Several months ago I landed a part time writing job for a luxury hotel review website called Our Man On The Ground. It is an exciting opportunity for many reasons - not least of which being that it allows Jacob and I to stay in some places that we may never otherwise be able to visit. This weekend we had our first review - Das Triest hotel, just around the corner from our apartment.
For Jacob and I (and most people, I would assume), a hotel stay feels like one of life's luxuries. Especially if the hotel knows you are reviewing them and decides to wow you with a suite overlooking the heart of the city. We love our home in all of it's half-furnished state, but new surroundings for a night still adds an element of adventure to an otherwise benign day. Adventure like trying to figure out how to turn off the TV. Eventually we gave up, left for dinner, and wondered how much the receptionist would laugh at us if we needed to call for instructions. It couldn't be that hard, right?
Well, it can be when none of the 30 buttons are labeled. I wound up figuring it out by hitting all the buttons like a monkey.
That night we decided to finally celebrate our arrival to Vienna - a celebration we have put off simply as a result of being too busy. Initially we had planned to celebrate just being in Vienna - but by the time we actually made it the restaurant this weekend, we had far more to celebrate: Being in Vienna, having an apartment, finding a church, getting a part time job, having job interviews...
Our destination was an Ethiopian Restaurant we ate at two years ago during our first short stay in Vienna. The restaurant, very simply named "Ethiopian Restaurant", was the place we first discussed and laid the plans for our dream - to one day move to Vienna. It has held a special place in our hearts since.
The following morning dawned grey and rainy, though we had flea-marketing plans that could not be deterred. When you have a half-furnished apartment and need pretty much everything, flea markets and garage sales hold a new appeal. No longer are you buying junk you have no room for - why, if that tin doesn't actually work to hold our coffee as planned, I can think of 20 other uses for it!
We scored several items, including a large leather purse being sold by a sweet old lady with a large disposable income (as could be determined by the quality of items she was selling, the price at which she was selling it, and the fact that she was selling it at all).
Finally, on the way back from the flea market, we realized that we were in the neighborhood of my Grandparent's old house, the one we had walked 20 miles to find on our previous visit to Vienna. We cut through a neighborhood to find the old house my father grew up in, just as beautiful as it was two years ago when we first saw it, and just the same as it was back in the day they called it home.
Growing up, I never considered myself "ambitious" or "driven." I was not that kid who excelled in all the clubs and extra-curricular activities, I was the kid who dropped out. I was not the teenager who started high school with grand plans of college and a future career. I was more the "romantic dreamer" type - a bit wishy-washy and very emotional. "Sensitive," is what they called me.
I'm not sure what changed. Maybe it was growing up. Maybe it was meeting Jacob. Jacob wasn't the sort of kid to drop out of clubs. Jacob is focused. Jacob is an Eagle Scout! I, on the other hand, barely scraped my way through Brownies. Or perhaps my younger romantic self wasn't so wishy-washy as much as "unfocused". Add a dash of reality, a pinch of maturity, and a large dose of work ethic and you get one very grounded and focused Chelsea.
The problem with all of this? Sometimes being the person who can "do it all" isn't just no fun, it's flat out impossible. If I was made to do it all, be it all, I wouldn't need friends, sleep, or food, and frankly I'd be God.
I'm not God. (Feel free to breathe a sigh of relief. I'm also very grateful to not be president...of anywhere.)
Slowly, ever so slowly, I am learning to let go. Learning that it is ok to have no idea what is going on. Learning that worrying, though it often masquerades as "responsibility", accomplishes nothing but ulcers, sleep deprivation, and wrinkles.
The truth is that everything since our move has been going amazingly well. We have settled in quickly, love our city, our apartment, our church, our growing circle of friends. We both have part time work, and are steadily looking for full time work that falls in line with our goals. In the meantime however? Our days are open, our schedule is our own. Jacob and I can spend all of our time together (which, oddly enough, is something we really enjoy), explore the city, and have long mornings of drinking coffee and playing cards. And for the rest of it? The questions about careers, a future, a purpose for our time here? That I can leave in God's hands and save myself a few wrinkles.