Wednesday, July 6, 2011

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.