02 June 2007

Heidiwitz reaches 100th blogpost!

This blogpost is a special one for various reasons:

#1 I have found a flat for post-Dinwiddy therapy!

#2 My first reading-free weekend in ages!

#3 It is the 100th blog post!

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Ad #1 - Nix wie weg! Finally released from prison and happy end

As faithful readers among you remember, there was this gorgeous flat in Earl's Court that seemed like the fulfilment of my dreams: Openable window, bathtub, space, quiet and park nearby. As you also might know, my future flatmates had decided to give it to another student which cancelled last minute due to a problem with her parents. So finally, I do get the flat in the end! Spent two hours yesterday at the real estate agent who told us about his Australian aunt or sth coming to the UK for breast surgery, what he eats for breakfast IN DETAIL and that it took him eight months (!) to transfer to another bank (among other things)! Nah, he is a really nice guy around 50 (I am usually quite suspicious about people who try to sell me a flat which is another story in itself), the kind of person that cheers up the crowd at family gatherings. Anyway, so from middle of June, I am going to move to SW5!

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Ad # 2 - Learning to Relax

It seems strange to me that I can spend the whole day doing virtually nothing or just something for myself without feeling guilty because I should be doing my readings or an essay or whatever. This is what studying at a UK university does to you: Relaxation is a sin and unwinding from a year of full-time job 24/7 occupation a task to be reckoned with. So how do I spend my precious first week of freedom? Ironically, the grey rain clouds that have been looming over London like a promise of doom ever since the beginning of the exam term were gone as soon as the last day of exams had passed. I spent my first day walking the streets of London, the little side streets of Oxford Street (really interesting shops and a Swiss restaurant - Rösti! - that hide away from the stream of shoppers), having a look at the Photographer's Gallery where they currently feature FOUND magazine, among other things. The magazine lives from people sending in pictures, memorabilia etc. that they have found with a note describing the circumstances of their discovery. Have a look at it! It is like a real life story thing but more immediate and concise. Like a short story: A spotlight of someone's life. Finally, I went to Covent Garden and found out where all the shops for mountaineers are before I returned home to watch Children of Men, Lie With Me and 24 Season 6 after I had replied to all e-mails and facebook messages of the last four weeks.

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Ad #3 - My first year abroad - Taking stock

Some things change and some things never change. How miserable am I? I am still...

... studying until last minute (even watching the sun rise while having bean burgers for breakfast and being surrounded by lecture notes)

... trying to prove myself.

But I believe I have also changed and realised a lot of things (about myself) in this awesome past year:

_ What drives me is not knowledge alone but also acknowledgement.
_ I could do better at making myself more visible.
_ Standing up for your right and being clear and straightforward about it can be such an adrelanie rush! It feels so good to stand your ground, for a change. In London, you drown if you don't walk on the water.
_ It is true what people say about going abroad: (1) You find out who your real friends are and (2) Moving somewhere else does not solve ALL your problems. Still, it solved some, ie I am at a distance from a family that does not believe in me or what I am doing. I don't have to explain or justify myself all the time and just be a person.
_ Not all US-Americans are evil (not even the ones from Texas) and vegans are not aliens.
_ Talking about a problem can relieve stress immensely and helps putting things into perspective.
_ The UK uni system works better for me. Socially, it is like a community, and academically, you learn so much more than in Austria because you dedicate so much more time and effort.
_ It is OK to say it if you are not feeling fine. Anger & fear are not the only legitimate feelings.
_ Conflicts can be constructive, too.
_ I was reborn at 18 (when I moved out from my parents') and anew when I came to London.

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