Today felt like a big day, my friends! I dropped 3,860 Swiss francs on a yearly unlimited pass for public transport and headed merrily off on the first day of the next three years. After a little wrangling with the administration, I finally settled into my new desk, a quiet little spot on the ground floor with a view onto a garden where cats seem to be constantly pacing past.
Adding to my general sense of excitement is the ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE 2.5 weeks in Japan that my grandparents just showed me. Japan really deserves its own post, but I’m not sure I’m ready to capture it yet (or ever). I couldn’t think of any better way to mark the end of three years of hard work, and am endlessly grateful to my grandparents for sharing with me this place that they love so much. And in what I’ve decided is the true mark of absolute post-holiday relaxation, I’m not feeling the slightest inkling of jetlag. Mind over matter is a lot easier when your mind has just been pampered by Zen gardens and peaceful temples for the last little while.
But back to today- in a way I feel like I am now embarking on phase 2 of my life in Switzerland. I’m living in a new town and working a new job in yet another new city, something not quite so different than when I first moved here three years ago. But now the challenges are different. Instead of moving to a big international city (by Swiss terms), I’m living in a quaint small town. Instead of struggling to speak basic German, I am aiming to graduate to Swiss German. Instead of struggling to find my own flat or roommates with minimal German, I am learning about how to cohabitate and live my life with a deeply Swiss person. Instead of signing up for random meetups or filling my endless friendless spare time with things like baking bread (disaster, don’t ask), I am trying to learn how to balance the circle of friends I have, a circle that is becoming increasingly widely flung as a natural consequence of academia.
I find all of these things exciting, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that also come with a tinge of anxiety. I am committing to Switzerland heavily in a way that my initial PhD jaunt didn’t involve. Also, a lot of things are just changing quickly in general. All good things! But I always do need to process change in my own way. Japan was a wonderful opportunity to catch my breath- I will always be in agreement with the European idea that holiday is essential for the soul.