April 5, 2010

Picture Trails and (Un)spoken Fears

I am taking a break from my mad-Capstone [aka graduation thesis] writing frenzy to take a shower and go to bed. And blog. But not in that order. Ah, but it’s okay that I’m slaving away because this project is the synthesis of five years of hard work and college smarts and it means that I am less than two months away from being DONE and graduated. It’s actually a really interesting project and although I’ve suffered through about five computer-screen-induced headaches today, it’s actually been a joy [dorky word] to write. I’m focusing on the digital divide and how technology has affected and changed traditions and institutions of education. Sounds boring, I know. It probably is, to you. Anyway… breaking from that means that I will stop talking about it… right now.

Did you know that I have a brand new camera that I fully intend to use while I am in Germany? That’s actually half of the argument as to how I convinced my dearest, most loveliest mother to buy it for me as a grad present. I suppose that her pride in my many accomplishments may have sealed the deal too but secretly, I know that she also wants to follow my picture trail as I journey throughout Europe and chase after Die Kinder [this is their official title now, so keep up]. That means ‘The Children’ in German. As far as I’ve been told, anyway…

This is my beauty.This is my beautiful camera, no?

I am in love. She will be with me as I travel and I hope to document many a great wonders. Like vending machines full of German beer in glass bottles. I hear these exist in Germany. I am very excited to see them and share their wonder. Maybe I’ll even use one! Oh!

Right. Okay, so yeah, the things that I will take pictures of while I am there amaze me and I haven’t even seen them yet. I just know they are there. However, these amazing things still don’t squash those itty bitty, previously unspoken fears that still swim around inside me. Most of it is of a monetary matter. I am worried about financial things like how I will pay my debts that I will leave behind in America. Will I be able to leave enough money in my bank accounts for automatic transfers every month? And if I can’t, or if I run out of money, how will I send my euros to California so that I don’t end up in collections when I return? What if I don’t have enough money to buy my return flight home? Will I be stuck wandering around Europe for another year or will someone loan me some money? I sure hope that I can save enough to be able to help myself but you never know with me. I’m much more of a spender and when I’m in Europe, exploring places and cities that I’ve never been to but have only read about in books and seen in movies, I will have no need for thriftiness. I worry about myself. I know that my mom is probably doing enough worrying for the both of us so what’s my deal?

And that’s another thing. I’m a little worried about leaving everything that I know behind me. I’m a homebody, a lover of comfort and habit. I want to leave California as much as the next person but this has been my home now, for a long time. My friends are here, my family is here, my work is here. Okay, work, I can run from. But those other things are hard to let go of, even for a year. Believe it or not, but when I am in a new place, I am very shy. Who knows how long it will take me to make friends and feel comfortable going out by myself or with new people once I am in Munich? Ah! It’s all a little scary. Realistically, I don’t have that much to fear. I’m a pretty cool person, or so I’ve been told, and I don’t have trouble make friends. Why am I trying to hold onto the idea that it will be so much harder to do over there?

This is supposed to be fun, right? And God, I know it will be. Every second of every day won’t be sunshine and roses but for the most part, I’m going to have a kick ass time. I guess a little fear is a natural reaction to such a major life change. I will have a lot to adjust to. A lot of culture shock to overcome. Things will be different. People will be strangers. I’m going to miss my mom but she’s only a Skype phone call away. I will probably get lost a few times and I might even burn Die Kinder’s breakfast once or twice and they may not like me very much for it. But I’ll be okay. I know a lot of really fun games to play at the playground and I love to color. If all else fails, we have coloring books. I might have a few strike outs in meeting people but in the end, I’m going to have some pretty cool contacts and some great drinking buddies, I imagine. Besides, I already have some friends in England who are just a train or short plane ride away. When I need a good cry or a gab fest and some good hugs, I know where to go.


What do I have to fear? I can take it. I’m a big girl. I know how to take care of myself. Fear will not take me down on this one. I refuse!


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