Friday, April 9, 2010

A Year of Life in Graz

It appears I missed my 1 year Blogiversary last week. Yes, that is a term.
First post
was about that tiny bed we had to endure for a month.
Apple strudel cake for everyone.

That means we've lived in Graz for a little over a year and a month now.

Two or three more to go.

Not that I'm counting down. Ok, some days I do think in those terms. Some days are hard. Most days are normal, live-your-life days, and some days are extra wondey.

Am I glad we did this? Yes.

Have I learned and grown a lot? Yes.

Do I have days when I think "Why'd we move across the planet?" Yes.

But then do I go down the street and get a double scoop of gelato for 2 euros and remember why...for cheap ice cream. Yes.

ha. That's the ONLY thing that's cheaper. That and olive oil.

In all seriousness, I'm REALLY glad we chose this path for ourselves. And, I have to say..I'm kinda proud of myself for doing it. I'm a bit of a homebody and never strayed too far from my Houston (and BIG extended family) roots. College was a mere hour and 15 minutes away, and after a year stint in Washington DC (I did move there alone, and thanks to some fabulous Georgia girls..had the best time), I was back in ole H-town.

I'm not always proud of myself for being unemployed and my progress in the language, but I promise you, IT IS HARD. People think you will come back six months later fluent. Maybe some people do, but most do not. If I was in a situation where I was forced to speak the language, that might be the case. But, it's sort of a catch-22 where you can't get a job unless you speak the language and it is really hard to learn to speak the language unless you are forced to speak it daily in a work setting. So, that's my disclaimer. Please don't ask me to read Der Spiegel like my husband did. {Cute husby is way overestimating my progress.}

It's a different situation in a big, international city like Vienna. There are English speaking jobs available and tons more jobs to start with. Here in our little town of Graz, things are old school and there's not a big job market besides the big employer, Magna Steyr. Kinda like Houston vs. Abilene, k?

{The blogging station. How nice is it to sit by these windows with my coffee in the morning? A perfect way to start the day.}

So, being unemployed (although I count my German class as employment since it takes 5 hours a day), this blog has been a huge plus. I didn't really realize how much I would enjoy it. It's not for everyone. It does take time... something I probably have more of than most people. And I think it fits my personality/interests well. You're thinking "yeah, your interests are talking about yourself and your dog". Well, not exactly. That's the hard part. Sometimes you just don't want to talk about yourself all the time...and, quite honestly, many times don't have anything interesting to say (at least about yourself).

But, that's the thing with a blog. It's narcissistic in nature. Please forgive me.

The blog has also kept me feeling connected. It's even helped me meet new friends here and it's just been an overall upper in my life.

And, should I be flattered or annoyed to know people have ripped me off?
No shame.
I ran across this a couple of months header design and my map! Royalties please.

So, here's to another year? Yep, we're going for it. Stay tuned meine Freunde.


juliette said...

shut up! did you send that blogger a confrontational email? b/c you should, if nothing more than to shame them. GOSH! (said like Napoleon Dynamite)

On a happier note: congrats on the 1yr mark! It's hard, I know, but it's worth it, too. You just have to keep telling yourself that in the low moments!

Brooke said...

Congrats on making it a year! I've really enjoyed the blog!

Erin Tulley said...

Happy blog-iversary! You know, you are one of the reason I started mine. :) For sure want your ideas for decorating my new place...I've started looking at the decor blogs you've mentioned in posts. what else you got for me??

Anonymous said...

Dear Carolyn,:))) keep blogging. You make me Eurosick in a good way, and I want to hear all about Europe and your adventures with a little bit of Carolyn's twist in's much funnier than the reality... I see all is well. Take care and talk to you soon. Monika

BETH said...

Congrats! I think I see the little birdy ornament in the left window hanging from the knob in the first pic? Big smile :)

:: Gina :: said...

congrats i wish i could have some apple strudel !!
love your simple and beautiful apartment.

its hard living away from "home" sometimes but the connections with people around the world (like you) however small have been incredible.

enjoy your sunday

Rachel in Graz said...

Yay to cheap ice cream although I tried carrot the other day since I love the carrot-lemon-orange you get in Italy but it was NOT the same. Oh Apples are also v. cheap they now understand me enough at the market to buy those, working on getting them to sell me some chicken this week :p
What's with this rubbishy weather though? NOT was I was promised, where's my Mediterranean sunshine, hey?

Rachel in Graz said...

Oh & you lived in Washington DC was it v. West Wing?!

Molly said...

You are so cute! I smiled while reading that. You are much much MUCH better about updating your blog than I am. Have I told you that my friend Lana reads your blog? She has one too, and I think you two would get along really well. I haven't told you this because we haven't skyped in FOREVER. Let's change that. I'll be in Austin this weekend and NYC the next, so it's gonna have to be an after school for me/ late night for you skype date. Love you. Miss you. And am counting down the days (it's 85) til I come visit!
xoxo, your littlest sis

Jennifer said...

Happy Happy Blogiversary!

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Thanks for leaving me a comment! You know I love it so.
- Carolyn