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Powering Through Life's Surprises: A Letter to My Fellow 20-Year-Olds from a Norwegian Train Journey

A young person on a train, pen in hand, staring wistfully out the window, powerbank and letter on the table.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, November 10, 2023, 15:05

As I nestle into the rhythm of the train softly swaying home, the cold Norwegian landscape, wound in a temperature of just 5 degrees Celsius, brings about a chill that dances on my fingertips, urging me to share a few thoughts. Today, I won't talk about the snowflakes freckling the tracks or the intoxicating aroma of kanelboller wafting from my tiffin. I'm ever so slightly dismayed, thoughts crowded with the relentlessness of life and the transient moments we often take for granted.

Dear fellow 20-year-old, let us talk about a few things. Not that I'm a veteran at this game of life or anything. Still, there's this gnawing feeling, the need to stop for a moment and offer a few bits of wisdom, or maybe just anecdotes that I've dug up from the way I've been living.

Today, as I flicked through the headlines, one incident stuck with me. A young woman, my age, found dead in a far-off place. The circumstances, the location, it was all too eerily overwhelming. The unknown plagues me. Yet amidst my twinge of distress, the journalistic pulchritude of life’s slipperiness only ensues in manifold. My heart, wrapped tightly in empathy, sends shivers down my spine as I turn the pages forth into the chaos that dances beyond comprehension.

One may ask what advice there could be within this morose snare of life’s unpredictable gyrations. Amidst the churn of emotions keeling forth, might I suggest, ever so slightly, the power of a powerbank. Not the electronic one you might initially envisage, though do carry those along. They’re absolute lifesavers in a world that moves faster than you can charge your phone.

No, dear 20-year-olds, the powerbank I speak of encompasses more than the pervasive connectivity of the modern age. It represents a reserve of courage, kindness, empathy, resilience, determination, and joy. Recharge your emotional powerbank daily with these virtues, and you'll find yourself equipped to tackle whatever surprises life stores up in its secret keep.

Remember, much like the electronic powerbank that keeps our phones running and helps us to stay connected with the world, our emotional powerbank is equally important. It helps us to stay connected with ourselves and navigate through the roller coaster tide of life.

Diffidence tends to creep in when you least expect it; pledge to befriend courage. Kindness, show it in abundance, even on days when you feel nothing deserves it. Cultivate resilience, wear it as an armour against the many 'a slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.'

Stay determined, even on gloomy afternoons such as this. And never let the spirit of joy depart from you. Let it light your eyes, warm your heart, and shape your lips into a smile that defies dismay.

These lines spill from my heart, the anticipated click-clack of my keyboard a symphony against the steady chug of the train. In the words of the ever-resounding Mega Mind, "Destiny is not the path given to us, but the path we choose for ourselves.” And to choose, we must have power, in whatever form it presents itself, be it a piece of technology or a sturdy trait.

With that, my young compatriots, I sign off today's train musings. Lean into life's uncertainties with your all-powerful powerbank. Remember to recharge, for yourself and for the world around you. Until tomorrow’s journey, let us hum to the rhythm of resilience, and despite the chill, let warmth reside within our hearts.

Tags: self-reflection personal growth emotional wellbeing

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