About arriving and leaving something behind
If you follow our social media channels (Instagram / FB), you of course already know that womanly has split up geographically. I (Conny) moved to the US, while Elisabeth continues to paint the town red on the European continent. So we have broadened our field of vision and now perceive the world from different perspectives – although there will of course also be shared time / projects in the future. I will be in Austria on a regular basis, because there is a lot over there that I care about. And I’m not talking about Wiener Schnitzel or Apple Strudel (you can get that in Los Angeles, too, if you know where to go).
My new home is Los Angeles, precisely Pacific Palisades, which is located between Santa Monica and Malibu, right at the Pacific Ocean: on the Westside of LA, where everyone is relaxed and most people have sand between their toes at least once a day. Not as crazy as Venice and not as posh as Malibu, but the Palisades offer the same sunsets and long, empty beaches that you can walk for hours. If you have mermaid genes like I do (and got dropped by the stork in the wrong place), it feels like coming home.
Yet, of course, it’s not home (yet), because when you arrive somewhere, you have also leftsomething behind. I leave a lot behind (including my older daughter who stays in Vienna) and it would be a lie to say that this is easy. No matter how beautiful a new place is, there is a little melancholy resonating with every sunset that you would like to share with those who are actually asleep on another continent (there is a time difference of 9 hours to Austria). You can set up a new home, do a challenging job, and meet tons of interesting people, but you still miss those who have accompanied you so far, who understand you without words and laugh at the same things. I love the American culture and people, but you must not fall into the trap of thinking that we are alike – just because we might look the same, watch the same movies and listen to the same music. I will have to learn a lot and of course adapt.
People already know that I am not American because I tend to walk. People in LA do not walk (unless they cannot afford a car). They drive. Everywhere. Always. I still walk a lot, because I love to walk. It helps me ground myself and merge with my surroundings. Actually, I’m like a little kid walking the streets with eyes wide open and gazing at everything. For everything is magical here. You just have to see it and not take offence at trivialities. Austrians tend to complain and criticize. This does not make sense over here. There is far too much that is far from perfect. You would never get done with the job. Still, I am not interested in perfection. It’s about seeing things that make my heart jump, and there’s more than enough of that around every corner. This is what makes up for a lot that is missing and relativizes the fact that you just cannot quickly call your best friend for a coffee date. But I will do that a lot when I’m home again and until then, a coffee-to-go alone on the beach will do – while I am watching the sun sink into the sea and thinking of those who cannot be here and still are with me. Always.
What I do not miss at all are grumpy waiters and shop assistants, the changeable weather and the much cited Dzcomfort zonedz in which we like to move around in our country. Do not get me wrong, there is a plethora of comfort here – more than you can ever imagine – but in order to enjoy it, you have to work hard, marry well or inherit (later two do not apply to me), otherwise this country will quickly lose its shine and make you feel more than not welcome. As much as the Californians are relaxed and in a good mood, they really work hard to achieve their idea of paradise. Over here, the slogan “Dream Big” is not just a hackneyed phrase, but part of everyday life. It constantly inspires and motivates you. You see all those people who live their individual dreams, which demand more or less effort depending on the goal, and you just want to have what they convey: I’ve done it! I am where I want to be. For some it already feels like winning if they can afford their daily meal and a roof over the head, others are lying on the porch of their Malibu beach house and enjoy the fact that they do not have to drive anymore (traffic at the PCH is crazy). Success is indeed a subjective term and everyone defines luck ina different way, too. A few days ago I met a woman who survived two category 5 hurricanes (highest category – wind speeds of 157 mph). Ask her how she would define luck.
Stay tuned for more about my life in the Wild, Wild West and Elisabeth’s adventures in Good Old Europe. You can also follow us on Instagram and FB where we post inspiringphotos and texts. We look forward to seeing you!