It's been just over a week now that I have been in Austria and I would be lying if I didn't say that I am having a good time. There are more social events going on than I would usually experience in 6 months. I completely forgot what it's like NOT to work every single hour of the day and just let things happen as they do. I didn't activate my Austrian mobile, because knowing that no soul on Earth can reach me unless I want them to is all sorts of sexy. Needless to say my friends and family are absolutely fantastic for slowing down their lives a bit to fit me in. I don't talk to a lot of these people all year round, not all of them are on social media (and there really is no other way of communicating when you live 15000 km apart and have a thing called "career"), but when I come back I am always welcomed in the most beautiful and warm way. There is nothing more reassuring than coming home after such a long time and the knowing people will treat you like you never left. At the same time my amazing and handsome other half is at home, excited for me for having a great time, looking after our beautiful little dog (blew the surprise there, didn't I?), working and being awesome. It says a lot about my wonderful friends and family, doesn't it? That, males and females and in betweeners, is what one calls "riches". Diamonds, cars and clothes ain't gonna love you like that.
Autumn has struck the country three days into my vacation, so the sky is dyed in a dark grey hue, the wind is icy and the rain drizzles without end in sight. Wherever I walk shoes are soaked, pant legs are wet and visages are a little sad. I would probably chime in if I still lived here, yet I find myself feeling so enlightened and excited by the nostalgia that is unavoidably creeping up on me wherever I set foot. I feel transported back to what used to be that crappy time of the year when summer holidays wrapped up, school started again and winter was approaching quickly. Back then I would dread the cold weather, dread school, dread getting on the school bus (a traumatizing experience I shall dedicate a whole post to), dread winter depression, dread pretty much everything that came with autumn (everlasting rain-infused curly hair included).
Now that I am older and mayb that little bit wiser I can see so much beauty in this time of the year. The grass glistening with heavy rain drops, the pumpkins growing in the garden, the deep, deep green of the landscape that swallows me as a whole, the deers frolicking at dawn. Where I am from I see no more than ten cars crossing the roads on a good day. I used to hate it. Hate the silence. Now I indulge in it. It's like I came her and put on noise cancelling headphones on my life and indulged in a bit of silence, like one would indulge in a piece of cream-layered cake. (I did that too, don't you worry!)
It's truly a revelation to me, coming back to where I grew up after being away for an extended period of time, and realising how far I've come since being that at times self-loathing, insecure teenager who never thought she was enough. I look back and feel the urge to pat my own back for moving somewhere I could unfold my purest self without those deeply embedded hang-ups, without unrealistic expectations from myself (and myself only), without wanting to please everyone while slowly imploding. I once thought I didn't deserve happiness, I wasn't going to find happiness unless I was thin, smarter and had a gorgeous boyfriend. Once on the other side of the globe, all by myself, with no one to aid me but also no one to hinder me, I was finally able to work through that media-induced "smarter, thinner, more successful" bullshit.
I was suddenly made aware of my numerous fantastic qualities pointed out by a variety of strangers, but much more importantly became aware of and spent a lot of time figuring out the origins of my irrational hang-ups, misogynistic way of thinking, my preference for fellow male Earth dwellers of the unfaithful arsehole type, my tiring drive to be more, do more with that same crushing revelation that whatever I do it will never suffice. That time of realisations saved my life and evened the path to my very own happiness. No boyfriend, size 0 pants or IQ of 180 required.
Now excuse me while I eat yet another bag of whatever Austrian goodness is hidden in mum's pantry.
image via pinterest