Has it really only been two months since we got on that plane and left Maryland? It seems a lot longer than that to me.
I had a great conversation with a classmate of mine. He’s a Spaniard who moved here to be closer to his girlfriend and one of the few in my class that speaks English really well. During the break, he asked questions in German of what brought me to and where I lived in Vienna. I answered back in German of course and then we transitioned to English when the topic got too complicated for us. He found out that I would not be able to work while I lived here. His response was “Wow, you really did give up everything to come here.” He truly started to empathize with me. He couldn’t imagine being in my shoes. Since he’s from another European Union country, it’s technically easier for him to move here and set up on his own outside of his girlfriend’s life. That’s like that with most of my classmates. It’s surprising that the friendliest people I’ve encountered here are in my class. Right now, my life revolves around learning the language/culture, our family of two and half, and exploring this city. I look forward to getting up and going to such a nurturing sanctuary for a few hours. It gives me purpose and somewhat counteracts the loneliness that I feel at times.
My classmate made another great point “It feels like we are children again, having to rely on so many people for simple tasks”. Like our neighbor incident yesterday, I would have known what to say without having to ask for anyone’s advice stateside. Instead, I called our Austrian landlord’s daughter to see how she would handle the situation. It’s like having to ask your mom permission to go do something. Ugh, I hate doing that and it makes me feel helpless, but it did feel good to be able to exchange similar frustrations with someone that was in the same boat as me.
I’ve learned more about myself in the last two months than I have in a long time. I’m stronger than I give myself credit for, braver for taking on this huge endeavor, and more fearless because of this experience.