resilience

I have tagged 6 blog posts with resilience:

Power Banks: The Unsung Heroes of Resilience in the Face of Adversity

A close-up photo of hands passing a power bank, amid a backdrop of hurricane aftermath.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, February 2, 2024, 09:02

Stepping onto the train this frigid morning, with a delicate frost-quilted landscape unfolding before my eyes, my mind is restless. The overwhelming grip of melancholy tightens as I ponder on last night's news. The damage inflicted by Storm Corrie on Øresvika is heartbreaking, reminding us how swiftly our daily comforts can be snatched away by the somber temperament of nature. Yet, even in adversity, perseverance shines through.

Amidst the cruelly pruned trees and the gutted remains of homes stripped bare by the storm's fury, a spark of humanity glimmers. It reminded me of the essence of community service and volunteer work. It is the soul, rolling up its sleeves in cold despair, warming hearts with acts of love and collaboration. It is about stepping up when calamity strikes and extending a hand when those around us stumble into the face of adversity.

I’ve spent my weekends wrapped in varying volunteer experiences, the collective warmth of which contrasts against today's biting cold. The dark, seemingly endless Norwegian winter only deepens the grooves of the stories I’ve seen unfold; tales of resilience, compassion, and undying spirit of service, undoubtedly laying the foundation of the unyielding support network we call our community.

I found a powerful lesson in Øresvika's crisis. Huddled together under duvets, relying on the soft glow of battery-powered lanterns and power banks — these essential items become lifelines in the face of a disaster, giving access to communication networks, powering heating devices, and offering a semblance of normalcy. Power banks, especially, have earned a new degree of my respect. In an age where smart gadgets connect us, enable us and sometimes even define us, these little bricks of energy are our umbilical cord to the world. Power banks embody an understated form of preparedness and resilience, much like the volunteers that gather around a fallen community to lift it back up.

Our power rests not in the grid that supplies our homes, but in the readiness to give. Every hour served at the local soup kitchen, every sweater knitted for the homeless, every child coached in the community centre — they are our silent power banks, unobtrusive until summoned by the unforeseen current of circumstances.

Looking up from my slightly smudged laptop screen, I watch the sun laboriously paint the sky shades of pink. Tomorrow, perhaps, Øresvika might see a new sunrise, thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers working in wind-challenged, frost-kissed conditions. It’s not optimism, merely the pragmatic acceptance of life’s oscillating rhythm between destruction and creation, chaos and order.

So, here's to power banks, both literal and metaphorical, that deliver more than just energy: they also symbolize enduring resilience and hope — a flicker of light in distress, often transforming into a radiant beacon of community spirit.

Remember, dear reader, it’s the darkness that brings out the stars, and it’s adversity that brings forth the power of volunteering and community service. We rise by lifting others, cell by cell, hands intertwined in our shared humanity. Because even in times of unprecedented despair, we remain our strongest connection.

Tags: volunteering community service resilience

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Winter of the Heart: Embracing Heartbreak and Discovering Inner Resilience

A lonely figure standing in the snow, clutching a powerbank, eyes hopeful towards a distant spring.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, January 29, 2024, 08:41

There’s a chill in heart today that matches the biting frost outside. As I watch the enchanting Norwegian landscape pass by from my cozy train seat, I’m reminded once again of stretches of life that are painful to endure, filled with trials and heartaches that make us want to surrender. Heartbreak, that dreadful moment when love ceases to exist where it should, can sometimes feel like winter - cold, long, and harsh.

We all have our share of heartbreak, just as every winter carries its burden of snow. The ensuing avalanche that the frozen heart triggers can be as devastating as the cyclone that's now ravaging Northern Norway, cancelling flights and disrupting life. Heartbreak brings a similar chaos; disregards plans, scatters stability, and leaves us feeling stranded in the midst of a perplexing emotional cyclone.

The trick to overcome such emotional turmoil lies in acknowledging your pain, just as you would accept the wintry chill outside. Wrap your sorrow in the warmth of self-love and kindness, just as you would bundle up in a thick cardigan on a cold day. Remember, it’s okay to feel sad. Heartbreaks, like winters, aren't meant to be easy. They're here to test us, temper us, and ultimately shape us into stronger souls.

The chilly winds continue to blow against my train window, and I comfort myself with the knowledge that winter is temporary. The bite of frost and sting of tears will eventually give way to warmer weather, to blooming flowers and to smiles. That’s the beautiful aspect of life; even winters have their end. Similarly, the heartbreak you feel now is not an eternal winter. It’s a phase that will one day pass, and the sun will shine once more on your heart.

