Friday, May 3, 2013

The Last Time I Lived in Europe

The last time I lived in Europe was Vienna. One of my college friends is going to Vienna this summer, so I reread some parts of my Vienna blog looking for things for her to do that I really liked. I realized that most of the things I really liked were food - Demels the imperial bakery, Zanoni and Zanoni gelato, Naschtmarkt picnics, Schokozauber at Cafe Central, Sacher torte, and the Manner cookies store - but I'm choosing to just assume that means that I have my priorities right. Another thing I realized reading my blog yesterday was that today, this very May 3, marks 3 years since I got on the plane to Vienna. I totally can't believe that it's been three years. I mean, I can, because I'm a totally different person, but I also can't because I still love my Vienna trip so much. I really learned a lot that summer. I did some stupid things. I had some excellent adventures. And I made some great friends. Here's the four of us in Slovenia. All three of them are married now and two of them have kids, but that's cool and stuff. I feel like I'm a baby here. 

The last time I lived in Europe, right before I left a friend gave me a five Euro bill with "rainy day fund" written on it. She told me that it was my rainy day fund because it was something to have just in case there happened to be a time things seemed lousy and I needed a little pick-me-up. I never spent it, but I carried it in my wallet that whole summer and for the three years since. Simply keeping it with me has proven to be a kind of rainy day fund all it’s own; it’s helped me to remember that I am cared for and loved. A few weeks ago, I finally passed on my rainy day fund, to one of my favorites who's going to be living in a Euro-using country. I'm glad it's in good hands.

There are other things in my wallet (admittedly it's one of those HUGE Hobo wallets) that remind me of the last time I lived in Europe. I've got a tiny old playing card (ace of clubs) that I picked up at Naschmarkt, the business card to my favorite cafe, a pretty little Osterreich stamp, and my going-back someday 50 euro bill that I pulled out of the ATM my last week in Vienna, but never spent. It stayed in my wallet when I got back, because I was nostalgic, and over time it's become my going-back someday. There's talk on facebook of going back in 2020 (10 years later... maybe by then I'll have a real grown up life. Or be in grad school. Probably grad school). So that's the start of my Vienna 2020 fund. I'm totally going to make it. 

Today's my last day of classes and I think I'm just feeling a little bit jostled. I'm pretty sad it's ending, mostly because there are friends here who I love lots and who I'll miss for the next year and a half. But also it's sad because when I come back it won't be the same and that sucks. I feel a little bit how I did my last couple weeks of high school - like I can't handle the goodbye, but I also can't wait for what's next. I'm also a lot more scared than I was when high school ended. Going on a mission is, without a doubt, the scariest thing I have ever done. I guess that's part of why I'm looking back to the last time I lived in Europe. I did lots of scary things then, and it was wonderful. And my mission is going to be even better.

Yesterday during my extended study break I redid the blog layout. I love the goat. Winnie says it might be my spirit animal. 

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