I'm going to post something. Not a big deal.
There really isn't much to report from Munich. On the one hand, it sucks. I don't speak German, everything is expensive if you don't already have Euros, and Munich turned out to be more like America than probably any other city we could have chosen. On the other hand, it's amazing. We have a swank apartment, the holidays are over, we're slowly getting (very well paid) work with different language schools, and all the little things I do every day--precisely because it's such a challenge to surpass the language and culture barriers--are actually meaningful.
But the novelty is dwindling.
I gauge my satisfaction with life in large part based on how I feel when I wake up in the mornings, before all the business of the day has numbed the raw, existential impression that I get when I wake up and remember where I am and what I'm doing. When I was in Colorado, I used to wake up in a panic almost every day; I'm convinced that it was a symptom of my dissatisfaction with life. For the past three months, however, I have woken up feeling calm and happy, ready for new adventures. I had broken the monotony of life in Colorado, and as my regard of this experience in Europe changed from "vacation" to "lifestyle" I continued to wake up calmly; the existential moments more invigorating than frightening.
But, as sedentism in Munich continues, as I have more time to check back on the lives of my friends and family in Colorado, as the pattern of daily life becomes cemented into a routine, I feel the creeping panic reemerging in the mornings. The existential moments bring waxing doubt about this. I can't escape as easily as dissolving into a computer game (as I would have in Colorado) or bopping into a cafe in France (as I would have a month ago)--more and more I have to answer to the doubts that the existential moments--the 'absurd' moments--bring, and I am afraid. I fear that this Munich life really isn't tenable. That I Ellen and I are just playing house and ignoring major problems with our existence here. That without friends, without social outlets, without something other than work and home, we will implode.
We were warned about this. People told us to find something outside of work to connect with, and now I understand why. It's not as grave as looking into plane tickets back home. It's just that:
When you are accustomed to having amazing friends (and you all, really, are)--to being part of a social clique (I hesitate to use the word in order to not smack of a teenage social mentality) that is more concerned with discussing philosophy, society, politics, etc. than with getting drunk at clubs and dancing--then it's difficult to regress. Furthermore, I view the people I know and love in Colorado as representing a minority of the population: the intelligent misfit demographic. Now take the English speaking population of Munich as a representative sample of the larger demographic, with most personalities represented. If I want to find a people here similar to my friends in Colorado, I have to seek a similar minority WITHIN A MINORITY. Ellen and I were lucky to find Derek, the Scottish English major who was willing to come to Munich from Paris over the holidays and talked at great lengths about Deleuze and Virginia Woolf. We were lucky. What are the odds that we'll be similarly lucky any time soon? And will we find these people only traveling, or actually living here? Am I being to unwilling to befriend people unlike myself? I certainly don't want to BECOME interested in drinking and clubbing. Is that the only way? Where does the intelligent misfit demographic hang out in Munich?
Enough, I have gone from talking about identity and existence to asking where the cool people are--but sometimes a cup of hot chocolate makes the whole day better. You know?