Have you ever had a moment of panic completely wipe your brain dry but a moment of success empower you? Today, the both of these things happened to me but here’s a little background first…
Having just moved to a new apartment in a new district only 3 weeks ago and being completely consumed with finding homes, or rather out-of-sight storage, for the never-ending and constantly-growing pile of boxes that kept being shipped from the old apartment – okay, a few of those were also from my MIL’s garage (our final four crates from the US); really narrowed my window of focus. I didn’t really go out or explore or even learn my new neighborhood; instead, I cleaned, organized, we filled out all the right forms, informed all the required companies, and have developed a very close relationship with our new bank manager to ensure all our bills would continue to be paid on schedule, as usual, despite the upheaval we were experiencing.
Life was just getting back to normal and then yesterday I get a text from my cell provider demanding immediate payment – then the phone went dead. No calls or texts could be made! No worries; hubby visits our bank manager and finds out that the provider, despite being informed of the new billing information, failed to bill our new bank account. Great! I get to join the normal world again on Friday – the earliest that their systems can rectify the problem. Fine!
Still, it’s time to get out and get things done and I still have internet, right? Our current apartment is so far removed from everything that I need transportation; thus, here I am, out in the big old world with no way to contact anyone should I need assistance, heading to a car sharing company to sign up. I’m standing in the middle of the city rechecking the navigations on my map app and then I realize – no internet either! Me, in Vienna, without turn-by-turn instructions on how to get anywhere!! I’m lost, I’m alone, I’m totally freaking out! ‘How am I going to get home? How do I say “How do I find…?” in German, again?’ I’m going to admit it here and now – I use navigation apps for everything! Then something clicked; ‘ hey, I know that street, there’s a train that goes there and if I keep walking and turn right, I’ll get to my destination.’ Thank God that the map function still works even if it won’t give me directions.
Having reached my goal and successfully conducted my business – ‘yay, I now have transportation!!!’ – I was feeling very much on top-of-the-world and capable of handling this city. I walked up to the Straßenbahn Haltestelle (tram stop) and remembered it connected to the one that takes me home – awesome. Two minutes later, looking at it again, I realized it would take me in the opposite direction so I needed to cross the street (no problem, glad we figured that out before the Straßenbahn came). An hour later, I’m safely home and patting myself on the back for surviving my first time out in Vienna without any props.
Still, why is it that during a moment of panic did I lose the ability to think, speak German, remember transportation lines, etc?’ Yet, after achieving what I’d set out to do, I was able to access the same brain sectors easily and without fear? And most importantly, will I be able to successfully manage Vienna tomorrow when I head out for my dental appointment?!