I’m having that inevitable realization that things are not always what you expect them to be. Maybe I’m just a lot stupider than I thought, and real life is catching up to me.
Anyway, the realization is that ever since I came back from Italy, where I spent six wonderful months learning Italian, making life-long friends (and meeting my boyfriend), learning to love cooking and walking and relaxing, I’ve been fixated on going back to Europe. Somehow, I think I thought it was this magical land where life was simpler and problems just worked themselves out naturally. And that’s not the case. (Of course.)
All the circumstances are different—I’m working now, so I have actual obligations and duties, and it’s hard to meet people in a new city when you’re not in class with them. But still, none of this occurred to me before I left the US. I think I just thought, “Oh, yes, I’ll learn German in a flash, make friends, do three months, have a nice time, be closer to my boyfriend, and that will be life.” But in real life, I’m stressed, I don’t know how to meet people, and German is not a language you “just pick up.” It’s going to take real time and investment. Tiny disturbances in the day’s events have completely outsized effects on my mood. I started crying in the cell phone store when they told me they didn’t know how to recharge my internet! Absolutely ridiculous. I think the real problem is that I keep feeling pulled towards the Europe I have in my imagination—with my friends in Perugia, or with Simon in Lund—or that I’m still convinced that if I can just figure out the trick, I can somehow “recreate” those scenarios.
So for now, I’m trying to get used to it here. On the plus side, I feel like my job is a good stepping stone towards other things sometime in the future, so that’s a positive tie that’s keeping me here. And then hopefully my heart will catch up to my head, and things will be back in order.