Skip to main content

In which I cross a pond.

So, you may not have known this, but I recently made the move from little old Utah to Vienna, Austria, to study German and Humanities for the summer. And I feel like I'm supposed to be documenting that somehow.
But documenting my life...that's never been the purpose of this blog.
I thought about making this into a travel blog, updating about every week with what I've been up to.
But I'm already writing travelogue-esque emails on a pretty frequent basis to my parents and to my boyfriend, and keeping a detailed journal. I don't really feel like writing out all my adventures in yet another medium. I'll hopefully be putting a big load of pictures on the book of faces pretty soon, for those who truly need to live vicariously through me.
So this blog will stay what it's always been. A place for me to share my thoughts and feelings when I feel like it, hopefully to the enjoyment and edification of those who read. (There will however, probably be more pictures from here on out.)

Somehow I expected that coming to Europe would have some magical effect on my emotional state, that I would  just feel happy and magical and adventurous all the time, because I'm in Europe. Not just Europe, I'm in Vienna, for goodness sakes. The historical center of art and music and architecture and all that is good and beautiful in the world. I should be running around in a haze of joy and wonder all the time.
In the past few weeks I've made an important discovery. I've discovered that I'm still just as responsible for my emotional state here in Europe as I was back home. And the emotional issues that plagued me back in Provo are still mine to tote around here in Austria. I thought I could leave them behind by crossing the Atlantic, but they somehow managed to sneak into my luggage, or hide in my pocket, or maybe just grow wings and follow me here.
I actually felt a lot of guilt over this discovery at first. "I'm in Vienna", I thought. "Aren't I supposed to feel all happy and magical all the time? Am I less of a person if I can manage to be sad in Vienna?"
But here's the thing: my issues may have followed me here. But my control over those issues followed me here too. I still can choose to be happy and optimistic. I will still be sad or anxious or PMS-y some days, but I can  choose to ride it out optimistically and do what I can to pull myself out of the lurch, rather than wallowing in my depression.
I just became fully cognizant of this discovery about 10 minutes ago, so I can't say I've perfectly implemented it yet. And I probably won't implement it perfectly. I'm sure I'll do plenty of wallowing in the next couple of months. But I know that I don't have to, and I'm going to do my darndest not to. After all, even though Vienna isn't magical enough to cure longstanding depression and moodiness, it is pretty darn special. Special enough that I want to enjoy it as much as possible and revel in the opportunity I have to be somewhere so wonderful.  Take a look:

Yes, I think that is all worth some emotional effort.


  1. I love this post. You are magnificent.

  2. "My mom says they have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, even in Australia." Or something like that. You are a gift to the (my) universe. Can I get some of those awesome e-mails?

  3. Happy Birthday Karissa,
    Have a pastry and love every crumb. Enjoy a walk with sore feet. Smile at a stranger, just so he/she has something to talk about at dinner time, make merry a moment because you are loved.

    Love Auntie Kristen

  4. You rock and are amazing.
    That is all.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

In which I need to figure out what happiness is made out of

Let me tell you a secret:

During my month working at camp this summer, I think I took my medication...twice.

And guess what?

I was fine. No, I was happy.

Let me tell you another secret:

Last week, I only took my medication twice.


I was not fine. I was miserable. The world fell apart and I found myself crying about things like not being able to eat at Chick-Fil-A because I'd forgotten my debit card.

And so I've been asking myself...what made the difference? Why could I be blissfully content without my medication at camp, if I still depend on it for my happiness back at home?

There has to be something, and if I only could put my finger on it...

Maybe it was singing all day, everyday, sailor songs and whaling songs and songs about nature and songs about fish heads and songs about friends, just letting my voice ring out because that's what humans do, they sing.

Maybe it was always having opportunities to help others, or seeing the effects of my work with my own eyes. Ma…

In which I smatter a disjointed smattering of thoughts.

I think I'm a morning person at heart. I love feeling like I'm the only one awake, like I have a head start on the rest of the world. I love the pink-grey-gold of morning air, the streaks of sunrise peeking from behind the mountains. I love the prattle of birds welcoming the day, the quietness of a still-sleeping world. Unfortunately, my circadian rhythm doesn't share this love of the early hours, making me wired with energy late at night and sluggish in the early hours. So...mind over matter, I guess?

My dear friend Bekah is back from her mission and I'm remembering how much I adore her and her blog. This morning I was 25 minutes late to a choir rehearsal because I was rediscovering her writing. And it was probably worth it.
So this one time a few weeks ago, I was in a band. We played at the ward talent show, had big plans to try out for Acoustic Explosion, and then kind of fell apart.. But it was a good run. There's something magic about the artistic collaboratio…

In which I eat the breakfast of champions

I had ice cream for breakfast today. And also yesterday. And I know that's super unhealthy, and I'm trying to make better choices and lose weight, and all of that, but hear me out. We were out of all of the breakfast foods. No cereal or milk. No bread for toast. No eggs. No yogurt to put in a smoothie. All we had was oatmeal. Don't get me wrong, I love oatmeal. But the past several times I've tried to make it, it has exploded all over the inside of my microwave. It even happens if I take the oatmeal out and stir it halfway through cooking. Maybe this microwave is hotter than my old one? I don't know. Maybe I've wronged it somehow and this is its revenge. So this morning I was sitting in the kitchen trying to decide if it was worth it to make a bowl of oatmeal when most of it would end up splattered around the inside of the microwave when finally, I got too hungry to make the decision anymore and just got myself a bowl of chocolate ice cream instead. And then an…