The new year has begun with an icing-sugar-esque dusting of snow over the grünes Herz of Austria, and I am suitably excited by this. Though should you ask me at 7am in the morning when I’m waiting for the bus to school in -10 degree temperatures, I may have a different outlook on the whole winter time vibe.
Christmas time both in and out of Austria flew by. And to be honest I’m actually going to miss the days of finishing work, going for a glühwein or two and a wander round the markets. Oh well there is always next year! The last couple of weeks before the holidays also provided the perfect opportunity in school to display some of the crazy in ands outs of a typical British christmas time. Of which most students were completely flabbergasted by! Showing them pictures from my own christmas celebrations provided them with considerable entertainment; at first they were slightly sceptic about my sanity when I introduced them to the wonders of paper hats in crackers, leaving mince pies for Santa and setting puddings on fire, but they soon came to realise that a British christmas is in fact, a lot more fun than theirs, and they were soon asking if they could come and join my celebrations instead! I didn’t quite realise how different their celebrations were here, but I guess it gave me the chance to learn too, which I figure I’m doing a lot of here already.
In other news, as some may already know, I have, in fact, decided to apply to extend my contract as a language assistant. Not only have I found a place in the world where I feel at home, but I’ve also found some direction in what I enjoy doing career wise. Naturally there are ups and downs, some classes will go absolutely perfectly, some may not go to plan, but overall I can firmly say that most of the time things are going just swimmingly. When you walk into a class and they are cheering and smiling at the fact that you are there today, it makes it worth every ounce of effort put into planning lessons. Plus the fact that leaving school for the day knowing you’ve helped someone or made someone feel that little bit more confident about speaking up, it makes it all worthwhile. Many of my school years personally were spent as ‘the shy one’, where it would be a battle to even get me to put my hand up, so to now be on the other side of that, seeing students who are slowly getting more and more confident speaking up, there is nothing more satisfying than that. This whole venture could have gone one of two ways, and right now I can honestly say that I can’t envisage not being here; I found a happy place! Of course there will be many more hurdles whilst I get everything truly figured out, but just the ideas and prospects that lay ahead are exciting to me.
January, for many of us, has meant new beginnings and vague attempts at the whole new year new me lark. And I’d like to think I was one of those people who could make some drastic life changing resolutions, but I feel like that new start began back in September already or maybe even before that when this whole venture commenced. Usually as the clock strikes on new year I’d be anticipating some crazy and rash decisions to change something in my life just for the sake of it, but it somehow didn’t feel so necessary this year. There are some things I endeavour to try, skiing being one of them (I mean, I live in Austria it would be rude not to give it a go, right?), but in general I rather I opted just to keep doing what I’m doing, having fun, embracing any opportunity and following my instincts!
For lack of words to put it any better myself..to you, 2017, I say simply, come what may!