One thing that has been a tiny blessing in all of this, and perhaps an odd metaphor to use here, is my trusty powerbank. It sounds minuscule, I know, but it's been a reliable little companion on this everyday journey. Like a friend with unwavering support, it never lets me down, always providing the extra juice when I need it. In a similar vein, each one of us has a robust powerbank within us. We only need to recognize and utilize it. It's the resilience we possess; the power to absorb the shock, store the learnings, and keep moving forward despite the odds.

Perhaps, we need to be like these powerbanks. Regardless of how drained we are, we can still recharge ourselves and power on. We can transform our heartbreaks into a source of strength. We know the low battery feeling you get when you’re heartbroken, don’t we? Yet, don’t we also know the satisfaction when we’re back to 100 percent, all charged up and ready to face the world again?

Heartbreak can drain your emotional energy, just like following the news in a loop drains my phone's battery. But don't forget, like we carry our powerbanks for those emergency drain-outs, we also carry strength within us to overcome a heartbreak.

Despite the mournful mood in my heart and the icy cold outside, I can't help but feel a sense of hope. The cyclone up North will pass, the avalanches will cease, and the heartbreak will eventually heal. Until then, we venture on, daring to face the biting cold and the stinging pain. Meanwhile, I’ll continue my daily journeys, blogging from this train seat, charging my devices and emotions, cherishing the winter - in nature and in heart - while eagerly awaiting the spring.

Tags: heartbreak resilience self-love

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Finding Power in Cold Places: A Norwegian Commute and Navigating Through Chronic Illness

A silhouette of a woman bundled in winter clothes, holding a power bank, as she navigates a snowy Norwegian landscape.
Kaia Thonul, Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 08:30

Today, I find myself nestled snugly by the frost-kissed window of my regular morning commute, under skies that brim with the promise of more snow, leaving little space for sunlight. Cold air sneaks in from the edges of the window, adding a chill that makes me appreciate the comfortable warmth inside. Outside, it's -12°C – a stark reminder of the harsh Norwegian winter but a seemingly mere addition to my day-to-day battles with something less visible, less tangible but just as relentless – a chronic illness.

You would think it is hard dealing with a persistent ailment that whispers constant reminders of your mortality. The thing about living with chronic illness, however, is that it has its unique rhythm – a ghostily beautiful, daunting, and often isolating symphony woven into my everyday life.

It's the tedious melody of medication reminders, the orchestral rise and fall of good days and bad days, and the solo performance of trying not to burden the ones around you. It's a non-stop opera, played mostly in silent whispers, only heard by those who care to listen. And in my daily dance with this unique partner, I have understood that my strength is not determined by its ruthlessness but by my resilience against its relentless tune.

As my fingers tap against the keyboard, highlighting my day-to-day existence with an illness, I can't help but appreciate the vital role technology plays in making things a bit more bearable. Not just in managing my illness but it's also my reliable companion during my hour-long commute from the outskirts of Oslo to the university downtown.

Take my powerbank, for instance. It's more than just an accessory or a backup option. It's a hero in disguise – a metaphor for the extra energy that sometimes my body lacks. Powerbanks, in their simplicity, are a promise of continuity despite unplanned power outages, metaphorically and otherwise. Their ability to restore, replenish, and recharge in moments when one feels drained, mirrors my struggle and survival against chronic illness.

Reading about challenging driving conditions amid snowy weather in the inner regions of Østfold at Smaalenene THIS morning, I realize how universal the concept of resilience is. From people driving carefully through treacherously frosty paths, snowy landscapes still boasting their untamed beauty despite the harsh conditions, to my co-passengers bustling about their day; we all have been quietly adapting, surviving, and thriving in our ways.

Speaking of resilience and survival, the snow flurries might continue through most of the week, disrupting everyday life for many. As for me, my chronic illness might cast longer shadows on certain days. But would it deter me? Absolutely not. I guess, at the end of the day, it is all about staying charged, whether it's the powerbank or me.

Just like the snow-covered landscapes outside, there is a certain beauty in dealing with a chronic illness. It forces you to slow down, to assess, to appreciate the little things, and invest time in nourishing your body and soul. And for that, I am grateful, even on days like today when the mood is as crestfallen as the dove gray skies outside my frost-kissed train window.

