Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A different kind of heartbreak

I'm not a mum (yet) and since I am an only child, I will never be a real aunt. Yes, I know that there is the possibility that I will marry a nice guy who has siblings but I won't have any nieces or nephews from my side of the family. But that's actually not what I wanted to talk about today. Maybe one day I'll phantasize about future men in my life with you but not today...

Focus, Karin!

Over the last 3 years I quite often mentioned the little baby boy of a good friend of mine. He was the first baby born in my big group of friends and we spent a lot of time together. We had long walks around campus when he was a baby and his parents were at a lecture, we spent hours at a playground the last two years when his parents were at lectures, he was the only guy I slow danced with at his parents' wedding (he was 2 years at that time), we did many puzzles and I got explained many books over the last three years. He will forever be my baby bear and he's so special to me. Honestly I love him as much as if I were his aunt.

Over the last months I was pretty busy, my friend got another boy so he's a big brother now and since he started kindergarden meeting was a lot more difficult and he got sick a lot - hello, germs. So we didn't see each other a lot and the last time I had to cancel on the day we were suppose to meet. I'm still sorry about that by the way.

I recently sent an e-mail to my friend asking her how they were doing and if her big boy still remembers me and she answered: "He was so sad when you had to cancel last time because I promised him in the morning that you would pick him up from kindergarden with me in the afternoon and since that day he regularly asks if you're coming today to pick him up. So I'm pretty sure he remembers you just fine."

I never ever knew how true heartbreak felt until this minute. I had to fight back tears and had real difficulties getting my sh*t together. He's my little baby bear and I haven't seen him in far too long.

Just don't forget to see your friends and their kids (if you are part of their lives - which I hope you all are) because you are an important part in their lives and they miss you. Time flies for us but not for them and I can only promise that I won't ever let so much time pass between spending time with all my little bears I am blessed enough to know.

Wow, that got corny pretty quick but this e-mail really hit me hard and I just had to pour my heart out.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The One With The Football Game

The reference of the post's title to the titles of Friends episodes is totally intentional ;)

As some of you may already know, I have a good friend who introduced me to American Football about 5 years ago. He is a total sports guy, started watching NFL games on TV, began playing Flagfootball and landed on the Austrian National Flagfootball Team. He's also the one organizing our Superbowl Party each year and some years ago he invited me to come and watch with them. It took me about two quarters until I was able to follow the game without having to bother one of the guys for explanation and since that day I am at least invited to the Superbowl each February.

A couple of months ago said friend hinted at the opportunity of us watching a Football game at the stadium one day and two weeks ago I took the liberty of reminding him of this promise. On Sunday we and two other friends went to a game between local team and one from Germany and it was so much fun. We weren't so sure that the weather would be cooperative but in the end we sat in the grass, had some beers, burgers and ice cream and watched the Germans beat our butts while the sun was shining on our backs. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday and I totally get why Ellice and many other Americans love spending their weekends at Football games. It's just a great way to have a lovely day outside with people you love, good food and entertainment.

It took me 29 years till I entered a stadium in Austria to watch a game. When I was about 5 me and my parents watched a Baseball game in the States and when the European Soccer Championships were in Austria and Switzerland, everyone I know attended the public viewing when Austria played Germany at the soccer stadium in my district and we had a huge party there but on Sunday was the first time I ever watched any game live and I kind of want to do that more often.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Friendships are hard work

My good book blogger friend Celine wrote a blog post last Wednesday that made me think. She mentions that keeping friendships alive after high school is work and sometimes it doesn't work. One line really stood out to me:

You know that people say high school sucks, and that your time at university is going to be the best time of your life? Well, those people are wrong, at least in my case.

Celine, don't worry, they are wrong in my case as well. 

I graduated high school almost 11 years ago (dang, time flies). I had an amazing time in school. In Austria we have a group of people that form a class and we stay together during all of our lessons. We have a fixed schedule and not a course system like we all know from American TV-series. This enables students to form a close group of friends and helps them feel like a community. We were a great class. Even today, 11 years after graduating high school, almost all of the teachers in my old school know who we were. We were pretty legendary! We did a lot of stupid things but we always stuck together like glue and no teacher or another class was able to go against us. I'm pretty sure we were not easy but a lovely bunch and great fun for teachers if we liked them (and we did like almost all of them).

During school I wove strong bonds with people I still call may friends - some closer than others but still...

I went off to university after graduation but stayed in the same city since Vienna is my home and I never dreamed about living somewhere else. I first started a course in economics which wasn't my cup of tea at all and which I dropped out of after 3ish semesters. I am now doing my teacher training in English and Geographie which I really like and enjoy. Of course, the courses I have to take are not really easy and the topics not always interesting but overall I know why I'm doing it and I cannot wait to teach students.

But did I find friends? Not really!

I had some people I took courses with, some people I passed at campus I knew by sight but no real friends. Neither at the English nor at the Geographie department. English majors are all pretty focused and a bit selfish when it comes to sharing notes or knowledge - not cool people, not cool!

I did find one of my best friends via a uni course but we basically clicked years after she left uni. We are now pretty close but all in all I can say she's the only real friend I found at uni.

What did happen to my friends from high school? Well, most of them are still living in Vienna and we still see each other from time to time but my best friend after graduation and the girl who asked me to be her maid of honour at her wedding got a baby girl almost 3 years ago and we hardly see each other (I would say 10 times max in the last 3 years). I miss her and when we see each other it is still like old times, which makes it even sadder. Her husband, a dear friend of mine, almost dropped of the earth for me (I think the boys in our group see him more often but I honestly don't know). We all got busy with life, jobs, family, trying to figure out what we want out of life, etc.

I know that there are a handfull of friends I can count on if I ever need them real bad and this has been tested. I have some great friends, some friends, some acquaintances, some people I used to call my friends but sadly don't see anymore and maybe two people I fell out with but none of them are people I talk to daily or see at least once a week.

I would never say my life is lonely because I'm also busy with living my life and I tend to see my friends for fun times in between but I never had a BFF or a really good girl-friend or a friendship you see in films or on TV but that's okay. I have friends, I know a lot of people through blogging and I know that there are some I can count on if I need them in this group too.

I just wanted to say, maintaining friendships is hard and sometimes, as much as it hurts, impossible but we, as book lovers and Twitter addicts, are never alone and there's always someone providing a virtual hug and has a shoulder to cry on. I am really glad to be part of such an amazing world-wide group of like-minded book lovers.

Don't forget to check out Celine's two amazing blogs Nyx Book Reviews and Irresponsible Cactus.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

I'm experiencing what studying really is like and I don't like it

This is what I probably look like most days at the moment. Yes, I am in full on studying mode, which means cramming lots of semi-interesting stuff into my brain while hoping it will stay in there just for the next three weeks. I have a really important and difficult exam coming up and I am currently struggling a bit with my study, work, blogging and life balance but as soon as I am finished with my revision (which will hopefully be tomorrow evening), I hope I'll find a bit of time to invest into blogging and seeing my adorable godson and his mum because I miss them terribly.

I was never really good at studying or rather at starting early enough and this time I think I nailed it. I had two exams at the end of April and aced both (which felt sooooo good) and I think I am finally getting the hang out of things and realized how to organize my priorities. No, I still don't like it but it's my job at the moment and I have to, so I'm gonna!

I really just wanted to rant a bit and get a tiny little break between studying sessions. All in all I hope, I'll get back into full or at least semi-full blogging swing soon and until than please keep your fingers crossed for me because I don't want to end like this: