself for the class, ready to juggle the whirlpool of studies, only to return to this blissful solitude in the evening, recharged by the faithful powerbank of knowledge and friendship.

So, here's to the ebb and flow of student life, to the melancholic charm of early mornings and to the empowering energy of powerbanks - literal and metaphorical. The symbols of endurance, resilience, and foresight that keep us going, even while balancing on the adventurous wire of life.

Death, news, laughter, sorrow, hopes - they tend to cross our paths every day on the rollercoaster ride called life. And somewhere amidst these ups and downs, we find our balance, our sweet equilibrium.

Tags: balance self-reflection student life journalism struggle for balance

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