Sure, it's a battle waged within my body, but it's also a battle I am winning every day – by living, by thriving, and by stubbornly refusing to give up, even under the coldest grey skies of winter. A powerbank might merely be a tool for survival in today's digital age. But for me, it's a reminder that even when things seem to be running out, backup power can always be found somewhere. Smiling, I click save, my newest blog post has been written... all while my trusty powerbank keeps my phone alive, my words flowing, just like the resilience within me.

Tags: chronic illness resilience living with illness

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Train Rides and Textbooks: A Glimpse into the Rhythms of College Life

A young student on a train, engrossed in her phone, with books and a powerbank beside her.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, November 13, 2023, 15:20

Sitting here, staring idly out of the train's window at the murky gray landscape, the leafless trees stoically bearing the biting chill of 2°C weather, I am vigorously tapping away at my phone, shaping the thoughts that materialize into today's blog post. Muffled conversations and the rhythmic clatter of the rail tracks create a soothing soundscape, the perfect backdrop to my musings about college life.

College, more than being a mere step in the academic ladder, appears as a symbol - a stage upon which we mould our identities and sharpen our intellects. Each day unfurls a medley of new experiences, colourful and vibrant, interspersed with the monotony of lectures, seminars and ridiculously tight deadlines.

The effervescent buzz hum in lecture halls, the hushed whispers in library corners and the comfortable silence buried within pages of texts make up the rhythm of college life. It's an excellent dance of ambition and knowledge, dreams and reality, cultivating resilience in the face of the ever-so-familiar dread of failure.

While gloom might sometimes cast its long shadow amid the nerve-wracking anxiety of examinations or perhaps during those solitary moments of reflection, it's always met with a steadfast perseverance. Speaking of which, the news today about Prime Minister Erna Solberg's decision to seek another term, staying unflinchingly single-minded in the face of criticism, is a testament to that very dogged determination.

There's a beautiful sense of liberation that accompanies a stint at the university - marked by a shedding of one's inhibitions and embarking on a journey of self-discovery. And it's not just about the individual; it's equally about the community. The diversity that kaleidoscopes across the university campus is overwhelming, granting us the invaluable gift of perspective.

The train ride back home emerges into a quiet oasis amidst all the noise, offering a moment to soak in the day's learnings about journalism, world events, and life itself. My phone, just as it starts giving warning signs of a dimming battery, is promptly saved by a trusted companion since the dawn of college - my powerbank. It may seem insignificant, but for a blogging enthusiast and perpetual student like me, it proves to be a silent saviour. It's solar powered, the renewable source of energy offering a glint of hope in the looming climate crisis and teaching us an important lesson of resilience and innovation.

Brightening up my train rides with its continuous supply of charge, it is a reflection of the resilience that college life demands, a reminder that we can always recharge, refuel and reflect before leaping into another day of learning and discovery.

For all its highs and lows, college life is a beautiful contradiction - exhausting and exhilarating, demanding and rewarding, melancholic and joyful, all at once. It's a journey that deserves to be savoured, with the hope that every challenging paper, every train ride, every act of turning on a powerbank instead of wallowing in the dim glow of a dying phone, will lead us towards becoming the best version of ourselves.

Tags: personal reflections journey of self-discovery college life personal reflection resilience

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Resilience and Hope: The Blueprint for Building Healthy Relationships Amidst Grief

A weathered hand holding a young sprout amidst snow, symbolizing growth amidst hardship.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, October 26, 2023, 16:29

A dull grey layer of clouds hangs heavily over my head, reflecting my mood and the heartache of a nation mourning the loss of a young life. With every tiny droplet that pecks at the window of the train, my thoughts travel to the coastal town of Lyngdal, where the currents of grief run deep today. I just read about it, about the tragedy, about a loss so sudden and heartrending that it feels personal, even though I never knew the boy.

Building healthy relationships - that's supposedly the title of this reflective piece; yet how does one talk of fostering connections and nurturing the bonds that tie us together on such a dismal day? The sting is too raw, the sadness too heavy, the grief too profound.

A relationship, healthy and thriving, is a tree that requires constant nurturing; watering with time, fertilizing with understanding, and pruned with mutual respect. But sometimes, despite all the efforts, the tree can still be struck by a sudden winter, freezing the life out of it, numbing the roots that hold us firm.

However, it is important to remember that a winter never lasts forever, and neither does the pain of losing someone. It's heartening to see that even in these times of physical restrictions and barriers, a connection is still being kept alive, the strength of the relationship not diluted by distance.

