“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” – John Maxwell
A couple of months ago I wrote a short blog post sharing about an opportunity I was given to do a short term work assignment in Austria. Today, as I formulate my thoughts and put them into writing I’m sitting in my quaint studio apartment in Villach, Austria’s old town. Most days, music from the local bar fills my apartment, as well as chatter from the many locals walking up and down the street. And every hour, the towering church bells echo throughout town. Because I live in old town, parking is very limited. As such, I ride a bike to and from work and have a car on the weekends to explore the area. Typically, shops close up around 6pm and on Sundays nearly everything is closed for the day. This is my new reality.
Having been here for two weeks now, there are still many things that are new. I am settling into a routine, one that I’m not overly enthusiastic about. While the experience of working in a foreign country is a once in a lifetime experience, the schedule I have to maintain is a little overwhelming at times. In a typical day I get to the office around 7am so that I can work with Asia, I spend the middle part of my day working with Europe, and from around 4pm until 7 or so in the evening I have meetings with folks in the US. This is also my new reality.
During the time that I’m not working I have quite a bit of time to think. Whether it’s while I’m on an evening bike ride along the river or as I’m cooking dinner, my mind is actively thinking, questioning. How did I end up in Austria? Are the tradeoffs worth it? Am I focusing on the right things? How do I overcome the feelings of loneliness? Am I making the right decisions in life? Am I on a path to leaving life with the kind of legacy I want? (All questions I will delve into deeper in future blog posts.)
In the States, I’m typically moving so fast that I don’t take the time to think and question. I move from one thing to the next so rapidly. If I’m being honest, it’s probably because I’m somewhat afraid to allow space to think and to question. However, my new reality is forcing it upon me. Forcing me to face reality. In so many ways I am out of my comfort zone.
Nevertheless, I also realize that I am growing. I’m growing into who I was made to be. I’m also learning. About myself and how I cope with new situations. That in life, the journey is just as important as the destination. And, to appreciate the space I’ve been given to think and to question.
All in all Austria is treating me well and I’m growing in ways that I wouldn’t have expected.
Check back in the coming days for more blog posts where I’ll share, in both word and photo, some of my adventures thus far and take a deeper dive into some of the questions I’m asking myself and thoughts I’m consumed with. Here’s a preview of my first adventure in Austria…Salzburg!