Corinna: “Ich liebe auch Ferientage, weil ich ausschlafen kann” (I also love holidays because I can sleep in)

Corinna lives in Japan. She goes to grade 8 at the German School of Tokyo Yokohama. Yokohama lies south of Japan’s capital Tokyo.
Corinna wrote a letter in German about what is important to her to have a great day.

She writes:

A day for me
A great day for me is when I spend the day with my friends. For example, when we go shopping together, when we are in the leisure park or when we have an overnight stay. When I am at home alone the whole day and I am very productive. For example, when I tidy my room, I learn, I go running or I go outside with my dog. When at the end of the day I can watch TV and eat something great for dinner. A normal day is not so great for me because I sometimes have conflicts or get angry too fast when someone makes bad comments. I also love holidays because I can sleep in or watch TV the whole day. When I can do something just for myself and when I can bury my head in the sand. To make my day better when it maybe was not so great, I listen to music, I talk to my friends on the phone, or I watch something that makes me happy. And then get some good sleep at the end of the day.

Hi Corinna! Thank you for your letter! ❤ It made me think about that at your age the normal days are not so much fun sometimes. I guess every adult who thinks back to this time could acknowledge this. So, I don’t know if it makes it easier for you, but it is a common thing and it gets better! 🙂 I guess everyone between 13 and 16 years old had these days where you want to bury your head in the sand. But I think it is amazing that you already know so much about how you can make your day happier! Me too, I love to listen to music, talk to friends or watch one of my favourite films to make my day brighter when I need it. And I also like to spend time with my friends, to go running and to have something delicious for dinner. I hope that you will always have more happy days than those that are not so great, and that you can often enjoy the things you like to do.
Sending you a big hug and lots of love, Karina

Anna: “My motto is: Everything has its time – when you really want something it’s all going to work out”

Anna lives in Kiev, in Ukraine. She is 17 years old and sent me an inspiring letter about happiness.

Anna writes:

“A happy day for me”
My name is Anna, I am 17 years old, and I live in Kiev.
Since my early childhood a happy day for me is when there is music. I love to hear melodies and songs, and sometimes I even go dancing and try to sing along although I have problems with singing. My fascination for music inspired me to try to make music myself. Since I was 13 years old, I liked this musical instrument – the guitar. At that time, I knew how it was structured, but I did not know where to begin. Then, a good friend helped me a lot by teaching me the basics; I am very grateful for that. I remember the first sounds of the strings as I succeeded to place the chords on the fingerboard and then pluck the strings with my fingers: it generated short, pleasant melodies – my happiness was boundless. I cannot call myself a master of the guitar, but I try to get better by finding new songs and melodies every time I hold a musical instrument in my hands. When I have mastered the first musical instrument, I want to develop my musical skills further and learn to play the piano and even the violin. My motto is: “Everything has its time – when you really want something it’s all going to work out”.

Dear Anna, thank you very much for your wonderful letter! ❤ It is so inspiring to read about your fascination for music. I am very happy that you had this friend when you were 13 who showed you the basics of playing the guitar. I can imagine this beautiful moment when you created a short melody on the guitar for the first time.
When I was 17, I also learned how to play the guitar, and it is really a wonderful thing. Later, I discovered that I love dancing even more than playing an instrument, but I absolutely share your passion for music. Beautiful songs and melodies are just wonderful and make life happy. I love your motto; this is so true and wise. With all my heart I wish you so much joy when you follow this beautiful pathway and keep developing your musical skills. Who knows, maybe one day I hear a song you play on the radio. 🙂
Sending you a big hug, Karina.

Gloria: “Ich habe die Möglichkeit, mich frei zu fühlen” (I have the opportunity to feel free)

Gloria goes to grade 8 at the German School of Tokyo Yokohama. Yokohama is the second-largest city in Japan and lies south of Tokyo.
Gloria sent me a letter in German in which she describes what happiness means to her.

In English, Gloria’s letter says:

A happy day for me is a day on which I just feel happy and relieved. It can be very varying, but I am free of any stress or sorrows, and I do something that I like a lot. I have the opportunity to feel free and to do what I want. The best days are those which you remember positively for a long time, those like a perfect movie scene, those you wish would come back. Days with moments in which nothing really matters, and you are filled with happiness. These days are the happiest for me.

Hello Gloria, thank you for your thoughtful letter. You are right, feeling free and relieved from stress or sorrows is important to be happy. I also love the days on which I can do something I like a lot. I hope that there are many days which you remember for a long time because they were filled with happiness! ❤
Lots of love, Karina.

Vlada: “I am happy when I draw pictures”

Vlada is 12 years old and lives in Ukraine. She lives in the capital Kiev.
Vlada sent me a letter about everything that makes her happy together with pictures she drew.

Her letter says:

My name is Vlada!
I am 12 years old, but soon I will be 13 years old.
I live in Kiev.
I learn in the 7th grade of the grammar school.
1. I like it when I receive good marks.
2. I like drawing a lot, and I paint pictures.
3. I am happy when my father cooks over the fire.
4. I love it when I can go to the children’s centre. I learn cooking and English there.
5. I am happy when I draw pictures.

Dear Vlada, thank you for your lovely letter and the drawings! It’s great that you like to go to school and to receive good marks. Your drawings are beautiful, I like them. I would love to know how you get the ideas for the pictures you paint, and what your father cooks over the fire. 🙂 I also like to cook, and it is nice that you can learn it at the children’s centre. I hope that you have a fantastic 13th birthday, and that you always have lots of fun when you draw pictures!
Big hug, Karina.

And thanks again to the organization Osteuropahilfe “Triumph des Herzens” for forwarding Vlada’s letter to me together with a translation! ❤

Maika: “When people appreciate the small details in their everyday routine – that is when I am happy”

Maika lives in Japan, in Yokohama. Yokohama is the second-largest city in Japan and lies south of Tokyo. About 3.7 million people live there.
Maika goes to school there to grade 11, and she sent me a beautiful letter in English about what makes her happy.

She writes:

A happy day for me is when the people dear to me, that is family, friends and teachers, are healthy and content with their life. When they themselves seem to radiate warmth and positivity – and that on a Monday, when not many are looking forward to the long journey that awaits them until the next weekend. When people appreciate the small details in their everyday routine – that is when I am happy and can still hope for the earth to be a better place.
Maika T.

Hello Maika, thanks a lot for your amazing letter. ❤ You are already such a wise young lady. I hope you keep that wisdom with you in your adult life, too. This kind of wisdom is what the world needs the most.
I love the way you describe it and I totally agree with you: It makes me so happy to see people radiate warmth and joy, especially on Mondays! 🙂 It is a beautiful gift when our loved ones are healthy and happy with their life, and when they and we appreciate the small details in our life every day.
Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts with me, Maika, and I hope that you are surrounded by many people who radiate warmth and positivity.
Sending lots of love, Karina.