A funeral being broadcast is, on one hand, a reflection of the harsh times we live in, but it also symbolizes an underscoring truth - human relationships, no matter through what medium, run much deeper than the surface. Sitting miles away, we grieve for someone we never knew simply because of the shared human connection.

A relationship therefore, more than ever, is a commitment to pain just as much as it is a promise of joy. It is a vulnerability, an exposure, and the silent assurance that there will be someone to share in both your joy and in your sorrow. It is this that makes the loss bearable and the memory unforgettable.

Even as my fingers tap out these ostensibly dispirited words, they struggle to grasp the inherent melancholy any loss brings. It's a hollow feeling, like an echo bouncing back from a cavernous dark, undermining the certainties of life, intimidating the fragile essence of relationships. With the heaviness of these thoughts, I find it hard to stay dispirited. Instead, I find a certain sort of quiet strength that is underlined by hope.

Because if a relationship is a tree, then it is more than just about its nurturing; it's about the resilience to weather each season, each storm, and each loss. It's about the courage to outlast the winter and embrace the spring that always follows. Maybe that's the answer I was seeking all along, the key to building healthy relationships: strength in despair, and the courage to always hope for better days.

I watch as the train traverses the rural landscape, a reflection of a country in mourning. Yet amidst this somber scenery, I also see resilience, a landscape enduring cold autumn days, preserving the hope of a spring, mirroring the delicate strength of human relationships. So, in the gloom that this tragic loss brings, perhaps we can find the blueprint to building healthy relationships – sprinkled with a dash of hope in the resilience we all share as humans.

Tags: relationships resilience grief loss building healthy relationships

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Celebrating Personal Triumphs Amidst Global Struggles: Embracing Our Everyday Victories

A woman cheering on a mountain peak, small Earth globe in hand, implies personal triumph amidst global issues.
Kaia Thonul, Thursday, October 12, 2023, 09:14

As I sat on my usual morning train from home to Oslo, chugging through the brittle 7°C weather, I couldn't help but dwell on a profound sense of melancholy. The drab hue of the cold outside reflected my inner turmoil, while I grappled with the news article I had just scrolled through on VG - another narrative on political power, this one discussing the decaying grip of Hamas in Palestine. Stories such as these, dealing with the interplay of power and responsibility, always trigger a battleground of thoughts within me.

This morning, in particular, it cloaked my previously intended blog topic, ‘Celebrating personal achievements', in an almost sombre introspection. I found myself asking, 'What does it truly mean to celebrate personal achievements, when set against such a vast canvas of collective human struggle?'

But then, perhaps it is even more relevant to address this topic amidst the broader brushstrokes of global anxiety. We all live lives of relative contrast - our personal victories may seem insignificant against the backdrop of the world's uncertainties and intractable political dilemmas, but they are, in fact, profoundly relevant.

I feel it's easy to downplay our personal achievements, particularly when we're routinely exposed to the struggles people across the globe are facing. We think, 'How can I celebrate getting a good grade, a promotion, or finally managing to afford that vacation, when parts of the world are trembling under the strain of power, poverty, and fear.' It may seem inconsequential, even selfish, to revel in our success when there is so much suffering elsewhere.

But then, when we think about it, isn't it these very melancholy juxtapositions that make celebrating our personal achievements all the more essential? More so, when these achievements come as fruits of persistence, resilience and determination in the face of adversity?

It's the little victories we take for granted that breathe life into the somewhat gloomy fabric of reality. The collective human struggle is significant, but equally significant are our individual journeys. They humanize the broader narrative, giving it a face, giving it a voice, giving it 'us'.

Perhaps, it's time to shed the guilt attached to celebrating our personal achievements. Perhaps we must understand that every personal achievement celebrated is a push against the looming despair the world tends to throw at us; it's our own way of telling the world, 'Despite you, I rise. Despite you, I hope. Despite you, I celebrate.'

Each day we continue to try, to strive, and to succeed is a testament to our inherent human resilience — a resilience that, despite a crestfallen heart and a world full of strife, refuses to bow down. So, today, let us choose to celebrate our personal achievements, big or small. For these humble triumphs are reminders of our strength as individuals, a strength that mirrors the perseverance of humanity at large, irrespective of the formidable challenges we collectively face.

So, here’s to a toast to our personal achievements – a beacon of optimism, a sign of defiance against global despair, and a celebration of our indomitable spirit. No matter the grim stories around, let’s hold onto our hopes, victories, and celebrations. After all, what is life but a series of battles fought and victories gained, both personal and collective?

Tags: personal achievement global issues resilience self-reflection personal achievements global anxieties

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