Taking stock

I’ve decided to brave it and take stock of the year that went by. 2014 was another year of upheaval. It will forever be remembered as the year I left my comfort zone (which was fast becoming an ostrich type head in the sand situation) and followed to husband to a town which is ‘not Vienna’ in Austria. Apparently Vienna is the only place in Austria worth mentioning, either you are there or you are not. I moved to Dornbirn and for the first time in my life I signed a working contract which had working hours. If you’ve spent as much time at university as I have, you will understand that ‘working hours’ are an alien concept. So I left behind the comforts of a ‘start when you will’ job and deluded myself that an 8.30 am start is not a big issue. After all, said ‘office’ was just a hop and skip away. Turns out hopping and skipping at 8 am is for kangaroos.
When I moved to Belgium I had to relearn a lot of ‘life skills’. Starting with the language (knowing when you laugh is not enough!), public transport, ‘communes’ and so forth. The move to Dornbirn was, unfortunately, more inconvenient. Set in the foothills of the Alps makes this a great holiday destination but a rather stressful living environment. From now knowing how to negotiate the ‘town’, pay bills or even withdraw money, having no access to transport was like having my wings cut off (one’s that I had spent years growing!).
I am impatient by nature and unrelentingly hard on myself. I never realised what it means to rub shoulders with giants, have an advanced degree, move around the world at whim or always have home to go back to – these I considered commonplace and not a privilege – until now.
If nothing else (and really not much else) 2014 had given me perspective on myself in a good way. I am learning to, very grudgingly, admit that I haven’t wasted 30 years of my life and that I am in fact (a little) better (off) than a lot of others. My hope for 2015 is to carry this belief through and reach a place where I can use everything that I’ve learned (and relearned, and re re learned!).

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