Four More Years

Nov 7, 2012 by

Just like any November night in Denmark, it was damp and crisp, the moisture in the air creating yellow orbs around the street lights. It was the kind of chill I am not accustomed to, coming from the Canadian prairies. It was the kind of chill that, because so wet, went straight to my bones, and the only way to shake it off was to take lots of hot baths.
I strapped on my black and white striped gloves. I was very thankful for these gloves; they made biking in a Danish winter tolerable. The wind bit too hard for bare hands gripping the handlebars. I swung my leg over my borrowed and slightly rusted pink bike, and we rode into town.
The cool wind blew my hair in the darkness, and I wondered if we would get lost. We’d never been to this house before, and it was already late. There was something liberating in the possibility of getting lost in Denmark in the middle of the night. Something about that feeling didn’t scare me, but filled me with excitement.
This excitement only lasted until we safely arrived at the house.
We entered the front door of the house and were greeted by a loud and very excited group of Danish students. Some were making food in the kitchen, some were drinking beer in a room with a crusty old couch, and some others were having heated discussions – they were, after all, students of a political student group, the Frit Forum. I learned quickly when I first arrived in Denmark that everyone, on average, appeared to be more politically aware and involved than people in a lot of other places in the world. The rest of the group, the majority of the party-goers in the house that night, were huddled around a big screen that had been set up in the biggest room of the house. They watched closely, with baited breath, as the numbers climbed on the divided screen.
It was a big night. It was a night the whole world over had been awaiting for years. It was a night some of us thought we would never live to see.
It was the night we all wondered if we were about to see the first black president elected.

All photos from Denmark
I can’t believe it was 4 years ago already.
Considering where I was then, who I was with, and what I was like, it’s fascinating to think of where I am now, who I am with, how I have changed. Interestingly, it was around that time when I lived in Denmark, that I first had the idea of pursuing optometry. And here I am now, in Waterloo, finally in my first year of optometry school. I wonder what Colleen From Now would tell Colleen From Then if she could…
How things have changed… how they haven’t… and how in 4 years, I would be sitting in Waterloo, watching Obama’s victory speech on my lap top instead of a big screen, and with just the sight of him and the sound of his voice as he spoke to his nation, I was transported to another time and place. Just like that, I was back in Denmark.
In another four years, when I graduate, I can’t help but wonder… what will Future Colleen have to say to Colleen From Now?


Where were you when Obama was elected for the first time?

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  1. Love the bench on a top pic! you look cute too 😉

    I was in Atlanta four years ago, watching voice count on CNN…

  2. I am soooooo happy we went with another 4 years! I can’t stop smiling!!! My life has completely changed in 4 years as well. WOW!!!

  3. Yey 4 more years! Fellow Canadian as well but I’m so happy for Team Obama’s victory!

    No idea where or what I was doing 4 years ago but I know for sure I was so happy he won!

  4. I think about that ALL the time – how things have changed in 4 years (or less!!). Four years ago I graduated from university and suddenly decided to move to Vancouver on a whim. And now look where I am 🙂 Crazy!

  5. I was actually in Denmark for this year’s election. It was strange to not be in the U.S. as I have never witnessed an election outside of home. It was a late night to say the least…

  6. In high school running through my conservative hallways yelling Obamaaaa! Classy right? Hahah wonderful photos

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