uncertainty of why and how one is supposed to simply be in a society and culture you aren’t used to navigating in without compromising yourself completely.
“Something that’s really kind of helped in the last months for me is like, expressing who I am and being more open to sharing that with others. Just being myself whether that’s culturally accepted or not. Opening up to that and whatever comes with that. If people like that, cool, and if they don’t like that, then it’s more important for me who I am, and to express that. Because it’s okay and it’s important.”
Being open about his own internal struggles and victories is also the reason behind Jonathan’s choice of working as a therapist. His goal is to support other internationals who are struggling with their mental health, since he himself, knows how important it is to have someone to rely on and share the feelings that come with relocating to another country.
Finding oneself through association activities
“In Australia I was part of a club, I did aikido. So in Denmark I looked for that kind of thing since it was important for me to be a part of something, that I enjoyed doing. Also, something where I felt I could just connect to people while doing things together.
For me, it was aikido – I love movement, and the energy and the flow – so it was key to finding that here. I thought, you know, maybe it would a barrier with the Danish, but actually in the things I’ve been enjoying, whether it’s aikido or this cross-ball-thing I joined as well, the Danish is kind of fluid in a way, because you’re doing something together. Whether that’s kicking a ball or understanding a movement, you can kind of just observe what other people are doing.
I just try to pick it up where I can, but people are really friendly with changing to English sometimes, and also just supporting me doing whatever that thing was. It’s also just a sense of community, a sense of being like, part of something. And like, the social aspect – it has been a cool way of meeting local Danes and having a laugh every now and then. Just doing something for me as well.”
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