A Year Later: Vienna- The Lost SemesterVienna - Music, Spring 2010
It’s hard to believe that a year ago I was packing (and unpacking and packing again) for my semester abroad. It feels like it was only yesterday; as if that semester abroad was a dream that passed far too quickly. It’s the type of dream that was so detailed and intricate that you felt it took up far more time than it really did. It’s the dream you can’t remember whether or not it really happened. I wish I could say that when I returned, my life returned back to normal, but this isn’t the case, not even a year later. I think, though, that the question is rather, what is normal now?
Normal is feeling unsettled in the evenings when I can’t go out to see an opera. Normal is walking to get around town rather than just hopping in my car. Normal is pushing the limits in my taste buds.
Normal is thinking about Vienna everyday and missing it that much more. Normal is different than it was before and normal is a little bit harder to deal with than when Vienna hadn’t happened because normal is different from those who surround me.
As a senior, and a composition major, I came to the swift reality this past semester that life after graduation was going to be difficult if not near impossible. I started wondering how I would ever attain the happiness I’d felt in Vienna. I even went as far as to check to see how expensive apartments were in Vienna, just to see if I could move back to where I still think of as “home”. Needless to say, it’s a little out of my price range. Instead, I made a list of all the things about Vienna that I loved.
1. A solid, fairly reliable public transportation system
2. Music events that are occasionally free, but on the whole fairly inexpensive
3. Museums- lots and lots of museums
4. Somewhere where I could just walk and see sights; feel like a tourist while still being home
5. A place I wouldn’t get bored of; a living history!
6. Somewhere I could walk around at night and still feel safe
7. Beautiful weather, some snow, some sun, some rain, just like Vienna
With these items in mind, I started considering different locations in the United States that might fit these ideals and still offer some type of career prospect for a composition major. After considering many different places, I realized that very few have all of these things (and none feel as safe as Vienna).
One of the things that amazes me the most about Vienna, this dream that happened far too quickly, is the affect it’s had on my perception of my future. In my future I want to travel more, both for leisure and work; I want to compose, but do so much more; I want to learn; I want to explore; I want to squeeze the juice. This dream didn’t just pass by one night while I was sleeping. This dream is my past, my present, and my future.
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